Celebrate the New Year at FirstNight Pittsburgh

Ring in 2020 at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trusts FirstNight Pittsburgh Celebration

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s First Night Celebration has something for everyone. Get on your winter gear and head down to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District for entertainment, FamilyFun activities, fireworks, food, and more.

Highmark First Night is a paid event in and around the Cultural District. Head to https://firstnightpgh.trustarts.org/ to buy your First Night button for $10 per person (kids 5 and under are FREE). If you want an upgraded experience including seats to full shows, preferred parking, and more you can purchase the First Night Friend VIP Experience for $40 per person. Several performances require advance seating reservations which can be made online once you have purchased your First Night button. As of this writing, many of these performances are full for regular admission but First Night Friend VIP seating is still available.

First Night for Kids

First Night starts off with a bang at 600PM. Head to the Dollar Bank Stage on 7th Street near the Benedum for the Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks by Zambellli and a performance by the Williams SING-OFF competition. This is the perfect New Year’s Eve celebration for those who are too young to stay up until midnight!

The Youth Jazz Lab plays the Dollar Bank Stage from 615-700PM.

Dance to the beats of DJKellyMom in the EQT Plaza (on Liberty Avenue near the Wood Street Station) from 600-1000PM. See Fire and Ice, the one-of-a-kind show spectacular at the Fire and Ice Plaza at Penn and 9th Street. Watch as Ice Carvers create works of art while Steel Town Fire performs their crowd-pleasing fire show. The performances are ongoing, with shows at 630PM, 730PM, 900PM, and 1000PM.

This year’s New Year’s Eve Parade is “Take Flight”. Watch all along Penn Avenue from the David L Lawrence Convention Center to Stanwix Street from 800-830PM. The Parade features performers, art cars, and the giant puppets of Studio Capezutti.

For plenty of FamilyFun and warm, indoor activities head to the Family Tent, Heinz Hall, or Fifth Avenue Place.

The Family Tent, sponsored by Highmark & Allegheny Health Network, is filled with arts, crafts, and activities for kids of all ages. Explore nature and history, make color winter decorations, play with LEGOs, and create wands. The Tent is located at 7th and Penn Avenue, near the Benedum. The Family Tent is open from 600-1000PM.

The Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse celebrates a Scrappy New Year at Heinz Hall. Join the Center’s staff and create anything you want using the provided recycled and upcycled items. Open 600-1100PM. Also at the Benedum, the Singer-Songwriter Competition, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Information Station, and more.

More FamilyFun activities at Fifth Avenue Place include balloon-art with Giggles the Clown, Face Painting, and the Young Adult Author Panel.

Holiday Kidsplay is in the Heinz Hall Courtyard. Celebrate Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood with Daniel Tiger, Peg + Cat, and more with hands-on activities and interactive exhibits. Found at the corner of Liberty Avenue and Sixth Street, Kidsplay is open from 600-1000PM.

The Trust Arts Oasis at 133 7th Street has the Featured Event, Prismatica. Walk through the giant prisms as lights dance around you. Open from 600-1100PM.

The Highmark Stage at Liberty and Stanwix has Soul Line Dancing with Robin Ford from 730-800PM, 845-915PM, and from 930-1000PM.

The Trust Arts Education Center’s Featured Event has the new interactive Game Night game show. Shows are at 630, 745, 900, and 1000PM. Plus there are two photography exhibitions, the Williams SING-OFF Competition Finalists, and Puppet Karaoke.

There are plenty of other activities scattered throughout the Cultural District. There are indoor and outdoor art shows. Watch the Three Stooges at the Harris Theater, plus the 707, 937, 812, and Wood Street Galleries all have static or interactive art displays. The August Wilson Center has The Dream Wall Project, Zuzu African Acrobats, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company, and Sierra Sellers. Enjoy guitar music at the Courtyard by Marriott, catch the River City Brass Band at the Trinity Cathedral, and hear the Balmoral Pipes and Drums with Scottish Dancers at the First Presbyterian Church.

First Night for Tweens and Teens

Families with older kids can enjoy all of the above plus more.

The Jenn Wertz Band plays the Dollar Bank stage at 715PM. Feralcat takes the stage at 930PM. The New Year’s Eve Comedy Showcase is at the Byham with shows at 700, 900, and 1030PM. Attack Theter and the Alumni Theater Company are at the CAPA School. The Highmark Stage has Soul Line Dancing at 845PM and 930PM. The Shadowboxers play the Highmark Stage from 1045PM through 1155PM.

First Night ends with the Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale at 1155PM. Say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020 with a Zambelli Fireworks show and the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball – at the Highmark Stage on the corner of Liberty and Stanwix Streets.

The Basics

First Night Pittsburgh is a paid event. Buy your button for $10 and get free admission to ALL events, shows, and activities. Buttons are $10. Kids five and under are free. Buy your buttons here: https://firstnightpgh.trustarts.org/fn_home/visit/admission

First Night takes place in the Pittsburgh Cultural District along Liberty Avenue. The footprint stretches along 14 city blocks but most of the activities for younger kids are near 7th and Liberty Avenue.

First Night is mostly outdoors. Make sure you dress for the weather. Tuesday evening weather is currently forecast to be in the mid to low 30’’s with rain and snow turning to all snow as the evening progresses.

There are many restaurants in and around the Cultural District. There is a First Night Food Truck Round-up at 8th and Penn Avenue.

Bathrooms are available at indoor venues including the Trust Arts Building, the August Wilson Center, and Fifth Avenue Place.

There is a strong police presence during First Night. There are also enhanced security measures at many indoor venues. Most venues limit the size of bags and what you can carry. Read the details here: https://firstnightpgh.trustarts.org/fn_home/visit/admission

All venues are wheelchair accessible. For more information: https://firstnightpgh.trustarts.org/fn_home/visit/accessibility

Many streets in downtown and throughout the Cultural District are shut down for the event making driving into the city complicated. Parking is available but may be limited in the Cultural District. Many people say they have to park further out and walk to the events: For parking details, check here: http://parkpgh.org/

There are Uber pickup and dropoff points scattered throughout the Cultural District. For more information: https://firstnightpgh.trustarts.org/fn_home/visit/parking-transportation

Family+FunPittsburgh recommends using public transportation to get to First Night for families with younger kids who will not stay through midnight. Kids 12 and under ride for free from 400PM on when accompanied by an adult with a First Night button. The Wood Street Station is in the heart of the Cultural District. The Port Authority is running on a regular weekday schedule on Monday night but there is limited service after midnight. Check here for schedules: https://www.portauthority.org/

The First Night website can be found here: https://firstnightpgh.trustarts.org/

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