Nature seems to know when we need a change. Just as the thought of one more single-digit winter day starts to wear down the spirit, Pittsburgh welcomes March. The white snow slowly but surely melts away to make room for green and springtime swoops in to rejuvenate us all.
From parades and carnivals to geocaching and maple syrup pancake breakfasts, our Top 10 family adventures this March in Pittsburgh will help you get a jumpstart on the new season.
Running off with the circus at the JCC’s Under the Big Top Purim Celebration
The Jewish Community Center (JCC) will host its Under the Big Top Purim Celebration on March 1. This circus-themed event will celebrate Purim, one of the most joyous holidays for those of Jewish faith. Everyone is welcome to attend to learn about the holiday, enjoy the activities and sample traditional Purim foods like hamantaschen, which are triangular-shaped sweet pastries.
Kids can come dressed as their favorite circus performer, have some fun with Mike the Balloon Guy and participate in tons of activities including games, face painting, mask making, a moon bounce, a photo booth, an obstacle course and much more. Community organizations will provide their own hands-on activities and food will be for sale in Vashti’s Food Court. After the carnival, kids will be amazed by the live reptile show from 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The event will be held in the gym of the Irene Kaufmann Building at the JCC in Squirrel Hill. Unlimited play bracelets can be purchased for $10 with discounts for additional bracelets. Children under 2 are free. New this year – VIP ticketing. See the event website for more details.
Enjoying Irish dance at the Hillman Performing Arts Series’ Rhythm of the Dance show
From its 650-seat Richard E. Rauh Theater on the campus of Shady Side Academy Senior School in Fox Chapel, The Hillman Performing Arts Series is offering its 9th season of quality, family-friendly programming for the community. This year all the shows in the series have an international theme, featuring performances from five countries.
On March 7 at 7:30 p.m., the series welcomes the National Dance Company of Ireland’s Rhythm of the Dance, a family-friendly show that is sure to entertain with its combination of traditional Irish step dancing and modern stage production. The two-hour show will feature a live band performing traditional Irish music to accompany over 20 dancers. Each dancer helps to tell the history of Irish Celts through riveting step dances, beautifully-made costumes and songs.
Cost for the show is $28 for adults, $15 for students and $23 for seniors. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended because some shows have sold out.
Enjoying an indoor carnival at Kidapalooza
There is enough fun in one space to make any kid smile at the Giant Eagle Kidapalooza Family Festival featuring the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield KDKA Health Fair. On March 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Monroeville Convention Center will turn into an indoor playground with carnival rides, huge inflatables for climbing and sliding, a sports zone with interactive games, a school bus safety area, a Home Depot building area and tons of booths and vendors offering individual activities, too.
Highlights of the event include the Princess Pavilion where kids can walk in looking like a regular kid and walk out with all the glamour of a princess. Local song and dance group, The North Star Kids, will perform at 12 p.m and 2 p.m. and popular characters like Cinderella, Peter Pan, Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland will make appearances to greet children and take photos. The featured live show called A Fairy Tale Fiasco will be performed at 11 a.m, 1 p.m and 3 p.m. during the day. Food will be available for purchase but no need to worry about paying for parking – it’s free this year.
Taking in the festivities at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
For many in the city, it isn’t truly spring until the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade winds its way through downtown. With 23,000 participants and an audience reaching 350,000, the parade is considered the 2nd largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the United States. Make it downtown for the parade on March 14 and you’ll see why it’s a highlight of the season in Pittsburgh.