From an owl prowl to a holiday ice show, 11 things to do in and around Pittsburgh this weekend

On the first official weekend of December, you’ll find so many things to do in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Our big holiday events roundup can be found here, and we also have the scoop on sensory-friendly events happening all around town.   

Check out some of the top-notch holiday happenings for this weekend:

Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3: Canonsburgh’s Old Fashioned Christmas, various times

This two-day holiday event has been named by VisitPA as Pennsylvania’s most “Hallmark Movie-esque” location. Come visit Christmas in a bygone era. There’s a tree lighting, parade, skating rink, gift market, and of course – Santa himself. This event is free

things to do in Pittsburgh
Christmas in Canonsburg.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Open Studio at the Children’s Museum Youth Media Center, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the Children’s Museum’s Youth Media Center, students in grades 6-12 are eligible to participate in this free program for those interested in media and content creation. There are recording studios, media stations, books, games and more. This is a drop-in program that occurs frequently. Please register here and learn more about Open Studio here.

things to do in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of SLB Radio.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Global Links Volunteer Days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Give the gift of health this holiday season by joining Global Links for their family volunteer days. One of the best ways to get in the giving spirit of the season is to volunteer with your kids. At this event, your family will learn about Global Links’ mission and help the team sort and pack medical supplies to improve healthcare in communities in need. Activities are designed for children of all ages. There are two sessions, so please register here

Saturday, Dec. 3: “The Polar Express” at The Strand Theater, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Join Glade Run Lutheran Services for their annual showing of “The Polar Express” at this historic theater in Zelienople. Guests are encouraged to show up in pajamas to watch the movie, enjoy hot cocoa, and visit with Santa. This event is free, but a gift card or new toy donation is requested at the door. This event requires a reservation. Reserve seats by calling Cheryl Martin at 724-452-4453 x1277 or by email at

Saturday, Dec. 3: Santa Visits at McCoy Log Cabin, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

At the Little Beaver Museum, families are welcome to this free event in a historic log cabin. Santa will be waiting beside a crackling fireplace to hear holiday wishes and pose for photos. This event is courtesy of the Little Beaver Historical Society. 

Saturday, Dec. 3: Light Up Bellevue and Avalon, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

These neighboring communities are hosting a joint holiday event with activities all along their shared main street. There will be storytime, photos with Santa, cookie decorating, carriage rides, and many other family events. Most activities are free. Find more information here

Saturday, Dec. 3: Owl Prowl at Buffalo Creek Nature Park, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Join the naturalists of the Audobon Society of Western Pennsylvania at Buffalo Creek Nature Park in Freeport to learn about local owls after dark. Kids of all ages can search for these nocturnal birds, but they need to be able to bring their quiet voices. This event is entirely outdoors. Registration is required. Cost is $12 per person or $8 for Audubon Society members. 

Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4: Christmas in Wonderland Ice Show, 1 p.m.

Come to the Robert Morris University ice complex to experience a magical holiday journey with Alice,  the White Rabbit and their Wonderland friends as they travel to the Holiday Tea Party. Skating performances showcasing the talents of many local figure skating teams. There is an open skate following the show with cast members for all interested audience members. Tickets here

Sunday, Dec. 4: Kate’s Kids Book Bash, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

This free book festival happening at the Kingsley Association will feature 25 children’s authors and illustrators signing their books and meeting with kids and families. Book sales by Riverstone Bookstore’s pop-up shop. Crafts, story times, and not one, but two, dogs. Find out more details about this free event here

Sunday, Dec. 4: Cookies With Santa at Round Hill Park, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Lots of kids love Santa – and cookies, too. Families will find both of these at Round Hill Park this weekend when the big guy himself makes an appearance. This Santa session includes hands-on crafts, and Round Hill features an exhibition farm with animals that is open year-round. So make a day of it! Registration is free. 

Sunday, Dec.4: Open House at the Nationality and Heritage Rooms, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Nationality and Heritage Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning are decorated for the holiday season once again. Guests can explore the traditions of each culture, make traditional crafts, watch cultural demonstrations and even see St. Nicholas! This event is free, but gifts and foods will be available for purchase.

Looking for more holiday things to do in Pittsburgh? Check out our guide to holiday lights displays you won’t want to miss during the holidays and sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.