Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Digital Media Academy + $75 off summer camps!

Do you have or know kids that love anything to do with digital media? Then this could be the perfect camp for them! 

Founded at Stanford University, Digital Media Academy is ranked as one of the ten best summer camps in the world! Kids and teens learn computer programming, app development, 3D modeling, robotics, graphic design, filmmaking, and much more. DMA summer camps are one or multiple week experiences taught by industry experts and tech professionals. Campers get hands-on experience creating projects using the latest hardware and software from Apple, Canon, Adobe, and more. 

Digital Media Academy is also proud to introduce Made by Girls, a new program dedicated to empowering girls and closing the gender gap in the tech industry.

Save $75 off summer camps at Digital Media Academy with code TECHSUMMER at Sign up for multiple weeks and save big! Campers save $125 for each additional course they register for. Register by May 31 to #CreateTheNext best-selling app this summer!

Give your teen a pre-collegiate experience or build a child's confidence through project-based learning. Learn at some of the most prestigous colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Camps start at age 6!

Head to to find camps in 11 states + Canada. PA locations include Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr.

Questions? Call 1(866)656-3342 to speak with a Guest Service Representative or email and mention the US Family Guide Special Offer

#CreateTheNext this summer at Digital Media Academy!

The DMA Experience from Digital Media Academy on Vimeo.

This post sponsored by U.S. Family & Digital Media Academy. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sky Trails: In Review + Ticket Giveaway

Last week my family got the chance to check out the new Sky Trails adventure ropes course at Pittsburgh Mills. It is quite the experience and I love seeing new venues that are active for kids! My kids are 6, 4, 3 & 2 and although we had meant to only bring our 2 oldest, our babysitter fell through and so we had all four. So we had our hands a little fuller than we anticipated, but it worked out. Our youngest 3 started on the Sky Tykes ropes course that is specifically for kids under 48" tall, geared towards children ages 2-7. It's a fun experience for them and allows them to work on their balance and their bravery. :)  The platforms are less than 3’ off the ground and they ask a chaperone to assist. 

The Sky Trail® adventure ropes course stands 32' tall with 2 levels of 30 elements. The elements are horizontally strung ropes and bridge activities like zig-zag beams, criss-cross angled rope ladders and cargo nets secured between steel poles

 All ages and abilities can experience the Sky Trail® attraction. Participants are able to choose their path through the rope elements while going at their own pace with the ability to pass other participants at each platform. This course requires a 48" minimum height to participate alone however adventurers 42” or higher can participate with an adult.

My 6yo was way less scared than I thought he would be!

And then there is the zip line! 

My 4yo wasn't tall enough to go by herself on the upper level, but I could go along with her. She was timid at first. but did great. Once she had her first zip line ride, she was definitely hooked!

  • It is $7 for the smaller Sky Tykes and $14 for the Sky Trails & Zip Line. 

  • Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Sun: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • 590 Pittsburgh Mills Blvd, Tarentum, Pennsylvania 15084
  • Want to try it for yourself? I have 2 passes each to give away to 2 families! Go here to enter.  AND.....just to sweeten the deal, ESSpa Kozmetika is offering $20 Gift Card to their brand new eDry Brow and Blow Dry Bar just for entering!! When the giveaway closes you will be contacted (via the email you register with) on how to redeem your card. 

  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • I was provided passes by Sky Trails for review. However, all opinions remain my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ticket Giveaway: EQT Children’s Theater Festival

It's one of my favorite times of the year....EQT Children’s Theater Festival! This festival is an awesome way to introduce your kids to theater in the most kid-friendly way. I especially can't wait to check out Tangle, this year's interactive art installation. They have something entertaining for all ages, including a Sensory Friendly Performance. Tickets start at just $5 which makes the event very affordable. There are also lots of FREE events and a myriad of other activities to entertain your family!

May 14-17, 2015 | Festival open daily, 10AM – 7PM

Pamela Komar who is the Executive Director of the Children’s Theater Series & Festival, shared a few thoughts with Deanna Lee**:

What does the theater experience bring to children?
The benefits of theater are undeniable. Theater inspires imagination, creativity, problem solving, thoughtfulness and so many more life skills. International theater also brings the world to the stage in Pittsburgh. Children are introduced to other cultures and perspectives.

What if a child has never seen theater before? Will they be engaged?
Children’s theater is a fascinating term because it encompasses all genres—artists may create shows for young audiences utilizing various forms of performance and visual art—dance, theater, music, puppetry, object theater, comedy, circus, spoken word, etc. Many times one show will cross many genres. For festival first timers, I suggest considering a child’s unique interests. This year we have a show just for babies and toddlers called Umbo. The piece is a terrific first-time theater experience created along with child development specialists. Some children like to see shows based on a book that is familiar or can be read and discovered before hand—for example, this year’s festival includes Spot based on the books by Eric Hill, Hansel and Gretel based on the original Brother’s Grimm fairytale, and a contemporary take on Robin Hood.

