Top 12 October events in Pittsburgh for families

It’s no secret that fall is packed full of fun in Pittsburgh. It’s a quick trip to surrounding farms and fall festivals – but the city itself is ripe plenty of with things to do, too. From behind-the-scenes tours of downtown buildings to a pop-up bookstore just for kids, there’s no shortage of things to keep your family busy this month. Check out these October events in Pittsburgh for families: 

Oct. 1: Doors Open Pittsburgh

This event allows guests to explore off-limits spaces in a large collection of Downtown buildings. The day includes a “Photo Safari,” with children ages 5-12 on the lookout for simple architectural details common across Pittsburgh’s buildings. The first 25 who complete a bingo line on the Safari Card will win a special gift. Get all the details here.  

Photo courtesy of Doors Open Pittsburgh.

Oct. 1: Hay Day, South Park

County parks are full of special events and activities for local residents. This family event includes hayrides, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, entertainment, and games. Come join in the fall festivities! The event is free and no registration is required. 

Image courtesy of Allegheny County Parks.

Oct. 1: Life with a Shawnee Family

At Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, kids can watch Native American reenactors perform daily tasks like their ancestors and learn how Ohio Valley tribes lived off the land. This event is included with Meadowcroft admission.

Photo courtesy of Meadowcroft/Heinz History Center.

Oct. 2: Riverview Park Day 

This family-friendly event includes music, a CycloCross race, guided hikes, and interactive activities for kids. The park also has a large playground, hiking trails, a dog park, and Allegheny Observatory. Come and spend the day! The event is free and no registration is required.

Riverview Park visitors’ center.

Oct. 2: Youth Film Fest, Carnegie Museum of Art

Have a teen that is interested in visual arts? The museum will showcase teen-submitted art and films, along with an art talk by emerging artists and photographers. Free for ages 13-18, but registration is required.

October 2: Chess Fest in Market Square

Join the first-ever chess festival in Market Square! The event will include speed chess tournaments for chess enthusiasts, a simultaneous exhibition with an International Master, opportunities for beginners and new players to learn the game, engaging activities for early learners, and special guest speakers. A schedule and a link to the free tickets can be found here.

October 8: Big Steps Towards Bold Dreams at Everyday Cafe

Join The Young Dreamer’s Bookstore for three storytimes at this pop-up event in Homewood with storytimes at 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, and 1 pm. The theme of the storytimes is “Celebrate Africa” and the event is free to participants. 

October 10: RADical Days Tour of Acrisure Stadium

Perhaps a behind-the-scenes look will help locals adjust to the new name… As part of RADical days this fall, the stadium is open for tours on Monday, October 10th. The tour is 30 minutes long, free, and will tour the great hall, champion’s club, locker rooms, and even allow for a photo opp on the field. Get more RADical Days details here.

October 15-16: Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkin Festival

Come down to the Strip District for the biggest – literally – pumpkin fest in the city. From prehistoric pumpkin carvings to hay bale graffiti contests, everything about this event screams Halloween – but in a family-friendly way. The event is free, though some events require preregistration

Photo by Marius Ciocirlan on Unsplash.

October 5- October 18: Broadway’s “Frozen at the Benedum Center

Several times a year, the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh hosts a show that is just perfect for families. Frozen is in town, and there are still tickets left for most performances. Come join Olaf and the crew as they work to save Arendelle, live on stage.

fall events in Pittsburgh
Caroline Bowman as Elsa in the “Frozen” North American Tour. Photo by Deen van Meer.

October 15: Haunted Guyasuta

At this Boy Scouts of America camp in Sharpsburg, one fall day becomes haunted. On certain days and times, portions of the “haunted trail” are labeled as “no scare” time zones, so check the full schedule to find the best time for your family. There’s also lots of other fall fun at Camp Guyasuta. Tickets are $15 before October 1, $20 until October 14, and $25 at the gate. 

October 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23: Autumfest at Seven Springs

There’s so much more to do at Sevel Springs than ski. Hit the road out of the city to the Laurel Highlands for Autumnfest at Seven Springs. The foliage has been rated some of the best in the U.S. for fall leaf-peeping. You’ll find hay rides, games, the Alpine Slide and a Kids’ Zone. See the full Autumnfest schedule here

Looking for more October events in Pittsburgh for families? Don’t miss our guide to the entire fall here, or our roundup of the best pumpkin patches in the area. Happy haunting!!