Carnegie Science Center offers holiday events for the whole family in the month of December

Scenes from The Polar Express


Journey beyond your imagination this holiday season with festive movies, camps, Polar PJ Parties, sleepovers, and laser shows. Carnegie Science Center is your holiday headquarters for memorable family time!

Holiday traditions:
Celebrate 100 years of engineering memories

  • Miniature Railroad & Village® – reopens Thurs., Nov. 21 with the NEW model, Kaufmann’s Department Store
  • Take a walking tour of western Pennsylvania in this breathtaking train display! See replicas of popular landmarks including Primanti Bros., Forbes Field, and the NEW Kaufmann’s Department Store and clock. A timeless tradition for the whole family! (FREE with general admission)

Be dazzled by brilliant colors and favorite holiday tunes

  • Laser Holiday Magic – Fri., Nov. 29–Tues., Dec. 31 | Daily at 2 pm
  • Enjoy the magic of the holiday season with a festive laser celebration that’s perfect for the whole family. This show features traditional and contemporary versions of beloved holiday tunes. ($2 for members / $8 for nonmembers)

Make FABulous holiday gifts!

  • Laser-Cut Holiday Ornament Workshops – Saturdays, Nov. 16–Dec. 21 | Noon, 1, and 2 pm
  • Design and create your own, personalized laser-cut holiday ornaments in BNY Mellon Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh’s digital makerspace. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult who also registers for the workshop. ($8 for members / $10 for nonmembers)

Overnight family sleepovers:
Start the holiday season with a bang

  • Light Up Night Sleepover – Fri., Nov. 22 | 6 pm; Concludes at 10 am the next day
  • Get a front-row seat to a fantastic fireworks display, jam out to a festive laser light show, be among the first to see the brand new educational film Superpower Dogs in The Rangos Giant Cinema, and experiment with the science of light. ($39 per person)

Discover your inner elf at our holiday sleepover

  • Elf: The Sleepover – Sat., Dec. 7 | 6 pm; Concludes at 10 am the next day
  • Watch Elf on the big screen in The Rangos Giant Cinema, sing-along to a holiday laser show, and create a delicious hot chocolate concoction. Make a light-up holiday card, experiment with wintery science, and try your hand at snowball toss and pin the tusk on the narwhal. ($39 per person)

All-day fun workshops when school is out:
Explore exhibits, see a live show, and carry out interactive science experiments – no need for a babysitter! ($48 members / $54 nonmembers)

  • Out of This World Science – Fri., Nov. 29 (Ages 4-5, 6-8, 9-11)
  • Launch rockets, study stars, explore other planets, and see a show in Buhl Planetarium!
  • Don’t Try This at Home – Thurs., Dec. 26 (Ages 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11)
  • Try your hand at science experiments that are too slimy, sticky, and explosive to do at home.
  • Robot Engineers – Fri., Dec. 27 (Ages 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11)
  • Program educational robots from Bee Bot and Code-a-Pillar to Sphero and Cubelets.
  • Design Studio – Mon., Dec. 30 (Ages 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11)
  • Make your own creations with stop-motion animation or video game design.

Polar Express events:
Enjoy holiday fun with a classic film in your PJ’s

  • Polar PJ Parties – Nov. 29; Dec. 7, 20, 21, and 22
  • Before seeing The Polar Express 3D, enjoy a hot chocolate bar with liquid nitrogen frozen marshmallows and a light snack, make-and-take activities, Buhl Planetarium’s Stars Over the North Pole show, all four floors of Science Center exhibits, and the chance to take photos with Santa. ($19 per person ages 3+ / $5 for children age 2 and under)
  • Sensory Sensitive Polar PJ Parties – Nov. 30 and Dec. 14
  • Enjoy the same holiday fun offered at our Polar PJ Parties, tailored specifically for children and adults on the autism spectrum or those affected by sensory processing disorders. The film will be shown in 2D. Note: This program is made possible with support from the Jack Buncher Foundation. ($19 per person ages 3+ / $5 for children age 2 and under)
  • Polar Express 3D Screenings in The Rangos Giant Cinema – Nov. 29; Dec. 8, 13, and 19
  • Based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express 3D tells the tale of a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who just believe. ($7.95 for members / $9.95 for nonmembers)

Festive date night events:

Grab a buddy and spread cheer at our adults-only event

  • Science and Cinema: Elf (18+ Night) – Fri., Dec. 6 | 7 pm–Midnight 
  • Watch Elf on the largest screen in Pittsburgh, sing loud for all to hear at a holiday laser show, and create a delicious hot chocolate concoction with toppings from Buddy’s four main food groups. Participate in interactive science activities, and try your hand at fun-filled games, from movie trivia to a snowball toss. ($27 for members / $30 for nonmembers)
  • SkyWatch – Fri., Dec. 13 and Sat., Jan. 4 | 7 and 9 pm 
  • Spot Saturn’s rings, gaze at the Milky Way, and explore dazzling constellations using our top-notch telescopes! Take a virtual tour of the night sky inside Buhl Planetarium, and join us on the observatory deck to look at planets, star clusters, and more wonders of the universe. ($2 for members / $4 for nonmembers)

Holiday films at The Rangos Giant Cinema:

See your holiday favorites on Pittsburgh’s largest screen ($7.95 for members / $9.95 for nonmembers)

  • The Winter’s Tale – Wed., Dec. 4 and Sun., Dec. 8
  • This beautifully reimagined production, co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, features a remarkable cast including Dame Judi Dench as Paulina, alongside Tom Bateman, Jessica Buckley, Hadley Fraser, Miranda Raison, and Sir Kenneth Branagh as Leontes.
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: 30th Anniversary – Thurs., Dec. 5 (SOLD OUT); Thurs., Dec. 12; and Sat., Dec. 14
  • Head to The Rangos Giant Cinema for the hap-hap-happiest Griswold family Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye. Proper Griswold attire is highly encouraged! Wear your best, ugliest sweater or outfit inspired by the film and strike a festive pose at our photo booth.
  • Elf – Sat., Dec. 7 
  • Pass through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops and make your way to The Rangos to rediscover your inner elf this holiday season. Stop by our concession stand to purchase the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” and treats from the four main food groups.

Make your family’s holiday merry and bright by giving them the gift of a Christmas

Categories: What’s New