National Aviary Calendar of 2024 Summer Programs and Activities

April 11, 2024

Embrace the Vibrantly Hued World of Birds during a new Colorful Kings Talk, Other Exciting Daily Activities, Interactive Play Spaces, and Special Events this season at the National Aviary! 

Every season at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood offers a new and exciting theme for visitors to immerse themselves in. Starting Saturday, May 25 through Monday, September 2, they can get ready to take off and explore the summer seasonal theme, Colors in Flight. Engaging new daily activities included with admission including the Colorful Kings Talk, offered daily at 2 pm in Condor Court. Guests will see and learn more about King Vultures, the most rainbow-hued of the vulture species. The talk highlights the various ways these vibrantly-pigmented birds utilize their coloring in their natural habitats!  

Visitors can upgrade their visit with add-on experiences only offered during summer, including the return of the live rooftop theater show SkyDeck, where a color palette of grey, black, and white bird species fly freely overhead. Lightning-fast Lanner Falcons swoop down, demonstrating their agility and impressive speed, while sleek Black Kites soar through the sky. Hooded Vultures, a Critically Endangered species found in Africa, take flight from the rooftop, gliding on air currents as they circle over Allegheny Commons Park. In addition, guests can opt to feed bright, vibrant Rainbow Lorikeets, in their newly updated habitat, as they land directly on their outstretched hands to drink a cup of sweet nectar or witness a Bald Eagle fly overhead as it demonstrates its incredible “superpowers” in the fan-favorite live immersive bird show, Habitat Heroes, presented by AAA Travel! Visitors can also take the flight of a lifetime on Birdly® Presented by Vitro, a virtual experience where guests can soar over a city or glide through the ocean like a penguin. PLUS, have the opportunity to get even closer to birds and mammals during an Animal Encounter. Guests of all ages can also experience a brand-new scavenger hunt designed to spark their curiosity as they dive into the fascinating world of birds and discover how their feathers help species thrive in their respective habitats. 


Little learners can enjoy engaging play spaces throughout the Aviary, designed especially for them to use their creativity and imagination. These include putting on the ultimate colorful production in the Puppet Theater, sorting birds and objects by their vibrancy at the Colors in Flight Sensory Table, exploring the brightly-colored world of reading at the Book Nook, and creating a masterpiece of patterns and shapes using colorful magnets!  
The National Aviary is also a one-stop shop for celebrating Moms, Dads, & Grads, with a variety of unique gifts perfect for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grad season! Gifts for moms include a stunning piece of simple or colorful jewelry, a cozy book along with a bird-themed wine pourer for a perfect night of relaxation, sustainable wallets and bags, and much more! Gift Dad with a hat to protect him from the sun, a Fowl Language mug for his morning coffee, or treat him to a delectable Father’s Day BBQ Brunch in The Garden Room. For recent Grads starting a new chapter in a different city, a Pittsburgh-themed drinking glass or magnet is the perfect keepsake. Admission is not required to shop onsite at the Aviary Gift Shop or browse the online store for thoughtful gifts.
Present-seekers can also treat their loved ones to the gift of a National Aviary Membership. Members enjoy a variety of perks including FREE admission to the Aviary, discounts on Animal Encounters, live shows, select programming, and Gift Shop purchases, plus access to exclusive events including the new Expert Talk series!
Guests should also save the date for exciting upcoming interactive programming and special events. Waddle to the Aviary at the end of April for the ultimate celebration of all things penguin during Penguin-Palooza; enjoy several birdwatching experiences throughout the spring and summer seasons; learn about the art of Falconry from an Aviary licensed expert; re-live childhood memories during Summer Camp for Adults; paint a beautiful portrait during an evening session of Brushes & Birds with Maria DeSimone Prascak of Maria’s Ideas; enjoy a BOTTOMLESS 21+ Champagne Brunch in the Garden Room hosted by the National Aviary’s Friends of the Flock; and attend the summer’s hottest party of the year, Night in the Tropics: Island Oasis Presented by UPMC Health Plan!  

