The kids are back in school, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. From theater productions and toy shows to foot races and festivals, celebrate the last gasp of summer at these 13 family-friendly events.
1. The Lion King at the Benedum Center: Sept. 4-29
Stressed out? Say “hakuna matata” and forget your worries during a live action version of “The Lion King.” The hit musical — now in its 21st year on Broadway — has been seen by more than 100 million people worldwide. Special note: For their tour stop in our city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust partnered with Disney Theatrical Productions to offer a sensory-friendly performance. On Sept. 14 at 2 p.m., families with members on the autism spectrum can experience the show with reduced sounds and lights. Quiet play areas will be located in the lobby and trained volunteers will provide audience support.
2. The Imaginators at the Mariposa Children’s Theatre: Sept. 7 – Oct. 12
Behold the power of make-believe at the Mariposa Children’s Theater. “The Imaginators” is the story of three kids who dream up a big adventure pitting them against a child-eating monster called Mooklecratz. Will they defeat the beast? Visit the Bellevue venue to find out.
3. Riglet Park at PNC Park: Sept. 8 and Sept. 29
Seven Springs Mountain Resort is getting an early jump on winter fun. Kids can learn how to shred in shorts and T-shirts at the resort’s traveling Burton Snowboards Riglet Park. The course will be set up on Federal Street outside of PNC Park from 11 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. with four features, including a ball pitch. There will be snowboards, boots, helmets and safety vests available and about a dozen snow pros on site to teach novices some sweet moves.
4. Alphabet Trail & Tales at Frick Park: Sept. 14
Head to Blue Slide Playground in Frick Park for the 20th anniversary of Citiparks’ Alphabet Trail & Tales event. Held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., this free book-based celebration features interactive story sets, a puppet parade, art, music, face painting and games.
5. Gemini Children’s Theater season kick-off show: Sept. 14
Gemini Children’s Theater, a nonprofit organization launched in 1996, launches its new season on Sept. 14 with a production of “Tarzan & Jane.” Through April 2020, interactive musicals — including “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Sword in the Stone” and “Princess & the Pea” — will be held at the Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks.
6. Children Play for Children’s at Play Town Square: Sept. 21
Support UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Free Care Fund by having a ball at Play Town Square, a creative recreation space for kids ages 1 to 8 in Mount Lebanon. From 2 to 5 p.m., families can sample snacks and desserts from local eateries while participating in arts and crafts activities, games and raffles. Each child who attends will go home with a fun swag bag.
7. ZooZilla 5K Run & Ele-FUN-Run at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium: Sept. 21
Run wild at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in support of gorillas and elephants! In addition to the usual 5K course, the event will feature an Ele-FUN-Run for kids aged 7 and under, starting at 7:30 a.m. Pre-registered participants in the pint-sized sprint will receive same-day zoo admission, a medal and light refreshments.