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Such a busy, busy month! Big stage productions, intimate performances, outdoor fun and the best family festivals of the year fill May with excitement. Kids of all ages will be engaged and entertained this month. Scroll on for May’s highlights.
1. May 2-9: Makeshop: Wind Tunnel, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Kids visiting the Makeshop at the Children’s Museum will experiment with a variety of materials to consider how air makes them move. They’ll learn how leaves blow about in a breeze, understand the struggle to launch a kite and how to keep a paper airplane flying in a straight line. Each creation will be tested in a wind tunnel to see how the experiment soars — or crash lands. The activity is ongoing throughout the day from May 2-9. Free with general admission.
2. May 5-8: “Swan Lake” education programs, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Performances of “Swan Lake” with the PBT Orchestra run May 6-15 at the Benedum Center. But the free educational programming for all ages, from tiny dancers to their ballet-loving grownups, begins earlier. Daily sessions launch on May 5 with Dance the Story, a movement-based storytime presented via Zoom and a virtual preview, The Fascinating History of Swan Lake. Or catch the Director’s Cut, an opening night conversation between dance historian Elizabeth Kaye and Artistic Director Susan Jaffe on May 6. Additional programming runs through May 8. The deep dive sessions are certain to enhance the audience’s experience of and insight into this iconic ballet.
3. May 7, 15, 22: Wildflower Walk, Point State Park
Head Downtown for a guided Wildflower Walk through Point State Park. Park staff will lead families through the park to discover blooming plants as well as those ready to burst onto the scene — plus plants awaiting warmer temps. Dress for the weather for this rain-or-shine activity. Registration is free but required.
4. May 8: Stars on Ice, PPG Paints Arena
Admire the grace and athleticism of champion ice skaters at the Stars on Ice show at PPG Paints Arena. Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen leads the way with his extraordinary style that’s redefined men’s figure skating. Olympic bronze medalists and two-time U.S. Ice Dance Champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue bring passion and power to their programs. Others in the star-studded lineup include Karen Chu, Jason Brown and Mariah Bell. Tickets range from $15-$155.
5. May 12-15: “The Music Man Jr.,” Pittsburgh Musical Theater
Fast-talking salesman Harold Hill cons the good folks of River City with the promise of 76 trombones, plus horns of every shape and size. The Pittsburgh Musical Theater performance follows “The Music Man Jr.” adaptation as a Young Artist Production, cast with PMT Conservatory students. Your kids will add another generation to the legions of “Music Man” fans who love this show. Tickets are $15-20.
6. May 12-23: Remake Learning Days, multiple locations
More than 175 hands-on activities will be held throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania during Remake Learning Days. The fun connects kids from pre-K through high school with a wide network of community facilities — schools, museums, libraries and nonprofit organizations. Browse through the online event finder to locate activities in your neighborhood and in different areas of interest. Game Jam Jr., for example, is a video game makers event for grades 7-12 at Homewood Children’s Village. Kids in pre-K and kindergarten will explore with Bee Bots, Circuit Blocks and coding with iPads at Avonworth Primary Center. There are many, many more activities — and most are free.
7. May 14: Super Science Saturday, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
If it’s stinky, icky and messy — and prompts a general “ewww!” — you can bet that kids are going to love it. In this month’s Super Science Saturday theme, Poop, Guts and Butts, kids will learn how scientists analyze dung to determine animal health. They’ll pick up wildlife tracking skills through the science of scat identification. As we know from the fave children’s book, “Everyone Poops,” this playful session gets to the bottom of the subject, so to speak. All activities are free with general admission.
8. May 14: Family Day, Contemporary Craft
Contemporary Craft invites families to a hands-on day of crafting and learning. Artist demonstrations give kids a look at a copper project and woodturning. They can give jewelry making a shot, try weaving on a loom and contribute to a community needle punch project. Admission is free and includes a preview of the Fiberart International 2022 exhibition before its official opening in June.
9. May 14-15: EQT Children’s Theater Festival, Downtown
We’re so excited that our favorite family festival returns in person this year. The EQT Children’s Theater Festival presents seven shows from around the world that are aimed at kids from toddlers to tweens. Jay and Will Grimmz bring their hip-hop, story dance to “Grimmz Fairytales” for ages 6 and older. Acrobatics and humor are at the heart of “Pss Pss” for ages 8 and older. Babies from 6 to 18 months will be entertained while exploring at “Flutter.” Tickets are $12 per show, with discounts for multiple shows. Beyond the paid stage performances, the festival offers a wealth of free entertainment and activities throughout the Cultural District. The experience is one your kids will love.
10. May 19-29: “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,” Little Lake Theatre Company
Simon Stephens’ play, based on Mark Haddons’ acclaimed novel, won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2015. The crime story of sorts follows 15-year-old Christopher, who’s brilliant at math but has trouble relating to people and interpreting everyday life. When he finds his neighbor’s dog speared with a pitchfork, he sets out to solve the murder. This fascinating Little Lake Theatre production is best for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $15 for kids, $25 for ages 16 and older.