Here are the events that will make your December shine all month long in Pittsburgh.
1. Carnegie Trees Opening at Carnegie Museum of Art: December 4, 5:30-9 p.m.
Ohhh, Tannenbaum is right. Step into Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Architecture to be surrounded by towering evergreens decked out to the max. This year’s handcrafted ornaments are inspired by artworks from the museum’s world-renowned collection — including Jean-Theodore Dupas’ glistening relief sculpture, “The Chariot of Aurora.” Amidst the trees, you’ll find the exquisite Neapolitan presepio handcrafted between 1700 and 1830. Filled with lifelike figures, the Nativity is part of a panorama of 18th-century Italian village life. Don’t miss the unveiling of this beloved tradition, where you’ll get a first look and enjoy a festive cocktail reception. Buy tickets.
2. TEDxPittsburgh Women at the Roxian Theatre: December 5, 6-9:30 p.m.
Artist and activist Swoon. Word Cup champion Meghan Klingenberg. Aging expert Aditi Gurkar. These are just a few of the inspiring thinkers who will rock the Rocks when TEDxPittsburgh Women sets up shop at the beautifully restored Roxian. Dubbed “bold and brilliant,” the event offers talks and performances, innovation showcases and plenty of fruitful connecting. Seven women will take the mic to share ideas touching on everything from scientific research and equitable pay to social justice. You’ll leave ignited by thought-provoking ideas, groundbreaking research and artistic voices. View a list of speakers and performers and buy tickets here.
3. Star Wars After Dark at Carnegie Museum of Natural History: December 6, 6-11 p.m.
Counting down the days until “The Rise of Skywalker” opens in theaters Dec. 20? Pre-game the cinematic event when one of the country’s top natural history museums stays open extra late. Move over Darth and Leia, it’s Dippy’s time to strike back! Hunt for kyber crystals in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems, brave a Hoth-like Polar World and discover what Wookiees have in common with the museum’s miraculous mammals. Then sip cantina cocktails while helping solve important mysteries: Is Jabba the Hutt a mollusk, or what? Cosmic costumes are highly encouraged. Buy tickets.
4. Handmade Arcade at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: December 6 & 7
Handmade Arcade’s been on the cutting edge of craft for 15 years. Pittsburgh’s premier maker fair is a holiday tradition for lovers of all things handmade. Last year, folks spent $400,000+ supporting craft artists from this region and around the country. If you haven’t been to this yuletide shop-small extravaganza, now’s the time to remedy that. You’ll score accessories, artwork, bath and body products, clothing, children’s goods, home décor, jewelry, pet-friendly gifts, glassware and lots of other wares you can’t find at the mall. To beat the crowds, don’t miss the ticketed Friday Night Preview Party and Early Birdie Shopping Hour. (By Kristy Locklin)
5. The Joy of Cookies in Lawrenceville: December 6-8
Visions of a mile-and-a-half-long cookie table will soon be dancing in your head. This is one weekend when you should fill up on dessert. Lawrenceville’s beloved Joy of Cookies Tour is back, so nibble your way through 41 eclectic businesses where you can sample home-baked cookies and pick up recipes to add to your holiday menu. Spanning the 5500 block of Butler St. and portions of Penn Ave. and 34th St., the festivities include a tree lighting ceremony, visits with Santa and even a Cookie Mall. Refuel with lunch, cocktails or coffee at one of the 12 “Take-A-Break stops” or hop on the trolley for a lift.
6. Yinzer Scrooged: A Pittsburgh Christmas Carol at Bricolage Production Company: December 6-8
Drop that digital device and experience live radio right before your very eyes and ears. In the Midnight Radio playbook, Charles Dickens’ iconic 1843 novella is set in present-day Pittsburgh, and it’s a riot. Imagine Andrew Carnegie as Jacob Marley, Fred Rogers as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Lena Horne as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Along with loads of LOL scenes, the cheeky sendup will showcase retro Foley sound effects, commercial spoofs and vocal acrobatics presented in a signature 1940s-style radio format. Adapted by Bricolage co-founder Tami Dixon, this year’s production features an updated script and several brand-new cast members. Buy tickets.