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)
 

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Hot Reads

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Two years after Chuck Noll’s death, University of Pittsburgh Press prepares to publish the first definitive biography of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach. Pittsburgh Magazine is proud to share an interview with author Michael MacCambridge and an exclusive excerpt of “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work,” scheduled for release in October.
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Apteka: A Taste of Home

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski bring top-notch vegan, eastern European cuisine to Bloomfield.
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The 412

Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

The Allegheny County Airport Authority has been lobbying for more direct service from Pittsburgh to the West Coast.
Zing Basket Promises Speedy Grocery Delivery to Your Door

Zing Basket Promises Speedy Grocery Delivery to Your Door

The online grocery delivery service opened this week, promising delivery in 45 minutes or less to selected neighborhoods.
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In its 225th year, the reference book on weather suggests we tune up our snow-removal equipment.
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The Ross native finished third on NBC's “The Voice” in December of 2014.

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Hot Reads

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Two years after Chuck Noll’s death, University of Pittsburgh Press prepares to publish the first definitive biography of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach. Pittsburgh Magazine is proud to share an interview with author Michael MacCambridge and an exclusive excerpt of “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work,” scheduled for release in October.
The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

Renovation is under way at nearly all of our area colleges and universities. For students heading back to school this fall — and their parents — we offer this crash course on the highlights of these projects and their projected benefits.
Fall Fashion: In the Black

Fall Fashion: In the Black

The little black dress, and shirt, and pants, never go out of style. Add mystery to your wardrobe with these easy-to-accent autumn staples.
Apteka: A Taste of Home

Apteka: A Taste of Home

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski bring top-notch vegan, eastern European cuisine to Bloomfield.
Talk of The Tahn: City of Beer

Talk of The Tahn: City of Beer

There are plans afoot for a international museum of beer to be built and staffed right here in Pittsburgh.
Pitt vs Penn State: Resumption of Hostilities

Pitt vs Penn State: Resumption of Hostilities

After an extended hiatus, the storied rivalry between the Pitt Panthers and Penn State Nittany Lions returns in September to Heinz Field.
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On the Blogs


Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

The Allegheny County Airport Authority has been lobbying for more direct service from Pittsburgh to the West Coast.

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PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

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All the foodie news that's fit to blog
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Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Le'Veon Bell Talks The Talk But Can’t Walk The Walk

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The Steelers running back emphasized his latest suspension resulted from missed random drug tests, and not a relapse into the marijuana-induced haze that got him jammed up last season. But if you lack the maturity to grasp the consequences of your actions (or, in this case, inactions), does it really matter?

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Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Custom Made: The Surmesur Suit

Custom Made: The Surmesur Suit

Straight out of Canada, the custom menswear store opens its first U.S. location in Pittsburgh.

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Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
'Hands of Stone' Keeps the Boxing Movie Genre Strong

'Hands of Stone' Keeps the Boxing Movie Genre Strong

Reviews of "Hands of Stone" and "Don't Breathe," plus local movie news and notes.

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Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Lucky Ones: Katie Doré and John Potter

The Lucky Ones: Katie Doré and John Potter

Want even more Real Pittsburgh Weddings? We'll be bringing them to you throughout the fall, beginning with this lovely and lucky couple.

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The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Put a Lid On It! The Container Store Coming to Pittsburgh

Put a Lid On It! The Container Store Coming to Pittsburgh

The store famous for carrying storage and organizational products is set to open at the revamped Block Northway in Ross Township.

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The hottest topics in higher education
Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

A fall visitation day and a Saturday information session aim to allow interested students a look into life at the university.

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