Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.

by John Colombo Photography

Dec. 10/ The gay and lesbian choral movement arose in the wake of the Stonewall riots, the assassination of Harvey Milk and the onset of the AIDS epidemic brought LGBT rights into mainstream conversation. In 1985 — early in the movement’s history — Pittsburgh’s Renaissance City Choir hosted its first holiday concert. Choral groups created a safe community for this embattled group, while the music they performed extended a courageous hand to anyone willing to accept it. The theme of the current choral season is Sounds of a Revolution, and a holiday concert based around Bach’s “Magnificat” translates the optimism about recent legislative and cultural victories into a shared vision of hope for all. (East Liberty Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty; 800/838-3006,

Through Jan. 16/ Dissolution, the new two-man show at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, emerged from an initiative called the Idea Furnace. The program, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, brings together experts from the center with artists from other forms. The collaboration was especially fruitful for glassmaker Jason Forck and collage artist Seth Clark, who both have an interest in architecture. Forck was raised on a Kansas farm and often replicates the forms and textures of barns. Clark makes paintings and sculptures using the architectural details of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Through their time together, each learned skills from the other and developed a mutual style. (Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave., Friendship; 412/365-2145,

photo courtesy of carnegie science center

Dec. 16/ The Carnegie Science Center periodically hosts a Science Sleepover, during which kids and families can experience the center in a more intimate way and participate in themed workshops. December’s event is based around the holiday classic “The Polar Express.” (One Allegheny Ave., North Shore; 412/237-1637,

Dec. 9-18/ The local handbell ensemble Three Rivers Ringers once again joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for Highmark Holiday Pops, a ringing collection of holiday classics at Heinz Hall. (600 Penn Ave., Downtown; 412/392-4900,

photo by Joey Kennedy; Renaissance City 

Dec. 3/ Handmade Arcade, the premier independent craft show of the region with more than 150 artists, returns for its 13th year. The daylong event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center includes vendors and “Hands-on Handmade” demonstrations. (1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown; 412/736-0343,

Dec. 2-3/ The long-running Beaver County troupe R-ACT Theatre Productions has been producing revivals and original works since it was founded in 1992. Recently, the troupe’s season-ending Holiday Radio Show has emerged as a winter tradition. The production, which benefits Rochester Meals on Wheels, at the Merrick Art Gallery takes the form of a live “radio” broadcast, complete with sound effects and music. The loose, behind-the-scenes feel embodies the spirit of camaraderie at the heart of the troupe and the season. This year, the show is a version of the MGM classic “Meet Me in St. Louis,” about the lives of a family during the 1904 World’s Fair. (1100 Fifth Ave., New Brighton; 724/775-6844,

photo courtesy of fairmont pittsburgh

Dec. 1, 15/ Do your gingerbread houses look more like cardboard boxes slathered with Elmer’s Glue? Learn the secrets of edible architectural from pastry chef James Wroblewski, who is hosting Adult Gingerbread Classes at the Fairmont Pittsburgh. Each participant receives two holiday cocktails plus hors d’oeuvres and dessert. (510 Market St., Downtown; 412/773-8903,

Dec. 20-Jan. 7/ Steelers’ legend and Vietnam War veteran Rocky Bleier tells the story of adversities overcome in The Play, a one-man show based on his life written by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer and columnist Gene Collier. After a one-night debut in 2015, “The Play” receives a run at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. (O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown; 412/316-1600,

“Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait (Passport Photograph with Altered Nose), 1956,” The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Through Jan. 22/ Walt Whitman said, “I sing the body electric.” Andy Warhol might have exchanged “sing” with “paint.” Andy Warhol: My Perfect Body — an ironic title — illuminates the Pittsburgh native’s reflection on the human form. You’ll see his Pop Art influence in topics inspired by commercial advertising, and subjects include Christ and his Apostles at the Last Supper as well as bodybuilders. (The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Shore; 412/237-8300, —Mike May

photo by Alan Adams

Dec. 17-18/ Chatham Baroque will explore the Italian influences that shaped German composer George Frideric Handel with a holiday concert on Dec. 17 at Calvary Episcopal Church and a matinee Dec. 18 at Campbell Memorial Chapel at Chatham University. The program includes Handel’s “Gloria,” a nativity cantata by Alessandro Scarlatti and works by Vivaldi and Monteverdi. (Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Shadyside; Campbell Memorial Chapel at Chatham University, Woodland Road, Shadyside; 888/718-4253,


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