What’s Going on in Pittsburgh this Weekend: October 24-26, 2014

Here’s my weekly listing of family-friendly events in the Pittsburgh region for the weekend of October 24-26, 2014. This weekend is all about HALLOWEEN in the city with trick-or-treating, parties and parades at many, many locations including the museums, parks, libraries and neighboring communities!

 

All Weekend, October 24-26

Pumpkin Trolley at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA hosts its annual Pumpkin Trolley this month, featuring trolley rides to their pumpkin patch and fall activities. Tickets include multiple trolley rides, tours of the Trib Total Media Trolley Display Building, on-site pumpkin decorating, complimentary refreshments and games for children.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Adults $10, Children $7

Location: 1 Museum Road, Washington PA 15301

 

The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty

The PBT presents its magnificent production of the classic fairy tale, “Sleeping Beauty,” set to one of Tchaikovsky’s most celebrated scores. See website for information on show times and ticket prices. The 1pm show on Saturday is preceded by Family Pointe, a family-friendly pre-show discussion and demonstration.

Location: The Benedum Center, 237 7th St, Pittsburgh PA 15222

 

SkippyJon Jones by the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater

The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater presents SkippyJon Jones, produced by Theatreworks USA and based on the favorite children’s story. Performance venues this weekend include Moon High School, Upper St. Clair High School and Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. See website for more information.

 

Creatures of the Night at Beechwood Farms and Nature Reserve (except Sunday night)

Beechwood Farms in Fox Chapel celebrates Halloween at its annual “Creatures of the Night” event, where a costumed firefly leads families on a guided night-time hike through the nature reserve. Along the way, kids will find larger-then-life costumed creatures who read stories, do tricks, etc. Snacks and crafts are included. Advance registration requested.

Times: 6:30-8:30pm

Cost: Tickets are $6 for Audubon Society members and 10$ for nonmembers. Register in advance.

Location: Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, 614 Dorseyville Road, Pittsburgh PA

 

Night at the Zoo at Living Treasures Animal Park (except Sunday night)

Running each October weekend, Living Treasures Animal Park gives families a chance to explore the torch-lit pathways of the zoo, learn, about nocturnal animals along the way, trick-or-treat and enjoy refreshments.

Times: 7-11pm

Cost: Adults $12.99, Children 3 and over $9.99

Location: Living Treasures Animal Park, 28 Fox Road, New Castle

 

Friday Night, October 24

Halloween Happenings at Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory celebrates Halloween at their annual “Halloween Happenings” event, where kids can trick-or-treat through the Conservatory, collect healthy snacks and participate in a variety of kid-friendly activities. Also, Halloween Happenings is a fantastic time to explore the very short Fall Flower Show at Phipps, which only goes until the beginning of November.

Times: 4-8pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: 700 Frank Curto Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15213

 

Spooky Science Sleepover at the Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center hosts a spooky overnight sleepover each October. Highlights include live spooky science demos, a family Halloween laser show, an Omnimax show, a late night snack and a continental breakfast. Advance registration required.

Times: Check in 6pm, Sleepover ends at 10am on Saturday

Cost: $35

Location: Carnegie Science Center, 10 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Fright Night at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library

The Mt. Lebanon Public Library invites families to its annual Fright Night costume party with stories, games, crafts and free refreshments from Franken’s Diner.

Times: 6:30-8:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: Mt. Lebanon Public Library, 16 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh PA 15228

 

Halloween Storywalk at the Baldwin Public Library

The Baldwin Public Library is hosting its first ever library storywalk, where costumed kids can meet their favorite characters, hear a story and trick-or-treat at four different storywalk stations.

Times: 7-8pm

Cost: Free

Location: Baldwin Public Library, 41 Macek Dr #115, Pittsburgh, PA 15227

 

Mad Science Halloween Show and Party at South Park Township Library

South Park Township Library will be presenting Mad Science of Pittsburgh’s Halloween show, filled with experiments using favorite holidays treats. Followed by games, treats and prizes for the best costumes. Advance registration by calling (412) 833-5585.

Times: 7-8:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: South Park Township Library, 2575 Brownsville Rd, South Park Township, PA 15129

 

Family Halloween Party at Crafton Public Library

Crafton Public Library is hosting a family holiday party with pumpkin carving and painting, pillowcase treat bag decorating, a costume contest and music.

Times: 7-9pm

Cost: Free

Location: Crafton Public Library, 140 Bradford Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

 

Unhaunted Night Hike at North Park

Explore North Park at night during the guided “Unhaunted Night Hike,” where families can learn about nocturnal creatures along the infamous, “Blue Mist Road.” Advance registration required by calling (724) 935-2170.

Times: 7-9pm

Cost: Free

Location: Meet at Beaver Shelter parking area on Babcock Blvd, North Park

 

Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26

Fall Festival at Simmons Farm

Simmons Farm is holding its daily Fall Festivals this weekend, featuring pick-your-own apples, hayrides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, a barnyard petting zoo and more.

Times: 9-5:45pm

Cost: $10.50/person

Location: Simmons Farm, 170 Simmons Rd, McMurray PA 15317

 

Fall Festival at Trax Farm

Trax Farm is holding its weekly Fall Festival this weekend, featuring hayrides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, petting zoo, bounce house, rainbow express train and more.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Free to attend. Most activities cost extra

Location: Trax Farm, 528 Trax Rd, Finleyville, PA 15332

 

Fall Festival at Triple B Farms

Triple B Farms hosts its “Pumpkin Festival,” offering pick-your-own apples as well as other favorite Fall activities, including Storybook Pumpkinland (where more than 300 pumpkin-headed characters live), hayrides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch, the Big Blue Boo Barn, a corn maze and more.

Times: 10-6pm

Cost: Children $12, Adults $8

Location: Triple B Farms, 823 Berry Lane, Monongahela, PA

 

Harvest Festival of Fun at Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm

Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm offers a “Harvest Festival of Fun” with hayrides to the pumpkin patch, pony rides, a trip to the boo barn, face-painting, a cornstalk maze, caramel apples and more.

Times: 10-4pm

Cost: $7

Location: Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm, 1120 Roosevelt Rd. Pittsburgh PA 15237

 

Fall Festival at Hozak Farms

Hozak Farms is located west of the city in Clinton, PA. It offers a Fall Festival with hayrides, pumpkins, musical entertainment and more.

Times: 10-6pm

Cost: Free to attend, select activities cost extra

Location: 488 Anderson Hozak Road, Clinton, PA 15026

 

Pumpkinland at Janoski Farms

Janoski Farms is also located in Clinton, PA. It offers a “Pumpkinland” during October weekends. For $6 per person, you can explore a haunted barn, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch and more. Plus, you can get some face-painting and decorate a pumpkin.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: $6

Location: Janoski Farm, 1714 US 30, Clinton PA 15026

 

Fall Festival at Soergel Orchards

Soergel Orchards is holding its weekly Fall Festivals kick this weekend, featuring hayrides to the pumpkin patch, a cornstalk maze, pony rides, a bounce house, face-painting and tons more! 

Times: 11-5pm

Cost: Free to attend. Most activities cost extra

Location: Soergel Orchards, 2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford, PA 15090

 

Hayrides at Shenot Farm

Shenot Farm is also located in Wexford, but offers a smaller and less commercialized Fall Festival with free hayrides to the pumpkin patch and a huge cornstalk maze.

Times: 11-5pm

Cost: Free

Location: Shenot Farms, 3754 Wexford Run Rd, Wexford PA 15090

 

Fall Festival at Schramm’s Farm

Schramm’s Farm is located east of the city in Jeannette. It offers a Fall Festival with pick-your-own pumpkins throughout the day and offer hayrides for $3 starting at 11am on weekends. They also have several mazes, barnyard animals and more. See website for specific times and costs.

Location: 1002 Blank Rd, Harrison City, PA 15636

 

Eat N’Park Zoo Boo at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

The Pittsburgh Zoo hosts its well-loved Zoo Boo Halloween event where children can trick-or-treat through the zoo, participate in a costume parade and contest, visit the mildly scary Docent Haunted House and Gymkhana’s Haunted Hideaway and many more activities.

Times: 11-4pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Pittsburgh Zoo, 7340 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15206

 

Hallow Boo at Idlewild

Idlewild’s celebrates Hallow Boo this weekend! Come in costume, go trick-or-treating throughout the park and enjoy some of the regular season rides, too! Pick up a discount coupon at Giant Eagle before you go! More info at the website above.

 

All Things Creepy at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History celebrates Halloween at its “All Things Creepy” event. Kids can go trick-or-treating through the exhibits with their complimentary treat bags. Also, if they come dressed in costume, you can get $1 off child admission.

Times: 12-4pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

 

Saturday, October 25

ChemFest Celebration at the Carnegie Science Center

Children are invited to discover everyday uses for chemistry at ChemFest! at the Carnegie Science Center featuring dozens of hands-on exhibits and demonstrations, including creating fruit batteries, homemade invisible ink, UV active bracelets, etc.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Carnegie Science Center, 10 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Halloween Party and Costume Parade at the Carnegie Library of McKeesport

Children are invited to Renzie Park for a costume parade followed by a hotdog lunch, storytime and pumpkin decorating.

Time: 10am

Cost: Free

Location: Renzie Park, McKeesport, PA

 

Sewickley Halloween Parade

Sewickley hosts its annual Halloween Parade beginning at the Borough Building on Thorn Street, continuing onto Walnut Street, Beaver Street, Chestnut Street and back to the Borough Building where children will get hot dogs, drinks and candy. Followed by a Pumpkin Extravaganza at the Sewickley Pumpkin Library.

