Category Archives: Horne’s

Self-guided holiday selfie snapshot tour … or a fun ‘holiday day’ around Downtown Pittsburgh

Missed Light Up Night? Still want that selfie with all the trees? Check out these spots to hit on a fun “holiday day” in Downtown Pittsburgh! See the map below. These are listed in no particular order so that you can customize your own holiday fun!

Downtown Pittsburgh

  • See the Horne’s tree. Yes, it’s now called the Highmark Tree, formerly the Unity Tree (that name needs to come back Maybe Highmark Unity Tree). This is Pittsburgh’s classic holiday decoration. The tree beautifully sparkles at the corner of Stanwix and Penn along the corner of the former flagship Horne’s department store building. While decorated windows and shopping no longer exist here, the tree can serve as a great backdrop for that holiday season selfie!
  • Shop the Holiday Market at Market Square. Find more than 30 artisans and vendors at Pittsburgh’s mini version of a German Christmas market, complete with adorable chalets. Local artists, such as Linda Barnicott, display everything from ornaments to paintings, and other artisans have wearables (gloves, sweaters, hats), edibles (baked goods and more), smellables (is this even a word?) (candles) and more. While at Market Squre, check out the dazzling lights, sphere tree and entertainment.
  • Get a group photo with the large ornament at K&L Gates Center. The huge red ornament is up! Check it out in front of the main entrance to K&L Gates Center at 210 Sixth Ave.
  • Be a big dill — see the world’s largest pickle ornament. We can’t confirm it’s the world’s largest pickle ornament, but who else is going to have a massive pickle ornament except Pittsburgh? It’s at EQT Plaza (across the street from the red ornament). It’s at 625 Liberty Ave.
  • See the 106th Pittsburgh Christmas tree. The tree had quite a glowup. Check out the ornaments depicting each of the city’s neighborhoods.
  • Visit the Pittsburgh creche. It’s the only authorized replica of the creche at the Vatican. That’s a big deal for Catholics.
  • Take a selfie with the Point State Park tree one last time. After more than 30 years, Duquesne Light is ending the tradition of having a tree at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. You still have this season to get that perfect selfie with the tree and skyline.
  • Spot the Pittsburgh area landmarks at the Carnegie Science Center train display. Popular Pittsburgh area landmarks —Kaufmann’s building, Mister Rogers house, etc — dot the landscape of this adorable train display. Don’t rush through it — watch day turn to nighttime! Also, while at the science center, check out the holiday laser lights show. Admission is required for the science center.
  • Make it a ‘Very Merry Pittsburgh’ at the Heinz History Center. See how Pittsburghers celebrate the holidays. Take a step back in time when Downtown was bustling with department store windows. Learn about all of the holidays that happen around here (even the Polar Bear Plunge!). See old toys, learn about a toy factory on the North Side and … see Santa (on select days). Admission is required for the history center.
  • Afterward, take a drive to see some neighborhood lights displays.

‘A Very Merry Pittsburgh’ returns to Heinz History Center

Take a step back in time when Downtown Pittsburgh was full of retailers, festive window displays and so much holiday cheer.

Heinz History Center’s “A Very Merry Pittsburgh” exhibit is back this holiday season. The exhibit opens Nov. 20 and continues through Jan. 17.

The special exhibit features a variety of holiday-themed artifacts, images and keepsakes showing how people across the region have celebrated the holidays, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Christmas and more.

As the history center notes, the exhibit “will transport you back to the bustling holiday season in Downtown Pittsburgh” with amazing window displays from Kaufmann’s, Horne’s and other department stores of Pittsburgh past.

No holiday trip to town was complete without a visit with Santa! And the Heinz History Center has Pittsburgh’s own Santa in a replica of the famous Kaufmann’s chair.

Santa will appear from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following days:

  • Saturday, Nov. 20
  • Friday, Nov. 26
  • Saturday, Nov. 27
  • Saturday, Dec. 4
  • Saturday, Dec. 11
  • Saturday, Dec. 18

This is a great experience to see how Pittsburghers celebrate a variety of holidays throughout the season.

Make time to see:

  • Objects from Kaufmann’s Santaland — including Santa’s original chair
  • See the mailbox where thousands of Pittsburgh children mailed their Christmas wish lists to the North Pole.
  • Check out retro toys including Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and Mr. Potato Head

Special events

Know before you go

Face masks are required while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more about the history center’s health and safety protocols.