Pittsburgh-area fall events: Your big guide to all the entertainment, events and other fun stuff for families
Photo above by Michael Morse.
The fall season ranges from crunchy leaves of September to snowy December offerings. It’s quite the season for families with theatrical performances, a re-imagined circus and lots of exciting educational opportunities. Jump right in and discover all that autumn brings to Pittsburgh. Check out these Pittsburgh-area fall events and don’t miss our guide to local farms where families can pick apples.
Through Sept. 24: “Lord of the Flies,” Little Lake Theatre Company. Based on the 1954 novel about a group of boys stranded on a desert island, “Lord of the Flies” remains a classic thriller. Best for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $25, $15 for ages 16 and younger.
Through Oct. 1: Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, West Newton. Music, magic and merriment includes interactive performances for kids, sword fighting and jousting. Tickets are $25, $12 for ages 5-12, free for those younger than 5.
Through Oct.17: RAD Days, multiple locations. Families can enjoy 40 days of free entertainment with RAD Days with more than 70 events and experiences offered by the organizations that receive funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD). Check out the complete list and be sure to make reservations asap where required. Spots are likely to fill up quickly.
Through Oct. 29: Asian Lantern Festival, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium. The Pittsburgh Zoo celebrates its 125th anniversary with a global passport in this year’s Asian Lantern Festival. Visitors have the option of a walk-through ($16-$23) or drive-through ($70 per vehicle) experience.
Through Oct. 29: Free Days for Kids, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Meadowcroft Rockshelter will offer free admission for all kids ages 17 and younger through support from Alex E. Paris Contracting and Washington Financial Bank. Adult admission is $15, senior citizens pay $14.
Through Nov. 30: Free Days for Kids at Heinz History Center and Fort Pitt Museum. Both museums will offer free admission for ages 17 and younger through the support of UPMC and UPMC Health Plan. Heinz History Center admission is $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens and $2 off for retired/active-duty military. Fort Pitt Museum admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and $4 off for retired/active-duty military.
Through Dec. 16: Wonder Workshops, Carnegie Science Center: Wonder Workshops Saturday sessions are age-based (they’re broken down into sessions for kids ages 6-8, 9-11 and 12-14), so you can choose some that are appropriate for your kids. Each workshop costs $16 per session.
Sept. 20-21: Amal Walks Across America, multiple locations: Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet that represents a 10-year-old Syrian refugee. This incredible sculpture/puppet has become a global symbol of human rights. Little Amal has already traveled more than 6,000 miles through 15 countries since 2021. She is now taking her walk 6,000 miles across the United States, from Boston to San Diego. She will stop in Pittsburgh at noon on Sept. 20 at the O’Reilly Theater, then head to Carrie Furnaces at 6:30 p.m. On Sept. 21, Little Amal will celebrate with newly naturalized citizens at the City-County Building at 10 a.m. Then she’ll head to the Great Lawn on the North Shore to commemorate World Peace Day at noon, then make a stop at Whitney Park in Wilkinsburg at 5 p.m. Those who care to support displaced refugee children can make donations to The Amal Fund with Choose Love.
Sept. 23: Falconry: The Sport of Kings, The National Aviary. Discover the rich history of falconry and how it is practiced and regulated today. Learn about the qualities falconers seek in the birds they use for hunting and the variety of species trained for falconry. This program is open to participants 10 years or older. Those under 16 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Registration is $25.
Sept. 17-Oct.15: “Somewhere Over the Border,” City Theatre. Inspired by the true story of the playwright Brian Quijada’s mother’s journey from El Salvador to the U.S., this musical is infused with Cumbia, Mexican Mariachi Boleros, American Rock and Hip Hop. It’s an uplifting tale about the power of determination, family and love. Best for ages 10 and older. Tickets include pick-your-price previews and pay-what-you-wish pricing starting at $20.
Sept. 23-24: American Indian Heritage Weekend, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Learn about the region’s American Indian with visiting members of the region’s historic tribes, who will demonstrate the daily life skills of their ancestors in 18th century and prehistoric Western Pa. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, free for ages 17 and younger.
