Light Up Night is Pittsburgh’s most magical night of the year — for kids from 1 to 92 (and beyond, really).
Though there are a fewer tree lightings, and no longer window displays or department stores to visit, Pittsburgh Light Up Night has an extensive schedule that can be quite daunting for, well, kids from 1 to 92.
This post offers an excellent guide to making Light Up Night merry and bright!
Remember, Light Up Night 2022 is on Saturday, Nov. 19. Some events are planned for Friday, Nov. 18.
While events kick off at 11 a.m. on Nov. 19, for most people, I recommend arriving in the afternoon — maybe between 3 and 4:30 p.m.
Take public transit if you feel comfortable around crowds, given pandemic concerns and any viruses. Taking the T (or Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s light rail system? Get off at the Gateway or Wood Street stations.
Driving? Park on the outskirts of Downtown — on the North Side near Heinz Field and PNC Park, First Avenue garage, Station Square. If you park at any of those locations and feel comfortable taking the trolley, Port Authority has light-rail stations near Rivers Casino/Heinz Field (Allegheny) and PNC Park (North Side) on the North Side; First Avenue station in the First Avenue garage; and Station Square. Of note: Trolley stations between First Avenue and Allegheny are free. It will cost you to take the T from Station Square and beyond.
Of course, the garages and T stations are all very walkable if that is something for you.
Once you’ve figured out travel and you’ve arrived in Downtown Pittsburgh, here are my Pittsburgh Light Up Night tips for making it a merry and bright night!
- 3 to 4:45 p.m. — Browse the shops at the Holiday Market at Market Square. More than 30 artisans and vendors offer gifts, food and more from tiny chalets.
- 4:45 p.m. — Make your way to the City-County Building (414 Grant St.) for the city of Pittsburgh Tree Lighting at 5 p.m.
- 5 p.m. — Watch the city of Pittsburgh Tree Lighting at 5 p.m. After the tree lighting and fireworks, be sure to check out the annual Gingerbread House competition. This year’s display will feature 60 winning entries displayed behind glass under the Grant Street portico.
- 5:45 p.m. — Make your way to Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue for the Horne’s tree lighting.
- 6-6:45 p.m. — Celebrate Pittsburgh’s most iconic holiday corner with the lighting of the Horne’s tree (officially known now as the Highmark Christmas Tree Lighting). Look up after the tree is lit for Zambelli rooftop fireworks! (Alternative, though, I don’t recommend missing the Horne’s tree lighting: Visit One Oxford Centre to see Santa.
- 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. — Listen to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 30-minute holiday concert at Heinz Hall (600 Penn Ave). Be sure to read about the mask/vaccination policy for Heinz Hall.
- 8:30 p.m. — Though it’s not festive, go see Joan Jett at the Xfinity Riverside Stage at Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Sixth Street.
- 9:30 p.m. — Xfinity Fireworks Spectacular (with “supersized” Zambelli finale), Allegheny Overlook on Fort Duquesne Boulevard