A Guide to the Peoples Gas Holiday Market

It’s no secret that I love Christmas. The lights, the tree, the music, the TV specials, the shopping, the get-togethers with family and friends, the anticipation of snow for Christmas Day (which doesn’t happen in Pittsburgh as often as I’d like), I love it all. It’s no surprise then that for the next few weeks we’re going Christmas-themed here at Getting to Know Pittsburgh. The first Christmas feature is something that’s a little more publicized than places I’ve covered in the past, but it’s still something unique to Pittsburgh and worth sharing: The Peoples Gas Holiday Market.

Discovering the Market

Though the Holiday Market has been around since 2011, this is the first year I’ve ever visited it.

For the last 20 years, my mom and I have taken a trip to Downtown Pittsburgh during the Christmas season. We started the tradition to see the Kaufmann’s Christmas Windows, and we would have lunch at the Tic Tock Restaurant, visit S.W. Randall Toyes & Giftes, and see the Creche in Steel Plaza. This trip is one of my most favorite Christmas traditions, but like anything else, it’s had to change over the years.

When Macy’s (formerly Kaufmann’s) closed in 2015, that really put a damper on the Christmas trip. We had changed lunch locations years earlier to Villa Reale, but the bulk of the trip was still looking at the windows, wandering inside Macy’s to look for a Christmas ornament, browse the book floor, and buy “The Smell of Christmas” spray or potpourri. In the last four years we’ve had to get more creative when looking for things to do on the trip. After seeing an ad for the Holiday Market on TV, we decided this was the year to give it a visit.

The appeal of the market is how many different things there are to see, and do, and look at. The vendors in particular are from all over the world, and as someone who isn’t a big Jetsetter, I got to experience some new things without even leaving my own town.

 About the Holiday Market

According to the promotional fliers, the Peoples Gas Holiday Market “brings a cherished tradition to Downtown Pittsburgh that mixes international flair with local charm.”

The idea for the Market was inspired by Christmas Markets that originated in Germany, where vendors set up wooden chalets to sell their wares during the Advent season. If you’ve ever seen a picture of one of these types of markets held oversees (or maybe visited one yourself) the Holiday Market in Market Square looks very similar, right down to the chalet stalls themselves.

But, as with any Pittsburgh event, shopping is not the only component to the Holiday Market. The Holiday Market also hosts live music every day (yes, even during the week), Holiday Karaoke in the evenings, the BNY Mellon Season of Lights Display after dark, is home to Santa’s House, and is less than a block from the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place.

Holiday Market Vendors

The Holiday Market has 26 full-time vendors and eight visiting vendors that will take up residence in Market Square through the holiday season. Listed below are all 34 vendors and a description of what they have to offer.

837 North

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Natural candle company that makes signature fragrance blends inspired by different areas of the world.

Abandoned Pittsburgh 

  • Visiting Vendor: Nov. 29 – Dec. 14
  • Abandoned Pittsburgh is an ongoing photography project exploring the Steel City’s historical past through imagery. Items for sale include multi-size prints and books.

Blissed Out Designs

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Marble drink coasters that include nostalgic, vintage images along with original artwork printed on the coasters. Wooden coaster holders, gift boxes and wooden wall prints.
Pittsburgh Ornaments from Blissed Out Designs.

Cha-Ching Coin Jewelry

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Earrings, bracelets, pendants and a variety of items made from coins or tokens. Custom work is available as well. All items made by hand locally.
Coin jewelry from Cha-Ching, with coins from all over the world.

Chocolate Moonshine Company

  • Visiting Vendor: Nov. 16 – Dec. 5
  • Gourmet fudge and artisan chocolate company featuring 20+ flavors of fudge and Belgian chocolates.

Diana Kauffman Designs

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Men’s and women’s jewelry hand-made in Pittsburgh, as well as featuring products from other national artisans.

EllaJude

  • Visiting Vendor: Nov. 23 – Nov. 28
  • Hand cut and forged copper, steel & brass jewelry.

Euro Haus

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Jewelry, scarves, hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments, glass bowls, wooden German scenes, matryoshka, Polish pottery, nutcrackers, porcelain, religious and ethnic items from Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Turkey, USA and China.

European Folk Art

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Polish folk art including: hand-painted glass ornaments, regional dolls, wooden boxes, wooden carved Santas and Nativities, nesting dolls, leather wallets, change purses and keychains, hand-painted candle holders, wooden flutes and nutcrackers, Polish t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hoodies, onesies, stickers, and buttons.
Wooden boxes from European Folk Art.

Fabulous Homemade Cookies

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Handmade cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and assorted holiday cookie boxes and trays.

Gifts from Afar

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Nesting dolls, wooden-carved Santas, wooden Christmas ornaments, glass animals, Lithuanian candle houses, amber jewelry, lacquered pins and hair clips, birchbark boxes, and wooden-carved toys.
A variety of gifts available at Gifts from Afar

Global Girl Gifts

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Jewelry, small bags, scarves, leather journals and small fit items. Products sourced during trips overseas to Southeast Asia and bought from individual artisans and certified fair trade organizations.

Helmut’s Strudel

  • Full-time Vendor
  • From Austria: Strudels, bratwurst, pretzels, hot chocolate, apple cider.

Himalayan Home

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Hand-made wool products from Nepal: jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, socks, leg warmers, ponchos, pashminas. Hand-made felt products: hats, scarves, bags, purses, home decorative items, accessories, brooches, felt shoes and scarves, tea coaster, hot pots, and jewelry. 

