Things To Do This Weekend in Pittsburgh

See holiday favorites on a gargantuan screen, revisit the Sugar Plum Fairy and get your shopping done early this weekend.


The Best Reason to Leave Your House This Weekend
Holiday Favorites at the Rangos Giant Cinema
Through Dec. 26
Carnegie Science Center

Since animated classics such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” began yearly television broadcasts decades ago, holiday-themed entertainment has traditionally been an at-home activity. The family wrapped in warm blankets in front of the television, a fire crackling in the next room, mugs of hot cocoa adding fragrance to the air.

Yeah, let’s quit that. Microwave popcorn is no good, and your TV isn’t big enough. Head into town.

All month, the Rangos Giant Cinema at the Carnegie Science Center will be reviving holiday favorites on Pittsburgh’s largest and most impressive screen. If you haven’t yet experienced the theater, there’s nothing in town that can match it for scale, clarity and quality; even familiar films will seem brand new on this screen.

Six screenings of Robert Zemeckis’ “The Polar Express,” in 3-D, are scheduled. A single showing of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is already sold out, but tickets are still available for “Elf,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas” and more. After the holiday, the movies aren’t as seasonal but the nostalgia will be through the roof: Showings of “The Princess Bride” (Dec. 27), “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (Dec. 28) and “Titanic” (Dec. 29) round out the year.

“Mickey and the Bear”
Friday through Thursday, Dec. 12
Harris Theater

Speaking of movie theaters near the Point: Reports of the Harris Theater’s death have been slightly exaggerated, at least for now. While its sister cinema in Regent Square remains shuttered, the Harris is owned by the Cultural Trust, which did not accept the sudden closure ordered by the Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media. Whatever the future holds, “Mickey and the Bear,” which shows at the Harris through Dec. 12, is an absolute gem, previously featured as part of the Three Rivers Film Festival; The A.V. Club just included it among its best overlooked films of the year. It’s a harrowing tale of small-town addiction and generational struggle made remarkably compelling by a pair of excellent performances. If you want great cinema to continue on Liberty Avenue, vote with your wallet this weekend; you’ll get a great movie in return.

“The Night Before Christmas”
10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 21
Arcade Comedy Theater

The most wonderful time of the year will be thoroughly deconstructed in a pair of theatrical presentations, each running through the weekend before Christmas. At Arcade Comedy Theater, Anthony Neilson’s “The Night Before Christmas” features a pair of no-goodniks capturing a real-life elf. Maybe. The comedy theater, which has had hits with fully staged productions including this year’s “Bubble Boy: The Musical,” presents the Pittsburgh premiere of the farce, directed by Arcade co-founder Jethro Nolen and starring “Knights of the Arcade” favorite John Feightner, longtime sketch maven Justin Vetter and multi-hyphenate performer Vanessa St. Clair.

“The Santaland Diaries”
Through Dec. 22
City Theatre

Find out what it’s like to be a 33-year-old man applying for a job as a Macy’s elf as David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries” comes to life at City Theatre. The essay introduced Sedaris to the world in 1992; today, he’s a bestselling author, humorist and writer for The New Yorker. The show, performed at City’s Lester Hamburg Studio theater, is a hilarious and irreverent tale of holiday hijinks. — Lauren Davidson

Handmade Arcade
5:30-8 p.m. Friday; 10-7 p.m. Saturday
David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Listen: You’ve bought your loved ones too many gifts at Target. We know, they have interesting stuff, and that RedCard is burning a hole in your wallet. But step up your game for at least one round of gifting with a trip to the 15th-anniversary edition of Handmade Arcade, a cornucopia of unique gift items featuring more than 250 vendors. You can pop into the market for free from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, but if you want to get a jump on the shopping competition (and avoid massive, massive crowds), consider either the Friday-night preview party or an hour of early shopping Saturday; you’ll have to pay to get in early, but you’ll make up for it in relaxation.

“The Nutcracker”
Through Dec. 29
Benedum Center

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre launches its brave soldiers into battle against evil mice, unfolding a colorful carousel as the annual production of “The Nutcracker” takes center stage. Choreographed by artistic director Terrence Orr to P.I. Tchaikovsky’s hummable score, the two-act, Pittsburgh-themed ballet follows the fantastic journey of young Marie and her Nutcracker Prince to The Land of Enchantment, a dream world populated by dancing denizens. — Karen Dacko

Looking for more things to do this weekend and beyond? Check out our Events Calendar

Nov 22 – Dec 14 all-day

Exhibition features individual and collaborative works by first and second year students in the Department of Art’s MFA Interdisciplinary Visual Arts program.

