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What To Do In Pittsburgh Over Thanksgiving Break

It’s time. We’ve almost made it to our first break of the semester.

In a blink of an eye, we’re headed home for some necessary time off. No matter how successful, or rough, this semester has been, now’s the chance for much-deserved rest. Whether you’re headed home for the break or traveling to a destination outside of State College, we hope you find some activities that are relaxing and enjoyable.

Some of us are headed back to Pittsburgh to enjoy our fall break from school, and that only means one thing: What is there to do?

Don’t worry — we have a perfectly crafted list of what to do in Pittsburgh over Thanksgiving break.

Events & Attractions

Light Up Night — Saturday, November 19

This is a no-brainer when recommending what to do in holiday-seasoned downtown Pittsburgh. “Light Up Night” has tons of festive activities to keep you entertained. From food to live entertainment to some shopping, there’s something for everybody. The event in its entirety is free! It doesn’t get better than that.

You can park in any of the parking garages downtown for average pricing, especially right before the official lighting of the trees. Make your way to Point State Park, PPG Place, or the corner of Macy’s to welcome the holidays. Be sure to stay for the fireworks, too!

Ice Skating At The Rink At PPG Place

Ice skating is an essential activity in Pittsburgh — we don’t make the rules. PPG Place is placed in the middle of Market Square with a large ice rink and a soon-to-be-lit tree. The ice rink will officially open at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 18. Each skating session is for one hour and 45 minutes. You can purchase pre-paid tickets here. There is also in-person ticketing available, but to beat the line, we recommend purchasing a ticket beforehand.

Pittsburgh Christmas Market

Speaking of Market Square, have you ever seen the most packed Christmas market in downtown Pittsburgh? There’s a stage set up for live events, as well as food, drink, and bakery locations surrounding all of Market Square. The market is full of local small businesses selling their best Pittsburgh merchandise and holiday decor. It’s located right next to PPG Place, so don’t miss out on supporting those vendors.

Phipps Conservatory Holiday Magic

Phipps Conservatory is arguably one of the most beautiful Pittsburgh locations, but it’s in its best form during the holiday season, which starts right before Thanksgiving break. Phipps’ “Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden” opens Friday, November 18. There will be holiday light displays throughout each exhibit, including holiday-themed flowers, plants, and wreaths. You can purchase tickets using this link and utilize the student ticket option.

Concerts & Shows

Les Misérables At The Benedum Center

Broadway is back, baby. Touring shows are finally welcomed into the Benedum Center after a COVID-19 pause. Over break, “Les Misérables,” a 19th-century-based musical, will be featured as one of the multiple shows closing out the 2022-2023 season. You can pick a showing of Les Misérables between Tuesday, November 22, to Sunday, November 27. You can purchase tickets using the link here. There’s available parking in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Charlie Brown Christmas At The Palace Theatre

This show isn’t in downtown Pittsburgh, but it’s certainly a beautiful theater to check out. The Palace Theatre in Greensburg holds so much history and is a truly fancy location to celebrate the break. “Charlie Brown Christmas” is a classic holiday-themed show and will be on stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 26. To buy tickets, you can click here. You can check out The Palace Theatre during the holiday break, as well.


Pittsburgh Steelers

A highly anticipated matchup is ahead for Steelers fans. The Cincinnati Bengals will face the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, November 20. Even though the game’s home, tailgating options are still completely available. If you haven’t checked out the Jerome Bettis Grille, that’s also a total “yinzer” spot. Tickets are on sale if you’d like to attend a Steelers game during this fine Thanksgiving break. Head to Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, StubHub, and other ticketing sites to claim yours.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Here’s a list of home Penguins matchups at PPG Paints Arena:

  • Wednesday, November 23 vs. Calgary Flames
  • Saturday, November 26 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The team is worth the watch, especially with star players Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin still roaming the ice. Even though purchasing tickets for the game would be ideal, there’s always the option to head to an iconic Pittsburgh sports bar, like Primanti Bros or The Yard, and watch with fellow fans.

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About the Author

Larkin Richards

Larkin is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. The only words that leave her mouth are "yinz" and "dippy eggs." Luckily, her writing has much more substance than that. As a Steelers and Pirates fan, sports can become a hot debate. Share your thoughts on dogs (specifically Boston Terriers) with her at: [email protected]

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