Calling Pittsburgh Home for the Holidays?

by Mia Gurgiolo

It’s that time of the year again and you might be bummed out thinking, “I can’t make it home for the holidays, I am stuck in Pittsburgh, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!” Well AmeriCorps leaves no member out in the cold! Need a warm dinner? Reach out to your fellow AmeriCorps members who are local ‘yinzers’ and allow them to show you some Pittsburgh Holiday Spirit! is a guide to a variety of events in and around Pittsburgh. The site includes a free and affordable holiday events guide that is growing daily.’s list of free and low-cost holiday events and happenings can be searched by neighborhood or date, making it easy for you to find events close by!
Ice skating in Pittsburgh ( is an affordable way to spend the day and get a little winter exercise in the process. Enjoy skating with Santa at Schenley Park. It’s an affordable and unique activity in Pittsburgh this holiday season. Don’t know how to skate? Learn for free with free skating lessons.  Ice skating tips, cartoon videos, refreshments and music are also available for an incredibly affordable price.
Kelly Strayhorn Theater Holiday Bazaar ( is open to the public at no charge. Visitors are invited to shop handmade items by local artisans, satisfy their sweet tooth with vegan baked goods and treats, and tap into their creative side with art for all tastes. The second annual Holiday Bazaar features independent artisans selling unique crafts and goods.
Every Saturday starting November 19 and running through December 17, the Fifth Avenue Place Holley Trolley will be cycling through Downtown stopping at each stop approximately every 15 minutes. Trolley rides are FREE! The trolley runs from 11am until 5pm.
Trolley stops include:

  • Fifth Avenue Place
  • One Oxford Center
  • Market Square
  • US Steel Tower (Crèche)
  • The Rink at PPG Place

The Pittsburgh Opera 2011-2012 FREE SEASON! ( Proving to our city that high caliber culture doesn’t always have to come with high ticket prices. “As part of our ongoing mission to enrich Pittsburgh and the Tri-State area, Pittsburgh Opera strives to make opera intellectually and financially accessible to a diverse audience, offering both high quality opera productions and several free community events throughout the season.”

Fifth Avenue Place ( – FREE Parking on Evenings & Weekends! Friday, November 25 – Saturday, December 24 Monday – Friday: Evenings ONLY (Enter after 4 pm)
Enjoy FREE Parking with any $20 Fifth Avenue Place retail purchase in the Fifth Avenue Place Garage on Evenings (enter after 4pm) and Weekends.
Gift Wrap Express – Monday, November 28 – Saturday, December 24
Holiday Lunchtime Concert Series – Monday, November 28 – Friday, December 23 • 12 pm daily
Celebrate the season with music! Enjoy a variety of local performers playing your favorite holiday carols and songs during the Lunchtime Concert Series. Grab lunch in the Fifth Avenue Place Food Court and listen to the sounds of the season!
Make-A-Wish and Wish 99.7 FM Light Up A Child’s Life Campaign – Friday, December 16 and Monday – Tuesday, December 19-20 ~ 6 – 9 a.m.
Help make a child’s wish come true this holiday season!  Stop by Fifth Avenue Place for the annual Make-A-Wish fundraiser with WISH Radio.  Ron Antill and representatives from Make-A-Wish will be broadcasting live from 6 – 9 a.m. in Center Court, collecting donations and raising awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Creation Station – FREE Saturday Holiday Activities
A Christmas Carol Journey – Saturday, December 17 ~ 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Venture into this beloved Dickens classic with activities from the past, present and future.  Create a Time Capsule with your best memories of holidays past.  “Strike A Pose” and snap a photo ~ all with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
First Night 2012 – Saturday, December 31
Ring in the New Year at the biggest family–friendly celebration in the region – First Night and the raising of the “Future of Pittsburgh” Ball. Check back for details in coming weeks! For more information, visit

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