Friday, May 30, 2014

New! Bloomfield Saturday Market

Bloomfield Saturday Market opens this Saturday for the first time! It will be two parts farmer's market, one part weekly festival - essentially a farmer's market with a much larger community engagement component than usual. It will have a strong emphasis on locally grown, produced, and created items, and you'll also find produce, cheese, meat, oils, hummus, dog treats, prepared hot and cold foods like pizza, tea pops, and coffee, and so much more!
May 31-November 1, 9am-1pm
5050 Liberty Avenue, 15224
(The market will be in the parking lot between S. Winebiddle and Gross streets)
My friend and former neighbor, Christina Howell, is the awesome creator behind this great new venue! She says, 'We know that good health is more than just eating green veggies every day. It's being out in your community, eating a variety of good foods, and incorporating fitness into every day life."

You will be able to enjoy performances by local musicians, dancers, and even students while you shop the local produce and products offered by the vendors. Jump in and try out yoga, bellydance, golf, or soccer!
Each week they will feature one or more of the following: healthy cooking demonstrations, musicians, children's activities, safety activities like child safety seat installation help and free smoke detectors, healthy living information, and so much more.

Kick-off May 31st events will be:
  • 9:30-11:30am: Meet Sparky the Fire Dog and check out a working fire truck. Homeowners can submit their information to receive a free smoke detector by mail!
  • 9:45am: WoodFired Flatbread holds a cooking demonstration to learn how to make Garden Quiche Pizza with Lemon Sauce. If you miss the demo, stop by WoodFired Flatbread or the Information tent to pick up a copy of the recipe.
Some great upcoming events:

See their website for other details or follow them on facebook!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Navy Week Pittsburgh + the Blue Angels

Navy Week is heading to Pittsburgh June 2- 8!
Navy Week is designed to give residents an opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people, and its importance to national security. There will be a wide variety of events that they will be attending throughout our region. Here are a few to highlight:
Tuesday, June 3rd
11am / 3pm - Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal team demonstration at the Pittsburgh Zoo
11:30am / 1pm - Navy Band Performs at Pittsburgh's Steel Plaza
Wednesday, June 4th
11am / 3pm - Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal team demonstration at the Pittsburgh Zoo
Thursday, June 5th
11pm / 1pm - US Navy Band performs at Pittsburgh's Market Square
Friday, June 6th
All Day - Navy Jazz Ensemble performs at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Arts Festival
10am / 5pm - Navy EOD, USS Constitution Sailors, USS Pittsburgh sailors participate in the STEM Expo at Carnegie Science Center
Saturday, June 7th
10am / 5pm - Navy EOD, USS Constitution Sailors, USS Pittsburgh sailors participate in the STEM Expo at Carnegie Science Center
And the BIG show.......................
The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels will be at the Westmoreland County Air Show at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity! The Blue Angels will bring an 80-member  team and six F/A-18 blue-and-yellow fighter jets that can hit speeds up to 700 mph.
Show is June 7-8
Gates to the air show will open at 8 a.m. both days. Performances by six aerobatic acts and the Blue Angels will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $14 in advance at Shop’n Save stores, $16 at the gate. **Children 10 and younger and military personnel are admitted free. Parking is $3 a car, with all proceeds going to the Unity Township fire department.
Be sure to have noise canceling headphones for small ones!
Food Vendors will be on site.
Six airplane acts that will perform:
■ Geico Skytypers. Six vintage World War II aircraft will fly precision maneuvers and write in the sky. The group flies the SNJ-2, the Navy's version of the main plane used to train pilots during WWII.
■ The U.S. Army’s Golden Knights paratroopers. A team of 13 performs skydiving parachute maneuvers.
■ Matt Chapman. He has been a finalist in several international championships and is sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and Arizona.
■ Jacquie Warda, known as Jacquie B. She started flying at the age of 50 in 2003 and will do a tumbling sequence in her Extra300 biplane.
■ Raiders Demo Team, which consists of three aircraft, including a Yak 52 and a Nanchang CJ-6.
■ Andrew McKenna, an aerobatic pilot.

