6. The Chocolate Bar at the Benedum: November 12, 8 p.m.
Chocolate ravioli filled with cherry ricotta. Dark chocolate cake with roasted figs. Chocolate chili ice cream. No, you haven’t been transported to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory or a Belgian Godiva boutique. But you are invited to indulge in one seriously decadent night where chocolate is the muse for food and fashion alike. Welcome to the highly anticipated, second annual Chocolate Bar, where it all goes down—and the endless chocolate flows—inside the Benedum Center’s ornate Grand Lobby. Satisfy your cocoa cravings with artisan truffles and ganache-laden delicacies created by A519 chocolatier Amanda Wright, homemade delights whipped up in the pop-up Milk Shake Factory, and haute couture and accessories designed by Richard Parsakian and Izzazu Salon. Dubbed Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, the dessert lover’s paradise will also feature music by DJ SMI, multi-sensory performances by the Staycee Pearl Dance Project, and signature cocktails handcrafted by mixologist Spencer Warren. Be one of the night’s five lucky Golden Ticket recipients and receive tickets to Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Buy tickets before this sweet affair sells out.
7. Three Rivers Film Festival: November 16—20
With 31 Pittsburgh premieres spanning 25 events, five days and four venues, 3RFF is your hot ticket to independent and international cinema. Audiences will meet Fiona, a Canadian librarian who treks to Paris to search for her missing elderly aunt. And grieving father Eyal, who steals medicinal marijuana from a hospice. Then there’s actress Kate Lyn Sheil portraying Florida newscaster Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. These are just some of the thought-provoking stories on tap for the 35th installment of the region’s oldest and largest film festival. Back with a new partnership between Film Pittsburgh (formerly JFilm) and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 3RFF kicks off with opening night festivities on November 16 at the August Wilson Center. Don’t miss Pittsburgh-born filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein’s War Room-style documentary, The Freedom to Marry, chronicling the groundbreaking same-sex marriage movement and the legacy of civil rights pioneer and Pittsburgh native Evan Wolfson. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Rosenstein and Wolfson and a reception catered by Big Burrito. On November 19, be sure to head to Regent Square Theater, where Boston’s acclaimed Alloy Orchestra will perform their musical score to E. A. Dupont’s 1925 silent film classic, Varieté. View a schedule and buy tickets.
8. FESTIVUS at Carnegie Museum of Art: November 17, 8 p.m.
Jerry, George, Kramer, Elaine. Television’s most famous quartet provides the inspiration for the next edition of CMOA’s popular Third Thursday series. Responsible for immortalizing countless profound concepts such as the close talker, bubble boy and anti-dentite, Seinfeld also gave birth to a holiday tradition forever known as Festivus (sorry, Chrismukkah), thanks to the Season 9 episode, “The Strike.” Putting an artsy Burgh spin on the beloved populist holiday, CMOA invites you to witness an abundance of Festivus miracles while enjoying after-hours access to its world-class exhibitions. A Third Thursday “for the rest of us!,” the Seinfeld-themed holiday happening will feature a staged reading of the iconic episode starring local actors and comedians Wali Jamal, Greg Gillotti and Siovhan Christensen. Dance to 1990s jams around an unadorned Festivus pole, donate to the so-called CMOA Human Fund, and air your pent-up grievances. Head of Household will be WQED’s own Rick Sebak, who will compete with attendees in Festivus Feats of Strength (wrestling anyone?). CMOA’s café will even feature a traditional late-night Festivus menu and holiday libations. Buy tickets.
9. Light Night Up in Downtown Pittsburgh: November 18
An esteemed, 56-year-old local tradition, Light Night Up is the best place to get switched on to the holidays, Burgh-style. Produced by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Light Up Night ushers in a month of festive happenings taking place throughout the Golden Triangle and Cultural District. Cool new surprises are brewing—several still under wraps—to augment a full slate of time-honored traditions such as tree lightings, ice skating, horse-drawn carriage rides, and visits with that jolly man in red. One of the country’s largest holiday celebrations, Light Up Night will also showcase local and national musicians on multiple stages. A centerpiece attraction will be the unveiling of a unique light and wind installation on the Rachel Carson Bridge. Designed by environmental artist Andrea Polli, the public artwork will use wind turbines to power immersive light displays. The Peoples Gas Holiday Market will expand its vendor roster and merchandise variety, while Zambelli’s signature fireworks will debut in a new location. To start planning your Light Up Night, see the PDP’s just announced full slate of holiday fun here, including the event’s new footprint and street lightings.
10. PGH Vintage Mixer at Spirit: November 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kick off your holiday shopping with nostalgia, kitsch and a whole lot of collectibles when PVM rolls out its eighth season. Setting up shop for the first time at Spirit, the one-of-a-kind market will pack both floors with 30-plus local and regional sellers—including Black Lodge Vintage, Highway Robbery, One Off Frock Shop, Junk In Public, Kitschtopia, Loch Ness Modster and U’niki An’Tiki. Forget those 6 a.m. estate sales and flea market lines and head to PVM for a thoughtfully curated and authentic selection of curiosities. Pickers, thrifters and hagglers can peruse everything from artwork, home décor and furniture, to fashion, accessories and memorabilia. If you’re searching for a rare set of salt and pepper shakers for your collection, a Fiestaware teapot for your aunt, or a sleek retro carafe for a wedding gift, you’ve come to the right spot. PVM’s quality wares are accessible to collectors of all tastes, ages and budgets. Amidst a vintage vibe and welcoming atmosphere, mixer-goers can snap retro pix in the Pittsburgh Camper Booth, buy tasty food and drink from Slice Island and enjoy vinyl sets spun by local DJs.
Check out more events every week in NEXTpittsburgh, including these coming up in November:
Live Music PGH Launch Party at The Funhouse at Mr. Small’s: November 4
5th annual Harvest Tasting in the Strip District Produce Terminal: November 5
Henry Rollins at Carnegie Lecture Hall: November 10 (sold-out)
Benjamin Scheuer live in concert at City Theatre: November 11, 12, 13
My Perfect Body: 21+ Sip and Sketch at The Warhol Museum: November 17
17th Anniversary Founder’s Day Event at The Mr. Roboto Project: November 19
Chefs Create Pittsburgh for Autism Speaks at Fairmont Pittsburgh: November 18
Pittsburgh VegFEAST at Spirit: November 20
Winter Flower Show and Light Garden: Days of Snow and Nights Aglow at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: opens November 25
I Made It! Market at 623 Smithfield Street: November 25 & 26