Events

The Most Festive Things to Do in Pittsburgh This Holiday Season

Published On 11/21/2017 Published On 11/21/2017
November
November Pittsburgh
Flickr/Don Burkett
November
Friday
Nov 24
With nearly 2 million twinkling lights, the return of The Gingerbread Express, and a choreographed light show on the lagoon, Pittsburgh's favorite amusement park will be transforming itself into the winter wonderland of our childhood dreams. On opening night, you can check out The Polar Express 4D Experience, holiday songs performed by local choirs, and all attractions -- including a tree lighting ceremony, Doc Dixon's interactive magic show, and a variety of rides -- are included with the price of admission.
Cost: Tickets start at $15.99
Saturday
Nov 25
Downtown Pittsburgh
The WPXI Holiday Parade is back for its 38th year and promises to be one of the best reasons to stand outside in the cold this winter. This seasonal holiday favorite begins at 9am and makes its way down Liberty Avenue between 11th and 6th; the parade will include performances from Chris Jamison (from NBC's The Voice), Jeff Jimerson (the Pittsburgh Penguins' national anthem singer), and The Harlem Globetrotters, as well as goofy antics from local groups like The Steel City Ghostbusters.
Cost: Free
Thursday
Nov 30
Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to party with Santa? OK, neither have we, but now we're totally into it: Join Penn Brewery as it rings in the holiday season and cracks open its keg of 2017 St. Nikolaus Bock Brewers Reserve. Ol' Saint Nick himself will be there in the flesh to tap the keg and party like it's Christmas Day.
Cost: Free with purchase of drinks or food
December
Pittsburgh, PA
ThreeRivers11/Shutterstock
December
Saturday
Dec 2
The Oaks Theater
An event perfect for those among us who love Halloween, Christmas, and brunch equally. The Oaks Theater will be showing The Nightmare Before Christmas alongside a huge selection of brunch favorites like hashbrowns, breakfast sandwiches, pastries from The Oakmont Bakery, mimosas, and bacon Bloody Marys. Bring your kids, watch some OG Tim Burton on the big screen, and day drink in the name of holiday cheer.
Cost: Tickets are $7 (but must be purchased in advance)
Thursday
Dec 7
91.3 WYEP's 10th Annual Holiday Hootenanny will be led by Nathan Zoob and Friends in a celebration showcasing local musicians with dozens of live performances and a dance party featuring DJ Selecta. Enjoy a silent auction and discover Pittsburgh's diverse music scene, all while helping benefit the Jubilee Soup Kitchen.
Cost: $25
Thursday
Dec 7
Celebrate in the most Pittsburgh way possible by honoring all things yinzer. This Pittsburgh-themed ball is the perfect place to debut that black and yellow ball gown you've been holding onto all these years. Come on dahn to the Children's Museum for a night of Pittsburgh-centric activities, including cityscape card crafting, miniature model making at the Soldered City Station, 'burgh ornament decorating, and a sewing station where you can make your very own pierogi pillow (unfortunately, it won't be filled with mashed potatoes). And don't forget to swing by the cookie table and ranch fountain while you're there, you ol' yinzer.
Cost: $20
Friday
Dec 8
Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
Whether you've only seen the Disney remake of Hairspray or you own Female Trouble on VHS, there's a good chance that you'll want to spend a night with the legendary writer and director John Waters. His one-man show, A John Waters Christmas, is an unapologetic and hilarious look at Waters' subversive and sensational comedy. Naturally, the night will be packed with crude humor and adult subject matter that manages to be both provocative and endearing, much like John Waters himself.
Cost: Tickets start at $25
Sunday
Dec 10
Ace Hotel
If you're still trying to find gifts for those hard-to-buy-for relatives and need some liquid courage to aid your journey, look no further than the Holiday Vintage & Handmade Pop-Up Shop. The Anemoia Vintage market is bigger than ever before, with over 30 vendors filling The Gym and The Ballroom at the Ace Hotel. Shopping begins at 10am, so you can grab an early morning cocktail and peruse the best wares and vintage collections in Pittsburgh all before noon.
Cost: Free
Monday - Tuesday
Dec 11-12
Kimpton Hotel Monaco
In case you didn't quite get your fill of local shopping at the Ace Hotel or you need to continue the spree, Winter Market is here. The Hotel Monaco will be hosting this two-day-long event that will feature a selection of goods including glassware and jewelry from local makers, and LUXE Creative will be transforming the space into an envy-worthy winter wonderland. Oh, and don't worry about getting famished in the midst of your shopping venture because The Commoner will be serving up seasonal sandwiches, cocktails, and apple cider donuts.
Cost: Free to attend
Friday
Dec 15
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
While science fiction may not scream holiday cheer, this 21+ after-hours event is sure to elicit some childlike wonder and intense nostalgia -- and hey, the first season featured Christmas lights as a plot device, so this totally counts. Strangest Things: After Dark will help attendees explore the oddities of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and dissect Demogorgon-like creatures all before watching a classic 1980s movie in the Earth Theater. Before the end of the night you'll be sure to see plenty of Barbs for the 'Stranger Things' costume contest and have the chance to participate in a Dungeons and Dragons meetup. And don't forget to visit the waffle bar.
Cost: $15
Saturday
Dec 16
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Super Science Saturdays is a family-friendly program that will be highlighting the traditions of other cultures through a variety of crafts, food, and artifacts. The special holiday program will be led by museum experts from noon to 4pm, and its different holiday-themed stations will feature interactive activities and experiments for participants of all ages.
Cost: Free with museum admission
Sunday
Dec 17
For those of us who will undoubtedly wait till the last minute to do our Christmas shopping, the Boheme Pittsburgh Market is here to save the day. Spirit will host Boheme and their curated selection of local vendors offering unique items that you'll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Browse through a selection of vintage clothes, handmade soaps, soy candles, quirky t-shirts, and much more, including original art and food from local vendors. Corner Alchemy Apothecary will also be set up, offering a selection of herbal creations like the conifer salve, fire ciders, and wildcrafted herbal cocktail bitters.
Cost: Free
Thursday
Dec 21
Carnegie Museum of Art
The December release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi makes it worthy of a place on a list all about the most wonderful time of the year -- and odds are, half the gifts you bought are Star Wars-themed anyway. On the final Third Thursday of the year, CMOA will be celebrating the expansion of the Star Wars universe with an intergalactic party for the ages. The night will include a Jedi and Sith training academy with stage fight choreographer Tonya Lynn, a three-channel video installation, galactic drawing in the planetarium, a costume contest, a dance party with DJ Keith DeVries, and space cocktails in the alien cantina.  
Cost: $15
Sunday
Dec 31
OK, high rollers, here's your chance to have a New Year's Eve blowout that's guaranteed to make 2018 your most glamorous year yet. Party on the glass-enclosed rooftop of Sienna Mercato while enjoying a hors d'oeuvres buffet by Mezzo, free party favors, panoramic views of the city, and a midnight Champagne toast. The price of admission gets you all of this, as well as five drink tickets that can be used for cocktails or any of Il Tetto's vast wine selection.
Cost: Tickets start at $150