All the winter events you need to keep Pittsburgh kids busy throughout the season
Photo: Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure arrives in February as part of the Children’s Theater Series.
Some people consider winter a time to hibernate under a fuzzy comforter. But we think it’s a great time to get active outdoors. We love the winter lineup of performances that are specially programmed for kids and the opportunities for making and crafting are greater than ever.
Here are a ton of events to move enthusiastic kids through the winter season:
Through Jan. 12: Holiday Magic, Phipps Conservatory. See dazzling displays in every room, plus new light features in Tropical Forest Cuba and the Winter Light Garden.
Through Jan. 12: Tough Art 2019, Children’s Museum. An installation that challenges artists to create exhibits that can stand up to the rigors of active children.
Through Jan. 12: Garden Railroad: Farms, Food and Family, Phipps Conservatory. The new miniature railroad display invites kids to explore the world of farming, complete with clucking chicks, cows, landscape goats and roving tractors.
Through Jan. 12: “The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System,” multiple locations. When the class gets lost on the way to the planetarium, Ms. Frizzle saves the day by blasting into outer space for an epic interplanetary field trip. Presented by the Children’s Theater Series.
Through March 7: Young Writers and Illustrators, Trust Arts Education Center. Kids in grades 6-8 will put pen to paper to create characters as they begin to write a truly fantastic story.
Through April 19: Mummies of the World, Carnegie Science Center. Kids will be amazed by the 125 real mummies, as well as state-of-the-art multimedia stations that take visitors on a 4,500-year journey to explore their origins.
Jan.10: Night Hike with a Park Ranger, Hartwood Acres. Bring a flashlight for this 2-mile trek.
Jan. 11: Soundscapes, Trust Education Center. Kids in grades 6-8 will use a variety of digital tools and work collectively to create an original immersive art piece focused on the interplay between sound and space.
Jan. 11: Story Hike: “Big Tracks, Little Tracks”, Frick Environmental Center. Kids ages 3-9 will hear the Millicent E. Selsam story, followed by an exploration hike.
Jan. 11: Boy Scout Badge Day: Genealogy, Heinz History Center. Kids will explore and unearth pieces of family history with hands-on activities in the center’s Library & Archives.
Jan.11: Sewing Studio: Scarf Exploration, Trust Education Center. Kids in grades 9-12 will use a variety of techniques and materials to make 3 -4 unique scarves.
Jan. 11: Classic Penny Arcade, Arcade Comedy Theater. On the second Saturday of the month, kids can see the classic Penny Arcade show in which they will inspire improvisers in a variety of activities, volunteer to perform, and even learn games they can play at home.
Jan. 11-12: Locomotion Weekend, Carnegie Science Center. An entire weekend of fun with miniature trains includes hands-on activities.
Jan. 13: Story Time Wildlife Academy, Pittsburgh Zoo. Kids up to age 5 will enjoy stories, meet animals and sing songs.
Jan. 14: Latodami Young Nature Explorers: Animals and Winter, North Park. Kids from ages 3-6 will learn how animals adapt to winter weather.
Jan. 15: History Explorers: City of Bridges, Heinz History Center. Kids ages 5-8 join in an exploration of Pittsburgh stories through games, art, cooking and other hands-on activities.
Jan.17-19: Nick Jr. Live, Benedum Center. Kids will be invited to sing, dance, clap and cheer with familiar friends from Bubble Guppies, PAW Patrol, Dora The Explorer and others in a live stage show.
Jan. 17: Kids Night Out: Outdoor Art Explorers, Phipps Conservatory. Kids will be inspired by winter to create fun art projects.
Jan. 17: Friday Night Fun, Heinz History Center. Parents can drop off kids in grades 3-8 for a quick dinner followed by art-making, cooking and salesmanship based on the H.J. Heinz Company’s 150-year history.
Jan. 17-18: “An Elephant in the Garden,” Byham Theater. An elephant from the zoo becomes an unlikely family member to two children and their mother fleeing bombs in World War II Germany. Presented by EQT Bridge Theater Series for ages 7 and older.