I Made It! Market @ 31st Street Studios
Nov 23 2019 – Jan 4 2020 all-day

Under the spectacle of half a million Christmas lights, I Made It! Market at Lumaze is a one stop shop for one-of-a-kind finds. From November 23rd to January 4th more than 40 artisans and boutiques will sell items ranging from art, home goods, decor, and apparel at the Strip District’s 31st Street Studios. Tasty baked goods and yummy craft spirits will also be available for gift-giving needs. Live music and delectable food trucks accompany the festive experience for a real-life winter wonderland. All ages are welcome. For more information, visit

Hortus Hibernus @ Sewickley Public Library
Nov 26 2019 – Jan 4 2020 all-day
Hortus Hibernus @ Sewickley Public Library | Princeton | West Virginia | United States

The Sewickley Library display cases will present Hortus Hibernus, a group show centered on botanical themes, on November 26, the show will run through January 4th. Like a conservatory, the artwork will provide a winter garden through artist’s interpretations of the natural world in the form of paintings, prints and ceramics. Artists featured: Vanessa Adams, Ali Karsh, Vanessa Kettering, Soren Lundi, Cicely Murray, Joseph Noderer, Jack Taylor,Mark Vander Heide.

A Journey through Newman’s Advent Sermons @ National Institute for Newman Studies
Dec 2 @ 7:00 pm – Dec 16 @ 7:00 pm
A Journey through Newman's Advent Sermons @ National Institute for Newman Studies | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

Join the National Institute for Newman Studies on Monday evenings in December for a series of reflections on John Henry Newman’s advent sermons, led by Dr. Bud Marr and Dr. Elizabeth Huddleston.

Event Dates:
December 2 | 7:00-8:00 p.m.
December 9 | 7:00-8:00 p.m.
December 16 | 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden @ Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Dec 2 2019 @ 9:00 pm – Jan 12 2020 @ 11:00 pm
Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden @ Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | | |

Make plans to experience one of the best holiday attractions and treasured family traditions in Pittsburgh at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden's Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. There’s more to explore at Phipps, with both indoor and outdoor holiday displays encompassing 15 acres. New holiday displays are filled with festive trees, capturing the magic, beauty and splendor of the holidays. Indoors, you'll explore the colorful Forest of Trees, captivating carousel, delightful topiary animals and a visit to the North Pole amidst classic poinsettias and festive flora. Stroll outside to be surrounded by millions of captivating holiday lights! Walk through the mesmerizing Tunnel of Lights, explore all of the incredible holiday tree displays and see the spectacular new Rainbow Glow Tree, exclusively at Phipps. Additional family-friendly activities include new Garden Railroad display, Santa Visits, interactive Find the Snowflakes treasure hunt, kids Discovery activities, crafts and games, Holiday Music Nights and more! Plus, there are picture-perfect #selfie photo opportunities throughout the conservatory, providing the perfect photo backdrop at one of the most Instagrammable places in Pittsburgh. Holiday Huts are open to enjoy hot cocoa, wine and spirits plus enjoy delicious treats, in addition to award-winning Café Phipps for lunch or dinner. Phipps is open til 11pm nightly during the holiday season – visit for operating hours and event updates. All proceeds support Phipps' programs and activities, a 126-year-old non-profit organization, to benefit the community.

Pandora Partners with The IMPROV & Pittsburgh Street Artist Brian Holderman, Unveils Interactive Mural @ Pittsburgh Improv
Dec 5 2019 – Jan 1 2020 all-day
Pandora Partners with The IMPROV & Pittsburgh Street Artist Brian Holderman, Unveils Interactive Mural @ Pittsburgh Improv | Homestead | Pennsylvania | United States

Pandora, the largest music streaming provider in the U.S., has partnered with local Pittsburgh street artist Brian Holderman and Pittsburgh Improv to unveil an interactive, large-scale mural at The IMPROV located at 166 East Bridge St.

The mural celebrates living life at full volume, and has a QR code that leads to a customized playlist by artist Brian Holderman. Channeling the vibrancy and creativity of Pittsburgh, Brian has curated a playlist of tracks that inspired the art featured on the Pittsburgh Improv Comedy Club. The playlist highlights songs from artists such as MF Doom and Joan Jett, as well as comedy tracks from comedian Doug Stanhope.