Time: Starts at 10:30am

Cost: Free

 

Monster Party on the Gateway Clipper Fleet

The Gateway Clipper Fleet celebrates Halloween at its annual Monster Cruise, featuring a costume party with their crew of monsters, prizes and sweet treats.

Times: Board times-10:30am and 1:15pm

Cost: Adults $25, Children $12

Location: Gateway Clipper Fleet dock is at Station Square

 

Owl-O-Ween at the National Aviary

The National Aviary celebrates Halloween at their annual Owl-O-Ween event, where kids can visit with nocturnal birds, learn about creepy-crawly insects, trick or treat, and more.

Times: 11-3pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: National Aviary, 700 Arch Street, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Avalon Halloween Parade

Avalon’s Halloween Parade will start at Avalon Elementary School and proceed along California Avenue, along Lincoln Avenue and end at a Fall Festival at Bayne Park with treat bags, crafts, pumpkin decorating and a magic show.

Times: Parade starts at 11am

Cost: Free

 

Does Your Child Look Like A Rock Star? Event at Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh

The Hard Rock Cafe is launching the new Hard Rock Roxstars, brand ambassadors for children’s programming at its restaurants worldwide and is hosting a “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?” party at the Pittsburgh location this weekend. Children are invited to come dressed as their favorite rock stars and enter a contest for the best costume. There will be a live performance by 14 year old performer, Gabby Barrett. All children will also eat free  for each adult purchasing an entree.

Times: 11am

Location: Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh, 230 W. Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

 

Halloween Mayhem at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater celebrates Halloween at its annual Halloween Mayhem event featuring zombies, a costume parade, a puppet show, crafts, games and more.

Times: 12-4pm

Cost: Pay What You Can

Location: Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15206

 

Rachel the Pig’s 21st Birthday Party at Wholey’s

Rachel the Pig, Wholey’s 2500 pound bronze pig, is celebrating her 21st birthday with free cake for all, balloon art, the Wholey Wizard and games for kids.

Times: 12-3pm

Cost: Free

Location: Wholey’s, 1711 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

 

Saturday Crafternoons at Assemble

Assemble’s Saturday Crafternoons promote project-based learning, hands-on making, experimentation and community engagement for youth ages 5-10 through free DIY workshops with local makers. At this week’s Saturday Crafternoon workshop, kids will work with local artist Daniel Baxter and the Assemble Crafternoon team to design and create their very own Kreepy Dolls.

Times: 1-4pm

Cost: Free

Location: Assemble, 5125 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

 

Robinson Town Centre Annual Halloween Walk

The Robinson Town Centre Annual Halloween Walk begins at Once Upon A Child where children can pick up free treat bags and then trick-or-treat at participating stores.

Times: 1-3pm

Cost: Free

Location: Robinson Town Centre,

 

Fall Festivals from around the World Event at South Fayette Township Library

Volunteers from the community will share their favorite fall festivals, including Halloween, Diwali, Eid al-Adha, Native American Harvest Festivals and All Hallow’s Eve/All Saint’s Day. Each station will feature fun facts about the festival, a craft activity and traditional food. Advance registration required.

Times: 1-3pm

Cost: Free

Location: South Fayette Township Library, 515 Millers Run Rd, Morgan, PA 15064

 

FrightFest 2014 at TechShop

TechShop in Bakery Square is offering a Halloween party for the makers in the ‘Burgh! Children ages 8 and over are invited to an afternoon of creating spooky candy molds, designing a tote bag for trick-or-treating, learning laster cutting, plastic forming, stamping and design.

Times: Starts at 1:30pm

Cost: Tickets cost $100 for 2

Location: TechShop Pittsburgh, 192 Bakery Square Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

 

Costume Party at the Carnegie Library of Mt. Washington

Families are invited to a costume party at CLP Mt. Washington, featuring a spooky storytime, crafts, games and treats.

Times: 2-3:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: CLP Mt. Washington, 315 Grandview Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15211

 

Spooky Celebration at the Carnegie Library of Hazelwood

CLP Hazelwood is hosting a spooky celebration for families with stories, crafts, games, etc.

Times: 2-3:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: CLP Hazelwood, 5006 Second Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15207

 

Mt. Nebo Pointe Trunk or Treat

Mt. Nebo Pointe is holding its annual Trunk or Treat event, where you can decorate your car’s trunk for Halloween, park it at Mt. Nebo Pointe and trick-or-treat from car to car. Also includes a trunk decorating contest.

Times: 3-6pm

Cost: Free

Location: Mt. Nebo Pointe Shopping Center, 250 Mt. Nebo Pointe Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15237

 

Lawrenceville United Halloween Party

Lawrenceville United is hosting their annual Halloween party for kids, featuring food, games, a haunted hallway, dancing and more!

Times: 5-7pm

Cost: Free

Location: Boys & Girls Club, 4600 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15201

 

Halloween Happenings at the Bethel Park Public Library Library

The Bethel Park Public Library is hosting its Halloween Happenings party with stories, games, crafts, face-painting and trick-or-treating. Advance registration requested.

Times: 6pm

Cost: Free

Location: Bethel Park Public Library, 5100 W Library Ave #4, Bethel Park, PA 15102

 

Full Moon Ghost Stories at White Oak Park

White Oak Park, located near McKeesport, is offering an evening filled with ghost stories by Allison Babuski, appropriate for children ages 5 and up. Costumed individuals have a chance to win prizes.

Times: 7pm

Cost: Free

Location: Chestnut Shelter, White Oak Park

 

Depreciation Lands Museum Family Lantern Tours

Take a family friendly guided tour of the Museum and cemetery by lantern light with tales of superstitions and customs from the past, a visit from “The Deacon,” the Museum’s resident ghost, and enjoy cookies and hot cider!

Times: 6-9pm

Cost: Adults $5, Children $3

Location: Depreciation Lands Museum, 4743 S. Pioneer Rd, Allison Park, PA 15101

 

Fun and Freaky Fundraiser at Gemini Children’s Theater

The Gemini Children’s Theater celebrates Halloween at its Fun and Freaky Fundraiser event, featuring food, games, dancing and a special performance of the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Times: 6:30-8:30pm

Cost: $20

Location: Gemini Children’s Theater, 7501 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15208

 

Sunday, October 26

The Carnegie Science Center is closed today due to a Steelers home game.

 

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Halloween Party

The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts celebrates Halloween at its annual crafty party, offering a variety of hands-on Halloween-themed art-making activities, a scavenger hunt, refreshments and music for the entire family!

Times: 10-1pm

Cost:$5/member family and $10/nonmember family

Location: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 1047 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15232

 

Castle Shannon Halloween Parade

The Community Library of Castle Shannon hosts its annual Halloween parade. Families are invited to come in costume to participate in the parade, beginning at the library.

Time: 2pm

Cost: Free

Location: Community Library of Castle Shannon, 3677 Myrtle Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15234

 

Dress Up Life Size Candy Land at the Sewickley Public Library

The Sewickley Public Library invites all ages to  wear a costume and play a life-sized version of Candy Land where YOU will become a player piece. 

Times: 2:30-3:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: Sewickley Public Library, 500 Thorn St, Sewickley, PA 15143

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

What’s Going on in Pittsburgh this Weekend: October 17-19, 2014

Here’s my weekly listing of family-friendly events for the Pittsburgh region for the weekend of October 17-19, 2014. It’s all about FALL and HALLOWEEN in the city this weekend with the first weekend of Zoo Boo, Owl-O-Ween at the National Aviary, the opening of the Fall Flower Show at Phipps, Fiddlesticks’ Fall Festival Concert by the PSO, tons of fall festivals at local farms and MUCH MORE!

 

All Weekend, October 17-19

Pumpkin Trolley at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA hosts its annual Pumpkin Trolley this month, featuring trolley rides to their pumpkin patch and fall activities. Tickets include multiple trolley rides, tours of the Trib Total Media Trolley Display Building, on-site pumpkin decorating, complimentary refreshments and games for children.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Adults $10, Children $7

Location: 1 Museum Road, Washington PA 15301

 

Night at the Zoo at Living Treasures Animal Park (except Sunday night)

Running each October weekend, Living Treasures Animal Park gives families a chance to explore the torch-lit pathways of the zoo, learn, about nocturnal animals along the way, trick-or-treat and enjoy refreshments.

Times: 7-11pm

Cost: Adults $12.99, Children 3 and over $9.99

Location: Living Treasures Animal Park, 28 Fox Road, New Castle

 

Friday Night, October 17

Creepy Crawly Cafe at the Baldwin Public Library

Baldwin Public Library invites families to the Creepy Crawly Cafe, serving drinks, appetizers, a main entrée, and dessert, all revolving around foods that sound gross, but taste great! Advance registration required.

Times: 6:30-7:30

Cost: Free

Location: Baldwin Public Library, 41 Macek Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15227

 

Saturday and Sunday, October 18-19

Fall Festival at Simmons Farm

Simmons Farm is holding its daily Fall Festivals this weekend, featuring pick-your-own apples, hayrides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, a barnyard petting zoo and more.

Times: 9-5:45pm

Cost: $10.50/person

Location: Simmons Farm, 170 Simmons Rd, McMurray PA 15317

 

Opening Weekend of the Fall Flower Show at Phipps

The short-lived Fall Flower Show at Phipps opens this weekend with chrysanthemums of many colors, a Gold Rush-era train display and educational activities about bees and honey.

