Carnegie Museums and Phipps Light Up the Holidays, Sun. 12/8/2013

1) The holidays are full of traditions around these parts. The Italians have the Feast of the Seven Fishes; the Eastern Europeans have their 12-dish supper; the Elf on the Shelf is here to stay, and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art wants to be on your list of seasonal traditions. The Neapolitan presepio is a handcrafted Nativity scene with pieces dating back to 1700. These carefully preserved pieces, created by Neapolitan artisans, include vibrant colors, intricate detail, and a glimpse into 18th century Italy that covers over 250 square feet. This is truly one of the most impressive Nativity scenes you’ll see this season. While you’re there, enjoy the Carnegie Trees display. This year’s theme is Embracing the Art of Play to accompany the 2013 Carnegie International. Lights and ornaments glimmer and shimmer around newly purple walls to make you feel like royalty. Both displays run through Jan. 12. Sunday 12 – 5 p.m. 440 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

2) You’ve braved the malls, you’ve crawled through the traffic, and you didn’t grumble once—well done! You deserve a little present for yourself. In the midst of the holiday rush, slow down and relax with nature at Phipps Conservatory for the Winter Light Garden and Flower Show. This spectacular display includes the festive seasonal colors of poinsettias, amaryllis, and evergreens accompanied by thousands of tiny LED lights. In the West Wing, get the feel of the North Pole, as illuminated glass florae are reflected with overhead simulated constellations to portray the impressive Aurora Borealis. If weather permits, mingle in the Outdoor Garden, complete with glowing lights and festively lit trees for a unique holiday treat. Runs through Jan. 12. 5 – 11 p.m. 1 Schenley Park, Oakland.

3) Many can imitate, but none can replicate that trademark sound. The godfathers of punk, The Misfits, are back with a vengeance at the Altar Bar. For a band that formed 36 years ago, The Misfits continue to be relevant in pop culture and show no signs of slowing down. Aggressive guitar riffs, quick tempos, and mosh-worthy lyrics—as demonstrated in songs like “Forbidden Zone“—make it pretty clear why the New Jersey natives are the first name in the punk realm. Raw talent coupled with decades of experience make these boys one of the most anticipated shows of the year. With A Lovely Crisis, Driven Lifeless, and The Attack opening up, you’ll be plenty revved up for the main event. Tie your shoes tight; you don’t want to lose them in the mosh pit. 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.

4) Don’t be a Scrooge—enjoy the holiday season with Pittsburgh CLO’s A Musical Christmas Carol at the Byham Theater. Follow the story of penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge, altruistic Bob Cratchit, and innocent Tiny Tim in a tale about greed, ghosts, and the notion that people truly can change for the better. The timeless Charles Dickens story comes to life on the stage through vibrant costumes, new melodies, and the kind of magic only this time of year can bring. In the spirit of kindness, you will be able to donate non-perishable food items in the lobby to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Runs through Dec. 21. Sunday 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Cultural District.

5) Our Steelers attempt to bounce back from their Thanksgiving defeat with 60 minutes against the Miami Dolphins this afternoon at Heinz Field. Don’t put away those rally caps just yet; stranger things have happened! 1 p.m. 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.