What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, Jan. 9-15? Find out here. Visit each organization’s website and social media for Covid protocols and weather-related updates. Know of a cool event? Email us.
Monday, Jan. 9: Birding Pittsburgh’s Parks in Allegheny Commons
Take time after the hectic holiday season to connect with the natural world during this beginner’s birding walk led by Naturalist Educator Stephen Bucklin. Meet the group at the Patricia Rooney Memorial Fountain; binoculars will be provided by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Register for free.
Monday, Jan. 9-Wednesday, Jan. 11: Januscary Film Festival at the Harris Theater
If you’re like us, you wish Halloween lasted for one month instead of one fleeting day. Lucky for us all, this new fright-fest is back scarier than ever. Take 2022 out with the trash during six days highlighting contemporary and classic takes on the ever-popular horror genre. Shriek at the edge of your seat as Inuit teens take on extraterrestrial invaders, a woman is plunged into a terrifying motherhood journey, girl gangs rule a dystopian world and a Halloween rager is attacked by aliens. Laugh it off at the one-day Abbott and Costello double feature. View a schedule and buy tickets.
Monday, Jan. 9-Sunday, Jan. 15: Pittsburgh Restaurant Week
After all that cookie baking, cocktail shaking and turkey basting, let Pittsburgh’s top chefs do the work. Spanning seven days with fixed-price multi-course meals and special $20.23 entrees, this foodie fest has a flavor to satisfy all cravings — from La Palapa to The Vandal to Fujiya Ramen (the list keeps growing). Beyond the plate, the event encourages residents from near and far to explore Pittsburgh’s authentic neighborhoods and diverse dining options and give a boost to independent eateries during a slow time of year. Learn more.
Tuesday, Jan. 10: Thomas Wendt Quintet at Liberty Magic
The free jazz series continues to flow in the Cultural District with tonight’s quintet led by CAPA High School graduate Thomas Wendt. Playing professionally since age 14, Wendt is a member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra and an instructor at The Afro-American Music Institute. Active in the contemporary jazz scene, he’s performed and recorded with international jazz greats, including Donald Byrd, Geri Allen, Gene Ludwig, Joe Negri and Sean Jones.
Wednesday, Jan. 11: “Dragons and Mythical Beasts” at the Benedum Center
Calling all courageous kids to a night of myth, legend and mystery. Step into fantastical realms, come face to face with magnificent monsters and terrifying beasts and embark on a spell-binding adventure — but don’t wake the dragon! Encounter a colossal stone troll, the wondrous Indrik and Japanese Baku, an adorable unicorn, a majestic griffin and even the tooth fairy — who’s not as sweet as you’d think! This Olivier Award nominated live show comes to the Burgh from the creators of the international hit “Dinosaur World Live.” Buy tickets.
Thursday, Jan. 12: Night Hike in Riverview Park
Bundle up and get moving in the crisp night air. As the sun sets and the moon and stars emerge, you’ll enjoy a winter night while exploring the sights and sounds the park and getting your blood pumping. Led by Venture Outdoors, the brisk walk will cover approximately five miles and includes uneven terrain. Bring your own headlamp — or borrow one from the nonprofit — and meet the group at the Riverview Park Visitors Center. Buy tickets.
Thursday, Jan. 12: “Here You Come Again” at the Highmark Theatre
Dolly Parton for President! Okay, so maybe that’s wishful thinking, but this touching musical is guaranteed to make you love The Queen of Nashville even more. Find out what unfolds when Dolly “visits” a struggling NYC comedian who’s quarantining in his parents’ attic in Texas after a breakup. With her irresistible charm and wisdom, Dolly provides hope and guidance as “they sing and swap stories.” Featuring hits like “Jolene,” “9 to 5” and “Here You Come Again,” the sweet two-person musical is a must for Dolly devotees and musical theater geeks alike. Buy tickets.
Friday, Jan. 13-Sunday, Jan. 15: “Stick Fly” at Alumni Theater Company
On stage this weekend, the Professional Ensemble of Alumni Theater Company will explore race, class, family dynamics, privilege and more. Written by Broadway playwright Lydia R. Diamond, “Stick Fly” transports audiences to the Martha’s Vineyard home of the affluent, African-American LeVay family where “the clash between race and class within the Black community” is exposed. The comedic drama is directed by Point Park University professor Tru Verret-Fleming. Buy tickets.
