Embrace a change of pace and change of seasons, all month long at these must-do events.
1. Reel Q LGBTQ+ Film Festival at Row House Cinema: October 3-12
It’s a very big year for the region’s only LGBTQ+ film festival. Back with twice as many films — plus a hip new home in Lawrencville — Pittsburgh’s longest-running film festival boasts 25 features and 60 shorts. Get a crash course in lesbian cinema with “Dykes, Camera, Action,” and follow a teen romance in the Philippines with “Billie and Emma.” Films will explore homophobia in sports, social injustices faced by transgender people, global love stories and more. Highlights include a 20th-anniversary screening of the classic rom-com “Trick,” a horror double feature with cocktails and a teen showcase. Beyond the screen, there’s a Drag Queen Story Hour, panel discussion and lots of parties. Buy tickets.
2. Stroll the Strip in the Strip District: October 5, 1-9 p.m.
The Strip District is a vibrant destination for Pittsburghers and tourists alike. Now you can give back to this historic community. Taste, sip and stroll your way through one of the city’s most beloved neighborhoods while enjoying exclusive tastings and discounts from dozens of businesses. Starting at Osteria 2350, strollers will be treated to samples at DiAnoia’s, Cinderlands, Pittsburgh Winery and many others. The Heinz History Center will offer free admission and Klavon’s will serve free scoops. Stay late in the Strip for after-parties at Cake Pittsburgh and Audi Pittsburgh’s rooftop terrace. Buy tickets.
3. Doors Open Pittsburgh: October 5 & 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Oliver Building. PPG Place. The Omni William Penn Hotel. You’ve likely hurried past them all. What if you could step into the city’s landmarks to experience interior spaces not on view to the public? What secret stories would these buildings tell? This one-of-a-kind self-guided tour of 54 sites lets you explore a church bell tower, step into a bank vault and stand on a theater stage. This year, attendees will have access to 17 new buildings added to the roster, including Kaufmann’s Grand, Liberty Magic and Trinity Cathedral. Spanning Downtown and the Northside, the event will showcase artist spaces, government offices, homes, churches, hotels, theaters, historic lobbies and adaptive reuse projects. Buy tickets.
4. 412 Food Rescue’s Sunday Supper at THIS IS RED: October 6, 6-9 p.m.
Help end hunger and food waste by taking a seat at this table. Forget the dining room or restaurant. Inside the sprawling and stunning former St. Michael Church, you’ll eat in awe as top chefs from around the country (led by Pittsburgh’s own Jamilka Borges) craft an exclusive multi-course feast. Taste the results as gifted chefs transform perfectly viable surplus food into an incredible meal supporting 412 Food Rescue — which has saved 6.5 million pounds of fresh food from entering landfills. Rewriting the book — or menu — on Sunday supper, this event is more of a culinary experience than simply a meal. So pull up a chair to support one of Pittsburgh’s most innovative and impactful nonprofits. Buy tickets.
5. Stephen Chbosky at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall: October 7, 7 p.m.
His debut novel, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” became a multi-million copy bestseller and spawned an award-winning film starring Emma Watson. The celebrated writer and Pittsburgh native Stephen Chbosky is back with his highly-anticipated second novel. Called an “epic work of literary horror,” “Imaginary Friend” follows 7-year-old Christopher Reese, who disappears in the woods near his eastern Pennsylvania home. You’ll have to read the book — out Oct. 1 via Grand Central Publishing — to find out what happens when Christopher emerges with an imaginary friend and a mysterious mission. Chbosky’s talk will be followed by a book signing. Buy tickets.
6. That Golden Girls Show at the Byham Theater: October 11 & 12
Betty White for President? Maybe not, but with the longest television career of any entertainer, she’s a national treasure. In 1985, the pioneering actress scored her biggest boost portraying Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” Chronicling the lives of four widowed and divorced women sharing a Miami home, the smash hit spawned spin-offs, a restaurant and endless merchandising. Fans of the fabulous foursome can’t miss this Off-Broadway sensation replacing Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia with … puppets. Get set for an evening of cheesecake, jazzercise and hilarious parody. Oh and plenty of sex, shoulder pads and witticisms. Buy tickets.
7. An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 at Carnegie Museum of Art: October 12
You likely know his iconic paintings of flags and targets featuring thick brushstrokes, bold colors and geometric compositions. Now get the rare opportunity to explore the work of American artist Jasper Johns in depth. The first venue to premiere this major new touring exhibition dedicated to Johns’ prints, Carnegie Museum of Art will showcase 90 works spanning six decades. From intaglio, lithography and woodcut to screen-printing, linoleum cut and lead relief, Johns reinvented the medium of printmaking. Organized thematically and chronologically, the survey explores Johns’s use of signs and symbols, tools and materials, and personal motifs. The prolific artist has been featured in four Carnegie Internationals and received the exhibit’s top Carnegie Prize twice.