Kindergarten Parent Orientation and I’m already a basket case

We recently went to Kindergarten Parent Orientation for my 4-year old daughter. We filed into the auditorium at her future elementary school and heard about the in’s and out’s of a kindergarten day. The school bus. Snack time. Free play. Reading. Even a short rest time. I left feeling really excited for my daughter. But now I’m a basket case.

I think I’ve always been a little more sensitive to the passage of time than most. I can distinctly remember sitting in my bed bawling on the night I turned thirteen years old. I should have been happy. But I was mourning the end of my childhood. I was mourning what I could never get back.

I feel a little bit like that right now. I remember when I first decided to stay home with my daughter, the dreams I had about the years we had together before she went to school. I hoped for long nature walks, trips to the library, adventures in Strip District markets, long afternoons reading books besides the sunny window in our guest room. Four years later, we’ve had some of those moments. Probably more than I remember now. But I just can’t shake this thought that perhaps it wasn’t good enough for her. For me.

Did I lose my temper too much? Did I let her watch too many movies when I should have been playing with her? Was I too disconnected when I should have been savoring the time I had with her? Is it even possible to send your child off to kindergarten without some regrets?

“Time can do all sorts of things. It’s almost like a magician. It can turn autumn into spring and babies into children, seeds into flowers and tadpoles into frogs, caterpillars into cocoons, and cocoons into butterflies. And life into death. There’s nothing that time can’t do. Except run backwards. That’s its trouble really, it can only go one way.”
― Alex ShearerThe Stolen

New PGH Family Fun: Half-Pint Prints at The Andy Warhol Museum

Our family was lucky enough to receive a Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh membership as a gift last fall. Since then, we’ve been popping into the Natural History Museum and the Science Center at least a few times per month. But The Andy Warhol Museum? The Andy Warhol Museum has been the black hole of our Carnegie Museums membership. Although my husband and I always talk about of having a romantic date night at The Warhol, it has been an elusive dream. We can’t find babysitters. Our kids get sick. Netflix becomes too tempting. For some reason, we have never even considered bringing our kids to the museum with us. Until now!

I recently learned that The Andy Warhol Museum has named 2015 as “The Year of the Family” with a specific goal of making the museum an increasingly family-friendly place to visit. Patrick Moore, deputy director of the Warhol says, “The Warhol knows that many young people are moving into Pittsburgh along with their children, creating a period of growth for the city. These young families might not think of The Warhol or other art museums as a comfortable environment to bring children. The Warhol thinks that these families represent a growth audience for the museum and we know from experience that children actually love Warhol’s work.”

As a part of the “Year of the Family” The Warhol is launching a new weekend program for young children and their caregivers called Half-Pint Prints. I recently had the chance to interview Nicole Dezelon, assistant curator of education at The Warhol about Half-Pint Prints and here’s what she had to say:

 

Half-Pint Prints, Photo courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum

Half-Pint Prints, Photo courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum

What is Half-Pint Prints?

The Andy Warhol Museum is introducing Half-Pint Prints, a monthly silkscreen printing activity for families with children ages 1-4 years old. This drop-in studio program happens on the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon. It is free with admission and the first program will be held on March 7. During Half-Pint Prints, children will create silkscreen prints that often complement current exhibits at the museum. In the first session, kids will be creating alphabet prints in honor of the Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent special exhibit.

 

Who will be leading the program?

The programs are led by museum educators, who are working artists who bring their own practice, innovative ideas and experiences to the interpretation of Warhol’s art. Children will learn basic silkscreen printing techniques, using silkscreens prepared by museum educators.

 

Why did the Andy Warhol Museum decide to start this program?

The program is part of a larger museum initiative that focuses on the theme “Year of the Family” in 2015. In addition to these family-friendly art-making activities, the museum will be offering performances, programs and gallery installations for families throughout the year. 2015 will also be the first year we’re offering Summer Camps for children ages 8–13. We hope kids will explore the museum at these camps and then bring their families back! We will be adding programming throughout the year in our galleries and in our underground education space. Check our calendar often as we update it with additional events.

