What to do this week, holiday events and light shows in Chimerica at the Maverick Hotel


What’s going on in Pittsburgh this week, November 22-28? Find out here.

Be sure to pack your mask and visit each organization’s website and social media for updated Covid safety protocols. Do you know of a cool event? Send us an email.

Monday November 22: Behind the Walls: Western State Penitentiary
7:00 p.m.
What is behind the 25 foot walls of the Western State Penitentiary? Find out on this virtual tour presented by Doors Open Pittsburgh and the PA State Historic Preservation Office. Learn about the legacy and significance of the sprawling 22-acre complex – built between 1878 and 1893 along the Ohio River – which includes the historic principal’s residence and was once the most expensive and modern prison in the world . To buy tickets.

Wednesday November 24: Market Street Block Party at the Ski Lodge
6 pm-9pm
Neighborhood parties are not just for the summer. Downtown’s newest pop-up bar, rented by Creatives Drink, Market Street Grocery and Mindful Hospitality, is hosting a outdoor neighborhood party on Market St. with fireplaces, hot Twisted Tea cocktails and music by Ryan Brown.

Thursday November 25: YMCA Turkey Trot
Before you get drunk, get active in supporting local food banks. There’s even more to love about this iconic Thanksgiving tradition, as P3R and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh are teaming up with Ya Jagoff! Podcast to yinzerize the event with local music and exclusive interviews. Do the “double gobble” (ie run 5 miles and 5K), or go for the 1 mile Family Fun Run. If you can’t make it to the start line, then virtually hammer the curb. register here.

Photo courtesy of P3R.

Friday November 26: Turkey Burner at South Park
8:15 a.m. – 9 a.m. & 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
No, this is not a Thanksgiving cooking class. Burn that holiday feast during this quick circuit class that uses bodyweight and equipment. Open to all fitness levels, the outdoor session includes a combination of standing and floor exercises. Free registration.

Friday November 26: The Black Market: Holiday Edition at 623 Smithfield St.
11 am-6pm
This ephemeral market is a great way to support local black-owned businesses during the holiday season. Find something for everyone on your list (and score something sweet for yourself) at the outdoor shopping event hosted by Shayla Hawkins.

Friday November 26: Laser Holiday Magic at the Buhl Planetarium
1:30 p.m.
Sparkling lights are comfortable, but pulsed lasers are awesome. This holiday tradition will be even more epic now that the Buhl Planetarium is one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in North America. Socially distanced and family-friendly, the festive laser celebration features contemporary pop tunes and traditional holiday tunes on dazzling laser choreography. To buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of Ales & Asanas.

Friday November 26: Holiday Hangover Beer Yoga at Necromancer Brewing
5.30 p.m.-6.30 p.m.
Looking for a hangover cure for the holidays? Eliminate that mashed potato, relax over the holiday weekend, and support local small businesses as Ales & Asanas moves bodies in the new North Hills Brewery. Open to all levels, the course includes one craft beer, and participants can then relax to try other beers and dine at the Boonseek Korean Street Food Truck. To buy tickets.

Friday November 26: The World’s Biggest Ugly Sweater Party in Kennywood
7:00 p.m.
Kenny Kangaroo is counting on you – and a few thousand friends – to help him set a world record for Pennsylvania’s tallest Christmas tree. By teaming up with his sister parks – Lake Compounce, Dutch Wonderland and Castle Park – Kennywood is putting on a record-breaking (hopefully!) Celebration of ugly sweaters. It’s all part of the theme park’s extended Holiday Lights lineup. To buy tickets.

Friday November 26: Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at Pittsburgh Savoyards
7:30 p.m.
What if the timeless Christmas Eve tale of George Bailey and his Guardian Angel Clarence was a live radio show and not a Hollywood movie? Fans of the beloved holiday classic can’t miss this clever take on Frank Capra’s film presented by Pittsburgh Savoyards. For production at the company headquarters in Bellevue, the cast will play many characters, Foley artists will create sound effects, and audiences will embrace the true holiday spirit. To buy tickets.

