Kick off the holiday season in Pittsburgh

‘Tis the Season to see Pittsburgh shine

Pittsburgh's holidays begin with the region’s brightest event — Light Up Night. Take in the festivities by ice skating at PPG Ice Rink or riding in a romantic horse-drawn carriage through Market Square. Visit the holiday windows at Macy's and gather for the lighting of the Highmark Unity Tree.  The night is capped off in grandiose fashion with the Grand Fireworks Finale.  The festivities take place on Friday, November 22. And, best of all, it's all free!

The celebration continues November 23 with the opening of the Peoples Gas Holiday Market.  The tradition of Germany's Christkindlmarkt unfolds as you browse through European-style wooden chalets adorned with holly and twinkling lights.  Local, national and international vendors offer unique and festive gift items, perfect for everyone on your holiday list.

Don’t miss the 4th Annual PPG Rink Mascot Skate, where more than 30 area mascots host a skate-a-long party! The fun lasts from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November23.

Complete your magical day on Liberty Avenue with the 4th Annual TribTotal Media Horse-drawn Carriage Parade, benefitting Operation Santa Claus, also happening November 23 at 6 p.m. Local marching bands lead the way followed by more than 100 Clydesdales and miniature horses pulling more than 30 decorated carriages, Cinderella’s Pumpkin and Santa in his sleigh.

Always a Pittsburgh favorite, Kennywood Amusement Park opens November 29 with its annual Holiday Lights display.  Listen and join the carolers as you wander around the park. Catch the glittering holiday lights that are set to music and take a spin on some of your favorite park rides. Don't miss Santa. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, November 29 through December 22, Kennywood is the perfect weekend destination.

It might be cold outside, but it’s sizzling on stage as Christmas with the Rat Pack — Live at the Sands comes to Heinz Hall, December 24 through 29. This holiday spectacular celebrates the incredible talents of three of the world’s most famous entertainers, Frank, Sammy and Dean, with a live 12-piece band and the glamorous Burelli Sisters.

What would the holiday season be without a trip to the Land of Enchantment? Let the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre lift your spirits with its Pittsburgh-themed presentation of The Nutcracker at the Benedum Center, December 6 through 29.  

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra brings cheer, laughter and music to all with the Highmark Holiday Pops featuring many of your favorite holiday classics, December 12 through 21.

The heartwarming story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who transforms from a greedy grouch to a most generous gent, graces the stage at the Byham, as Pittsburgh CLO presents A Musical Christmas Carol December 6 through 22.  

Pittsburgh holidays come to an end the same way they began — with the blast of magnificent fireworks. Count down to 2014 with the 20th anniversary of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. This family-friendly event draws a huge crowd with musical performances, balloon artists, dance lessons, jewelry making, a parade and much-anticipated New Years Eve fireworks! 

Stop in the WELCOME Pittsburgh Information Center and Gift Shop at Fifth Avenue Place or any area Giant Eagle to purchase your First Night button.

‘Tis the season to be jolly in jolly old Pittsburgh!


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