Sept. 23-24: “Bluey’s Big Play,” Benedum Center: This live theatrical adaptation of the popular “Bluey” television series is brought to life by colorful puppets, along with an original story and music. Tickets start at $36.50, VIP Meet & Greet tickets are $75.
Sept. 23: SkyWatch, Carnegie Science Center. Connect with the night sky through a featured planetarium performance and, weather-permitting, live views of night sky objects in stunning telescopic detail. Registration is $12.
Sept. 23: The Dollar Bank Junior Great Race, Point State Park: The most adorable segments of The Great Race are those involving kids in the Junior Great Race. The Family Fun Run for ages 5-12 includes parents running alongside their kids in the 1-mile race. The Tot Trot welcomes ages 4 and younger to head down a 50-yard walled chute to their own finish line. And the smallest athletes can join in the Diaper Dash. Registration is $10. Participating kids will receive a t-shirt and medallion upon completion of their event.
Sept. 23: Pittsburgh Urban Farm Tour, a self-guided tour to multiple locations. Get to know Pittsburgh’s urban farm sites and see the vital work they do: teaching community members how to grow food, remediating pollution, ensuring access to fresh local food, and converting disinvested areas into productive and safe green spaces. Tickets are based on a sliding scale.
Sept. 23: Story Saturday: “A Dress with Pockets,” Carnegie Museum of Art. This episode of Story Saturday deals with that dream garment: “A Dress with Pockets.” That’s the goal of Lucy, a girl in search of the ultimate dress. The story is followed by an art project appropriate for ages 12 and younger. Registration is free with museum admission.
Sept. 23 and 30: Hay Day, Allegheny County Parks: Revel with a harvest season party! Hay Day is celebrated on Sept. 23 at Hartwood Acres and Sept. 24 at South Park. The free family-focused event offers hayrides, a barnyard petting zoo and bounce houses. Kids will love the inflatables, puppet show, magician and balloon artist. Free, no registration is required.
Sept 30: Song Shop Concerts: “Animated Arias,” Bitz Opera Factory. Pittsburgh Opera pairs up custom-made animated videos (aka cartoons) created by Point Park University students with opera songs. This intro to opera provides extra visual interest for kids – and adults. Bring a lunch or snack for this lunchtime concert. Registration is free.
Sept. 30: Prime Stage Cemetery Walk, Homewood Cemetery. Experience the history of Pittsburgh’s legends who are buried at the cemetery as local actors in period costumes portray their incredible lives and the impact they had on Pittsburgh. The 1-hour tours begin every 30 minutes between 1:30 and 4 p.m. Online registration is $20.
Sept. 27-Oct. 8: “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” Benedum Center. Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. The world of splendor, romance and eye-popping excess includes mature themes and adult language. Best for ages 12 and older. Tickets are $40-$155.
Sept. 29: E-Parks, Schenley Plaza. This all-ages event brings gamers to play video games projected on the oval tent, a Smash Brothers tournament with giveaways and a guest DJ. Registration is free.
Sept. 30: “Birds in my Backyard”: Storytime and Artmaking, Frick Environmental Center. Author and Pittsburgh native Lisa Donovan will read her children’s book, followed by a bird-collage-making activity led by illustrator Dee Paras. A short birdwatching hike with a naturalist educator will conclude the session. Best ages 10 and younger. Registration is $5 per child.
Sept. 30: Pittsburgh Dragon Boat Festival in North Park: Support breast cancer survivors competing as dragon boat paddlers around North Park Lake. The festival begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes entertainment, food trucks, a parade and vendors.
Oct. 1: Walk in Penn’s Woods, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Meadowcroft will serve as a host venue for a day of educational woodland walks, highlighting Pennsylvania’s forest and wildlife resources from prehistory to modern days. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, free for ages 17 and younger.
Oct. 5: Words & Pictures Series: Jon Klasson, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. Caldecott Medal-winning and New York Times bestselling author Jon Klassen brings his new mystery, “The Skull,” to entertain kids in an in-person and online presentation. Registration is free.
Oct. 5-22: “The Book of Will,” Little Lake Theatre. This theatrical, beat-the-clock race to save a legacy, offers some of Shakespeare’s greatest hits spoken by some of your favorite players. Best for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $25, $15 for ages 16 and younger.
