The Downtown Blog

The official blog of Downtown Pittsburgh. Read up on what's new, what's happening, and what stories are being told in the neighborhood.

Things to Do

Ways to Stay Warm Downtown

Monday, December 6, 2021

Stay merry and bright even during the cold winter days with the help of Downtown businesses and happenings! Put on your coziest sweater and find everything from holiday pop-up bars, to holiday shopping, fun events, and new menu items to stay warm in Downtown.


Arcade Comedy

Stay inside and share some laughs with Arcade Comedy! Join them for a whole lineup of shows all through the season including Bracket Night: Best Holiday Song, Knights of the Arcade: Epic D&D Holiday Adventure, and Comedian Joe Kwaczala.

Harris Theater

Get out of the cold and watch a movie in theaters again at Harris Theater! It’s BYOB, so bring your favorite beverage and stock up on snacks at the concession stand. View the current and upcoming film screenings and showtimes here.

Cultural Trust’s Free Art Galleries

Take your time warming up while exploring the Cultural Trust’s free art exhibits. Exhibited for the first time in Pittsburgh, Among Women: Contemporary Art from Serbia presents the work of eleven female artists who are deeply connected to Belgrade, Serbia. From the work of Matthew Schreiber, explore two floors, and three new installations at Wood Street Galleries, incorporating all of these media intertwined with physics, technology, and the exploration of perception.

Discover the Cultural Trust’s newest exhibits, For Tonight It’s Everything and InVisible, an art exhibition centered on mental health from the Black perspective featuring painting, sculpture, performance, multimedia installations, and poetry by 12 artists.

Black Market: Holiday Edition | December 11 & 12

The Black Market: Holiday Edition is a pop-up market that supports and showcases Black-owned businesses from around the region. Find a variety of vendors to ship from, including /blis/ 23 Candle Co. for warm scents like Sweater Weather and Cozy Vibes.

Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ | Open Daily through Thursday, December 23

Shop from more vendors than ever before as you stroll through an illuminated Market Square at the tenth annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market™, weaving through wooden chalets brimming with high-quality gifts and holiday experiences uniquely filled with international flair and local charm. Find fresh baked goods, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider from Helmut’s Strudel, and handmade wool, felt and paper products from Nepal from Himala Home.

Highmark Holiday Pops | Friday, December 10 – Sunday, December 19

Share Pittsburgh’s favorite holiday musical tradition with family, and thrill to the spectacle of the season. It’s a sparkling celebration of carols, classics, sing-alongs and more! And yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus!

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre The Nutcracker | Friday, December 10 – Wednesday, December 29

Snow settles on the Steel City as a wonderful adventure begins in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker. Join Marie, her Nutcracker prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy on a journey into the Land of Enchantment. Five fanciful scenes, over 150 unique costumes and Tchaikovsky’s enduring score make The Nutcracker a can’t-miss holiday tradition.

Carnegie Library Book Club | Wednesday, December 15 from 12 – 1 p.m.

Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Downtown for a lively book discussion. There’s no better way to pass the time on a cold winter day than snuggled up with a good book. Contact the library to learn about upcoming titles.

Quick Stops

Adda Coffee & Tea House

The Holiday Blend is brewing, a must-try from Verve Coffee! This year, it’s a blend of coffees from Ethiopia, Colombia, and Indonesia, the perfect combination of cozy and chocolatey with light citrus hints.

Creative Coffee Supply

Cozy up with a hot cup of coffee and try the S’mores Latte. Want to enjoy at home? Shop unique flavors like Cherry & Dark Chocolate in the Colombian Risaralda.

De Fer Coffee & Tea | Market Street Grocery

Enjoy seasonal drink specials and holiday sample packs on whole bean coffee at De Fer Coffee & Tea, located inside Market Street Grocery in Market Square. Try their Hot Toddy, made with Maggie’s Farm Dark Rum, cinnamon, honey, clove, lemon, hot water, that’s guaranteed to warm you up on a cold day. With the Downtown Edge Card, enjoy one free espresso, coffee, or tea drink with your purchase of a bag of whole bean coffee. At Market Street Grocery, find to-go kits for easy gourmet dinners and new wines just in time for the holiday season!

Gasoline Street Coffee

Just in time for the holidays, the delicious, cozy, Apple Pie latte! Made with one shot of espresso, sweet caramel sauce, creamy oat milk, and a dash of crisp apple cider.

