Oakland for the Holidays

Celebrate the holidays!

Get in the spirit of the season in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, just a few miles from Downtown. There are plenty of festive events for the entire family to enjoy. 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 beginning Dec. 4. This year, the Trees Committees chose artworks from the museum's collection to use as inspiration for their creative decorations for each tree.
  • 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.6, 2020.




University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms

  • The Nationality Rooms are 31 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. 
  • The Rooms are decorated for the winter holidays with festive decorations specific to their country of origin. See the display through Jan. 18, 2020. Tours can be purchased at the Information and Gift Center ($4/adults; $2/youth - ages 6-18). 

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 Holiday Magic Holiday Magic Winter Flower Show and Light Garden enchants visitors with thousands of lights and beautiful displays of holiday trees, topiaries and more than 2,000 poinsettias. Nov. 29 – Jan. 12, 2020. 
  • Bring the kids and their wish lists for Santa Visits, Nov. 29 – Dec. 23 (select dates) and get a festive photo with the guy in red, free with Phipps admission. 

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 chapel is filled with the sounds of the season with a variety of concerts: 
    • Ring Pittsburgh, a handbell concert, Nov.24, 3 p.m. 
    • Holiday Concerts with music from the Heinz Chapel Choir, Nov. 24, Nov. 30, Dec. 1, Dec. 6, Dec. 8 
    • The Women’s Choral Ensemble Holiday Concert, Dec. 7  
    • Christmas with Shadyside Brass, Dec. 14  
    • Chaz Bowers, organist, Dec. 14 
    • Christmas with Shadyside Brass, Dec. 14  
    • A Trombone Christmas, Dec.22. 

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. 1. 

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. 5. 
  • Carnegie Mellon University’s Philharmonic plays a holiday concert of traditional music. Dec. 10.
  • Holiday Harp Ensemble, holiday favorites performed by 30 harpists, featuring Alyssa Hensley performing the "Waltz of the Flowers" harp cadenza from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Dec. 10 

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!