Your Pittsburgh-area winter events guide: Nearly 60 events to make the most of the chilly season

Photo above from Frick Winterfest by Nancy Andrews/Annie O’Neill Photography.

Kidsburgh has your winter forecast for the Pittsburgh region: 100-percent chance of fun and excitement at a ton of upcoming events.

From fun theater programming to winter hikes, your kids will be delighted by the terrific lineup of activities in and around Pittsburgh throughout the winter season.

family-friendly events in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.


Now through February: Penguins on Parade, Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. Line up early to watch the penguins waddle along the path from the upper entrance of the Aquarium at 11:30 a.m. sharp on Saturdays and Sundays. The penguins typically spend about 20 minutes exploring outside, depending on the weather. Free with zoo admission.

Now through March 6: Early Childhood Mornings, National Aviary. On the first Wednesday of every month, kids can experience a fun and engaging morning with art activities, sensory play and books, while also exploring the Aviary’s immersive habitats. Activities are included with admission.

Now through April 1: Laser Galactic Galaxy, Carnegie Science Center. Blast off to your favorite interstellar tunes while feeling as though you fly through space at the speed of light. Admission is $7.

Photo from the Pittsburgh Aviary by Sally Quinn.

Now through May: Coastal Getaway, National Aviary. Warm up as part of a tropical escape in the Aviary’s lush Rainforest and Wetlands habitats with a daily “Birds of the Islands” talk, interactive play spaces and daily feedings. Included with admission.

Jan. 5-Feb. 25:  Laser Beatles, Carnegie Science Center. Follow George, Paul, John and Ringo all the way from “Twist and Shout” to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” for the newest laser show. Admission is $7.

Photo courtesy of Allegheny County Parks.

Jan. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27: Guided Hikes with Park Rangers, Allegheny County Parks. Explore the trails at eight area parks throughout the month. Each hike is about 2 miles with some elevation. Registration is free.

Jan. 6-May 11: Carnegie Lab Drop In, Carnegie Museum of Art. Join art educators every Saturday for art-making and sensory activities inspired by the exhibitions in our galleries. All ages are invited. Free with museum admission. No registration required.

Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31: Seedlings: Wonderful Winter, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Weekly sessions for ages 3-6 include indoor and outdoor fun. Registration is $15, which includes an adult admission.

Jan. 13: Discovery Time: Taking Care of Nature, Frick Environmental Center. Kids ages 3-9 are invited to learn about taking care of the Earth with hands-on activities. Registration is free.

Jan. 13-14: Winterfest, Frick Pittsburgh. Festive, family-friendly activities include an exploration of Clayton ($5), live performances and artist demos, cozy treats and warm beverages from The Café at the Frick. Campus and museum admission is free.

Photo by Sally Quinn.

Jan. 13-14: Locomotion Weekend, Carnegie Science Center. This building-wide celebration of model trains includes privately owned model train layouts. Locomotion Weekend activities are included in general admission. Advance tickets are recommended for this popular event.

Jan. 15: “Justice in Action,” Kelly Strayhorn Theater. KST honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with activities, education and performances. Registration is “pay what moves you” from $2.

Jan. 15: Hazelwood MLK Day Brunch, Spartan Community Center. Enjoy treats from Nicky P’s Café along with activities, musical performances and speakers who will share the life and legacy of Dr. King. Registration is free but required.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art.

Jan. 15: Day Off at the Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art. Kids ages 6-10 are invited to spend their day off from school immersed in art, learning and fun. Registration is $75, with some scholarships available.

Jan. 17-23: Schooltime: The Courage to Stand, Heinz Hall. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra hosts school groups for a special presentation of artistic defiance.  The public can buy tickets for the Jan. 17 evening concert with pay-what-you-wish admission priced from free to $40.

Jan. 17, 18 and Feb. 14, 15: Junior Ranger: Story Time, Allegheny County Parks. Join the Park Rangers for an animal-themed story. Following the story, we will learn about the wildlife that calls our parks home. Best for ages 3 to 7. Registration is free.

Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.

Jan. 18-21: Cirque di Soleil: Crystal, PPG Paints Arena. Cirque du Soleil takes its breathtaking acrobatics to the ice, upping the excitement with razor-sharp skates. Tickets start at $60.

Jan. 19-21: 2024 World of Wheels Custom Car Show, David Lawrence Convention Center. Cruise down to the 63rd annual World of Wheels. You will see five generations of Batmobiles, FMX Freestyle Motocross performances and loads of custom cars. Admission is $24 for grownups, $8 for ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and younger. You can find discount tickets at O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Jan. 19-28: “Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” Hazlett Theater. Prime Stage Theatre continues its Prime Stage Sprouts series with this civil rights story. Tickets are $14 for students, $24 for grownups. Look for pay-what-you-want preview tickets on Jan. 19, as well as sensory-inclusive and audio-described performances.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Jan. 20: “Call of the Wild: Illustrated Edition,” Byham Theater. Based on Jack London’s classic book, this Bridge Theater series, multimedia presentation combines storytelling with projected images. Part of the Bridge Theater Series, best for ages 8 and older. Tickets are $12.

