Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Summer '19 “Dream! Explore! Do!”

This post in partnership with United Way's Allegheny Partners for Out-of- School Time (APOST).

Well, school has been out for a few weeks and my kids have already proved they can't exist in the same room because SOMEONE MIGHT BREATHE THEIR AIR. 😲 One of the best ways I've found to combat conflict and stress in the summer is LISTS. My kids have a list of things they have to do every morning. It includes cleaning their room, doing chores and daily reading. It helps them feel like they know what to do and accomplished when they've completed their morning list. Kids thrive on structure and knowing what is expected of them. Summer days can be really hard when routine looks different each day. So we try to keep on track with morning routine and then plan something fun for the afternoons!

A list that is even more fun for your family to create is a Summer Bucket List

Some of the things on our family list this summer:

✅Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
✅cooling off at Sandcastle
✅free summer night movie with Cinema in the Park
✅family bike ride

Print off the Bucket List below and have fun with your kids checking various activities off the list!

Once again this summer, I am partnering with Mayor William Peduto, Allegheny Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania's Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) and various child-serving organizations are teaming up for Summer19 Dream! Explore! Do! The youth-centered campaign will provide thousands of local children, grades K-12, with fun, educational learning activities. 

Summer19 partners hope to boost academic performance, promote physical health and provide a safe, structured environment for youth through meaningful summer learning programming. Research shows that participation in summer activities can improve classroom behavior, school attendance, academic aspirations and reduce the summer learning slide. So while summer is a fun way to break away from our typical routines, it also provides opportunities to learn in new and creative environments.  

Bottom line, we as parents know that education continues through the summer, but that doesn't keep us from having FUN while continuing to learn. 

One of the best resources we in the Pittsburgh region is the Summer19 website. It gives you thousands of opportunities all around our region. As soon as your kids offer those famous summer words "I'm bored", you'll know exactly where to look for some fun! Check the Summer19 website throughout the summer for opportunities around the city. 

This summer, as you and your kids are out exploring and completing your Summer Bucket List, share your photos with us and tag #APOST on Facebook & Twitter

Join with us this summer as we......

Dream! Explore! Do!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Summer fun in Pittsburgh

This post in partnership with Kidsburgh and The Motherhood. All opinions remain my own and I don't promote venues that my family doesn't love!

Alright friends, summer is almost here! My kids are dragging through their final days of school (anyone else unmotivated to give any more spelling words? πŸ’πŸ˜†)

We are starting to put together our summer bucket list! One of our favorite activities to do at the beginning of the summer is to sit down together and talk about specific places that my kids want to visit over their summer break. 

Some of our favorites that we plan to do this summer:

As a parent, I am always looking for new and fun experiences for my kids. And with 4 kids, things that are either free or don't cost a small fortune. 😳 This summer, I am partnering with Kidsburgh to help you find the best local fun in the Pittsburgh region! Kidsburgh is an awesome go-to resource focusing on the people and and ideas making Pittsburgh a great place to raise kids. And I think we have a pretty fantastic city in which to raise kids!

Kidsburgh has put together some great family guides in helping you find the best sources for local fun with kids summer activities!
Also stay turned to their website for more guides coming soon as well!
  • Three River Arts Festival
  • Summer Movies – where to watch and the deals
  • Water Fun - the best places around the city to cool off (will include free options as well!)

Check out Kidsburgh's Maker Mondays!
  • Every Monday, Kidsburgh editors share a fun, educational project for kids to create (some with adult supervision, of course!)
  • For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page
Kidsburgh.org also features a robust calendar for Pittsburgh family fun that lists kid-friendly events throughout the region and a directory of child-serving organizations.

Follow Kidsburgh on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and checkout Kidsburgh.org for all the
happenings in and around Pittsburgh!

Whatever your kids ages and whatever your kids interests, you are sure to find lots of summer fun in the 'Burgh! 


 #Kidsburgh, #SummerFun, #SummerInPittsburgh

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Children's Theater Festival + Ticket Giveaway

It's almost May (yay!) which also means one our of very FAVORITE festivals of the year is almost here! The EQT Children's Theater Festival is one of the most unique family events around and you don't want to miss it! We've seen some really cool and interesting shows since our family started attending 5 years ago. 

EQT Children’s Theater Festival 
May 16-19 
Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District

There are featured performances for kids and teens of all ages in Cultural District theaters and tickets start at only $12. In addition to featured performances, the Festival grounds are filled with FREE activities, performances, and experiences for families.

