What to do in Pittsburgh throughout Thanksgiving Break

While we all absolutely love our time here at State College, most students no doubt have their eyes on the first break of the semester.

When you return to your hometown for Thanksgiving, sleep as much as you can, watch your favorite TV shows, and forget about finals week that is slowly getting closer to us. Still, you will probably want to do something, right?

For those of you traveling back to Pittsburgh, we’ve put together a fun and professional list of what to do downtown.

Events & Attractions

Shining night – Saturday, November 20th

Pittsburgh is holding its first “Light Up Night” in two years. The tradition has lived on in many households since November 21, 1960. This is a highly anticipated event with various locations of food trucks, events, concerts and light ceremonies. For the Light Up event itself, you can sit anywhere downtown to watch the city transform into a wonderland. From PPG Place to the corner of Macy’s, you’ll be fascinated by Pittsburgh’s surroundings. Thankfully, all night is a free event.

Ice skating on the ice rink at PPG Place

Ice skating at The Rink is a rite of passage when you are downtown. With the iconic tree in the middle of the ice rink, you have to live out your winter fantasies about the break. The ice rink will officially open on Friday, November 19, at 11 a.m. You can order tickets online and in advance here. You can also buy tickets when you arrive at the ice rink. As a bonus, there are many different cafes and bakeries around the ice rink.

Phipps Conservatory Christmas Magic

This is a definite must-see on the list. If you had to select something from the list to complete it, it would be this event. Phipps Conservatory on a normal day is beautiful. To add the holiday spirit and decoration it doesn’t get any better. In addition to the beautiful flowers, plants, and wreaths, there is a light show that aids the entire experience. Tickets for the event are on sale today. The great thing about this event is that you can choose any day or time that best fits your schedule.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art

This may seem very obvious now, but there is no holiday reference to either of the recommendations. When in town you have to stop by and see the exhibits in the two museums. They change frequently and offer unique experiences each time you visit. If you’re there as a student, your ID will give you a $ 11.95 discounted ticket. The museums are options to visit no matter what time you are in town. Plus, you can explore Pitt’s territory just one block away.

Concerts & shows

Cirque Dreams Holidayze

Nothing screams the winter season like the performance of Cirque Dreams Holidayze. In Pittsburgh, there are many signs that the holidays are near. The gingerbread houses are on display at PPG Place, the Christmas Village is coming to town, and Cirque Dreams Holidaze is coming. On Friday, November 26th, at 7.30 p.m., the Benedum Center will be in full swing with a Christmas circus tapestry. On Saturday, November 27th, there will be shows at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. You can buy your favorite tickets here.

Strauss Family Favorites – Friday, November 26th & Sunday, November 28th

With Christmas classics on the way, the Pittsburgh Symphony invites incredibly talented performers onto its stage, especially for Thanksgiving weekend waltzes, polka, and more. In the Heinz Hall, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony will perform Strauss favorites alongside 18-year-old Spanish violinist María Dueñas. If you feel like listening to polka or incredible instrumentalists, go ahead and buy tickets here.


Pittsburgh penguins

  • Wednesday November 24th vs. Vancouver Canucks
  • Saturday November 27th against the Montreal Canadians

You can never go wrong with the penguins. When you’re in town, eat, sleep, breathe Pittsburgh Sports. The team brings constant tension, a stacked team and an all-round good time in the PPG Paints Arena. The environment during the games is extremely friendly and makes for a great break activity. Plus, you can finally see Jake Guentzel and Sydney Crosby in person. You can find tickets for the matchups here.

Pittsburgh Steelers

During the break, the Steelers have two away games. The Steelers will be in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 21st. The Steelers will be in Cincinnati the following Sunday, November 28th. Of course, that doesn’t stop the crowd from gathering downtown. Many sports bars will stream the games and serve above-average bar food, including …

  • Primati Bros – Marketplace
  • The yard – Marketplace
  • Municipal utilities – Marketplace
  • Jerome Bettis Grill – North Shore from Stage AE
  • RedBeard’s Bar & Grill – Mount Washington

These places are still top notch to visit with or without a game. Pittsburgh Pride is present all day, so don’t be afraid to show up whenever you want.

Are you going to Philadelphia for the fall break instead? cash our list of events, shows and games in the whole city of brotherly love.

Larkin is third year studying broadcast journalism. The only words that leave their mouth are “yinz” and “dippy egg”. Fortunately, her writing has a lot more substance. As a Steelers and Pirates fan, sports can become a heated debate. Share your thoughts on dogs (especially Boston Terriers) at: [email protected]

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