Kids Briefs: Ride with Santa on the trolley

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 10:01 p.m.

Santa Claus will be riding antique streetcars with visitors for the next month at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, which is opening its weekend Santa Trolley event Friday.

Children can take a trolley ride with Santa and give him their Christmas wish lists, while the passengers sing Christmas carols. Inside the Chartiers, Washington County museum, the Trolleys and Toy Trains exhibit — a Lionel layout with O-scale trains and trolleys — will be up for the duration of Santa Trolley. The Yuletide Shuttle will have crafts and hot chocolate.

Santa Trolley runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last trolley leaving at 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 16, when the museum closes for the winter. An extra session for Thanksgiving week will be held Friday. Admission is $9; $8 for age 62 and older; and $7 for ages 1 to 15. Anyone who brings an unwrapped toy worth at least $10, will receive free admission.

Details: 724-228-9256 or

Belle's first holiday with the Beast

Gemini Theater will be telling a yuletide-theme story featuring Belle, the star of “Beauty & the Beast.”

Gemini's original play — “Beauty & the Beast,” opening Saturday at the Point Breeze theater — is a zany, family play loosely based on O. Henry's story “The Gift of the Magi.” The audience will learn about Belle's first holiday season at the Beast's castle, where Beast has forbidden any celebration. Belle, with help from the enchanted garden and children in the audience, will create a gift for Beast. Meanwhile, Beast decides to give Belle what he cherishes the most.

Kids in the audience can get on stage and become part of the story.

“Beauty & the Beast” showtimes are at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23, with an additional performance at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Reservations are recommended. Tickets are $10 to $12.

Details: 412-243-5201 or

Storyteller uses improv in tales

Tim Hartman — a local storyteller, cartoonist, singer and Broadway and film actor — will be telling funny tales for kids this week at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side.

Hartman's stories will include “The One and Only Delgado Cheese” and “How Johnny Pancake Almost Married the Princess of France.” Hartman uses improvisational comedy and audience participation. Hartman's half-hour storytelling sessions will be at 1 and 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Also at the museum, preschoolers can take piano lessons from instructor Lauren Hraber. Classes — 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Dec. 18 — will introduce kids ages 3 12 to 6 to the keyboard. Sign up at the front desk; the program is available first-come first-serve, and space is limited. Both events are free with general admission of $13; $12 for senior citizens and ages 2 to 18.

Details: 412-322-5058 or

Aviary welcomes Claus for photos

Bird lovers can visit Santa Claus and a penguin — icons of the North Pole and South Pole — on Saturdays at the National Aviary for Photos with Santa.

Bring a camera to the North Side aviary to take photos with Santa and the penguin, who will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 22. Santa will be taking gift requests, and posing for family photos with the bird. No reservations are required, and the event is free with general admission of $13; $12 for senior citizens; $11 for ages 2 to 12.

Details: 412-323-7235 or

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