The jam-packed family guide to Pittsburgh this fall
There seems to be no end to the number of fun things for kids to do this fall. Here are some terrific options for your family for the entire season!
Through Jan. 5: XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Interactive experiences inspire feelings and conversations about love and forgiveness.
Through Jan. 5: nek chand: a hidden world, Museum Lab. Visit the villagers in this collection of more than 45 sculptures by artist Ned Chand of India.
Through Jan. 12: Tough Art 2019, Children’s Museum. An installation that challenges artists to create exhibits that can stand up to the rigors of active children.
Through April 19: Mummies of the World, Carnegie Science Center. Kids will be amazed by the 125 real mummies, as well as state-of-the-art multimedia stations that take visitors on a 4,500-year journey to explore their origins.
Oct. 19-20, 26-27: HallowBoo!, Idlewild Park. Come in costume to trick-or-treat through Story Book Forest, dance to the Jack-O-Lantern Jive and join Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kittycat in a playful show of songs and make-believe.
Oct. 19, 20, 26, 27: Happy Hauntings, Kennywood Park. Kid-friendly Halloween fun includes amusement rides in Kiddieland and Thomas Town, as well as favorites such as the Merry-go-Round.
Oct. 8: Hop Into History: Heinz Classics, Heinz History Center. Help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the H.J. Heinz Company. Kids 5 and younger will make their own Heinz hitch, pickle pin and ketchup inspired by the original recipe.
Oct. 19, 20, 26, 27: Pumpkin Trolley, Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Ride the rails in this Halloween-themed event.
Oct. 19: Wayne Hoffman: Mind Candy, Hillman Center for Performing Arts. A crazy melting pot of serious mind-reading, hilarious laugh-out-loud comedy and unbelievable mysteries.
Oct. 19: Punkin Chunkin, Hartwood Acres. Launch pumpkins across the field with a full-size trebuchet. Free activities for kids include arts & crafts and games.
Oct. 19: Hometown-Homegrown: Heinz 150, Heinz History Center. The food expo celebrating the 150th anniversary of the H.J. Heinz Company with Heinz-inspired food samples, cooking demonstrations, giveaways and lots of family-friendly activities.
Oct. 19: Campfire Ghost Stories, Boyce Park. Gather around a campfire and listen to spooky stories and songs. Wear a Halloween costume for a chance to win prizes at this free event.
Oct. 19-20: Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival, North Shore. The festivities include a giant pumpkin regatta, a pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin pinata and pumpkin decorating station.
Oct. 19-20 and 26-27: ZooBoo, Pittsburgh Zoo. Kids can dress in costume for the all-new Trick-or-Treat Trail, head into the Pumpkin Patch Pavilion for the Monster Mash Dance or stop by the PPG Aquarium for more goodies.
Oct. 19-Jan. 12: Garden Railroad: Farms, Food and Family, Phipps Conservatory. The new miniature railroad display invites kids to explore the world of farming, complete with clucking chicks, cows, landscape goats and roving tractors.
Oct. 20: 25th Anniversary Community Day, Andy Warhol Museum. In celebration of its birthday, the museum will be free with activities including hands-on artmaking, gallery talks and live performances.
Oct. 21-28: Pittsburgh’s Prize Pumpkin, Children’s Museum. Help create a giant papier-mache pumpkin in the Makershop.
Oct. 24-27: Jurassic World Live Tour, PPG Arena. A team of scientists tries to unravel a corrupt plan to save an all-new dinosaur. Along the way, kids experience some of “Jurassic World’s” iconic dinosaurs, including Blue the raptor, triceratops and a vicious T. rex.
Oct. 25: Monster Madness Sleepover, Carnegie Science Center. This monster-themed night will have kids dabbling with potions and concoctions, using science to send ghosts flying into the air, and engineering the design of a new monster.
Oct. 25-Nov. 23: “Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Cry Wolf,” Mariposa Theatre. This musical tour-de-force inspired by Aesop’s Fables includes optional audience participation to add to the fun.
Oct. 26: Meadowcroft’s Fall Finale and Taffy Pull, Meadowcroft Rockshelter. Bring your sweet tooth to Meadowcroft’s taffy pulling parties. Other activities include cooking demonstrations in the Hamilton Log House, cornhusk crafting in the 18th-century frontier area and Atlatl throwing in Monongahela Indian Village.
Oct. 26: Penny Arcade Theme Show, Arcade Comedy Theater. The fourth Saturday each month is based on a specific theme with new games, new ways to collaborate and new worlds to explore.
