Chase Fireflies

RADical Days in Pittsburgh

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I love fall for oranges, yellows, and reds; for plaid flannels and boots at the farm; for honey crisp apples and pumpkin everything.  I love fall for the brisk air and the way our kids run around with it in their lungs. 

Autumn in Pittsburgh is incredible for many reasons.  One of my favorites is all that it offers for families.  RADical Days are free days at area museums, art centers, parks, and performance halls, extending from September 24th thru October 16th.   

It is by far the best time of year!  Last year the kids and I trapsed all around the city.  We visited PNC Park and Heinz Field, breathed in beauty at Phipps Conservatory, toured museums, and took in breathtaking art and music performances.  There is nothing better than hands on education.  And for it to be free makes me smile. 

Here is a compilation of some of my favorite places for kids (and a couple I just want to explore for myself!) 

Sunday, September 25

CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER
Free Admission 10am-5pm
One Allegheny Avenue (North Shore)
Carnegie Science Center offers hands-on exhibits to delight and to inspire all ages. Interact with robots, explore the stars in our planetarium, visit sea creatures, shoot a foam rocket, practice the skills a surgeon uses, climb a wall in Highmark SportsWorks®, even tour a real submarine.  Special Performance:
Prime Stage Theatre and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra will present short staged readings from their new stage adaptation of the award-winning fantasy novel, A Wrinkle in Time. Shows at 1PM and 3PM.

Monday, September 26

PHIPPS CONSERVATORY AND BOTANICAL GARDENS
Free Admission 9:30am-5pm
One Schenley Park Dr. (Oakland)
Step into the whimsical and sustainable world of Summer Flower Show: Living Harmoniously with Nature and you will find many surprises among the blooms, from playful animal topiaries to unique recycled art. Come and let us capture your imagination like never before. Performances by
Tuesday Musical Club (Noon) and the River City Brass (1P).

BOYCE MAYVIEW PARK: THE OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
Free Admission 9am-3pm
1531 Mayview Road (Upper St. Clair Twp)
Explore Boyce Mayview Park with The Outdoor Classroom naturalist staff. Enjoy a birding stroll. Look for salamanders along Chartiers Creek. Bring a picnic or relax in our peaceful atmosphere as families explore Hawk Meadow during a nature scavenger hunt. Scheduled family-friendly activities from 9AM-3PM.

SENATOR JOHN HEINZ HISTORY CENTER
Free Admission 10am-5pm
1212 Smallman Street (Strip District)
From the French & Indian War to the Super Bowl-winning Steelers, discover 250 years of Pittsburgh history at the Senator John Heinz History Center. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the History Center is the largest history museum in Pennsylvania and includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. Performances by
South Hills Chorale (noon), Children’s Festival Chorus (1P), Calliope Folk Music Society singers and musicians (2P) and Chatham Baroque (3P).

ALLEGHENY PARKS: SOUTH PARK HAY DAY
Free Admission Noon-4pm
South Park Fair Grounds (South Park)
Kids of all ages can enjoy fun fall activities like hay rides, pony rides, petting zoo, face-painting, bounce houses, strolling artists, arts & crafts, food and beverages for sale and more!

Sunday, October 2

FORT PITT MUSEUM
Free Admission 10am-5pm
101 Commonwealth Place in Point State Park (Downtown)
Through interactive exhibitions, life-like historical figures and recently added artifact, the Fort Pitt Museum brings to life the story of Western Pennsylvania’s pivotal role during the French & Indian War, the American Revolution and the birthplace of Pittsburgh. Visit the newest exhibit, The American Frontier Rifleman: Tall Tales & Truth.

PITTSBURGH CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Free Admission 11am-1pm
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts School, 1047 Shady Avenue
Free mixed media workshops for kids ages 5-13 based on work in the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial. PCA will be offering workshops for children as well as workshops for parents and children to work together.

CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART
CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Free Admission Noon-5pm
4400 Forbes Ave. (Oakland)
Visit one of the world’s best natural history museums, and the art museum where the local and the global meet, in one dynamic destination! Enjoy hands-on activities for kids and grown-ups, and see some of the most exciting collections of art and science anywhere on Earth.

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PITTSBURGH
Free Admission Noon-5pm
10 Children’s Way (North Shore)
Take off on fantastic flights of imagination and return to earth to build and launch a boat down a 53-foot waterway, ink your own silkscreen, catch words that fall from the sky, visit King Friday’s Palace & much more. In 2011 the Museum was named one of the nation’s ten top children’s museums by Parents Magazine. Expected performers are the Otets Paissi, the dance ensemble of the Bulgarian Cultural Center, and the Aeolian Winds, featuring musicians from the Edgewood Symphony and the Pittsburgh Philharmonic.

MATTRESS FACTORY
Free Admission 1-5pm
500 Sampsonia Way (North Side)
The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art that presents art you can get into — room-sized environments, created by in-residence artists. Located on Pittsburgh’s North Side since 1977, the Mattress Factory is one of few museums of its kind anywhere.

Tuesday, October 4

PNC PARK
Free Admission 10am-3pm (tours only)
115 Federal Street (North Shore)
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Best Ballpark in America. Places you may visit are the batting cages, press box, seating area, and Highmark Legacy Square. Tours take place on the hour from 10am to 3pm with the last tour starting at 2pm; 60 guest maximum, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please enter at the Left Field Gate on Federal Street, by the Willie Stargell Statue. All areas, date and times are subject to change without notice.

Sunday, October 9

PITTSBURGH ZOO & PPG AQUARIUM
Free Admission 9am-5pm (gates close at 4pm)
One Wild Place (Highland Park)
Come see some of the most amazing animals from around the world, including tigers, elephants, polar bears, gorillas giraffes, sand tiger sharks, and much more. Performances by Pittsburgh CLO Mini-Stars (11AM), Gateway to the Arts roster artists Joe Wos (noon) and Betsy Lawrence (12:30P) and Jazz Workshop (1P).  Sponsored by PPG Industries.

The Pittsburgh CLO Mini-Stars have built a reputation as Pittsburgh’s leading young performance company.  This talented group of 16 young professional artists, ranging in age from 12-16. provide spectacular live musical theater entertainment.
Gateway to the Arts presents two special family performances, taking their acts out of the schools and into the Zoo.  Once Upon a Toon with Joe Wos combines the performing, literary and visual arts in a unique performance for all ages.  This interactive adventure features original stories by Joe Wos will will delight families with his heartwarming and hilarious rendition of folk takes and fairy tales —with a twist!   In Women in Song, sing along with vocalist and guitarist Betsy Lawrence and pianist John Burgh as they trace the roles of women in music over the past 70 years through popular American songs.  Jazz Workshop, Inc. provides musical instruction and presents performances of America’s classical music: jazz. 

Tuesday, October 11

HEINZ FIELD
900 Art Rooney Ave. (North Shore)
Free Admission 10am-3pm (tours only)
Home of the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pitt Panthers and host of special events and concerts. Tours on the hour; last tour starts at 3PM. Limit 50 guests per hour. First come, first served. Enter under the Coca Cola Great Hall sign along Art Rooney Ave.

Find the complete listing of RADical days and events  here.

2 thoughts on “RADical Days in Pittsburgh

  1. The picture of Selah makes me happy. 🙂 Miss you guys!

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