The holidays will be different this year, but some things remain the same. And the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is working hard to make the season fun and safe.
Recognizable sights Downtown include decorated trees and shop windows and the Pittsburgh Crèche at U.S. Steel Tower Plaza, the only authorized replica of the nativity scene found in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
After purchasing tickets online, you can skate around The Rink at PPG Place and its 65-foot holiday tree. Masks are required inside the rental and plaza areas and while skating. The rink will be open daily from Nov. 20 through Jan. 3.
Peoples Gas Holiday Market, which runs Nov. 27 through Dec. 23, will be reconfigured for socially distanced outdoor shopping.
While you’re buying gifts from local vendors in Market Square, stop and have a chat with St. Nick at the Santa Zoom: Live from the North Pole attraction. For a suggested $5 donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, every family will get a free downloadable photo keepsake.
Kris Kringle already delivered the World’s Largest Pickle Ornament to EQT Plaza. Starting on Black Friday, folks can visit the 35-foot gherkin. The repurposed Heinz Pickle balloon — which once marked the entrance to the Picklesburgh Festival — has been bedazzled with lights.
Other new attractions for 2020 include the Holiday Wonderland Projections, larger-than-life snowflakes, candy canes and other festive themes projected on several building facades in the Cultural District. There’s expanded outdoor dining along 6th Street and Penn Avenue, and Wood Street got a wintry makeover with a snow globe motif that boasts 300 color-changing lights and mirror balls.
You can also eat, drink and be merry at Miracle on 6th, a pop-up bar with a Griswoldian amount of decorations.
Children can take a stroll through the Holiday KidsPlay Selfie Garden in the Heinz Hall Courtyard, which offers a bunch of colorful backdrops and standees of characters from Fred Rogers Productions such as Daniel Tiger, Peg + Cat and Odd Squad.
The PDP will announce more attractions, public art exhibits, dining opportunities and events next week.