The awesome shows coming this year:
  • FLY: A poetic journey into a circus universe with strange characters, big emotions and captivating puppet imagery.
  • Emily Brown & The Thing: Emily Brown and Stanley set off on incredible adventures to the Dark and Scary Wood, the Whirling Wastes and beyond, to find the Thing’s cuddly, his bedtime milk and his medicine.
  • Murikamification: The magical, surrealistic stories of Haruki Murakami come to life with the intensely physical and absurd performance throughout Pittsburgh’s own Cultural District.
  • Sky & Stone:  A stone falls from the sky and sparks curiosity, exploration, and play for babies and toddlers.
  • Air Play: Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience, and the biggest snow glove you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder and laugh until it hurts.
  • Sons of Mystro: Use their violins to interpret reggae classics, American pop songs and their own creations accompanied by beats, and sometimes a DJ & guitarist.
  • Circle, Circle, Circle: Immerse yourself in a larger-than-life cube of colors. A 3D rainbow of circles create a 15-foot high maze that’s as fun to gaze at as it is to adventure inside.
Go here to get tickets, starting at just $12!

There are friendly, helpful Festival Guides stationed throughout the Cultural District to help families find their Festival destinations, get show and activity recommendations, and more! Be sure to visit this link to help plan your visit with parking, restrooms, food options & event information. 

We're going to make it extra fun for two families by giving away {two} family 4-packs of tickets to the show of your choice! Enter below!

Thanks to Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for sponsoring this great family festival and this post. All opinions remain my own. I don't endorse venues that my family doesn't love!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Harlem Globetrotters come to Beaver Falls

The past couple of years we have been traveling over Christmas and haven't been able to make it to the Dec. 26th Globetrotters Pittsburgh visit. So we were pretty thrilled to find out that they're coming back to Geneva College in Beaver Falls and we'll get the chance to see them again! The Globetrotters always put on a fantastic family-friendly show that is engaging and fun for the audience. And those mascots? So funny!

Harlem Globetrotters | New Fan Powered World Tour!

Get in the game where you won't be watching the action...you'll be in the middle of it!

Where: Geneva College | Metheny Fieldhouse, Beaver Falls, PA.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 7 p.m. (Doors open 6 p.m.)

Join us as the HG celebrate their fans during the all-new Fan Powered World Tour! Interact with Globetrotters stars more than ever before, both on and off the court.  New this year, you can download the Globetrotters’ interactive mobile application with exclusive features, including an augmented reality (AR) basketball toss game and custom photo filters. The Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. Don’t miss out and get your tickets today!

Go here to get your tickets. Be sure to use promo code FunFam to save 25% per ticket. (Promo code can be used at any show nationwide.)

We love how they interact with the audience!

I was given tickets for my family in exchange for the promotion. All opinions remain my own. Photos used by permission of the Harlem Globetrotters. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Peg + Cat ticket giveaway

Calling all Peg + Cat fans! You can catch a live show that incorporates comedy, music + more coming to downtown Pittsburgh! 

New to Peg + Cat? Well, here's the scoop......

Peg + Cat is a preschool series on PBS that incorporates foundational math skills in a creative and exciting way. The characters count, sort and group their way to solutions to everyday problems. They incorporate musical rhythms and rhyming with a fun animation style as well! And with a girl leader, it also helps to break down the gender stereotype that girls are not awesome at math. πŸ‘Œ

Saturday, February, 2, 2019, 11:00AM


Based on the Emmy-winning PBS Kids show Peg + Cat, this totally awesome musical features wild comedy, countless favorite songs from the show, and Peg’s super coolest pal Ramone! When Peg’s Mom asks Peg and Cat to mail some really important letters, they come face to face with a really big dog. Really Big Problem! To solve it, they’ll need math—bar graphs, size comparison, position words, fair sharing, and a whole lot of counting. They’ll also need to count on each other, and the audience too, for their problem to be solved.

The show was originally scheduled for two time slots and had to be moved to one because of a scheduling conflict. So grab your tickets here before the show sells out!

We have 4 tickets to giveaway to this fun show! Click link below for your chance to enter and win. Don't forget to comment + share from our facebook link as well! Good luck! 

This post sponsored in partnership with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Let My People Go: A Spiritual Journey Along The Underground Railroad

February is Black History Month and it's a historic time to delve deeper into the past of our country. We've had some ugly racist incidents in Pittsburgh over the past few years and it is important for us to acknowledge that racism is not behind us. The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh will be presenting this deeply moving story at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 15th. An incredible opportunity to learn more about our history and be a part of combating racism in our region. Tickets are expected to sell out. Check below for our discount link!

