Here’s my weekly listing of family-friendly events in the Pittsburgh region for the weekend of November 21-23, 2014. Highlights of this weekend include LIGHT UP NIGHT 2014 and a TON of holiday events!! In case you can’t tell, this is my favorite time of year :).
Friday Night, November 21
54th Annual Light Up Night in Downtown Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership hosts the official kickoff of the holiday season at Light Up Night 2014. The evening features various official tree lightings, visits with Santa, reindeer sightings, free horse-drawn carriage rides, the unveiling of the Macy’s window displays, ice skating, music, food, fireworks and so much more! Please see link above for a complete rundown of events and attractions this year.
Winter Wonderland at the Overlook
The Elliot Community Group hosts Winter Wonderland at the West End Overlook, an alternative to Downtown’s “Light Up Night” celebration. Santa will arrive on a fire engine and there will also be games, food and hot cocoa for sale and live music. Plus, you will be able to see the main fireworks display over the city.
Free Community Concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents a free 45-minute concert featuring the music of Wagner, Mozart, Revel and others.
Cost: FREE! Tickets can be reserved in advance or are available at the door on a first come-first serve basis.
Location: Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Santa Claus is Shopping in Monongahela
Monongahela hosts its annual “Santa Claus is Shopping” event on November 21st at 5:30pm, featuring a Christmas tree display, live entertainment, visits with Santa, face-painting and children’s activities.
Santa’s First Stop in Cranberry Township
Cranberry Township holds its annual Santa’s First Stop event at its Municipal Building with activities and crafts starting at 6pm, Santa’s arrival at 7pm, a chance to visit with Santa, Mrs Claus and their reindeers, the giant Lego train display and a stroll through the annual Cranberry Tree Gallery.
Light up Kittanning Night
Kittanning hosts its annual light up event on November 21st from 6-9pm, featuring Santa’s arrival with Frosty the Snowman, live entertainment, free cookies and hot chocolate, pony rides, dog sled rides and tons more.
All Weekend, November 21-23
First Weekend of the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place
Starting at Light Up Night, The Plaza at PPG Place will house the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink seven days/week with $3 skate rental, &8 adult entry and $7 children < 13 entry.
Times: Friday and Saturday 11am-midnight, Sunday noon-8pm
First Weekend of the Wintergarden at PPG Place
The Wintergarden at PPG Place opens at Light Up Night and is open seven days per week until January 7th. This free exhibit features a display of life-sized Santas and original paintings from various countries around the world, a 32 foot tree, gingerbread houses, and a unique train display.
Times: Friday 7am-10pm, Saturday 9am-10pm, Sunday 9am-8pm
First Weekend of the Peoples Gas Holiday Market
Market Square hosts the Peoples Gas Holiday Market, open seven days/week starting at Light Up Night. The Holiday Market is inspired by the original Christkindlemarkt created in 1545 in Nuremberg and features European-style wooden chalets decorated for the holidays and selling high-quality gifts and ornaments. The Holiday Market also has its own Santa for kids to visit, live musical entertainment throughout the day and a light show every 30 minutes after dark.
Times: Fridays and Saturdays 11am-9:30pm, Sunday 11am-6pm
First Weekend of the Pittsburgh Creche
The US Steel Tower Plaza on Grant Street houses the Pittsburgh Creche starting at Light Up Night and continuing until January 7th. The Pittsburgh Creche is the world’s only authorized replica of the Nativity Creche that stands outside Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
PNC Broadway Across America presents Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, a new musical based on the classic holiday movie running from November 18-23rd at the Benedum Center. See website for ticket information.
Annual Holiday Train Display at the Western PA Model Railroad Museum
The Western PA’s Model Railroad Museum’s Holiday Train Display is back! The two-story museum features an interactive children’s area on the bottom floor and a 4000 square foot model train display on the second floor. Also a gift shop and snack bar. On Friday evenings, there is a special “Steam at Twilight” event.
Times: Fridays from 6-9pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11-5pm
Cost: Adults $6, Children $4
Location: Western PA Model Railroad Museum, 5507 Lakeside Dr, Gibsonia, PA 15044
17th Annual Greater Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Holiday Spectacular
One the region’s largest and most well-known holiday crafts shows, the Holiday Spectacular will be at the Monroeville Convention Center this weekend with over 270 vendors, food samples, visits with Santa, face-painting and a balloon artist.
Times: Friday 10-9pm, Saturday 10-6pm, Sunday 10-5pm
Cost: Adults $6, Children >6 $1, Children <6 Free
Location: Monroeville Convention Center, 209 Mall Boulevard, Monroeville PA
Mon River Arts Presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Mon River Arts presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” based on the favorite children’s series at Grand Theater in Elizabeth, PA from November 20-23.