Oct. 6-7: “Sugar Skull!,” Byham Theater. A Día de Muertos Musical Adventure is a touring bilingual/bicultural musical that uses traditional regional music and dance from Mexico to tell the story of 12-year-old Vita Flores, who thinks her family has gone loco planning a celebration for deceased loved ones. Tickets are $30.25.
Oct. 7-November: Fall Flower Show, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Hometown Harvest pays tribute to the bounty of the harvest season and the plants and animals that make it possible through festive displays. Kids will love the return of the Garden Railroad, which travels the four seasons of Pennsylvania. Timed tickets are required.
Oct. 7: Archaeology Day, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. As part of Pennsylvania Archaeology Month, archaeologists from the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology will present lectures and identify artifacts, accompanied by demonstrations of prehistoric technology. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, free for ages 17 and younger.
Oct. 7-28: Campfire Ghost Stories,” Allegheny County Parks. Bring your own chairs and blankets for free Stories & Songs with Josh & Gab, beginning at 7 p.m. at the following dates:
- Oct: 7 at Hartwood Acres Amphitheater (A sign language interpreter will be there.)
- Oct. 14 at Boyce Park Four Seasons Activity Center
- Oct. 21 at Deer Lakes Wagman Observatory (Followed by a star party!)
- Oct. 22 at White Oak Park Chestnut Shelter
- Oct. 28 at Harrison Hills Yakaon Shelter (A sign language interpreter will be there.)
Oct. 7: Story Saturday: “Growing an Artist,” Carnegie Museum of Art. This month Story Saturday will look at “Growing an Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son” by John Parra, followed by a making activity. Best for ages 12 and younger. Registration is free with museum admission.
Oct. 8: Kids Day, Schenley Plaza. Expect free activities for kids, including a balloon artist, craft activities, special guests and performers, plus free rides on the PNC Carousel. Kids Day is best for ages 8 and younger. Free, no registration required.
Oct. 9: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Heinz Hall. This screening pairs with live musicians and turntables featuring a DJ scratcher live on stage. The score is played by the Broadway Sinfonietta, an all-women orchestra. Tickets are $25-$90.
Oct. 13 and Nov. 10: Kids Night Out, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. At Fall Harvest on Oct. 13, kids will explore all their favorite fall produce and do some apple and pumpkin dissections. Insects in Autumn, on Nov. 10, looks at insect fall activity. Registration is $50 and includes both sessions.
Oct. 20-28: Halloween Movies in the Park: “Hocus Pocus,” Allegheny County Parks. Free on following dates:
- Oct. 20: Round Hill Park Visitors Center
- Oct. 21: North Park Boathouse Lawn
- Oct. 27: Hartwood Acres Mansion Lawn
- Oct. 28: Settlers Cabin Park Moccasin Shelter
Oct. 13-15, 20-22: “The Epic Quest of the Damsels in Distress,” South Park Theatre. It’s hard being a girl in a fairytale land where everyone expects you to be a damsel in distress. These four young ladies are just not having it. Follow them as they prove they can find their own way through the world, strong and independent. Tickets are $5, free for ages 3 and younger.
Oct. 13-15: Disney: The Sound of Magic, Heinz Hall. Favorite characters and soundtracks from Walt Disney productions come to life on the concert hall stage and big screen in a live-to-film concert performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $25-$105.
Oct. 14: Fam Jam: Spooky Sonata, Trust Arts Education Center. Come in costume for this all-ages, family workshop that combines music and movement to create spooky stories. Registration is free.
Oct: 15: Children’s Harvest Festival, Oliver Miller Homestead. Harvest time in the 18th century wasn’t all work, no play. It was an opportunity for communities to get together and enjoy each other’s company. This event is especially family-friendly with an emphasis on children’s games, crafts, music, and a giant leaf pile. Admission is $2.
Oct. 21: “Superman” Concert, Heinz Hall. The Christopher Reeve-starring film will be accompanied by the power of the full Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performing John Williams’ original score live to picture. Tickets are $35-$110.
Oct. 20-22: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents The Greatest Show on Earth, PPG Paints Arena. The reimagined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey offers a spectacle of superhuman feats with an immersive, 360-degree environment and new technology. Tickets start at $16.
