Here’s my listing of family-friendly events in the Pittsburgh region for the weekend of December 18-20th.
Seasonal fun continues this week with a number of ongoing attractions, including:
Holidays in Downtown Pittsburgh
Downtown Pittsburgh holds a number of great attractions during the holiday season including the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place, The Wintergarden at PPG Place, Peoples Gas Holiday Market and The Pittsburgh Creche. In addition, there are free Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, the free Holly Trolley and children’s activities at Fifth Avenue Place, One Oxford Centre and throughout the Cultural District during Holiday KidsPlay.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden Winter Flower Show
Phipps Conservatory is hosting a “Deck the Halls”-themed Winter Flower Show. The Conservatory will be open for extended hours from 9:30am-11pm daily for its Candlelit Evenings and its outdoor Winter Light Garden (from 5-11pm). Phipps will also be offering visits with Santa on Saturdays and Sundays from Nov 28-Dec 20.
In addition, there are a number of other ongoing Christmas attractions in the region, including The Polar Express: An Imax Experience at the Carnegie Science Center (plus the awesome Miniature Village and Railroad, Holiday Laser Shows, etc), Photos with Santa at the National Aviary, Overly’s Country Christmas in Greensburg, the new Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Butler, Christmas Light Up Celebration in Clinton PA, The Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum’s Holiday Train Display in Gibsonia, Santa Trolley at the Pennyslvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Yuletide in Sewickley, Kennywood’s Holiday Lights in West Mifflin, the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Resort in West Virginia and Santa Family Fun Cruises on the Gateway Clipper Fleet.
The musical scene in Pittsburgh comes alive this season with holiday-themed live performances. This weekend there are several, including these:
- Holiday POPS: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Holiday POPS at the Scottish Rite Cathedral on December 18th, featuring traditional Christmas carols.
- Salsa Navidad by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra: The Spanish Harlem Orchestra celebrates the holidays with its New York-style salsa at the August Wilson Center on December 18th.
- Christmas in East Liberty: The Brass Roots and organist Dr. Ed Moore presents this arrangement of Christmas classics and carols at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church at 7:30pm on December 18th.
- A Lyrical Christmas Carol by the Pittsburgh Musical Theater: The Pittsburgh Musical Theater presents its family-friendly version of the classic Christmas Carol story on December 17-20th at the New Hazlett Theater.
And these ongoing shows:
The Nutcracker by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater at the Benedum Center and A Musical Christmas Carol by the Pittsburgh CLO at the Byham Theater throughout the weekend, the Pittsburgh Camerata’s Celtic Christmas Carol on Saturday, Oliver Twist by PICT Pittsburgh’s Classic Theatre on Friday and Saturday and Beauty and the Beast Holiday by the Gemini Children’s Theater on Sunday at Latitude 360 in Robinson.
And if movies are more your thing, the Regent Square Theater is hosting free showings of It’s a Wonderful Life throughout the weekend (bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the East End Cooperative Ministry). Also, the Hollywood Theater in Dormont is showing White Christmas on Sunday, the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville is showing Christmas movies throughout the weekend and the Harris Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh is showing classic holiday short films and cartoons during Holiday Kidsplay on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Plus, don’t forget the new Star Wars movie playing at movie theaters throughout Pittsburgh this weekend!
Other events this weekend:
Friday Night, December 18
Winter Fridays at the Frick
The Frick is hosting an Adults Night Out with on-site childcare available. Parents can leave children ages 4 and up with museum educators for a maximum of 2.5 hours for FREE, as long as you stay on the museum’s grounds.
Location: Frick Art and Historical Center, 7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh PA
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins
The Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the Boston Bruins at the Consol Energy Center at 7pm.
Saturday, December 19
Sing We Noel during Chatham Baroque’s Peanut Butter and Jam Session
Chatham Baroque is presenting a Christmas-themed Peanut Butter and Jam session designed to introduce preschool-aged children to baroque music. Led by a Kindermusik instructor, this program incorporates music, creative movement and a snack.
Time: 10 and 11:30am
Cost: Adults $8, Children $5
Location: McClintic Hall, Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15206
Gingerbread Stories at the Frick
The Frick is hosting a gingerbread-themed family event for children ages 4-6 with a caregiver, featuring storytelling, games and gingerbread cookie-decorating.
Times: 10-11:30 am
Cost: Adults Free, Member Child $10, Nonmember Child $12
Location: Frick Art and Historical Center, 7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh PA
Pancakes with Santa and the Reindeer at the Roof at The Commoner
Families are invited to a delicious-sounding brunch at The Rooftop of The Commoner at the Hotel Monaco, featuring a create-your-own pancake station plus other great breakfast options, cookie- and ornament-decorating stations, a hot cocoa bar (plus a full bar for adults) and visits with Santa and his reindeers. Advanced registration required here.
Cost: Adults $44, Children $22, Children 3 and under free
Location: The Commoner, 458 Strawberry Way, Pittsburgh PA
Cookies with Santa at Boyce Park
The Allegheny County Parks Department is hosting a Cookies with Santa event at Boyce Park on December 19th from 10 to noon, featuring cookies, hot chocolate, holiday movies and visits with Santa.
Location: Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge
Holiday-Themed Let’s Move Family Dance Party at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater
The Kelly Strayhorn Theater is hosting a holiday-themed Let’s Move Family Dance Party on December 19th at 11 a.m. featuring a DJ dance party, holiday craft activities and more.
Cost: Pay What You Can
Location: Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA
Skate with Santa at the Rink at PPG Place
The MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink is hosting a special Skate with Santa event.
Cost: Adults $8, Children $7
Location: Rink at PPG Place, Downtown Pittsburgh
Hike it Baby Pittsburgh’s Dahntahn Pittsburgh Holiday Stroll and Ugly Sweaters
Hike It Baby Pittsburgh is hosting a family-friendly stroll through Downtown Pittsburgh’s holiday attractions. Don’t forget to wear your ugliest sweaters!
Location: Meet at Starbucks in Market Square
Fleury’s Kids Night Out at the National Aviary
Fleury, the National Aviary’s Snowy Owl is hosting a Kids Only night out featuring stories, bat feedings, crafts to take home, a scavenger hunt, flashlight hike and opportunities to meet a penguin up close. For children in grades K-2 and 3-5.
Cost: $50 per child plus $5 for optional dinner
Location: National Aviary, 700 Arch Street, Pittsburgh PA
FAAP’s Annual Christmas Party
The Filipino-American Association of Pittsburgh is hosting its annual Christmas party with visits from Santa Claus/Mano Po, traditional Filipino foods and sawayan-dancing. Please bring a dessert or drink to share and nonperishable foods to donate to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Cost: Free for FAAP members, $10 Adults, $5 child 5-12 years old
Location: Bethel Park Community Center, 5151 Park Avenue, Bethel Park, PA 15102
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Carolina Hurricanes
The Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the Carolina Hurricanes at the Consol Energy Center at 7pm.
Sunday, December 20
Please note: The Carnegie Science Center is closed today due to the Steelers home game.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos
The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the Denver Broncos at 4:25pm at Heinz Field.
Have a great weekend!