Friday, Jan. 13: FANNIE: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center
The Pittsburgh premiere of “FANNIE” is the result of a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, City Theatre Company and DEMASKUS Theater Collective — and it’s a must-see production. Through music and song, Cheryl L. West’s profound play tells the story of the trailblazing activist, community organizer and Civil Rights pioneer who used spiritual hymnals within her activism. Audiences will be moved by Hamer’s historic journey — from sharecropper to political force — and the impact she’s had on generations. Directed by Joy Vandervort-Cobb, the production stars Robin McGee and features a live band. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Jan. 14: Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: Origin Stories at Phipps
9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Two of nature’s most fascinating botanical treasures share the limelight at Phipps. Beat the winter blues with this brand-new show exploring the discovery of captivating orchids and the cultural influences behind exquisitely trained tropical bonsai specimens. Be immersed in a kaleidoscope of shape and color, step into a lush golden bamboo grove and stroll beneath bright white orchids hanging overhead. Learn about historic orchid expeditions, see detailed fruiting and flowering bonsai trees, marvel at a Japanese-style fuukiran display and more. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Jan. 14 & Sunday, Jan. 15: Locomotion Weekend at Carnegie Science Center
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
All aboard for a fast-moving weekend! Train enthusiasts, budding engineers and curious minds are invited to join the Miniature Railroad & Village staff for tours of the beloved display will get to see the newest addition of the Evans City Cemetery Chapel. Check out cool train displays from local hobbyists and get a real-life look at locomotive careers during screenings of “Train Time” and “Rocky Mountain Express.” Chug into Pittsburgh’s largest screen to embark on the ultimate steam-powered adventure. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Jan. 14 & Sunday, Jan. 15: Winterfest at The Frick Pittsburgh
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This month, the Point Breeze campus of The Frick Pittsburgh will be animated by seasonal offerings for all ages. Glide alongside the Victorian Clayton mansion on a pop-up ice skating rink and hop in a horse-drawn carriage for an elegant ride. Warm up with furnace-fired demonstrations led by Pittsburgh Glass Center and delve into history during an Outdoor Winter Walking Tour. Check out live performances, enjoy picturesque views of the illuminated grounds while sipping warm beverages, and shop for gifts in the museum store.
Saturday, Jan. 14: Phil-A-Palooza at Threadbare Cider House
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Spring likely won’t come early, but America’s favorite groundhog will. Pre-gaming Groundhog Day, furry Phil makes a celebrity stop in Spring Hill. For just $5, Phil fans can enjoy a rodent meet and greet, sip a Phil’s Shadow cocktail and be among the first to taste the newest batch of Phil’s Burrow Cider. Celebrating two Keystone State institutions, the collaboration between Wigle and the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club marries PA Straight Rye Whiskey with traditional maple syrup production. The irresistible velvety spirit with prominent notes of maple, toffee and white pepper is exactly what you need to get through a Western PA winter!
Saturday, Jan. 14: Llama Llama – Live! at the Byham Theater
11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Who says bedtime is boring? After a long day of adventures at school and out shopping, it’s time the Llama family to hit the hay — but where’s mama? Kicking off the new Children’s Theater Series season, the show features a book, lyrics and music by Austin Zumbro. Based on Anna Dewdney’s bestselling books, the hilarious new musical performed by Bay Area Children’s Theater will warm hearts of llama lovers everywhere. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Jan. 14: Food Truck A Palooza at the Monroeville Convention Center
Step right up under the Big Top to try a cool new way of dining out. One of the country’s only indoor food truck festivals is back with five delicious hours showcasing Pittsburgh’s mobile culinary scene. This year’s frolicking circus theme will animate the space with aerialists, jugglers, magicians, sideshow acts, clowns and dancing puppets. The foodie festivities include beer and spirits for the grownups and activities for kids. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Jan. 14: GROWTH Open Reception at Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
A new mixed ability exhibition is promoting inclusion in the Pittsburgh arts landscape. Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and Creative Citizens Studios team up to bring artists of all abilities together in Lawrenceville. Curated by Chicago-based Disparate Minds, the exhibit features 26 artists and reflects a diverse range of complex work and approaches to creativity. The selection also challenges mainstream ableist perspectives, transcends disability categories and examines the importance of human expression in all lives. Tonight’s free opening reception includes a sensory friendly experience, snacks and drinks.
Saturday, Jan. 14: Emmy Blotnick and DJ Femi’s BLVCK T3K at Bottlerocket Social Hall
8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Head up to the Hilltop to catch NYC-based standup comedian, actor and writer Emmy Blotnick. A rising star on the contemporary comedy scene, Blotnick recently released her debut comedy album, “Party Nights,” has been honored as one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch, has appeared on and written for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and more. Stay afterward for DJ Femi’s new dance night BLVCK T3K featuring the city’s leading Black DJs. Buy tickets.
Sunday, Jan. 15: Lunar New Year Fair and Gala at Carnegie Music Hall
Welcome the Year of the Rabbit at this celebration of cultural diversity, art and technology. The Chinese Association for Science and Technology teams up with Carnegie Museum Art to present the 26th annual extravaganza with dazzling performances and activities representing the region’s multicultural community. Also showcased will be a photography fair, youth art exhibits, paintings by NYC artist Hedy O’Beil, robot shows, VR games and food vendors. Register for free.
Sunday, Jan. 15: Park After Dark: Introduction to Snowshoeing at Boyce Park
Always wanted to strap on snowshoes? Join the Allegheny County Park Rangers to learn all the basics. Layer up, head outdoors and get moving along the scenic Boyce Park Ski Slopes. Register for free.