As the weather cools down, the entertainment scene heats up for Pittsburgh kids in November. Hilarious family-focused musicals take the stage, maker activities challenge hands and minds, while holiday programming begins to fill the calendar. Check out these top 10 events for kids and prepare for excitement!

Be sure to pack your masks and visit each organization’s website and social media to stay updated about Covid safety protocols and guidelines.

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Musical Theater.

1. Nov. 4-7: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Pittsburgh Musical Theater

Anyone who is fascinated by the display of smarts in the Scripps National Spelling Bee will get a charge out of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Kids in the audience will relate to the hilarious Broadway musical that includes six awkward kids in competition for the championship title. The Young Artist production includes PMT Conservatory students as actors and tech crew. Tickets are $15 to $20 for performances under the West End Canopy.

2. Nov. 5-7: Troupe Vertigo, Heinz Hall

What a great way to experience the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The acrobatic Troupe Vertigo will defy gravity with astonishing feats that are choreographed to live music and visual projections. Conductor Daniel Meyer waves the baton to produce a stunning show the whole family will enjoy. Tickets start at $22.

Photo courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

3. Nov. 5, 11, 19 and 20: Programs inspired by Emotions at Play with Pixar’s Inside Out, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

The Children’s Museum partnership with Pixar has brought kids the popular Emotions at Play exhibit and a bunch of cool programming related to characters and themes from “Inside Out.” First up is Sewing Imaginary Friends on Nov. 5. Kids will create crazy creatures like Bing Bong using sewing skills, fabric and repurposed stuffed animals. Emotional Charades takes the stage on Nov. 11, when kids act out emotions for others to identify. On Nov. 19, participants will create Islands of Personality from recycled materials. Music in Me on Nov. 20 explores the relationship between music and emotions with DJ Shoe. The programs are included in general admission of $14 for kids, $16 for their grownups. Admission is $2 for people with Access Cards.

Image courtesy of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

4. Nov. 6-7: Crash the Carnegie, Carnegie Museums and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

It’s a two-day birthday party that your family won’t be able to resist crashing. Carnegie Museums and Carnegie Library will celebrate their shared 125th anniversary with a blowout bash that includes live performances, historic tours, storytimes and hands-on maker fun. A sensory-friendly space and activities for teens are part of the weekend schedule. And it’s all free! Just RSVP with timed tickets.

Image courtesy of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center.

5. Nov. 12-21: “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical,” Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center

Kids are in love with “Descendants,” the Disney Channel phenom about the offspring of infamous villains like Cruella, Maleficent and Jafar. You can be the hero by ordering tickets to “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical,” a new stage show that includes villainous songs such as “Rotten to the Core” and “Chillin’ Like a Villain.” Tickets are $18-$25 for performances that run Fridays through Sundays.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

6. Nov. 13: Creative Workshops, Trust Arts Education Center

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust hosts creative workshops this month. Youth in grades 6-8 will learn to tell stories through onstage scenes in the Playwriting Workshop. At the Music Production Workshop, high school kids will gain experience in studio engineering, mixing and mastering music. Kids in grades 6 to 10 will discover fascinating techniques of applying wax and dye to fabric during the Batik Art Workshop. Each session is priced at $25.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

7. Nov. 20: Highmark Light Up Night, Downtown

Light Up Night returns this year — its 60th anniversary — on a new day. The Saturday launch of the Pittsburgh holiday season will help eliminate some of the parking and traffic congestion from previous Friday night celebrations. Plan to participate in all the family-focused activities: musical performances, tree lightings, food and an exciting fireworks finale.

Photo by Becky Thurner.

8. Nov. 20-21: Space Out! Astronomy Weekend, Carnegie Science Center

Prepare for a program that’s out of this world. Carnegie Science Center launches Space Out! Astronomy Weekend with space activities happening on every floor. Learn about the interconnections between the Sun and Earth, fly over Mars and Saturn’s rings and be an eyewitness to meteorites. Plus, kids can make a star clock to track the night sky from their own backyards. All activities are included with general admission. Buy tickets in advance to prevent disappointment.

Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

9. Nov. 21: Hot Cocoa Hike, Schenley Park

Take a hike through Schenley Park with guides from Venture Outdoors. The 2- to 3-mile walk, paced for all ages, will make the most of a brisk fall afternoon. At the hike’s end, participants will be rewarded with hot cocoa and cookies. Registration is $5 for kids and $8 for their grownups.

Photo by Paul Selvaggio.

10. Nov. 26-Dec. 30: Zoo Lights Drive-Thru, Pittsburgh Zoo

Stay snug and warm in the family vehicle as you slowly cruise through the Zoo Lights Drive-Thru. While driving along the zoo path, be entertained by a podcast packed with animal facts and holiday music. Thirty new displays are included in the more than 80 lighted animals. Timed tickets, priced at $50 per vehicle, go on sale Nov. 6.

Bonus events:

Through April 10: Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Through April 23: Pompeii: The Exhibit, Carnegie Science Center
Nov. 5-14: “Karloff: The Man and the Monster,” Prime Stage Theatre
Nov. 12-Jan. 20: Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, Big Butler Fairground
Nov. 19-Jan. 2: Holiday Lights, Kennywood Park
Nov. 19-Jan. 9: Holiday Magic, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Nov. 21: YA author Sharon Draper, Words & Pictures
Nov. 26-27: Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Benedum Center

For more things to do, check out 13 November events not to miss in Pittsburgh.

For live music, read 18 best concerts in Pittsburgh this November, from Bob Dylan to Bad Religion.

This article was underwritten by Kidsburgh.org, a media partner of NEXTpittsburgh. Sign up here for Kidsburgh’s free newsletter filled with local resources and expert advice on raising healthy, thriving kids in southwestern PA.