July fun: 18 things to do in Pittsburgh with kids this month
Big Butler Fair photo above by Scott Weber.
July is here and it’s full of summer fun throughout the Pittsburgh region. From outdoor takes on local museums to several days-long festivals and fairs, there are so many things to do in Pittsburgh with kids during July. It’s a great month to be a junior ‘burgher!
June 30 – Saturday, July 8: The Big Butler Fair
While it begins in June, this event — now in its 167th year — has eight great days of festivities during July. The fun includes the School Bus Demolition Derby, country music concerts, midway games and carnival rides. Kids will be entertained by the Agricadabra agricultural magic show, the exotic petting zoo and Hot Diggity Dog Show. Admission is $7-$9, free for ages 6 and younger. Ride-all-day packages are available.
July 1: Anthrocon Fursuit Parade and Block Party, 1:45 p.m.
Anthrocon participants will close down Penn Avenue between 9th and 11th streets for two public events – the Fursuit Parade and the Anthrocon Block Party in Market Square – for a family-friendly day of mingling with their fandom. Parade participants should arrive around 11 a.m. for photos and to line up to watch the parade.
July 2: Independence Day Celebration, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village.
Celebrate the spirit of America with historical demonstrations and period games at Meadowcroft’s 18th-century frontier area and 19th-century rural village. Activities included with general admission.
July 4: Fourth at the Fort, Fort Pitt Museum, 1 p.m.
Museum staff, scouts and local veterans will help kick off the Fourth of July holiday by raising a 36-foot American flag. Following the patriotic flag raising ceremony, visitors can enjoy a family-friendly afternoon of living history demonstrations, cannon-firing, and 18th-century martial music. Outdoor activities are free.
July 4: City of Pittsburgh Independence Day Celebration, Point State Park
Enjoy a family-style picnic, complete with patriotic music and food vendors from 4-10 p.m. The Independence Day Fireworks will begin at 9:35 p.m.
July 4-28: Free Movies at the Phoenix Theatre
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning at 10 a.m., families can check out free kid-friendly movies at this Bridgeville theater. There are snacks available for purchase, and the theatre has also added a gaming lounge where kids can enjoy classic and modern video games for $8 an hour. (This makes it a perfect spot for a working parent to grab a few hours for remote work on a rainy day.) Find more details here.
July 8: Second Saturdays: Historic Chores, Meadowcroft Shelter and Historic Village
Every second Saturday of the month, Meadowcroft will provide a themed educational program. This Second Saturday will explore the topic of historic chores with immersive and educational activities. The program is included with admission. Candle-dipping is $3.
July 9: Kennywood Day: 125 Years of Memories, Heinz History Center
Bring your friends – and wear your best matching Kennywood outfits – for a day of special programming, family-friendly games and carnival-themed food throughout all six floors of the History Center. These activities are included with museum admission.
July 13-15: Cranberry Township Community Days
This three-day event is jam packed with carnival rides, kids activities, food vendors, and so much family fun. There’s a 5K race, a dog show, a car cruise, and Zambelli fireworks on the 15th following a performance by the family-friendly band Dancing Queen. Cranberry Township Park, where the festival occurs, also has a really unique playground with sound features and sculptural climbers. Find out all the details here.
July 14-16: Northside Music Festival
The former Deutschtown Music Festival has had a name change to more broadly reflect the community it is in, but look for the same great features everyone’s come to love — food, music, and fun. Check the schedule for the full list of vendors and activities. There are inflatables, a stilt-walker/juggler, face painters and other things to engage kids so adults can enjoy the music.
July 13: Teen Night: Field Science, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Teens who are interested in archaeology and paleontology will explore the difference between these two scientific fields and see the tools scientists use on expeditions. Food will be available from 5-7 p.m. Registration is free for ages 13-18.
July 15, 16, 22 and 23: Fiddlesticks in Your Neighborhood
The Pittsburgh Symphony’s musical ambassador, Fiddlesticks, is visiting neighborhoods to share his favorite things in these summertime family concerts. Fiddlesticks visits Moon Area High School on July 15, Penn Hills High School on July 16, Mars Area High School on July 22 and Bethel Park High School on July 23. Tickets are $15, $10 for kids.
July 16: Birthday Toy Drive Party for Children’s Home of Pittsburgh
A local family has hosted a toy drive for the past six years that benefits the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh. They are accepting donations currently, and will end this year’s drive with a blowout family event at Trace Brewing featuring food and beverages, face painting, games, and music. Trace Brewing will donate $1 to the cause for every beer sold. Drop off some toys beforehand or at the event, and join the party!
July 20-22: Horse Trading Days, Zelienople
While not quite as much horse trading goes on at this festival as when it first began, it’s a great family event. The main street of historic downtown Zelienople is full of events, a dog show, vendors and activities. Some extend beyond town, so be sure to check the full schedule. Zelienople has a great town park with a pool, skate/BMX park, ADA accessible playground, and wading stream — so come prepared!
July 21-23: Picklesburgh
This has become one of the most popular things to do in Pittsburgh with kids in July. Rated the top speciality food festival in the country for several years running, Picklesburgh is a can’t miss event for pickle lovers (or anyone who likes a good festival!) It takes place in a new location this year — along the Boulevard of the Allies. Stop by the Lil’ Gherkins area for the kid activities and buy a chocolate-covered pickle to round out the day.
July 22: Monarch Madness at Glade Run Lake
Folks from the Glade Run Lake Conservancy in Valencia will be leading this free event to teach all about the health and life of monarch butterflies in this region before they make their long flight south. Entomologist Julia Schwierking will lead the hour-long event, which is best for ages 5 and up. Bring a blanket or chairs, and pack your fishing gear — this is a great spot for kids to fish!
July 28: Summer Fridays at The Frick
The final Friday of each month, the Frick Museum features live music, food, and family-friendly activities at no cost (food is purchased separately). The museum is open throughout the event, also. (The Frick mentions that pets, scooters, bikes, and sports equipment are not a fit for this event, even though it is held on a lawn. There are bike racks available at the entrance, if you arrived on two wheels.) Find more details here.
July 30: Open Streets Pittsburgh, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bring your bike, stroller, pogo stick or your own two feet to the final Open Streets event of the summer. This route, which will go though Downtown and the Southside, features magic shows, pop-up art, local sports celebrities, and lots of wild costumes. Feel free to dress up! Open Streets Pittsburgh is a free event.