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You don’t need to look far to find kid-friendly fun in July. There are plenty of family events in and around Pittsburgh, including a couple of cool Jurassic events and booming ways to celebrate the Fourth of July. Check out what’s on tap:
1. Through July 31, “Puffs,” Pittsburgh CLO
Avid fans of the boy wizard series know that the Puffs were never mentioned in the books. But the comedy “‘Puffs,” playing now at the Greer Cabaret Theater, offers a hilarious argument for their inclusion. Racing through “Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic,” the clever tale offers a look at three unlikely heroes trying to make it through a school that’s somewhat dangerous for kids. “Puffs” is offered in performances that match the audience. Saturday and Sunday matinees are kid-friendly, Tickets start at $27.75.
2. July 1-9: Big Butler Fair, Prospect
The 166th annual Big Butler Fair roars back to life with nine days of festivities, including a spectacular fireworks night on July 4th. High octane events include the Bull Ride Mania, School Bus Demolition, Antique Tractor Pull and Giant Auto Demolition Derby. Carnival rides and games compete for attention on the midway. Farm animals are a big draw with sheep, draft horses, chickens and cows on display. Smaller kids will find more interest in the Agricadabra magic show that teaches them about farming, the 4-H Club’s petting zoo and the Parakeet Encounter Aviary. Tickets start at $8 (free for kids 6 and younger).
3. July 2: Furry Parade and Block Party, Downtown
Anthrocon returns to its favorite city with more than 10,000 of the cutest Furries coming from all around the world. Most Anthrocon events take place in the David Lawrence Convention from June 30 through July 3, but it’s great fun to spot lovable Furries around town throughout the weekend. Kids will love the Furry Parade that heads out from the convention center at 2 p.m. on July 2. The Fursuit Parade will follow a route to the first-ever Anthrocon Block Party on Penn Avenue between 9th and 11th streets. The Block Party runs through 9 p.m., allowing plenty of time for glamour shots and selfies.
4. July 3: Liberty Day, Oliver Miller Homestead
Time travel to Liberty Day at the Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park to attend an old-fashioned party with period music, bells, gunfire and firecrackers. Amid the celebration activities, the Declaration of Independence will be read at 2:30 p.m. Learn more about Oliver Miller’s sons, John and William, who fought in the Revolutionary War as part of Morgan’s Rangers, sharpshooters who used rifles instead of muskets. Cheer “huzzah!” to $2 admission. No registration is required.
5. July 4: Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks, Point State Park
Head to Point State Park for a full day of family revelry that includes games, face painting and soul line dancing. On the patriotic side, the Daughters of the American Revolution and Fort Pitt Museum offer a local take on Independence Day history from 1-4 p.m. with Fourth at the Fort. A flag-raising ceremony launches the day’s activities of living history. Costumed interpreters will reenact life from the era.
Squonk Opera will offer two performances of its inventively playful “Hand to Hand.” River City Brass Band and East Winds Symphonic Band will add rousing background music. Bring blankets to spread out on the Great Lawn for your picnic feast or nosh on goodies from on-site food vendors.
The evening ends at 9:35 p.m. with the city’s official Independence Day Fireworks presented by Zambelli. The 25-minute sky show will be accompanied by a soundtrack broadcast on 100.1 FM KDKA. Check out the full schedule so you don’t miss out.
6. July 9-10: “Jurassic Park” in Concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Heinz Hall
Introduce your kids to symphonic music and the magic quality a film score adds to the movie experience. Pittsburgh Symphony will perform the John Williams score live during an HD screening of “Jurassic Park.” Movies would be pretty boring without the drama-building, awe-inspiring music that keeps the story moving. Tickets starts at $25 for this terrific family outing.
7. July 10: Kid’s Day, Schenley Plaza
The July installment of Kid’s Day at Schenley Plaza is set for July 10. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hosts families to for an afternoon of fun in the sun — or under the tent. Kids will love the balloon artist, hands-on craft activities and performers. Moms and dads will love the price: It’s all free, including rides on the PNC Carousel. No registration is needed — just stop by between noon and 4 p.m. — or you can sign up in advance.
8. July 22: Summer Fridays at the Frick, The Frick Pittsburgh
This month’s rendition of Summer Fridays at the Frick invites families to the campus lawns. Bring blankets and folding chairs to relax in comfort. No More Daisies, a pop/country band, will play live music for the party atmosphere. Browse through choice food offerings from the likes of the Beatnik Sweet Eats and Dessert Truck, PGH Halal Truck, Revival Pasta, and The Café at the Frick. Kids will get caught up in making art and other family-focused fun. Be sure to stop in to see the Romare Bearden: Artist as Activist and Visionary exhibition at The Frick Art Museum, which will be open until 9 p.m.
9. July 23: Story Saturday, Carnegie Museum of Art
This month’s Story Saturday program features “Iggy Peck, Architect,” written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts. Iggy has a passion for architecture that began as a toddler: “He built churches and chapels from peaches and apples, and temples from modeling clay.” Hearing Iggy’s story is likely to enlighten kids about the creative problem-solving found in architecture. An art-making activity follows the reading of the book. Designed for ages 12 and younger, the program is free with museum admission, but registration is required.
10. July 23: Super Science Saturday: Jurassic Day, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Dinosaurs continue to bask in the spotlight this summer with zealous fans flocking to the latest big-screen Jurassic flick. July’s Super Science Saturday: Jurassic Day considers real science in prehistoric scenes, while pointing out Hollywood fakery. The day covers the latest scientific dino discoveries from the Jurassic time period. Museum staff will be prepped and ready to answer all of your kids’ questions. Super Science Saturday, planned for ages 7 to 12, is free with museum admission.