Oakland for the Holidays

Tis the season to celebrate the holidays!

It's time to celebrate, and Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood has lots of festive things to do in December that will put you in the holiday spirit. Located less than three miles from Downtown, Oakland is home to universities and museums, grand architecture, quaint coffee shops, international cuisine and specialty shops. 

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museums

    • Holidays are all about traditions and the Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History once again rings in the season with their annual Holiday Tree Display. 
    • The 2018 edition marks a first-ever collaboration with the 57th Carnegie International artist Karen Kilimnik. The Carnegie International is the oldest North American exhibition of contemporary art from around the globe and a Pittsburgh tradition since 1896. The tree display features five soaring evergreens decorated according to Kilimnik’s artistic vision, which has been described as “joyful fantasy and a quest for the romantic sublime.” 
    • Visit the Hall of Architecture filled with towering Colorado Spruce trees trimmed with hand-crafted ornaments. The trees are the perfect backdrop for the 18th-century Nativity Neapolitan presepio featuring lifelike figures created between 1700 and 1830 by Italian craftsmen. See this beautiful holiday tradition through Jan.7, 2019.


    University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms

    • The Nationality Rooms are 30 rooms located on the first and third floors of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning designed to represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Pittsburgh. Each room contains authentic examples of architecture and décor. 
    • Take a narrated tape tour without reservations or a guided tour (available daily beginning at 10:30am - first come first serve). The Rooms are decorated for the holidays with festive decorations specific to their country of origin. See the display through Jan. 12, 2019. Closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1.

    Phipps Conservatory

    • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a historic 14-room glasshouse with 23 distinct gardens. Phipps is especially beautiful during the holidays. 
    • The Winter Flower Show Holiday Magic: Let It Glow! enchants visitors with thousands of lights and beautiful displays of holiday trees, topiaries and more than 2,000 poinsettias. 
    • See the newly-restored Palm Court filled with trees mounted on oversized music boxes. 
    • Stroll through a Serpentine Room of nutcrackers, toboggans and tea sets. The Outdoor and Discovery Gardens sparkle with luminous orbs, trees, fountains, a tunnel of lights and an all-new ice tower display. Timed tickets are required in advance for all guests. 
    • Get a pair of the new holiday Hologram Glasses when you order your tickets and see Holiday Magic in a whole new way. Glasses are $6 per pair which includes a coupon good for free popcorn or a pretzel at the Café Phipps Holiday Hut, through Jan. 26, 2019.

    Heinz Memorial Chapel

    • Heinz Memorial Chapel sits on the University of Pittsburgh campus. The stunning Gothic architecture includes 73-foot stained glass windows which are among the tallest in the world. Chapel docents are available to give individual and small group walk-up tours during chapel hours. 
    • The Heinz Chapel choir performs Holiday Concerts, Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9. The Women’s Choral Ensemble Holiday Concert performs Dec. 8. 
    • Christmas with Shadyside Brass features holiday favorites in pop, classical and jazz and everybody’s favorite holiday music, including a rousing finale of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, Dec. 15. 
    • The Pittsburgh Flute Club is a flute orchestra that mimics a symphonic sound. The group celebrates the rich traditions of Christmas music with unique and clever arrangements of your favorite carols, Dec. 16.

    Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

    • Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is a museum, concert hall and ballroom contained within a historic landmark and memorial dedicated to honoring and supporting all who have served in the military since the Civil War through today. 
    • Their annual Patriotic Holiday Concert is an uplifting musical performance that includes seasonal favorites and patriotic selections. Free admission. Limited space so reservations recommended, Dec. 2.

    Carnegie Mellon University School of Music

    • Carnegie Mellon University School of Music performs holiday-themed events and concerts to brighten the season. 
    • Tartan Tuba Band Holiday Spectacular "A Chuck Black TubaChristmas" is a loving parody of the classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas" performed at Alumni Concert Hall, College of Fine Arts. 
    • Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic presents a concert with a seasonal repertoire including Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols; Bernstein’s Profanation from “Jeremiah” Symphony and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (Spring, Winter). Dec. 6-7. 

    Carnegie Music Hall

    • Carnegie Music Hall is a regal space located within the Carnegie Museums that hosts grand musical performances. 
    • Christmas Brasstacular, performed by River City Brass, America's only full-time brass band, established in Pittsburgh in 1981, celebrates the magic of Christmas with classic carols, favorite film music and special surprises. Choirs from around the region sing with the band. Dec. 6. 
    • Carnegie Mellon University’s Philharmonic plays a holiday concert of traditional music. Dec. 7.

    Oakland is a wonderful place to visit during the holiday season, and these are just a few of the highlights. If you explore this fun and family-friendly neighborhood, be sure to share your photos and experiences with us using the hashtag #LovePGH! Happy Holidays!