Planes also will be on the ground for spectators to tour and to ride and a a NASCAR race car will be on hand for rides, and children will be able to use a simulator that mimics driving the race car.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And the winner is................

From everyone's comments, I wish I had a trip to give every deserving family! But our lucky winner, chosen at random by Rafflecopter is AMY C. !!!
(Amy has been contacted and confirmed her win.)
Thank you to all who entered. I know so many of you had no idea Columbus had all of this fun to offer families (myself included!). So if you are still considering the idea of a weekend getaway or even longer, you can book the complete Columbus ROAR + EXPLORE getaway package at

3 locations to choose from in the Columbus Area! Awesome amenities include: free hot breakfast, free hot food & cold beverages for guests from 5:30-7:00pm (rotating menu includes including chicken strips, macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, baked potatoes, broccoli cheddar soup and more!) free wi-fi, free drinks + popcorn in the lobby, swimming pool + fitness center. 
Free breakfast & dinner would save traveling families a lot of $$!  
Bring your family to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium for an untamed adventure! Stretching for 90 acres, the Zoo is home to more than 700 wildlife species including big cats, elephants, gorillas, manatees, bonobos + more. Learn about the different regions as you travel through the zoo or have an animal encounter as you take in a zoo show. You might even spot Jack Hanna at one of his many appearances! Zoo rides available for additional cost. Be sure to check out the attached waterpark - Zoombezi Bay (admission price is separate.) 
Zoombezi Bay Water Park
Zoombezi Bay is a 22.7 acre water park, owned and operated by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 
that features 17 state of the art water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, private cabanas, a kiddie play pool and more. Admission to Zoombezi Bay includes admission to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Brand new this year is Baboon Lagoon! With over 115 interactive aquatic controls, 10 exciting waterslides, heated water and the iconic 1,000 gallon bucket dump, this attraction will add to an already exciting family experience. 
COSI - Center of Science & Industry
COSI is one of the largest modern-built science centers in the United States. In 2008, COSI was named America's #1 science center for families by Parent Magazine. Groundbreaking exhibits and live shows help make it easier for you to wrap your brain around the most challenging science concepts! They offer fun hands-on workshops that are guided by experienced and enthusiastic Team Members with a passion for science. Young children can safely climb, slide, build, splash, imagine, and pretend in COSI's little kidspace. Designed and staffed by early education experts for children from birth - kindergarten, little kidspace promotes learning in a colorful and engaging atmosphere for little hands and growing minds.  COSI is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!
Congrats to Amy & her family, I hope you have an amazing getaway! Thanks to for sponsoring such a fun giveaway!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kick-Off Event Extravaganza

Start summer reading off with a bang! Enjoy an afternoon of free family activities at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's 14th Annual Summer Reading Extravaganza. Kids, teens and adults can Fizz, Boom, READ their way through summer with scince related crafts, gams, entertainment & books!
Sunday, June 8, 2014 | 12 - 5 pm

Some of the fun things you can do at this year's Extravaganza:
  • Be inspired by musical and theatrical performances (see full schedule below)
  • Browse the annual book sale
  • Check out a demonstration of our 3D printer
  • Personalize a Smiley Cookie with Eat 'n Park
  • Rock out with Radio Disney and Friends
  • Take a ride on Molly's Trolleys
  • Get some temporary ink from Rankins Airbrush Tattoos
  • Try your hand with science experiments
  • Support your Library and so much more!
EQT Performance Tent
12:00 | Pittsburgh Puppet Works
12:40 | Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Welcome
1:00 | Pittsburgh Musical Theater
2:00 | Obama Academy Steel Band
3:00 | Undercroft Opera
4:00 |Timbeleza
Emcee: Larry Berger, SLB Radio Productions, Inc.