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I was excited to learn that The Andy Warhol Museum is launching the Half-Pint Prints program and even more excited to learn that the Museum has affirmed a commitment to local families. We look forward to adding the museum to our repertoire of places to visit in the city!

To keep up-to-date with the happenings at The Andy Warhol Museum, you can check their blog or follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Spring 2015 Children’s Consignment Sales in Pittsburgh

Here’s my biannual listing of upcoming consignment sales in Allegheny County, Butler County, Westmoreland County and Washington County. Before I start, though, let me make a few generalizations:

  • Almost all of these sales have opportunities for presale shopping if you are a volunteer or a consignor.  Some also have special presale shopping events (for new moms, grandparents, etc.) that I have noted.
  • All of these sales offer free parking.  Some have admission fees, which I have noted.
  • All of these sales accept cash.  Almost all accept credit card. Some do NOT accept checks, which I have noted.
  • Almost all of these sales offer discount (usually 1/2 off) times at the end of their sale, which I have noted.
  • Some of these sales have a limited number of large bags available for you to collect your items to purchase; however, I would highly recommend bringing a laundry basket (or two) just in case.
  • A couple words of advice from a seasoned consignment shopper: a) bring a list of items you need or you may end up wandering aimlessly b) keep a note of the clothing/shoe sizes for your children.

 

Anyway, here’s my Spring 2015 Children’s Consignment Sales in Pittsburgh organized by date:

 

Little Blessings Dressings (Washington County)-March 12-14

A consignment sale in Washington County offering children’s clothing, baby gear, furniture, toys.

Times: March 12 8-8pm, March 13 10-3pm, March 14 8-2pm (1/2 off day)

Location: Location: Washington County Fairgrounds, Building #1, 2151 North Main Street, Washington, PA  15301

 

Christ Church at Grove Farm MOPS Sale (Pittsburgh West)-March 13-14

A consignment sale run by a church-affiliated MOPS group in Sewickley offering gently used children’s clothing, toys, furniture, etc.  Only accepts cash and check.

Location: 249 Duff Road Sewickley, PA 15143

 

New 2 You Consignment Sale (North Hills)-March 14

This Allison Park consignment sale is run by the North Pittsburgh Mothers of Multiples organization. Offers infant and children’s clothing and equipment. Only cash or check.

Times: 8-9 Early bird sale for $5, 9-1pm

Location: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1965 Ferguson Rd, Allison Park, PA 15101

 

Hiland Preschool’s Children’s Consignment Sale (Ross Township)-March 21

Just wanted to let you know that the Hiland Preschool Spring Children’s Consignment Sale will be Saturday, March 21st 8am-3pm.  845 Perry Highway, Ross Township

Hours: 8-3pm (Red tag sale starting at 1pm)

Location: 845 Perry Highway, Ross Township

 

An Angel’s Attic Consignment Sale (Butler County)-March 25-28

A Butler County consignment sale offering clothing (girls and boys 0-juniors), maternity clothing, accessories, toys, books, baby equipment and children’s decor items.

Times: March 25 10-7pm, March 26 10-7pm, March 27 10-5pm, March 28 (1/2) 10-3pm

Location: The Atrium, 1031 New Castle Road, Prospect PA 16052

 

Sunflower Sprouts (North Hills)-March 19-22, March 26-28

A huge consignment sale located off McKnight Road including clothing for NB’s to size 14, accessories, maternity clothing, baby gear, toys, furniture, outdoor play equipment.  Opportunities for New Mom and Grandma pre-shopping (see website for more details).  They recommend AGAINST bringing strollers if possible. Limited large bags available to assist with shopping.  Credit card accepted for purchases greater than $20.

Hours: March 19 Early Bird Sale 6-8pm for $10 cash entrance fee, March 20 9:30-7pm, March 21 9-4pm, March 22 11-4pm, March 26 10-2pm, March 27 9:30-7pm (1/2 off day), March 28 9-1pm (1/2 off day).

