We all welcome the return of outdoor activities that challenge and energize kids. There is plenty of fun indoor entertainment, too, for those days when April showers keep us inside.
1. Sound All Around Fidd Kits, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: Through April 16
Since kids can’t visit Fiddlesticks at Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) concerts, their mascot is sending music appreciation to kids. To help make that happen, the PSO created a series of Fidd Kits for ages 3-8. The current theme, Sound All Around, helps kids recognize the music that surrounds them in their daily lives. Each kit is stuffed with craft supplies, instrument trading cards, an activity book and concession stand recipes. The deadline to order the $10 Fidd Kit is April 16.
2. Allegheny County Family Drive-in Movie Series, Boyce and Settlers Cabin parks: April 2-May 22
Yippee! The entertaining lineup of Allegheny County’s free drive-in movies sets the tone for the season. Beginning with “Hop,” the schedule includes other PG-rated family favorites like “Tangled,” “Zootopia” and “Up.” Pack blankets and snacks for a cozy evening with showtimes set for dusk on Fridays at Boyce Park and Saturdays at Settlers Cabin Park. Ekernally Yours will be on hand at both locations selling popcorn, candy and other treats. Place your order online and receive a text when your order is ready for pickup. Easy peasy!
3. Let’s Move Pittsburgh Playful Pop-up Series, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: April 7, 14, 21, 28
Wiggly fidgety kids will have a ball in these energetic Playful Pop-up sessions from Let’s Move Pittsburgh and Phipps. The weekly series engages kids ages 5-8 and their grownups in virtual programming that combines education with movement and games. Subjects range from learning about pollinators and forest animals to butterflies and exotic birds. Playful Pop-up ends with a glorious Full Bloom Ballet session that’s sure to entertain. Registration for the complete four-week series is $28.
4. Environmental STEM Course, Venture Outdoors: April 8, 15, 22
Venture Outdoors’ Outdoor Learning Lab invites kids in grades 3 to 5 to its Environmental STEM Course. The three-session program includes weekly online instruction and offline projects for immersion in backyard fun. Kids will receive material kits for STEM experiments, nature crafts and outdoor educational activities. Grownup involvement will go a long way toward a more enriching experience. Parents will receive weekly supplemental Family Challenges, too. Registration is $35 for the three-week course.
5. Fledglings Program, Succop Nature Park and Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve: April 8 and 13
Human fledglings ages 3 to 5 are welcome to join this monthly Audubon Society program that launches little ones onto a lifetime of outdoor adventure. A new theme is presented each month with Bunny Hop in April, followed by You Little Stinker in May and Dragonfly Jewels in June. The Fledgling session on April 8 takes place at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve. Succop Nature Park hosts the program on April 13. Tickets are $6 for kids older than 2. Browse the Audubon calendar for lots more open-air family outings.
6. Reopening of the PNC Carousel, Schenley Plaza: April 9
It’s a sure sign of spring when the PNC Carousel‘s 16 creatures begin their circular jaunt in Schenley Plaza. Kids can choose their favorite creature from the likes of a sea dragon, dolphin and giraffe. This season, animals will be sanitized between rides, masks are required for kids older than 2, and informational markers will help riders maintain social distancing while standing in line. Each ride requires a $2 token, purchased on-site, or buy a $60 family season pass that’s good for two adults and up to four kids. All 2020 passes will also be honored. The Victorian-style carousel will operate from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
7. Miracle in Rwanda, Prime Stage: April 10-26
Prime Stage Theatre partners with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh to produce “Miracle in Rwanda,” a powerful tale of overcoming incredible hardship. The play is based on the life of Immaculée Ilibagiza, the New York Times bestselling author of “Left to Tell,” who survived the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Despite its tragic nature, the play offers an uplifting message of forgiveness and compassion. Rwandan actress and social justice activist Malaika Uwamahoro takes on the starring role in this one-woman play that’s best for kids from middle school to adults. A variety of study and activity guides are available. Catch the talkback discussion following the opening night performance on April 10. Buy tickets here.