Times: 9:30-5pm

Location: 700 Frank Curto Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15213

 

Fall Festival at Trax Farm

Trax Farm is holding its weekly Fall Festival this weekend, featuring hayrides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, petting zoo, bounce house, rainbow express train and tons more.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Free to attend. Most activities cost extra

Location: Trax Farm, 528 Trax Rd, Finleyville, PA 15332

 

Fall Festival at Triple B Farms

Triple B Farms hosts its “Pumpkin Festival,” offering pick-your-own apples as well as other favorite Fall activities, including Storybook Pumpkinland (where more than 300 pumpkin-headed characters live), hayrides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch, the Big Blue Boo Barn, a corn maze and more.

Times: 10-6pm

Cost: Children $12, Adults $8

Location: Triple B Farms, 823 Berry Lane, Monongahela, PA

 

Harvest Festival of Fun at Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm

Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm offers a “Harvest Festival of Fun” with hayrides to the pumpkin patch, pony rides, a trip to the boo barn, face-painting, a cornstalk maze, caramel apples and more.

Times: 10-4pm

Cost: $7

Location: Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm, 1120 Roosevelt Rd. Pittsburgh PA 15237

 

Fall Festival at Hozak Farms

Hozak Farms is located west of the city in Clinton, PA. It offers a Fall Festival with hayrides, pumpkins, musical entertainment and more.

Times: 10-6pm

Cost: Free to attend, select activities cost extra

Location: 488 Anderson Hozak Road, Clinton, PA 15026

 

Pumpkinland at Janoski Farms

Janoski Farms is also located in Clinton, PA. It offers a “Pumpkinland” during October weekends. For $6 per person, you can explore a haunted barn, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch and more. Plus, you can get some face-painting and decorate a pumpkin.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: $6

Location: Janoski Farm, 1714 US 30, Clinton PA 15026

 

Celebrate Halloween at the Upper St. Clair Township Library

Children of all ages are invited to the Upper St. Clair Township Library for a chance to make a variety of Halloween crafts to bring home and decorate your home.

Times: Saturday 10-4:30pm, Sunday 1-4:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: Upper St. Clair Township Library, 1820 McClaughlin Rd, Upper St. Clair PA 15241

 

Eat N’Park Zoo Boo at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

The Pittsburgh Zoo hosts its well-loved Zoo Boo Halloween event where children can trick-or-treat through the zoo, participate in a costume parade and contest, visit the mildly scary Docent Haunted House and Gymkhana’s Haunted Hideaway and many more activities.

Times: 11-4pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Pittsburgh Zoo, 7340 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15206

 

Fall Festival at Soergel Orchards

Soergel Orchards is holding its weekly Fall Festivals kick this weekend, featuring hayrides to the pumpkin patch, a cornstalk maze, pony rides, a bounce house, face-painting and tons more! 

Times: 11-5pm

Cost: Free to attend. Most activities cost extra

Location: Soergel Orchards, 2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford, PA 15090

 

Hayrides at Shenot Farm

Shenot Farm is also located in Wexford, but offers a smaller and less commercialized Fall Festival with free hayrides to the pumpkin patch and a huge cornstalk maze.

Times: 11-5pm

Cost: Free

Location: Shenot Farms, 3754 Wexford Run Rd, Wexford PA 15090

 

Fall Festival at Schramm’s Farm

Schramm’s Farm is located east of the city in Jeannette. It offers a Fall Festival with pick-your-own pumpkins throughout the day and offer hayrides for $3 starting at 11am on weekends. They also have several mazes, barnyard animals and more. See website for specific times and costs.

Location: 1002 Blank Rd, Harrison City, PA 15636

 

Hallow Boo at Idlewild

Idlewild’s celebrates Hallow Boo this weekend! Come in costume, go trick-or-treating throughout the park and enjoy some of the regular season rides, too! Pick up a discount coupon at Giant Eagle before you go! More info at the website above.

 

ParaNorman at the Row House Cinema

It’s Zombie Week at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville and they are showing “ParaNorman,” a PG-rated animated movie from 2012 that follows an 11-year-old boy who speaks with the dead and saves the town from a zombie attack through his medium powers.

Times: Noon

Cost: $6

Location: 6115 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA

 

Saturday, October 18

Come Ready Goal Games at Montour High School

Children ages 6-12 are invited to the Goal Games held at Montour High School. The Goal Games are a day of mental and physical challenges to teach children how to achieve their goals in every aspect of their lives. Students are divided into small groups based on age and rotate through 14 “challenges.” More info on the website above. Advance registration encouraged.

Times: 9-12pm

Cost: Free

Location: Montour High School, 223 Clever Rd, McKees Rocks PA 15136

 

Fall Festival Fiddlesticks Concert

The kid-friendly Fiddlesticks concert series by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is back with a Halloween and Fall-inspired concert featuring the music of Harry Potter, Fantasia and more. Preceded by kid-friendly, music and Fall-related educational activities that are just great!

Times: Pre show activities start at 10am, Concert starts at 11:15am

Cost: Tickets start at $12

Location: Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222

 

Peanut Butter and Jam Sessions with the Chatham Baroque

Chatham Baroque holds its monthly concert for preschool-aged children. Features music, movement, interactive activities and a snack.

Times: 10am and 11:30am

Cost: Adults $8, Children $5

Location: McClintick Hall, Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

 

Owl-O-Ween at the National Aviary

The National Aviary celebrates Halloween at their annual Owl-O-Ween event, where kids can visit with nocturnal birds, learn about creepy-crawly insects, trick or treat, and more.

Times: 11-3pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: National Aviary, 700 Arch Street, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Opening of the New Aspinwall Riverfront Park

Aspinwall hosts the opening of the first phase of the new Aspinwall Riverfront Park featuring a 1/4 mile walking trail, boardwalk, wetland, woodland garden, meadow garden and amphitheater. Saturday’s event will begin with a bagpipe procession beginning at the Aspinwall Ball Field at 11:45am, a ribbon cutting at 12pm, followed by tree plantings, music, bake sale and face painting.

Times: 12-4pm

Cost: Free

Location: Aspinwall Riverfront Park, 285 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15215

 

Hay Day at South Park

Allegheny County hosts its annual Hay Day at South Park this weekend. This FREE event features many kid-friendly activities, including hayrides, a barnyard petting zoo, pony rides, a Halloween puppet show, a magician and much more!

Times: 12-4pm

Location: South Park Amphitheater, South Park

 

Pierogi Fest 2014

Celebrate the proud Pittsburgh tradition of PIEROGIS at Pierogi Fest 2014 this Saturday. Event features many, many choices of pierogies, live music, a visit from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pierogies and children’s activities.

Times: 12-5pm

Cost: Adults $10, Children under 12 are free, Food and Beverage costs are extra

Location: Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Volunteer Princesses Spook-A-Palooza

The Volunteer Princesses are hosting their Spook-A-Palooza filled with your child’s favorite costumed characters, craft activities, a raffle, face-painting and storytimes.

Times: 1-5pm

Cost: Free

Location: Schenley Plaza, Oakland

 

Brightwood PumpkinFest

The neighborhood of Brightwood celebrates PumpkinFest, where kids get a free pumpkin, a bag of candy and the opportunity to visit a petting zoo, ride ponies, go on a hayride, get crafty and more.

Times: 1-4pm

Cost: Free

 

ARTLab: Building a City with Ryder Henry at the Mattress Factory

Families are invited to the bimonthly ARTLab series at the Mattress Factory. This week children can collaborate with artist, Ryder Henry, to create their own miniature city using recycled materials.

Times: 1-4pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: 500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Saturday Crafternoons at Assemble

Assemble’s Saturday Crafternoons promote project-based learning, hands-on making, experimentation and community engagement for youth ages 5-10 through free DIY workshops with local makers. 

Times: 1-4pm

Cost: Free

Location: Assemble, 5125 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

 

Community Cookout and Party for the Walk for One Promise

Many teachers, parents, alumni and community members will participate in this Saturday’s Walk for One Promise to support the Pittsburgh Promise. Join them at the free Community Cookout and Party after the event for free food, refreshments, bouncy houses, a balloon artist, a DJ dance party, high school band performances and other kid-friendly games and activities.

Times: 1:30-4:30pm

Location: Sci Tech Academy, 107 Thackeray Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15260

 

Monster Mash Costume Party at the West End Carnegie Library

The West End Library invites children up to grade 5 to come to the library for a costume party, featuring games, crafts and a storytime. 

Times: 2-3:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: 47 Wabash Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15220

 

Haunted Guyasuta

Camp Guyasuta offers its annual Halloween event, featuring a hayride, nature hikes, climbing wall, pumpkin patch, bonfire and zip line (for those over 11). Trail will be non-scary from 3-6pm and scary from 6-9pm.

Times: 3-9pm

Cost: $15

Location: Camp Guyasuta, 300 23rd Street, Pittsburgh PA 15215

 

Hillman Halloween Spooktacular

The Hillman Performing Arts Center at Shadyside Academy is hosting its Halloween Spooktacular, featuring “Clockwork Mysteries” by Canadian Ted and Marion Outerbridge. This magic show has been called the most “successful magic show in Canada” by critics. The event is preceded by Harvestfest, a family-friendly fall celebration with bounce houses, carnival games, kettle corn, etc.

Times: Show starts at 7:30pm

Cost: Adults $28, Children $15

Location: Hillman Center for Performing Arts, Shadyside Academy, 423 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh PA 15238

 

Depreciation Lands Museum Family Lantern Tours

Take a family friendly guided tour of the Museum and cemetery by lantern light with tales of superstitions and customs from the past, a visit from “The Deacon,” the Museum’s resident ghost, and enjoy cookies and hot cider!

