Roasting marshmallows at Play by the Fire. Photo by Nathan J. Shaulis.

From a week of water fun at the Children’s Museum to festivals for Italian food and culture, African-American arts, music and ice cream, Pittsburgh has plenty of cool ways for families to make the most out of August.

Image courtesy of Omicelo DreamOn Festival.

DreamOn Music and Ice Cream Festival in Market Square: August 4-5

It’s music to your ears and tastebuds at the DreamOn Music and Ice Cream Festival. The family-friendly event in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Market Square features a weekend of free entertainment and, of course, cold summer treats. Sample 15 delicious flavors of ice cream and watch live performances by 15 local music acts spanning a variety of genres and styles including jazz, hip-hop, soul and electronic. The event serves as a fundraiser for Omicelo Cares, a nonprofit working to empower residents in gentrifying communities through sustainable real estate and business practices.

DreamOn is free and open to the public. The event includes a performance by Grammy-winning artist Bilal at the August Wilson Center. Tickets for Bilal cost $25.

Harambee Black Arts Festival. Photo by Rossano Paul Photography.

Harambee Black Arts Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration in Homewood: August 4-6

The Harambee Black Arts Festival marks its 50th anniversary with a weekend full of festivities. The event kicks off with the annual Soul Stepping Parade, followed by three days in which the streets of Homewood play host to a variety of food and retail vendors, live music, dance and more. Head to the Children’s Village for family-friendly fun such as bouncy houses, games, a petting zoo, and activities from the Carnegie Science Center, Reading Is Fundamental and Buzzword. Don’t miss a performance by Gemini Children’s Theatre or the basketball tournament. You can also view local art in the mobile Legacy Art Gallery or learn about subjects such as yoga, African dance and gardening at Health and Wellness Workshops courtesy of Creative Balance 4 Empowering People.

The Harambee Black Arts Festival 50th Anniversary Celebration takes place at 7100 Kelly Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. The event is free and open to the public, but guests are asked to please RSVP and take part in a community survey.

Fall Fantasy at Kennywood. Image courtesy of Kennywood.
Fall Fantasy at Kennywood. Image courtesy of Kennywood.

Fall Fantasy at Kennywood: August 5-22

A cherished Kennywood tradition continues when Fall Fantasy returns to the park. Dating back to 1950, the event brings bands from all over the region to perform. This year, 165 high school and college marching bands and auxiliaries from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia will march through Kennywood for 18 consecutive days. Each night, music will fill the park during parades that take guests on a journey with the theme Passport to Fun: Hopping Around the World.

Fall Fantasy homecoming parades begin at 8 p.m. every night from August 5-22. Discount tickets are available online or at participating Dunkin Donuts locations.

PhenomeCON. Image courtesy of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

PhenomeCON Teen Pop Culture Convention at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: August 5

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh gives young fans a chance to share their favorite movies, TV shows, comic books and other media during the PhenomeCON Teen Pop Culture Convention. The teen-only event gathers kids from all over the city for a day of gaming, crafting and cosplay costume-making. There’s also a trivia contest, fandom art show, movie screening and more.

The PhenomeCON Teen Pop Culture Convention takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Carnegie Library in Oakland. Transportation will be provided from multiple library branches throughout the city. Lunch will also be provided. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Photo by daveynin/Flickr.

Family Fest and Open Practice at Heinz Field: August 6

Sports fans of all ages have a chance to enjoy a day of fun at Heinz Field when with the Pittsburgh Steelers host Family Fest. The event highlights the team’s first-ever open training camp practice at the stadium, an occasion preceded by a Parade of Champions march with Special Olympic Athletes, First Responders and members of the military. Watch the team’s 2016 highlight film, Whatever It Takes, on the stadium’s scoreboard or marvel at on-field performances by the Steeline Drumline, Hell on Wheels BMX stunt show and Bill Camp’s Famous Flying Dogs. Meet Steelers alumni and take a photo next to all six of the team’s Lombardi Trophies in the FedEx Great Hall. There’s also music by DJ Steve Maffei, raffles and more.

Family Fest takes place on Art Rooney Avenue beginning at 3 p.m. and continues throughout Heinz Field in the FedEx Great Hall, Ford Fan Zone and West Concourse. Tickets cost $10.

Playing with the Water Mover at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Image courtesy of Kris & Fred/Flickr.

EQT Water Week at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh: August 7-13

Cool off at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh when EQT presents Water Week. For several fun-filled days, explore the wonders of water during activities such as watercolor painting, carnival-style games and fabric dying. Chip away at frozen dinosaurs, enjoy refreshing fruit- and herb-infused water or head outside to learn how to make your own water filters from recycled materials. You can also make a splash at Buhl Community Park as you run through sprinklers, toss around a beach ball or lounge by the pool.

EQT Water Week activities take place each day from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. All activities are available with regular museum admission.

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.