Whether your holiday spirit animal is Mrs. Claus, Balthazar, the Grinch or Hermey, we invite you to check out the city’s creative side during these 10 festive December events—from a galaxy far, far away, to the nearby Cultural District.
1. Joy of Cookies Tour in Lawrenceville: December 3 – 6
Forget pubs, it’s time for Pittsburgh’s favorite cookie crawl. Where can you shop local and come home with a stack of cookie recipes? Baking from scratch and independent commerce join forces at this Lawrenceville institution. Back and bigger than ever for its 16th course, this tour is a must-do recipe for kicking off holiday fun and making a serious dent in that gift list. Tour-goers will pop into 40 unique businesses (look for the giant gingerbread signs) along Butler, Penn and surrounding streets to shop small, sample homemade desserts and collect recipes as they roam. You can’t get that at Target or from Amazon.
Equal parts cookie crawl and buy-local movement, the free, family-friendly event showcases Lawrenceville’s thriving merchant scene, authentic character and creative spirit. What began 18 years ago as a holiday open house at Jay Design Soaps has evolved into a signature economic development event for the nabe. Adding to the fun this year are 14 “Take A Break” stops where attendees can enjoy a meal, coffee or even a much-needed cocktail. Hop on the Molly’s Trolley, which will circulate on December 5th. Download a map and view Cookie Tour hours.
2. Yinz’r Scrooged at Bricolage Production Company: December 3 – 19
Bitter Ebenezer Scrooge, kind Bob Cratchit, poor Tiny Tim, greedy Jacob Marley and all of those pesky ghosts. What if all these iconic Dickensian characters became . . . yinzers?! Find out when Bricolage wraps up its seventh season of Midnight Radio with this Burgh-centric and playfully irreverent spoof. Set in present-day Pittsburgh, the show re-imagines these storied London characters as local legends and celebs in an uproarious parody of the holiday classic. Think Andrew Carnegie meets a former Pittsburgh mayor, plus Pittsburghers both beloved and reviled.
Taking further creative liberties, Bricolage’s team transforms the beloved holiday staple into a radio-style rendition complete with cheeky commercial spoofs, evocative Foley sound effects and a cast of veteran and newbie actors. Adapted by Bricolage’s producing artistic director, Tami Dixon, Yinz’r Scrooged stars Lissa Brennan, Connor McCanlus, Sheila McKenna, Howard Elson and Michael McBurney. Directed by Sam Turich, the family-friendly comedy will also feature music by James Rushin and The Bah Humbugs. Arrive at 7:30 p.m. for the festive “Happy Half-Hour” featuring free beer, wine, eggnog and holiday games.
3. Holiday RAWk at Mr. Small’s Theatre: December 3
If you’ve got local art on your holiday shopping list—and you have yet to check out a RAW Pittsburgh showcase—then you have two great reasons to get to Millvale (well, even more if you throw in visits to Grist House Brewery and Attic Records). Find out what Pittsburgh’s indie art scene is up to—all under one roof—at the fifth and final installment of the 2015 RAW series. Get ready to RAWk as the local arts org puts a holiday spin on its repertoire, with 40 Pittsburgh artists showing off their talents and trades.
Hosted by charismatic artist Alexi Morrissey, Holiday RAWk will set up shop using every inch of the former church, animating the multi-level music venue with performances, film screenings and a marketplace. In addition to 30-plus visual artists, RAWk will feature performances by Kabarett Vulgare, Kellee Maize, Angela Morelli, Vox Lumina, Smokifantastic, Delicious Pastries and DJ Firefly. RAWkers can check out film screenings by Tyler Miller, make-up design by Moriah Moore and accessories by Georgette Frances, Siblatha, Falkora, Rye Bread Studio, Jay Kyda, The Turquoise Forest and Westward Notions. All artwork will be for sale, with prices ranging from $20 to $500. Purchase tickets.
4. Holiday Sale & Make-It-Now Ornaments at Pittsburgh Glass Center: December 4 – 6
Looking to make the holidays even more shiny? Need the perfect gift for that white elephant party or artsy aunt? Keep it glassy Pittsburgh at this sale of all things festive, funky and functional. Featuring a wide array of regional artists who work out of the Garfield-based glass mecca, the unique marketplace is all about limited-edition wares, conversation pieces and the handmade touch. From glass ducks and dazzling jewelry to custom-designed plates and artsy pitchers, you’ll find a glass stunner for everyone on your list—and we highly recommend picking out something special for yourself too. Prices range from $5 to $250, and a wide range of styles will be represented including blown, cast, fused, flameworked and coldworked glass.