Big spring events guide: More than 75 family events around the Pittsburgh area

Photo above by Chevanon Photography.

Goodbye, gray days and barren landscapes. Spring is here and it’s time to welcome fresh green buds and pastel blooms! Along with seasonal color changes comes an exciting lineup of events and activities for refreshing family fun.

Check out these events happening in March, April and May. And don’t miss our guide to all the high school musicals happening this spring.

Through May 26: Mr. Messado’s Magic School for the Young and Young at Heart, Liberty Magic. Head to Liberty Magic on Sunday afternoons for a special magic show designed for kids. The 60-minute, interactive experience is full of comedy and surprises in an intimate setting. Tickets are $25, $40 for VIP.

Photo by Ashley Lutz, courtesy of Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

March 16: St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Downtown. Our city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, thought to be the third largest in the country, begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street, marching to Grant Street, turning onto Boulevard of the Allies to the reviewing stand on Stanwix Street. Be prepared for three hours of revelry!

March 16: Meet the Maker, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Meet and create with Dick Esterle, the artist behind “Space Chips,” who will help kids explore geometric shapes and colors to build collaborative cardboard sculptures. Included with museum admission.

Photo courtesy of Audubon Society of Western PA.

March 16 and 23: Maple Madness, Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania: Families will tour the maple sugar demonstration trail and learn about the history and science of maple syrup. Choose from Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel on March 16, or Succop Nature Park in Butler on March 23. Registration is $12.

March 16-April 14: Spring Flower Show, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. All the colors of a bright spring season await visitors to the charm of Pittsburgh’s Victorian glass house. Tickets are $21.95 for grownups, $19.95 for seniors, $13.95 for ages 2 -18, free for those younger than 2.

March 16 and 30: Youth Writers Camp, August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Kids will examine Wilson’s work to gain a deeper understanding of his plays and they will develop and enhance their skills in literary analysis. Registration is $25. Some scholarships are available.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

March 16-17: Sensory-Friendly Weekend, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Expect lower lighting in select galleries, video sounds and background audio turned off in select galleries, calming spaces and take-away support materials such as single-use ear plugs, sunglasses, fidget toys, etc. Registration is $15 for kids, $25 for grownups.

March 16-24: Storybook Trail, Jennings Environmental Education Center. Follow the Storybook Trail featuring “Habitat Sweet Habitat: Zapo the Jennings Jumping Mouse Looks for a House.”  Discover and read the pages along the trail while exploring the outdoors and learning about nature. Get details here on this free event. No registration is required.

Photo by Oleksandr P.

March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30: Guided Hike with Park Rangers, Allegheny County Parks. Allegheny County Park Rangers will lead hikers through scenic trails at different county parks. Each all-ages hike will cover approximately two miles with moderate elevation. Registration is free.

March 16, April 3, 10, 17, 24: Seedlings: Sensational Spring, Pittsburgh Botanical Garden. Kids ages 3-6 years connect to nature with a different theme each week. Tickets are $15 per session.

March 17, 23, 24, 29, 30: Lunch or Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, The Pittsburgh Zoo. Enjoy a kid-friendly meal along with a craft and photos with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are $45, $10 for those younger than 2.

March 17 and May 19: Trolls and Pup Patrol Cruise and Tour, Gateway Clipper Fleet. Kids will meet and greet with favorite characters in a fun dance party. Tickets are $20 for ages 1-12, $35 for grownups, free for infants.

Photo courtesy of Fred Rogers Productions.

March 20: Mister Rogers Free Day, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The Museum celebrates the life and work of Fred Rogers with free admission for everyone on his birthday. Registration is required.

March 22-24, 29-30: Bunny Trolley,  Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Your bunny meet-and-greet includes a scavenger hunt and other activities. Tickets are $22 for grownups, $21 for seniors, $17 for ages 3-18, free for those younger than 3.

March 23: “Moana” Singalong, Kamin Science Center. Sing along with Moana and Maui while watching the film on the Giant Screen. “Moana” themed costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $12.

Photo courtesy of the National Aviary

March 23, 23, 29 and 30: Eggstravaganza, The National Aviary. Enjoy a day filled with an egg-themed scavenger hunt, story time and crafting. Activities are included with admission.