Jan. 20-21: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” in Concert, Heinz Hall. Kids can rediscover the magic of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Firewhile a live symphony orchestra performs Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score. Tickets start at $55.

Jan. 21: Hike with a Naturalist: Winter Tree ID, Frick Environmental Center. Take a walk through Frick Park with Naturalist Educator Stephen Bucklin and practice your observation skills with an in-depth look at bark and buds. Registration is free.

Jan. 21 and 28: Bird Photography Workshop Series, National Aviary. Ages 13 to adult can refine their bird photography skills with a two-part course taught by National Aviary Educator and Photographer Mike Faix. Best for photographers with basic to intermediate skills. Those younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is $299.

Jan. 21: Mini Pop Kids Live presents The Good Vibes Tour, The Oaks Theater. This pop concert by kids for kids features songs by Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Olivia Rodrigo and Ariana Grande. Tickets start at $29.

Jan. 24: “Dancing with the Stars,” Benedum Center. This year’s all-new stage show from the hit TV series will feature favorite professional dancers from the show performing glittering new numbers, as well as some of the showstoppers featured in season 32. Tickets start at $79.50.

Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10 and 17: Teen Job Shadow, National Aviary. Teen animal enthusiasts can spend four Saturdays with National Aviary experts learning about the behind-the-scenes world of animal care and conservation. Registration is $299.

Jan. 27-28: Shen Yun, Benedum Center. Shen Yun showcases classic stories of love, faith and courage told with cutting-edge backdrops, exquisite costumes and a live orchestra. Tickets start at $86.25.

Jan. 30-Feb. 4: “My Fair Lady,” Benedum Center. This classic musical tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” Tickets start at $38.


Feb. 2-3: “Moby Dick,” Byham Theater. According to the Cultural Trust, this adaptation of the classic novel is presented by “seven actors, 50 puppets, video projections, a drowned orchestra and a whale-sized whale.” Tickets start at $25.25.

Feb. 3: Discovery Time: Nature Art, Frick Environmental Center. Paint with natural materials, make an envelope out of recycled nature magazines and build a structure with stones and wood. Best for ages 3-8. Registration is free.

Feb. 3: Winterfest, Ohiopyle State Park. This day of fun in the snow centers on the sledding hill. Bring your own sled and take advantage of free cross-country ski and snowshoe demos. This year’s tropical theme will include prizes for tropical costumes and sled decorations. Registration is not required.

Feb. 3: Painting Winter Wildlife Youth Class, Raccoon State Park. Kids between the ages of 8 and 16 can join artist Lora Russell for an introduction to the art of painting winter wildlife. The class will provide all instruction and materials. Registration is free.

Feb. 3, 10: Animal Tracks in Winter, Audubon Society of Western Pa. Join other nature detectives at Beechwood, Succop and Buffalo Creek nature reserves for an indoor program on animal tracks and learn how to make a track plaster cast to take home. Registration is $10.

Feb. 7-8: National College Fair, David Lawrence Convention Center. Representatives from colleges and universities across the country will present their educational options. Admission is free.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Feb. 8-11: “Paw Patrol Live: Great Pirate Adventure,” Benedum Theater. Mayor Goodway is getting everything shipshape for a big Pirate Day celebration in Adventure Bay. When Cap’n Turbot falls into a dark and mysterious cavern, it’s PAW Patrol to the rescue! Tickets start at $31.25.

Feb. 9-11: Jurassic Quest, David Lawrence Convention Center. The largest and most realistic dinosaur exhibit on tour features true-to-detail dinosaurs, including a 60-foot-long, sky-scraping Spinosaurus; an 80-foot-long Apatosaurus; and a gigantic life-size T-rex. Tickets start at $23, with packages available.

winter events
Photo courtesy of Monster Jam.

Feb. 9-11: Monster Jam, PPG Pains Arena. The world’s best drivers and their 12,000-pound monster trucks tear up the dirt in intense competitions of speed and skill. Tickets start at $24.

Feb. 10: Mascot Madness, Schenley Ice Rink. While the ice rink is in need of repairs and mascots will not be skating this year, you can still come party with your favorite mascots at this annual event. The party will include opportunities for pictures, games & prizes, face painting, balloon artist, caricatures, ice sculpture and more! Online tickets will be available in mid-January: $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and veterans, $3 for ages 17 and younger.

Photo courtesy of Allegheny County Parks.

