17 awesome July events in Pittsburgh, many of them free

Photo above by Michel Sauret.

It’s hard to believe July is already arriving (and that back-to-school supplies are already on display in local stores!). Just because summer is speeding by, though, doesn’t mean there’s not still lots of fun to be had.

Whether you’re looking to fill your time during a stay-cation right here in the ‘Burgh or you’ll be entertaining visiting loved ones for a few days, July is packed to the brim with family fun — including those famous local Zambelli fireworks!

June 28-July 6: The Big Butler Fair

Kids will love seeing the animals at the petting zoo as well as the competing livestock. Events include the chainsaw carver, Aim High Canines dog show, a blacksmith show and School Bus Demolition Derby. There’s lots more – fireworks, country music concerts and delicious carnival food. Big Butler Fair admission is $9 for grownups and bigger kids, and free for ages 6 and younger. Ride-all-day carnival wristbands are $30.

July 4: Fourth at the Fort, Fort Pitt Museum

The Fort Pitt Museum staff, scouts and local veterans will help kick off the Fourth of July holiday by raising a 36-foot American flag. Then, visitors can enjoy a family-friendly afternoon of living history demonstrations and tour a replica of George Washington’s Revolutionary War tent. Admission is free for outdoor activities, and the Fort Pitt Museum offers discounted admission for those receiving public assistance or Medicaid. Details here.

Photo courtesy of Heinz History Center.

July 4: Independence at the Point

At Point State Park on the Fourth of July, families can enjoy free family activities, live music and line dancing beginning at 4 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:35 p.m. Food concessions will be set up throughout the park. Admission is free to this event.

July 6: Storytime with Emonie Smith 

Come out to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall for a special guest story time with local author Emonie Smith. Enjoy a tale of self-confidence and self-love as she shares her wonderful book “I Like Me,” accompanied by a performance of a “Gracie’s Corner”-inspired affirmation song by Nairobi. Find more details here.

Courtesy of Carnegie Music Hall.

July 7: Trolls and Pup Patrol Cruise & Tour on the Gateway Clipper Fleet

Pittsburgh is defined by its rivers, and these kid-friendly cruises are a great way to introduce little Yinzers to them. Meet and greet favorite series characters and enjoy a dance party on a river cruise. Tickets are $35, $20 for ages 1-12 years, $5 for infants.

July 12: Discovering Dippy: The Dinosaur That Changed the World

We’ve all seen the giant dino statue that welcomes visitors to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, but did you know that dinosaur has a name and a whole backstory? Come learn all about Dippy (the statue outside is a model; his bones are inside the museum!). All dino enthusiasts, aspiring scientists, natural history lovers and friends of the museum are welcome to help us celebrate Dippy’s discovery, which happened 125 years ago. The all-day event includes talks by leading scientists, historians, and museum professionals. Registration is free with general admission.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

July 13: Wildflower Festival at Freedom Farms

For three years in a row, Freedom Farms has celebrated the beauty of nature’s flowers with their family-friendly festival. Admission cost is $10 per person (free for kids under 3) and includes a tractor ride to pick your own bouquet. The farm also has a hay mountain, animal barn, corn maze and more family fun from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find details here.

July 13: Penny Arcade Kids Comedy Show at the Arcade Comedy Theater

This interactive comedy experience is ideal for kids 4 to 8 years old. The show encourages children and their parents to unleash their imaginations and sense of humor. Tickets are $12.

Courtesy of Arcade Comedy Theater.

July 14: Kids Day at Schenley Plaza

Each month, Kids Day features free carousel rides, interactive activities and live performances. This event is free, casual, and no registration is required.

July 18-21: Picklesburgh

It’s a big dill for pickle lovers to come together at Picklesburgh. Pickle mania hits its zenith with imaginative pickle-flavored eats. Compete in the pickle juice drinking competition. Savor exotic treats like pickle-flavored cupcakes, cotton candy and beer. Kids will find pickle-ish fun at the L’il Gherkins KidsPlay Activity Area where they can decorate pickle necklaces, make puppets and work on coloring pages. Admission is free.

July 19: Movie Night on the Lawn at Hazelwood Green

Join Hazelwood Local and Row House Cinema for another summer of free movie showings. This month the movie is “Batman Returns,” and there will even be a Batman costume contest beforehand.  Enjoy complimentary popcorn while supplies last, courtesy of Row House Cinema, and free face painting provided by Hazelwood Local & Beanie Paints at every event. The plaza opens at 6:30 pm – Showtime  is at 7:30pm. Come early to secure your spot and enjoy a pre-show performance or activity. Find more info about food vendors and other details here.

Courtesy of Hazelwood Local.

July 19: Parents’ Night Out at Dick’s House of Sports

If you haven’t been to the new Dick’s House of Sport, check out our review here. Each month this summer, they are also hosting a night to drop kids (ages 6 and up) off for an evening of fun from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Parents can cruise the mall and grab some dinner, while someone else entertains the kids. The cost is $20 per child, and registration can be found here.

July 20: Kids in the Kitchen

Come down to the Strip District from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and stop by In the Kitchen for fun exploring cotton candy machines, popsicle molds, and other kid-friendly kitchen gadgets. This event is free and open to all ages.

July 20: The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium Visit the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall

Two local favorite spots team up for one epic afternoon. From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., join library staff in the Lincoln Gallery for a visit from the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. Meet live animals, ask questions, and learn all about the wonders of wildlife. This event is totally free and is open to all ages.

Courtesy of Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall.

July 21: Whiskey Rebellion Day at the Oliver Miller Homestead

The first shots of the Whiskey Rebellion were fired on Oliver Miller’s son William’s property in 1794. Learn the history of the event from docents in traditional costumes. Admission is $2.

July 24: Firefly Night Run & Walk at the Butler Farm Show Grounds 

From 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., families with kids of all ages can pace themselves through a two-mile run/walk lit by “fireflies.” Finishers of this sparkly night run receive a shirt and a glow-in-the-dark medal. The cost is $30 and registration is required.

July 31: Nighttime Frog Walk at Powdermill Nature Reserve

Join the staff at sunset for a walk around the Powdermill Nature Reserve property to see and hear the various frogs in our area. This event, which kicks off at 8:15 p.m., will be hosted by Aaron Capouellez, president of the nonprofit Woods and Forest Inc. Attendees can learn about the various sounds made by frogs, their importance to our ecosystem, and what can be done to ensure the health of these delicate animals. This walk will take you to areas of the nature reserve that are typically closed to the public, so pants and boots are a must! All ages are welcome. Register here.

Looking for more things to do? Check out our big summer guide and sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter. No spam, just fun!