Family PlayShop Tent
1:00, 2:00, 3:00 & 4:00 | Storytimes

Quiet Reading Room
1:30 | Saltworks Young Actor Studio
2:30 | Cobalt String Quartet
3:30 | Amiche Artists

Children's Room
12:30, 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 | Puppet Show - Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock

Around the Event
1:30 | "May I Pet Your Dog?" Presentation with Animal Friends
2:00 | Meet a real Ballerina from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
2:45 | Sing Happy Birthday to our Surprise Guest!
3:30 | "May I Pet Your Dog?" Presentation with Animal Friends

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kids Events / Three Rivers Arts Festival 2014

(((((((((( June 6 - 15, 2014 ))))))))))

Are you ready for it?  Pittsburgh's next big free festival is just around the corner! There will be music, theater, dance, public art installations, gallery exhibitions, a visual artist market, creative activities, food & more......and all of it is FREE!! It's among the largest and most-celebrated free arts festivals in the world.  The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, non-profit producer of the event, is supported by a growing community of individuals, foundations, and corporations who believe in the arts and this iconic Pittsburgh celebration.
There are tons of great events to see and experience,  here is what I'm looking forward to checking out with my family:

Squonk’s Pneumatica

Squonk’s new outdoor work, “Pneumatica,” will be made of air, powered by air, and about air. The Squonkers will pump up the volume with live original music while inflatables pump up and immerse the audience and permeate the air. 7 different performances at Point State Park. 
Children and families can use wooden pushing rods to move model wooden sail boats around the large fountain. Parents and family members can browse the nearby Artist Market as their children play with the model boats. Volunteers are on-site to assist the children and ensure their safety alongside the fountain. Open every day of the festival  | 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm  |  Hertz Gateway Center Plaza

Musical Kids is an initiative by Classical WQED 89.3 to recognize and showcase young local musicians. This year, WQED presents winners from our 2014 contest performing their selected pieces and other classical favorites! Saturday, June 14 & Sunday, June 15 | 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm | Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse’s Reuse-a-Palooza

The Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse’s Reuse-a-Palooza events are fun and engaging activities. This program provides hands-on exploratory creative activities for participants of all ages. Explore and create with a large selection of re-usable materials. Open each day of the festival  | 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm  |  Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Raffle (Win a Book or tickets to the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater), Temporary Tattoos, & Skippyjon Jones Mask-Making.  4 different dates at the Giant Eagle Creativity Zone. 

Go beyond growing plants by growing colors through chromatography. Use chemistry to make art. These flowers never die! Discover how many other colors make up the ones in your markers. It’s science, it’s art, it’s fun! Saturday, June 14 | 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Giant Eagle Creativity Zone
WYEP 91.3, Electric Owl Studios and The Sprout Fund created an innovative, interactive sound and music experience for young children. The portable kiosks let kids ages 2 through 5 easily experiment with sound creation and music making. Sunday, June 8 - Friday, June 13 | 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

And there is lots more! 
  • Check out the full line-up of musical performances, Artist Market list, venues & more here
  • Don't forget the food...there are always plenty of festival vendors, food trucks & goodies. 
  • The  Giant Eagle Creativity Zone will have a full range of hands-on activities every day for kids!
Have fun and enjoy another awesome & free week of events in #Pittsburgh!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Farmers Market - Peters Township

On May 28th, a group of local moms in partnership with the St. David’s Episcopal Church will be launching a farmers market for Peters Township! In its first year, they have secured an incredible line up of 23 vendors offering up a wide variety of products:
baked goods
 olive oil 
organic juice
 prepared foods 
 and sweet treats (fudge, kettle corn, shaved ice, pies, cookies and more.) 
The Market has also selected 4 local artisans that will offer wood working, glass art, homemade soaps and dog treats.
  Freedom Farms from the hit reality TV show "Farm Kings" on Great America will be a part of it as well.    
The Peters Township Farmers Market
held at St. David’s Episcopal Church
905 E. McMurray Rd. Venetia, PA 15367.