The National Aviary is known for fan-favorite African Penguins who bring joy to all who see them, as they swim, splash, and waddle about their habitat, Penguin Point. Little do visitors know, the most exciting action is currently happening behind the scenes! That’s where Patrick and her mate, Owen, are raising their two chicks, who hatched in November of last year. These hatchlings were only made possible by supporters of the National Aviary. Help the Aviary continue to save African Penguins from becoming functionally Extinct in the Wild by 2035 by donating to the Spring Campaign: Stronger Together. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow friend of the Aviary, those who give will have double the impact as it’ll be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $30,000. 

Upcoming Events/Programs 
Early Childhood Activities | Wednesdays, April 3 & May 1 
Geared toward children under the age of 5, kids can experience a fun and engaging morning with art activities, sensory play, and books to read! After playtime, families get a chance to spend time with their little ones while exploring the vibrant world of birds in the National Aviary’s immersive habitats.  

·        10:30 - 11:30 am 

·        Included with National Aviary Admission 

·        Purchase tickets in advance at 

Sensory Friendly Time | Wednesdays, April 10 & May 8   
Explore the National Aviary during a sensory-inclusive morning or afternoon designed for all visitors to make the most of their Aviary experience. Sensory Bags from KultureCity, each equipped with headphones, fidget toys, and other items, are available to borrow during any National Aviary visit, and a helpful sensory guide to the sights, sounds, and climate of the National Aviary’s habitats can be viewed in advance at See and touch biofacts during the visit and enjoy a sensory-friendly version of Habitat Heroes, presented by AAA Travel at 2 pm. During this immersive bird show, lighting is consistent, and volume is low, setting the stage for an engaging experience.  

·        1:30 – 3:30 pm  

·        Pre-registration is required. Call the National Aviary at 412-323-7235 for more information. 

Birdwatching Kayak Tours with L.L. Bean (Spring Migration) | Sundays, June 23, July 21, & August 18 
Take to the water with the National Aviary and L.L.Bean for a birding adventure by kayak! L.L.Bean’s experienced and professional guides will provide on-land instruction on kayak equipment, basic strokes, and safety guidelines before a National Aviary expert leads kayakers out on North Park Lake in Allegheny County. Scan the shoreline and surrounding forest for birds. L.L.Bean will provide all necessary equipment, including kayaks, paddles, safety floatation devices, and L.L.Bean Discovery Binoculars. No prior experience is necessary.  

·        June 23 | 5:30 – 8:30 am  

·        July 21 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm  

·        August 18 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm  

·        The birdwatching kayak tours are open to participants 8 years or older; those under 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult 

·        $75 per person, per session  

·        Register in advance at 

Brushes & Birds featuring Maria DeSimone Prascak of Maria’s Ideas | Thursday, May 2 & Saturday, August 24 | Non-Members: $45; Members: $40;  
Join Maria DeSimone Prascak of Maria’s Ideas; in person for a creative and colorful class in painting your own fine and feathered masterpiece. In this course, designed for painters of all ages and abilities, follow Maria’s step-by-step instructions to paint a portrait of a well-loved National Aviary animal.

·        Evening Edition for Penguin-Palooza: May 2 | 5:30 – 8 pm  

o   Register in advance at  

o    May Portrait: Penguins  

·        Sloth Birthday Edition: August 24 | 11 am – 1 pm 

o   Register in advance at  

o   August Portrait: Sloth

Birding Expedition Bus Tour: Cook Forest | Sunday, June 9
Join the National Aviary for an unforgettable birding expedition in Cook Forest. Spot diverse species soaring overhead and perching in surrounding trees and immerse yourself in beautiful natural surroundings complete with a gorgeous river winding through acres of white pine and hemlock trees. National Aviary Ornithologist Bob Mulvihill will help with bird identification and provide tips for future birding trips!

