Pittsburgh Holiday Events

From outdoor shopping and toasty refreshments to indoor exhibits and bites for the whole family, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays in Pittsburgh.

Experience the magic of the Holidays in Pittsburgh! Enjoy seasonal events and celebrations – all while following health and safety guidelines. Visit cool places, support small and local businesses and make plans to glide across the glistening ice rink.

Read on for more on how you can get in the Holiday spirit this season!

Downtown Holiday Happenings

Light Up Night

Saturday before Thanksgiving 

This annual celebration is the official kickoff of Pittsburgh's Holiday celebration. Experience a full night of vibrant activities and events, including concerts from national and local artists, extraordinary firework displays, family activities, the seasonal opening of Pittsburgh's winter attractions, the spectacular illumination of the Golden Triangle and more!

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

Dec. 31-Jan. 1

Pittsburgh's signature New Year's celebration, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, takes place in the Cultural District with a variety of family-friendly activities and, of course, fireworks!

The Peoples Gas Holiday Market™

Light Up Night through Christmas Eve

Downtown Pittsburgh is festive and fun at the annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ where you can browse outdoor wooden chalets brimming with unique gifts and holiday experiences filled with international flair and local charm. Enjoy live music as you stroll through an illuminated Market Square, and don't forget to stop by for a visit with Santa himself!

The Pittsburgh Crèche  

Throughout The Season

Venture from Market Square across town to the U.S. Steel Tower and visit The Pittsburgh Crèche, the world's only approved replica of the Vatican's Nativity Scene.  

The UPMC Rink at PPG Place

Throughout The Season

Create smiles and memories when you skate at The UPMC Rink at PPG Place. Since 2001, this rink has been a staple attraction in Downtown Pittsburgh during the holidays. 

World's Largest Pickle Ornament 

Throughout The Season 

Only in Pittsburgh can you find the World's Largest Pickle Ornament! Complete your Pittsburgh holiday adventure with a trip to see this free, dazzling and dill-lightful attraction.

Holiday Kidsplay Selfie Garden

Throughout The Season

Enjoy a family pitstop at the Heinz Hall Courtyard as it transforms into a child’s television dreamland for the holidays. Explore colorful backdrops and life-sized standees of popular characters from Fred Rogers Productions’ beloved children’s shows and other PBS favorites, including Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and Odd Squad. 

Other Holiday Events & Activities Around Town

Holidays at the History Center

Nov. 20, 2021 through Jan. 17, 2022

The museum’s holly jolly exhibition, A Very Merry Pittsburgh, features a special section with family keepsakes, artifacts, film and imagery that explore how Western Pennsylvanians have celebrated major winter holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa through the years. Don’t miss your chance to take a socially distanced holiday photo with Santa on Saturdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., through Dec. 18.

Kennywood Holiday Lights

Nov. 20 through Dec. 24, 2021: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Dec. 26, 2021 through Jan. 2, 2022: daily 
Closed Christmas Day

Make your season sparkle at Kennywood’s Holiday Lights. Bring your family and celebrate the return of this Pittsburgh classic. Take a stroll among more than 1 million twinkling lights and marvel at the tallest Christmas tree in the state. Savor the flavors of new festive foods and holiday drinks. Plus, there are rides for the kids and special entertainment for all. The holidays shine brighter than ever at the 10th anniversary of Kennywood’s Holiday Lights. Come make it part of your tradition select nights starting Nov. 19 for Season Passholders and Nov. 20 for everyone!

Holidays at the National Aviary

Various dates and times through Dec. 29, 2021

Spend your holidays at the National Aviary! Enjoy family-fun activities during Season’s Greetings Saturdays, festively-decorated Holiday Brunch in the Garden and late nights with the birds during Holidays in the Garden Presented by Hefren-Tillotson, Inc.! Don’t forget to stop in the Gift Shop or visit the online store for that perfect present.

Holidays at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Nov. 20, 2021 through Jan. 10, 2022

BEDAZZLED: Celebrating the Diamond Anniversary of the Carnegie Trees
Since 1961, the annual installation and decoration of the Carnegie Trees has kicked off the holiday season at the museum. The Hall of Architecture will be transformed into a winter-wonderland featuring five soaring Fraser Fir trees will be magnificently lit and adorned with hand-made ornaments. 

Neapolitan Presepio
For the first time, this cherished fixture will be exhibited in proximity to paintings and sculptures in the collection, contextualizing the artwork. Sharing a gallery with Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces such as The Nativity and The King and the Shepherd by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, visitors will be able to enjoy and reflect on the Presepio in an inspiring and new context.

A Creepy Christmas at ScareHouse

Dec. 10-11, 17-18, limited tickets

Pittsburgh’s Scariest Haunted House is now filled with scary toys & evil elves to torment all you naughty boys and girls! A Creepy Christmas is a twisted tale of holiday horror.  

The Nutcracker with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Dec. 10-29, 2021, select dates

Snow settles on the Steel City as a wonderful adventure begins in PBT’s The Nutcracker. Join Marie, her Nutcracker prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy on a journey into the Land of Enchantment. Five fanciful scenes, over 150 unique costumes and Tchaikovsky’s enduring score make The Nutcracker a can’t-miss holiday tradition.

Highmark Holiday Pops

Dec. 10-19, 2021, select dates 

Share Pittsburgh’s favorite holiday musical tradition with family, and thrill to the spectacle of the season with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Highmark Holiday Pops. It’s a sparkling celebration of carols, classics, sing-alongs and more! And yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus!


Stay tuned for a variety of other holiday events and activities throughout the season!


PGH Commitment

The Pittsburgh Global Health (PGH) & Safety Commitment demonstrates that the Pittsburgh hospitality and tourism communities are aligned and dedicated to ensuring that the health and safety of our visitors and residents remain our top priorities.