Take a picture in front of the mural and post it on Instagram and receive a free pass for
2 to a future show!

The world-famous IMPROV has been the cornerstone of comedy on the Waterfront in Homestead since opening in 2002 and is excited to partner with Pandora and artist Brian Holderman to bring this innovative art project to the community. The IMPROV is dedicated to bringing Pittsburgh the biggest and brightest stars in comedy, delivering exceptional service and a quality, laugh-out-loud entertainment experience

Yinzer Scrooged: A Pittsburgh Christmas Carol @ Bricolage Production Company
Dec 5 @ 8:00 pm – Dec 21 @ 8:00 pm
Yinzer Scrooged: A Pittsburgh Christmas Carol @ Bricolage Production Company | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

Set in present-day Pittsburgh, this comedy is an uproarious parody of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol. In this radio-style rendition, classic characters like the notorious curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge, and the mischievous Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future are not so subtly re-imagined as local Pittsburgh legends and celebrities! Whether you’re a Pittsburgh native or new to the area, you’ll feel right at home.

A longtime fan favorite, our Midnight Radio series takes the form of a classic 1940s radio broadcast. In this show YOU are cast as the live studio audience, so play your part and don’t miss your cue when the applause sign flashes! Always memorable and never at midnight or on the radio, this series brings you back to a simpler time. Plus! Don’t miss our free Happy Half-hour 30 minutes before every show with free drinks and interactive holiday-themed activities! Enjoy a fun night out in our cozy downtown Pittsburgh theater.

Winter In The Woods @ Gateway Lodge
Dec 6 @ 4:00 pm – Dec 8 @ 12:00 pm
Winter In The Woods @ Gateway Lodge | | |

Snuggle up to two nights in a Fireside Jacuzzi Suite with breakfasts both mornings. Indulge in a Holiday Five-Course Dinner on Saturday evening with live musical entertainment. Add on a Winter Riverside Carriage Ride to your Stay! Let yourself be carried away this winter at the Gateway Lodge. Take a ride on a beautiful horse-drawn carriage in the heart of Cook Forest on each Saturday of the Winter in the Woods Weekends. As you go dashing through the snow along River Road, snuggle close to that someone special and take in the breathtaking scenery. Space is very limited and is open to lodging or dinner guests only, so reserve your spot today. $60 per couple. Contact us for available times. Only interested in dining with us? The Winter in the Woods Tasting Events are on Saturday, December 7th and 14th. Tickets are $120 per couple + $25 per person for wine pairings. *Non-refundable tickets go on sale on 11.16.19. Tax and gratuity are added to ticket sale. Seatings available at 5:30pm and 8pm. Call ahead to reserve at (814) 744-8017.
Sponsor: Gateway Lodge

2019 Pittsburgh Winter Avant-Garde Art; Craft Show @ Teamsters Local Union 249 Banquet Hall
Dec 7 all-day

The holidays are fast approaching! Shop local this holiday season! This large show will feature artists and crafters selling their original handmade items at this beautiful venue! Admission is $3 to the public, children under 12 are free! A portion of proceeds will benefit local non-profit, Girls on the Run. This show is currently accepting vendors. Please email for more information!

For more information about the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows, please visit Also, become a fan and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn!

Teamsters Local Union 249 Banquet Hall
4701 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

DATE: Saturday, December 7, 2019

TIME: 10:00am-5:00pm

Ben Avon Holiday House Tour @ Anchor & Anvil Coffee Bar
Dec 7 all-day

Saturday, December 7, 2019
10am-4pm and 6pm-9pm
$25 in advance, $30 day of tour

This year, we proudly present our 2019 Holiday House Tour, where we will offer tours through 8 beautiful homes in the Ben Avon Borough. The homes we have chosen represent a wide variety of architectural styles and designs, as well as diversity in age of the homes. Each is beautifully decorated to not only honor the historical features of the home, but also to demonstrate the unique style and taste of the homeowners. Our homeowners are happy to share their journey with you regarding their home, including any upgrades and changes made. This year we are pleased to present some of the very old historic homes, and some of the newer, more recently built homes. In the older homes, special attention was paid to preserve the original character of the house. The newer homes were carefully crafted to complement the historic borough and its local architecture, while incorporating modern designs. We will also provide our guests with a detailed history of the homes, and of our area in general. This gives our guests a fascinating look back into times past and also see how the newer homes have transitioned across time. For more details, visit:

Categories: After Dark, Things To Do