Summer is officially over. That means it’s time to stare at jack-o’-lanterns instead of orange construction cones. So grab your broom and pointy hat, and cast a fun-filled spell on your kids by attending these 15 fun events.
1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at Heinz Hall: Oct. 3
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is phoning home. Watch “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” projected on a huge HD screen as musicians perform John Williams’ Academy Award-winning score. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece is the timeless story of a friendship between a lost alien and a 10-year-old boy. You might want to stock up on the Reese’s Pieces at the snack bar.
2. West View Emergency Services & Family Day: Oct. 5
Don’t worry if you see a bunch of flashing lights at West View Plaza from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 5; the fire trucks, ambulances, rescue squads, police cars and SWAT trucks will be there to celebrate Emergency Services & Family Day. In addition to the vehicles, the free party features food trucks, live music, a bounce house, caricature artist, balloon twister and a visit from Crime Dog Scruff McGruff. The LifeFlight helicopter lands at 2 p.m.
3. Hallowboo at Idlewild: Oct. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 & 26-27
Idlewild is being overrun by monsters! Don’t worry; they’re friendly. On weekends through October, the amusement park gets a spooky makeover. Kids can trick-or-treat through Story Book Forest, meet costumed characters and take a spin on themed rides and attractions. Dress up and head down to Ligonier. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and the Hallowboo rides and activities run from noon to 6 p.m.
4. Mummies of the World: The Exhibition at Carnegie Science Center: Oct. 5, 2019 – April 19, 2020
Carnegie Science Center’s latest attraction might just make you scream, “I want my mummy!” Mummies of the World: The Exhibition brings 40 human and animal mummies to the North Shore, along with 85 related artifacts (the largest traveling collection ever assembled). The Science Center offers a family guide to the display, giving adults advice on how to explain the subject matter to kids.
5. MasterChef Junior Live! at the Benedum Center: Oct. 6
Little foodies will eat up this family-friendly stage show. The culinary TV phenomenon comes to the stage with head-to-head cooking demonstrations and fun (read: messy) challenges with past MasterChef Junior contestants.
6. Pumpkin Patch Trolley at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum: Oct. 12-13, 19-20 & 26-27
Why take a car to the pumpkin patch when you can ride a trolley? The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA offers round trip rides on its historic railroad to collect the autumnal gourds. After the excursion, kids can decorate their pumpkins in the craft room, where refreshments are served.
7. Tranquil Trail Fairy House Hunt at Frick Park: Oct. 13
8. ZooBoo at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium: Oct. 19
This year, enjoy tricks and treats with your lions and tigers and bears. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is throwing a zoo-wide Halloween bash. Costumed kids can explore the not-so-scary Trick-or-Treat Trail, enter a Haunted House, participate in the Monster Mash Dance Off and watch the animals enjoy their own Halloween-themed snacks. Oh my!