March 23-30: Easter Egg Hunt, Simmons Farm. The Easter Egg Hunt includes a farm-related craft, a chance to decorate your Easter egg gathering bag, a collection of 12 eggs to be exchanged for prizes, flowerpot decorating and planting, a coloring craft, ducky races and the petting zoo. Admission is $17.75, free for grownups.

March 23- April 7: “Jack and the Beanstalk,” Gemini Theater. This twist on the classic fairy tale is a fun immersive experience for kids from ages 2 and older. Tickets are $12, $5 for ages 3 and younger.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Botanical Garden.

March 24: Natural Egg Dyeing, Pittsburgh Botanical Garden. Learn how plants can make natural dyes and decorate your own eggs in this family-friendly activity. Free, but registration is required.

March 24: Buds, Barks and Branches, Raccoon Creek State Park. Join a park educator on a one-mile hike, and learn some tricks and tips to identifying leafless trees by buds, barks, and branches. Free.

March 24: Full Worm Moon Hike, Schenley Park. Native Americans dubbed this final full moon of winter the Worm Moon, inspired by the trails left by worms in the freshly thawed ground. The hike covers about three miles of uneven terrain. Tickets are $15.

March 26-31: “Mamma Mia!,” Benedum Center. Full of all your favorite bouncy ABBA songs, this charming musical has been celebrated by fans for 25 years. Check for ticket availability.

March 30: The Cone Zone, Raccoon State Park. Learn how to identify the different conifers at an indoor presentation, followed by an outdoor walk to practice tree ID skills. Free.

March 30: Super Science Saturday: Eggstravaganza, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Compete in an egg-themed scavenger hunt, discover eggs and nests in a variety of sizes, and collect a springtime treat. Activities are included in general admission. A sensory-friendly session is planned for earlier in the day. Registration is $12 for kids, $16 for grownups.

March 30: Brunch with the Bunny, Soergel Orchards. This popular event is an annual favorite with a delicious brunch and a visit with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are $15.99 for ages 10 and younger, $25.99 for grownups, free for those younger than 2.

March 30: Bunny Fun Cruise, The Gateway Clipper. As guest of honor, the Easter Bunny will lead a DJ dance party that includes the “Bunny Hop.” Tickets are $20 for ages 1 and older, $5 for infants, $35 for grownups.

Photo by Sally Quinn.

April 5: Pirates Home Opener, PNC Park. Watch the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Baltimore Orioles as they open the 2024 season at home. Advance tickets are recommended.

April 6: Earth Month Celebration, Westinghouse Park. Festivities include lawn games, face painting, balloon artists, nature crafts and activities by community organizations. Free, but select events require registration.

April 6: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” South Park VIP Lot. Allegheny Parks Drive-in Movies Series with parking opening at 6 p.m. and movie screening at dusk. Free admission.

“What Do Roots Do?” cover, courtesy of Scholastic Books.

April 6: Story Hike: “What Do Roots Do?,” Westinghouse Park. Learn about the importance of roots by listening to a reading of “What Do Roots Do?” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski. Look closely at the roots of plants, then plant your own seed to take home. Free, but registration is required.

April 6-7: “Blizzard,” Byham Theater. FLIP Fabrique takes kids on a crazy, poetic and gentle journey in the dead of winter and invites you to lose yourself in a moment of complete wonder. Part of the Bridge Series. Tickets are $12.

Photo courtesy of Empty Bowls

April 7: Empty Bowls, Rodef Shalom. Enjoy a friendly, informal meal with friends and neighbors including nutritious soups, hearty bread, tasty treats and your choice of a hand-crafted bowl. Tickets are $25.

April 8: Eclipse Extravaganza, Kamin Science Center. Solar eclipse activities include the solar telescope, live footage streamed from NASA on the Buhl Planetarium dome and a free 3D-printed pinhole projector. Activities included with general admission.

April 11-28: “Roald Dahl’s Matilda,” Little Lake Theater. Matilda, an extraordinary little girl with a love for books and a gift for telekinesis, is trapped in a world of neglectful parents, a wicked headmistress and school bullies. Best for ages 6 and older. Tickets are $15 for ages 18 and younger, $25 for grownups.

April 13: Bald Eagle Bike Ride, South Side Color Park. Ride along the Monongahela River on a section of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail that is paved and fairly flat. The 11-mile bike ride will stop to learn about the Bald Eagles that live in Hays Woods and use binoculars to get a view of the nest. Tickets are $10.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

April 13: Our Own Story Time, Trust Arts Education Center. Family members will use their imaginations to craft original stories and characters of their own for a brand-new bedtime story. Tickets are $25 per family for up to 6 members.