For more information, please visit their website or “like” them on Facebook

The Market has lined up live music & entertainment each week for patrons to enjoy while shopping and dining. Current acts include local artists such as “The Hobb’s Sisters”, William Loughman (Classical Guitarist), Tim Amos (Singer/Guitar Player), Vinny Michalesko (Singer/Guitar Player), Dixie Weidl (Singer/Pianist) and students from The South Hills Music Academy, David’s School of Music and Peters Township High School. If you’re interested in performing, please send a message via their Facebook page or email:

The purpose of the Market is to provide an opportunity to farmers and artisans in the region to sell what they produce directly to South Hills & Peters residents. The Board of Directors is made up of 7 local volunteer moms and Rev. Kris McInnes who share a passion for sustainable farming and buying local fresh products for their families. They hope to encourage relationships between producer and consumer and limit the distance food and goods travel from farm to table.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Our journey in and through foster care.

May is National Foster Care month and so as a foster parent for the last year and a half, I couldn't let this time go by without sharing a little of what we have learned, gained, and experienced. We're obviously still very new at this and learning all the time how this process works. I often get asked a lot of questions, so I hope to share a little on what the system is, what it is like to involved, and what anyone can do to help, regardless if they become foster certified or not.  
Our own biological children are 5 & 3. And we have had 3 siblings set placements. We first had a 5, 3, & 8mo. Then a 2yo and 4 DAY old newborn. We currently have a 2.5 & 1.5 yo's that have been with us the longest at almost a year.
Each set of kids have brought with them completely different and oh-so-complicated circumstances. They have brought challenges, there have been triumphs, and we have been blessed to be a part of each of their lives! 

2 things that caught us somewhat by surprise.......

  • The poo. YEP. It's true. Every child (so far) has come to us used to a junk food / fast food very unhealthy diet. When they begin eating mostly whole foods and a lot of produce, whew, let me just tell ya, it ain't pretty. :) It can sometimes take their bodies a few weeks to adjust. And yes, it can be really hard to deal with it from a child that is not your own. But how amazing it has been to see each child begin to love these foods. Even those who we've had to work the hardest at getting them to embrace produce, have come around to love it. To hear a 5yo (who couldn't identify basic fruits & veggies when he came) yell "green peppers, my favorite!" is awesome. 
  • The 2nd would be the amount of traffic that comes through your home with foster kids. We currently have 6 different people that have to check in with our kids on a regular basis. We have court dates, parent visits, attorneys, case workers, & other specialists that keep us on a revolving schedule. I definitely was not expecting the number of appts. that would be added to our life! Even as I type this, our case worker never showed up for her appt. today, which means I have to find another time in a carefully carved out schedule. Such is life. :) 
The most common phrase that people tell me is "I could never do foster care because I could never give them up". This is a really hard phrase for me to process at the current time. There are situations where the parting is really, really difficult and it is a process to work through each time they leave. But fostering involves so much more. For me, the hardest part of fostering is the day-by-day challenges of loving & parenting children that are not your own, the changes that come constantly, and having to abide by decisions from the court system that are completely out of your control.
I have held a crying 3yo who misses the mommy who was arrested in front of her and suddenly out of her life, I have cared for the bruised & shaking baby born with drugs in his system, we have survived 5 straight weeks of a child screaming at the top of their lungs all day as they began to process life not being strapped in a car seat constantly, I have comforted the 5yo whose dad missed another scheduled visit, we have seen the non-speaking 2yo whose mom believed that talking to kids was a "waste of time" become a little chatterbox within a few while the parting is a piece of it, it is just a piece. Doing foster care involves much, much more than that and I hope it never becomes an excuse for anyone not to get involved.

