Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Downtown Pittsburgh holiday season must-dos

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 the crème de la crème of Pittsburgh holiday season decorations. 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!
    • Tip: Stand near the Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s Gateway Station for a fuller shot of the tree.
  • 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 Square, 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.
  • See the 107th Pittsburgh Christmas tree. Check out the ornaments depicting each of the city’s neighborhoods.
  • Skate at PPG Place. This rink is larger than New York City’s Rockefeller Center! Enjoy the PPG Place tree and ice rink before or after dinner. Check out details and prices here. Not an ice skater? Stop by for a selfie of the dazzling tree with all of its colorful designs!
  • Visit the Pittsburgh creche. It’s the only authorized replica of the creche at the Vatican. That’s a big deal for Catholics.
  • Visit Point State Park to see the snowflakes. After more than 30 years, Duquesne Light turned off the lights of the recognizable tree at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. A new display is expected in 2024, but in the interim, Duquesne Light gave the Point some holiday flare.
  • 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.
  • See Santa Downtown. Check out Santa’s schedule and give him a visit.

Where’s Santa? Find Santa near you in 2022!

Where’s Santa? There’s so much going on this holiday season, so we’re here to help you find a place to meet Santa. This list only includes locations for multiple days. One day events are not listed.

This is an incomplete list as Santa is everywhere!

Santa in Downtown Pittsburgh

Location: Heinz Hall Courtyard (new location for 2022)
Dates: Nov.18 to Dec. 23
Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. and 4-7 p.m.
Light Up Night: Noon to 4 p.m.
Black Friday: Noon to 8 p.m.
Saturdays: Noon to 8 p.m.
Sundays: Noon to 6 p.m.
Free with a suggested $10 donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. You and your family or friends can get a photo with Santa!

Santa at The Mall at Robinson

Nov. 18 to Dec. 24
Mondays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 4 to 7 p.m.
Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 3 to 6 p.m.

Sensitive Santa visits: Reservations required
Nov. 20: 9-11 a.m.
Nov. 27: 9-11 a.m.

Paws with Claus Pet Family Night: Reservations required
Dec. 4: 6-8 p.m.

The Mall at Robinson recommends making a reservation to see Santa. More details here.

Santa at Kennywood Park’s Holiday Lights

Begins Nov. 19 (on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays before Christmas Eve)
Visit with Santa during Holiday Lights. On select nights, add on a dinner with Santa before Holiday Lights begins. More details here.

Photos with Santa at South Hills Village

Nov. 17 through Dec. 24
Make reservations and see the full schedule here.

Photos with Santa at Ross Park Mall

Continues through Dec. 24
Make reservations and see the full schedule here.

Santa’s Workshop at Monroeville Mall

Nov. 23 through Dec. 24
Reservations are recommended but not required. More details here.

Photos with Santa at Beaver Valley Mall

Dec. 1-24
Reservations are requested. Walk-ins are accepted as time permits. More details here.

Photos with Santa at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills

Dec. 1-24
Reservations are requested. Walk-ins are accepted as time permits. More details here.

Santa at Millcreek Mall

Nov. 19 to Dec. 24
Santa will be at the mall’s center court. More details here.

Santa at Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center

Five days between Nov. 25 and Dec. 24
Visit with Santa and see Pittsburgh history. More details here.