Between the the Fourth of July celebrations, the festivals and the outdoor activities, July has more events than we can shake a sparkler at. Families can get patriotic during the EQT Independence Day festivities at Point State Park, sample gherkins at Picklesburgh, smash some buttons at the ReplayFX Arcade & Gaming Festival, and so much more. To make sure you’re not missing out, be sure to read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in July feature, many of which include family fun. 

Fireworks over Arsenal Park. Photo by Joe Dephillips.
Fireworks over Arsenal Park. Photo by Joe Dephillips.

1. Lawrenceville Independence Day Celebration in Arsenal Park: July 2

For 72 years, Lawrenceville has paid tribute to community and country with their own Independence Day Celebration in Arsenal Park. Organized by Lawrenceville United and the Lawrenceville Fireworks Committee, the latest event will offer a full day of local food and fun for the whole family and it’s a good alternative to the festivities at the Point.

For the little ones, there are children’s races, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting and balloon artists. Attendees can enjoy softball and baseball games, live music by the Nied’s Hotel Band and Jimmy Sapienza’s Five Guys Named Moe and amateur wrestling from KSWA. The festivities will conclude with a first-rate Zambelli fireworks show.

The Lawrenceville Independence Day Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. in Arsenal Park. Fireworks take place at 9:30 p.m. All activities are free and open to the public.

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

2. Summer with the Symphony at Heinz Hall: July 6 and 16

Classical music and movies will collide when the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) spotlights two cinematic family favorites. On Wednesday, July 6, the PSO will go Back to the Future for the 30th anniversary of director Robert Zemeckis’s classic 1985 sci-fi film. The event will feature a high-definition screening of the film complete with a live performance of composer Alan Silvestri’s epic score. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

On July 16, wizards and muggles alike will delight when PSO presents The Magical Music of Harry Potter. The evening will include scores from the Harry Potter film franchise as composed by the legendary John Williams and many others. Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite Harry Potter characters and take part in pre-concert activities. The performance begins at 8 p.m.

Both events take place at Heinz Hall.

Tiny Town at Soergels. Photo by Kate Buckley
Tiny Town at Soergel Orchards. Photo by Kate Buckley.

3. Firefly Festival at Soergel Orchards: July 9

Summer comes alive at Soergel Orchards with the Firefly Festival. The all-ages event includes an array of activities, such as games, crafts, tractor rides, a bounce house and pig races. Kids can mine for gems in a sluice or check out the butterfly house. When darkness falls, settle in by the bonfire to roast s’mores and listen to a live DJ set. The 21-and-over crowd is also welcome to enjoy some sweet libations from the on-site Arsenal Cider House.

The Soergel Orchards Firefly Festival will take place from 6 to 9 p.m.

Little Red Riding Hood. Photo by Mark Abramowitz.
Little Red Riding Hood. Photo by Mark Abramowitz.

4. Opera Theater of Pittsburgh presents Little Red Riding Hood: July 9 and ongoing

Each Saturday in July, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh presents an all-ages performance of the children’s opera Little Red Riding Hood. Directed by Jonathan Eaton, the fast-paced, 50-minute musical adventure follows the iconic fairy tale character as she makes the fateful trip through the woods to her grandmother’s house. On the way she meets a scheming wolf—and it’s up to you to decide if he’s really bad, or just misunderstood?

Little Red Riding Hood begins at 11 a.m. on July 9, July 16 and July 23 in the Hilda Willis Room of the Winchester Thurston School. Families are welcome to stay after each show to enjoy themed crafts and activities, and photo opps with cast members Valerie Hosler, Candice Shaughnessy and Jesse Davis. The show is part of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s Summerfest series.

Image courtesy of Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show.
Image courtesy of Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show.

5. Greenberg’s Train Show at Monroeville Convention Center: July 16 – 17

Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show, the largest and longest-running model train and toy show in the Northeast, will pull into the Monroeville Convention Center for two days. The Train Show will entertain the whole family with exhibits and informative demonstrations featuring model and toy train experts. Hobbyists and newbies can spend the day viewing intricately designed miniature railroads, and learn how to make one of their own. A marketplace will offer over 500 tables of model and toy train parts and accessories from leading manufacturers, as well as Thomas the Tank Engine for the little ones.

Greenberg’s Train Show will take place from Saturday, July 16 through Sunday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for kids age 12 and under.

Amanda Waltz

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.