Some FAQ's........
How long does it take to get certified?
We started our certification process in a September and completed and were approved to start accepting kids by that January. There are a certain number of hours of training you have to attend, you have to have a home study (which is not hard if you live in a safe & clean environment), and the paperwork.....that's what will kill ya! :) It is mountains of paperwork and you just have to be really diligent to stay on top of it and get everything filled out and all your backgrounds checks complete. But overall, the process might not be as daunting as some people think.
How much notice do you have before the kids arrive?
We had 24 hours notice for our first set, but this is actually pretty rare. With our newborn, we only had 45 minute notice - that's a pretty quick life change. :) Usually, you have a few hours.
Can you choose who to take or set parameters?
Yes. When you originally fill out your application you can mark certain boxes.
What age range you can take. How many kids at a time. Specific genders. If you are willing to take special needs. What ethnicity.
However, with such a great need for foster kids needing to be placed, that doesn't mean you won't get asked to consider those outside your parameters. We have said no to a few placements because we either didn't have the space for that number, or wanted to be sure we were comfortable with the safety of our kids. Since we have young kids, at this time we wouldn't take in teenagers or children with a history of violence or the the 7yo we were asked about that was sexually acting out. It's ok to say no, but it's also ok to stretch your comfort zone as well. For us, it's a matter of asking God to give us clear direction case-by-case. And we know that He has!
How have our own children reacted through this process?
Our children have been such a blessing through this year! Although it's crazy to have so many littles at one time, having young children in our home has been a huge benefit to the foster children that come in. They immediately feel more comfortable with other kids to play with and there are already plenty of toys around. Our bonus kids (as we call them) are able to follow our kids lead with playing, eating, routine, ect....Our kids talk about some of the former foster kids we have had and they definitely become close to each one. But they have also been able to adjust well through each placement & leaving.
What do they come with?
Typically, nothing. It is heart-breaking to see these kids have to leave everything that is familiar to them. They often come in their pajamas or maybe one set of (dirty) clothes. Our 5yo used to talk about the scooter he couldn't wait to go back to ride, but sadly, we knew he would probably not see that scooter again. The most immediate need is often clean fresh clothes. And for us, we typically try to get them a stuffed animal right away so they have something to call "their own" and snuggle with in bed.
How can I help without actually doing foster care? 
  • Anyone can prepare emergency foster kits. For foster families to have these kits on hand is huge. An emergency foster kit could include: a teddy bear, toothbrush/toothpaste, puff & soap, board book, a blanket.......
  • Provide meals. Getting a foster placement is like having a newborn, but only more unexpected! If your household jumps from 4 to 7 in a day, you suddenly find yourself without enough food in the house and challenging to get to the store in the midst of the crazy. Even dropping off milk can be great.  If you know a foster family, dropping off a meal at any time is a huge blessing. 
  • Be available for babysitting. To babysit foster kids, you need to have your Criminal History & Child Abuse clearances. Many people already have these through their jobs, their church, or if they work with children in any capacity. Being available as a resource for foster families for a date night, allowing them to attend foster meetings & trainings, or just allow mom to get a haircut is a HUGE blessing!
  • Become a driver. Foster kids lives are filled with appts. and transportation is provided for many of them. If you are looking to potentially earn some extra income while filling this vital need, you can be hired to be a driver (if you meet their requirements, of course). It is extremely flexible (from what I've heard), you can choose to work several days a week, one day a week, one day a month or whatever works for your schedule. One of our drivers told me he uses one Sunday a month to give to driving these kids where they need to be taken. Particularly in Pittsburgh, the Bair Foundation is usually in need of drivers (their info listed below).

For anyone that wants to get involved in a deeper level or is considering doing foster care, but isn't sure how it will look for their family, I usually encourage them in this:
Becoming certified as a respite family, still involves some training & paperwork, but it is a little less involved. Foster families are encouraged to use respite to have a break from some of the pressures & challenges they face, or possibly they are heading out of state and permission is not granted to take the kids with them,  or any variety of reasons. Being able to be a respite family is HUGE. It is completely flexible, you can say yes to a weekend or yes to a week. You can do it once a month, once every 3 months....whatever works for your family. This is a great way to learn what it's like to care for kids that aren't your own on a longer basis, see some of the challenges fostering brings, and allow you to be a great blessing to these children. I would encourage anyone to consider becoming a respite family!

This is not an extensive list, but here are a few agencies you can consider in being involved with foster care. As far as I know, all of them have informational meetings on a regular basis where you can learn the first steps of being involved.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sneak Peak into the Children's Festival

Tuesday night I was able to head Downtown with 2 of my kiddos for a sneak peak at the festivities happening all this week. We decided to add to our adventure and took the T into downtown. Since kids 5 & under ride free, the whole trip only cost $3.50, which was a better deal than paying for parking! Plus, it was extra special for the kids. :) And easy, so easy!
Touring Miracoco was the highlight of the night! It's such a fun & unique experience to tour this giant luminary. 

