‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas

Everything you need to know for last-minute shopping, charitable giving, packing and picking up beer before the big day. 

by Lindsay Patross
December 19, 2019

The Very Local Pittsburgh team wishes you a happy and very merry holiday season! Here are some ideas & events to help you make this a very local weekend before Christmas.

FOR GOOD: Know before you give
Looking to make an end of year charitable donation? We’ve put together a know-before-you-give guide to help you understand how your dollar makes a difference.

PODCAST: Surprise destinations
Episode 07 of The Slaw: Staying on Top of Pittsburgh is all about travel. What to pack and how to spend a day in Pittsburgh. We talk to Lillian Rafson, founder of Pack Up + Go, a Pittsburgh-based travel agency that plans surprise trips for travelers.

BEER: Stock up for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
We did the research for you. Want to grab a growler to bring home to mom? Planning to give the gift of beer? Most of Pittsburgh’s breweries are closed for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. We’ve put together a guide to all of the holiday hours for all of the local breweries.

SHOP LOCAL: Last-minute gifts
We’re getting to the end of the holiday market season. Stop by 7800 Susquehanna St on Saturday for Ceramic Solstice – six local artists will be selling their wares. Still need to shop? Check out some of the suggestions from Very Local readers on the best gift shops for last-minute gifts.

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES: Old favorites and new Pittsburgh holiday classics
Skip the slippers and coffee mugs. A better holiday gift is taking your friends and family to one of the many holiday performances happening around town.

🎄FRI 12/20: Holiday Harmonies at the Frick
🎄12/20 – 12/22: Yinzer Yuletide: Pittsburgh Lights & Legends Hosted by Rick Sebak
🎄12/20 – 12/22: Highmark Holiday Pops
🎄12/21 & 12/22: Yinzer Yuletide: Breakfast with Santa & Mickey’s Christmas Carol
🎄SUN 12/22: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

NOW OPEN: 1700 Penn Pop-Up
Helltown Brewing & PA Libations are opening up a new store on Penn Ave. in the Strip District. The new space isn’t quite ready, so they’ve set up a (heated) tent where you can pick-up cans from Helltown and wine from six Pennsylvania wineries. Shopping in the strip? Stop by for a beer or a glass of wine.

NYE: All the places to watch the ball drop
Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve yet? Before you know it, we’ll be starting a new decade. We’ve put together a list of all the New Year’s Eve parties in Pittsburgh.

SAVE THE DATE: New Year/New Galaxy with Starship Mantis
We’re partnering with Epicast, Dancing Gnome & Black Forge Coffee to bring an out-of-this-world collaborative event to fruition on January 4, 2019. Music by Starship Mantis, Trio+ featuring Shad Ali & DJ Femi. Tickets are limited! (Listen to Episode 06 of our podcast for a code to get a bonus beer at the event.)


This weekend in Pittsburgh:

Friday // December 20

Outdoor Film Night: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ @ 3 Rivers Outdoor Company

For years, the Regent Square theater would screen this classic movie for free. With the recent closing of the movie theater, 3 Rivers Outdoor Company (located just a block away from the theater) will be showing this holiday classic outdoors. Bring a chair and curl up next to their fire pit for the evening.

Saturday // December 21

HoHoHonky-Tonk Jukebox: Country Christmas @ Bloomfield Liedertafel Singing Society

The Honky-Tonk Jukebox crew is bringing country to Bloomfield for a special holiday show. Tickets are $10. (ICYMI we made a little video about Honky-Tonk Jukebox.)

Sunday // December 22

Alpacas & Ales @ Strange Roots Experimental Ales

Strange Roots has invited the alpacas from Stone’s Throw Farm to hang out at the brewery on Sunday. The alpacas will be hanging out in the beer garden. Stone’s Throw Farm will be hosting a pop-up shot in the brewery.

Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

More Local Stories

Top 407: the best hot dogs in Orlando

We tried Chicago Dogs, Spicy Chili Dogs, Buffalo Dogs, Reuben Dogs, and more across the Orlando area to find the best hot diggity dogs.

A guide to must-do summer events in New Orleans

Now that we’re back outside, let’s take a look at the events to do in New Orleans for the summer.

What’s On the Menu?: Greenville Food Trucks

What’s On The Menu Greenville is serving up barbecue, Latin, vegan and Thai food from mobile kitchens on wheels. Find out what’s cooking inside these fantastic Greenville food trucks.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

new orleans parks

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Exploring the history of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown

At one time, there was even an informal Chinatown mayor to act as a community liaison.

Painting My Way Through Life: Pittsburgh (And Beyond) Through The Eyes of Artist Ron Donoughe

Ron Donoughe has spent over 30 years painting the Pennsylvania landscape, especially Pittsburgh. When you don’t find him capturing the spirit of his paintings on location, you’ll likely find him in his Lawrenceville studio – where he’s watched the neighborhood transform through his windows.

With a potential sale of his building looming in 2022, we chatted with Donoughe about his artistic journey thus far, what might come next, and Pittsburgh through his eyes.