How to Spend the Holidays Downtown

Sydney Andrews, Author & Editor

‘Tis the season to find something everyone will enjoy downtown. However, living in ‘The Bubble’ can make it hard to find new activities around town to join in on. So, let me highlight some events happening downtown this year. With these activities I’ve listed down below it will surely be a great holiday break to remember! 

Phipps Conservatory Holiday Magic Winter Flower Show (during the month of December only): There will be lights all over the conservatory, and flowers are all on display for everyone to see. Ticket prices are listed below. The tickets can be bought online or at the conservatory itself.


-$17.95 for adults

-$16.95 for students and seniors

-$11.95 for children (ages 2-18)

-Kids under 2 are FREE


Winter Flower Show: 9:30 am – 11:00 pm

Winter Light Garden: 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Phipps Conservatory will be closed on December 24th at 5 pm and December 25th (ALL DAY)

Peoples Gas Holiday Market (from now until December 23rd): This market has a lot of gifts and and high-quality treasures for sale. In the market there is also live entertainment. Also, kids won’t get bored due to the market having pictures with Santa. 


Monday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh (December 31st to January 1st): This celebration is one of the biggest in this region. It starts at 6pm and goes until midnight. The six hours of celebrating can be filled with going to the theatres, galleries, and the open performance areas on the street in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. 

Ice Skating at PPG Place: From today until March 1st citizens can skate around the beautiful tall Christmas tree. Times and ticket prices are listed down below. This rink is very popular due to the beautiful views all around the rink. A perfect way to warm up is right beside the rink in the PPG building. The Gingerbread House Display is held there during the day for everyone to come and see, more information is down below about the displays.


-Adults (13-49 years):$10.00

-Children: (through the age of 12):$9.00

-Seniors: (50+):$9.00

-Skate rental:$4.00

Holiday Hours (November 22-January 1):

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to Midnight

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Winter Hours (January 2-March 1):

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Gingerbread House Display: The Gingerbread House competition benefits the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund. Organizations, families, students, chefs, and individuals donate their gingerbread masterpieces to go on display until early January. 

Kennywood’s Holiday Lights (December 13th to December 22nd, December 26th-30th as well): The show will be open from 5pm-9pm. The whole park will light up with holiday spirit. People can walk around and enjoy themselves while admiring the beautiful lights hung up around the gigantic park. Rides are still open, mostly the classics are the ones attendees are able to ride. There are petting zoos, pictures with Santa, model train displays, cookie decorating, and holiday treats for everyone to enjoy.


-Holiday Lights Pass: $28.00

-Admission: $19.49

-Group Admission: $17.00 (groups of 10 or more)

To conclude, there is so much to do downtown during this time of year. Have a great break Hampton and Happy Holidays from all of us at the Hamptonian.