I got to say hi to Weird Eric & Debo the Clown who are 2 performers that are ready to make your kids laugh!

Debo The Clown 
Saturday, May 17, Noon, LilyPad Park
Debo’s juggling, balloons and magic are sure to delight kids both big and small.

The Magic and Mystery of Weird Eric
Wednesday, May 14, Noon, LilyPad Park
Weird Eric is an experienced family Magician for children’s parties and family events.  With a quirky style of comedy, sleight of hand, and mind reading, Eric entertains audiences from all over the Pittsburgh area. Performing close up sleight of hand, stage magic, teaching magic lessons, to making balloon art for the kids, you name it, Weird Eric has got you covered.

You can read the complete details for the week here. 

Here is is an excellent article written by Pam Lieberman, Executive Director of the Festival. 

Enjoy some family fun this week!

Monday, May 12, 2014

FREE events at EQT Pittsburgh International Children's Festival

I am so excited for the  EQT Pittsburgh International Children's Festival to begin this week! There will be so many amazing shows, activities, & entertainment! And even if you don't want to purchase tickets for shows, there are PLENTY of free events to enjoy with your family.  You can read more about the venues that require tickets here. 
Free events during this year’s Children’s Festival will take place in and around the pop-up green space LilyPad Park, at the outdoor Community Stage featuring performances by local and regional artists, and at various locations within the footprint of the Cultural District. The Park and Stage are located at 8th Street and Penn Avenue, in the Cultural District. Free and fun happenings include everything from hands-on activities, to crafts, games, art, film, ecology, science, music, dance, story readings, tennis, yoga, and more!
Festival hours are 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  For a complete schedule of Festival events, visit:
FREE ACTIVITIES: LILYPAD PARK & MORE LOCATIONS-CULTURAL DISTRICTThe following list includes some of the over 30 free events taking place during the Festival.  For a complete schedule of dates, times and locations for these Festival happenings, visit:
Alphabet Trail & Tails/Citiparks
Animal Art/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
Animal Encounters/National Aviary
Beaded Bracelet Making/MacaroniKid LLC
Explore the Science and History of Our Earth/Carnegie Museum of Natural History
CATS Craft/Pittsburgh CLO
Cartoon Workshop/Toonseum
Finger Puppet Creations/Pittsburgh Children’s Museum
Digital Audio Playground/The Saturday Light Brigade
Face Painting 
Hip Hop on L.O.C.K.
Imagination Playground/PAYEC
Marbles/Allegheny County Department of Parks
Pinball Lounge/Bradish Street Pinball Lounge
Roving Art Cart/Citiparks
Sandbox/Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival
Silent Disco/Silent Storm
Skippyjon Jones Activity/Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival
Stick, Stuck, Chalk/Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival
Story Readings/Amazing Books
Underwater Voyage Crafts/Bricolage Production Company

Lego Display/Steel City Lego User Group807 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh landmarks created with thousands of LEGO® bricks are part of the Steel City LUG Lego Display at 807 Liberty Avenue. The cultural display includes a six-foot bridge decorated with the most well-known Pittsburgh buildings, as well as sculptures of popular landmarks—maybe Heinz Field, perhaps the Cathedral of Learning, or the Frick buildings?—that won’t be unveiled until the start of the Festival.
Once Upon a ToonToonseum, 945 Liberty Avenue
Friday, May 16, 5:30 p.m. 