All ticketed performances will take place in the Cultural District. Full descriptions of each Featured Ticketed Performances are at

SPOT by Theater Terra
The Netherlands
AGES 3 – 7 | 50 minutes
Location: Byham Theater, 101 6th Street
Go along with Spot to the farm where all of the animals are lost. Spot and his friend Helen need your help! Can you recognize the sounds of the animals and help find them?
* Sensory Friendly Performances, which will include interactivity, rhythm, repetition, reduced sound levels and gentle lighting are scheduled at 1:00 p.m. on May 16 and 5:45 p.m. on May 17.  Sponsored by The Children’s Institute.

UMBO by Teatro Al Vacio
AGES 6 months – 4 years* | 30 minutes
Location: Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue

A joyous, playful and stimulating experience for the youngest of audiences. Share a special moment with your little one in a colorful world filled with play, exploration, and discovery. Follow Umbo as he grows just like you will! *All children require a ticket, accompanied by an adult. Additional adult companions and guests will be seated in chairs surrounding the play space.

AGES 8+ only* | 40 minutes
Location: Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

Are you brave enough to hear the real story of Hansel and Gretel? The darkest of The Brothers Grimm fairytales is brought to hair-raising life. With live music, the storyteller transitions between all characters, illustrating the tale using stunning visuals and projections. 
*Children under the age of 8 will not be admitted.

AGES 7+ | 60 minutes
Location: Byham Theater, 101 6th Street

In a forest near you lives a band of brothers seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the poorly treated. Join internationally acclaimed Visible Fictions for a silly and unexpected take on Robin Hood and unleash your imagination!

The Netherlands
AGES 5+ | 60 minutes
Location: Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

The brave Manxmouse is unique. He has bright blue fur, huge rabbit ears, and a distinct lack of a tail, but he doesn’t mind being different! Manxmouse is a play about being yourself, told with puppets, animation, and music!

TANGLE by Polyglot Theatre
ALL AGES | 30 minutes

Play in and explore this unforgettable art installation, complete with live music! Visitors create a tangled multi-colored landscape by weaving colorful balls of elastic through tall golden poles. What will you create?! Polyglot Theatre is assisted by the Australian Federal Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the Victorian Government Melbourne and the City of Stonnington.

SENSORY-FRIENDLY EVENTS during this year’s festival include SPOT (Theater Terra, The Netherlands) taking place at the Byham Theater, 101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  Sensory-friendly performances will be held at 1:00 p.m. on May 16 and 5:45 p.m. on May 17.

We have 8 tickets to give away to two lucky winners (four tickets each)! These vouchers can be used for any of the previously mentioned shows listed above. Go here to enter (and then don't forget to keep scrolling down to learn about all the FREE events!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This year the center of the Festival features a bigger and better pop-up park!  This special green space is full of turf lily pads and furniture, flower planters, a sandbox, and more!  Enjoy even more play space this year as Penn Avenue will be closed to traffic from 7th to 9th Streets during the entirety of the Festival!  A Complete listing of Food Trucks, Family-Friendly Restaurants, Community Stage performances and Hands-On activities will be made available at TRUSTARTS.ORG/PGHKIDS in May.  Vendors will be selling a variety of foods on the festival grounds – ALL SALES ARE CASH ONLY.  Benches and grass seating areas are available throughout the Cultural District to enjoy food vending or packed lunches.
Family-friendly artwork is on display at Space, Wood Street Galleries, Future Tenant Gallery, 707 & 709 Galleries, Shaw Galleries and Agnes R. Katz Plaza.
From craft-making to workshops to games, attendees can discover over 30 fun activities on the festival grounds!
Back by popular demand, attendees can explore key locations in and around the festival Grounds! Discover interesting facts, participate in fun activities and learn about the Cultural District along the way. Complete the scavenger hunt and win a kid cone from Dream Cream Ice Cream.
This kaleidoscopic showcase of the best short film and animation comes straight from the New York International Children’s Film Festival. The show runs daily during Festival hours. Films are recommended for kids ages 3-6 and will take place at the Harris Theater, located at 809 Liberty Avenue.
Reserve parking vouchers in the heart of the Cultural District at Theater Square Parking Garage. A limited number of vouchers will be held for Festival visitors each day. To reserve your parking voucher, call 412-456-6666 or visit the Box Office at Theater Square.
Festival travel as convenient and comfortable as possible! For information about parking lots and garages in the Cultural District, visit  This site shows real-time parking availability in over 20 downtown parking lots with parking inventory updates every 30 seconds.
The Cultural District is serviced by public transportation options through the Port Authority of Allegheny County.  For more information, visit

*Photos used courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 

**Deanna Lee is a recovering advertising professional, amateur cook and freelance writer. Hailing from northwestern PA, she's made the transition from country to city life and enjoys writing about (and experiencing) all things Pittsburgh. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

#SlidetheCity is coming to Pittsburgh!

People are always coming up with new & exciting venues for fun, aren't they? Slide the City is an awesome 1,000 foot slip and slide that will be in Pittsburgh for one day only! I can't wait to check it out.  Turning hills into water-sliding thrills is the goal of the event, which was created in an effort to get people outside, having fun, and connecting with their community.

