Photo by Sally Quinn.

As the weather cools down, the entertainment scene heats up for Pittsburgh families in November. Exciting theatrical performances are on the slate, along with space exploration, nature discoveries and the beginning of holiday activities.

Check out these top 10 events for families in November and prepare for adventure!

Image courtesy of PMT Conservatory.

1. Nov. 3-6: “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” Byham Theater

Fans of the animated film will be entranced by the live performance of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid.” In the familiar story, the mermaid Ariel falls in love with a human, Prince Eric. She bargains with Ursula, an evil sea witch, to trade her fishy tail for a pair of legs. But as things go awry, Ariel must call upon her friends Sebastian the crab, Scuttle the seagull and Flounder the fish. Do your best not to sing along to catchy musical numbers such as “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.” This Young Artist presentation will be performed by students from the Pittsburgh Musical Theater Conservatory in collaboration with the CAPA Orchestra. Tickets start at $19.50.

Everett Lowe plays the Creature and Matt Zierden takes on the role of Victor Frankenstein. Photo by Laura Sloveko.

2. Nov. 4-13: “Frankenstein,” New Hazlett Theater

The classic story of “Frankenstein,” which was written over 200 years ago, lives on in movies and theatrical presentations. This Prime Stage Theatre production, following an adaptation by Pittsburgh sci-fi author Lawrence C. Connolly, depicts an 18-year-old Mary Shelley as she conceives of her monstrous story throughout a raging, stormy night. The world premiere of “Frankenstein” opens Prime Stage’s season of Suspense, Hope and Wonder. “Frankenstein” is suitable for ages 13 through adults with tickets starting at $19. The Nov. 4 preview offers pay-what-you-can pricing. Select performances include sensory inclusivity, ASL and audio description.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

3. Nov. 5: Everyday Heroes, Heinz Hall

This Fiddlesticks family concert shines a light on Everyday Heroes like nurses, firefighters and teachers. The Pittsburgh Symphony concert includes “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Dvořák’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me” and John Williams’ theme from “Superman.” Arrive an hour beforehand for Discovery Time Activities where kids will practice singing the Fiddlesticks theme song, learn about instruments from PSO musicians and create a music-inspired craft to take home. To ensure comfort and inclusivity, Heinz Hall will be equipped with Braille programs, a quiet room, noise-canceling headphones and a family restroom. Tickets start at $16.

4. Nov. 13: Story Hike: “Ruby’s Birds,” Frick Park

Ruby is a city girl whose imagination is sparked by her neighborhood’s urban bird population. During this  Story Hike led by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, kids will gather around a naturalist educator for a reading of “Ruby’s Birds” by Mya Thompson. The book includes a fun seek-and-find element within the illustrations on every page that’s sure to encourage lively competition. After learning about Ruby’s adventures, kids will make a pair of binoculars and head out on a trail to find and identify Pittsburgh’s urban birds. This activity is best for families with kids ages 8 and younger. The event is free, but registration is required.

Image courtesy of New Line Productions Inc.

5. Nov. 18: “Elf in Concert,” Heinz Hall

Pittsburgh Symphony has been drawing movie fans to Heinz Hall by performing the scores to popular film screenings. “Elf in Concert” kicks off the holiday season with the adventures of Buddy the Elf. When baby Buddy is accidentally transported to the North Pole, he is raised by Elves but never quite fits in. He learns his real father is in New York and sets off to meet his long-lost family. The PG-rated “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell, keeps the giggles going, while the orchestra performance of John Debney’s score reminds us how much music adds to the movie experience. Tickets start at $25.

Who’s ready for the Pet Expo? Photo by Edgar Daniel Hernandez Cervantes.

6. Nov. 18-20: Pittsburgh Pet Expo, David Lawrence Convention Center

Animal lovers of all ages will find engaging entertainment at the Pittsburgh Pet Expo, billed as the largest pet expo on the East Coast. Check out Dare Devil Dogs performing lightning-fast tricks and get a laugh from the wiener dog races. Cheer on the North American Diving Dogs and their big-air splashdowns. Dress up your pet to compete in the Pet Costume Contest. Other highlights include the Reptile Zone, specialty cat breeds, weight-pulling demonstrations and adoption opportunities. Tickets are $6 for kids, $12 for grownups, and $10 for seniors and active military.

The UPMC Rink at PPG Place. Photo by Sally Quinn.

7. Nov. 18-19: Light Up Night Weekend, Downtown

The Downtown Pittsburgh holiday season officially kicks off on Nov. 18 with the grand opening of the UPMC Rink at PPG Place. You’ll be dazzled by the Lighting Spectacular with a figure skating performance, a concert by the East End Kids and the Tribute of Light ceremony honoring those affected by cancer. Head to Market Square for the 11th annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market, where chalet shops offer handcrafted gifts and Santa welcomes kids to a personal visit. On Nov. 19, Highmark Light Up Night will shine in its 61st year. Look for musical performances, holiday enticements, plus a fantastic Zambelli fireworks finale.

Artist rendering of Mars: The Next Giant Leap. Courtesy of Carnegie Science Center.

8. Nov. 19: Mars: The Next Giant Leap, Carnegie Science Center

A new, groundbreaking exhibit at Carnegie Science Center focuses on the Red Planet. Mars: The Next Giant Leap explores the possibility of humans traveling 300 million miles to inhabit Mars. The 7,400-square-foot exhibit takes visitors on an immersive journey that examines space exploration. Kids can consider career pathways in the growing space industry while learning what it would take to establish a settlement on Mars. As a permanent exhibit, this exciting experience is included with regular admission.

Which Disney princess are you? Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

9. Nov. 28: Disney Princess: The Concert, Benedum Center

Dress in your favorite royal attire when heading to Disney Princess: The Concert. The immersive experience combines outstanding theatrical effects with larger-than-life animation. Four Broadway and television stars sing beloved Disney princess songs. In between production numbers, they’ll share behind-the-scenes stories from their time as princesses on stage and screen. Tickets start at $39.50.

Illustration courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Theater.

10. Nov. 30-Dec. 18: “A Christmas Story: The Play,” O’Reilly Theater

Poor Ralphie. His dream of receiving a coveted Red Ryder BB Gun is met with a chorus of “You’ll shoot your eye out!”  All the fun of the classic movie comes to the stage in Pittsburgh Public Theater’s live production of “A Christmas Story: The Play.” Witness the excitement of a major award delivery, the disappointment of a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring and the danger of a tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole. You can expect tears-in-your-eyes laughter for the entire family at this hilarious comedy. Tickets start at $32.

Bonus events:

Nov. 9 and 19: Preschool Adventures: Ready for Blast Off, Carnegie Science Center

Nov. 12: Hex Bug STEAM Challenge, Trust Arts Education Center

Nov. 12: Super Science Saturday: Clever Creatures, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Nov. 18: Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden, Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens

Nov. 19: Story Saturday: A Boy Named Isamu, Carnegie Museum of Art

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is a Pittsburgh-based editor and writer who writes about food, entertainment, kid stuff, pop culture, cocktails!