Location: Northway Mall, 8000 McKnight Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15237

 

The Gigantic Sale (South Hills)-April 9-11

This popular biannual South Hills children’s consignment sale offers baby and children’s/baby’s clothing, accessories, toys, baby gear, furniture, etc.

Times: April 9 9-7pm, April 10 9-7pm, April 11 9-2pm (1/2 off day)

Location: Grace Community Church, 56 Prestley Road, Bridgeville PA 15017

 

Snuggle Bugs Baby/Toy Sale (Washington County)-April 10-11

A consignment sale offering everything for baby <1 years old and all varieties of toys, books, and other entertainment for toddlers to tweens. No checks.

Hours: Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday 9am-8pm (half off after noon)

Location: Iceoplex at Southpointe, 114 Southpointe Boulevard, Canonsburg, PA 15317

 

Daisy Lane Consignment Sale (Carnegie)-April 17-20

A Carnegie consignment sale offering warm weather clothing for preemie-teen plus maternity, shoes, accessories, baby gear, toys, learning items and furniture. VIP pre-sale shopping available on April 17. Does not accept checks or American Express.

Hours: April 17 6-9pm VIP presale shopping benefits Jeremiah’s Place, April 18 10-6pm, April 19 10-3pm, April 20 4-7 (50% off, VIP presale ticket holders can enter at 3pm)

Location: Heidelberg VFD Hall, 456 1st Street, Carnegie, PA 15106

 

Just Between Friends Pittsburgh East (Monroeville)-April 23-26

This event offers warm weather clothing for nb-size 18, accessories, maternity, baby gear, toys, children’s furniture, educational material, and tons more.  No checks. Offers special pre-sale shopping times for first-time parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents, military families, and teachers. See website for more details.

Hours: April 23 “Prime Time Shopping” from 2-9pm for $10 admission (no children or strollers permitted), April 24 9-9pm for $3 admission fee (or join mailing list to get free admission), April 25 8-5pm, April 26 8-5pm 50% off sale

Location: Monroeville Convention Center, South Hall, 209 Mall Plaza Boulevard, Monroeville, PA 15146

 

Kid’s Closet Connection Consignment Sale (Butler County)-April 24-26

This Cranberry Township consignment sale offers baby and children’s clothing (boys up to size 20, girls up to junior size 12), maternity, baby furniture and gear, books, toys, sporting equipment. No checks.

Times: April 24 9-8pm, April 25 9-6pm, April 26 9-2pm

Location: ELKS Lodge, 20720 Route 19, Cranberry Twp, PA 16066

 

Westmoreland Sale for Kids (Westmoreland County)-April 24-26

This Greensburg consignment sale offers clothing NB-size 14, accessories, maternity, baby gear, furniture, toys, etc.  Opportunities for first-time parents to pre-shop. No checks.

Hours: April 24 12-9pm, April 25 9-3pm, April 26 10-2pm (1/2 off day)

Location: Westmoreland Fairgrounds, 123 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg, Pa 15601

 

Snuggle Bugs Toddler to Tween Sale (Washington County)-April 25-27

A Washington County consignment sale offering clothes, shoes, and accessories for size 12 month to size 10 (girls) and size 12 (boys).  No checks.

Hours: Arpil 25 9-8pm, April 26 10-8pm, April 27 10-8pm (1/2 day)

Location: Iceoplex at Southpointe, 114 Southpointe Boulevard, Canonsburg, PA 15317

 

Rock It Consignment Sale (Washington County)-May 1-2

A Canonsburg consignment sale offering clothes, shoes, and accessories for girls (sizes 12-20), Juniors, Ladies, and Maternity. No checks.

Hours: May 1 10-10pm, May 2 10-8pm (1/2 off after 5PM)

Location: Iceoplex at Southpointe, 114 Southpointe Boulevard, Canonsburg, PA 15317

 

Kids Mania Consignment Sale (Washington County)-May 1-3

Located at the Washington County Fairgrounds, this is another large consignment sale offering clothing NB-12, accessories, baby gear, toys, furniture, outdoor play equipment.  Food court on site. No checks accepted.  Large IKEA bags are available to help you carry your purchases.

