Jousting at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival.
Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival.

September will be here before you know it, so make the most of your remaining summer days with these 10 awesome family events, from homespun community days to a full-blown Renaissance festival.

Three Rivers Storytelling Festival. Image courtesy of 3RSTF.

Three Rivers Storytelling Festival at Schenley Plaza: August 2

Award-winning storytellers from across the country will regale audiences with fantastic tales at the 16th annual Three Rivers Storytelling Festival (3RSTF). For the first time ever, the event will take place outside the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland’s Schenley Plaza.

The festival kicks off on Tuesday, August 2 with a free preview performance and activities during KidsPlay at Market Square from 10 to 11:30 a.m. On Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6, nationally recognized storytellers Kim Weitkamp, Antonio Sacre and Adam Booth will join forces for concerts featuring folksy, spooky or true tales for the whole family. There will also be storytelling workshops for adults.

Doors open at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland at 10 a.m. with concerts starting at 10:15 a.m. Admission for the weekend is $15 for adults and $5 for youth. Children under 6 are free. Workshops cost $35 to $75 and require pre-registration at the 3RSTF website.

Image courtesy of Brookline Breeze.
Image courtesy of Brookline Breeze.

Brookline Breeze 5K Race and Fitness Walk at Brookline Park: August 13

The 35th annual Brookline Breeze 5K Race and Fitness Walk at Brookline Park offers plenty of healthy outdoor fun for all ages and skill levels. Besides the 5K race, there’s a 5K wheelchair competition and a one-mile fun run. Kids can stretch their legs for the On Your Mark With Highmark Youth Challenge, a fitness program that rewards children and teens for running or walking the full 5K. Even the furriest family member can participate during the one-mile dog walk.

After the race, stroll over to the Breezefest street fair along Brookline Boulevard. Breezefest begins at 12 p.m. and includes free live music, entertainment and fun for the kids.

The Brookline Breeze 5K Race and Fitness Walk will begin at 8:35 a.m. at the Brookline Memorial Recreation Center. All registered runners and walkers receive a t-shirt and are eligible for the post-race raffle. Registered dogs will receive a commemorative bandana.

Cat-a-palooza at WPHS. Photo by Amy Crawford.
Cat-a-palooza at WPHS. Photo by Amy Crawford.

Cat-a-palooza at the Western PA Humane Society: August 14

The Western PA Humane Society will host Cat-a-palooza to raise awareness about feline adoption in the Pittsburgh region. Join the shelter for an evening of fun cat-themed activities, vendors, raffles and a bake sale, as well as a cat expert and guest appearance by Draven the Therapy Cat. Looking for a new furry friend? Check out the many cats and kittens available for adoption while you’re there.

Cat-a-palooza will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 12 years of age. Guests who donate a bag of Purina cat or kitten chow will receive five raffle tickets.

Image courtesy of National Aviary.
Image courtesy of National Aviary.

Penguins & Pajamas at the National Aviary: August 18

Put on your favorite pajamas and head to the National Aviary for a movie night with the African penguins. Go exploring after hours and keep an eye out for opportunities to meet some of the Aviary’s penguin colony. After meeting some feathered friends, kids can make a craft to take home and then settle in for a screening of the 2014 animated film Penguins of Madagascar in the Aviary theater. Before saying goodnight, help the staff put the penguins to sleep with a bedtime story.

Penguins & Pajamas takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. The event is included with general admission.

Photo courtesy of Bloomfield Little Italy Days.
Photo courtesy of Bloomfield Little Italy Days.

Bloomfield Little Italy Days on Liberty Avenue: August 18 – 21

Bloomfield once again honors its proud cultural heritage with Little Italy Days. The festival will feature four days of food, crafts, games and free entertainment along the neighborhood’s bustling Liberty Avenue business district. Families can sample a variety of Italian and non-Italian cuisine, take in the annual bocce tournament, or check out the many neighborhood shops and restaurants. There will also be a full roster of live performances from local bands and dance groups, not to mention the open singing competition, Italian Idol.

Hours for Little Italy Days are 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 18; 12 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20; and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 21.

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.