By Christine Mouser

The long winter months can lead to cooped-up kids and cabin fever frenzies. Fortunately, March brings some fun events for just about everyone in the family. So round up the kids and their pent-up energy, and start spring off on the right foot.

(Photo: KDKA)

Breakfast with Dinosaurs

4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 622-3131
Dates & Times: March 24th 2012 & April 7th 2012 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Price: Members: $65 per adult/child pair; $10 per additional guest (up to two per adult/child pair)
Non-Members: $80 per adult/child pair; $15 per additional guest (up to two per adult/child pair)

Take a step back in Prehistoric time, and grab a bite to eat among the largest creatures to ever walk the earth—dinosaurs! Here’s the plan: eat a delicious breakfast, partake in some cool activities and join in on a tour. The breakfast menu will certainly suit picky eaters with choices of French toast, eggs, pastries, yogurt and fruit. After breakfast, the kids will get down and dirty with some dinosaur tracking, using wet sand and clay to replicate dinosaur imprints. They’ll even get to check out real-life fossils. The morning ends with a private, guided tour of Dinosaurs in Their Time, an exhibition that showcases all forms of life in the Mesozoic Era. Fossil digs and interactive touch screens will keep the kids interested and ready to learn.

Max & Ruby: Bunny Party

Byham Theater
101 6th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 456-6666
Dates & Times: Fri., March 9th 2012 at 7 p.m.; Sat, March 10th 2012 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Another preschool-aged show is hopping along to the ‘Burgh this spring—grab some tickets and your kids and check out Max & Ruby: Bunny Party! This newly formed musical show is perfect for the young ones who adore the animated comedy series on Nick Jr. The musical features Max and Ruby heading to a surprise party for a special someone. But before they get to the party, the bunnies get into plenty of shenanigans to keep the audience plenty entertained. Cute costumes, energetic songs and engaging sets all together make this a can’t-miss event for the children.

As a little background, the Max & Ruby television show was created based off the children’s book series that blew up in popularity world-wide. Ever since 2002, Max & Ruby has been on television, teaching young viewers the respectful ways to solve problems.

The Fresh Beat Band

Byham Theater
101 6th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 456-6666
Date & Time: Sat, March 17th 2012 at 3 p.m.

If you’ve got a preschooler in the family, chances are they’re probably a little obsessed with Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band. And even if your tiny tot isn’t aware of this preschool music group just yet, checking out the Fresh Beat Band’s live tour in March will make them instant fans. Cast members Kiki, Shout, Marina and Twist will get the crowd moving with hit songs from their television show, which has been on air for three seasons.

For those unfamiliar with the television show, the format is a musical sitcom that features original songs performed by the energetic cast with age-appropriate lyrics. The main goal is to teach the young ones to appreciate music as well as expressing yourself through song, sort of like a younger and less controversial version of Glee. And for those die-hard dancing kings and queens, there are plenty of party packages available—including a special meet and greet with the Fresh Beat Band.

(Photo: KDKA)

Laser Gaga

Carnegie Science Center
One Allegheny Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 237-3400
Select Friday & Saturdays
Admission: $8 non-members, $2 members

It’s hard to come across a family outing that’s perfect for everyone—but the Laser Gaga show at the Carnegie Science Center may just be the perfect pairing. Dad will be singing the wrong lyrics, while the “little monsters” will be dancing away to some Lady Gaga hits, like “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “Alejandro,” “Telephone” and “Born This Way.”

So what exactly is it? The Carnegie Science Center’s Buhl Digital Dome will feature a laser show, choreographed to Gaga’s monster tunes, coupled with a great light show. The center even has a brand new, state-of-the-art projection system that brings the laser show to a whole new level. There are several different themes throughout the year for the lasers shows, but Laser Gaga is sure to be the family favorite with her mass appeal and upbeat tunes. Most laser shows are presented Friday and Saturday nights, but be sure to check out their website for specific times and dates.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

6th Annual Maple Sugar Celebration and Pancake Celebration

Fern Hollow Nature Center
1901 Glen Mitchell Road
Sewickley, PA 15143
(412) 741-6136
Date & Time: Sat March 11th 2012 from 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $8; Children (3-12), $6

After spending much of the winter months trapped indoors, it’s time to kick off those Snuggies and slippers and get some fresh air at the Fern Hollow Nature Center’s Sixth Annual Pancake Breakfast and Maple Sugaring Celebration. It may sound confusing, but there’s nothing puzzling about this event—just get up and go. Here at the nature center, you and your family can enjoy a scrumptious traditional or buckwheat pancake breakfast with real deal Pennsylvania maple syrup. While you gobble down those hotcakes, you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about maple sugaring. After your feast, there is still plenty to do—from children’s activities, tree tapping, a bonfire and more. It’s a perfect plan to get your kids’ eyes away from those television screens and onto something a little more stimulating and unique. Seatings will be available every half an hour, so be sure to get there at a decent time.
If you can’t make it to the breakfast, the Fern Hollow Nature Center is always a great option for a nature-filled outing. Over 5,000 visitors a year head to the nature center for nature walks, creek visits programs and the lush plant life.

Christine Mouser is currently living in the Pittsburgh area, where she is an editorial intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. She is set to graduate from Penn State University this summer, with a degree in print journalism. She has written for, Town&Gown magazine and Penn State’s Valley magazine.