Times: May 1 9-6pm, May 2 9-6pm, May 3 9-2pm (1/2 day)

Location: Washington County Fairgrounds, BLDG#1 and #4, 2151 North Main Street, Washington, PA  15301

 

Just Between Friends Pittsburgh North (Neville Island)-May 14-17

A Neville Island consignment sale offering warm weather clothing for Baby-size 18, accessories, maternity clothes, baby gear, toys, indoor and outdoor furniture and equipment, educational material, and tons more.  Opportunities for first-time parent, grandparent, foster and adoptive parent, military family, and teacher preshopping. Check website for more details. No checks.

Hours: May 14 ($10 fee) at 10am (no children or strollers until 6pm); May 15 ($3 fee or join mailing list for free admission) 9AM-9PM; May 16 8AM-5PM; May 17 (1/2 off day) 8AM-5PM

Location: RMU Island Sports Center, 7600 Grand Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15225

 *****

That’s all I could find, but please let me know if I’ve missed any sales at pittsburghmommyblog@gmail.com. Thanks! And happy consignment shopping :)

What’s Going on in Pittsburgh this Weekend: February 27-March 1, 2015

Here’s my weekly listing of family-friendly events in the Pittsburgh region for the weekend of February 27-March 1, 2015. Have a great weekend and welcome, March!

 

All Weekend, February 27-March 1

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater

The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater presents “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” performed by the Omaha Theater Company. Friday’s performance is at 7pm at Hopewell High School. Saturday’s performance are at 11am and 2pm at Mellon Middle School and Sunday’s performance is at 2pm at Seneca Valley Senior High School. Cost is $9.50 in advance and $11 at the door (if tickets are available).

 

Friday Night, February 27

Youth Cook at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Local chef Leah Lizarondo will be leading a cooking class for children ages 10 and older. Kids will learn to make veggie quesadillas after choosing their own healthy ingredients. Also, they’ll be making guacamole from scratch. Parents are not required to attend. Advanced registration is required.

Times: 5-7 pm

Cost: Nonmembers $10, Members $8

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

 

Hafla (Party) at Dobra Tea

Dobra Tea in Squirrel Hill is hosting an evening of bellydance performances, then open dance and drum jam with Lebanese line dancing! Also, on Saturday there will be a jazz concert at the same time.

Times: 7-9pm

Cost: No cover, just order food or drinks

Location: Dobra Tea, 1937 Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

 

Wilkinsburg Youth Art and Talent Show for Peace

The Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project is hosting their third annual “All About Peace Art and Talent Show,” featuring up to 15 acts and 20 pieces of artwork from local youth. Open to families and people of all ages.

Times: 6-9pm

Cost: Free

Location: Kelly Elementary School, 400 Kelly Avenue, Wilkinsburg PA

 

Saturday and Sunday, February 28-March 1

Last Weekend of the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show at Phipps

It’s the last weekend to see the annual Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show at Phipps. The Spring Flower show begins on March 14.

 

Opening Weekend of the new H2OH!: Why our Rivers Matter at the Carnegie Science Center

This weekend the Carnegie Science Center debuts its newest exhibit H2Oh! Why our Rivers Matter. According to the Science Center’s website, “Experience kinetic water-driven motion and discover the relations between water, land, and habitat, while thinking about the big picture – how do everyday decisions impact water supply and the environment?”

Times: 10-5 (open until 7 on Saturdays)

Cost: Free with admission

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

 

$1 Family Films at Southside Works Cinema

Southside Works Cinema presents its special winter $1 Family Films deal this month. This week’s movie is “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.”

Times: 11-12:30pm

Cost: $1

Location: Southside Works Cinema

 

Penguins on Parade at the Pittsburgh Zoo

The Pittsburgh Zoo is holding its annual Penguins on Parade event on Saturdays and Sundays until March 1 where penguins will walk along the visitor’s pathway. Weather dependent.

Time: 11:30am

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Pittsburgh Zoo, One Wild Place, Pittsburgh PA

 

Saturday, February 28

Mini-Factory: Senses at the Mattress Factory

The Mattress Factory hosts its free early childhood educational program for children ages 3-5 with a caregiver. This week’s theme is “Senses.” Advance registration is required.