Let My People Go: A Spiritual Journey Along The Underground Railroad

February 15, 2019 - 7:30pm
Matthew Mehaffey, conducting the MCP
Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2001 Wylie Ave Pittsburgh PA 15219

This dramatic work, composed by award-winning, American composer Donald McCullough, interweaves 14 Negro Spirituals with a dramatic, historically-based script. The result is an experience audiences have called “visceral”, “spine-tingling,” and “deeply moving,” in premieres across the United States. We are honored to present this program at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
This project, the first collaboration between these two venerable Pittsburgh institutions, seeks to be a compelling example of unity amidst the current climate of emboldened racism, and to invite the community to experience the powerful story of African Americans’ journey towards freedom that is an indelible part of our national and regional history. MCP and Ebenezer Baptist Church intend the spirituals through which this story is told to uplift and galvanize, just as they inspired and guided the enslaved on their courageous journey.
After its premiere at the Kennedy Center, Let My People Go! was featured at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of the museum’s inaugural activities. Audiences have described their experience as “moving,” “haunting,” “magnificent,” and “spine-tingling.”

Located in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District, the 143-year-old Ebenezer Baptist Church serves a diverse congregation near the actual location of an Underground Railroad stop. The church itself was a primary meeting place for local civil rights activists in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination.
Go here to purchase tickets (this link automatically applies a 10% discount!)  You can also access the discount by using promo code MOMS at their main webpage or calling the box office at 866-811-4111.

I am looking forward to seeing this powerful show!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Best Christmas Light Displays in Pittsburgh

Each year in December, we get the kids in pj's and give them the impression that they're heading to bed early, only to load them up in the car and do a Christmas light drive! I recently asked on our facebook page for the best suggestions around our region. Since so many commented with such great suggestions, I thought they would be worth putting in a post where everyone can see the info in one place. 

1. Christmas Light Up Celebration (Clinton, PA)

TOP RECOMMENDATION! This One-Mile Drive Through Holiday Experience is the best kept holiday secret in Pittsburgh! Over a mile of lights and displays in a beautiful, enchanted woodland setting.  Located on Route 30, only two miles from the Pittsburgh International Airport, and fifteen minutes from shopping at the Mall at Robinson. 

Dates/Times: November 17, 2018 - January 1, 2018. Open daily from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.  Open on all holidays. $10 donation per car is asked.
600 Clinton Park Drive, Clinton, PA 15026

Traffic detours: There will be traffic detours for Christmas Light Up Celebration on December 14, 15, 21 and 22 from 6 to 9 pm. Traffic will be routed from Rt. 30 West onto Matchette Road, left onto Camp Meeting Road to Clinton Park Road. Police officers will be on Rt. 30 assisting with these detours.

2. Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland (Big Butler Fairgrounds)
This award-winning Christmas light and music extravaganza is unlike any show you've seen. Guests simply tune in their radio, and watch the magic unfold as they drive through hundreds of thousands of brilliant LED lights dancing in perfect synchronization with the music filling their vehicle.  Journey ends at kid-friendly Santa's Village.  $25/carload, $40/mini-bus, limo, activity van.  New & Improved Santa's Village! Entry into Santa's Village is FREE with light show admission. It's a place where young and old alike can gather and enjoy the fun, festive spirit of Christmas indoors.
Dates/Times: November 18, 2018 - January 9th, 2017. Open daily from 6:00PM - 10:00PM. 

1127 New Castle Rd,  Prospect PA 16052

Baker Family Christmas Extravaganza of Lights and Music, a spectacular display of 35,000 Christmas lights set to cheerful holiday music. 

Dates/Times: December 1, 2018 - January 5, 2019. Open daily from 5:00PM - 11:00PM. 

502 Hedge Row Court, Cranberry Township, PA 16066 

There are over 1 million sparkling lights as well as fun, festive opportunities to decorate cookies, ride the Gingerbread Express, visit Santa, and hear choirs singing throughout the park. You'll find hot chocolate and apple cider added to refreshment stands to help you warm up!  Kennywood’s 4-D Theater will show screenings of The Polar Express: A 4-D Experience, included with admission. My kids loved this show! 
Go here to purchase tickets for only $14! (Kids 3 & under are free.)
Dates/Times: Kennywood Holiday Lights will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 5-9pm,  November 23 - December 30, 2018. 

Holiday Lights Rides
   • 4-D Theater, showing The Polar Express 4-D Experience 
   • Auto Race 
   • Ghostwood Estate 
   • Journey with Thomas (train ride) 
   • Kangaroo 
   • Merry-Go-Round 
   • Noah’s Ark 
   • Pirate 
   • Thomas Town Attractions 
   • Turtle 
   • Up to 10 rides in Kiddieland

5.  Maplewood Avenue in Ambridge, PA
There is limited info online that I could find out about this one, but here is a little more info. It has been voted one of the top 10 houses in the country a few times. Donations benefit St. Jude's.

Located in the thriving Metropolis of Leechburg, PA on Main St., this annual computer animated light display has returned. This year they are fully converted to LED and RGB technology, adding a digital dimension to the display. The play list is nearly 1 hour long before repeating to the first song! Free to the public. 

Tune your Radio to 100.3 FM before arriving on Main St.