Times: 6-9pm

Cost: Adults $5, Children $3

Location: Depreciation Lands Museum, 4743 S. Pioneer Rd, Allison Park, PA 15101

 

Sunday, October 19

Jump Rope with the HT High Flyers at the Children’s Museum

Join select members of the HT High Flyers jump rope team, who recently represented the United States at the Jump Rope World Championships in Hong Kong. They will do single rope, long rope and Double Dutch demonstrations followed by a jump roping workshop.

Times: 1-2:30pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: The Children’s Museum, 10 Children’s Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Children’s Harvest Festival at Oliver Miller Homestead

The Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park hosts its annual Children’s Harvest Festival where children can try various harvest crafts including tin punching, corn crafts, butter churning and more. Plus, there will be frontier dress to try.

Times: 1:30-4:30pm

Cost: $2

Location: Oliver Miller Homestead, South Park

 

The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater presents SkippyJon Jones

The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater presents its first show of the season, SkippyJon Jones, based on the well-loved children’s book about the adventurous little kitten with big ears and BIGGER dreams for his future. Show begins at the Byham Theater on Sunday and then will be at a variety of other performing arts venues in the suburbs for the rest of the week. See website for more info.

Time: 2pm

Cost: $9.50 in advance $11 day of

Location: Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh PA 15222

 

Yo Gabba Gabba Live!

Based on the hit TV show for preschoolers, Yo Gabba Gabba LIVE! introduces children to friendly toy monsters in a magical land through music, movement and singing.

Times: 2pm and 5pm

Cost: Tickets start at $28.75

Location: Benedum Center, 7th Street between Liberty and Penn Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222

 

Daniel Tiger Party at the Moon Township Public Library

The Moon Township Public Library celebrates DANIEL TIGER at a party filled with stories, games and activities. Advance registration required.

Times: 2-3pm

Cost: Free

Location: Moon Township Public Library, 1700 Beaver Grade Rd, Coroapolis, PA 15108

 

Have a great weekend!

Guest Post: Mothers Must Stand Up for Child Justice by Joanna Huss

joannahuss

This is a guest blog post written by local mother, Joanna Huss. Joanna is the mom of Hannah, three, and Michael, one. While her business and livelihood is in running her PR firm, Huss Communications, her passion is helping to end child abuse. She volunteers her time as a member of Allegheny County’s Children, Youth, & Families Advisory Board.

The most amazing sound in the world is the sound of a child’s laugh. On the toughest of days, it enlivens our cores like a magical song. I know you’re like me. You’re busy raising kids and probably working, too. While your heart wants you to give more to causes near and dear, you just don’t have the time. Well, I’m here to tell you there is a great injustice occurring right before our noses that can only get the attention it deserves if we –the amazing, multi-tasking, passionate, and loving mothers– step up.

In 2013 alone, over 90 children in our state died or nearly-died as a result of child abuse.

In our backyards, there was an extremely disturbing case of nothing less than barbarism. Two Ethiopian-born children were abused by their adoptive parents. Their daughter, a little over one, nearly died and has permanent brain damage. Their six-year-old son was starved, among more horrific abuses.

Here’s how Allegheny County’s president judge, Jeffrey Manning, responded. Saying he saw “no malice,” the main perpetrator was slapped on the wrist. She will sleep in jail for 6 months and report home during the day on “work release” so that she can care for her two biological children. No, I’m not making this up. The message this sends to victims and perpetrators is that society just doesn’t care.

But guess what? I know society cares. I know I care. I know you care, and now, it’s time to take a stand for humanity, for common sense, for children who deserve to live in a place where their laugh is fostered and cherished.

Please join me this Friday at 12 noon, Oct. 17 at the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse in Downtown Pittsburgh. We will be raising community awareness of this injustice, calling for reforms in our criminal justice system, and holding the perpetrators and judge accountable.

From one busy, passionate, and loving mom to the other –

Joanna Huss

For more information and developments, follow the Facebook page Ordinary Citizens For Children’s Justice.

According to the Center for Children’s Justice, based in Dauphin County, Pa., 400 child abuse fatalities and near-fatalities occurred between 2008 and 2012. About 90 Pennsylvania children died or nearly-died in 2013 from child abuse.  Nearly 80 percent involved a child who was three years of age or younger. Approximately 50 percent of all of the child fatalities, including more than one-third (36%) of the children under age one, lived in a family active with or previously known to the child welfare system. It is widely known that Pennsylvania has one of the narrowest definitions for child abuse and weak sentencing laws for perpetrators.

2014 Guide to Indoor Educational Programs for Kids in Pittsburgh

Indoor Ed Programs-11

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but…the fun is going to have to move indoors in the Pittsburgh region shortly. The weather is already getting chilly and the snow and grey are bound to blow in soon. The good news? There’s a lot of indoor educational fun to be had with your children in our great city. I’ve created this 2014 Guide to Indoor Educational Programs for Kids in Pittsburgh to help you find some!

This guide is the companion piece to my recent 2014 Indoor Play Spaces in Pittsburgh Family Guide, which catalogued fun indoor spaces to be active and burn off some energy with your family. In this article, I take a more educational approach, highlighting indoor spaces offering educational programs that introduce your child to a broad range of subject matters across the arts, sciences, history and foreign language.

 

General Indoor Learning Spaces

Let’s start with places that offer a wide range of structured learning opportunities for children:

 

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh never fails to deliver age-appropriate, creative fun for families with a variety of interests. It has a Studio for the artistic types, a Makeshop for the crafty folks and a whole host of other exhibits that are both fun and educational.

It also offers family-friendly structured educational programming throughout the week. For the littlest kids, there are several options:

  • Tot Discovery is held on Saturday mornings from 9-10 am (during the hour before the museum opens) in the Nursery exhibit. These thematic classes are geared toward children ages 18 months to 3 years old. Each session includes hands-on activities, music, story-time and a snack.
  • Tot Time is very similar to the Tot Discovery program mentioned above, except it is held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11am to noon.
  • Tot Moves is held on Thursdays from 11-11:30 am. Tot Moves is a creative movement class with lots of music and dancing.

Also, if you have older kids, check out Youth Make, Youth Grow and Youth Cook classes at the Museum.

 

The Libraries

The local libraries are a treasure trove of learning opportunities for Pittsburgh children. Many offer classes ranging from traditional storytimes to creative movement classes to language lessons and tons more. I can’t possibly list all of the family-friendly educational programming at each of the libraries in the region. Instead, I would like to point you in the direction of several resources that can help you find an appropriate class close to your location:

  • The Carnegie Library system has a great website where you can search for family-friendly programming and filter by date, age of child, location, etc.
  • If you are located outside of the city and/or tend to frequent the many community libraries in our region, the Allegheny County Library Association has a very similar website to help you find a class that works for your family.

 

Community Centers

Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities have a number of really wonderful community centers that offer family-friendly educational programming. Please note: many of these also offer sports and fitness classes, which I will cover in a future family guide. Here’s a selection:

  • Sarah Heinz House: The Sarah Heinz House on Pittsburgh’s North Side has music, robotics and dance classes for preschool-aged children.
  • Wilkins School Community Center: The Wilkins School Community Center offers music, theater and dance classes.
  • Jewish Community Center: The JCC’s in Squirrel Hill and the South Hills have educational programming for very young children and older children, including crafting, dance, robotics, etc.
  • Boyd Community Center: The Boyd Community Center in O’Hara Township offers a huge range of community programs for children starting in the toddler phase including art-making, dance, science and much more.
  • Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center: The Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center in the South Hills offers a range of community programs for children starting at the preschool level, including art, music, dance, drama, cooking and much more.
Little Sprouts at Phipps

Little Sprouts at Phipps

The Sciences

Next, I would like to highlight some indoor spaces that can introduce your children to many branches of the sciences, including biology, engineering, technology, etc.

 

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPQ Aquarium

Although the Pittsburgh Zoo would generally be considered an outdoor space (with the exception of the Aquarium), it offers some indoor educational programming for children starting in infancy and continuing into the teen years:

  • Storytime at the Zoo is for the littlest animal lovers aka. infancy to 5 years old. Held on the first Monday of the month from 10-10:30am, “Storytime at the Zoo” introduces zoo animals to the smallest children through picture books.
  • Cubs Club is a 45-minute class offered Wednesday-Sunday during the first week of the month. Intended for 2 year olds plus a caregiver, these classes have a thematic focus (for example: animal textures in October) and combine visits with the animals, crafts and education. Siblings are NOT welcome at these classes.
  • Zoo Tots is a 1 hour class for 3 year olds. Very similar to the above program.
  • Zoo Kids is a 1 1/2 hour class for 4 and 5 year olds. Again, very similar except it includes a tour
  • The Zoo also offers weekend Family Workshops (for age 2 and over), Overnights (for ages 6-12yo), and a teen “Pizza with the Keepers” program for grades 10-12.

 

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a great place to introduce your children to age-appropriate concepts in biology, the earth sciences, anthropology and paleontology. My family’s favorite parts of the museum? The Hall of Dinosaurs with its impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, the Discovery Basecamp with preschool-aged activities and the life-sized dioramas of both African and North American wildlife.

