Light Up Night 2015: Fun, Free & Festive!

Believe it or not, the holiday season is right around the corner and there is no better place to be than Downtown Pittsburgh for the holidays.

With Downtown's unique combination of holiday activities and shopping, there is fun to be had for everyone!

The official kickoff to the holiday season is the 55th Annual Light Up Night Celebration held on Friday, November 20 and is a free event - featuring entertainment, activities, music, and fireworks - that overtakes all of Downtown Pittsburgh!

10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Pittsburgh:

1. Witness the Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Did you know that there are eight official tree lightining events and ceremonies in Downtown Pittsburgh? The first begins at 11:15 am with the tree at the City-Council Building, and they conclude at 7:00 pm with the lighting of the Highmark Unity Tree followed by rooftop fireworks. 

2. Participate in the Kid-Friendly Activities

MetLife Holiday Kidsplay will make Downtown Pittsburgh even more fun for our visitors of all ages during the holiday season! Each weekend from Nov. 21-Dec. 20 (as well as Black Friday) there is a series of free familiy activities on a continuous basis on the 800 block of Liberty Avenue in the Cultural District - take the Holly Trolly for free to join in the fun! Activities include an improv theater, arcade crafts and games, short family friendly film showings, arts and crafts, and a reading room. 

3. Check out the Holiday Windows

 This year there will be 9 holiday windows representing Pittsburgh holiday traditions. Seven of the new windows will be designed by local arts and culture groups like the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Children's Museum, and the Pittsburgh Ballet. The holiday windows can be found at the former Kaufmann's department store along Fifth Avenue.

Carriage Ride
Carriage Ride

4. Take a Free Holly Trolly & Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Every Saturday and on Black Friday, visitors can take free horse drawn carriage rides to attractions across Downtown Pittsburgh including Market Square, the Creche at the US Steel Tower, PPG Place, Fifth Avenue Place, and One Oxford Centre. The Holly Trolly is available every Saturday, Sunday and Black Friday. Visitors can hop on and off at all the shopping, family-fun and holiday sites around town. 

5. Enjoy More Live Music

 Light Up Night will feature five stages of live entertainment across downtown. There is the BNY Mellon New Music Stage on the Clemente Bridge, the brand new Xfinity Country Music Stage on Smithfield Street, Northwest Bank Rockin' Blues Stage also on Smithfield Street, the EQT Jazzmasters Stage at EQT plaza, and local bands performing in Market Square at the Peoples Gas Holiday Market.  

6. Skate on the Ice Rink

New in 2015 -- the Ice Rink is now 25% larger, making it 67% larger than the Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York City! From Nov. 20 - Feb. 28, the Plaza between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue transforms into The MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place, a spectacular one-of-a-kind outdoor ice skating rink. It is open until midnight on Light Up Night.

Holiday Market
Holiday Market

7. Shop at The Holiday Market

This is the fourth season of the cherished Downtown Pittsburgh holiday tradition. The market is a one-of-a-kind holiday shopping village inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkt, and is open from Nov. 20 – Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh's Market Square. The Holiday Market includes over 30 regional, national and international vendors peddling their one-of-a-kind gift items and is a great shopping experience alternative. 

8. Park for Free Downtown

 Thanks to the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, free parking will be available in Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages on Black Friday in addition to Saturdays during the holiday season. It's the perfect time to come and explore the city!  

9. Visit Santa

Santa will take up residence in his storybook home in Market Square where, in return for a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, children of all ages receive a complimentary photo with Santa. Ho ho ho!

Light Up Night Fireworks
Light Up Night Fireworks

10. Be Awed by the Fireworks

Launched from the Warhol Bridge is one of Pittsburgh's most spectacular pyrotechnic displays. Designed by Zambelli Fireworks this show includes the Light Up Night signature Niagra Falls of fireworks, synchronized to a brand new, live holiday radio broadcast on Q92.9.

Throughout the season, keep up to date on all of the Pittsburgh holiday happenings on the VisitPITTSBURGH Holiday Page!