7. 15th Anniversary Celebration at East End Brewing: December 10-15
It’s been 15 mouth-watering years since East End Brewing Co. poured its first frothy beer. Pittsburgh’s granddaddy of all craft breweries now releases up to 40 beers annually, operates an on-site eatery helmed by James Beard Award-nominated chef Justin Severino and recently launched a cool “You Are Here” can series paying homage to Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods. You’re invited to celebrate these malty milestones when the Larimer-based beer mecca hosts a weeklong blowout. There will be a total tap takeover showcasing libations from Allegheny County’s first 15 breweries, plus surprises and birthday cake.
8. Yinzer Yuletide at the O’Reilly Theater: December 12–22
Add Downtown’s O’Reilly Theater to your list of must-see holiday destinations. Pittsburgh Public Theater’s HQ is unveiling Yinzer Yuletide, a brand-new holiday entertainment experience for Santas and Scrooges alike. Feel warm and fuzzy during “Lights and Legends,” when the stage becomes a cozy living room for WQED celeb Rick Sebak to host eight performances. Showcasing music by Nick Stamatakis and TV clips of holiday lights around Pittsburgh, the sparkling variety show will feature jazz legend Etta Cox, ukulele guru Ben Prisbylla, 7-year-old vocal phenomenon Victory Brinker and others. The merrymaking will also include nostalgic window displays, screenings of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and a love, Pittsburgh gift shop. Buy tickets.
9. Winter Wonderland at Carnegie Museum of Art: December 13, 7-10 p.m.
Put on your holiday best and welcome Old Man Winter with museum-wide activities and entertainment and discover the joy of making holiday gifts by hand. Stamp your own unique wrapping paper, print festive cards with Meshworks Press and craft cool keepsakes with Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. Rock ’round the clock on two dance floors showcasing DJ tunes from Jellyfish and Buscrates, draw elaborately costumed live models and strike a sparkly pose in the LUX Photobooth. The winter wonderland event will also feature special tours of the latest exhibitions. Buy tickets.
10. Highland Park Pottery Tour: December 14 &15, 11a.m.-5 p.m.
Lawrenceville has a Cookie Tour, Downtown has a Gallery Crawl and Dormont has a Pub Crawl, but Highland Park is the hub for handmade pottery and ceramic art. This annual event is your escape from long lines, big box stores and the impersonal experience of ordering online. Instead, stroll through this tree-lined neighborhood to mingle with makers in studios and living rooms, discuss ceramics techniques and share snacks at kitchen counters. You’ll find the perfect new mug, bowl or platter for everyone on your list — and a cherished keepsake for your dwelling. Showcasing 20-plus artists, the tour visits five homes, the Union Project and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
11. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh: December 31, 6 p.m. to midnight
Before you close the book on 2019, celebrate the last day of the year with cultured revelry. A production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the region’s largest arts-focused New Year’s Eve festivities will activate Downtown’s theaters, galleries, streets, outdoor stages and unique public spaces with live music, dance and theater, renowned entertainers, comedy and magic shows and immersive visual art. Don’t miss the dazzling Prismatica ice palace and live music by acclaimed R&B act The Shadowboxers. The vibrant parade with performance groups, art cars and giant Studio Capezzuti puppets will have you dancing your way into 2020. Boasting 100-plus events, including two Zambelli fireworks displays, the merrymaking will culminate with the Countdown to Midnight and raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball.
12. Jesus Christ Superstar at the Benedum: December 31, 7:30 p.m.
So many cool things are turning 50 this year: Woodstock, the Moon landing, “Sesame Street.” Another cultural touchstone to add to this noteworthy list is “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The holiday season is the perfect time to experience this theatrical phenomenon showcasing riveting music and lyrics by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar AND Tony winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The iconic show will be born again via this mesmerizing new production starring Aaron LaVigne in the lead role. You’ll leave belting out uplifting numbers like “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Superstar.” Buy tickets.
Looking for more events and live music? Read our top weekly and weekend events, Pittsburgh’s top 13 kid-friendly events in December and our 2019 holiday shopping guide to the best of local art, crafts and gifts.