The Milkshake Factory

It’s peppermint season! Find new seasonal flavors of gourmet milkshakes like Candy Cane, Peppermint Cookies & Cream, and Hot Fudge Peppermint Brownie. Want something warm? Try their Signature Hot Chocolate or pour it over vanilla ice cream with their Hot Chocolate Float.

Nicholas Coffee & Tea

Shop seasonal products like Stash Holiday Chai made with warm gingerbread and sweet rum flavors, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, Bigelow Peppermint Bark, and more. Want to spread the holiday cheer? Get free shipping when you spend $60 or more!

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

Rock ‘N’ Joe Coffee

Rock your way and choose from a selection for hot, iced, or frozen espresso drinks like the Gingerbread Latte and an old favorite, the Cinnamon Bun Latte. Use your Downtown Edge Card to take 10% off your order through December 31, 2021

The Speckled Egg

Get cozy at The Speckled Egg inside the Union Trust Building and start your day with a satisfying brunch, or stop by after work and sip on After-Work Cocktails during their Happy Hour from 4 – 7 p.m. Try their wintery drinks like A Persimmon Falls, Irish Coffee, and I’m Your Huckleberry! And, all season long, everyone who stops by can enter to win a Speckled Egg swag bag at the December 23rd holiday hat drawing.

Outdoor Dining & Winter Wonderlands

Bridges & Bourbon

Bridges & Bourbon’s 2021 holiday cocktail is here, served with a unique flair! The Cure for the Relatives is as simple as vodka, ginger liquer, rosemary, agave, lemon, and white cranberry.

Il Tetto at Sienna Mercato

Il Tetto offers 32 drafts, cocktails, wine, and light fare while boasting one of the best and most unique views of downtown Pittsburgh. The retractable glass roof allows Il Tetto to be open year-round so you can enjoy the rooftop while staying warm! Il Tetto is also taking reservations to book your holiday event at the coolest spot in the Burgh. Make your reservations now!

Redbeard’s On Sixth

Don’t miss out on Mountain Man’s Watering Hole at Redbeard’s On Sixth! The watering hole will be open every day, every week during the holiday season, offering warm drinks like a Hot Toddy and Mountain Mulled Wine in a Redbeard’s thermal cup and even Tees and Hoodies to keep you warm!


Sip on special seasonal cocktails like the Cranberry Frozen Spiced Daiquiri or the Smoked Pear & Ginger Margarita. Sit inside or outside as the instagrammable outdoor dining igloos will return with an upgraded patio and new designs to make mini-gatherings extra special this winter!

Kimpton Hotel Monaco

Whether you need a staycation or have been dreaming of just getting away this holiday season, Kimpton Hotel Monaco has put together some holiday packages and events nearby to get you inspired. Get an all-in holiday experience with the Suite, Drink, and Be Merry package that includes a fully decorated one bedroom suite, two welcome cocktails and a holiday treat from the chef! This holiday season, order The Commoner Burger and help support No Kid Hungry. For every burger sold, The Commoner will donate a portion of the proceeds. The Commoner will also be doing a 3 course dinner for Christmas and will be open from 5 – 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. for brunch and from 4 – 8 p.m. for dinner on Christmas Day.

Magical Pop-Up Bars

Miracle on Liberty | Open Daily through Friday, December 31

Stop into Miracle on Liberty, a holiday-themed pop-up bar, for festive cocktails to get into the holiday spirit!

Jingle Bar

Do you hear what I hear? The Jingle Bar is back, in place of NOLA on the Square in Market Square! Sleigh All Day with apple cider, prosecco, cinnamon and spice, or take a Christmas Vacation with jagermeister cold brew, coconut, pineapple, and citrus.

Tinsel Town at Harris Grill

Tinsel Town is now open at Harris Grill! Find a variety of merry drinks guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy from cocktails to shooters, to hot drinks, and frozen cocoa.

Holiday Shopping

Find gifts for everyone on your list when you shop small Downtown. Even get the chance to win more than $10,000 in gift cards throughout the season by participating in the Downtown Elf Hunt! Stop by PG&H at 489 Market Street to pick up your Downtown Edge Card for more perks and savings this holiday season. View our Downtown Holiday Gift Guide for everything from cozy sweaters to bestselling books, gym memberships, and more to spread holiday cheer to all the special people in your life.

View the Downtown dining directory and shopping directory for the full list of offerings Downtown. Have more of ways to stay warm Downtown? Send us your suggestions via email!

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