Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December
Our ultimate weekend guide contains 156 unique recommendations of things to do in Pittsburgh in order to help you explore the city every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the year (one for each day). With each recommendation, we've also hand selected nearby restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops you may wish to visit while you're in the neighborhood if you have more time!
As always, please keep in mind that our weekend recommendations may vary based on season and typical event schedules. Exact dates and operating hours should be confirmed prior to any visit.
For more information on all recommendations, click through to our full articles or the businesses' websites for more information!
Maggie's Farm Rum
You likely know about Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh's award winning whiskey distillery, but do you know we have a rum distillery that has been racking up the medals in national contests?
Maggie's Farm Rum is located just a few blocks away from Wigle in the Strip District, and is doing for rum what Wigle has done for whiskey. Even better? The cocktails that Maggie's makes are mostly what we would call boat drinks, and are some of the most delicious we've had in the city.
A winning combo if we've ever seen one.
Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland in Butler
One of the region's newest Christmas traditions is Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland at the Butler County Fairgrounds.
This three-mile drive lights up the fairgrounds from mid-November until early January and uses cutting-edge technology produce the most impressive Christmas light and music shows you'll see this season. Just be sure to load your car up with friends and family as this one is priced by the car load!
Pittsburgh's National Aviary is one of the best in the country, and was recognized by Congress as the country's national aviary in 1993.
This non-profit features several walk-through biospheres where you can get up-close-and-personal to the birds in their own natural habitat.
East End Brewery
East End Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in Pittsburgh's craft beer revival, and their east side location is always worth a visit for staples like Big Hop, Monkey Boy, and whatever new creation the team has on tap.
If you want to stick a bit closer to downtown, check out their Strip District tap room too!
After your round at East End Brewery head over to Mellon Park for their incredible memorial that can only be seen at night.
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall
Oakland's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall is often appreciated on the outside for its beautiful architecture. But did you know the inside contains a museum focusing on some of the unique aspects of war such as the development of technology and the effects of war on society? Do yourself a favor and check this one out on an upcoming Saturday!
Fall Run Park
Fall Run Park in Glenshaw, PA (off of Route 8), is not your typical park, and is most certainly not the kind of place you'd see recommended for an end of year visit.
But there is a reason for why we saved this one for later in the year- this park's unique location lends itself to being a prime spot for several waterfalls if you can time your visit right.
Step one is visiting immediately after periods of high rain (or snow melt) and step two is visiting when the leaves are off the trees to prevent an obstruction in the view!
There is a central waterfall here for those who want to visit any time of the year (rain dependent, of course), but if the weather cooperates and a big rain storm or snow melt occurs later in the year more waterfalls have the potential to pop up!
Rivertowne Brewery's main facility is located in Export, PA, but they have a tap room right in the heart of the North Shore next to PNC Park.
Although baseball season may be over by December, you can still get some crowd favorites found at the ballpark such as the Halakahiki Pineapple Ale (one of our favorite ballpark beers) or simply some great bar food to go with your round(s) of beer.
We return downtown on this Saturday to focus entirely on the Pittsburgh Christmas Market– the annual holiday tradition that turns Market Square into a beautiful marketplace full of handcrafted wares, festive cuisine, live music, and even a place to meet Santa Claus.
Be sure to head over to PPG's Wintergarden to explore more beautiful holiday decorations!
The Model Railroad Museum
The Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum is an attraction well worth the visit during its brief operation from mid-November to early-January. This museum in Gibsonia is home to one of the largest model train exhibits in the region, which features the train journey from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, as it was in the 1950s. Head on up on this Sunday to check it all out and see how many landmarks you can spot!
On your way back in to Pittsburgh be sure to stop at Casa Narcisi for a glass or two of wine!
Performance at the August Wilson Center
The August Wilson Center in downtown Pittsburgh is an intimate performing arts venue with multiple spaces for live performances, concerts, readings, and other shows.
Unlike other venues, however, most of the performances here are one night only so plan your visit accordingly!
Voodoo Brewery in Homestead has an amazing beer lineup including White Magick of the Sun (a spiced Belgian wheat) and KillaPilz (a hoppy lager) as well as numerous rotating seasonal selections, making this brewery one you'll want to return to many times throughout the year.
And with many food truck rallies and their own personal food truck, Foodoo, on-site, you'll never go hungry either!
Phipps Winter Flower Show
We featured Phipps early on in this guide for their Spring Flower Show, and they get a rare second listing during the Christmas season as the conservatory goes all out with their annual Winter Flower Show which even includes a night time light display in their outdoor gardens!
Centrally located in Lawrenceville, Roundabout Brewery is the perfect spot for beer lovers as you can easily pop in for a drink, stay a while if you like, and have the thriving neighborhood of Lawrenceville right at your fingertips.
But if you're like us, you'll probably get lost in the beer on your first visit!
New Hazlett Theater
The New Hazlett Theater is all about the community supported arts, hearkening back to the days of Andrew Carnegie when this building was his flagship theater and also the location of one of the first of many Carnegie libraries.
For some reason we have to think Carnegie would approve of the independent theater that goes on here, and we think you should check out this gem of a location on an upcoming Saturday for a show!
Is there any better way to wind up a year than by ice skating? Winter has just begun, the city is getting colder, and Christmas is still in the air.
So head out to one of the many Pittsburgh ice skating rinks, such as Schenley Park or the rink at PPG Place, to enjoy the winter season before ringing in the new year!
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