Winter Wonderland

If you’ve ready anything I’ve ever written here, there’s a good chance you know that I don’t like winter. It’s cold, it’s hard for me to get around, and I end up stuck inside for hours on end. But… sometimes it is pretty. I’ll give it that. Decorations are out in full force right now, and there’s nothing that will put you more in the holiday spirit than looking at a gorgeously decorated tree, or a bright and shining light display.

Sometimes I get called a bit of a grinch… I’m not one to start watching Christmas movies or listen to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. It’s just not my thing, and it never will be! But I do always enjoy getting together with family and friends. So my favorite things to do in winter are things to experience with my favorite people.

So if you’re looking for something to do in Pittsburgh right now, here are my suggestions.

I went here earlier this month for a holiday after-hours event, and the Hall of Architecture had been turned into a winter wonderland. The room was filled with six giant Christmas trees, each decorated with a different theme. This one was my favorite – though I won’t lie, I don’t exactly know what the theme is supposed to be. They also have an elaborate Nativity scene on display (or, technically, a presipio, according to the plaque). And once you’ve had your fill of decorations, you can browse the rest of the amazing museum. Before or after, stop at the Cafe Carnegie for a bite to eat or a a really delicious cappuccino.

I am so excited about this one – it’s new this year! Coffee Tree Roasters in Bakery Square has a few “igloos” set up so that customers can enjoy their coffee (or hot chocolate) outside in their own personal igloo bubble. I could not wait to check this out, and am now definitely a fan. It combines some of my favorite things… coffee, and not having to talk to strangers!

I pass by Phipps almost every evening on my way home from work, and even from the car you can tell that their holiday light display is stunning. They really go all out, and it is completely worth it. If you’re planning to go, make sure you go online and buy your timed ticket entry ahead of time – the closer it gets to the holidays, the more and more crowded it gets!

This one isn’t on my personal winter list – wheels don’t get great traction on ice – but I know lots of people love it. It may not be Central Park, but ice skating in Schenley Park is very popular and almost certainly less crowded. And if you’re looking for something a bit closer to shopping and restaurants, go downtown to PPG. When you’re done skating, you can walk to Market Square and do some shopping at the Holiday Market booths.

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