·        7 am – 2:30 pm 

·        The birding expedition bus tour is open to participants 6 years or older; those under 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult 

·        Non-Members: $149 per person; Member Price: $134 per person  

·        Pick-up and drop-off from and to the National Aviary is included  

·        A packed lunch from Atria’s Specialty Catering will be provided 

·        Registration to come  

Summer Camp…For Adults! | Saturday, August 10 &17 

Camp-goers can embrace their inner child at the National Aviary Summer Camp for Adults! Spend a day with Aviary staff and go behind-the-scenes to see what it takes to care for the more than 500 birds and animals that call the National Aviary home! Help prepare enrichment for the flock, get up close with Animal Ambassadors, and learn about National Aviary conservation projects across the globe. 

·        9 am – 3 pm 

·        A packed lunch from Atria’s Specialty Catering will be provided  

·        Saturday, August 10 | Register in advance at  

·        Saturday, August 17 | Register in advance at 


Sloth Birthday Celebration |Thursday, August 22 

Help the National Aviary’s Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloths, Vivien (turning seven) and Wookiee (turning 24!) celebrate their birthdays during a festive Sloth Birthday Celebration.  


·        11 am – 3pm  

·        Included with National Aviary Admission 

·        Purchase tickets in advance at 

Falconry: The Sport of Kings |Sunday, August 25  
Registrants will join National Aviary’s licensed falconer, Cathy Schlott, for an exhilarating experience as they delve into the fascinating world of Falconry and discover the ancient history of the sport that has been enjoyed by kings for thousands of years. Learn about the variety of birds that falconers hunt with and the individual considerations in selecting a species and experience a visit from one of the National Aviary’s Ambassador Animals!

·        10 am – 12 pm  

·        National Aviary Admission Included 

·        Designed for ages 10 and up, under 16 must be accompanied by a registered adult 

·        Non-Members: $25 per person; Members: $20 per person  

·        Register in advance at  

Save the Date for these Special Events 

 Friends of the Flock 21+ Champagne Brunch | Sunday, April 21  
Join the National Aviary’s Friends of the Flock, a committee of emerging leaders and philanthropists, for their exclusive annual fundraiser, a 21+ Champagne Brunch Presented by 535media. Enjoy a sampling of fresh fruits and pastries before a selection of gourmet dishes from Chef Josef Karst. Cozy up in The Garden Room while sipping on BOTTOMLESS mimosas included with the brunch ticket. Experience exciting meet-and-greet opportunities with Aviary Animal Ambassadors. After dining, spend the afternoon exploring the National Aviary’s immersive habitats as brunch also includes admission AND a ticket to the live bird show, Habitat Heroes, presented by AAA Travel. Register in advance at 

Father’s Day BBQ Brunch in The Garden Room | Sunday, June 16 
Seatings at 11 am and 12:45 pm | Brunch includes National Aviary Admission 
Show Dad some love with a special BBQ Brunch prepared by the friendly staff of Atria’s Specialty Catering. Enjoy a sampling of fresh fruits and pastries before the main course: a selection of gourmet dishes from Chef Josef Karst including Dad’s Famous 11th Hour Brisket Biscuit, Cop Out Pierogis with Grilled Kielbasa, Sautéed Onions, and Kraut, and much more!  Pair this delicious meal with a cold beer available for purchase. After dining, take Dad on a journey through the National Aviary’s lush and vibrant habitats. Register in advance at  
Night in the Tropics Presented by UPMC Health Plan | Friday, July 26
General Admission 7  11 pm | VIP Access at 6 pm 
Journey to the North Shore during the last weekend of July for summer’s hottest event! Pittsburgh’s must-attend party offers all the tropical thrills and frills one can expect from an Island Oasis. Upgrade to the VIP treatment for free valet parking, a full hour of early party access, exclusive interactions with National Aviary Animal Ambassadors, and full bar service with premium spirits. All partygoers will indulge in gourmet bites and sip signature cocktails, craft beer, and delicious wines while dancing the night away with live music, including Pittsburgh's favorite, No Bad Juju! Tickets to this highly anticipated, sell-out event are expected to go quickly. Get your tickets in advance at

The National Aviary’s summer season, Colors in Flight, begins May 25. 

The National Aviary is open daily 10 am – 5 pm.