Saturday, May 17, 2:00 p.m. 
Sunday, May 18, 2:00 p.m. 
Once Upon a Toon shines a spotlight on creativity! This fun, interactive program blends original stories and live cartoon illustration.
Penny Arcade 
Arcade Comedy Theater, 811 Liberty Avenue
Saturday, May 17, 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 18, 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
Come to the Arcade for fun and games with Penny Arcade! 
FREE HAPPENINGS / COMMUNITY STAGE, LILYPAD PARK, 8th Street & Penn Avenue, Cultural District
The following list includes some of the free performances taking place during the Festival. For a complete schedule, visit
Al Mazing Family Magic ShowFriday, May 16, 4:00 p.m., LilyPad Park
Pittsburgh magician Al Mazing is a local award winning family entertainer with a funny, proven, “kid tested” show guaranteed to amaze, amuse, confound, and confuse. (A Momtourage favorite!)
Alan Irvine, Storyteller
Friday, May 16, 10:00 a.m., LilyPad Park
Ghost Stories, Fantasy, Folk Tales and Legends– With a repertoire of hundreds of stories from around the globe, Storyteller Alan Irvine can weave a tale for anyone. 
Bellydance Around the WorldFriday, May 16, 5:00 p.m., LilyPad Park
Little Shimmy Bellydance is directed by Berna, a well-respected local dancer and instructor. Her group La Belle Sultana and friends will delight you with bellydancing and music from around the world! 
Debo The ClownSaturday, May 17, Noon, LilyPad Park
Debo’s juggling, balloons and magic are sure to delight kids both big and small.
Squirrell HillbilliesWednesday, May 14, 1:00 p.m., LilyPad Park
From deep within the urban forest of Pittsburgh’s East End, the Squirrel Hillbillies will emerge to share their eclectic repertoire of acoustic folk, country, and blues featuring guitar, ukulele, mandolin, percussion, and vocal harmonies.
StorytellingWednesday, May 14, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., LilyPad Park 
Thursday, May 15, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., LilyPad Park 
Friday, May 16, 3:00 p.m. –  4:00 p.m., Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 612 Smithfield Street 
Saturday, May 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 612 Smithfield St.
Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on a Storytelling journey! Please note two locations for this event. 
The Josh & Gab Show
Thursday, May 15, 11:00 a.m., LilyPad Park

Together, Josh & Gab have developed a unique and unforgettable musical comedy program for all ages, featuring original songs, comedy, and interactive discussion, all with the goal of celebrating creativity and finding alternatives to negative behavior.
The Magic and Mystery of Weird EricWednesday, May 14, Noon, LilyPad Park
Weird Eric is an experienced family Magician for children’s parties and family events.  With a quirky style of comedy, sleight of hand, and mind reading, Eric entertains audiences from all over the Pittsburgh area. Performing close up sleight of hand, stage magic, teaching magic lessons, to making balloon art for the kids, you name it, Weird Eric has got you covered.
Yoga for Kids by Bend Yoga
Saturday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., LilyPad Park

Sunday, May 18, 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., LilyPad Park
Stretch your body and your mind. Designed specifically for the kids, this session will be led right from the Festival’s Community Stage!
INFORMATIONFor more information about the schedule of free daily happenings, as well as the international ticketed performances being presented during the EQT Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival visit:, call 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. 
PARKING AND TRANSPORTATIONFor information about parking lots and garages in the Cultural District, visit
A limited number of prepaid parking vouchers for parking at Theater Square Parking Garage, entrance located on 7th Street, are available at a discounted price.  Call 412-456-6666 for more information. 
The Cultural District is serviced by public transportation options through the Port Authority of Allegheny County.  For more information, visit
Vendors will be selling a variety of foods on the Festival grounds  ̶  all sales are cash only.  Benches and grass seating areas are available in pop-up green space LilyPad Park, 8th Street and Penn Avenue, to enjoy food vending or packed lunches.
For information about the Cultural District, visit

About Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater
Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, opens the door for children to experience professional performing arts programming, which inspires, challenges, educates, and stimulates respect for and an understanding of all cultures in an entertaining and enlightening way. The Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival (celebrating its 28th year in 2014) is one of only four international children’s festivals in the nation.  The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater Family Series (2014 ̶ 2015), now in its 45th season, introduces children to the arts early in life, sparking their interest and appreciation so they continue to enjoy and support the arts as they grow up. For more information, visit
About the Pittsburgh Cultural TrustThe Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. For more information, visit 
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