Drive slowly, there may be a lot of people around. Be aware of children who may be crossing the street
Dates/Times: Starts at 5:30 pm Nightly, ends at 9:30pm on School nights, ends at 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday night. Runs through January 5th, 2019. 
147 Main Street, Leechburg, PA

If you're looking to take a little family road trip, this is a great destination! Since 1985, the Winter Festival of Lights has been delighting visitors of all ages. This annual holiday light show is one of the nation's largest, covering more than 300 acres over a six-mile drive throughout the resort. Located just over an hour from Pittsburgh in Wheeling, WV.  A per car donation is requested and is valid for the entire festival season. Trolley tours are offered several times each night beginning at Wilson Lodge. The family-friendly GlassWorks Grill at the Lodge is a yummy lunch or dinner stop!

Experience the show like never before with NEW 3D Sleigh Bans! Prepare to be amazed as holographic eye wear transforms every point of light into a magical display.
Oglebay also offers a Christmas shop, festival of trees, holiday train rides, family hay rides, a straw maze, gardens of light + more. The on-site Good Zoo holds a light and music extravaganza as well. Various prices apply. Go here for more information.  
Dates/Times: November 9, 2018 - January 6, 2019. The Winter Festival of Lights is viewable Sunday through Thursday until 10:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 11:00 p.m.
465 Lodge Drive, Wheeling, WV 26003

The Phipps Holiday Magic: Let It Glow is one of the most beautiful Christmas displays in our region! Boasting dazzling new displays of holiday trees, topiaries, exquisitely detailed props, and our signature floral delights, including amaryllis, orchids and more than 2,000 poinsettias. From a newly-restored Palm Court filled with trees mounted on oversized music boxes to a Serpentine Room of nutcrackers, toboggans and tea sets, one amazing display after another will dazzle your senses and warm your holiday spirit. Plus, in the Outdoor and Discovery Gardens, the must-see Winter Light Garden will sparkle with luminous orbs, trees, fountains, a tunnel of lights and an all-new ice tower display that will mesmerize guests of all ages. 

See Holiday Magic in a whole new light! Add limited-edition Holiday Hologram Glasses that use the amazing science of holographic diffraction to reveal festive snowflakes while looking at Phipps’ sparkling spectacular LED displays, an added delight for all ages.
$6 per pair includes a coupon good for free popcorn or a pretzel at the CafΓ© Phipps Holiday Hut*. Purchase yours when you order your timed tickets!
Dates/ Times: Open through January 6, 2019. Daily hours are 5 – 11 p.m. for Winter Light Garden. Regular admission rates apply. 

The Zombek family  holds their Annual Christmas Light Display to benefit Make-A-Wish®. They've raised thousands of dollars for this amazing charity over the past 5 years. The light display features over 20,000 LED Christmas lights, two reindeer heads that sing along with the music and 5’ RGB arches that dance to the music. 
Dates/Times: November 26, 2018 – January 1, 2019. The show is one hour in length and runs continuously from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. on weekends.
214 Williamsburg Drive, Elizabeth, PA 15037

10. Overly's Country Christmas

By the family carload admission, there’s plenty to see and do in Christmas Village:  visit the model trains in Hartman Station; experience the local history in the Sleigh Room; reflect on the meaning of Christmas at the crΓ¨che ; visit with the Talking Christmas Tree; enjoy the little ones play at Mr. Waterheater’s Funderland; walk the lights; admire the handwork of the local college’s gigantic metal sculptures; enjoy the warmth of the bonfire while listening to the songs of Christmas,  visit with Santa until December 23rd, , spend quality time with your children and family to create holiday memories to last a lifetime. For an additional charge, take a horse drawn wagon or sleigh ride, enjoy the smiles of your children or grandchildren aboard the Kids’ Express or have a photo taken with Santa.  (All areas are CASH ONLY.  An ATM is available on site).  $20.00 per car or family van. Cash only.
Go here to check for dates + times. 

116 Blue Ribbon Ln, Greensburg, PA 15601

Here are some other neighborhood suggestions that I don't have much more info on. If anyone has specific addresses or websites about any of them, please let me know!
  • Glenburn Drive (Pleasant hills)
  • Woodland Ridge in Moon twp - a lot of houses participate and will have their lights up the whole month. It's off of Thorn Run Rd. Their light up night is Dec.11, 7pm. 
  • Hidden Valley Drive in West View/Ross (off Rochester Road close to 19) Many houses with a lot of lights!
  • Mt. Nebo Road (across from Home Depot) Lots of lights!
  • Maple Drive in Ross Twp. has three or four houses next to each other with tons of inflatables and some lights.
  • Pleasant Hills (Glenburn neighborhood, off 51 behind Uhaul) "is amazing!" 
  • Stonecrest plan off Saxonburg Blvd

Enjoy your family drives! Hot chocolate optional. πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“