17 April events for families in the Pittsburgh area

Photo above courtesy of Kennywood Park.

When spring finally arrives in Pittsburgh (and is actually here to stay), kids are more than ready to get outside and enjoy it. Thankfully, there’s a variety of family-friendly events this month geared toward just that. Check out all the outdoor fun below, plus a great lineup of weatherproof fun for the (inevitable!) rainy days. And don’t miss our Earth Month fun guide.

Also: All month long, the Children’s Museum is offering free weekday admission to parents and caregivers with a child under one year of age, as well as grandparents.

April 1: Tour the Old Allegheny County Jail with Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation

The History and Landmarks Foundation worked with the leadership of Allegheny County, the former jail’s deputy warden and the Allegheny County Juvenile Court to preserve one portion of the cell blocks of the historic jail to create the Old Allegheny County Jail Museum. You can tour the museum on April 1 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There is no cost, but please email marylu@phlf.org before in advance.

April 2: Allegheny County Park Rangers Presents Mr. McSlithers at CLP

Come to the Sheraden location of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and meet the park rangers’ Educational Animal, an Eastern Black Rat Snake named Mr. McSlithers. Guests at this free event will learn about his habitat, diet and everyday life. This event is designed for kids in grades K-5 and their caregivers.

April 5: Pirates Home Opener at PNC Park

Watch the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Baltimore Orioles as they open the 2024 season at home. Who do you think will win the first pierogi race of the year? Advance tickets are recommended.

Image courtesy of PNC Park.

April 6: Earth Month Celebration at Westinghouse Park

More than just a day now, April is “Earth Month.” This free event is a great way to celebrate. Festivities include lawn games, face painting, balloon artists, nature crafts and activities by community organizations. While the Westinghouse Park celebration is free, the Story Hike portion of the day (where kids can learn about the importance of roots by listening to a reading of “What Do Roots Do?” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski, looking closely at the roots of plants and planting their own seeds to take home) requires registration.

April 6: Kids of Steel Fest

The Kids of Steel Marathon isn’t until May, but kids across the region are training at their schools or with their families for the big day. This event at the RMU Island Sports Center will get them hyped up to race. With games, snacks, and prizes, it’s a free event you won’t want to miss. Find the details here to get registered.

Courtesy of P3R.

April 8: Total Solar Eclipse

If you’re staying local, the Eclipse Extravaganza at the Kamin Science Center is a great event for families. Solar eclipse activities include the solar telescope, live footage streamed from NASA on the Buhl Planetarium dome and a free 3D-printed pinhole projector. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will also host watch parties. For families who plan to head closer to the path of totality along Lake Erie’s shores or just want to learn more about the eclipse, check out our eclipse guide.

April 13: Fascinatin’ Fidd at Heinz Hall

Pittsburgh Symphony’s Fiddlesticks series returns with a look at Gershwin tunes that will 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” at the 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 18: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Spring Market

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., come enjoy a spring market event before the official Market Square Farmers Market opens for the season. It’s a great chance to get a jump on the market season and score some fresh local produce and other goods. Check out the details here.

April 18: The Secret Lives of Dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

How do we go beyond the bones to bring dinosaurs to life? Dr. Julia A. Clarke explains the new toolkits she uses to study what dinosaurs might have sounded or looked like when they roamed the Earth. Learn more at this free event from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $25.

Courtesy of Nicole Fuller/Sayo Art/The University of Texas at Austin.

April 19: ‘Let Them Cook’ at Sweetwater Center for the Performing Arts

This community event in Sewickley features both takeout and dine in options. Diners will receive a handmade bowl with their order at a cost of $50, while takeout costs $20. This event is a great way to support the arts, while also learning more about the programs at Sweetwater. Register for a time slot here.

Courtesy of Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

April 20: Opening Day at 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, and there are some great deals on season passes ahead of opening day.

April 20-21 and April 24-28: Pennsylvania Maple Festival, Meyersdale

Extend your maple sugar rush to spring with the 77th annual Pennsylvania Maple Festival that runs over two weekends in April. Meyersdale, which bills itself as Maple City USA, packs the schedule with activities to entertain visitors of all ages. Reenactors and interpreters dramatize the discovery of maple syrup in the “Legend of the Magic Water.” Kids can enjoy hands-on crafts and face painting. Living History exhibits include a cobbler shop and an antique doctor’s office. And, of course, all the maple fun you’d expect is at the heart of the festival. Admission to Maple Festival Park is free for ages 5 and younger, $1 for ages 6-12, $5 for grownups. Catch all the details here.

April 25-28: Yinzerfest at the 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.

April 27: Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Hockey Open Friends and Family Skate

Friends, family, kids, beginner skaters and all others welcome! This event is free. Donations support Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Hockey. Contact info@pittsburghlgbtq.hockey for more information. This event is generously sponsored by PFLAG Pittsburgh.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Hockey.

April 27: Pittsburgh Adaptive Recreation Expo

At the Kingsley Association, come meet with local adaptive recreation organizations and learn about the many ways sports and recreation in the region have been made accessible for all families. There will be adaptive yoga sessions, plus concessions and a chance to look at the latest adaptive technology.

Courtesy of Three Rivers Adaptive Sports.

April 29: YMCA Healthy Kids Day

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh is working to make this year’s Healthy Kids Day the biggest yet. This free event is full of fun games, activities, vendors and everything your family needs to kick off a fantastic summer of health and wellness. Find all the details here. Events will occur at various branches.

Want more family events in Pittsburgh? We’ve got an even bigger guide to spring events, if you’re looking towards May. It’s almost time for summer camps, too! We’ve got a guide to those, as well as specific guide for art camps and STEAM camps. And there are still plenty of fantastic high school musicals your kids will love. 

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