A day at the circus. A Japanese pop culture festival. A superhero race through Allison Park. Don’t let April showers keep you from these and other great family events.

Cosplayers pose for a photo. Image courtesy of Tekko.

Cosplayers pose for a photo. Image courtesy of Tekko.

Tekko 2017 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: April 6-9

Tekko, the region’s premier Japanese pop culture convention, returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with tons of fun activities for the whole family. Presented by the Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society, the event includes vendors, live performances, panels, fashion shows, cosplay contests, a dance party, and plenty of tabletop and arcade games. There’s also a competition where fans can build scale models of Mecha robots from various anime series.

Guests can attend all three days with a $50 General Badge pass (all other badges are sold-out). Children’s admission is available at the door only and is $25 for ages 7-12 and free for kids 6 and under. Sunday-only passes cost $30.

Image courtesy of Shrine Circus.

Image courtesy of Shrine Circus.

The Shrine Circus at the PPG Paints Arena: April 7-9

Come one, come all to the Shrine Circus at the PPG Paints Arena. Now in its 68th year, Shrine Circus promises to deliver plenty of affordable live entertainment for the whole family, including thrilling stunts, exotic animals and more. Proceeds from the event help support the Shriners Hospitals, a network of 22 facilities across the country that all offer free medical care for children.

Tickets for The Shrine Circus range in price from $14-27. Children under 2 are free.

The Man Who Planted Trees. Image courtesy of Trust Arts.

The Man Who Planted Trees. Image courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The Man Who Planted Trees at the Trust Arts Education Center: April 6-8

The Scotland-based Puppet State Theatre Company comes to the Trust Arts Education Center to present a charming tale for the whole family. Based on Jean Giono’s story, The Man Who Planted Trees uses imaginative puppetry to tell the story of a man who, along with his dog, plants an entire forest acorn by acorn. The show has won multiple awards, including the Eco Prize for Creativity and the Total Theatre Award for Story Theatre.

Advance tickets for The Man Who Planted Trees cost $10.50, $12 at the door. Performances are recommended for ages 7 and up.

Image courtesy of EuroFest.

Image courtesy of EuroFest.

EuroFest at the University of Pittsburgh: April 8

Experience a day of multicultural fun during EuroFest at the University of Pittsburgh. Presented by the European Studies Center, the family-friendly festival showcases all things Europe in Pittsburgh with a full schedule of live performances, local vendors, booths and demonstrations. Sample a variety of cuisine at food trucks selling everything from crepes to pierogis, or shop for handcrafted goods in the artisan marketplace. Children’s activities will take place throughout the day, including egg hunts, arts and crafts and costumed characters.

EuroFest takes place from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Posvar Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The StepCrew. Photo by Wik Heerma.

Image courtesy of The StepCrew.

The StepCrew at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts: April 8

Experience traditional Irish dance and music when The StepCrew comes to the Hillman Center for Performing Arts. The five-person dance troupe combines step dancing, tap and fiddle playing as they take the audience on a theatrical journey from a back kitchen of an old Irish cottage to a sidewalk in New York City to a French Canadian lumber camp in Quebec. They’re backed by a live band featuring musicians specializing in the instruments and sounds of the Celtic genre.

The StepCrew performs from 7:30-10 p.m. at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts. Tickets cost $17-30.

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About The Author

Business + Tech editor

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.

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