The Museum also offers family and kid-friendly naturalist-related programming throughout the month:

  • On Wednesdays-Sundays, they have Natural History Discovery Carts and Exploration Stations set up in the exhibit halls with museum educators on hand to answer questions and lead activities.
  • Once per month, they also offer a free (with admission) Super Science Series, where families can explore a topic in-depth through hands-on activities, experiments, demonstrations, discussions with museum experts and family-friendly activities.
  • For elementary-aged children and older, the CMNH offers Premium Public Overnights on select Friday nights, where families can sleep over, have access to behind-the-scenes areas, have up-close encounters with live animals, enjoy an evening pizza party and morning continental breakfast. Reservations must be made at least a month in advance.
  • For the middle-school student, the CMNH offers a Youth Naturalist Institute, where kids learn about environmental science through in-lab and outdoor investigations, work with museum scientists and run public activities for museum visitors to share their discoveries.
  • Teens can apply to become a “Teen Presenter,” a volunteer who engages and educates in the Museum’s exhibits.

 

Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a priceless Pittsburgh educational resource, teaching Pittsburgh-area youth about plants, animals and environmental stewardship. It offers a few structured nature-based educational programs for kids:

  • Throughout the week, it has Discovery Tables set up throughout the Conservatory, where children can engage in hands-on activities with Museum volunteers.
  • Phipps also holds a Wednesday preschool and toddler story time at both 10:30am and 1pm that is free with admission. Story time generally includes nature-themed stories and a craft. Plus, if you attend six Story Time sessions, you get to choose a free book from the Museum’s storybook supply.
  • Phipps also offers youth classes each season. For 2-3 year olds, they offer “Little Sprouts: Single Servings” classes on Fridays at either 9 or 11am. Each session includes stories, songs, interactive lessons and a healthy snack. Phipps also offers Evening Ed-ventures for 6-9 year olds on Fridays from 6:30-9:30pm. Each session is theme-based and includes exploration of the Conservatory, a healthy snack and hands-on activities. Parents are not required to attend.

 

The Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center is a great place to introduce your children to a variety of topics in the sciences and technology, including robotics, transportation (space, railway and submarine), astronomy, magnetism, etc. It also offers science-based structured educational programming for children starting at the toddler phase and continuing into the teen years:

  • For the littlest children (2-6 yo), they offer “Munchkin Mondays” during select Mondays during the colder weather months where children can participate in age-appropriate activities demonstrating scientific concepts. Munchkin Mondays take place through the end of October and restart again in January and are free with admission.
  • For slightly older children (3-6 yo), the Museum offers Parents-Kids Adventures on Mondays from 1-2pm. In these classes, kids learn science concepts through hands-on experiments and activities.
  • For the 4-5 yo child, the Museum offers Preschool Semesters on Thursday mornings for 5 weeks from 10-12pm, where children longitudinally explore a scientific theme without a caregiver.
  • Finally, the Carnegie Science Center offers “Almost Overnighters” for children ages 2-6 year olds to spend an evening at the Museum, enjoy a live theater show and story time and explore the Museum.
  • For the elementary-aged child and older, the Carnegie Science Center offers Sunday afternoon Family Workshops, Tech Workshops and Science Sleepovers. And for teens and older, the Museum offer Behind-the-Scenes tours.
Snapology in the South Hills

Snapology in the South Hills

STEAM-based programs

We often hear the acronym STEAM thrown around. What exactly does it mean? STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Basically, it is an educational framework where concepts in science and technology are interpreted through engineering and the arts with a mathematical foundation. It is generally considered a highly effective way to engage and educate children to become creative thinkers and “makers.” There are several indoor programs in the city that offer STEAM-based educational opportunities for children:

 

Assemble

Assemble is a community space located on Penn Avenue in Garfield that offers a wide range of free STEAM-based programming for children starting at 2 years of age and continuing into the teen years:

  • StART: Children ages 2-3 plus a caregiver are invited to a sensory-based artistic workshop designed to introduce colors using books, music, light and water tables.
  • Saturday Crafternoons: Assemble offers free Saturday afternoon DIY workshops for children ages 5-10 year olds. This program is led by local artists and makers and exposes kids to a huge variety of projects that use different media, engage communities and introduce environmental issues to children.
  • Assemble Afterschool: intended for children in grades 1-6, Assemble’s free Afterschool program combines STEAM-based projects, homework help and a healthy snack.
  • Make IT!: this program is a FREE making series for middle-school aged children beginning in January. Teens as Teachers is developing a program for teenagers to learn how to implement STEAM-based programming in their communities and schools.

 

Snapology

Located in Bethel Park, Snapology is dedicated to advancing STEM (minus the arts) concepts. It has both an indoor play space (filled with Lego’s, Duplos, etc) and structured educational programs for children starting at 24 months of age.

  • Preschool programs include a Junior Creator’s Club, where little ones can experiment with the different building media in the Discovery Center in a more structured way, Lego Junior Engineers, where 4-6 year olds can build simple models using Legos, and ABC’s/123’s, where 3-5 year olds can learn their letters and numbers using Duplo blocks.
  • Older children can participate in more advanced Lego engineering, robotics and animation classes.

 

Bricks 4 Kids

Located in Gibsonia and Greensburg, Bricks 4 Kids offers STEM-based classes for 3-13+ using Lego bricks to construct detailed models around themes like space, construction and amusement parks. Has preschool classes, after school enrichment classes and Kidz Night Out events.

Looking for other opportunities to inspire your children to become “makers?” Both Home Depot and Lowe’s hardware stores in our area offer free workshops, where children can build very simple projects with all the materials and instructions provided. Also, Tech Shop in Bakery Square has class offerings for children 12 and older.

Little House Big Art

Little House Big Art

The Arts

Pittsburgh has a HUGE array of opportunities to educate your children about both the visual arts and the performing arts. First, we’ll start with the visual arts, including painting, drawing, ceramics, filmmaking, etc.

 

Carnegie Museum of Art

The Carnegie Museum of Art houses an extensive collection of the fine arts, architecture and photography. It offers several family-friendly educational programs to introduce your children to its galleries:

  • ARTventures: This family-friendly drop-in program is held in various galleries during weekends afternoons. Includes drop-in art making activities, audio guides and gallery activities, led by museum staff. This program is free with admission.
  • Preschool Play Dates: Preschool-aged children and their caregivers are guided through the exhibits with museum teachers. Also, includes a component of art-making, where children can experiment with different media while they work on projects.
  • Saturday Art Classes for Kids: This elementary-aged program takes place on 4 consecutive Saturday mornings during each month. It combines guided tours of the galleries with art-making in the Museum’s Children’s Studio.
  • The Art Connection: This middle-school aged, 18-week long program takes place on Saturdays and allows children to use the Museum’s galleries as a creative work space to learn to draw, paint, print, sculpt, assemble and design.
  • Teen Workshops: The Museum also offers a more advanced Teen Workshops.

 

The Mattress Factory of Contemporary Art

The Mattress Factory of Contemporary Art is located on Pittsburgh’s North Side. It is dedicated to “installation art,” or room-sized artistic pieces that invite viewers to engage with their surroundings. It offers several options for families looking to introduce their children to fundamental concepts in installation art:

  • The Mattress Factory holds a free with admission Art Lab on the first and third Saturdays of the month. This family-friendly program engages museum-goers with hands-on interactive projects that are inspired by current exhibitions at the Museum.
  • The Mattress Factory also has a Mini-Factory program, geared toward preschool-aged children. These Saturday morning sessions invite children aged 3-5 and their caregivers to explore installations at the Mattress Factory, participate in a storytime and work on a collaborative project in the Museum’s Mini Factory, a mobile, adaptable pop-up space.
  • The Mattress Factory also holds an after-school program called “Install: Afternoons at the Factory” on Wednesday afternoons from 4-6pm. Geared toward 3-5th graders, this program gives students a behind-the-scenes experience as they meet artists, explore the galleries and plan their own installations.

 

The Andy Warhol Museum

Also located on the North Side, the Andy Warhol Museum features an extensive collection of Warhol’s work, making it the largest single artist museum in the world. It holds special events for families during the year and also has a regular drop-in after-school program called Youth Open Studio on Wednesdays from 5-8pm where children can learn about print-making.

 

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Located in a beautiful, historic building on Shady Avenue in Shadyside, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts offers a huge range of studio arts classes for children and families, including drawing, painting, ceramics, watercolors, mosaics, screenprinting, jewelry-making and tons more. They also have Youth Media program that can introduce your children to digital photography and animation. Check out their website for more information.

 

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Center

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust offers family-friendly Second Saturday Workshops each month at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Building. These all-ages workshops focus on creating studio arts projects, including jewelry making, painting, cartooning, puppet making, quilting, and more. 

 

Little House, Big Art

Located in Pittsburgh’s Spring Hill neighborhood, Little House Big Art is a one-stop spot for the creative child. It offers both Open Studio hours and age-appropriate classes in many different artistic media, including drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry-making, sewing, etc.

 

Sweetwater Center for the Arts

Located in Sewickley, Sweetwater Center for the Arts offers a huge range of family-friendly classes in the visual, performing, literary and culinary arts starting with the preschool age group and continuing into adulthood.

 

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth & Arts

The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth & Arts program is dedicated to providing arts education to urban youth. They offer an after school Apprenticeship Training Program for high school-aged children exploring ceramics, design arts, digital arts and photography. This program is free for children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system. There are also a limited number of spots for youth outside of the PPS system.

 

Pittsburgh Glass Center

Located on Penn Avenue in Garfield, the Pittsburgh Glass Center is dedicated to promoting the glass arts. It offers an SIO2 Young Artists Glass Program for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers. This 12-week after-school program  offers children a hands-on learning experience as they explore the process of creating glass arts.

