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Kid's briefs: Yuletide in the days of yore

- Kids will enjoy dancing, hula hooping and face painting at the Bright Spot on Shady event sponsored by the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh.
Kids will enjoy dancing, hula hooping and face painting at the Bright Spot on Shady event sponsored by the  Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh.

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Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:54 p.m.

Take the kids to learn about an 18th-century-style holidays at two Pittsburgh-area sites connected to the Whiskey Rebellion.

Woodville Plantation in Collier on Sunday will host Holidays at the House Candlelight Tours. From noon to 8 p.m., costumed guides will celebrate Christmas with holiday displays and traditional decorations and demonstrate how customs in the 1700s differ from modern yuletide customs. Woodville Plantation was the home of John and Presley Neville, and was built in 1775. Admission is $5 for age 6 and older. Details: 412-221-0348 or

Another nearby historic site, Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park, will host an 18th-century Thanksgiving event from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Long before President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the 1860s, settlers often gathered after the harvest to give thanks and spend time together before the winter came. At the event, people dressed in period attire as the Miller family will prepare and display foods common in the era, and they will use the open hearth, bake oven and fire pit. Foods may include colonial game pie, roast venison and pumpkin soup. At 2:30 p.m., guests can go to the log house to experience an 18th-century church service. Historical crafts such as spinning, weaving, quilting and blacksmith work will be at the event, and tours will be given throughout the afternoon. Admission is $2.

Details: 412-835-1554 or

Juggle your way to Beaver County

The Not Quite Pittsburgh Juggling Festival V, featuring jugglers from several states, will be Friday and Saturday in Beaver County.

The event, sponsored by the Leave It to Beaver Valley Jugglers, is open to anyone who juggles, wants to learn juggling, or just wants to watch. Friday activities, from 6 to 10 p.m., include open juggling, juggling lessons for beginners, workshops and light-up juggling. Saturday includes many of the same activities and more from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., including a juggling-choreography competition using Beaver County native Henry Mancini's music. A juggling show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; tickets are $5. Admission to the general festival is free, but donations are accepted. The festival is at First Presbyterian Church, 252 College Ave., Beaver.

Details: 724-643-5378 or

Free family fun on Friday

The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh — a Squirrel Hill organization that helps kids and teenagers with special needs — will host its second annual “Bright Spot on Shady” event, a free family festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

The event celebrates the founding of the organization, which provides a hospital, school and social services for kids. Activities and entertainment include hula hooping, a stilt walker and juggler and light refreshments.

“Bright Spot on Shady” also includes magic shows by Eric Starkey of Creative Conjuring at 5:30 and 7:05 p.m., and performances at 5 and 6:45 p.m. by the Jazz Ensemble from the Hillman Center for the Performing Arts at Shady Side Academy. The institute is at 1405 Shady Ave.

Details: 412-420-2400 or

Camps helps with fruits, veggies

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is hosting a series of Little Sprouts Camps, for ages 2 and 3 with an adult, beginning Friday.

At the events, kids will learn about the plant world, including how food like fruits and vegetables are grown. At the “My Favorite Fruits” class, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday, kids can try new fruits from the rainforest and learn about the different smells and tastes you find in fruits from around the world. Cost is $15.

Additional Little Sprouts Camps will be Dec. 20, Feb. 15, April 18 and May 17.

A four-day camp also will be held Mondays in January.

Details: 412-622-6914 or

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