April 13, May 11: Penny Arcade: Kids Comedy Show, Arcade Theater. This interactive comedy experience, ideal for kids 4 to 8 years old, encourages kids and their parents to unleash their imaginations and sense of humor. Tickets are $12.

April 13: “Moana,” South Park VIP Lot. Allegheny County Drive-in Movies Series with parking opening at 6 and movie screening at dusk. Free admission.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Symphony.

April 13: Fascinatin’ Fidd, Heinz Hall. Pittsburgh Symphony’s Fiddlesticks series returns with a look at Gershwin tunes to get little ones dancing to the music. This inclusive performance will be ASL interpreted and offer a family restroom, quiet room, fidgets and noise-canceling headphones. Braille programs are available upon request. Come early for the Discovery Time activities. Tickets are $18-$30.

April 13-14: “Dog Man: The Musical,” Byham Theater. This hilarious production is based on the worldwide bestselling series from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants and Cat Kid Comic Club. Part of the Children’s Theater Series. Tickets are $12.

April 14: Pride Outside Hike, Duff Park. Join the LGBTQIA+ community on a monthly hike. This hike will cover 1-3 miles of moderate terrain. Tickets are pay-what-you-want from $0-$10.

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Zoo.

April 20: Wild Earth Day Festival, Pittsburgh Zoo. Celebrate Earth Day 2024 at the amazing Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium! We’re proud to partner with the zoo to bring you a day of fun, music and educational programming. Activities included with zoo admission.

April 20: Super Science Saturday: The Stories We Keep, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Investigate the science of conservation and restoration that keeps the museum’s cherished objects safe. Included with museum admission.

April 20: “The Super Mario Brothers Movie,” South Park VIP Lot. Allegheny County Drive-in Movies Series with parking opening at 6 p.m. and movie screening at dusk. Free admission.

Photo courtesy of Kennywood Park.

April 20: Opening Day, Kennywood Park. Say it with us: “Kennywood’s open!” Kids will be excited to join Kenny Kangaroo at Pittsburgh’s favorite amusement park again this year. Tickets start at $39.99.

April 25-28: Yinzerfest, David Lawrence Convention Center. This family-focused event will offer local bites, vendor booths, live music, a cooking stage featuring local chefs, and a comedy stage with local and national comedians. Tickets are $18 per day or $60 for a four-day pass.

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

April 26-27: “Sesame Street Live, Say Hello,” Benedum Center. Sing and dance with Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby while enjoying fun surprises along the way. Tickets are $33.75-$73.75.

April 27: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” Hartwood Acres. Allegheny County Drive-in Movies Series with parking opening at 6 p.m. and movie screening at dusk. Free admission.

April 30-May 1: “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Benedum Center. This new production of the iconic musical celebrates its 50th anniversary. Tickets are $41.75-$111.75.

May 1-8: Schooltime: Meet the Orchestra, Heinz Hall. Pittsburgh Symphony hosts a curated music experience that introduces kids to the orchestra and nurtures a love of music. Recommended for grades 2-4. Registration is free but required.

Photo courtesy of Remake Learning.

May 2-22: Remake Learning Days, multiple locations. Explore creative and engaging events and celebrate joyful learning: Build a robot, code an art spinner, direct a film, be a scientist, explore the outdoors and make your own music at in-person and virtual events hosted by schools, museums, libraries and tech companies. Registration is required for individual events, many of which are free.

May 2: A Tribute to Hans Zimmer & Film Favourites Illuminated, Benedum Center. The London Film Orchestra Illuminated will perform music from movies such as “E.T..” “Jurassic Park,” “Star Wars” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Tickets are $65.25-$75.25.

May 3-12: “Witness for the Prosecution,” New Hazlett Theater. Prime Stage presents the Agatha Christie thriller that allows the audience to be the jury and experience the testimony and witness outbursts as a man and his lawyer fight to escape the final verdict. A sensory-inclusive performance is planned for May 11. An audio-described, signed and captioned performance is set for May 12. Tickets are $19 for students, $24 for artists, $39 for grownups.