First weekend of Overly’s Country Christmas
Located in Greensburg, Overly’s Country Christmas is a nonprofit old-fashioned Christmas Village open from November 21-January 1st, featuring lots of lights and holiday decorations, Christmas carols around the bonfire, a model train display, horse drawn wagon/sleigh rides, shopping, food and Santa.
Times: Gates open at 5:30pm
Cost: $12/car Monday-Thursday and $15/car Friday-Sunday
Location: Overly’s Country Christmas, 116 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg, PA 15601
First Weekend of the Christmas Light Up Celebration in Clinton PA
Clinton PA holds its annual light display from November 20-January 4th, featuring over a mile of lights and displays in a woodland setting. On November 20-21st, there is a special walk-through experience. There are also hayrides and carolers during this celebration.
Times: Opens at 5pm
Cost: $10 per car donation requested
Location: 600 Clinton Park Drive, Clinton PA
The Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Resort
West Virginia’s Oglebay Resort holds its nationally-renowned 300-acre holiday light display on Thursdays-Sundays starting on November 14th. A per car donation is requested and is valid for the entire festival season.
Times: Sunset until 11pm on Friday and Saturday and 10pm on Sunday
Cost: A per car donation requested and valid for the entire season
Location: Oglebay Resorts, 465 Lodge Drive, Wheeling WV
Saturday and Sunday, November 22-23
Fifth Avenue Place and Macy’s Free Holly Trolley
Fifth Avenue Place and Macy’s will be running a free Holly Trolley again this year. Run by “Santa’s little helpers,” this trolley circles downtown on Saturdays and Sundays (and Friday, November 28th).
Location: Click link above to find pick-up and drop-off locations
A new holiday tradition on the 800 block of Liberty Avenue, Holiday Kidsplay offers drop-in kid-friendly activities at venues in the Cultural District, including the Arcade Comedy Theater, Harris Theater and Trust Arts Education Center.
Free Admission for Kids at the Pittsburgh Zoo
The Pittsburgh Zoo is offering children free admission (with the purchase of an adult ticket) until November 30.
Location: Pittsburgh Zoo, One Wild Place, Pittsburgh PA
Saturday, November 22
Free Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides in Downtown Pittsburgh
Highwoods offers complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides during the holiday season.
Location: Board on Fourth Avenue next to the Plaza at PPG Place
Saturdays at One Oxford Centre
One Oxford Center in Downtown Pittsburgh offers special holiday-themed entertainment, activities, crafts and visits with Santa.
Location: One Oxford Centre, Pittsburgh PA
Mascot Skate at the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at the Plaza at PPG Place
The newly re-opened MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink will hold a mascot skate.
Cost: $3 skate rental, &8 adult entry and $7 children < 13 entry
Kid City Dance Party with DJ Kelly Mom at the Children’s Museum
Kid City is Pittsburgh’s premiere indie dance party for families and it’s coming to the Children’s Museum.
Cost: Free with admission
Location: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 10 Children’s Way, Pittsburgh PA 15212
Saturday Crafternoon at Assemble
Assemble hosts its weekly Saturday afternoon free workshop for children in grades 1-8. This week, kids will make winter decorations for the upcoming Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation Holiday Party.
Location: Assemble, 5125 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA
Greensburg Holiday Parade
Greensburg hosts its annual Holiday Parade on November 22nd at noon beginning on North Main Street near the Middle School and ending at City Hall.
Brackrenridge-Tarentum Christmas Parade
Brackrenridge and Tarentum hold their annual Christmas Parade starting at 1pm at the Tarentum Bridge.
Light-Up Night and Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt in Butler
Butler County Parks and Recreation is hosting a “Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt” featuring live music, hot chocolate and popcorn, caroling and a candy cane hunt.
Annual Shaler “Lite” Up Night
Shaler Township holds it annual “Lite Up Night” on November 22nd at 7pm in front of the Shaler North Hills Library, featuring visits with Santa, Mrs. Claus, the reindeers, etc.
Oakmont’s Hometown Christmas and Parade
The Oakmont business district hosts a night of Christmas festivities, including a Christmas Parade with Santa, marching bands, floats, horses, and lots more. Other activities that evening: a Nutcracker performance by Western PA Youth Ballet, musical performances, Christmas tree lighting, horse and buggy rides, free Christmas cookies, pictures with Santa, and lots of children’s activities!
Season of Lights in White Oak
White Oak hosts its annual “Season of Lights” event.
Sunday, November 23
Big Nate by the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater
The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater presents the musical, “Big Nate,” a production by Adventure Theater based on a well-known comic strip and books. Best for audiences 5 and up.
Times: 11am, 2pm
Location: Byham Theater, 101 6th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15222
The Nutcracker Holiday Party
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre hosts its FREE Nutcracker-themed Open House with a storytime, holiday crafts, dance classes, performance excerpts and a stage makeup station.
Location: PBT Studios, 2900 Liberty Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Have a fantastic weekend!