Top 10

The 10 best things to do in December.




Light Up Your Life
Through Dec. 30 / This region is chock-full of holiday light displays. Still, where could you combine Christmas cheer with rides? Well, Kennywood. For people who have only enjoyed the theme park during the warmer months, the Holiday Lights display feels like a completely different world. Not only can you relish the sight of a million-light marvel and the taste of seasonal treats, but you can also listen to full-fledged local choirs, decorate cookies and enjoy a model train display. Though Kennywood is normally just open on the weekend for Holiday Lights, this year will also include Christmas light shows on Dec. 26 and 27. Don’t forget to have your picture taken with Santa and Kenny Kangaroo!

(4800 Kennywood Blvd.,West Mifflin; mostly on weekends, except Dec. 26 and 27; 412/461-0500, kennywood.com; photo by Dave DiCello)


Where the Wild Things Are
Through Dec. 31/ It’s hard to do nature justice. Animals in the wild have a special power that can never be replicated. But thanks to IMAX, Born to be Wild attempts to capture the breathtaking beauty of the terrestrial wilderness and the astonishing creatures that call it home. This picturesque documentary follows world naturalists who have dedicated their lives to returning at-risk mammals to their proper habitats. Catch this standout Warner Bros. film at the Carnegie Science Center’s Rangos OMNIMAX Theater.

(One Allegheny Ave., North Shore; 412/237-3400, carnegiesciencecenter.org)


Lens Crafter
Dec. 1 / Teenie Harris became a mythic Pittsburgh figure as a photojournalist, but also as an artist in his own right, as he documented life in the Hill District with a painterly eye. Presented by BNY Mellon Jazz, “Hill District BEAT: A Tribute to Teenie Harris/Jazz & Fashion” is an original musical tribute to the man who froze his era in film. Enjoy the work of composers Jay Ashby, Mike Tomaro and Stanley Turrentine in this world-premiere event.

(Manchester Craftsman’s Guild, 1815 Metropolitan St., Chateau; 412/322-0800, mcgjazz.org)


Pick-Up Game
Dec. 26 / There’s nothing quite like the Harlem Globetrotters. They’re skilled basketball players, to be sure — but they’re also witty, slapsticky and good-natured. When you hear a bunch of guys whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown,” you know that Globetrotters will soon appear. Not only is this event kid-friendly, but little ones actually get to make up the rules. The Globetrotter World Tour is the perfect way for families to recover from Christmas madness.

(CONSOL Energy Center, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000, consolenergycenter.com)


Nerd Up
Dec. 21 / Everybody knows that nerds are awesome — or at least they should. During the Geeks Rule! series, the ToonSeum has celebrated everything nerd. The final installment of this mini festival includes “Geek to the Future,” a blend of fortune telling and prognostication, and the Geek Wrap-Up Post Prom Party, where outrageous outfits are hotly encouraged (and no football stars can try to steal your date). If you’re the kind of person who can recite Starship Enterprise serial numbers but you haven’t been able to attend, visit the ToonSeum for the Geeks’ final chapter.

(945 Liberty Ave., downtown; 412/232-0199, toonseum.org)


Stop the Presses!
Through Jan. 6 / As newspapers vanish, so do their ostentatious front pages. A blog can never rival the giant fonts and arresting images that helped sell old-school papers for 200 years — and you can’t draw on, fold or line birdcages with a newfangled e-pub. Andy Warhol loved to doodle all over his newspapers, and he used press images as a basis for some of his prints. Now you can see how Warhol tampered with editorial layout, thanks to “Warhol: Headlines,” an archival exhibit now showing at (where else?) The Andy Warhol Museum. Colorful and subversive, “Headlines” explores how the great Pop artist responded to daily news.

