Favorite

Kids 

2012 Summer Guide

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ONGOING

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Branches of the library offer storytelling hours and more all summer. www.clpgh.org

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. A wide array of interactive, hands-on exhibits and art, plus children's art classes. The Attic tests your sense of balance with the Gravity Room and 3-D sounds. On May 26, the museum will unveil a summer-long (through Sept. 3) exhibit based on the Wizard of Oz. (See below for details.) North Side. 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org

Citiparks Recreation Centers. Ten city rec centers offer summer sports and other outdoor/fitness activities. Most centers are open weekdays from 3-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. www.citiparks.net 

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. The zoo includes Kids Kingdom, a hands-on experience. Interactive exhibits allow kids to understand animal movement and behavior. Kids can also meet some animals — like deer, kangaroos and goats — up close. Highland Park. 412-665-3640 or www.pittsburghzoo.org 

SUMMER DAY CAMPS

Carnegie Museum of Art. From mid-June through mid-August, kids learn about portraiture and landscape painting, designing their own dream home, and medieval skills like heraldry. Half-day camps for ages 4-5 cost non-members $125; full-day camps for kids 6-13 cost $220. Oakland. 412-622-3288 or www.carnegiemnh.org/camps

Carnegie Museum of Natural History. From mid-June through mid-August, students explore such topics as paleontology, ancient cultures, climate and the "mysteries of Pittsburgh," where they explore the city by kayak, foot and bus. Half-day camps for ages 4-5 cost non-members $125; full-day camps for kids 6-13 cost $220. Oakland. 412-622-3288 or www.carnegiemnh.org/camps

Carnegie Science Center. Half- and full-day camps for kids 4-14 are scheduled all summer long. Topics include astronomy, robotics, insects and "Rock'n Roll Science," a music-themed camp based on the upcoming temporary exhibit GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World. Most full-day camps cost $220 for nonmembers; most half-day camps are $125. North Side. 412-237-1637 or www.carnegiesciencecenter.org

Jennings Environmental Education Center. This state-park facility offers half-day nature programs during a series of one-day-a-week children's programs. Kids 4-12 can learn about bugs, trees and birds, with registration fees topping out at $10. Slippery Rock. 724-794-6011

National Aviary. The aviary offers several camps — half-day, one-day or three-day — to teach kids about birds. Programs are available for preschoolers and teens. Registration required; fees vary according to program length. North Side. www.aviary.org 

Phipps Conservatory. From mid-June through mid-August, Phipps offers half-day summer camps for kids ages 2 (with adult) through 9. Hands-on activities focus on gardening, bugs and making nature-inspired artwork.  Most fees are $125 for non-members. Schenley Park, Oakland. phipps.conservatory.org

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. A wide-range of half- and full-day art camps is available for children 4-17 throughout the summer. Oil painting, murals, computer animation and more are available. Registration required, costs vary. Shadyside. www.pca.pittsburgharts.org

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. From June through August, families can choose from a range of animal-themed camps for children age 2 (with adult) through 13. Themes include conservation photography, animal habitats and anatomy, and designing your own zoo. Full-day camps are $260 for non-members, half-day camps are $160. Highland Park. www.pittsburghzoo.org 

Powdermill Nature Reserve. From June 25 to July 27, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History offers weeklong full-day camps at its nature reserve 55 miles outside Pittsburgh. Kids 5-12 learn about animal behavior and habitats while learning outdoor skills. Cost is $200 for non-members. 412-622-3288 or www.carnegiemnh.org/camps

May 25-June 1

Bremen Town Musicians puppet show. On select mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., the Carnegie main branch in Oakland hosts a puppet performance of this Brothers Grimm classic. To reserve a space, 412-622-3122 or children@carnegielibrary.org

May 26-Sept. 3

The Wizard of Oz. This hands-on interactive exhibit at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum uses the famous film as a backdrop for a variety of activities — from learning about color in the Emerald City to climbing the Wicked Witch's castle. North Side. 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org

June 5

"Pond-er Wander" Tyke Hike. A stroller-friendly family hike exploring the habitats around the lake at North Park, led by Venture Outdoors. $3 per person. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

June 12

12th Annual Summer Reading Extravaganza. This afternoon family festival, held on the lawn of the Carnegie's main branch in Oakland, combines multicultural performance groups with crafts and outdoor activities. Register at www.clpgh.org

June 16

Twinkle Twinkle Tyke Hike. A stroller-friendly nature walk at Mellon Park, led by Venture Outdoors. $3 per person. Shadyside. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

June 19-Aug. 10

Roving Art Cart. Each Tuesday-Friday, Citiparks' Art Cart program visits neighborhood parks and playgrounds around Pittsburgh. A variety of art-making activities are offered to kids. For schedule of neighborhood visits, call 412-665-3665 or see www.citiparks.net.

June 21

Tykes n' Tandems Tyke Hike. A family walk through the North Side's Allegheny Commons park is followed up with tandem kayaking in Lake Elizabeth (children must weigh at least 35 pounds and be accompanied by adult). Registration required. $3 per person. North Side. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

June 25-29

A Peek at the Past. During this weeklong half-day "mini-camp," kids ages 4-6 learn about art and local history at the Frick estate. Registration is $115 for non-members. Frick Art & Historical Center, Point Breeze. 412-205-2022 or education@TheFrickPittsburgh.org

July 8

Kids Day at Schenley Plaza. Kids at this afternoon event can enjoy face-painting, balloon animals and free rides on the plaza's carousel. Oakland. www.pittsburghparks.org

Aug. 12

Kids Day at Schenley Plaza. Kids at this afternoon event can enjoy face-painting, balloon animals and free rides on the plaza's carousel. Oakland. www.pittsburghparks.org

Aug. 13-28

UPMC Kids' Zoofari. Kids get free train and carousel rides, along with chances to touch a stingray and watch sea-lion training. Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Highland Park. 412-665-3640 or www.pittsburghzoo.org 

Aug. 20-24

Passport to Imagination. The Frick offers kids entering grades 2 through 5 a weeklong day-camp to experience the Victorian high-life: exploring the Frick mansion, examining the antique auto collection, and more. $200 for non-members. Frick Art & Historical Center, Point Breeze. 412-205-2022 or education@TheFrickPittsburgh.org

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