Holidays at the Museums


Celebrate the holidays by making our yearly traditions your own.

From the majestic trees and Neapolitan presepio to spectacular exhibitions including the 2013 Carnegie International and Tlingit Totem Pole carving and installation by Tommy Joseph, there’s something for everyone.
And, don’t forget your gift listour shops have truly one-of-a-kind gifts that will make your holidays brighter!  

Holidays at the museums is sponsored by:


Neapolitan presepio

presepio658November 29, 2013–January 12, 2014 (closed December 2–4)
Hall of Architecture
Free with museum admission

A visit to Carnegie Museum of Art’s Neapolitan presepio, one of the finest Nativity scenes of its kind, has been a Pittsburgh holiday tradition since 1957. Handcrafted by artisans between 1700 and 1830, the presepio features lifelike figures and colorful details that re-create the Nativity within a vibrant panorama of 18th-century Italian village life. More than 100 superbly modeled human and angelic figures, along with animals, accessories, and architectural elements, cover a 250-square-foot area and create a memorable depiction of the Nativity as seen through the eyes of Neapolitan artisans and collectors.




Carnegie Trees: Embracing the Art of Play

trees658December 5, 2013–January 12, 2014
Hall of Architecture
Free with museum admission    

Join us for this popular seasonal display to see the Hall of Architecture filled with several towering 20-foot Colorado spruce trees, each adorned with handcrafted ornaments that celebrate the art of play. This year's installation is inspired by the spirit of creative play running through the 2013 Carnegie International, the museum’s signature exhibition of contemporary art. The Hall of Architecture is also currently the site of an installation by International artist Gabriel Sierra, who has painted the walls of the space a rich purple and added subtle purple sculptural forms. Setting off the hall’s architectural casts in a new way, this choice of color will also add a royal hue to this season’s colorful decorations.  


Holiday Shopping

bagsfull658Looking for that perfect holiday gift for a friend or loved one? The stores at Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural History offer unique, imaginative, and affordable gifts—many of them exclusive to the museums. 

The stores are open during museum hours.

FREE PARKING for vehicles parked for 30 minutes or less in Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History’s parking lot.


Winter Camps at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

camps658December 30 & 31, 2013
$45 per day ($40 members); Post-camp child care is available from 3–6 p.m. for an additional $10 per child, per day. 

Experience the fun and excitement of summer camp in December! Investigate science and culture over your winter break at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Each day of camp features new experiments, exhibition explorations, and creative activities for ages 6–13. Sign up for one or both days.

Registration required by December 23. Contact Program Registration at 412.622.3288, email, or register online.

Winter at Natural History

goats_nh658During museum hours
Free with museum admission

Experience the wonder of winter throughout the museum. Pick up a self-guided tour of the top 10 winter-themed specimens and artifacts in our exhibitions, touch a caribou’s winter white fur in Discovery Basecamp, or get hands-on with more winter-themed activities available during the holiday season.

Adopt A Bird Band

birds658For guaranteed holiday delivery, adopt your birds by November 20 for Hanukah or December 16 for Christmas!

Adopt A Bird Band is a fundraising effort on behalf of the bird migration research program based at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This program invites nature lovers of all ages to become personally involved in supporting the vital biodiversity and conservation research at the core of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's mission. Adoptions make great gifts for bird lovers, budding naturalists, conservation enthusiasts, or anyone who wants to celebrate the holidays in a unique and special way!

Adopters at all levels, from $25 to $100, receive certificates of adoption, replica bird bands, and alerts about bird migration research at Powdermill Nature Reserve. Adopters are also invited to a special behind-the-scenes tour of the banding facility. Bird banding and the Adopt A Bird Band program are projects of Powdermill Nature Reserve.

Choose your species online!