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First Night in Pittsburgh

​There's no better place to celebrate the new year than in downtown Pittsburgh!

Celebrate the start of 2018 in Pittsburgh! With amazing performances,  awe-inspiring fireworks, and rocking music sets, you won't want to miss Pittsburgh's official New Year's Eve party! There's no better place to be than Downtown Pittsburgh to celebrate First Night and enjoy the rest of our holiday events.

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

December 31, 2017-January 1, 2018

Make plans to ring in 2018 with Pittsburgh's favorite New Year's Eve celebration - Highmark First Night! This arts-focused event takes place in the city's vibrant Cultural District and features live music, art performances, ice sculptures and a wide array of family-friendly activities. Join the nearly 50,000 revelers who annually celebrate First Night together and explore more than 150 events throughout Downtown at the region's largest single-day celebration. Midnight's raising of the Future of Pittsburgh ball marks the culmination of the celebration.

Downtown Holiday Happenings

Skate at the MassMutual Ice Rink before heading inside the PPG Wintergarden for the Spirits of Giving From Around the World exhibition - a display of life-sized Santas depicting holiday traditions from across the globe. Also in the Wintergarden, check out the Gingerbread House and Train exhibition. Venture from Market Square across town to the U.S. Steel Tower and visit Pittsburgh's Crèche, the world's only approved replica of the Vatican's Nativity Scene. Kidsplay is new this year, offering free children's activities in selected areas on Fridays and Saturdays, including holiday crafts, a Reading Room and a meet and greet with the magical Snow Queen. The BNY Mellon Season of Lights continues nightly through mid-January.

Downtown Tours

Explore Downtown with unique, free tours! Whether you're looking to jump on a Holly Trolley or enjoy a horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown decorations, there are plenty of ways to explore the holidays in Pittsburgh.

More Holiday Events

Tis the season and Pittsburgh has lots of events to get you in the holiday spirit. Catch dazzling light displays in Pittsburgh! Along with the city's downtown decorations, you can also see some sparkle and shine at Kennywood's Holiday Lights, featuring more than one million lights and a Gingerbread Express ride. For botanic holiday fun, head to Phipps Conservatory's Holiday Flower show and Winter Light Garden. You won't want to miss the Carnegie Science Center's world-renowned Miniature Railroad & Village®, a winter wonderland of 105 animations and one Pittsburgh incline. Visit the Carnegie Museum of Art and see the Hall of Architecture filled with several towering Colorado spruce trees, each adorned with handcrafted ornaments. The trees flank the museum's exquisite 18th-century Neapolitan presepio Nativity scene, rare in US collections, together making up a cherished Pittsburgh tradition. Visit the Nationality Classrooms at the University of Pittsburgh and see the rooms decorated in traditional holiday styles from their country of origin. Experience how the holidays were celebrated at the turn of the century on a Clayton Holiday Tour at The Frick Pittsburgh. Take the kids to see Santa at some of the city’s attractions. The Gateway Clipper offers fun on the water with Santa Fun cruises. Have Breakfast or Lunch with Santa at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium or Brunch with Santa at the National Aviary. Ride the Santa Trolley on weekends at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

Holiday Performances

Enjoy holiday magic on stage in Pittsburgh's Cultural District. From annual favorites like the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production of The NutcrackerPittsburgh CLO's A Musical Christmas Carol and Midnight Radio's Variety Hour Holiday Spectacular presented by Bricolage Production Company and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Highmark Holiday Pops

Shop Till You Drop!

Pittsburgh has been named among "the best American towns for holiday shopping" by so come on over! Find unique, handmade gifts for everyone on your list at Arcade: The Cutting Edge of Craft, the largest independent craft fair featuring more than 170 vendors held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Explore the shops at Fifth Avenue Place for specialty items like beautiful Pittsburgh photography, Irish-themed items or high end souvenirs at the Welcome Pittsburgh Information Center and Gift Shop.