Oct. 21, 22, 28, 29: Zoo Boo, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium. Trick-or-treat throughout the Zoo, create fun crafts and show off your spooktacular costumes in the Halloween parade. Included in zoo admission.
Oct. 21: Punkin Chunkin, Hartwood Acres. Watch pumpkins launched across the field with a full-sized trebuchet. The family day of fun includes crafts, games, face painting, balloon art and sword fighting. Free, no registration required.
Oct. 21-22: Trunk or Treat Car Cruise, Allegheny County Parks. Kids can wear their Halloween costumes to trick-or-treat from car cruisers. Trunk-or-treat is planned for Oct. 21 at South Park Pool Parking Lot and Oct. 22 at Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater. Free.
Oct. 21-22: Owl-o-ween, National Aviary. Halloween fun for costumed kids includes creating an Owl-O-Ween craft, marching in a Halloween parade and a meet-and-greet with owls. Included in aviary admission.
Oct. 21-April 15: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Carnegie Science Center. Journey back in time to the Titanic with stories of real people told through authentic artifacts and full-scale room re-creations and authentic artifacts that tell the story of the ship’s passengers and crew. Tickets are separate from Science Center admission.
Oct. 28: Super Science Saturday: Booseum. Costumes are encouraged for a nature-themed Halloween celebration with a seasonal scavenger hunt and goodie bags of prizes. Registration is free with museum admission.
Oc.t. 28: Insider Tour of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Visitors can enjoy the last, exclusive Insider Tour of the 2023 season with James M. Adovasio, Ph.D., who achieved international acclaim with his archaeological excavation of the Rockshelter in 1973. Advance registration is required.
Oct. 31-Nov. 5: “The Wiz,” Benedum Center. Ease on down the road with this twist on “The Wizard of Oz” story. Tickets start at $35.
Nov. 2: Words & Pictures Series: Rachel Renee Russell, Carnegie Library Lecture Series. Rachel Renée Russell is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of “Dork Diaries,” an international blockbuster series chronicling the life and misadventures of middle school students Nikki Maxwell and her best friends Chloe and Zoey. Join her in-person or virtually. Registration is free.
Nov. 2-19: “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play,” Little Lake Theatre. Shortly after an apocalyptic event, six survivors gather around a campfire and distract themselves by retelling an episode of “The Simpsons.” Seventy-five years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created. Best for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $25, $15 for those younger than 16.
Nov. 3-12: “The Miracle Worker,” New Hazlett Theater. Prime Stage Theatre Company opens its season with the Tony Award-winning play about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. Best for ages 11 and older. Tickets include pay-what-you-can dates, sensory inclusive, ASL and audio-described dates.
Nov. 4: Song Shop Concert: Violins of Hope, Bitz Opera Factory. Pittsburgh Opera partners with Violins of Hope for a powerful concert. Bring a bag lunch or snack for this lunchtime concert. Registration is free.
Nov. 4: Story Saturday: “The Keeping Quilt,” Carnegie Museum of Art. This month’s Story Saturday will focus on “The Keeping Quilt” with a story reading and a hands-on craft. Registration is free with museum admission.
Nov. 5: Twilight at Mansfield, Oliver Miller Homestead. The property will be beautifully lit by candle, lamp, lantern and crescent, offering a rare opportunity to see the property in a quaint, traditional evening setting. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of fresh baked goods during this lovely autumn event. Admission is $2.
Nov. 9-10: “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” Byham Theater. All the animals in the jungle know their own special dance, but Gerald the Giraffe can’t seem to move without a clumsy step. This stage adaptation of the beloved children’s book includes puppets, African rhythm and lots of dancing. Tickets start at $30.25.
Nov. 10-12: Cirque Carnival, Heinz Hall. Troupe Vertigo joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to amaze audiences with physical feats by aerialists, acrobats and strongmen, all choreographed into live works of art in front of and above the Orchestra. Tickets are $25-$105.
Nov. 10-12 and 17-19: “Nanny Claus,” South Park Theatre. When the naughty antics of the Elf family children cause yet another nanny to quit, Nanny Claus shows up to take things in hand. Tickets are $5, free for ages 3 and younger.
