Pens Score in the Square

Birds of a different kind of feather will flock in Market Square this Tuesday when penguins from Pittsburgh's National Aviary drop by for the final KidsPlay session of the summer. Starting at 10am, youngsters can "Meet a Penguin" and learn more about these amazing black-and-white birds that can't fly but sure can maneuver Gold Medal Olympian Michael Phelps in the water. They can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour and hold their breath for a really long time! One of these South African natives will star in this final Tuesday of KidsPlay that teams up with the Carnegie Library Tuesday Reading Room for a special bird themed morning of entertainment and education.

Of course, penguins don't breathe fire. But another type of creature with wings certainly knows how to turn up the heat. This week, the Dreamworks' How to Train your Dragon Live Spectacular sets up at the CONSOL Energy Center for a multi-media extravaganza performance of flying mythical creatures, Viking warriors, artists and acrobats who attempt to bring more than 20 fire breathing dragons under control. As part of this week's closing ceremonies for KidsPlay, a few select youngsters will have the chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to enjoy one of the magical, all-ages performances during the show's run from Aug. 23 - 26.

Once the Aviary's penguins head for home, you might just want to stick around in the Square to watch Steel Dragon, a local martial arts and dance group, perform a lion dance at noon. This Asian infused show is a much anticipated sneak peak of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's "Year of the Dragon" gala scheduled for Sept. 15 at Heinz Hall.

You can discover how to get smart — or even smarter — in the Square on Wednesday during the second annual Education Fair presented by the Continuing Education Association of Pennsylvania. Students of all ages and backgrounds are invited to learn how they can earn certificates, degrees and diplomas of all types to increase their IQ's and improve their job status, too. Counselors will be on hand to help participants study-up on scholarships and financial aid to help them shoot straight to the head of the class. Be there from 10am - 2pm for this textbook lesson on furthering your education goals.

Finally, the Square goes to the dogs, cats and just about every other type of pet you can imagine when the Animal Rescue League of Western Shelter & Wildlife Center holds its Pet a Puppy, Cuddle a Cat event on Friday from 11am - 1pm. For just a dollar, animal lovers can spend some personal time with one of the adorable dogs or kitties that are looking for a good home. Sponsored by the Honors Program at Point Park University, this four-legged fundraiser packs plenty of animal attraction.

Summer vacation might be almost over, but there's still plenty going on in the Square.

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