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Fall Arts: Families enjoy options in theater, exhibits, art

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 4:51 p.m.
'Stuck' by Big Wooden Horse Theatre Comany (UK)
Stuart Slavicky
'Stuck' by Big Wooden Horse Theatre Comany (UK)
Theatreworks USA presents 'Peter Pan.'
Theatreworks USA
Theatreworks USA presents 'Peter Pan.'
Theatreworks USA, company presents 'Junie B. Jones'
Carol Rosegg.
Theatreworks USA, company presents 'Junie B. Jones'
Apryl Peroney helps Milena, 3, and Sam Casciani, 2, of Bethel Park, drop a pumpkin off of the roof of the Carnegie Science Center, Saturday, November 3rd, 2012.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Apryl Peroney helps Milena, 3, and Sam Casciani, 2, of Bethel Park, drop a pumpkin off of the roof of the Carnegie Science Center, Saturday, November 3rd, 2012.
At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side, the “Ball” exhibit, through Sept. 29, offers a room that children should have a ball with.
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side, the “Ball” exhibit, through Sept. 29, offers a room that children should have a ball with.

This season offers plenty of activities for families, including plays, museum exhibits and activities.

The hot thing in town for young kids looks to be the opening of the 44th season of the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, which will bring five productions to several regional venues from October through April 2014. The plays, designed for age 3 and older, are productions of out-of-town theater companies — domestic and international.

The season starts Oct. 20 to 27 with “Peter Pan,” by New York City-based Theatreworks USA, which has produced children's theater since 1961. Based on the beloved fairy tale about the playful boy in green who doesn't want to grow up, “Peter Pan” encourages kids to let their imaginations fly and create their own adventures. Performers playing in a stage attic will morph into the popular characters in “Peter Pan.” The show plays Oct. 20 at the Byham Theater in Downtown, Oct. 23 at Penn Hills High School, Oct. 24 at Marshall Middle School, Oct. 25 at Hopewell High School, Oct. 26 at Mt. Lebanon High School, and Oct. 27 at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School.

Next comes “Time for Fun,” showing Nov. 17 to 24. “Time for Fun,” from the St. Petersburg, Russia-based company Hand Made Theatre, uses puppetry, imagination, storytelling and humor. The show features choreographed hands and arms interlocking and entwining to create playful shapes like sailboats, trains and ticking clocks.

The children's theater season continues with “Stuck,” Jan. 12 to 19; “Teacher from the Black Lagoon,” Feb. 16 to 23; “Junie B. Jones,” March 14 and 15; “Swimmy, Frederick & Inch by Inch,” April 11 and 12.

Kids will find two unusual and quirky sights this fall at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side. The “Ball” exhibit, here through Sept. 29, offers a room filled with hundreds of beach balls, an 8-foot inflatable ball, a disco ball and more for the children to have a ball with. On Oct. 19, TapeScape — a massive indoor sculpture made completely out of packing tape — goes up, and stays up for kids to explore through Jan. 19.

The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh are offering a lot of programming and activities for kids.

At the North Side's Carnegie Science Center on Oct. 25, for instance, fall programming includes “A Spooky Science Sleepover,” with Halloween-themed science experiments and other entertainment. From Oct. 11 through Nov. 3, families can enjoy a spooky “Laser Halloween” show — with songs including themes from “Beetlejuice” and “Ghostbusters.” The annual Great Pumpkin Smash, at which kids toss their jack-o'-lanterns off the roof of the center Nov. 2. Details: 412-237-3400 or www.carnegiesciencecenter.org

Kids can enjoy a sleepover on several fall nights at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland, which is hosting three themed Overnight Adventures: “Night of the Living Carnegie,” Oct. 25; “Dinosaur Encounters,” Nov. 8 and Dec. 6; and “All-in-One Adventure,” Dec. 13.

Next door, at the Carnegie Museum of Art, kids will have their own project when the 2013 Carnegie International opens Oct. 5. The exhibit's studio space, The Playground Project, will allow kids to experiment with playground design and enjoy creative play.

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com.

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