Nov. 11: STEAM Studio: Harvest Homes, Trust Arts Education Center. This all-ages, family workshop explores architecture, neighborhood life and repurposed materials to create a one-of-a-kind, light-up decoration. Registration is $25 per family.
Nov. 11: Super Science Saturday: Animal Communication, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Animals may not talk, but they have much to share: From seismic elephant vibrations to silverback gorilla body postures, from scent-marking cats to dancing insects, the world around us is constantly communicating. Explore animal communication at this month’s Super Science Saturday. Registration is free with museum admission.
Nov. 17: “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Heinz Hall. Watch a screening of Disney’s holiday classic with Grammy-winning composer Danny Elfman’s musical score performed live to the film. Tickets are $35-$110.
Nov. 17: Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This year’s “Season’s Greening” theme highlights the beauty of the season with lush decorations, beautifully arranged poinsettias and eye-catching lights. Timed tickets are required.
Nov. 19: Giving Thanks on the Frontier, Oliver Miller Homestead. Celebrate bounty and blessings with 18th-century traditional foods and festivities that will be presented as the Millers would have known them. Admission is $2.
Nov. 25-Dec. 23: Season’s Greetings Saturdays, National Aviary. Santa and his penguin will be in attendance to welcome visitors to the Aviary’s holiday tradition, which includes the Giving Tree, a holiday craft, story time and bird carols. Included with general admission.
Nov. 28-Dec. 3: “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Benedum Center. This new musical tells the hysterical and heartfelt story of an out-of-work actor who will do anything for his kids. Rob McClure will reprise his Tony-nominated Broadway performance alongside co-star (and real wife!) Maggie Lakis. Tickets start at $38.
Nov. 30: Words & Pictures Series: Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The award-winning creators are back with the second volume in the bestselling “The First Cat in Space” graphic novel series. Catch them in-person or virtually. Registration is free.
Nov. 30-Dec. 16: “White Christmas,” Little Lake Theatre. Based on the beloved, classic film, this adaptation features 17 Irving Berlon songs. Best for ages 8 and older. Tickets are $25, $15 for those younger than 16.
Dec. 2-23: Breakfast or Lunch with Santa, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium. Meet ambassador animals, write a letter to Santa and deliver it to him in person. Tickets are $45, $10 for ages 2 and younger.
Dec. 3: Frontier Holiday Traditions, Oliver Miller Homestead. The Scots-Irish pioneers who carved life out of western Pennsylvania brought with them old-world traditions that included dancing, music, pomp, and ceremony. Watch Oliver Miller Homestead ring in the New Year in old-fashioned, 18th-century style. Admission is $2.
Dec. 7-23: “A Christmas Story: The Play,” O’Reilly Theater. Back by popular demand, Ralphie and company return to Pittsburgh Public Theater for a hilarious, live theatrical production. Tickets are $35-$88.
Dec. 9: Song Shop Concert: Holiday Music, Bitz Opera Factory. Pittsburgh Opera’s annual holiday concert includes holiday music, caroling and cookies. Registration is free.
Dec. 9: “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” Heinz Hall. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will present a screening of the film with the musical score performed live. Tickets are $35-$110.
Dec. 9: Here Comes Santa Paws: Art Fur Animals, Trust Arts Education Center. In this all-ages workshop, families will create toys that are pet-safe for dogs, cats and even rabbits. Take home the toys you create for your pets or donate to the shelter residents of Animal Friends. Registration is $25 per family.
Dec. 16: Super Science Saturday: Tales from the Field, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Kids can follow their “Tales of the Field Passport” to meet participating scientists and claim a goodie bag of fieldwork essentials like a notebook, pencil, and compass. Add your dream research destination to a map and see where other explorers want to travel. Registration is free with museum admission.
Dec. 16: Story Saturday: “Farmhouse,” Carnegie Museum of Art. This month’s Story Saturday features the children’s book, “Farmhouse,” by Sophie Blackell. A reading is followed by a craft. Best for those younger than 12. Registration is free with museum admission.
Dec. 16: Sensory-Friendly Concert: Holiday Pops, Heinz Hall. Get in the holiday spirit with the entire family in a judgment-free environment that is welcoming to all, especially those with sensory sensitivities and those on the autism spectrum. Tickets are $15.