Times: 10-11am

Cost: Free

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

 

Peanut Butter and Jam Sessions with the Chatham Baroque

Chatham Baroque presents its monthly “Peanut Butter and Jam Session” designed to introduce young children and their caregivers to baroque music through music and movement. This month’s theme is “A Round is a Circle.”

Times: 10 and 11:30am

Cost: Adults $8, Children $5

Location: McClintic Hall, Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15206

 

International Polar Bear Day at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

The Pittsburgh Zoo celebrates International Polar Bear Day with a variety of educational  and fun activities designed to teach kids about saving polar bears in the wild.

Times: 11-3pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Pittsburgh Zoo, One Wild Place, Pittsburgh PA

 

Family Yoga at the Alloy School

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s The Alloy School offers its weekly family yoga class for all ages.

Times: 12-1pm

Cost: $7

Location: The Alloy School, 5530 Penn Avenue,  Pittsburgh, PA 15206

 

Herencia Africana with Cafe Con Leche

Cafe Con Leche celebrates the influences of the African Diaspora in Latin American and Caribbean dance, music, art and food with dance and music performances and Brazilian food! Appropriate for all ages.

Times: 12-4pm

Cost: $5 suggested donation

Location: Most Wanted Fine Art, 5015 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224

 

Snow Queen Skate and Sing-Along at MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink

The MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place is hosting the Snow Queen for an afternoon of skating and sing-alongs.

Times: 1-3pm

Cost: Adults (ages 13-49) : $8 Children (through age 12):

Location: MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink, PPG Place, Downtown

 

Hillman Performing Arts Series-ArcAttack: Tesla Coil

The Hillman Performing Arts series at Shady Side Academy in Fox Chapel presents ArcAttack–a rock band that plays homemade high-tech instruments while electrocuting the stage (?). There will be a family-friendly electricity lab prior to the show.

Times: 7:30-9:30pm

Cost: Adults $28, Students $15

Location: Shady Side Academy, 423 Fox Chapel RoadPittsburgh, PA 15238

 

Sunday, March 1

Celebrate Chinese New Year: Year of the Sheep at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is holding its annual Chinese New Year celebration. This year’s festivities include art activities led by Silk Screen Arts, weaving with sheep’s wool in the MAKESHOP and performances by Mimi Jong on the erhu, Steel Dragon Lion Dance Team and Ai-Lin Chen and Sonya Hammer, a guzheng duet.

Times: 1-4pm

Cost: Free with admission

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

 

Royal Skate and Sing-Along at North Park Ice Rink

North Park Ice Rink will host everybody’s favorite ice princess and her sister for an afternoon of skating and singing. All skaters will also have the opportunity to get their pictures taken in a free commemorative photo booth. FYI-next Sunday the royal sisters will be at South Park.

Times: 1-4pm

Cost: Free with regular admission

Location: North Park Ice Rink, North Park

 

Celebrate Read Across America Day at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

The Children’s Museum is celebrating Read Across America Day with a special reading of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar by former Steeler Franco Harris.

Times: 2-2:30pm

Cost: Free with admission

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

 

Under The Big Top Purim Carnival at the Squirrel Hill JCC

The Squirrel Hill JCC presents its annual Purim Carnival open to the public, including non-Jewish families. The events includes games, prizes, balloons, food and a live reptile show. Families are encouraged to dress up as their favorite circus performer.

Times: 2-5pm (live reptile show starts at 4:15pm)

Cost: Complicated, see below

*VIP tickets will be available this year: $2 off Unlimited Play bracelets and get early access into the Carnival at 1:45 pm

  • Unlimited Play: 1/$10; 2/$18; 3/$26 (*includes the live show)
  • Live Show only: $5 (Ticket sales begin at 4 pm)
    • Tickets: 4/$1
    • Children under 2 are free
    • Tickets must be reserved by Friday, February 27. Tickets can be purchased at Centerfit or by calling 412-697-3540

Location: JCC Squirrel Hill, 5738 Forbes Avenue, PittsburghPA 15217

 

Here are the family-friendly events happening at the Carnegie libraries this weekend and here are the family-friendly events happening at the suburban Allegheny County libraries.

