Spending an evening in Downtown Pittsburgh while the city is lit up for Christmas makes for one of the most spectacular experiences the city has to offer. With the endless Christmas trees around the city, Pittsburgh comes alive and turns into an instant Christmas Wonderland. A night that should be filled with magic in the air, can quickly become very stressful if you don’t have a game plan. To enjoy the night to its fullest, make sure you know where things are, the hours of operation, and have an inside scoop on where to park.
Parking - Since you’re heading to downtown Pittsburgh on the weekend, you want to consider parking beforehand. It is much cheaper to park in some of the lots on the Northside of the city and take the T downtown. If you don’t mind the walk, park in the Mexican War Streets for free and walk 10 minutes to the T. Your decision may depend on the weather, but if you’re worried about outrageous parking prices, you can park completely free as long as you don’t mind the walk.
Christmas Trees in the city - There will be a lot to see and do, but if you have a little Kevin MCallister in you, you need to check out some of the biggest and most beautiful trees in downtown Pittsburgh.
- PPG Plaza Tree Lighting
- One Oxford Centre Christmas Tree
- Point State Park Christmas Tree
- Highmark Unity Tree
Holiday Activities Santa – If you’re bringing your children down to meet Santa, make sure you know when he’s going to be there and at home relaxing with Mrs. Clause. Santa will be at the Holiday Market on Friday night from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays, he’ll be there from noon to 8 p.m. Although a picture with Santa is free, it is encouraged to make a $5 donation that will go to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Wintergarden – If you can’t get enough of Santa, you’ll definitely want to head to the ‘Spirits of Giving From Around the World’ exhibit in PPG Place. The exhibit features life-size statues of what Santa Clause looks like from around the world along with a helpful description of cultural traditions and beliefs. There will also be an amazing display of gingerbread houses, from replicas of Heinz Field to a traditional Gingerbread house, you’ll see it all inside the Wintergarden. The Wintergarden is completely free and is open Friday and Saturday night until 10 p.m.
Ice Skating – There’s nothing like a little rockin’ around the Christmas Tree on ice skates at PPG Place! From now until January 1st you can enjoy the seasonal hours full of ice skating. The rink is open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the lights and a little ice skating this Christmas season! There is usually a line after 7 pm so be sure to get there early to avoid a long line, tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for children. For a complete schedule click here.
Christmas Market – The Christmas Market in Market Square is open Friday and Saturday night until 9:30 p.m., this is a great opportunity to scout out some gift ideas for your family. Every Friday and Saturday night there will be live entertainment, so you can do some shopping with plenty of live music in the background, be sure to sing along to your favorite Christmas songs!