Celebrate the Holiday Season in Downtown Pittsburgh

Ice skating around a Christmas tree in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh puts on the lights during the holiday season! With the Christmas Market, Santas Around the World and just to take in the holiday displays and lights, there’s a lot to see and do in downtown Pittsburgh.

The holiday season reminds us how important it is to discover joy in our lives, our families and friends, and in our communities. Strolling around downtown Pittsburgh will definitely bring you some childlike joy!

The Christmas Market Is All About the Holiday Season

It’s not hard to imagine you’re in a city in Europe when you stroll Pittsburgh’s Christmas Market, sponsored by People’s Gas. Cobble-stone streets immediately surround the market square, and the PPG building looks like a modern-day crystal castle!

In addition, Alpine-style wooden chalet stands fill Market Square. Inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkt), the Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ is a Pittsburgh institution every holiday season.

Grab a dinner at a local restaurant and then go shop the market, which gathers global artisans and local makers to help you fill the stockings on your list.

Santas Around the World

What is the holiday season without Santa? Santas Around the World is an enchanting display of life-size Santas depicting Christmas folklore and fantasy around the world. It was really fun learning about the different cultures and comparing the American version of Santa with other countries’ depictions.

The display of 16 Santas explores the Christmas traditions of Ireland, America, Haiti, China, South America, Africa, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Italy and more!

Which is your favorite?

City Lights During the Holiday Season

City lights are always beautiful, but downtown Pittsburgh really comes alive during the holiday season. In addition to the bridges that are lighted and just the shimmering city lights, you should check out the Highmark Christmas Tree! This Christmas tree clings to the former landmark, Horne’s Department Store and is 100 feet tall.

In PPG Plaza stands the 66-foot tall, psychedelic, dazzling UPMC Ultimate Christmas Tree. Surrounded by ice rink for ice skaters circling it, the tree’s more than 100 thousand LED lights put on light shows in sync with holiday music. We were mesmerized and just watched it and the skaters.

Know Before You Go

The best way to get to downtown Pittsburgh during the holiday season is via public transit, although if you’re close enough, it’s certainly bikeable and walkable. Of course, if you must drive, street parking is free on Sundays and after 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at metered spaces. Make it easier on yourself by using the Go Mobile app to find on-street parking and to pay for it.

Getting there: Market Square is the center of the activities and is easily GPSable. Santas Around the World display is at 1 and 2 PPG Place Lobbies.

  • The Christmas Market is open Nov. 18-Dec. 23, 2022.
  • Ice skating is available November 18 2022 – January 8 2023; Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – midnight.
  • Santas Around the World November 18 – New Years Day; Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

The dates and times may change annually, so check the websites below.
Websites: Ice-skating; Christmas Market

Can’t get enough of the holidays? Add these great holiday season activities to your bucket list! 

There are a bunch of fun things to see and do in Pittsburgh. Check out the articles to discover great things to see and do!