The month of May serves as a bridge between the slow awakening of springtime and the end-of-school whirlwind that signals a quickly approaching summer. We understand that this time of year can be crazy so we’ve gathered up an ‘aMAYzing’ list of events that includes music, dance, theater, big trucks, roller coasters, international food and cool gift ideas for Mom. Our Top 10 family adventures this May in Pittsburgh will help you stay sane – and stay connected to the people you love. Enjoy!
Audio cards for Mother’s Day with The Saturday Light Brigade: May 2-10
Celebrate Mother’s Day by creating a unique gift that kids will enjoy making just as much as Mom will love receiving. From May 2 to May 10, kids can play Radio DJ and record a personalized audio card for any special woman in their lives at the broadcast studio of The Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) on the lower level of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
How does it all work? First, you purchase a CD Creation Card Kit for $12. Then, with the helpful guidance of SLB staff, kids are interviewed about the person they plan to gift with the audio card. Answers to questions like, “What do you like to do together?” are captured forever onto a CD in the sweet voices of the kids. Songs, poems and stories can be recorded as well. Lastly, the audio CD gets affixed to a card that the kids decorate themselves with various art supplies at the studio. And how’s this for convenience? You can take home the gift on the same day you make it. Cards can be made between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. and no appointment is necessary. SLB Radio will also host audio card making for Father’s Day, from June 6 through June 21.
Disney FANTASIA with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: May 8-10
Do your kids love Walt Disney movies? If so, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Disney FANTASIA concert is a wonderful way to enjoy classical music together as a family. Three performances will be held at Heinz Hall downtown, one on both Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and one on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
The concert will feature movie clips from both the original Fantasia movie from 1940 and the more recent Fantasia movie from 2000. As each animated clip is projected on a big screen, the symphony will provide live accompaniment with music from greats like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Debussy. Children over 6 years old are welcome at the show with a ticket and, if anyone gets restless during a performance, families can view and hear the show from gallery windows. Can’t make this Disney film and music event over Mother’s Day? Try the Disney in Concert Tale as Old as Time production over Father’s Day in June, which will feature vocalists accompanying movie clips from Disney film favorites like Frozen and The Lion King. Prices start at $25.75.
Spring It On at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville: May 9
Second Shift Crafters and The Steel City Pizzafest are joining forces with local community organizations to present the first Spring It On event featuring 10 pizza vendors, 50 craft vendors and six hours of live music – all in the relaxed outdoor venue that is Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville. The event is free and runs from 12 to 6 p.m., rain or shine.
Grab your kids’ bikes and scooters, a picnic blanket and lawn chairs and prepare to spend the afternoon at the park. In addition to performances from bands like The Pressure, The Turpentiners and Molly Alphabet, there will be a stage for acoustic acts and spoken word artists. Spring It On will host a kids’ activity tent with a “Making Flowers” theme where young artists can use their creativity to craft flowers from the bins of paper, felt, markers and other art supplies. Free-form crafting is encouraged but volunteers will be on hand to help kids create a bouquet of beautiful spring flowers.
The Chinese Nutcracker at the Byham Theater: May 9
If you enjoy the music and plot of the traditional Nutcracker Ballet, then you will appreciate the similarities in Yanlai Dance Academy’s production of The Chinese Nutcracker at the Byham Theater at 7 p.m. It will be the differences, however, that will intrigue you and keep your kids interested until the very end because instead of taking place on Christmas Eve, The Chinese Nutcracker begins on the eve of Chinese New Year.