Relax—it’s the new year, and now’s the time to address that resolution for more family quality time, an easy resolution to fulfill given all the great things to do—even in the depths of winter. Enjoy awe-inspiring performances, run wild in the museum, solve mysteries and bond with fellow wimps!

“Tough Art”: Through Jan. 10

“Tough Art,” an annual exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, features artists’ work designed for the rigors of children’s enthusiasm. Ian Ingram’s “Nutnutkin-Kinnutkin” explores squirrel communication through tail flicks; Matt Mets has made a musical instrument played by the placement of magnetic shapes; Jennifer Van Winkle’s sculptural installation, “The Expedition,” offers a tactile journey through tunnels; and Anneka Herre’s room-within-a-room offers surprising new viewpoints. (10 Children’s Way, North Side. Through Jan. 10: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Free with admission: adults, $11; children ages 2-18 and seniors, $10. Info: 412/322-5058,

Carnegie Forensic Files: Jan. 15-16

Groups of kids in grades three to eight, with their parents or guardians, learn investigative skills as they spend the night solving a mystery in Carnegie Museum of Natural History—just the way museum scientists crack their own cases. The next day, be sure to de-mysticize the huge deepwater friends in the whale of an exhibit, “Whales/Tohara.” Part of the Overnight Adventures series, the event runs from 6:30 p.m. on Fri., Jan. 15, through 9:45 a.m. on Sat., Jan. 16, and includes a pizza party and breakfast. (4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $40 per person. Reservations required. Reservations: 412/622-3289; info:

Jeff Kinney: Jan. 24

Don’t wimp out on this really special event with the author of the best-selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He will talk about life as a wimp and answer questions as part of the “Black, White and Read All Over” series. A book signing and refreshments follow the lecture. (Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Sun., Jan. 24, 2 p.m. Adults, $10; children 18 and under, $8. Tickets: 412/622-8866; info:

Cirque Dreams: Illumination: Jan. 5-10

Acrobats, athletes and musicians transform the landscape of a city into a dreamlike performance that thrills and astounds. Audiences of all ages will marvel as performers re-invent ordinary objects, balance and take flight into the extraordinary. (Heinz Hall, Sixth Street, downtown. Jan. 5-10: Tues.-Thurs., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m. $21-$61. Tickets: 412/392-4900,

Pigeon Party: Jan. 24-31

Mo Willems’ three Pigeon books from the series of the same name are crammed into one fun party in this performance with original music and audience participation. The show is performed by Big Wooden Horse Theatre Co. of Great Britain as part of Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater’s Family Series. (Jan. 24, 2 p.m.: Byham Theater, downtown; Jan. 27, 7 p.m.: Gateway High School, Monroeville; Jan. 28, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.: Pine-Richland High School, Pine Township; Jan. 29, 7 p.m.: Moon Area High School, Moon Township; Jan. 30, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Keystone Oaks High School, Mount Lebanon; Jan. 31, 2 p.m.: Seneca Valley High School, Harmony Township. $9.50 in advance; $11 at the door.  Tickets: 412/456-6666,

Cats: Jan. 26-31

The “meow-able” Andrew Lloyd Webber classic Cats is a wonderful introduction for youngsters of all ages to live theater, with timeless songs, including “Memory,” and the magic of feline lifestyles. (Benedum Center, Seventh Street, downtown. Jan. 26-31: Tues.-Thurs., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m. $23-$55. Tickets: 412/456-6666,

“Delicious Double Stops”: Jan. 30

Chatham Baroque’s Peanut Butter & Jam Session is an informal concert for preschoolers and their parents, and at this month’s performance, “Delicious Double Stops,” kids can learn the music technique “double stopping.” It’s done on the violin and viola de gamba, where musicians play two strings at the same time, producing two pitches. (McClintic Hall, Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Shadyside. Sat., Jan. 30, 10-10:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Adults, $8; children, $5. Tickets: 412/687-1788,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Things To Do