What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, Dec. 5-11? Find out here. Visit each organization’s website and social media for Covid protocols. Know of a cool event? Email us.
Monday, Dec. 5: Krampusnacht in Market Square
If you’ve been naughty this year, that’s a good omen, because Pittsburgh has fallen hard for Krampus. After all, who needs a jolly old dude in a red suit when you can party with a mythical goat-like creature boasting a long pointed tongue, spiky horns and sharp fangs?! Devotees of the Alpine folk hero will gather in Market Square for a free all-ages Krampus parade (aka Krampuslauf) through the Old World holiday chalets plus the chance to snap selfies with your favorite Krampen. At 8:15 p.m. the 21+ crowd will join a Krampus Pub Krawl crowd making the rounds at Downtown’s holiday pop-up bars.
Monday, Dec. 5: Krampusfest Station Square: December 5
Twas the night before Saint Nicholas Day — aka Dec. 6 — and all through the towns and villages of Europe and Russia, Krampus appeared to swat naughty kiddos with birch sticks. Here in 21st-century Pittsburgh, channel your inner pagan at Station Square, where the Hard Rock Cafe courtyard will morph into a Krampus playground. Rock out to music by Sleigher, join the Parade of Krampi and film an ornery TikTok while perched on Krampus’ lap. Buy tickets.
Wednesday, Dec. 7: A Very Yinzer Christmas at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
Local musical luminaries will rock the stage in Munhall to support kids and adults living on the autism spectrum. Benefiting Band Together Pittsburgh, the holiday concert event features performances by more than 25 local musicians — from Donnie Iris to Miss Freddye and Joe Grushecky. Organized by Pittsburgh music veteran, Joe Wodarek, the event coincides with the release of a new Christmas album featuring many of the night’s performers. Buy tickets.
Thursday, Dec. 8: Drag & Draw at The Andy Warhol Museum
Drag, music and creativity will converge on the North Side for this figure drawing class for museum-goers ages 18 and up. Exploring Andy Warhol’s involvement and interest in drag culture, the event includes a figure drawing session taught by artist and educator Emily Paige. Afterward, participants will be treated to drinks and a performance featuring model and drag performer, Remy Black. Buy tickets.
Friday, Dec. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 11: Steel City Con at Monroeville Convention Center
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Just in time for Clark Griswold’s on-screen holiday hijinks, Chevy Chase will pop into the Burgh to make “Christmas Vacation” fans very happy. Pennsylvania’s largest pop culture convention celebrates 32 years at the very mall where George A. Romero filmed his 1978 horror classic, “Dawn of the Dead.” Fans can also mix and mingle with Elijah Wood and the hobbits from “Lord of the Rings,” Gaten Matarazzo, Paula Abdul, Steve Burns and many other celebs. With 600 pop culture vendors, it’s also a prime holiday shopping destination. Adding to the festivities will be costume contests, featured artists, family activities and more. Buy tickets.
Friday, Dec. 9: Holiday Drive-in Laser Show at North Park
After debuting to sold-out crowds during the pandemic, the county’s one-of-a-kind laser show benefiting the Kane Foundation is back. Park the car at the North Park Pool lot to experience lasers synchronized with holiday music broadcast via 87.9 FM. Attendees can choose from weekday and weekend sessions through Dec. 22 and can sit in or outside their cars. Space is limited so get tickets soon.
Friday, Dec. 9 & Saturday, Dec. 10: CinderBell Rock Holiday Market at Cinderlands
With a Burgh twist on the German night market, Cinderlands will transform its Strip warehouse into a decked-out winter wonderland. With three sessions to choose from and two floors of indoor and outdoor space, the merry market features local vendors, live music and screen-printing activities. On the menu are holiday beers, cocktails, baked goods and carving stations. Don’t miss the Steins with Santa Photo Booth, Kegsmas tree lighting and ugly sweater contest.
Friday, Dec. 9: Industrial Grit and Graffiti at The Andy Warhol Museum
Join two pioneers of the graffiti sculpture movement for this art conversation on the North Side. Moderated by Rivers of Steel Arts Director Chris McGinnis, artists Carlos Mare and Michael Walsh will reflect on their experiences during the Industrial Grit and Graffiti residency program, the history of the national graffiti sculpture movement, the intersectionality of graffiti and metal arts and connections with Mon Valley communities. Register for free.
Friday, Dec. 9: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” at the Benedum Center
There are many ways to rediscover “The Nutcracker” this month with productions around town reimagining the timeless classic. But there’s something about experiencing PBT’s rendition that makes the holidays even brighter. It takes 150 costumes, 1,500 accessories, 100 artists and 30 sleight-of-hand tricks to make this magic happen. Add in Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, the vision of Emmy-winning designer Zack Brown and the iconic Kaufmann’s clock and you’ve got one enchanted evening. Buy tickets.
Friday, Dec. 9: “A Musical Christmas Carol” at the Byham Theater
If you love him in his many star turns on Broadway — or as September in the sci-fi television series “Fringe” — you can’t miss Michael Cerveris in the iconic role of Ebenezer Scrooge. The two-time Tony-winning actor — whose dad lives in the North Hills — is one of today’s top musical theater performers, so it’s a new take on a Dickens’ classic that’s not to be missed. Buy tickets.
Friday, Dec. 9: Winter Heat at Carnegie Museum of Art
8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Warm your toes and your soul when the Carnegie Museum of Art debuts its newest nocturnal party concept. Pittsburgh’s own DJ Arie Cole brings the heat to the turntables during the dynamic gloom-busting winter fête. Sip winter warmer cocktails and explore cutting-edge global art at the Carnegie International. Toss off that winter jacket, rock a sparkling ensemble and dance the night away. What’s for dessert? An iconic Pittsburgh cookie table, of course. Make it a full-on winter wonderland by visiting the ornate Neapolitan Presepio and the decked-out Carnegie Trees. Buy tickets.
Friday, Dec. 9 & Saturday, Dec. 10: We Want the Funk Festival at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center
Add a dose of funk to your festivities this holiday season with this two-day mini-fest featuring powerhouse groups Morris Day & The Time, Alexander O’Neil, the Bar-Kays and Con Funk Shun. The fourth annual festival celebrates the rhythm-driven musical genre that evolved from the R&B, soul and jazz scenes of the 1960s and highlights its influence on today’s leading artists. Buy tickets.
Friday, Dec. 9: Highmark Holiday Pops at Heinz Hall
Fans of Christmas carols will be entranced by the festive fa-la-la-ing when the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents its signature holiday production. Conducted by Daniel Meyer, the sparkling evening also features the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre — and even an appearance by the jolly old elf himself. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Winter Artist Market at Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Your one-stop shop for handmade holiday gifts you can’t find anywhere else is here. More than 31 local artists are selling work in a variety of mediums in the center’s studio building. Lauren Bailey of Crony Press will lead a make-and-take activity and there will be refreshments from Farmer x Baker and Trace Brewing. Added bonus: Today is the grand opening of PCA&M’s new gift shop.
Saturday, Dec. 10 & Sunday, Dec. 11: The Black Market: Holiday Edition at 623 Smithfield Street
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Head Downtown to support Black-owned businesses from around the region at this pop-up market that’s back with an expanded footprint after debuting last year. You’ll find 65 vendors selling a wide range of products, including coffee and specialty foods, self-care items, home goods and fashion accessories. It’s a terrific addition to Downtown’s holiday attractions, where you can connect with local Black business owners, creatives and artists.
Saturday, Dec. 10 & Sunday, Dec. 11: Cookie Tour in Lawrenceville
Who needs visions of sugarplums when you have a 30-block-long cookie table? It’s that most delicious time of year when Lawrenceville’s commercial corridor transforms into a roving bakery. Shoppers have lots of ground to cover with 55 stops animating storefronts and sidewalks along Butler Street and Penn Avenue. Pop into boutiques, restaurants and cafes to collect free homemade cookies while boosting the local economy. Look for the jolly gingerbread signs, hop on the event trolley and recharge with lunch and cocktails at Take-A-Break stops. View a map.
