The Ultimate Holiday Bucket List

The+Ultimate+Holiday+Bucket+List

Briana Fulciniti '20, Staff Writer

If you’re anything like me, you spend most of the days before Christmas break daydreaming about what you are going to do with all of the free time that lies ahead. If you’re even more like me, once that long awaited break has started, you spend a majority of your time re-watching the same old Netflix TV shows complaining that you have nothing to do. 

I have finally learned my lesson. I have compiled a list of my top 10 holiday activities that will certainly make this Christmas break a memorable one. Keep reading if you are looking for some holiday festivities to add to your Christmas break “to-do” list.

Bake & Decorate Christmas Cookies

Perhaps one of my favorite holiday activities to take part in is decorating Christmas cookies. Not only do you get to make beautiful snowmen and snowflake sugar cookies, you can eat them when all of your hard work is done. Invite some friends over, listen to some Christmas music and you have the perfect afternoon for some holiday fun. 

Make Gingerbread Houses

If you are a little more ambitious than your traditional cookie decorating, try building and designing your own Gingerbread house. Check out your local craft store or supermarket for the “make your own gingerbread house kits.” If you want to add even more excitement, make it into a little friendly competition to see who can make the best-looking Gingerbread house. 

Gingerbread House Display 

If you decided that making your own Gingerbread house was too ambitious, take a trip downtown to see the incredible display of Gingerbread houses made by the talented Pittsburgh locals. The event of 16 years takes place in the Grand Lobby of the historic Pittsburgh City-County Building on Grant Street downtown.

Dates:

  • Friday, Nov.  22 – Friday, Jan. 3 
    • Monday-Thursday: 6 am – 7 pm
    • Friday: 6 am – 9 pm
    • Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm 
    • Sunday:  9 am – 5 pm

http://www.ppgplace.com/events/gingerbread-house-display-competition/

Holiday Movie Marathon

For all of you movie lovers out there, this holiday activity is perfect for you. Invite some friends or family over, make some delicious hot chocolate, curl up by the fireplace and watch some of your favorite holiday movies. There are so many movies to choose from so make sure you block off an entire day to just sit back, relax, and enjoy them. 

Ice Skating @ PPG Place 

If you are looking for something a little more energy inducing, my suggestion is to take a trip to PPG Place and do some ice skating. This is a great way to get together with friends and family outside of the house and get a little bit of that cool, winter air on your face during your break. 

Prices:

  • Adults (ages 13-49) : $10
  • Children (through age 12): $9
  • Skate rental: $4 

Dates: 

  • Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday:  11 a.m. to Midnight
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

http://www.ppgplace.com/directory/the-rink/

Kennywood’s Holiday Lights

You probably know that during the year, Kennywood is a high-excitement amusement park that served delicious Potato Patch Fries. During Halloween, it transforms into a ghastly haunted theme park that will send shivers down your spine. But, during the holidays, it transforms into a light-hearted, beautiful destination for all things Christmas. The park is decorated with dazzling colored lights all while serving cookies and hot cocoa in the restaurants. I have taken a trip there for the last few years and I can honestly say it is definitely something I would spend some time doing during your Christmas break.  

Prices:

  • Friday/Sunday Ticket: $18.49
  • Any day Ticket: $19.49

Dates:

  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights November 22 – December 22
  • Nightly December 26-30

https://www.kennywood.com/holidaylights

Phipps’ Holiday Magic

All year round, Phipps Gardens amazes me with their incredibly beautiful and mesmerizing floral displays. Let’s just say, they take their holiday displays very seriously. During the holiday season, Phipps creates a truly breathtaking holiday lights display in their outdoor gardens. The whole place is filled with intricate, winter botanical creations that are truly one-of-a-kind. 

Prices (Non-Member):

  • Child: $11.95
  • Student w/ ID: $17.95
  • Adult: $19.95

Dates:

  • Nov. 29 – Jan. 12
    • Winter Flower Show 9:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    • Winter Light Garden 5 – 11 p.m.
    • Closed at 5 p.m. Dec. 24 and all day Dec. 25

https://www.phipps.conservatory.org/holidaymagic

Christmas Train Display @ The Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center is a place where creativity meets logistics and where whim meets science. During the holiday season, the Science Center is home to a magnificent locomotive train display for all to enjoy. The Miniature Railroad’s story began in 1919 with a man named Charles Bowdish of Brookville, PA. It ultimately found its final home at Carnegie Science Center in 1992. The Miniature Railroad & Village® features hundreds of wonderfully realistic animated scenes that illustrate how people lived, worked, and played in our region during an era spanning the 1880s up to 1940. Truly, it is an incredible sight to see. 

Prices:

  • Child: $11.95
  • Adult: $19.95
  • Members: Free

Dates:

  • Wednesday–Monday: 10 am–5 pm
  • Tuesdays: Closed, except for Dec. 31 and April 7

http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/exhibits/miniature-railroad/

Christmas Movies at the Rangos Giant Cinema 

If you thought the Miniature Railroad & Village display was impressive, let me tell you about the Carnegie Science Center’s Rangos Giant Cinema. The Rangos Giant Cinema is an IMAX Dome Theater located in the Science Center. It single-handedly demonstrates technological and scientific advances that are unparalleled. They frequently feature educational films, but they also show special screenings. During this holiday season, they are screening some Christmas movie classics. If you want to take your Christmas movie watching to the next level, check out the Rangos Giant Cinema at the Science Center this season.   

The Polar Express 3D

Prices: 

  • Child: $9.95
  • Adult: $9.95

Dates:

  • Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1:30 pm
  • Friday, Dec. 13 at 7pm
  • Thursday, Dec. 19 at 4pm
  • Monday, Dec. 23 at 11am

Elf 

Prices: 

  • Child: $9.95
  • Adult: $9.95

Dates:

  • Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4:30 pm

White Christmas

Prices: 

  • Child: $9.95
  • Adult: $9.95

Dates:

  • Saturday, Dec. 21 at 4 and 7 pm
  • Monday, Dec. 23 at 4 and 7 pm

http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/rangos-giant-cinema/

The Nutcracker @ The Benedum Center

I’ve saved the most grand of festivities for last. If you are someone with particularly fancier tastes, or just enjoys exquisite performances on a stage, the Nutcracker at the Benedum Center is just for you. Journey to a Land of Enchantment filled with swirling

snowflakes, waltzing flowers and exciting dances. Five lavish scenes, dozens of dancers and over 150 costumes make this performance one of Pittsburgh’s most cherished holiday traditions. You can use the link below to check out all of the performance times that are offered this season. 

Prices:

  • Start at $28.00 

Dates:

  • Dec. 6 –  Dec. 29

https://pbt.culturaldistrict.org/production/61982/the-nutcracker