Friday November 26: Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Benedum Center
7:30 p.m.
What happens when you mix a Broadway musical with circus aerials? A stunning holiday gift for the whole family over Thanksgiving weekend. Follow a fantastic cast of storybook characters wrapped in 300 costumes as they come to life and perform original music and season favorites. It’s an elaborate dreamlike wonderland where ballerinas, nutcrackers, snowmen, penguins, reindeer, gingerbread figurines and colossal ornaments will fly onto the stage. To buy tickets.

Friday November 26: Strauss family favorites at Heinz Hall
8 p.m.
Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with acclaimed conductor Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. From sparkling waltzes to upbeat polkas, the production will feature the dazzling family favorites of famous German composer Richard Strauss. On her first visit to Pittsburgh, 18-year-old Spanish violinist sensation María Dueñas will perform Paganini’s “First Violin Concerto”. To buy tickets.

Maria Dueñas. Photo courtesy of the PSO.

Friday November 26: Zoo Lights Drive-Thru at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
8 p.m.
Tonight marks the long-awaited return of a beloved holiday tradition. Discover the popular destination all lit up after hours from the comfort of your car. Thousands of eco-friendly LED lights – along with 80 displays of animals, characters, singers and 30 new features – will transform the park into a radiant winter wonderland. To buy tickets.

Saturday November 27: Artisanal Arcade Virtual Holiday Market
Various times
Before relaunching its market in person on December 4, Handmade Arcade will showcase 200 manufacturers during this three day online shopping bargain. Shop from the comfort of your own home all weekend long while supporting the community of local manufacturers.

Saturday November 27: new little tour of the Ken boutique
10:00 a.m.
New Kensington’s shopping corridor is buzzing with activity and Small Business Saturday is a great time to visit. During this 40-slot projector, you can experience New Ken’s latest generation of independent stores, chat with business owners, get free samples, and enter to win raffle prizes.

Saturday, November 27: Gift-making workshop at the Carnegie Museum of Art
10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Make CMOA your gift-making HQ this season. Join artist educators to create a handmade gift inspired by the museum’s world-class collection, then enjoy hot chocolate and holiday cookies. Nothing warms the heart like a handmade gift. To buy tickets.

Photo by Bryan Conley.

Saturday November 27: Sounds for the Season at the Carnegie Museum of Art
1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Surrounded by the breathtaking display of Carnegie Trees in the Hall of Architecture at CMOA, you’ll be treated to a live performance from the River City Brass Band Quintet. Pittsburgh-based modified British-style marching band, the 28-piece ensemble toured extensively in the United States. To buy tickets.

Saturday, November 27: Chimerica from the Quantum Theater to the Maverick Hotel
8 p.m.
If you miss Ace as much as we do, then you’ve got one more reason to attend this long-awaited production of Lucy Kirkwood’s play directed by Karla Boos, founding artistic director of the Quantum Theater. The original 2020 cast and crew finally reunite to showcase site-specific work in what is now the Maverick Hotel. Set against the backdrop of the 2012 US election, the political thriller “takes a critical look at the role corruption and censorship play in China and America.” The timely examination of capitalism, culture, journalism and censorship begins with the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989. To buy tickets.

Saturday November 27: Suite Life at Kelly Strayhorn Theater
8 p.m.
The place East Liberty honors his namesakes with the return of this signature benefit concert highlighting the illustrious careers of 20th century cultural icons Billy Strayhorn and Gene Kelly. Hosted by Con Alma music curator John Shannon, the concert features singers, instrumentalists and historical footage from Pittsburgh. Before the concert, a VIP reception and round table will take place at Duolingo. To buy tickets.

Miguel Sagué Jr.

Miguel Sagué Jr.

Sunday November 28: Songs From the Stone Hoop at the Mr. Smalls Theater Funhouse
7:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh artist and musician Miguel Sagué Jr. celebrates the release of his new CD, “Songs From the Stone Hoop,” during Native American Heritage Month. A Spirit Guide for Caney Sagué Jr.’s Indigenous Spiritual Circle is a participant in the Office of Public Art’s Bridging Social Distance in the Public Realm initiative. Recorded and documented for the first time, SaguéThe original compositions of have been used around the world for 40 years and preserve the oral traditions, history and culture of the Taíno Nation. To buy tickets.

For more things to do, check out the must-see events for November 13 in Pittsburgh.

For live music, read the top 18 concerts in Pittsburgh this November, from Bob Dylan to Bad Religion.

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