1) The holidays are full of traditions around these parts: Italians have the Feast of the Seven Fishes; Eastern Europeans have their 12-dish supper; and the Elf on the Shelf is here to stay. This year, the Carnegie Museum of Art wants to be part of your seasonal traditions with the Neapolitan presepio, a Pittsburgh tradition at the museum since 1957. This carefully preserved Nativity scene, which covers 250 square feet, offers a glimpse into 18th-century Italy with its life-size figures handcrafted by artisans between 1700 and 1830. While there, enjoy the Carnegie Trees. Both exhibits run through January 7 and are free with museum admission. 10 a.m. – 8 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 in the natural setting of the Phipps Conservatory with its Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. This spectacular display includes the festive seasonal colors of poinsettias, Amaryllis, and evergreens accompanied by thousands of tiny LED lights, ornaments and toys. If weather permits, mingle in the Outdoor Garden, complete with glowing lights and festively lit trees for a unique holiday treat. There’s even a garden train that runs through the floral displays. Phipps is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the holiday season. Reserve your timed ticket. Continues through January 12. One Schenley Park, Oakland.