(117 Sandusky St., North Side; 412/237-8300, warhol.org)


Emerald Voices
Dec. 3-4 / Some of the most beautiful folksongs in the world come from Ireland, like “Danny Boy,” “She Moved Thru’ the Fair” and “Isle of Inisfree.” But Celtic Woman is more than a hodgepodge of Irish ballads; the four singers celebrate the powerful spirit of Irish women through their astonishing voices. Like a female answer to Celtic Thunder, Celtic Woman has toured the world and inspired audiences from Dublin to Florida. Catch this remarkable tribute to the Emerald Isle, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

(Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., downtown; 412/392-4900, pittsburghsymphony.org)


Holiday Rock
Dec. 16 / Like a metal band on steroids, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a tsunami of sound, light and shooting flames. The long-haired guitarists take old-timey carols and amp up the volume — and man, do they rock out. Lasers flood the stage, smoke effects abound, and pretty much everyone is deaf and yelling by the end of the show. “The Lost Christmas Eve” tells a story of New York City inhabitants who were ready for a humdrum holiday until a rockin’ enchantment took the reins. The show’s second half will feature favorite tunes as well as new music from TSO’s upcoming EP release.

(CONSOL Energy Center, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000, consolenergycenter.com)


Cool Runnings
Dec. 8 / Serious runners are always hungry for a new race, no matter what the weather. As December descends, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk is a nice excuse for veteran racers to stay in shape — and for social walkers to support a good cause. As the local edition of a national event, this early-morning run benefits the Arthritis Foundation. The gun goes off on the North Shore, where participants (some of whom sport holiday garb) make a relaxed 5K loop.

(The Great Lawn, North Shore; jinglebellrunpittsburgh.kintera.org)



Hear That Train a Comin’
Through Feb. 24 / Model railroading is one of the great American pastimes. Some aficionados even create model trees out of lichen, model lawns out of plastic turf, and painted backdrops of forests and fields. But at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the vegetation is real: Locomotives huff their way through tiny forests, to the delight of modelers young and old. In the spirit of industrial Pennsylvania, the Garden Railroad rekindles that vintage atmosphere, interweaving tracks and trolleys with living flora.

(One Schenley Park, Oakland; 412/622-6914, phipps.conservatory.org)
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Innovations in Postpartum Depression Treatment, First-Aid Training and Food Security.
Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

The builder of two stadiums, a billion-dollar football business, NFL labor harmony and racial sensitivity, and bridges between constituencies –– he was an everywhere man whose soft, steady hand was felt everywhere.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive ailment to treat and the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Pittsburgh has become a battleground in the fight against the devastating illness, thanks to the decade-long quest of two Pittsburgh researchers whose work is on track to change the face of medicine and affect millions worldwide.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.
HGTV Series Pilot Focuses on Renovation of Pittsburgh Home

HGTV Series Pilot Focuses on Renovation of Pittsburgh Home

The pilot episode of “Steel City Rehab” follows a Pittsburgh couple as they flip a home in the city’s East End.
‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

Grenier on playing the dream role of Willy Loman, coming to Pittsburgh and performing at the renowned Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Enjoy a Cocktail to Help Preserve Pittsburgh's Historic Murals

Enjoy a Cocktail to Help Preserve Pittsburgh's Historic Murals

The nearly 80-year-old murals by Maxo Vanka show an immigrant's’ perspective on important issues.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Innovations in Postpartum Depression Treatment, First-Aid Training and Food Security.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

The builder of two stadiums, a billion-dollar football business, NFL labor harmony and racial sensitivity, and bridges between constituencies –– he was an everywhere man whose soft, steady hand was felt everywhere.
Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive ailment to treat and the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Pittsburgh has become a battleground in the fight against the devastating illness, thanks to the decade-long quest of two Pittsburgh researchers whose work is on track to change the face of medicine and affect millions worldwide.
Dr. Thomas E. Starzl’s Legacy

Dr. Thomas E. Starzl’s Legacy

The “Father of Transplantation” created a pioneering medical center and a city transformed by medicine.
The Slinky Playing Right Wing for the Pittsburgh Penguins

The Slinky Playing Right Wing for the Pittsburgh Penguins

Winger Conor Sheary emerges as a constant scoring threat and tenacious on-ice presence.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

The latest outpost of the small, Wexford-born chain isn't flashy, but offers good beer and grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

If Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers is still available, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be wise to make him their first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

Reviews of "Free Fire," "Unforgettable" and "The Promise," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

You’ll definitely want the story behind these stunning wedding flowers.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Hosted by the Penn State Master Gardeners, the free event, which includes the local daffodil society’s annual show, features exclusive and hard-to-find flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants and other garden accessories from a variety of vendors.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments