The NEXTpittsburgh event guide is underwritten in part by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, Oct. 17-23? Find out here. Visit each organization’s website and social media for Covid protocols. Know of a cool event? Email us.
Monday, Oct. 16-Saturday, Oct. 22: Pittsburgh Coffee Week
It’s a good thing that Pittsburgh Coffee Week follows fresh on the heels of Three Rivers Beer Week. Creatively caffeinated events perk up the Burgh all around town with unique java-themed sessions each day. Highlights includes a wine and coffee tasting, coffee sustainability seminar, AeroPress competition, houseplant sale and more. Don’t miss Saturday’s Latte Art Throwdown and Closing Party at Trace Brewing.
Monday, Oct. 17: Chamber Music Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh Playhouse
Start your week on a musical note. It’s a rare chance to see “titanic force at the keyboard” Garrick Ohlsson join the Apollon Musagète Quartet to perform works by Bach, Dvořák and Shostakovich in a chamber music setting. Buy tickets.
Thursday, Oct. 20: Greer Lankton and Andrey Avinoff at University Art Gallery
Don’t miss tonight’s free opening reception at Pitt’s University Art Gallery, where two exhibitions highlight the work of remarkable artists with local connections. In Science Fictions, visitors will explore the creative practice of pioneering trans artist Greer Lankton — culled from the Mattress Factory’s archives — while Fantastic Visions examines the work of émigré artist, scientist, professor and museum director Andrey Avinoff. Learn more.
Thursday, Oct. 20: Marylynne Pitz & Laura Malt Schneiderman at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
We can’t meet under the Kaufmann’s clock anymore but we can be regaled with stories about Pittsburgh’s legendary department store and the family behind it. For its next Made Local Series, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures welcomes the authors who will discuss their new book, “Kaufmann’s: The Family That Built Pittsburgh’s Famed Department Store.” Register for free.
Thursday, Oct. 20: PGH Museums Rooftop Art Party at Arsenal Cider Dormont
This fall night is perfect for sipping cider on Arsenal’s Dormont rooftop while mingling with local artists and pursuing displays of original work for sale. Art lovers will be treated to live music by Zachary Lee and can learn about the nonprofit PGH Museums. Buy tickets.
Thursday, Oct. 20: “The Price is Right Live” at Heinz Hall
If you’ve always wanted to “come on down” don’t miss this interactive on-stage version of the country’s longest-running game show. Audience players can vie for prizes like appliances, vacations — and yes, even a new car! Channel your inner Bob Barker while playing beloved games, from Plinko to The Big Wheel to the one and only Showcase. Buy tickets.
Thursday, Oct. 20: Off the Record XXII: Once Upon a Time in Pittsburgh at Byham Theater
Comedy and charity converge when this live showcase satirizes local news and newsmakers. While supporting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, you’ll experience “kooky, spooky tales and zany songs about buses swallowed whole, a stadium with a name that’s not Heinz and political hot potatoes.” Hosted by Ken Rice, the show features Mayor Ed Gainey, Lynne Hayes-Freeland, Kevin McMahon, and more celeb guests. The hilarity kicks off with a pre-show reception at 6:30 p.m. Buy tickets.
Thursday, Oct. 20: Out There Halloween Mega Tape at Harris Theater
Be among the first to see this reassembled Halloween-themed public access television footage directed by Chris LaMartina. Satisfy your candy corn fix and be transported to a haunted house party occupied by “aliens, vamps and phantom tramps.” The event includes a “shocktail hour” with horror host Aurora Gorealis and a Q&A. Buy tickets.
Friday, Oct. 21 & Saturday, Oct. 22: Virtual Food Rescue Conference
If you care about food justice, don’t miss this first-ever two-day conference hosted in Pittsburgh. Industry visionaries will lead live-streamed talks exploring innovative food recovery solutions. Assemble for the first time as part of the North American Food Rescue Hero Network, the conference will address a wide range of topics, from climate change, upcycling and collaboration to advocacy, access and health. Register here.
Friday, Oct. 21: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition at Ross Park Mall
Do some back-to-school shopping … and see the Sistine Chapel? The latest effort to reinvent the shopping mall is this reproduction of Michelangelo’s 34 Sistine Chapel 34 frescoes using licensed high-definition photos. While there’s nothing like trekking 4,547 miles to Vatican City, for now, you can bask in the divine wonders in a former JCPenney. Brought to life using a special printing technique that emulates the details, brushstrokes and colors, the spectacle opens tonight with a VIP Experience. Buy tickets.
Friday, Oct. 21: Giant Scream Show at Eberle Studios & Gallery
Pittsburgh Sound + Image presents a triple-header of horror during tonight’s Homestead Live Fridays series. Gasp through George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” then get spooked by “Haunt of the Horror Trailers,” a compilation of 16mm film trailers curated by Flea Market Films. The grand finale is a screening of the rare experimental film, “Thing,” by Pittsburgh artist Henry Roll, who portrayed a zombie in Romero’s iconic 1968 film. Buy tickets.
Friday, Oct. 21: “Carrie” Retro Prom Night at Row House Cinema
The Row House of Horrors series continues tonight with the most iconic prom movie ever made. Dress in your 1970s best to revisit the glamour — and the gore — of prom, pose for photos and find out if blood will be dumped on anyone. On the big screen is Brian De Palma’s 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel starring the inimitable Sissy Spacek. Buy tickets.
Friday, Oct. 21: I’m Not a Comedian … I’m Lenny Bruce at Byham Theater
The life, death and legacy of one of history’s most legendary comedians comes to life on stage. Directed by Joe Mantegna, the critically-acclaimed show stars Ronnie Marmo. The show explores Bruce’s personal pain, sharp social critiques, freestyle approach, enduring impact and deep commitment to free speech. Buy tickets.
Friday, Oct. 21: “Evil Dead the Musical” at Pittsburgh Musical Theater
What happens when five college students stay in an abandoned cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash an evil force? Yep, it’s the plot of like a million horror movies, but it’s also the narrative arc for a new show at the West End Canopy. Directed by Nick Mitchell, the musical blends elements from classic horror films into a “zany theatrical experience.” Buy tickets.
Saturday, Oct. 22: Dogtober Fest at Kennywood
There’s so much to love about Kennywood’s first-ever fall event for four-legged friends, especially the festive Halloween parade and the costume contest recognizing the cutest, creepiest and most creative doggie duds. Don’t forget to bring a 5-pound bag of dog food to donate to Who Rescued Who Humane Society. Each pet owner will receive one free Phantom Fall Fest ticket. Register for free.
Saturday, Oct. 22: OPTICVOICES: Mama’s Boys at August Wilson African American Center
Dob miss the opening for this new exhibition by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and artist Emmai Alaquiva exploring the healing of mothers. Captured by Alaquiva’s lens, the powerful exhibition includes 10 portraits of victims’ mothers, a resource guide and a historical timeline covering slavery, policing, change agents and social movements. The opening event includes remarks by Michelle Gainey, a teen preview, symposium and reception.
Saturday, Oct. 22: The Great Pumpkin Patch at SouthSide Works
SouthSide Works and Fred Rogers Productions are teaming up to host this day packed with fall fun for hoomans and pups alike. Take Fido to the HOWL-o-Ween pup event in the new dog park, pick the perfect pumpkin and play “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” trivia games. See pro pumpkin carvers at work, paint a pumpkin with Baron Batch and watch an outdoor screening of “Donkey Hodie.”
Saturday, Oct. 22: Dirty Dozen Bike Ride in Pittsburgh
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Think you have the stamina to tackle Pittsburgh’s 13 steepest hills by bike? For 30-odd years, the Herculean happening founded by Danny Chew has attracted cyclists and spectators alike. This year’s epic event starts at Highland Park’s Rhododendron Shelter. Brave bikers can soothe their sore muscles at the after-party and awards ceremony at East End Brewing. Learn more and register here.
