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Celebrate the Pittsburgh Holiday Season on a Budget

Free and Cheap Holiday Activities in and Around Pittsburgh


Get in the holiday spirit without dipping into your shopping budget with these free and cheap Pittsburgh area holiday events, festivals, concerts and activities. Most Pittsburgh holiday events featured here are free, though a few do have an admission charge or suggested donation of $7 per person or less.

1. My Macy's Holiday Parade

Downtown Pittsburgh
November 27, 2010
Bring your family to Pittsburgh's 30th annual holiday parade, featuring fabulous floats, music from some of the finest high school bands, equestrian units, drill teams, and some of your favorite radio and TV personalitites. Plus, the much-anticipated arrival of Santa! Free.

2. Spirits of Giving from Around the World

PPG Wintergarden
November 19, 2010 - January 7, 2011
This enchanting display of life-size Santas and original paintings captures a whole world of Christmas folklore and fantasy. While there don't miss the free Gingerbread House and Train Display, also in the Wintergarden. Free.

3. Pittsburgh Crèche

US Steel Plaza
November 19, 2010 - January 8, 2011
A larger-than-life nativity scene, the Pittsburgh Crèche is the world’s only authorized replica of the Vatican’s Christmas crèche on display in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. There are also free concerts and performances on select days and times. Free.

4. Holiday Weekends in Downtown Pittsburgh

Downtown Pittsburgh
Saturdays, November 20 - December 19, 2010
Get in the spirit of the holiday season with special downtown events, promotions, strolling carolers, street performers, and free horse-drawn carriage rides. Held each of the five Saturdays leading up to Christmas. The Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley will get you from place to place in style - also for free!  Free.

5. The Rink at PPG Place

PPG Place
November 19, 2010 - Mid March 2011
This beautiful downtown ice skating rink is larger than the Rockefeller Center rink in New York! Enjoy skating for just $7 per person ($6 for children and seniors), plus a $3 skate rental if necessary. Save money with Tuesday family nights (free child admission for each adult admission) and Wednesday Student ID nights ($3 admission with valid school ID or report card). The PPG rink is open daily, including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Special Santa Skates from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays in December.

6. Nationality Rooms Holiday Open House

Cathedral of Learning, Oakland
December 5, 2010
Enjoy free admission to the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh decorated in traditional fashion with guides in ethnic dress. Traditional holiday performances will occur every 15 minutes. Enjoy ethnic foods and craft demonstrations! On other days admission to the Nationality Rooms is just $3 for adults, and $1 for children.

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