 

Have a great weekend!

Giveaway: Four Tickets to “Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes” in Pittsburgh

Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes, Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes, Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

With a 4-year old girl and a 3-year old son, Disney princesses and heroes are pretty much the centerpiece of our lives these days. And although the Disney princess frenzy started a couple of years ago in our family, the arrival of Frozen into the repertoire has really taken things up a notch. Any suggestion that perhaps we DON’T buy a clothing item or a bath towel or a coloring book with Elsa, Anna or Olaf on it is met with scorn. Just yesterday I went to Target in pursuit of some toiletries and left with an Olaf t-shirt and Elsa pajamas.

Imagine my giddiness when I heard that Disney on Ice is coming back to Pittsburgh next week and Anna, Elsa and Olaf are in the cast! I managed to score some last minute tickets for a sponsored giveaway to Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes (enter below), but first I wanted to give you a little bit of info about the show.

Show producer Kenneth Feld says, “Before dreaming up this show, we reflected on what makes Disney’s princesses and heroes so special. It didn’t take long to realize that every princess had one thing in common: each embarked on an adventure to find her heart’s fondest wish, and through believing, it comes true.  We wanted to share that inspirational message with our audiences by celebrating the stories of these enchanting princesses and their heroic princes.”

Cinderella and Prince Philip, Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Cinderella and Prince Philip, Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

In Princesses and Heroes, Tinker Bell guides the audience through scenes with eight Disney princesses–Ariel, Aurora, Rapunzel, Jasmine, Cinderella, Belle, Anna and Elsa–revealing each of their unique wishes and featuring the heroes who help them attain it. The show’s core setting is a cascading waterfall with actual flowing water, but with a little bit of Tinker Bell’s magic pixie dust, the set is transformed into a different backdrop for each princess’ wish.

Attention is paid to every detail in each scene–from the lighting to the special effects to the costumes to the music. And I can’t tell you how excited I am to see it with my kids! We went to Disney on Ice last year and it was just amazing (and so much cheaper than flying the whole family to Disney World!).

Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes will be in Pittsburgh at the Consol Energy Center from March 4-8. Show times are below:

  • Wednesday, March 4 – 7PM
  • Thursday, March 5 – 10:30AM, 7PM
  • Friday, March 6 – 7PM
  • Saturday, March 7 – 11AM, 3PM, 7PM
  • Sunday, March 8 – 1PM, 5PM

I managed to get four tickets to giveaway for any of the preceding shows. Please note: the winner of this giveaway will be mailed a voucher that will then need to be exchanged at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at the Consol Energy Center as soon as possible. For this reason, I am keeping this giveaway short (only 48 hours), so please enter ASAP! And if you don’t win the giveaway, tickets are available here. They generally start at $30, although $15 opening night tickets are available. Also, children’s tickets are available for $15 on Saturday night only. Also, please note that all children 2 and over need a ticket!

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

New PGH Family Fun: Hatch The Chicken!

Some of you may remember my backyard chicken-induced frenzy after writing my Rent The Chicken article last year. If not, here’s a brief refresher. Rent The Chicken is a new-ish regional business that allows Pittsburgh families to rent egg-laying hens plus a coop and supplies. They deliver the hens to your home in the spring and then pick them up in the fall. And I think it’s a brilliant solution for prospective urban farmers who don’t want the long-term commitment of keeping chickens year-round.

Well, I’m absolutely giddy to announce that the masterminds behind Rent The Chicken have come up with a new adventure for Pittsburgh families–HATCH THE CHICKEN!! Think fertilized chicken eggs hatching in an incubator in your very own living room. Think tiny little chicks running around a brooder delighting kids and parents alike. For 5 weeks. And then they take the chicks back to their rightful place at the farm. I will be placing my order shortly :).

I recently had the chance to interview Homestead Jenn, cofounder of Rent The Chicken, to find out more about this new program. Here’s what she had to say:

 

htc1

What is Hatch The Chicken?