May 4: “Moana,” Hartwood Acres. Allegheny County Drive-in Movies Series with parking opening at 6 p.m. and movie screening at dusk. Free admission.

May 4: Music of “Star Wars,” Heinz Hall. “May the Fourth be with you” at this screening of “Star Wars” as the Pittsburgh Symphony plays John Williams’ score. Tickets are $45-$95.

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

May 7-12: “The Kite Runner,” Benedum Center. Based on the international best-selling novel, this powerful new play follows a man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Recommended for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $35-$97.

May 10: Tea Party and Floral Crown Workshop, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. This Mother’s Day tea party includes making floral crowns with fresh flowers. For ages 5-12 with an adult. Tickets are $20 for kids, $45 for grownups.

May 11: Mommy & Me Dance Party, Trust Arts Education Center. Families will engage in fun and creative ways to dance, while spending quality time with their little ones. Tickets are $25 per family, up to 6 family members.

May 11: “Super Mario Brothers Movie,” Hartwood Acres. Allegheny County Drive-in Movies Series with parking opening at 6 p.m. and movie screening at dusk. Free admission.

May 11: Pittonkatonk, Schenley Park. Pittonkatonk offers music without boundaries, creating events, performances and actions that promote music as a catalyst for positive social change. Admission is free.

May 12: Mother’s Day Celebration, Pittsburgh Zoo. Moms gain free admission when accompanied by their kids.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

May 17-19: EQT Children’s Theater Festival, Downtown. Now in its 38th year, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival fosters imagination through high-quality professional theater performances from around the world. Paid tickets are required for the theatrical performances, but the festival is packed with dozens of free activities throughout three days of fun.

May 17-19: “Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster,” Byham Theater. This is the story about a monster so terrible he isn’t the least bit scary. The entertaining story is told with puppets, a giant movie screen and puppeteers. A sensory-friendly performance is planned for May 19. Tickets are $12.

May 17-19: “Finding North,” Pittsburgh Playhouse. This one-man play is drawn from historical research and oral histories of Underground Railroad hero John P. Parker, as well as contemporary American immigrants. Tickets are $12.

May 17-19: “Waves, All that Glows Sees,” Trust Arts Education Center. This magical adventure is for toddlers from ages 18 months to 4 years old. Tickets are $12.

May 17-19: Sunjata Kamalenya, August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Sunjata Kamalenya (translated: Sunjata for Youth) is a new interactive production based on the story of the Lion King. Tickets are $12.

May 17-19: “Frolic,” Trust Arts Education Center. Frolic is meant to spark fun in a sensory-friendly space created for and with neurodivergent audiences ages 5 and up and their families. Advance registration required for tickets.

May 17-19: “Poli Pop.” Pittsburgh Playhouse. This colorful and playful new theater production uses live musicians, interactive animations, painted projection mapping, and loads of theatrical imagination. Tickets are $12.

May 17-19: “Cinderella,” Benedum Center. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the PBT Orchestra present the full-length ballet that brims with true love, classical choreography, magnificent costumes and sets. Tickets start at $29.

Photo courtesy of Idlewild Park.

May 18: Opening Day, Idlewild Park. Idlewild Park’s 40-plus rides and attractions are a prime destination for little ones. SoakZone opens Memorial Day weekend. Tickets start at $39.99.

May 18: Ultimate Play Day, Riverview Park. This annual event is an opportunity for people from throughout the Pittsburgh region to play together and raise awareness of the benefits of play for all ages. Free, but registration is required.

May 18: Pittsburgh Mac and Cheese Festival, Strip District. More than 30 mac and cheese variations will be offered by chefs, food trucks and vendors. Tickets are $20-$69, free for kids 12 and younger.

Photo courtesy of Meadowcroft Shelter and Historic Village.

May 20: Opening Day, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. The National Historic Landmark offers archeological tours including a massive rock overhang used 19,000 years ago for shelter by the region’s first inhabitants. At Meadowcroft’s interpretive villages, you can step back in time to encounter rural life over the past 500 years. Activities included with admission.

May 31-June 9: Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, Downtown. Expect 10 days of free fun, music and activities for kids. The music lineup will be announced soon.

June 2: Princess Cruise and Tour, Gateway Clipper. Party like a princess on a cruise that includes story time with the characters, interactive play and games, plus a DJ dance party. Tickets are $20 for ages 1-12, $35 for grownups, free for infants.