 

Looking for other opportunities to get creative with you kids? If you’re in the city, check out the Union Project, Color Me Mine, Kiln N Time and Mosaic K Art Studio in Aspinwall. In the North Hills, check out Katie’s Clay StudioClayful PotteryChristine’s Painting Place and The Art Place Studio Wexford. If you’re in the South Hills, check out Color Me Mine South HillsThat Pottery PlaceFired Up Pottery Studio and Silvi’s Art Studio for Kids. Finally, if you’re located in the west, check out Clay Cafe in Sewickley.

IMG_4359

Performance Arts Opportunities

There are also many community resources that can help your child learn about the performing arts, including music, drama, comedy and dance.

 

Hope Academy 

Located at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church, the Hope Academy offers classes across the performing arts genres, including theater, music and dance. The Hope Academy takes a “holistic” approach to education, using the arts as a vehicle for teaching young people discipline and life skills. It welcomes a diverse group of students and is extremely affordable.

 

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers a couple non school-based programs to expose your children to classical music.

  • Fiddlesticks concerts are theme-based classical music concerts geared toward preschoolers and held at Heinz Hall downtown. They are preceded by “Discovery Time Adventures,” a very unique and great interactive experience where children can meet with the orchestra’s musicians, hear specific musical instruments, dance, sing and get crafty.
  • PNC Tiny Tots Concerts are also hosted by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and intended for preschool-to-elementary-aged children. These concerts are free of charge and non-ticketed. Just show up at least 30 minutes prior to the show. Although many school groups frequent these concerts, the general public is invited, too.

 

Chatham Baroque

Chatham Baroque is an instrumental ensemble dedicated to promoting the classical baroque music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It offers a “Peanut Butter and Jam” series for preschool-aged children, which combine music, movement and hands-on activities to teach children fundamentals about music in general and the baroque period more specifically.

 

If you are looking for music classes for your very young child, they generally come in two varieties: Kindermusik and Music Together.

Kindermusik

  • Kindermusik with Kathy: Kathy (and her team of instructors) are certified Kindermusik specialists that teach Kindermusik style classes for children from infancy to age 7. Her classes are taught at a variety of locations throughout Pittsburgh, including the JCC in Squirrel Hill, the Lebanon Shops Plaza in Mt. Lebanon, the Hollywood Music Academy in Robinson, and Valleybrooks Common in McMurray.
  • Kindermusik with Lynda: Lynda is a certified Kindermusik Specialist who teaches caregiver/child classes to children aged NB-3yo.  Her classes are taught at a variety of locations including the Boyd Community Center in Fox Chapel, the Richelle Lyn School of Dance in Allison Park, Christ Episcopal Church in McCandless, New Community Church in Wexford, Moon Township Library, and Commons Community Center in Treesdale.
  • Kindermusik with Christa: Christa Beck offers Kindermusik caregiver/child classes to children aged NB-3 yo (from 3-5 yo caregivers join for last 10 minutes of class).  Her classes are offered at First United Presbyterian Church in Tarentum and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Sarver.
  • Kindermusik with Alison: Alison Trexel offers Kindermusik classes for children NB-3 years old in the northern boroughs of the city including Sewickley, Ohio Township and Emsworth/Ben Avon.

 

Music Together

  • First Notes: Offers a child/caregiver mixed-aged class for children NB-5 years old, as well as a special baby class. They have a variety of locations including the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside, the WYEP studio, Shining Light Prenatal Education in Lawrenceville, the Wilkins School Community Center, and Musik Innovations in Wexford.
  • Sweet Sound Studio: Offers a child/caregiver mixed-aged class for children NB-5 years old.  Located at the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh in Castle Shannon.
  •  Sing Steps: Offers a child/caregiver mixed-age class for children aged NB-5 years old.  Located in Pleasant Hills.
  • The Music Room of Murrysville and Irwin: Offers a child/caregiver mixed-aged class for children NB-5 years old as well as a special Baby class. Located in Irwin.
  • Every Little Soul Music: Offers child/caregiver mixed-ages classes for babies, toddlers/preschoolers and big kids. Located in Greensburg.

 

For the slightly older child, there a few music schools that I would suggest, including City Music Center, the Center for Young Musicians and the Pittsburgh Music Academy.

Tinker Bell at Children's Gemini Theater

Tinker Bell at Children’s Gemini Theater

Pittsburgh also has a few options to introduce your child to the theater arts:

 

The Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater

The Pittsburgh CLO offers musical theater classes for children starting at age 5. These class offerings help kids develop proficiency in voice, dance and acting throughout childhood and into adulthood.

 

The Center for the Theater Arts

Pittsburgh’s Center for Theater Arts in Mt. Lebanon has youth-friendly programming in its voice, dance, musical theater and acting divisions starting at age 4.

 

The Gemini Children’s Theater

Gemini Children’s Theater is located in the Factory Building in Point Breeze. It offers kid-friendly children’s theater performances, in addition to acting classes for children preschool aged and older.

 

Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater

The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater is a great way to introduce your kids to children’s theater. It presents original productions by theater troupes from throughout the world. Tickets are very affordable and the shows are presented at stages throughout the city’s suburbs to make it easier for families to attend. Their International Children’s Festival held each Spring is wonderful as well.

 

Other family-friendly theater venues in the city include the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Prime Stage Theatre and the Hillman Center for the Performing Arts.

 

There are an enormous number of dance schools in the city. In addition to the Hope Academy mentioned above, I’m going to highlight a couple more here:

 

The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre both produces professional ballet performances and has its own dance schools. For those interested in taking your children to a professional ballet performance offered by the PBT, check out the Family Pointe program. Family Pointe is a kid-friendly pre-performance program offered on select Saturdays during each of the ballet’s productions. This program features interactive discussions and demonstrations designed to educate children about ballet.

For those interested in enrolling your children in the ballet school, the Children’s Division classes start at age 18 months with a Grown Up and Me class. Children then continue learning the fundamentals of ballet until they transition into the Student Division, the Pre-Professional Division and onwards. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater offers children’s classes at both its central location and at community locations, including several suburban locations.  

 

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Dance Alloy School

Located on Penn Avenue, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Alloy School offers kid-friendly creative movement, ballet, hip hop and contemporary movements classes on Saturday mornings. These classes only cost $5/drop-in and are taught by professional dancers. In addition, the Alloy School also offers an improv acting and a youth steel band program.

 

Bodiography’s Center for Creative Movement

Bodiography is a contemporary ballet school that offers children’s programs starting at age 3. This school teaches classical ballet techniques, while infusing a creative movement vibe into its classes. I’ve heard wonderful things about it.

 

Finally, here are a few more performing arts educational programs that could be fun:

 

Arcade Comedy Theatre

If you’re interested in introducing your children to the comedic arts, check out the Arcade Comedy Theater‘s Penny Arcade. Offered once per month, this improv comedy show is preceded by interactive activities where children generate the show’s storyline.

 

Saturday Light Brigade

Interested in exposing your children to radio broadcasting? The Saturday Light Brigade live broadcasts youth voices and adult performers in their studio on the lower level of the Children’s Museum on Saturday mornings from 10-12pm. Families are always invited to stop in, help with the interviews and learn a bit about broadcasting.

 

*****

History

 If you would like to cultivate an intellectual curiosity about history in your children, you have a couple of options:

 

Heinz History Center

The Heinz History Center‘s exhibits allow visitors to explore the history of the Pittsburgh region. It offers Hop Into History, an educational program to introduce children ages 2-5 to history using music, dance and games.

 

Frick Art and Historical Center

The Frick introduces visitors to the culture of the Gilded Age in Pittsburgh through a combination of art work and historical artifacts. It also has the Clayton, the historical mansion of the Frick family. The Frick offers FrickKids, a free monthly program designed to introduce young children to both the arts and the historical context of the museum.

 

*****

Foreign Languages

Finally, I was able to locate a couple of options if you are interested in helping your child acquire another language:

 

Little Linguists, Inc

Based in Murrysville, Little Linguists, Inc offers kid-friendly foreign language instruction for children starting in Pre K and continuing into adulthood. Classes are small group-based and formed based on the child’s age and proficiency. For more information, email littlelinguistcenter@gmail.com.

 

Mondo Italiano

If you are particularly interested in introducing your child to Italian, Mondo Italiano offers kid-friendly Italian classes at the Wilkins School Community Center.

 

Lend an Ear Consulting

Run by a local mother, Lend an Ear Consulting teaches American Sign Language to families or groups in your own home, restaurants, libraries, etc.

Enjoy! And please let me know if I should add anything to the list! Thanks and happy learning :)

What’s Going on in Pittsburgh this Weekend: October 10-12, 2014

Here’s my weekly listing of family-friendly events in the Pittsburgh region for the weekend of October 10-12, 2014. It’s another BUSY weekend in the ‘Burgh with tons of fall festivals, the Bloomfield Columbus Day Parade, and free admission days at the Carnegie Museum of Art/Natural History, the Heinz History Center, the Mattress Factory and the Fort Pitt Museum.

 

All Weekend, October 10-12

Fort Ligonier Days

Fort Ligonier Days is a festival commemorating the Battle of Fort Ligonier, a key engagement of the French and Indian War. The festival features a living history encampment showing frontier life, military tactics, drills, cannon firing, ceremonies, highlanders, redcoats, French troops, frontier men and women, Indians and music from 1758. There is also a re-enactment of the Battle of Fort Ligonier and a parade. See website for more info.