Hatch The Chicken is a five-week hatching rental without the commitment of raising chicks. For the first three weeks, the eggs are in the provided incubator. Once hatched, they are moved to the provided brooder cage. Two weeks later we pick them up and return them to the farm. We supply everything needed for the incubator process and for the first two weeks of life for the chicks.

What supplies are provided?

We provide an auto-turning incubator, seven fertilized eggs, a high-powered “candling light” to examine the eggs during incubation, a Rent The Chicken Chick Starter Kit (brooder box, wood chips, chick feed, water dish, feed dish, heat lamp and thermometer), quick guide on caring for chicks and the book “Where Do Chicks Come From?” by Amy Sklansky. The hatched chicks are Sex Links – Red Stars and Black Stars so gender is known immediately after hatching.

What is the cost?

The price of the Hatch The Chicken program is $150. If Hatch The Chicken is paired up with a Rent The Chicken rental, Hatch The Chicken is discounted to $125.

How is pick-up and drop-off handled?

Hatch The Chicken is delivered and picked up by Rent The Chicken for free within 50 miles of Freeport, PA which includes Pittsburgh. For an additional transportation fee, deliveries can be made beyond the 50 mile free delivery area.

IMG_2996

What if you want to keep the chicks?

Adoption is available at the end of the five-week rental period as Partial Adoption and Full Adoption. Partial Adoption includes all hatched chicks, the Rent The Chicken Chick Starter Kit and continued full support from Rent The Chicken. Partial Adoption is priced at $75. Full Adoption includes a four hen guarantee (no matter the outcome of the 7 eggs provided, we guarantee 4 female chicks. A chick swap may be necessary to fulfill this clause), the Rent The Chicken Chick Starter Kit, Rent The Chicken Deluxe Chicken Coop, 50 pounds of chick starter feed and continued full support from Rent The Chicken.

How does this program fit in with Rent The Chicken?

Here at Rent The Chicken, we know that the two best parts of having backyard hens is experiencing the hatching process and then having egg-laying hens. Rent The Chicken with Hatch The Chicken brings those two exciting experiences together. It takes a long 4-6 months from the time of hatching until a hen starts laying eggs and these two rentals help to bridge that gap. Also, an additional tidbit about Hatch The Chicken–it’s a great program for families who want to experience hatching, but don’t have any yard or are not permitted to raise backyard chickens in their community.

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I can’t tell you how excited I am to hatch some chicks in my house this spring! Interested in getting some wee little chicks of your own? You can call 724-305-0782 to place an order.

For updates on Hatch the Chicken and Rent the Chicken, please check their website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

What’s Going on in Pittsburgh this Weekend: February 20-22, 2015

Here’s my weekly listing of family-friendly events for the weekend of February 20-22, 2015. Highlights of this weekend include $1 Family Films at Southside Works, Fiddlesticks Family Concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony and Steel City Codefest, Jr.

 

All Weekend, February 20-22

My Fair Lady by the Pittsburgh Public Theater

The Pittsburgh Public Theater presents its production of My Fair Lady based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

Times: Friday 8pm, Saturday 2 and 8pm, Sunday 2 and 7pm

Cost: Tickets start at $33

Location: O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave,  Pittsburgh,  PA 15222

 

Friday Night, February 20

Science Sleepover at the Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center is hosting an engineering-themed overnight for school-aged children. The night includes a brief orientation, themed activities, Omnimax movie, planetarium or laser show, live theater show, science workshop, late night snack and continental breakfast. Cost includes all activities plus admission the day after the show. Advance registration required.

Times: 6pm-9am

Cost: $35/person

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

 

Saturday and Sunday, February 21-22

Penguins on Parade at the Pittsburgh Zoo

The Pittsburgh Zoo is holding its annual Penguins on Parade event on Saturdays and Sundays until March 1 where penguins will walk along the visitor’s pathway. Weather dependent.