The Indochine Impression

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Beautiful, fun paper cards that combine laser-cutting technology with hand-crafted assembly.
A little Riley Sheahan on a card from the Indochine Impression

JP Diroll Photography

  • Visiting Vendor: Nov. 16 – Nov. 30
  • Photographs of Pittsburgh as well as landscapes and wildlife in several print options, as well as calendars, ornaments, coasters, and magnets.

Käthe Wohlfahrt

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Signature retailer of German holiday gifts including Advent calendars, traditional smokers, nutcrackers, music boxes, steins, chocolates, wooden, pewter, and glass ornaments, and more.
Hand-painted glass ornaments from Käthe Wohlfahrt

Kenyan Craft Connection

  • Full-time Vendor
  • African handmade arts, crafts, and jewelry. Also includes wooden crafts, nativity sets, handwoven baskets and handbags, walking sticks, handmade necklaces, bracelets, earrings, bangles, and rings.

KLoRebel Art

  • Visiting Vendor: Dec. 15 – Dec. 23
  • Beautiful line illustrations of Pittsburgh that are transformed into wearable and useful pieces of art.

Linda Barnicott Art and Gifts

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Prints and lithographs framed and unframed. Ornaments, coasters, mint trays, dishes, magnets. Wendell August Forge ornaments, note cards, most are Pittsburgh-themed.

Little Europe

  • Visiting Vendor: Dec. 6 – Dec. 23
  • Handblown glass Christmas ornaments and eggs from Czech Republic and Slovakia. Slovak corn husk dolls, pysanky and wheat decorations. Czech and Bulgarian porcelain vases, plates, and gifts.

Mistura Timepieces

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Handcrafted timepieces made with wood, leather, flowers, cork and recycled materials.

Monmade

Old German Christmas

  • Full-time Vendor
  • All German-made products including glass ornaments from traditional manufacturing, wood crafts, nutcrackers, candle arches, wood ornaments, and pewter ornaments.

Pittsburgh Irish Festival Celtic Gift Shoppe

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Irish merchandise including ornaments, jewelry, tea, bags, sweaters, ties, books, hats, and much more.
Clara stained-glass ornaments at the Irish Festival Celtic Gift Shoppe.

Pittsburgh Pottery

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Pittsburgh-themed mugs, bowls, plates, shot glasses, platters, and Christmas ornaments.

strawberryluna

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Two Pittsburgh-based artist groups featuring beautiful art and illustrations in print, cards, and more.
Pittsburgh bridges prints from strawberryluna.

Style Truck

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Hats, gloves, scarves for women, men, and children, holiday accessories, and women’s outerwear.

Three Rivers Clay Works

  • Visiting Vendor: Nov. 16 – Nov. 21
  • Handmade, functional ceramics that are beautiful, useful works of art.

Three Stone Steps

  • Visiting Vendor: Dec. 1 – Dec. 23
  • Art & artifacts, including recycled metal steel drum art from Haiti and lovely goods from elsewhere.

Vessel Studio Glass

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Ornaments, vases, decanters, cups, terrariums, bowls, pens, gifts, and accessories.

Wagman Designs

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Natural fashion jewelry made with shells, glass, wood, pearls, crystal and metal beads in combination with hypoallergenic materials.

Wendell August Forge

  • Full-time Vendor
  • Handcrafted ornaments and giftware featuring Pittsburgh skylines and landmarks. Pittsburgh bicentennial, Pittsburgh Penguins, and local colleges and universities. Christmas-themed ornaments, giftware, and decor.

Women of the Cloud Forest

  • Full-time Vendor
  • All products from fair-trade artisans in Nicaragua including luminaries, ceramic vessels, bells, soaps, jewelry, and ornaments.
Holy family luminary from Women of the Cloud Forest.

Entertainment at the Holiday Market

The main stage at the Holiday Market will provide entertainment for shoppers throughout the holiday season. The schedule on the Holiday Market website is updated only through Dec. 2, but you can expect music and performances from ethnic groups, school and community choirs, bands, local musicians, and more.

And if you want to be the star of the show, you can join in the Holiday Karaoke Contest held Monday and Tuesday nights through Monday, Dec. 17. There are eight preliminary rounds to qualify for the grand finale on Monday, Dec. 17, where the winner will take home a $1,000 cash prize. Only 24 slots are available in each round, and you have to sign up online to participate. Visit the Holiday Market website to sign up, and view the list of available songs to sing.

Santa’s House

What Christmas event is complete without Santa? Kids and kids at heart can visit with Santa and have their photo taken with him at the Holiday Market. Anyone who makes a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will receive a complementary photo with Santa. 

Please note that Santa’s hours are different than those of the holiday market. Santa is very busy this time of year, you know. 

BNY Mellon Season of Lights

Another staple of Christmas is a good light show, and you can catch one of those at the Holiday Market, too! Every night after dark, more than 150,000 LED lights and a 35-foot sphere tree will come alive through Market Square and on its surrounding buildings in the BNY Mellon Season of Lights spectacular. Shows run every half-hour through January. I visited the Market during the day, so I didn’t get to see this portion of the program, but it’s got me tempted enough to go back and check it out. Be sure to watch the Getting to Know Pittsburgh Instagram story to see if we do go back for a visit, or to follow along on our other Christmas adventures. 

This sphere tree is just one component of the BNY Mellon Season of Lights.

Peoples Gas Holiday Market

Address

Market Hours

  • Open through Dec. 23.
  • Monday through Thursday – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday – 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday – 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Santa’s House Hours

  • Open through Dec. 23.
  • Monday through Friday – 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Parking

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