Jan. 18: Guide Nature Tour, Harrison Hills. Kids will explore winter animal tracks.
Jan. 18: Future City Competition, Carnegie Science Center. The Science Center hosts the National Engineers Week competition for kids in grades 6-8.
Jan 18-Feb. 2: “Alice in Wonderland,” Gemini Children’s Theater. Alice will rely on the White Rabbit and the imaginations of her audience to make it to the Queen’s party on time.
Jan. 23-26: Cirque du Soleil: “OVO,” PPG Arena. Biodiversity takes a new look with a fantasy world of insects and plant life.
Jan. 23-Feb. 23: “Little Shop of Horrors,” O’Reilly Theater. This musical comedy about a bossy man-eating plant will delight ages 13 through adults.
Jan. 23: Jim Rugg, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The Pittsburgh-based comic book artist appears as part of the Words & Pictures series.
Jan. 24: Kids Night Out: Conservatory Explorers, Phipps Conservatory. A scavenger hunt will help kids explore Phipps at night.
Jan. 24-25: Snowfest, Boyce Park. Skiers and non-skiers will have fun at this celebration of winter with indoor and outdoor games and activities.
Jan. 25: Penny Arcade Theme Show, Arcade Comedy Theater. The fourth Saturday of each month offers a specific theme with new games, new ways to collaborate and new worlds to explore.
Jan. 25: Family Overnight, Pittsburgh Zoo. Penguins and Pancakes is the theme for this sleepover for families with kids ages 6-12 years.
Jan. 26: Repair the World Series: Get to Know your Animal Neighbors, Frick Environmental Center. This series was designed for preschool and elementary kids, but all ages are welcome.
Jan. 26: Guide Nature Tour, North Park. Kids will explore winter animal tracks.
Jan. 31: Girl Scout Night at the Museum, Heinz History Center. Brownies and Juniors explore the History Center after hours and enjoy snacks and a movie before camping in the education center.
Jan. 31: Kids Night Out: Winter World Explorers, Phipps Conservatory. Snowpants and mittens will be required for this outdoor frolic.
Jan. 31-September: Big League Fun, Children’s Museum. This engaging exhibit emphasizes the science and math behind baseball.
Jan. 31: Movie Night, Phipps Conservatory. This evening event includes a screening of Pixar’s “WALL-E.”
Feb. 1: Fiddlesticks: Love is in the Air, Heinz Hall. Kids will hear how love is expressed by different composers, like Gershwin and Mister Rogers.
Feb.2: Dan Gemeinhart, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The award-winning author of “The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise” appears as part of the Words & Pictures series.
Feb. 3: Story Time Wildlife Academy, Pittsburgh Zoo. Kids up to age 5 will enjoy stories, meet animals and sing songs.
Feb. 4-9: “Miss Saigon,” Benedum Center. This new production of the hit musical is presented by PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh. Best for ages 14 and older.
Feb. 6-7: NACAC College Fair, David Lawrence Convention Center. High school kids can visit with college representatives from around the country.
Feb. 7-9: Monster Jam Triple Threat, PPG Arena. Bring earplugs for this roaring, crashing spectacle.
Feb. 8: Classic Penny Arcade, Arcade Comedy Theater. Kids will enjoy the classic Penny Arcade show, where they will inspire improvisers in a variety of activities, volunteer to perform and even learn games they can play at home.
Feb. 8: Guided Nature Night Hike, Deer Lakes Park. Bring a flashlight for a 2-mile hike.
Feb. 11: Latodami Young Nature Explorers: Let it Snow, North Park. Kids ages 3-6 will have fun in the snow with activities like searching for tracks.
Feb. 14: Valentine Day’s Skate, South Park Skating Rink. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with buy-one-get-one ice skating admission.
Feb. 14-23: “Beauty and the Beast,” Benedum Center. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents this timeless love story. Includes a sensory-friendly performance on Feb. 23.
