Your kids are back in school, sure, but with nearly rampant budget cuts in many districts, many extracurricular programs are on the run. Your little guy might only be exposed to a small amount of education outside of the classroom walls, so a simple search of Pittsburgh’s vibrant culture will surely point you in the right direction. Below is a list of some of the best educational endeavors in the city for tots, middle-schoolers and even college kids.
American Indian Heritage Weekend
401 Meadowcroft Road
Avella, PA 15312
Date: Sept. 27-28, 2014
Attendees are invited to explore Meadowcroft’s recreated American Indian Village during this special weekend. Highlights of the activities include actors demonstrating daily activities of an American Indian’s life, a tour of a wigwam and local artists’ paintings of early era Indians. Happily for everyone in your group, the AIHW event is included with regular admission to Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. In addition, a shuttle from the Heinz History Center to Meadowcroft will run on Saturday, September 27.
1 Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Date: Running through Sept. 2014
Pittsburgh’s most heavily trafficked Garden Railroad in Phipps Conservatory’s South Conservatory will soon morph into Phipps Prehistoric Park. The perfect place to take train lovers and dino fans (or even Dinosaur Train aficionados), the garden will be adorned with a model park, hundreds of colorful dinosaurs and a selection of western Pennsylvania’s most rare and exquisite animal and plant fossils donated by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Kids young and old will be in awe at the wonder of plants and prehistory demonstrated in this adorable, whimsical display.
Coca Cola Great Hall
100 Art Rooney Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
What do you get when you combine half of a museum and half of a Hall of Fame? Why the Coca-Cola Great Hall, of course, home to more Steelers and Three Rivers Stadium (the former home of the Steelers before being converted to Heinz Field) memorabilia than you can imagine. This practical institution showcases the most outstanding moments in Steelers’ history and the players who made them. A permanent stage, lockers and bleachers from Three Rivers Stadium, banners, replicas of the Steelers’ 6 Super Bowl trophies, murals and more merchandise than you can take in in one visit make this the ideal setting for any Steelers fan, young or old. Book your own tour here.
Penn’s Colony Festival
365 Saxonburg Blvd.
Saxonburg, PA 16056
Date: Sept. 20-21 and Sept. 27-28, 2014
Penn’s Colony Festival is an annual outdoor event held in Saxonburg commemorating Western PA’s role in the French and Indian War. Penn’s Colony hopes to educate and inspire participants by recreating the atmosphere of the “Publick Tymes” fairs in colonial America. As with every year, music, authentic colonial food (and a few funnel cakes!), magic shows, children’s activities, battle reenactments and plenty of vendors await to dazzle, entertain and even enlighten your party.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.