 

Pumpkin Trolley at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA hosts its annual Pumpkin Trolley this month, featuring trolley rides to their pumpkin patch and fall activities. Tickets include multiple trolley rides, tours of the Trib Total Media Trolley Display Building, on-site pumpkin decorating, complimentary refreshments and games for children.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Adults $10, Children $7

Location: 1 Museum Road, Washington PA 15301

 

Night at the Zoo at Living Treasures Animal Park

Running each October weekend, Living Treasures Animal Park gives families a chance to explore the torch-lit pathways of the zoo, learn, about nocturnal animals along the way, trick-or-treat and enjoy refreshments.

Times: 7-11pm

Cost: Adults $12.99, Children 3 and over $9.99

Location: Living Treasures Animal Park, 28 Fox Road, New Castle

 

Friday Night, October 10

Good Night Moon Family Astronomy Night at the Baldwin Public Library

Spend an evening under the stars with a local astronomer. Families can learn about the moon with an indoor presentation and several hands-on display areas followed by outdoor telescopic observations of the moon, star clusters and galaxies. Advance registration required.

Times: 7:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: Baldwin Public Library, 41 Macek Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15227

 

Friday and Saturday, October 10-11

Oakland Forever

Oakland Forever celebrates the 175th Anniversary of Oakland! Kid-friendly highlights of the event include free admission at the Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art, free guided tours of the Cathedral of Learning, performances by the Squonk Opera and much more. See website for more info.

 

Bump in the Night at Frick Park

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy celebrates Halloween at their annual Bump in the Night event in Lower Frick Park. Families will take a guided nighttime hike to see and learn about nighttime animals, carve a pumpkin, participate in a sing-along and enjoy refreshments. Event costs $11 for adults and $9 for children. Advance registration requested and there is currently a wait list.

 

Saturday and Sunday, October 11-12

First Weekend of the New Bounce Exhibit at the Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum new special exhibit, Bounce, opens this weekend. The exhibit explores the “Super Ball,” one of America’s favorite children’s plaything.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 10 Children’s Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Space Out: Astronomy Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center

This weekend, Astronomy takes center stage at the Carnegie Science Center with special educational programming about telescopes, space travel and meteorites. Guests can talk to local astronomers, make a sundial and learn about astronomical sketching.

Times: 10-4pm

Cost: Free

Location: Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

The Pittsburgh Family Pet Show

The Monroeville Convention Center will host a large family-oriented pet show featuring educational demonstrations, hands-on petting opportunities, pet adoptions and shopping for products and services pertaining to pets and families. Leashed pets are welcome.

Times: Saturday 10-7pm, Sunday 10-5pm

Cost: Adults $10, Children $5, Under 6 free

Location: Monroeville Convention Center, 209 Mall Plaza Blvd, Monroeville PA 15146

 

Fall Festival at Simmons Farm

Simmons Farm is holding its daily Fall Festivals this weekend, featuring pick-your-own apples, hayrides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, a barnyard petting zoo and more.

Times: 9-5:45pm

Cost: $10.50/person

Location: Simmons Farm, 170 Simmons Rd, McMurray PA 15317

 

Fall Festival at Trax Farm

Trax Farm is holding its weekly Fall Festival this weekend, featuring hayrides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, petting zoo, bounce house, rainbow express train and tons more.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Free to attend. Most activities cost extra

Location: Trax Farm, 528 Trax Rd, Finleyville, PA 15332

 

Fall Festival at Triple B Farms

Triple B Farms hosts its “Pumpkin Festival,” offering pick-your-own apples as well as other favorite Fall activities, including Storybook Pumpkinland (where more than 300 pumpkin-headed characters live), hayrides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch, the Big Blue Boo Barn, a corn maze and more.

Times: 10-6pm

Cost: Children $12, Adults $8

Location: Triple B Farms, 823 Berry Lane, Monongahela, PA

 

Harvest Festival of Fun at Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm

Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm offers a “Harvest Festival of Fun” with hayrides to the pumpkin patch, pony rides, a trip to the boo barn, face-painting, a cornstalk maze, caramel apples and more.

Times: 10-4pm

Cost: $7

Location: Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm, 1120 Roosevelt Rd. Pittsburgh PA 15237

 

Fall Festival at Hozak Farms

Hozak Farms is located west of the city in Clinton, PA. It offers a Fall Festival with hayrides, pumpkins, musical entertainment and more.

Times: 10-6pm

Cost: Free to attend, select activities cost extra

Location: 488 Anderson Hozak Road, Clinton, PA 15026

 

Pumpkinland at Janoski Farms

Janoski Farms is also located in Clinton, PA. It offers a “Pumpkinland” during October weekends. For $6 per person, you can explore a haunted barn, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch and more. Plus, you can get some face-painting and decorate a pumpkin.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: $6

Location: Janoski Farm, 1714 US 30, Clinton PA 15026

 

Fall Festival at Soergel Orchards

Soergel Orchards is holding its weekly Fall Festivals kick this weekend, featuring hayrides to the pumpkin patch, a cornstalk maze, pony rides, a bounce house, face-painting and tons more! 

Times: 11-5pm

Cost: Free to attend. Most activities cost extra

Location: Soergel Orchards, 2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford, PA 15090

 

Hayrides at Shenot Farm

Shenot Farm is also located in Wexford, but offers a smaller and less commercialized Fall Festival with free hayrides to the pumpkin patch and a huge cornstalk maze.

Times: 11-5pm

Cost: Free

Location: Shenot Farms, 3754 Wexford Run Rd, Wexford PA 15090

 

Fall Festival at Schramm’s Farm

Schramm’s Farm is located east of the city in Jeannette. It offers a Fall Festival with pick-your-own pumpkins throughout the day and offer hayrides for $3 starting at 11am on weekends. They also have several mazes, barnyard animals and more. See website for specific times and costs.

Location: 1002 Blank Rd, Harrison City, PA 15636

 

Hallow Boo at Idlewild

Idlewild’s celebrates Hallow Boo this weekend! Come in costume, go trick-or-treating throughout the park and enjoy some of the regular season rides, too! Pick up a discount coupon at Giant Eagle before you go! More info at the website above.

 

Last Weekend of Peter Pan at the Gemini Children’s Theater

The Gemini Children’s Theater presents its final weekend of its original, interactive version of Peter Pan!

Times: 1 and 3:30pm

Cost: $12

Location: Gemini Children’s Theater, Factory Building, 7501 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15208

 

Saturday, October 11

Fire Safety/Kids Day at the Bloomfield Saturday Market

The Bloomfield Saturday Market celebrates KIDS this weekend with the opportunity to explore a fire truck, the creation of an all-ages wall mural, face-painting and balloon art. Happening at the same time as the Bloomfield Columbus Day Parade!

Times: 9-1pm

Cost: Free

Location: Bloomfield Saturday Market, 5050 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224

 

RADical Day at the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History

It’s a free admission day at the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in honor of RADical Days. Does not include special event fees or parking.

Times: 10-5pm

Location: Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

 

RADical Day at the Fort Pitt Museum

Fort Pitt Museum offers a free admission day in honor of RADical Days.

Times: 10-4pm

Location: Fort Pitt Museum, Downtown Pittsburgh

 

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Sketch Crawl

This all-ages artistic adventure will take participants to Downtown’s many scenic plazas for a sketching tour guided by a local artist and illustrator.

Times: 10-2pm

Cost: Free

Location: Check-in at Agnes R. Katz Plaza, corner of 7th Street and Penn Avenue

 

RADical Day at the Frick Art and Historical Museum

The Frick is offering a free admission day in honor of RADical Days.

Times: 10-5pm

Location: Frick Art and Historical Museum, 7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh PA

 

Lowe’s Hardware Build and Grow Workshop

Lowe’s hosts its bimonthly kid-friendly Build and Grow Workshop this weekend. Kids will be building a small wooden haunted house. All materials and instructions provided. Advance Registration required.

Time: 10am

Cost: Free

Location: Participating Lowe’s locations

 

Centennial Community Day at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Regent Theater, the building it calls home. The event will feature a variety of family-friendly entertainment.

Times: 10am

Cost: Free

Location: Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15206

 

Plein Air Mt. Lebanon Children’s Paint Out

As Mt. Lebanon celebrates its annual Plein Air event, children can take part in an acrylic painting class at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

Times: 10-noon

Cost: $5

Location: Mt. Lebanon Public Library, 16 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh PA 15228

 

Bloomfield Columbus Day Parade

Bloomfield hosts its annual Columbus Day Parade celebrating all nationalities with lots and lots of musical entertainment, floats, fire trucks, etc.

Times: 11-1pm

Cost: Free

Location: Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield

 

Fall Funtoberfest at the Boyd Community Center

O’Hara Township’s Boyd Community Center celebrates its annual Fall Funtoberfest this weekend, featuring live music, beer tent, Oktoberfest style food, games, bouncehouses, scarecrow making, pumpkin patch, and more! This year’s event will benefit the new community center being built in the area.

Times: 11-5pm

Cost: Family ticket $50, Individual ticket $25

Location: Boyd Community Center, 1220 Powers Run Road, Pittsburgh PA 15238

 

Ghost Stories with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Hear renowned storyteller, Alison K Babusci, share her popular kid-friendly ghost stories program at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Education Center. Intended for children 5 and older.

Times: 12-1pm

Cost: Free

Location: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Building, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222

 

Zombie Fest 2014 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Zombies will descend on Pittsburgh this weekend and they will congregate at the David L Lawrence Convention Center on Saturday afternoon during Zombie Fest 2014. Event is recommended children be over 13 to attend.

 

Penny Arcade at the Arcade Comedy Theater

The Arcade Comedy Theater presents its monthly kid-friendly comedy show, preceded by interactive exercises designed to generate story line ideas.

