light up night

Your Pittsburgh weekend fun guide: Light Up Night, plus many free and affordable events

This is it — the weekend when the city gets its jingle on and launches the holiday season. We have a whole guide to Light Up Night right here, but if you’re looking for something else to do this weekend, we’ve got you covered for that, too.

Friday, Nov. 17 – Saturday, Nov. 18: Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night Celebration

Beginning Friday night and continuing through Saturday, there are tons of family happenings Downtown, from the Holiday Market in Market Square to fireworks off the Point Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. The full list of activities can be found here — and most of them are totally free. Note: Santa is not at Market Square until after Thanksgiving.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Friday, Nov. 17: Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden Opening, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

This year’s “Season’s Greening” theme highlights the beauty of the season with lush decorations, beautifully arranged poinsettias and eye-catching lights. Timed tickets are required.

Friday, Nov. 17: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at Heinz Hall, 7 p.m.

Watch a screening of Disney’s holiday classic “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with Grammy-winning composer Danny Elfman’s musical score performed live to the film. Tickets are $35-$110.

Courtesy of Disney.

Friday, Nov. 17: Winter Lights Illumination Night at Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 7 p.m.

It’s time for an evening of classic winter cheer. This event is free and appropriate for all ages. There will be warm drinks for kids and adults as well as ice carving, gingerbread art, s’mores, and lots more fun. Find full event details here.

Saturday, Nov. 18: Seasonal Opening of Carnegie Trees at CMOA, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This festive display of decorated trees in the Hall of Art has been happening since 1961 — and never fails to wow kids and adults alike. The theme for 2023 is Wintry Days & Frosty Nights, and ornaments are handmade each season to match the current theme. This event is included with museum admission and will be open through Jan. 7.

Saturday, Nov. 18: Animal Friends Therapet visit at CLP Lawrenceville, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Come out to the Lawrenceville location of the Carnegie Library to meet a certfied Therapet. Pets can provide calming and regulation for kids, and these ones are trained to be particularly kind and gentle. Find all the details to this free event here.

Saturday, Nov. 18: Moonshot Museum presents Pittsburgh to the Moon at CLP, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Come meet the scientists at Moonshot Museum as they talk about the robots they are building right here in Pittsburgh that will go to the moon. Get up close and personal with some of the tech and learn about the many careers and jobs there will be in space. This event is free.

Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Saturday, Nov. 18: Oakmont’s Hometown Christmas, 3 p.m.

Beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oakmont will become a winter wonderland. There will be Christmas movies on a big screen, a parade and visits with the big man himself at 5 p.m. Treats will be available from the famous Oakmont Bakery. Find all the details here.

Sunday, Nov. 19: Afternoon of Enchantment from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Spend an enchanting afternoon in a winter wonderland learning to dance like a snowflake and craft some holiday magic. There’s also a performance of excerpts from The Nutcracker from PBT School Pre-Professional rising stars. There will be a photo booth and plenty of activities. Two sessions are offered. Tickets begin at $10 and you can register here.

Sunday, Nov. 19: Giving Thanks on the Frontier, Oliver Miller Homestead, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Celebrate bounty and blessings with 18th-century traditional foods and festivities that will be presented as the Millers would have known them. Admission is $2.

Courtesy of Oliver Miller Homestead.

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