Experience the magic of the Holidays in Pittsburgh. Come and enjoy the seasonal events and celebrations that will get you in the festive mood. Visit the cool places to shop, savor live performances and don't forget about the glistening ice rink waiting for you to lace up your skates. Stay for a while and enjoy the festivities. There's free parking Downtown every Saturday from November 25-December 23. Shop, eat and be merry!
Peoples Gas Holiday Market
November 16-December 23, 2018
Get the feel of a European village set in the heart of Downtown's Market Square. The Sixth Annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market has treasures and high-quality gifts that will make everyone on your list happy. Vendors offer items from a variety of countries. Stop at the Kathe Wolfhart booth and browse the assortment of holiday gifts where you can enter a chance to win two free tickets to Germany on Condor Airlines. Visit Santa's House and take home a commemorative photo with him. Grab a snack while you're walking around. Helmut's from Austria has delicious strudl and hot apple cider. Or duck into one of the nearby restaurants for dinner.
Highmark First Night Pittsburgh
December 31, 2018-January 1, 2019
Make plans to ring in 2019 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
Throughout The Season
Light Up Night
Light-Up Night is the official launch of the holiday season, and there are lots of other attractions to enjoy winter fun.
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.
The Pittsburgh’s Crèche
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.
BNY Mellon Season of Lights
The BNY Mellon Season of Lights continues nightly through mid-January.
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 and Christmas 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.
Enjoy holiday magic on stage in Pittsburgh's Cultural District. From annual favorites like the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker, Pittsburgh 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.
Holiday Shopping in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh has been named among "the best American towns for holiday shopping" by Expedia.com so come on over! Find unique, handmade gifts for everyone on your list at Handmade Arcade, 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, gems and crystals or high end souvenirs at the Welcome Pittsburgh Information Center and Gift Shop.