Feb. 15: Junior Ranger: Winter Weather, North Park. Kids from ages 5-13 will work with park rangers to explore winter weather.
Feb. 15: Parents’ Night Out, Pittsburgh Zoo. Kids ages 4-11 can have a fun-filled evening of games, tours and crafts while Mom and Dad have a date night on their own.
Feb 15: Girl Scout Badge Day Workshop, Heinz History Center. Girl Scout Juniors will practice their power of observation and try out detective skills throughout the center’s exhibits.
Feb. 19: History Explorers: Archival Adventures, Heinz History Center. Kids ages 5-8 explore Pittsburgh stories about the Suffrage Shirtwaist Ball through games, art, cooking and other hands-on activities.
Feb. 22 and March 7 and 21: Latodami Maple Syrup Making, North Park. Kids ages 5 and up will learn to identify maple sugar trees and how to tap trees, collect sap and make syrup.
Feb, 22: Penny Arcade Theme Show, Arcade Comedy Theater. Kids explore a specific theme with new games, new ways to collaborate and new worlds to explore.
Feb. 23: Guided Nature Hike, Harrison Hills. This hike teaches winter tree identification.
Feb. 23: Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure, Byham Theater. Actors, technology, puppets and imagination come together to create an immersive visual experience that connects kids to the real science of paleontology. Presented as part of the Children’s Theater Series.
Feb. 24: Ice Show, South Park. Ice skating students put on a dazzling performance in this annual event.
Feb. 25: Blippi Live, Byham Theater. The energetic and lovable character Blippi jumps off the screen and onto the stage with a terrific production that includes audience engagement and fun music.
Feb. 25-March 1: “Cats,” Benedum Center. The record-breaking stage musical from Andrew Lloyd Weber is presented live by PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh.
Feb. 27: “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Heinz Hall. Pittsburgh Symphony plays the John Williams score while you watch the thrilling movie.
Feb. 27-March 1: Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures, PPG Arena. Travel with Mickey and the gang to favorite Disney destinations, like the homes of Simba, Moana and Mary Poppins.
Feb. 28: Movie Night, Phipps Conservatory. This evening event screens “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”
March 1: Linda Sue Park, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The award-winning author of “Prairie Lotus” appears as part of the Words & Pictures series.
March 2: Story Time Wildlife Academy, Pittsburgh Zoo. Kids up to age 5 will enjoy stories, meet animals and sing songs.
March 6-15: “The Outsiders,” Hazlett Theater. This coming-of-age performance for tweens and teens comes from Prime Stage Theatre Company.
March 7: Maple Sugaring, Harrison Hills Park. Kids will learn traditional and modern methods of tapping maple trees along with activities and a short hike.
March 9: Ice Show, North Park Ice Rink. Ice skating students put on a dazzling performance in this annual event.
March 10-15: “The Band’s Visit,” Benedum Center. The winner of 10 Tony Awards, this joyously offbeat story is set in an isolated town when a lost band of musicians arrive out of the blue. Best for ages 14 and older.
March 12: Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The award-winning author of “Hey, Kiddo” appears as part of the Words & Pictures series.
March 14: Classic Penny Arcade, Arcade Comedy Theater. Kids participate in the classic Penny Arcade show where they will inspire improvisers in a variety of activities, volunteer to perform and even learn games they can play at home.
March 14: Maple Sugaring, Boyce Park Nature Center. Kids will learn all about maple syrup through demonstrations and activities.
March 14; Pot O’ Gold Geocaching, Schenley Park. Families will hunt for the hidden pot of gold with handheld GPS units.
March 18: History Explorers: Sports Stories, Heinz History Center. Kids ages 5-8 explore the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum through games, art, cooking, making, and other hands-on activities.
March 20-22: Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, Heinz Hall. That wascally wabbit and his Looney Tune pals celebrate the program’s 30th anniversary with cartoon projections.