First Night in Pittsburgh: something for everyone

Young and old are sure to love a trip to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District for First Night. With tons of indoor and outdoor events book-ended by fireworks, Steel City will celebrate the slide from 2014 into 2015 with non-stop fun.

With so much to do, it’s important to plan ahead.For starters, if you’re planning on going, buy your buttons ahead of time for $8 instead of $10 at the door. Your buttons give you access to all the festivities, so you don’t want to forget that detail.

Got your buttons? Great! Now it’s time to check out the schedule of events from visual art to music and dance and even crafts workshops. There are 18 visual art exhibits, all of them open 6 p.m.-11 p.m. so leave time to check those out between attending shows.

Happy anniversary!
Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration features not one, but two fireworks displays, plus so much more.

Can’t decide what shows to attend? River City Brass really is “a blast.” Last year’s show included singing, dancing, silly costumes, and audience participation in a rendition of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”. Their only show this year is at 7 p.m., so add that to your agenda first, and then consider the acts offering multiple showings throughout the night, like Cello Fury and Texture Contemporary Ballet or Arcade Comedy Theater. Want to squeeze in a third show? Consider any one of the 3 featured magicians, they all have 10 p.m. shows. Once you’ve decided which show to attend, you need to reserve seat vouchers. If they’re all gone for the show you really wanted to see, don’t fret, there’s still plenty of other stuff to do.

As you walk around the Cultural District, definitely stop by Steel Town Fire & Ice Creations in the Fire & Ice Plaza. Last year, half of the stage was devoted to fire dancing/eating while on the other half, an ice sculpture of a motorcycle was carved. With a chainsaw.

Curious about the year to come? Get a palm and angel card reading between 6:30 and 10:30 at Urban Pathways Charter School. But be warned, the line last year was very long.

If you have little ones that need to be in bed well before midnight, be sure to arrive on time for the opening children’s fireworks display at 6 p.m. so they don’t have to miss out on the pyrotechnics.

On top of all these shows and sights to see, there are also interactive activities for all ages. There’s giant jenga, chess, and checkers, a pinball lounge, and a kazoo making workshop hosted by Carnegie Science Center. Plus, don’t forget about face painting, caricatures, balloon animals, and meeting the local sports mascots.

Finally: Do you love ice skating? The Massmutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place will be open 11 a.m.-midnight.

As always with big events like this, it’s best to take public transportation into the city instead of giving yourself a headache trying to find parking. Wood Street, the “T” stop in the heart of the Cultural District will be bustling all night, so consider heading into the city early and be prepared for a crush at the end of the celebration.

T schedule for First Night Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s light rail system (the “T”) will run its regular weekday schedule on New Year’s Eve for Highmark First Night.

The Allegheny County Port Authority recommends public transit users plan ahead as detours will be in effect for several bus lines, but residents of Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments, Place Seville, and Alvern Gardens will be pleased to note that the Blue Line to Library and South Hills Village are running their regular weekday schedule.

Holiday events in Pittsburgh area

Residents of Prudential Realty Communities in the Pittsburgh area—Alvern Gardens Apartments, Place Seville, and rentals on Sleepy Hollow Road—have plenty to do this holiday season.

Keystone Oaks School District Events

The students of Castle Shannon’s Keystone Oaks School District, many of whom live in Alvern Gardens Apartments and Place Seville, are offering several holiday shows next week.

At 7 p.m. on Dec. 17, Keystone Oaks Middle School is holding a band concert.

Keystone Oaks High School’s Chorus, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band will perform a holiday concert at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18.

4th and 5th graders of Myrtle Avenue Elementary School will perform their holiday concert at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Downtown Pittsburgh Events

Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington
A winter view of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington, an iconic location accessible from Alvern Gardens Apartments, Place Seville, and Sleepy Hollow.

The Peoples Gas Holiday Market is running until Dec. 23 in Market Square. Residents of Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, Sleepy Hollow Townhouses, and Sleepy Hollow Apartments, can ride the T to Gateway Station for a European-inspired holiday shopping experience.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker is playing through Dec. 29 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The theater is just a short walk from the T’s Wood Street Station. Alvern Gardens residents live just a block from St. Anne’s T stop, and Place Seville is walking distance from the Red Line’s Overbrook Junction.

The 20th Highmark First Night kicks off at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, just a 26-minute T ride from several Prudential Realty Communities in the South Hills, like Alvern Gardens Apartments and Place Seville.