Times: 1pm

Cost: $10

Location: Arcade Comedy Theater, 811 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222

 

Falstaff’s Fellows at Robinson Township Library

Falstaff’s Fellows is a youth acting troupe dedicated to bringing the works of Shakespeare to young children. They will be presenting their kid-friendly version of “As You Like It” at Robinson Township Library this weekend.

Times: 2-4pm

Cost: Free

Location: Robinson Township Library, 1000 Church Hill Road, Pittsburgh PA

 

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Presents Ballet FUNdamentals Sleeping Beauty

Children will have the chance to meet a Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre ballerina, watch a ballet demonstration, hear her read Sleeping Beauty and ask her questions.

Times: 2-3:30pm

Cost: Free

Location: Hazelwood Carnegie Library, 5006 Second Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15207

 

Halloween Extravaganza at the Shaler North Hills Library

Shaler North Hills Library presents its annual Halloween Extravaganza with trick-or-treating, crafts, spooky stories and more.

Times: 7pm

Cost: Free

Location: Shaler North Hills Library, 1822 Mt. Royal Blvd, Glenshaw PA

 

Sunday, October 12

Please note: Local mom, Angel Baney is collecting gently used clothing items at St. John Fisher Church in Churchill today. These clothes will then be donated to Braddock’s Free Store 15104 to be redistributed for free to those in need. 

 

RADical Day at the Heinz History Center

The Heinz History Center offers a free admission today in honor of RADical Days. Also includes special performances by the Allegheny Brass Band (1:30), Children’s Festival Chorus (2:30) and South Hills Chorale (3).

Times: 10-5pm

Location: Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh PA 15222

 

RADical Day at the Andy Warhol Museum

The Andy Warhol Museum is offering a free admission day in honor of RADical Days.

Times: 10-5pm

Location: Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky Street, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

RADical Day at the Mattress Factory

The Mattress Factory is holding a free admission day in honor of RADical Days.

Times: 1-5pm

Location: Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212

 

Free Drawing Workshop by Local Artist Patrick Smith

Local artist, Patrick Smith, is offering a free drawing workshop for children 6 and over with an adult. Advance registration required by emailing renaissancedrawing@gmail.com.

Times: 1-3pm

Cost: Free

Location: Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library, Meeting Room B (please note that this event is NOT sponsored by the Carnegie libraries)

 

Monster Bash at the Cooper-Siegel Library

Children 4 and up are invited to a Monster Bash at the Cooper-Siegel Library in Fox Chapel, featuring stories, crafts and games. Advance registration required.

Times: 2-3pm

Cost: Free

Location: Cooper Siegel Library, 403 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh PA

 

Have a great weekend!

Depression Couture: A Spotlight on a Pittsburgh Mom-Owned Business

The Spotlight on a Pittsburgh Mom-Owned Business is the companion series to the Pittsburgh Mom-Owned Business Directory.  I regularly identify local mom-owned businesses that a) I think my readers will find interesting and unique and b) illustrate ways that mothers can find a fulfilling balance between their work and personal lives.  I then interview the proprietress and feature the business in a Q & A blog post.  It is my hope that this series will inspire us all to continue supporting the many talented mompreneurs in our city!

 

Kat Demartino, founder of Depression Couture

Kat Demartino

While scrolling through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago, I came across a post about a Pittsburgh mom-owned business that has recently garnered national attention. Depression Couture is an eco-friendly children’s clothing line created by local mother, Kat DeMartino, in 2009. Depression Couture was recently thrown into the spotlight after being chosen as a finalist in the Martha Stewart’s America Made competition. This well-known competition celebrates creative entrepreneurs who are committed to producing American-made products. I’m excited to share the story of how this stay-at-home mom from Pittsburgh grew her small business into something that should make our city very proud. Here’s my recent interview with Kat.

What is Depression Couture?

Depression Couture is an eco-friendly children’s clothing line. It gets its name from the Great Depression Era, when thrifty, creative mothers re-imagined feed sacks and hand-me-downs into beautiful pieces of clothing for their children. My designs retain that creative quality and are constructed from 100% recycled textiles, often purchased from local charitable thrift shops. I design, hand cut and sew each individual piece.

Also, in keeping with the Depression-era concept of reuse, I try to use every inch I can–buttons, zippers and all embellishments are carefully removed for use at a later time. Any sizable scraps left over become my labels and size tags. I embrace the saying, “Waste Not Want Not,” through every piece of clothing I make for children.

How were you inspired to start Depression Couture?

Depression Couture was kind of an accident. My first skirt was created from a bunch of my daughter’s chocolate milk-stained T shirts destined for the dumpster. Like most moms, I thought the dirty duds were useless; however, my daughter wouldn’t let me pitch them. With a little inspiration and a lengthy trial and error process, a solution was found–a skirt made completely from these recycled t-shirts. One day my daughter and I were out Christmas shopping at The Picket Fence in Shadyside. She had on her recycled skirt and one of the other shoppers asked us, “Where did you get that?” My daughter replied, “My mom made it.” The shop keeper overheard our conversation and approached me about developing a series of skirts for her shop.

How have you grown Depression Couture?

Growing my business has been slow–but on purpose. My first love and commitment is to my family. So far, the growth of Depression Couture has come from face-to-face interactions with local shop owners. My clothes are unique and fun–so, thankfully, every one of the businesses I’ve contacted now stocks my line. Currently, my clothing line is available at The Picket Fence in Shadyside, SoME in Hartwood Towne Center, Lullabye Landing near South Hills Village Mall and Rosebud’s in Aspinwall. Also, I have an Etsy shop online.

Depression Couture coat cluster

Can you give me some examples of pieces in your clothing line?

My twirl skirt would probably be the most popular and recognizable piece I sell. It’s a modern take on a patchwork skirt. Another signature piece is my Accessory Coat, which has a detachable handbag instead of pockets. This fall, I am showing a fun jean jacket. It’s sewn with exposed seams and highlights the imperfections in the jeans themselves. Please visit my Etsy shop to find more pieces in my line.

Can you tell me about the Martha Stewart America Made competition?

The Martha Stewart America Made competition celebrates American makers who are creating beautiful, handmade, and useful products that are changing our lives for the better. The finalists were chosen by a team of judges last summer. In this next stage of the competition (running until October 13th), America will vote for their favorite makers in the following subcategories: craft, design, food and style. Each person can vote up to six times per day until October 13th. The winners will be announced on October 17th. Each winner will receive $10,000 to grow his or her business, a spot in Martha’s America Made Market and a feature on her website and magazine. To vote for Depression Couture, click here.

depressioncouture

If you have one message about your experience for Pittsburgh mothers, what would it be?

This experience has definitely taught me the value of putting yourself out there, taking chances and seeing what life brings you. Although I risked rejection by entering the Martha Stewart competition, I went for it anyway. I took a chance. I took that leap. I would definitely encourage other mothers to do the same. If you don’t, life might just pass you by and you will always be asking yourself, “What if?”

*****

As soon as I finished learning about Kat and Depression Couture, I knew I wanted to share her story here. Why? Because I think her experience highlights something I really love about Pittsburgh. For Kat DeMartino and Depression Couture, Pittsburgh was an incubator. It welcomed her mom-preneurial spirit at the birth of her business. It nurtured her creativity, her thrift and her eco-friendly ideals as Depression Couture grew. Now, it stands behind her as she emerges on the national scene.

Congratulations on your success, Kat! We are so proud of all you have accomplished!

Again, you can support Kat’s business in the American Made competition, here. And you can follow her on social media on Twitter and Facebook.

Giveaway: Four Tickets to the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Pittsburgh on Nov 5 or 6th

ringlingbros

“Built to Amaze” Circus, Photo courtesy of FELD Entertainment

It’s CIRCUS time of year again in Pittsburgh! Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be presenting their “Built to Amaze” show at the Consol Energy Center on Wednesday, November 5th through Sunday, November 9th with eight total performances. And I have four ticket vouchers to give away for the 7pm performances on either November 5th or 6th!!! But first, a little bit about the show:

“Built to Amaze” features over 100 talented performers and 95 exotic and domestic animals performing feats of strength and agility. Led by ringmaster, Andre McClain, the show will include all the beloved circus acts we remember from our own childhoods, including the world-famous Ringling Bros. Asian elephants, synchronized equestrians and aerialists, acrobats on the high wire, the human cannonball, Clown Alley, the fearless big cat trainer and much more. Also, the show is preceded by an All Access Pre Show, a very special opportunity for kids to come down to the ring, meet the circus performers, try on costumes, learn circus skills and get their photos taken with the clowns. The ALL-Access Pre Show is FREE for all ticket-holders.

Although I haven’t seen this particular show, I did find some great reviews, including:

10 family members attended the circus from age 2 up to 69 and it was enjoyed by all ages. There was action at all times so even the 2 year old sat still and was mesmerized by the show.”

This was the first circus my 8 y.o. has been too, she loved every minute of it!! The activities and staff were excellent at the pre show. I would definitely recommend going to see Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Built to Amaze Circus.”

And

Can not describe how awesome the show was. Well worth the money. All of my boys from my 6 yo to my 17 yo had a great time. Can’t wait to go again.”

Tickets to “Built to Amaze” start at $21.50 and run into the $100+ range. Enter my giveaway below for a chance to win 4 FREE tickets!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of this giveaway will receive ticket VOUCHERS that need to be exchanged at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at the Consol Energy Center as soon as possible to ensure a seat. Tickets are good only for the 7pm shows on November 5-6th. Thanks and good luck!