Pittsburgh series

How to make the most of Pittsburgh’s kid-friendly performing arts offerings

From concerts to book signings to feats of acrobatic grace, Pittsburgh’s cultural organizations make it easy to fill the family calendar with events designed especially for kids and their families with subscription packages. Our favorite Pittsburgh series will keep the little ones entertained through long winter weekends and into the spring.

Investing in a subscription is like getting season tickets: You pay in advance for tickets to performances from now through the end of the cultural season in May. Not only will you get first dibs on popular shows that are likely to sell out, you’ll always have something on your schedule to look forward to — especially helpful when the often-isolating winter months roll around. Buying a package of shows is cheaper than buying individual tickets for every show, too.

Pittsburgh is rich with performing arts opportunities for all ages, so take advantage of these offerings to instill in your kids a deep appreciation for the arts.

Words and Pictures

Pittsburgh subscription series
Author Ann M. Martin. Image courtesy of Renee Rosensteel.

World-renowned children’s authors share their stories, then sign their books in the Words and Pictures series presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures. Robert Sabuda, artist and creator of pop-up books including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz will speak on Dec. 4; award-winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, 2016 Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, comes to town on March 19.

All events start at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland.

Fiddlesticks Family Concerts Presented by Macy’s

Pittsburgh series
Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

This three-part series from Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers Saturday morning concerts at Heinz Hall exploring different musical themes. Around the House! on Nov. 12 features songs about favorite traditions and celebrations; Around the Burgh! on Feb. 18 has music from Pittsburgh-based legends like Billy Strayhorn and Henry Mancini; and Around the World! on May 13 demonstrates how rhythm and melody inspire composers from foreign lands.

Recommended for children ages 3-8, each 45-minute performance begins at 11:15 a.m. Doors open at 10 a.m. for music-related activities known as Discovery Time Adventures. Stick around after the show to meet symphony mascot Fiddlesticks and guest vocalist Katy Williams for an autograph.

Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series

Pittsburgh series
Pete the Cat. Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust brings five different performances for kids ages 3 to 10 to different venues throughout Allegheny County, wrapping up the series with a performance of Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In A Play! for the EQT Children’s Theater Festival in May. The season kicks off with Dog Loves Book from Nov. 13 through Nov. 20. Other performances include Pete the Cat from Jan. 8 through 15, acrobatics and choreography spectacular Galumpha from Feb. 14 through 19, and the daredevil stunts of Circo Comedia from March 5 through 12.

The EQT Bridge Theater Series

Pittsburgh series
The Lightning Thief. Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Also from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the EQT Bridge Theater Series is designed for children ages 7-15 who’ve graduated from the Children’s Theater Series performances. Highlights include the immersive acrobatic performance of A Simple Space on Nov. 12 and 13 and The Lightning Thief, adapted from Rick Riordan’s book, on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3. Both events are at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in the Cultural District.

Chatham Baroque Peanut Butter & Jam

Kindermusik teacher Lynda Wingert hosts Chatham Baroque’s Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions for preschoolers and their caregivers on Saturday mornings at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside. These monthly informal concerts feature live music with special friends such as Miss Melody and Miss Harmony on Nov. 5 and guest Stephen Schultz with the wooden baroque flute on Feb. 4. Performances are at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and last for 35 to 45 minutes.