Photo Credit: KDKA

It feels like we only just rang in 2015, yet here we are getting ready for 2016. But what options do you have for things to do around town? From the annual First Night celebration to rockin’ parties, Pittsburgh has plenty to offer you this New Year’s, and we’ve got your guide right here. We can even tell you who’s offering transportation around the city and where to get deals on hotel rooms, so you can sleep soundly and well into the day on New Year’s Day.

What To Do

For the 22nd consecutive year, you can head to the Cultural District for First Night, a six-hour celebration featuring live music, dance, theater, visual arts, activities for children and more, including the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball during the countdown to midnight. Admission buttons are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. If you’d prefer to celebrate on the water, check out one of the Gateway Clipper’s cruises.

Where To Go

If you’re more into the bar scene and would prefer to stick to a party, Pittsburgh’s bars have you covered. Parties will be held at Heaven in the Renaissance Hotel, Olive or Twist, Howl at the Moon, Cavo and more, including plenty of Carson St. bars on the South Side. On the North Side, Rivers Casino will be holding an ’80s-themed throwback party hosted by Q92.9’s Jim Krenn, also featuring free entertainment from Dancing Queen, The Hobbs Sisters and Dueling Pianos. Another great reason to not miss this party would be the Porsche giveaway.


As part of First Night, Zambelli Fireworks will have two displays: one at 6 p.m., the other at midnight. Of course, the best view of the fireworks that you can get in the city is up on Mt. Washington, but be prepared for a crowd as there are many people who will have the same idea.

Related: Best Date Night Spots In Pittsburgh

How To Get Around

Need to get around? You have plenty of options, from services like Uber and Lyft to Pittsburgh’s own public transportation. Yellow Cab, Classy Cab and Checker Cab are also available, as is City Cab in certain parts of the city: downtown to Mt. Washington, North Side, Oakland, South Side, Strip District, Uptown and West End. Buses and the subway will also be running, and the subway’s free-fare zone offers free transportation at First Avenue Station, Steel Plaza, Wood Street Station, Gateway, North Side Station and Allegheny Station. If you’re staying at a hotel, some offer free shuttles back to your room.

Where To Stay

After a long, exciting night of partying, there’s nothing like coming back to a big, cozy bed, especially in a nice hotel. While hotels often raise their prices for events and holidays, some are running special promotions or offering New Year’s packages. Rivers Casino has partnered with hotels for special rates of $149 a night at Residence Inn by Marriott and Springhill Suites Marriott, both in Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Or enjoy luxury accommodations at the Omni William Penn, which offers a New Year’s package featuring live music and dancing, a four-course meal dinner and sparkling wine delivered to your room. You can also enjoy a late 5 p.m. checkout on New Year’s Day. Rooms are available to book through Dec. 29.

Related: Beyond The Eggnog: Your Holiday Drink Guide

Janelle Sheetz is a 20-something closed-captioner by day, writer by night, just outside of Pittsburgh. She also regularly contributes to and, and her writing has also been featured on The Billfold and Neutrons Protons.