Rat Pack Christmas; Christmas Trees, Flowers, and Lights; Restaurants and Movie Theaters (CPs Tues., 12/24/13)

1) Spend Christmas With the Rat Pack! Frank (Sinatra), Dean (Martin), and Sammy (Davis, Jr.), portrayed by talented performers, a 12-piece big band, and the  Burelli Sisters, are all taking the stage at the “Sands Hotel in Vegas” (aka Heinz Hall in the Cultural District). They’ll be singing the classics, “Fly Me to the Moon,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “That’s Amore,” and lots of Christmas standards. Enjoy the holidays at The Sands! 2 p.m. Runs through Dec. 29. 600 Penn Ave.

2) 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 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 painted purple walls, which are part of artist Gabriel Sierra installation in the Hall of Architecture; the colorful walls are sure to make you feel like royalty. Both displays run through Jan. 12. 440 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

3) 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 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 that 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. Phipps is open Christmas Eve from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1 Schenley Park, Oakland.

Today there are also several options for dining and entertainment, including Chinese and kosher restaurants, hotel restaurants and bars, and movie theaters. Check with the individual establishments for hours and offerings.

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Rick Handler

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