Hartwood Acres
Let the kids run wild at Hartwood Acres, home of the Allegheny County Music Festival,

School is back in session, but there’s still time for you to take the kids outdoors for a few more warm weather adventures. Here’s our list of the top 10 family-friendly events in September.

1. Kids’ Weekend at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival: September 1-3

Hear ye! Hear ye! Young princesses, princes and pirates rule the kingdom beginning Sept. 1-3 at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, a six weekend-long event that brings medieval fairy tales to life. Children under 12 get the royal treatment with free admission, knighting ceremonies, a costume contest, photo ops and kid-friendly quests that will test their mettle (even if they aren’t wearing a suit of armor). So, grab a colossal turkey legge and live happily ever after!

Shadyside Nursery transforms into a concert venue each Sunday from July through Sept. 2. Photo by Ray Gerard.

2. Weather Permitting at Shadyside Nursery: September 2

Each summer Sunday, Shadyside Nursery hosts Weather Permitting, an outdoor concert series from the dudes who brought you the “Big Lebowski” festival, Pittsburgh Abides. The event features music from local and national acts, food trucks, beer, vendors and plenty of activities for the kiddos (squirt gun battle, anyone?). Celebrate the end of the season at the final event on Sept. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m., with performances by Sweet Poison Victim, SunHound and Rumbon De La Calle, and grub provided Brassero Grill, Pgh Po’ Boy, Brisketburgh and Sticklers. Adults pay $10, but children (and well-behaved dogs) get in free.

3. Allegheny County Music Festival at Hartwood Acres: September 2

Bid a musical adieu to summer at Hartwood Acres, a seemingly endless sea of green in Allison Park. Held Sept. 2 at 5 p.m., the 19th annual Allegheny County Music Festival features food trucks, craft beer from Hop Farm Brewing and sounds from The Living Street, Starship Mantis, Meeting of Important People and headliner Uprooted with Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root. The suggested $20 per vehicle donation benefits the county’s department of human services, which supports local children and youth.

Reach for the stars at the Mingo Creek Park Observatory. Photo by Mike Lincoln courtesy of mikelincolnphoto.com.

4. Star Party at Mingo Observatory: September 7 & 8

Space enthusiasts of all ages are invited to catch a glimpse of the cosmos at Mingo Observatory, where free “star parties” will be held Sept. 7 and 8 at 6 p.m. Owned and operated by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, the observatory is the largest one of its kind in Southwestern Pennsylvania and boasts two, large permanent telescopes. Bring your ‘scope and let volunteers give you lessons on how to use it to see planets, galaxies and star clusters. Unless it’s raining, the experience is guaranteed to be out of this world.

Dance a jig at this year’s Pittsburgh Irish Festival! Courtesy of Pittsburgh Irish Festival.
Dance a jig at this year’s Pittsburgh Irish Festival! Courtesy of Pittsburgh Irish Festival.

5. Pittsburgh Irish Festival at The Riverplex: September 7-9

You don’t have to be Irish (or of legal drinking age) to enjoy the Pittsburgh Irish Festival. A tradition since 1991, the halfway-to-St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans will be held Sept. 7-9. In additional to Emerald Isle-inspired food and beverages, there will be Celtic dancing on four stages, axe throwing, a marketplace, cultural displays and presentations, Gaelic sports, children’s activities and an Irish Mass celebrated on Sunday at 10 .m.  This year’s musical entertainment includes Gaelic Storm, Screaming Orphans, Doolin’ Rory Makem, Corned Beef and Curry Band, The Wild Geese, Donnie Irish and more!

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.