Photo by Trinity Kubassek.

Crunchy leaves, golden sunlight (we hope) and brisk air set the scene in November. These family activities will entertain kids with high-energy outdoor fun and cool virtual programming accessed at home. Read on to learn all that November brings to the table.

Photo courtesy of the City of Pittsburgh.

1. Gingerbread House Display & Competition with the City of Pittsburgh: Nov. 1-15

One of our favorite Pittsburgh traditions, the 18th annual Gingerbread House Display & Competition returns this holiday season in modified form. Families will continue to bake and decorate their gingerbread creations with their usual architectural flair and imagination. But there’s no need to transport these delicate constructions Downtown. Submit a photo of your masterpiece from Nov. 1-15 to be included in the virtual display that launches online Nov. 20. Looking for inspiration? Browse through last year’s entries and check out the competition.

Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

2. Playful Pop-up Series at Phipps: Nov. 4, 11 and 18

Let’s Move Pittsburgh programs fun ways at Phipps for little kids to move it, move it! The Playful Pop-up Series schedules virtual gatherings with a nod to nature. Sessions like flying friends, ocean staycation and animal adventures engage preschoolers in physical and educational ways. Playful Pop-ups are $15, but you can also download and print free Pop-Up Card activities to do with kids on your own.

Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

3. Black and Gold Geocaching on the North Shore: Nov. 8

This high-tech scavenger hunt hosted by Venture Outdoors will give you a chance to explore the North Shore while learning fun facts about Pittsburgh. Your family will work as a team with a handheld GPS unit, included as a rental in the $12 registration fee. At the end of the hunt, you’ll receive a collection of black-and-gold swag. This geocaching event is best for families with kids ages 6 and older. No need to call the Geek Squad: Prior geocache experience is not necessary.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

4. Black Violin: Impossible Tour Virtual Field Trip via Pittsburgh Cultural Trust: Nov.10-Dec. 22

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents a virtual field trip that’s free to schools, as well as people of all ages. The Black Violin: Impossible Tour has performed for more than 100,000 kids in the U.S. and Europe. Classically trained musicians Wil B on viola and Kev Marcus on violin are joined by DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes. Together, they blend classical music with hip-hop. For the complete experience, download a study guide, a Q&A with the musicians and a 45-minute performance that your family can enjoy on your own schedule. No school bus required for this field trip!

Image by Greg Joens.

5. Einstein, a Stage Portrait at Prime Online: Nov. 13-20

Prime Stage Theatre is producing Willard Simms’ “Einstein, A Stage Portrait” as part of its virtual season. The one-man show, performed by Matt Henderson, explores Einstein’s witty personality, his reluctant celebrity and how he changed the way we see the world. Tickets are $20 per household, with a recorded link following the live-stream that will be available through Nov. 20.

Photo courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
Photo courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

6. BOOM Jam Puppet Slam live-streamed from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh: Nov. 14

BOOM Slam Puppet Jam (love that rhyme!) partners with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and City of Asylum for this wild compilation of puppet videos. Kids can submit their five-minute puppet shows by Nov. 7 to be personally included in the fun. Puppeteer artists D.S. Kinsel and Dave English host the event that completes the monthlong puppet series at the museum. Not sure how to get started? Try a little puppet karaoke for guaranteed laughs.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

7. New Moon Hikes in North Park: Nov. 14 and 15

Your family has two chances to catch a new moon hike this month in North Park. With the tiny sliver of light from a new moon, hikers have the opportunity for optimal stargazing. Allegheny County Parks hosts its Latodami New Moon Hike on Nov. 14 for ages 10 and older. The L.L. Bean Moonlight Hike meets at Pie Traynor Field on Nov. 15 for ages 8 and older. Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight to get a peek at nocturnal critters along the way. Follow up your hike with a new moon picnic spread on a blanket to make the most of your evening. Just lean back and gaze toward the heavens. Both events are free, but advance registration is required.

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