Oct. 27: Campfire Ghost Stories, White Oak Park. Gather around a campfire and listen to spooky stories and songs. Wear a Halloween costume for a chance to win prizes at this free event.
Oct. 28: Track or Treat, Highland Park. Kids can bring their bikes or borrow one from Citiparks to cycle around the Bud Harris Cycling Track. The free event includes refreshments, bike decorating, games and a Halloween costume contest.
Oct. 29-Nov. 3: “Mean Girls,” Benedum Center. Broadway touring production of Tina Fey’s hit musical about a naïve high school girl who faces off against the popular queen bee. Best for tweens and older.
Nov. 1: First Friday Nature Walk: Preparing for Winter, Frick Park. Join a naturalist at the Frick Environmental Center for a relaxed hike through the woods.
Nov. 2: Jammie Jams: Little Engineers, Carnegie Science Center. Scientists from ages 2-6 have an early evening of discovery in this not-quite-a-sleepover event.
Nov. 3: Words & Pictures: Grace Lin, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The award-winning and bestselling author and illustrator’s books include “A Big Mooncake for Little Star,” a Caldecott Honor-winning book for young readers.
Nov. 4: Baby Shark Live!, Byham Theater. You’ll never get the song out of your head anyway, so just give in and take your kids to this Baby Shark adventure that will have them dancing in their seats.
Nov. 5: Cat & Nat #MOMTRUTHS Live, Byham Theater. Get ready for a mom’s night out! Hilarious best friends Cat and Nat created a massive online community of moms by sharing their ultra-real and just a bit R-rated dispatches from the mom trenches.
Nov. 7: Disney Junior Holiday Party, Heinz Hall. This interactive show features favorite Disney Junior characters performing live on stage to Disney Junior hits and holiday classics.
Nov. 7-Dec. 8: “School Girls: Or, The African Mean Girls Play,” O’Reilly Theater. This African remake of the American story takes place in an elite boarding school where students are preparing to compete for the title of Miss Ghana. The popular queen bee assumes she’ll win, but a newcomer might ruin her chances. Best for tweens and older.
Nov. 8-9: “Walk Two Moons,” Byham Theater. A moving adaptation of the Newberry award-winning novel by Sharon Creech about family, identity and coming-of-age. Part of the Bridge Series for ages 7 and older.
Nov. 9: Backstage Studio: Props, Trust Arts Education Center. A hands-on multi-medium workshop for kids in grades 9-12, who will learn a variety of techniques – such as foam carving, faux finishing techniques, and simple sculpture – for making objects for the stage.
Nov. 9: Second Saturday Studios: Collage, Frick Pittsburgh. Kids will cut, glue, color and get creative by making a one-of-a-kind collage.
Nov. 9: Classic Penny Arcade, Arcade Comedy Theater. The second Saturday of the month kids can see the classic Penny Arcade show where they will inspire improvisers in a variety of games, volunteer to perform, and even learn games they can play at home.
Nov. 9: Darci Lynne & Friends – Fresh Out of the Box, Heinz Hall. Singer/ventriloquist Darci Lynne, Season 12 winner of “America’s Got Talent,” is bringing her puppet collection to Pittsburgh.
Nov. 9-March 7: Young Writers and Illustrators, Trust Arts Education Center. Kids in grades 6-8 will put pen to paper to create characters as they begin to write a truly fantastic story.
Nov. 11: History Explorers: Shattering Notions, Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh glass is everywhere. Kids ages 5-8 will uncover the story of the city’s first industry, pretend to be a glassblower, use forms and patterns to make a design, and build a one-of-a-kind display.
Nov. 13: Hop Into History: Little Builders, Heinz History Center. Kids ages 2-5 will become master builders and make additions to Pittsburgh’s skyline using Lincoln Logs, magnetic tiles and other fun materials.
Nov. 15-17: Pet Expo, David Lawrence Convention Center. Entertainment includes the North American Diving Dogs, Rabbit Hopping (like horse show jumping), the Steel City Reptile Expo and the Doxie Downs National Dachshund Races.
Nov. 16: Sensory-Friendly Event for Teens, Andy Warhol Museum. This inclusive workshop for teens and young adults focuses on Warhol’s pop portraits of celebrities.
Nov. 16: Peanut Butter & Jam, Chatham Baroque. These Saturday morning musical adventures especially for preschool children and their grown-ups.
