Photo Credit: KDKA

Are you a super, uber geek about one particular hobby? Love beer? Get weird for comics? Then you haven’t lived until you attend a convention. Find a good one and you’ll be on your way to a 72-hour non-stop ride with hundreds or thousands of people who are just as passionate as you are. Sound intense? It is. In the most fantastic way, of course. Don’t know where to start? This list covers food, crafts, gaming, comics and sports, and these conventions are held at both the Monroeville Convention Center, and David L. Lawrence, so you’re close to home wherever you choose to go.

Handmade Arcade
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 565-6000
www.pittsburghcc.com

Saturday, Dec. 5

Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s award-winning independent craft fair, was recently featured on BuzzFeed as one of the “35 Indie Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs To Visit.” This one-day event will showcase more than 150 craft-based artists for its sixth appearance at Downtown’s Convention Center. Handmade Arcade offers an authentic, charming and personal shopping experience in innovative, affordable and handmade products made by some of the country’s top indie crafters, who are all on-site to talk with attendees about their creative process, unique product lines and history. Vendors represent an assorted range of craft media & techniques, and include first-time vendors, emerging designers and established vendors.

Gaming Association Of Southwestern PA
Monroeville Convention Center
209 Mall Blvd
Monroeville, PA 15146
(412) 373-7300
monroevilleconventioncenter.com

Saturday, Nov. 6th

Join GASP for three continuous days of table top gaming. GASPcon, in its 16th consecutive year, offers something for everyone, including card and board games, miniatures and role playing. As a member, there are no event fees, as your one-time registration fee permits attendees access to all the gaming during the event, including access to GASPcon’s massive board game library, Sanctioned Shadowrun, indie games on demand, Path Finder games, the Vendor room and much more.

PirateFest 
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 565-6000
www.pittsburghcc.com

Saturday, Dec. 12th

PirateFest 2015, presented by T-Mobile, features exciting baseball-themed activities for the entire family. PirateFest promises live events, autograph sessions with current and former players, prizes, games, youth baseball clinics, a meet-and-greet with the Pirate Parrot, and the ability to purchase tickets for the 2016 season, among more. Admission is free to this exciting event, and a $20.00 donation toward the autograph session supports It’s About the Warrior, which directly benefits Pittsburgh area animal rescue & adoption organizations. In just the past 12 months, they have distributed over $145,000 for non-profit causes.

Related: Best Fall 2015 Outdoor Concerts In Pittsburgh

3rd Annual Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 565-6000
www.pittsburghcc.com

Fri., Feb 26 — Sat., Feb 27, 2016

250+ craft beers, thousands of craft beer fans, and Pittsburgh food vendors — what could be better? All proceeds from the 3rd annual Winter Beerfest support Animal Friends. Sample one of these delectable hand-crafted brews, or all of them (but seriously, please call an Uber if you do that), and know that your generous support is going to agencies and advocates who put animals first,

Steel City Con
Monroeville Convention Center
209 Mall Blvd
Monroeville, PA 15146
(412) 373-7300
monroevilleconventioncenter.com

Fri, Dec 4 – Sunday, Dec 6 

The Steel City Con, the exclusive comic con of the Monroeville Convention Center, is one of the largest comic cons in the United States with over 100,000 square feet of convention space. At the Steel City Con, get up-close-and-personal with TV and film celebrities and experience celebrity Q & A’s, panels, celebrity photo ops and the Artist Charity Quick Sketch. Attendees can also take part in cosplay, trivia and costume contests while there. This year, meet Naomi Grossman (“Pepper” from American Horror Story: Freakshow), Sean Astin and Danny Glover, among others.

Related: Best Halloween-Themed Stage Performances In Pittsburgh

Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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