1) Can’t decide if you like rock or hip hop more? You won’t need to pick when you see twenty one pilots at Stage AE. The Columbus natives work in an indie sub-genre commonly referred to as alternative hip hop. A little funkier than Aerosmith’s mashup with Run DMC in “Walk This Way,” the duo combine various tempos and rhythms that will have you dancing and headbanging simultaneously. As demonstrated in “Holding Onto You,” the verses are rap-based with a seamless flow into a chorus with a raw beat reminiscent of early Linkin Park. The end result: rock and rap had a love child and named it twenty one pilots, and it’s the sound you’ve been looking for if, like me, you find yourself flipping between WAMO and The X on the radio. Smallpools and Sirah are warming up the crowd so make sure to get there early. Doors 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.
2) Hear some sassy standards at Jergel’s with jazz crooner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Better known as 2011’s “America’s Got Talent” winner, Murphy won over the judges and the show’s viewers with covers of songs by Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, including the ever relevant “My Way,” which ended up winning him the competition. Murphy comes to us with songs from his first album, That’s Life, which features many of the standards that made him famous. If he’s feeling jolly, we may even hear a few holiday tunes from his new self-released Christmas Made for Two. If his story—going from a car wash attendant to a Las Vegas superstar—doesn’t inspire you, his full, rich voice certainly will. 7 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.
3) Don’t be a Scrooge—get into the holiday spirit with Kennywood’s Holiday Lights. Your favorite summer spot has transformed itself into a winter wonderland. Bundle up the kids and enjoy all the family fun, including selected rides, light shows (every half hour, so you won’t miss a minute), a Toy Soldier Band, and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” Write a letter to Santa in the Penny Arcade, or go see him for a photo that screams “Pittsburgh” in a replica coaster car of the Racer. Warm up with some hot cider and Potato Patch fries and learn why Kennywood isn’t just for summer fun. 5 – 9 p.m. Fridays – Sundays through Dec. 22. 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin.
4) Classical music just sounds better when it’s cold outside. Get a serious case of the warm fuzzies with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for an afternoon of waltz and polka (yes, polka) at Heinz Hall. The PSO’s family-friendly performance features pianist Till Fellner doing what he does best. Today’s repertoire includes Suppe’s Overture to Poet and Peasant, Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 in G Major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 58, and various waltzes and polkas by Strauss. Kick off the holiday season with some culture for the whole family. 2:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.