Slide the City Pittsburgh: Saturday June 6th, 2015
Location: South Park – Allegheny County 
Registration Opens: April 22nd, 2015 10am Eastern Time
Go here to register: 

Participants in Slide the City will ride inflatables down a 1,000-ft. slip and slide. This one-of-a-kind experience will help people “slide into summer.” The first event of its kind, Slide the City has seen massive growth since it started in 2014. This original concept went viral when the video was released, and this year promises to be bigger, better, and wetter. “This will be one of the highlights of your year,” said Slide The City Founder, T.R. Gourley “Get ready for the slide of your life!”

Each rider can purchase a one ride pass, three ride pass, or all-day pass. With over 150 events in the US and Canada, and more than 20 international locations beginning with Japan and Australia as early as March, water slide enthusiasts are sure to find a Slide the City event nearby.

All are welcome to slide into fun. Visit for more information about Slide the City dates and locations or checkout what fans have to share on Facebook at

Best Rates - Early Bird Registration begins Wednesday, April 22, 2015!
Prices begin at $15, $30, & $50 for early bird. 

Make sure to bring your water buckets, floaties, and water guns (non-realistic of course), to squirt, spray, splash, and get all attending soaked.


Is there an age or height limit?
All who are over 46 inches tall and over 5 years old are invited to slide, but remember if you're under 18 you'll need to get a sign off from your legal guardians.

Are there group rates available?
If you have a group with 20 or more participants send us an email.

What do you do to address water conservation?
Water conservation is also a priority at our events. We strive to have zero environmental impact on the community. The Slide was designed to have zero water loss, and it treats and recycles the water safely and efficiently throughout the day. When permitted, we donate the water back to the community. Methods of disposal include local reclamation centers, parks, golf courses and other places dependent upon local regulations.

Additional Information:

Facebook -  or

Twitter - @slidethecity

This post sponsored by U.S. Family, all opinions remain my own. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ticket Giveaway: Cinderella, The Last Dance

I don't know about your household, but anything involving a princess is VERY popular with a certain girl in my household! I was excited to see this special event that Gemini Children's Theater will be holding next Saturday, April 25th. Gemini is a very kid friendly theater, even having a reserved front row bench seating for those 8 and under. Shows are generally recommended for ages 2 and up. 

Cinderella, The Last Dance

April 25th from 12pm to 3pm

Noon - 1pm: Start the event off with special face painting, princess makeovers, food and drinks! 
1pm: Everyone is invited to the ball as Gemini Children's Theater presents the classic, full length story of Cinderella. This special event will be the last full-length production on the old stage at the Factory before Gemini moves to it's new location yet to be announced.
2pm: Everyone can participate in the royal dance party! 
Tickets: $25 (Includes everything above!) Get a head start and purchase your tickets here.

Gemini Theater Company is located in "The Factory" building at 7501 Penn Avenue, Point Breeze, Pittsburgh, PA 15208. 

Gemini Children's Theater was kind enough to offer 2 tickets to give away to one lucky family as well!  Go here to enter: 

Gemini Children's Theater also offers these fun resources!  

Check out their upcoming Royal Ball here as well. 

This post sponsored by GCT, however, all opinions remain my own. I don't endorse companies that I don't love! :) 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Kids Earth Day Event at Schenley Plaza + Meet Up

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. There are several going on around Pittsburgh (you can view more on our event calendar). 

This event at Schenley Plaza is extra kid-friendly and we are even going to make it as our Pgh Momtourage playdate this month! (Go here for meet up details and to RSVP.)

Go here for directions to Schenley Plaza.

Mother Earth’s Kids Corner & Eco-Art Fair

Pgh Yoga Collective 11am
La Vida Yoga

Kick off the morning with Yoga for Tots at 11AM with a FREE Pittsburgh Earth Day Yoga in the Park class for little ones taught by Pittsburgh Yoga Collective.
 A FREE class for Adults will take place at 1-2PM with teacher from a new studio in Highland Park, La Vida Yoga, and another FREE Adult class with Pittsburgh Yoga Collective from 2-3PM.
Fresh from the Farm Juices will be on-site to hydrate guests throughout the afternoon too!
(All Pittsburgh Earth Day Yoga in the Park events are weather dependent.)

Enjoy a live performance by The Josh & Gab Show at Noon.

Crafts by Most Wanted Fine Art and ZipCar will have a vehicle on-site as well as an interactive booth and corn hole games. Kids can step onto a Port Authority of Allegheny County Biodiesel bus parked on Schenley Extension in front of the Carnegie Library for Books on the Bus, a children’s book reading at the top of every hour 11AM-2PM. There will be more exciting vendors along Schenley Extension including: Clothing Drive with Goodwill of Southwestern PA, Pittsburgh’s mobile boutique the Style Truck will be selling fashionable clothing, and Commonwealth Connections Academy is bringing along their mobile classroom too!

4/22 Pop Up Dance Party

DJ Nugget will be spinning under the tent at Schenley Plaza from 2-4:20PM.

Then get ready for a surprise DJ performance at 4:22PM! A pop up dance party all afternoon. Keep posted with hashtag #PGH422