things to do in Pittsburgh

10 Pittsburgh events for kids in December that you won’t want to miss

Holiday events take center stage for Pittsburgh families in December. So bundle up the gang and head to enjoy these fun-filled Pittsburgh events for kids in December.

things to do with kids December Pittsburgh
Image courtesy of August Wilson African American Cultural Center.

1. Dec. 4: AWCommunity Day: Holiday Edition, August Wilson African American Cultural Center 

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center hosts the AWCommunity Day: Holiday Edition on Dec. 4. The lineup of family-focused entertainment includes a Kwanzaa celebration and a visit by the jolly man in the red suit. Many activities will be held outside the August Wilson Center on the plaza and sidewalk. Click here to view the final schedule when it is released later this week. Admission is free.

things to do with kids Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Heinz History Center.

2. Now through Dec. 31: A Very Merry Pittsburgh, Heinz History Center

The Heinz History Center revisits A Very Merry Pittsburgh for a holiday season full of nostalgia. If the grandparents live in Pittsburgh, bring them along to add their own memories to the displays of Kaufmann’s Department Store windows and the original Santaland throne. The exhibit includes artifacts and photos of Chanukah and Kwanzaa celebrations, too. Catch a visit with Santa and pose for socially distant photos from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 18. The exhibit is included in museum admission ($18 for grownups; $15 for seniors), but kids are free through the end of December.

Pittsburgh events for kids in December
Image courtesy of Allegheny County Parks.

3. Dec. 1-22: Holiday Laser Show, North Park

Allegheny County’s Holiday Laser Show returns for another season of razzle-dazzle in North Park. Watch from the cozy confines of your car or bring chairs and blankets to view outside. The 45-minute show is synchronized to holiday music; just tune in to 87.9 FM on your car radio. The laser show runs multiple times Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets are $20 per vehicle for Allegheny County residents and $25 for others. Book early to prevent disappointment.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

4. Dec. 3: “A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage,” Byham Theater

Good grief! Charlie Brown is feeling down even though Christmas is coming. Trying to find a deeper meaning to the holidays, he takes up Lucy’s suggestion to direct the school play. Will his scraggly little tree help the Peanuts gang find the true spirit of Christmas? The show includes the classic Vince Guaraldi music and a concert of Christmas carols. Tickets start at $32.

5. Dec 4-19: “Gift of the Ice Queen,” Gemini Theater Company

The creative team at Gemini Theater is excited to offer its first in-person show in a long, long time. With extra precaution in mind, “Gift of the Ice Queen” features a smaller cast and a special production without an intermission to allow time to clean the theater between shows. The story begins when Lumi, Queen of the Ice Fairies, discovers that a villager is stealing her snow. She turns to her goblin pals and fairy friends for help. Tickets are $10 for weekend performances running Dec. 4-19.

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art.

6. Dec. 4-19: Gift Making Workshops, Carnegie Museum of Art

Carnegie Museum of Art educators will help kids create lovely handmade gifts during workshops running on weekends through Dec. 19. The workshops include all the supplies needed, plus inspiration from the museum’s collection. After the workshop, stop by The Café Carnegie for hot chocolate and holiday cookies. The workshop fee of $35 includes museum admission. While on-site and full of holiday spirit, check out the Carnegie Trees in the Hall of Architecture — and the elaborate Neapolitan Presepio, located for the first time in the Scaife Galleries.

Photo by Matt Polk.

7. Dec. 17-23: “A Musical Christmas Carol,” Byham Theater

Richard Thomas returns to Pittsburgh to reprise his role as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Pittsburgh CLO’s annual family favorite. “A Musical Christmas Carol” weaves song and dance, special effects and a touch of holiday magic into Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of redemption. Tickets start at $15.

Image courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters.

8. Dec. 26: Harlem Globetrotters, PPG Paints Arena

Since the team’s first game in 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained families in more than 123 countries and territories around the world. Their newly reimagined Spread the Game Tour amps up the usual jaw-dropping skills and thrills. The Globetrotters head to PPG Paints Arena for two shows on Dec. 26. Tickets start at $31. Add-ons include a VIP Celebrity Court Pass and Player Meet and Greets.

Photo courtesy of The Frick Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of The Frick Pittsburgh.

9. Dec. 28-Jan. 2: Winterfest, Frick Pittsburgh

The Frick Pittsburgh is throwing a six-day outdoor party full of family fun. The inaugural Frick Winterfest includes a temporary ice skating rink outside the Clayton mansion. Families can hop aboard horse-drawn carriages for an old-fashioned tour around the grounds. Plan to catch magical winter appearances of the Frost Fairy with her icy sleigh horse and an enchanted wagon. Soulful carolers will stroll the site and a Frosty Tales storytime is planned for the Playhouse Porch. Some activities require paid tickets. Catch the entire schedule on the Winterfest website.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust_First Night
Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

10. Dec. 31: Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, Downtown

Ring in the new year with family-focused excitement at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. Following last year’s virtual event, First Night returns to a free, in-person festival with safety in mind. The expanded outdoor footprint includes four performance stages, the Family Tent of hands-on fun, the Fire and Ice Plaza and the First Night Parade of giant puppets. The night begins with fireworks for kids with early bedtimes at 6 p.m. and ends with the grand finale fireworks at 11:58 p.m. The complete schedule will be announced in early December.

Looking for more Pittsburgh events for kids in December? Check out our big guide to 32 holiday events you won’t want to miss — many of them free!