It's Christmas Time in the City

Living in downtown Pittsburgh, as I have mentioned before, is an experience that I treasure dearly. And being able to do so during this time of Renaissance for the city is something I will remember forever. Here are some great activities going on around downtown that your whole family can cherish and take part in during this final week before Christmas.

Logo credit: Peoples Holiday Market.
This year marks the 1st Annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market, right here in Market Square. The Holiday Market was inspired by the original Christkindlemarket created in 1545 in Nuremberg, Germany and the Christkindlmarket in Chicago, and it is quite the little treat in the city. I love walking through the square everyday and now that it's filled with European-styled wooden chalets with different handmade crafts inside each one, I am just in awe by these beautiful products each time I walk through. This is just such a breath of fresh air (literally, because you're outside) from the rushed feel of the malls and major chain stores during the time of year that is supposed to be the most peaceful. Also, the Holiday Market features music and dance talents from around the area each day and is honestly the perfect place to pick up some last minute gifts for anyone on your list. The Market, which of course has special gifts and performers also has Santa's House to meet and give Santa your child's finely edited, last-minute wish list and is open seven days a week until December 23rd.

While your family can also enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides and ice skating at PPG Place, don't forget about also stepping inside for a minute to get warm, and to see the Spirits of Giving Around the World Exhibit and the 10th Annual Gingerbread House and Train Display. The Spirits of Giving Around the World is so interesting to see and read about how different nations celebrate Christmas and how Santa Clause looks (and what his name is) in each of those places. The gingerbread houses are made by local groups and divided up and awarded by age and has become my favorite part of Christmas time in Pittsburgh because I love the creativity displayed by the kids who make these houses.

Photo credit: Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.
Also going on downtown until December 30th is a holiday favorite, presented by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. I'm sure you can guess that I'm talking about The Nutcracker, going on now at Benedum Center. And just across the Monongahela River from downtown at the Gateway Clipper Fleet are Santa Fun cruises on December 22nd and 23rd. These cruises are great for the whole family, especially your youngest Christmas lovers because multiple characters, along with Santa himself, ride the boat filled with toys, balloons, pictures, ornaments and other treats for a great afternoon along the rivers.

Whatever your plans are, try to make it to the city for one or more of these great events! Everything going on now is family friendly and gives you a wonderful reason to come out and enjoy this beautiful city. Even if you just decide to walk around downtown, you will not be disappointed. The city is so gorgeous right now with Christmas lights and decorations all over and is really a sight to see ans enjoy.


  1. I wish I had read this on Saturday! We went downtown for the Market, and then were looking for more to do. I didn't know about the gingerbread houses and train display, we would have loved that!

    1. Awe Lindsey! If you cannot make it back down again then you have to make sure you check out the houses next year! They get better every year - the kids are seriously so creative.


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