gifts of experiences

11 free and affordable family events in Pittsburgh for this long weekend

Photo above by Renee Rosensteel, courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

It’s a long, long weekend in Pittsburgh, with many school districts also off on Monday. But there are plenty of family events in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region to keep everyone busy. With last weekend’s Light Up Night behind us, all the holiday festivities are open and in full swing Downtown. Santa also arrives in Market Square this weekend.

Along with the Pittsburgh-area family events you’ll find below, don’t miss our roundup of the best holiday light displays around town.

Friday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 26: Santa Trolley at the PA Trolley Museum, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s time again for Santa to make his appearance at the trolley museum. Come join the festivities — take a trolley ride, meet with Santa, and participate in holiday craft activities. Adult admission is $20, seniors pay $19, children’s tickets cost $18, and little ones age 2 and under require free tickets and must ride in the lap of an adult.

Friday, Nov. 24: Santa Is In the House – Market Square, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Santa takes his spot in Market Square beginning on Black Friday. He will be in residence through Dec. 23, with varying hours. Santa’s house is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so please check the full schedule for all the details. There is the option to choose to meet with a Black or white Santa at check in. A $10 donation to the food bank is suggested. Find more info here.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Friday, Nov. 24: Beaver Annual Light Up Night, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This quaint main street lights it up each year to celebrate the holidays in style. A parade will bring Santa into town, and there will be free concerts and family activities all evening long. Don’t miss the fireworks at 8 p.m. Find all the details here.

Saturday, Nov. 25: Saturdays with Santa at the Heinz History Center, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

At the Heinz History Center, Santa is seated in an exact replica of the original Kaufmann’s Santa Chair. Visits with the jolly elf himself are included with museum admission. (Don’t forget that the Heinz History Center participates in Museums For All, which offers discounted admission to families receiving public assistance.)

Courtesy of the Heinz History Center.

Saturday, Nov. 25: International Space Station Show at the Carnegie Science Center, 11:30 a.m.

This new show at the Buhl Planetarium is packed with info about the ISS and what the astronauts inside are doing while they orbit the Earth. Please arrive 10 minute early to get seated for the show. This show, along with many other shows at the planetarium, is included with admission to the Science Center.

Saturday, Nov. 25: Winterfest at Neighborhood North Museum of Play, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you haven’t made it north yet to check out Beaver Falls’ Museum of Play, this is a great weekend to do it. As part of Small Business Saturday, they will be open for free for guests to explore. Check out details here.

Saturday, Nov. 25: Super Science Saturday at CLP, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This Super Science event invites kids to get curious at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood location. Designed for kids in K-5th grade, attendees will have a chance to dive deep into a science topic followed by a read aloud. There will be a hands-on science activity, too. This event is free.

Saturday, Nov. 25: Light Up Mars, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Mars has a holiday market with craft vendors, plenty of food and visits with Santa. There will also be a collection box for Toys for Tots, so don’t miss the fun. Details can be found here.

Sunday, Nov. 26: “Painting My Favorite Things” Children’s Museum Workshop, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has regular workshops on the weekends, and this Sunday there’s one for kids ages 6 through 9 that focuses on canvas painting. The cost is $15 and includes admission for one caregiver. Find all the details on this workshop and others here.

gifts of experiences
Photo by Renee Rosensteel, courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Monday, Nov. 27: Cooking Camp at Assemble, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No school? No problem. In this camp kids will explore the art of cooking traditions by measuring, making and designing pancakes. This camp is open to students in grades 3-5. Day Camps at Assemble are free to Garfield residents. This camp is $50 for other attendees. Day Camps run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with optional before and after care from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch and snacks are included. Find the details here.

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