Saturday, Oct. 22: Donut Fest at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Pierogies, pickles and tacos and have nothing on donuts. Whether you’re a dipper, a cream-filled fanatic or a cake purist, clear your schedule — and your plate — for this newcomer on the culinary scene. Though technically held in a church, this isn’t your grandma’s church basement lunch. Devotees will sample delicacies from local family-owned bakeries and restaurants. And since these sweet snacks go best with coffee, local cafes will be on hand to pour the mud. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Oct. 22: Modern Walking Tour in Manchester
Join the Pittsburgh Modern Committee and Manchester Historic Society to explore architectural styles from the mid-20th century — including school buildings, churches and community spaces — within a neighborhood known for its Victorian residential properties. The event kicks off with coffee, treats and a behind-the-scenes tour at Fulton Commons, a new coworking space and kitchen incubator in the former Saint Josephs School. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Oct. 22: The Scary Furnace at Carrie Furnaces
Who needs a haunted house when you can dress up inside a massive steel mill? Get spooky under the looming smokestacks when Pittsburgh’s most iconic industrial site morphs into The Scary Furnace. Beers of the Burgh will host a two-hour mini-festival with 12 local breweries showcasing seasonal styles from harvest ales to pumpkin stouts. As the sun sets, it’s time to pump up the volume, embrace the darkness and shift into dance mode. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Oct. 22: Benefit Auction at Silver Eye Center
When you bid in this fab auction you’re not only bolstering the arts economy, you’re supporting free exhibitions and programs at this cultural gem. Representing the most prolific and creative artists working in photography today, auction works span a range of media — from archival inkjet prints and silver gelatin photos to cyanotypes and collages. Standouts include a vintage serigraph of Andy Warhol by Billy Name and a portrait of Burt Reynolds by Duane Michals. Auction-goers will be treated to Sprezzatura cuisine and Sokolin wines. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Oct. 22: Nightmare On Baum in East Liberty
Baum Boulevard becomes Elm Street for one very spooky night when revelers step into a haunted warehouse at 5738 Baum Blvd. Curated by Miley Gyawali and LGBTQ+ Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Cynthia Oliver, the Halloween pop-up features drag shows, live karaoke, an art sale and a photo booth. And of course, plenty of ghoulish attractions and boos and brews. Costumes are required, duh. Buy tickets.
Saturday, Oct. 22: The Hellbender Ball at Thunderbird Café
Dress up and rock out in Lawrenceville. Named for Pennsylvania’s state amphibian — aka the Eastern Hellbender salamander — the WYEP showcase features Pittsburgh bands covering music by Joan Jett, Joy Division, Aaliyah, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, & The Clash. Buy tickets.
Sunday, Oct. 23: ZooBoo at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Seeking some not-so-scary Halloween fun? While watching your fave animal friends enjoying Halloween treats, you can go trick-or-treating throughout the site, check out magic shows, show off your spooktacular costume in a parade and create creepy crafts. Buy tickets.
Sunday, Oct. 23: Owl-O-Ween at National Aviary
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
It’s not Halloween until the owls say hoo! Experience the thrills and chills of the spooktacular season and meet mysterious owls during this weekend celebration. Come in costume for trick-or-treating, storytimes and meet-and-greets. Pick up a goody bag, pop into the bat habitat and crate an owl craft to take home. Buy tickets.
Sunday, Oct. 23: Western PA Lamb Fest at SouthSide Works
Back with its largest event, this all-star cook-off will sizzle in SouthSide Works’ new Town Center. Watch as 11 dream teams representing Pittsburgh’s top restaurants compete to create the winning lamb dish voted on by attendees. The open-air street festival includes tastings and creative cocktails. Buy tickets.
For more things to do, read 12 fun-filled Pittsburgh events in October, from Donut Fest to The Scary Furnace. For live music, check out Pittsburgh’s best live music this October from Smashing Pumpkins to Fontaines D.C.