Let’s be honest, you were ready for the holiday at the beginning of November, right? I love living in the city during this time of year because of all the festiveness going on around me! Just this past weekend, I attended “The Joy of Cookies” Tour in my own neighborhood, complete with 40 stops, which equals 40 cookies! My niece and nephew had a blast. So, with the holiday season kicking off, I wanted to write a guide for all the fun things I like to do, eat and drink in Pittsburgh for the Holidays.
This post was also a fun one because I collaborated with a local blogger & writer, Madeline Quigley, who writes this amazing blog. I found her on Instagram whilst looking through pages of food posts, and if I am being honest, it was a picture of delicious pizza that caught my attention. Anyways, I started following her instagram handle – Burgh Gal- and was quickly convinced this girl knew all the good stuff to do and eat in Pittsburgh. Her input for this post was crucial. So special thanks to Madeline for curating the absolute, best holiday activities to do in Pittsburgh.
Holiday Food & Drinks:
Duck Donuts: I have to start out with the most festive, amazing, and did I mention WARM donuts from Duck Donuts in the South Hills. This place is what dreams are made of. They have twelve – TWELVE!- festive holiday donuts for your eating pleasure. I got 6 and if it wasn’t for my niece and nephew – I would have eaten all of them.
Miracle Bar: Talk about decking the halls. Christmas literally threw up in here (and I mean that in a good way!) This is a holiday pop-up bar – so its only here for the Christmas season – but absolutely worth a visit for some fun!
Hidden Harbor: I can’t believe I haven’t been here yet! This is a tiki bar located in Squirrel Hill, serving tropical inspired drinks. AND you can drink for a cause here – as $1 from every cocktail purchase for the entire month of December will go to Puerto Rico Hurricane efforts.
Threadbare Cider and Mead: There’s something about the holiday season that just makes me love cider even more. On December 16th at Threadbare is a Holiday Market, complete with crafts, holiday gifts & mulled cider. Oh, and it’s free to attend as well!
East End Brewing: Not only do they have some of the best local beer, but on December 9th, the brewery is hosting “Crafts and Drafts Holiday Market”, you can shop for Christmas gifts, sample some winter brews, and support your local businesses – a win all around!
Prohibition Pastries: I ordered a Thanksgiving pie from this bakery, so I have known about this place for a while! Madeline mentioned that with its convenience to the Frick (see below), its the perfect place to stop in for a boozy dessert + coffee before heading over to the Frick. She was right! I got the eggnog cupcake + a chai tea latte and it was delicious! Just stop in to see all the seasonal flavors they have!
Festive Holiday Decor:
I worked downtown for a few years, so of course my favorite place for Christmas decor is PPG Plaza + the ice skating rink. Inside PPG is a gingerbread house display and competition. Right across from PPG Plaza in Market Square is People’s Gas Holiday Market, which mimics a European style Christmas market. (I caution you to go early or later on the weekends – this place is PACKED). If you walk just a couple blocks up, the courthouse has the prettiest live tree – and its HUGE. And of course, I can’t forget about the tree at Point State Park. Perfect for a photo opp!
Cinebrunch It’s a Wonderful Life: For around $20, you can have brunch, a cocktail and watch It’s a Wonderful Life at The Oaks Theater. This event is December 9th – so if you want to go, make sure you get tickets ASAP! There were still tickets available today!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Heinz Hall is such a Christmas tradition, how could you pass it up? The show is here for five days around Christmas. Tickets range from $30 to $96.
Paint Monkey: I love this art studio! You can check out the calendar of events and paint whatever you like. I did one for the fall, so I would love to add a tree or snowglobe painting to my collection!
The Frick: I attended an event at the Frick last month, and I love the architecture. You can tour the holiday decorations at the Clayton at the Frick or enjoy a holiday meal at the cafe. And bonus – on Fridays they have CAROLLERS. How Hallmark movie perfect is that?!
Hardwood Acres Mansion: I haven’t been, but word is the holiday decorations are fantastic. The tudor mansion has more than 20 rooms of decor. Admission is under $10!
Phipps Conservatory: Winter Flower Show and Light Garden is pretty much a Christmas staple in Pittsburgh. I can’t even describe how gorgeous this place looks for the holidays – you really MUST see for yourself! Also – get a timed ticket so you don’t have to wait! Tickets are under $20.
I hope this gives you some ideas of what to do in Pittsburgh in the month of December! Enjoy the holidays, whatever you decide to do! & of course, HUGE thank you to Madeline (below!) – give her IG or blog a follow to stay up to date on all things Pittsburgh!