Pittsburgh Brings the Holiday Magic

Celebrate with Holiday Lights, Performances and Special Events Found Only in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – Holiday travelers can embrace the season with Only in Pittsburgh holiday lights and events found throughout the city, as well as special cultural performances, shopping concepts and much more!


“Pittsburgh is ready for seasonal travelers to experience our holiday cheer,” VisitPITTSBURGH President & CEO Jerad Bachar said. “According to Longwoods International, 92% of American travelers have travel plans in the next six months, with 70% planning to visit friends and family on their holiday trips. There’s no better place to reconnect this season than in Pittsburgh – from our world-class performances throughout our Cultural District to festive light up events, one-of-a-kind shopping experiences and much more, our region boasts endless opportunities to celebrate this magical season.”

Highmark Light Up Night® kicks off the holiday season Downtown on Saturday, Nov. 19. Produced by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, this family friendly, daylong event begins at noon with festivities that spotlight the City of Pittsburgh’s unique combination of traditional and contemporary holiday attractions. Musical entertainment will be presented on four stages, with rock n’ roll legend Joan Jett and the Blackhearts headlining on the Xfinity Riverside Stage that night. Tree lightings across Downtown start at 5 p.m., with the Xfinity Fireworks Spectacular to follow at 9:30 p.m.

The Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ returns Downtown for its 11th season and operates daily, except for Thanksgiving, starting Nov. 18 through Christmas Eve. Inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkts, Market Square will be filled with more than 35 wooden chalets offering shoppers high-quality gifts including local and international vendors amid fantastic lights, decorations and entertainment.

When the shopping bags are full, head across the street to The UPMC Rink at PPG Place and ice skate the spectacular outdoor rink around a massive 65-foot Christmas tree centerpiece. Also opening Nov. 18, this iconic spot has been a destination for locals and holiday travelers since opening in 2001. Families also will want to swing by Heinz Hall Courtyard, where they can visit with Santa in-person at his brand-new house. Once again, young ones have the option for visits with either a Black or white Santa.

Make the season sparkle at Kennywood Holiday Lights Nov. 18 through New Year’s Day. More than 2 million twinkling lights will greet guests as they marvel at the tallest Christmas tree in the state, visit with Santa and ride 20 family friendly attractions.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will set the Oakland neighborhood aglow with Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden Nov. 18 through Jan. 8, 2023. This year’s theme of arctic adventure promises the biggest and best show yet replete with magnificent displays of holiday trees, topiaries and poinsettias plus a celebrated outdoor garden bedecked in holiday hues.

Warm up this winter at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where visitors can view seasonal exhibits, like Neopolitan Presepio and Carnegie Trees: Holiday Splendor, Nov. 19 – Jan. 8, 2023. Additionally, experience Is it morning for you yet?, the 58th Carnegie International, currently running through April 2, 2023.

Don’t want to leave the car for holiday fun? The Zoo Lights Drive-Thru (Nov. 25-Dec. 30) transforms the Pittsburgh Zoo into a winter wonderland. Guests can enjoy animal lights, all-new displays, music and festive treats all without exiting the vehicle.

No holiday lineup would be complete without iconic Pittsburgh performances at fabulous theatres throughout the Cultural District. Follow Ralphie’s hijinks during Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of A Christmas Story: The Play Nov. 30-Dec. 18 and battle the Mouse King with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker Dec. 9-28. Hear the carols of the season with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Highmark Holiday Pops Dec. 9-18 and Pittsburgh CLO’s A Musical Christmas Carol Dec. 9-23.

To some, the holidays are all about great parties with a delicious beverage in hand. Find both at holiday pop-up bars throughout the city such as Miracle on 6th, located on 137 6th Street, featuring novelty cocktails served in festive glassware and decorated floor to ceiling with ornaments and lights. Miracle opens Nov. 13 and will be serving holiday cheer through New Year’s Eve.

Other holiday favorites this season include: The Hip Hop Nutcracker Nov. 30; Handmade Arcade Holiday Market Dec. 3; Handel’s Messiah Dec. 3; A Lyrical Christmas Carol Dec. 13-18; and Highmark First Night Pittsburgh Dec. 31.

Learn more about these and other Only in Pittsburgh holiday events, and plan your next trip to Pittsburgh at VisitPITTSBURGH.com.

Follow VisitPITTSBURGH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to share your holiday spirit and photos using #LovePGH.

VisitPITTSBURGH is the official tourism marketing and promotion agency of the Pittsburgh region. The organization is dedicated to generating business events, sports events and leisure travel.