a crowd of children and parents being entertained by a man on stilts at the 2018 eqt children's theater festival

2019 EQT Children’s Theater Festival: Your Complete Guide

Fri, May 10, 2019

Written by: Jessie Hoffman

Visit the 2019 EQT Children’s Theater Festival May 16 – 19 for a weekend full of fun for the whole family! Spend the day with friends and family participating in hundreds of free activities and seeing incredible performances by internationally-renowned theater groups.

a children's festival sign in a potted plant


Arriving Downtown

Located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, this year’s EQT Children’s Theater Festival is bound to attract a lot of visitors, so reserve your parking spot now! Parking garage passes for the Theater Square Parking Garage must be purchased in advance. Call 412-456-6666 or visit the Box Office at Theater Square to buy yours today. You can also use the parkpgh.org website to get real-time parking availability updates for over 20 downtown lots that are within walking distance of the festival grounds. Public transportation provided by the Port Authority of Allegheny County is another popular way to get into the city. A bus can ride you and your family to a nearby bus stop or take the light rail trolley to the Wood Street Station and get dropped off right in the middle of the action. Visit PortAuthority.org to find the route that works best for you.

a crowd of children and parents being entertained by a man on stilts at the 2018 eqt children's theater festival


Finding a Festival Guide

Have a question about the festival route? Need a recommendation for a show? Looking for which activity to do next? Ask a Festival Guide! Dressed in green vests, our Festival Guides would be more than happy to answer any and all questions you have about the EQT Children’s Theater Festival. Plus, they’re a Frog Stop! Ask nicely for a sticker to add to the back of your Festival booklet.

Frog Stop Scavenger Hunt

Collect stickers while exploring EQT’s Children’s Theater Festival and Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Get at least five stickers and earn a treat from Millie’s Ice Cream Truck on 7th Street! Participants must be 15 years old or younger.

a festival guide sits at an info table


Where to Eat

Fuel up for an afternoon at the festival at any of our recommended, family-friendly restaurants downtown. Food is culture, so what better way is there to enhance your day in the Cultural District than by grabbing a bite with those you love most?

Looking for a more “festival” type of lunch? Grab a bite at any of the food trucks available throughout the festival route.

a line of food trucks on penn avenue during the festival


Plan Your Day at the Festival

Babies and Toddlers

  • - Babies and their parents are invited to move and explore with their bodies in Sky and Stone, an interactive show that sparks curiosity, exploration, and play
  • - Enjoy a play space designated for the smallest theater goers at Baby Zone
  • - Visit Katz Plaza and create Eyeball Art inspired by one of Pittsburgh’s most recognizable sites
  • - Make and take home creations with Kidsburgh and Remake Learning Activities
a young child plays a giant game of connect four


Kids ages 3+

  • - Watch puppetry, music, and movement come alive in Emily Brown and the Thing and head to Katz Plaza or the Mattress Factory afterwards for activities inspired by the show
  • - Fly will captivate you with puppet imagery and a poetic journey into a circus universe
  • - Catch NYICFF Kid Flicks at Harris Theater for audience favorite and award-winning short films from the New York International Children’s Film Festival
  • - Create your own unique artwork using rubber stamping and watercolor with the Andy Warhol Museum
a young child with facepiant smiles at the camera


Pre-teens and Teens

  • - Step into a daydream that unfolds before your eyes with Murikamification, performed throughout the Cultural District
  • - Join actress and creator Sarah Carleton for a Young Actors’ Workshop at the Pittsburgh Public Theater that’s both fun and informative
  • - Immerse yourself in the beautiful public art permanently installed throughout the Cultural District
a workshop participant writes on a piece of paper


Fun for All-ages

  • - Experience Air Play, a circus-style adventure featuring flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen
  • - Sons of Mystro will dazzle you with their violin infused interpretations of reggae classics and American pop songs, as well as their own creations
  • - Explore and celebrate the world premiere of circle circle circle, a larger-than-life cube of color built with a rainbow of circles
  • - Relax with a yoga demonstration fit for all members of the family
  • - Build and race LEGO derby cars at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center
  • - Join Pittsburgh-based duo Josh and Gab for a show filled with interactive music, comedy, and positivity for all ages
a group of children are led in yoga by an instructor


Sensory Friendly

  • - The Saturday, May 18 performance of Air Play at 1:30pm is sensory friendly and will include reduced sound levels and gentle lights
  • - Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for sensory-play activities and play and learn with books, bubbles, scarves, and friends
  • - Color with the Autism Connection of PA at the Byham Theater
  • - See Cityscape at the Jumping Jack Theater, a sensory friendly theater for all audiences and enjoy a show that combines creative movement, music, and sensory play with social and communication skills
a group of children presenting their completed frog stop sheets to a festival guide


Purchasing Tickets to Shows

Be sure to purchase tickets for the shows you’re most excited for in advance. Tickets for Emily Brown and the Thing, Fly, Sons of Mystro, Sky and Stone, Murikamification, and Air Play are available for purchase at TrustArts.org/PghKids, or visit TrustArts.org/groupsales for purchases of 10 or more tickets. Attend more shows and save more per ticket!

a young child sits in their parent's lap as they watch a show in a theater


See the full list of festival events and begin planning your trip to the 2019 EQT Children’s Theater Festival. We hope to see you there!

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