Time: 11:30am

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Pittsburgh Zoo, One Wild Place, Pittsburgh PA

 

$1 Family Films at Southside Works Cinema

Southside Works Cinema is offering their $1 Family Films deal this weekend where all tickets cost only $1. This weekend’s movie is The Boxtrolls. Tickets are available at the door, but can also be purchased online.

Times: 11-12:30am

Cost: $1

Location: Southside Works Cinema, Southside Works South Side

 

Special Sneak Peek of Song of the Sea at Regent Square Theater

The Regent Square Theater is offering a special sneak peek at the Irish animated film Song of the Sea. From the Pgh Filmmakers, “Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch Macha and a host of ancient and mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse’s powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever. As enthralling for adults as it is for children young and old, Song of the Sea is a wonder of magical storytelling and visual splendor that is destined to become a classic.”

Times: 2pm

Cost: Unsure about cost (not on website)

Location: Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

 

Saturday, February 21

Winter Dreams Fiddlesticks Family Concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents its “Winter Dreams” Fiddlesticks Family Concert at Heinz Hall. The concert is preceded by special educational activities to introduce children to the symphony including musical instrument demos, singing, dancing and crafting. The concert itself will feature three- or four-minute classical pieces chosen to fit the winter theme, including music from Disney Frozen!

Times: Discovery Time Adventures: 10am, Concert 11:15am

Cost: Tickets start at $12

Location: Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh

 

Engineer the Future 2015 at the Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center invites families to Engineer the Future 2015 with presentations, hands-on activities and demonstrations designed to inspire kids to explore engineering.

Times: 10-5pm

Cost: Free with admission

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

 

Take A Shot: Teen Film Prize Kickoff Party and Pre-Oscars Party

The Steeltown Entertainment Project is hosting a free educational introduction to video production including lighting, audio, camera operation, editing, storyboarding, etc. for middle school- and high school-aged children plus parents, educators and community organizations. It will also kick off the 10K “Take A Shot At Changing The World” video contest for middle school and high school students across the country. Event is free, but people should register at link above.

Times: 10-2:30pm

Cost: Free

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

 

Creaturefest at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is hosting the next program in its Super Science Series, Creaturefest. Creaturefest will let families get up close with rare prehistoric and modern animal specimens. Plus, they can make creatures of their own!

Times: 12-4pm

Cost: Free with admission

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

 

ArtLab: Feel the Music at the Mattress Factory

The Mattress Factory invites Pittsburgh families to its bimonthly ArtLab program with hands-on art-making activities. This week’s theme is “Feel the Music” where kids will make their own low-frequency music and sounds to add to a collaborative musical composition that can be felt in the body.

Times: 1-4pm

Cost: Free with admission

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

 

Sunday, February 22

Tropical Sunday at Phipps

Phipps invites visitors to escape to the tropics during Sundays during February. There will be fruit tastings and live music by Tropical Sands Steel Band. Plus, wear a tropical shirt and receive 50% off admission.

Times: 9:30-5pm

Cost: Free with admission

Location: Phipps Conservatory, 700 Frank Curto Drive, Pittsburgh PA

 

Yoga in the Square: Winter Edition

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is offering its family-friendly Yoga in the Square at the Wintergarden at PPG Place.

Times: 10-11am

Cost: Free

Location: Wintergarden, PPG Place, Downtown Pittsburgh

 

Steel City Codefest, Jr. 

All children are invited to the Carnegie Library in Oakland for a fun afternoon exploring basic coding. Even the youngest children can get started with the elements of basic coding using Beebots, Probots and intuitive iPad apps. Teen novices will have fun playing Code Combat, a game that teaches programming in Python, Javascript, or Lisp. Seasoned coders will enjoy the Hummingbird Robotics Challenge where participants attempt to build a fully -functional robot in less than 1-hour.

Times: 12pm

Cost: Free, no advance registration required

Location: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Oakland, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

 

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater

The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater presents “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” performed by the Omaha Theater Company. Based on the best-selling children’s book by author Kevin Henkes. Begins at the Byham Theater and then moves to different locations in the suburbs throughout the week.

Times: 2pm

Cost: $9.50 in advance, $11 at door if available
Have a great weekend!