5 things to do in Pittsburgh this weekend: Dec. 1-3
Baby it's cold outside — or not! It is Pittsburgh, yinz know. Here are a few fun outings to plan, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at us this weekend.
The Handmade Arcade
Do you know where you can buy local, shop small and support handmade all in one day? The Handmade Arcade at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Dec. 2.
The largest Handmade Arcade to date will host 170-plus cutting-edge, craft-based artists, designers and makers selling high-quality, innovative products. Admission is free from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with an option to buy an early birdie pass for exclusive pre-event shopping from 10 to 11 a.m.
If you have shopped 'til you dropped, but still have a bit more energy for crafting, head to the Hands-on Handmade activity area. Short and daylong drop-in projects, demonstrations, mini-tutorials, make-and-take activities and large-scale art installations will keep you busy all day. You don't need to be an expert crafter to join in on the fun. Organizations including City of Play, the Ellis School, Union Project, BatCat Press, and more will lead activities. There is so much to see in just one day — plan your shopping day with their event map.
Hit the ice
The MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place is open this weekend. (Actually every day through Feb. 25, but we digress.)
The plaza between Third and Fourth avenues transforms into the spectacular one-of-a-kind outdoor ice skating rink. It first opened in December 2001 and was replaced with a new larger ice rink for the 2015-16 season. Fun fact: The rink is 67 percent larger than the famous one in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Skate with Santa on Dec. 2.
Complete with flurrying snow, a colossal Christmas tree and magic tricks galore, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production of "The Nutcracker" features more than 100 dancers, 150 costumes and Tchaikovsky's exultant score.
Since its 1892 premiere, The Nutcracker has held a special place in holiday traditions all over the world. PBT adds its own spin on the time and place with a turn-of-the-century setting incorporating Pittsburgh's own landmarks, historical figures and personality. Each performance features a unique casting combination, giving regulars the chance to see a variety of dancers perform iconic roles like Marie, the Nephew, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.
Performances at the Benedum Center run through Dec. 27.
Day With(out) Art
"Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings," the 28th iteration of Visual AIDS' longstanding Day With(out) Art project on Dec. 1, prioritizes black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic, commissioning seven artists — Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye and Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia Labeija, Tiona McClodden and Brontez Purnell — to create new and innovative short videos.
The commissioned projects at the Andy Warhol Museum include meditations of young HIV positive people; a focus on community-based HIV/AIDS activism in the South; a poetic journey through New York exploring historical traces of queer and trans life, and more. Together, the videos provide a platform for voices deeply impacted by the ongoing epidemic.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra music director Manfred Honeck will juxtapose oratorios by Haydn and Handel at the final BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts of the year. "The Creation" will be presented in a semi-staged production by Sam Helfrich on Dec. 1 and 3, and Handel's "Messiah" in a straight concert performance Dec. 2, both at Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall. The Mendelssohn Choir will perform during both productions.
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