Saturday Dec. 10: Holiday Extravaganza & Mini Vintage Mixer at Golden Age Beer
Seeking a retro holiday vibe? Join PGH Vintage Mixer for this tropical-themed holiday market in Homestead. Your eyes will pop when you see all the throwback vintage goods — from holiday kitsch, gifts and vinyl, to MCM home decor. Making things merry and bright will be tropical cocktails, DJs spinning soul music and performances by the Satin Dollz.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Winter Romance for Two and Folk Art Days at The Frick Pittsburgh
You’ve got two festive ways to soak up the holiday cheer at this historic site. Hop in a carriage for a nostalgic ride with your sweetie or bestie and enjoy a gift bag with local artisanal treats to share and admission for two to the American Perspectives folk art exhibition. To experience a Gilded Age Christmas and see how Henry Clay Frick and his family celebrated holiday traditions, book a Home for the Holidays Tour of Clayton.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Glow at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Celebrate the winter solstice season at this community event that will glow, spark and light up the dark with art, exhibits and performances. Throughout the museum’s indoor and outdoor spaces, families can watch artists create work in the live “glow down” competition, join a glowing art scavenger hunt and participate in hands-on activities. Try glow-in-the-dark block printing, face painting and chalk art, meet ultraviolet artist Mikael Owunna and dance to the beat of your own drum during a silent disco. Tickets are only $2!
Saturday, Dec. 10: USS Requin Holiday Dinner at Carnegie Science Center
What was it like to sit down for Christmas dinner in a submarine five decades ago? Intrepid diners will get the chance to find out on the North Shore. Take a seat in the RiverView Café overlooking the USS Requin to savor the same holiday dinner (think baked Virginia ham, snowflake potatoes, pumpkin pie and mixed hard candy)
that brave submariners did 62 years ago. Then take an immersive tour through the historic vessel. As a keepsake, take home a laser-cut ornament. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Spirits & Snow: Holiday Cocktail Making at The Woods House
Channel your inner mixologist with Hazelwood Local, Con Alma and Peddler PGH. Inside what was once the oldest house in Pittsburgh and is now a cheery neighborhood pub — built in 1792 by Col. George Woods, the surveyor who laid out Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle — you’ll learn to craft a seasonal cocktail and a floral holiday bouquet. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Dec. 10: “Sketchville” at Arcade Comedy Theater
Don’t miss the closing night event when “Kids in the Hall” co-founder Kevin McDonald joins this sketch comedy revue directed by Parag S. Gohe. The Downtown company pulled out all the stops to craft a classic show from scratch in just five weeks — and tonight get to experience the hilarious results. The “decidedly homegrown affair” features a stellar ensemble cast, hand-selected scripts by 15 local authors, musical numbers and a gaggle of kazoos. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Ben Wasserman at Bottlerocket Social Hall
Fresh off the heels of a sold-out run at a Brooklyn funeral home, NYC-based comedian Ben Wasserman brings his latest show to Pittsburgh’s newest comedy club. Based on his experiences of losing seven loved ones in the span of three years, Wasserman’s interactive show goes beyond the stage to engage the audience in a conversation about death, dying, grief and loss. Don’t miss the show that’s called “part catharsis, part circus, total chaos.” Buy tickets.
Sunday, Dec. 11: Vegan & Vinyl Holiday Market at Preserving Record Shop
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dig for wax while eating green in New Kensington. Preserving Record Shop and Sweet Alchemy Bake Shop are teaming up to host this free pop-up event showcasing handmade art — perfect for all your last-minute holiday shopping needs — alongside vegan cuisine and desserts and vinyl records from local shops, vendors and purveyors.
Sunday, Dec. 11: Pittsburgh Record Fest at Spirit
They might not fit inside a stocking, but vinyl records will make the music lovers on your gift list very happy. Plus, you can also score cassettes and CDs when Pittsburgh’s popular record fair returns for its holiday edition. Dust off that turntable and dig through the crates for records representing all musical genres, score great deals and discover new sounds. Along with vendors and shops, the market will include local DJs and drink specials.
Sunday, Dec. 11: Queer Craft Market at Union Project
Express yourself, show your pride and support Pittsburgh’s queer maker community. The city’s premiere queer-led craft market presents this Winter Bazaar to make sure you can score something made with care for everyone on your list. These are cool crafts with personality, flair and distinction you won’t find anywhere else. With a welcoming Sunday evening format, you can meet the makers and learn more about their creative process.