Feb. 10, 24 and March 2, 9, 12: Maple Syrup Making, North Park. Learn the history of maple syrup making in Pennsylvania before heading outside to discover how to identify and tap maple trees then collect and boil down the sap to make table-ready syrup using homestyle methods. Adults must register with kids 15 and younger. Registration is $5 for county residents.

Feb. 10 and 17, March 16 and 30: Youth Writers Camp, August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Kids with a passion for writing will explore various forms with a focus on August Wilson’s inspiration and legacy. The curriculum integrates current events, including social justice topics. Open for ages 10-16. Registration is $25 per session.

Feb. 11: Valentine’s Day Brunch, National Aviary. Lovebirds and families are invited to a delectable brunch before spending the afternoon exploring the Aviary. Tickets and pricing will be available soon.

Feb. 15-18: “Disney’s High School Musical Jr.,” Pittsburgh Musical Theater. Disney Channel’s smash hit musical phenomenon features popular songs like “We’re All In This Together,” “Bop to the Top” and “Get’cha Head in the Game.” Tickets go on sale on Jan. 24.

“Beauty and the Beast” photo by Rieder Photographer.

Feb. 16-25: “Beauty and the Beast,” Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. This timeless tale of love is told with extraordinary choreography, beautiful costumes and a lush Tchaikovsky score. A family workshop and artist Q&A takes place on Feb. 17. A sensory-sensitive performance is planned for Feb. 25. Tickets start at $15.

Feb. 13 and 17: Latodami Family Hike: Animals in Love, North Park. Enjoy a family-friendly hike of up to one mile and learn which critters are falling head-over-paws in love in February. Best for elementary-age kids. Registration is free.

Feb 13, 18, 24, 25: Owl Prowl, Allegheny County Parks. Explore the wonderful world of owls on a two-mile hike with moderate elevation changes. Registration is free.

Feb. 17: Lichen Exploration, Frick Park. Teens and adults are invited to join Naturalist Educator Stephen Bucklin on a two-hour guided walk to learn about lichensstory, an often overlooked and important part of our ecosystem. Registration is free.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Feb. 17: “Song of the North,” Byham Theater. This large-scale, cinematic performance combines the manual art of shadow puppetry with projected animation. The epic love story employs a cast of 500 handmade puppets and an ensemble of nine actors and puppeteers. Part of the Bridge Theater Series. Tickets are $12.

Feb. 22: Amy Sarig King, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. In her new book, “Attack of the Black Rectangles,” Amy Sarig King takes on censorship and intolerance. Join her in her Words & Pictures series visit to Pittsburgh. Registration is free for both in-person and virtual attendance.

Feb. 23-25: “Fiddler on the Roof” in Concert, Heinz Hall. This presentation features John Williams’ Oscar-winning score adaptation performed live along to the 1971 feature film. Tickets start at $25.

Feb. 24: “A Walk on the Wild Side,” Heinz Hall. Kids can join Fiddlesticks on a journey as he introduces his favorite musical creatures using Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals.” Hear swans glide, kangaroos hop and elephants waltz in these beautiful melodies representing animals around us. This performance will be ASL interpreted. A family restroom, a quiet room, fidgets, and noise-cancelling headphones are available. Come an hour early for hands-on Discovery Time activities. Tickets start at $18.

winter events
Photo courtesy of The National Aviary.

Feb. 24-25: Flamingo Fest, National Aviary. Families can don their finest pink attire and head to the return of Flamingo Fest. Make a fun flamingo craft, learn about all things flamingo and meet the flock in Wetlands habitat. Activities included with Aviary admission.

Feb 24: “Rainbow Fish,” Byham Theater. Adapted from the award-winning book, the Rainbow Fish will enchant little kids with his silver scales and heart of gold. Part of the Children’s Theater Series. Tickets are $12.

Feb. 29-March 3: Disney on Ice: Find Your Hero, PPG Paints Arena. Discover the hero inside us all when Disney on Ice returns with the magical adventures of favorite Disney stars brought to life. Tickets start at $25.


March 5: Sound Fusion, Heinz Hall. Pittsburgh Symphony Associate Conductor Jacob Joyce leads the Pittsburgh premiere of Mason Bates’ mixed-media concerto, “Philharmonia Fantastique.” This family-friendly concert is a great introduction to classical music. Tickets are priced at pay-what-you-wish from $5-$40.

March 7-17: “Grease,” Pittsburgh Musical Theater. Celebrate Rydell High’s class of 1959 in all its duck-tail, bobby-sox, gum-snapping glory. Tickets start at $19.50.

March 9: “The Princess Bride” in Concert, Heinz Hall. View “The Princess Bride” on the big screen, with Mark Knopfler’s score played by the Pittsburgh Symphony. Tickets start at $35.

March 9: Ibeji Rhythms: Dance and Play, Trust Education Center. Explore the rich musical and dance traditions of West Africa, then build an instrument of your own to continue the celebration. Admission is $25 for a family of six.