Nov. 17-24: “Judy Moody and Stink,” multiple locations. Based on the popular book series by Megan McDonald, kids ages 3 and older will enjoy this hilarious live onstage adventure with the dynamic sister and brother duo.
Nov. 21-23: STEAM Carnival, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. A three-day all-ages event that combines professional teacher development with hands-on activities for kids.
Nov. 22: Light Up Night Sleepover, Carnegie Science Center. Kids will get a front-row seat to the fireworks, jam to a festive laser show, experiment with glow sticks and view the new “Superpower Dogs” on the big screen.
Nov. 23: Penny Arcade Theme Show, Arcade Comedy Theater. The fourth Saturday each month is based on a specific theme with new games, new ways to collaborate and new worlds to explore.
Nov. 23: Fiddlesticks: Up and Away!, Heinz Hall. Fiddlesticks and the Pittsburgh Symphony celebrate the music of flight and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with music from “Star Wars” and favorites by Debussy and Stravinsky. Come early for pre-concert activities.
Nov. 23-Jan. 4: Lumaze: Lost in Lights, 31st Street Studio. This indoor holiday display twinkles with millions of lights and illuminated structures. Playgrounds keep kids entertained and the grownups will enjoy food, live music and the artisan market.
Nov. 26-Dec. 1: “Les Miserables,” Benedum Center. This 25th-anniversary production of the legendary musical brings new staging and reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Best for ages 14 and older.
Nov. 29-Dec. 15: Santa Trolley, Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Celebrate the season on the trolley with Santa, sing along with Christmas caroling, make a craft in the Events Room and interact with the Lionel Trains in the Visitor Center.
Nov. 29-Jan. 12: Holiday Magic, Phipps Conservatory. See dazzling displays in every room, plus new light features in Tropical Forest Cuba and Winter Light Garden.
Nov. 30: “A Very Electric Christmas,” Byham Theater. A young bird named Max gets blown off course when flying south for the winter and lands himself at the North Pole. His magical tale is set to classic holiday tunes.
Nov. 30: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical,” UPMC Events Center, Moon. The most famous reindeer of all will fly into Pittsburgh in a live STAGE show that includes Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster.
Dec. 6-7: First Friday Nature Walk: A Closer Look at the Woods, Frick Park. Join a naturalist at the Frick Environmental Center for a relaxed hike through the woods.
Dec. 6-7: Handmade Arcade, David Lawrence Convention Center. This showcase of more than 180 craft-based vendors includes a Hands-on Handmade Activity Area that kids love.
Dec. 6-22: “A Musical Christmas Carol,” Byham Theater. The spirit of the season is wrapped in favorite yuletide melodies with dazzling special effects and holiday charm, along with Scrooge-approved prices for kids.
Dec. 6-29: “The Nutcracker,” Benedum Center. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre returns to turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh when a mysterious gift sparks an adventure to the Land of Enchantment, filled with swirling snowflakes and waltzing flowers set to Tchaikovsky’s familiar score.
Dec. 7: Elf Sleepover, Carnegie Science Center. Experience the world – and the film – of Buddy the Elf. Make a light-up holiday card, create a hot chocolate concoction and play pin the tusk on the narwhal.
Dec. 7-28: “Home,” Mariposa Theatre. This play for kids ages 3-6 is a playful meditation of the meaning of home.
Dec. 8: Build Your Own Gingerbread House, The Frick Pittsburgh. Kids and adults work together to create confectionery masterpieces to take home. A quick tour of Clayton’s holiday finery is included. Best for kids ages 6-12.
Dec. 11: Half-Pint Prints, Andy Warhol Museum. Families work with The Warhol’s artist educators to create silkscreen prints during this drop-in silkscreen printing activity for children ages 1 to 4 years old.
Dec. 11: Hop Into History: Home for the Holidays, Heinz History. Kids ages 2-5 can get ready for the holiday season by playing in the new holiday exhibit and exploring the traditions of Pittsburghers from different backgrounds.
Dec. 14: Classic Penny Arcade, Arcade Comedy Theater. The second Saturday of the month kids can see the classic Penny Arcade show where they will inspire improvisers in a variety of games, volunteer to perform, and even learn games they can play at home.
Dec. 14: Peanut Butter & Jam, Chatham Baroque. These Saturday morning musical adventures especially for preschool children and their grown-ups.
Dec. 14: Cool Yule: A Family Fun Day, The Frick Pittsburgh. This annual celebration of the season offers holiday art-making and interactive tours.