December 2013

View another month: February | March | April | May | June | July

Click here to search the calendar for all four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Holiday Hours
Closed Christmas Day
Open the Tuesday after Christmas


Dinosaurs in Their Time
Permanent Exhibition
First Floor

Dinosaurs in Their Time

Dinosaurs in Their Time is the first permanent exhibition in the world to feature scientifically accurate, immersive environments spanning the Mesozoic Era—the Age of Dinosaurs—arranged chronologically and filled with actively posed original fossil specimens. See dinosaurs like they haven’t been seen in 66 million years!

The historic, century-old Dinosaur Hall was closed in Spring 2005 for over two years of renovation and construction, resulting in the spectacular exhibition Dinosaurs in Their Time. The renovated and expanded exhibition illustrates the incredible diversity of life in the Mesozoic Era, placing the dinosaurs in dramatic, scientifically accurate poses amidst the hundreds of plant and animal species that shared their environments.
Click here for more information about the exhibition. 

Free with admission to Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Hunt: A Tlingit Totem Pole carving and installation by Tommy Joseph
November 26–December 14, 2013
R.P. Simmons Family Gallery

The Hunt: A Tlingit Totem Pole carving and installation by Tommy Joseph

Witness history in progress as artist Tommy Joseph carves a traditional 16-foot Tlingit totem pole commissioned by Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Joseph will work in the R. P. Simmons Family Gallery so that visitors may watch him create this piece and view Tlingit artifacts related to the totem pole creation process. The completed totem pole will be permanently installed as a marker to the entrance of Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians. This project is made possible by the Emil Heuser Family.

Neapolitan presepio 
November 29, 2013–January 12, 2014 (closed December 2-4)

Free with museum admission

A visit to Carnegie Museum of Art’s Neapolitan presepio, one of the finest Nativity scenes of its kind, has been a Pittsburgh holiday tradition since 1957. Handcrafted by artisans between 1700 and 1830, the presepio features lifelike figures and colorful details that re-create the Nativity within a vibrant panorama of 18th-century Italian village life. More than 100 superbly modeled human and angelic figures, along with animals, accessories, and architectural elements, cover a 250-square-foot area and create a memorable depiction of the Nativity as seen through the eyes of Neapolitan artisans and collectors.

Children’s Book Reading: Awesome Animals Rock™ the Holidays! by Max and Su Tiber
Sunday, December 1

Noon–5 p.m.
Free with museum admission

Celebrate the winter holiday season with 11-year-old author Max Tiber and his mom as they read their children’s book, Awesome Animals Rock™ the Holidays!, to museum visitors. Blending whimsical illustrations with amazing animal facts, this unique holiday-themed alphabet book is sure to delight children and parents alike.

Can’t make it to the reading? Awesome Animals Rock™ the Holidays! will be on sale at the store at Carnegie Museum of Natural History throughout the holidays!

Carnegie Trees Opening Celebration
Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Enjoy a first look at the six uniquely decorated Carnegie Trees for the 2013 Holiday season at this preview party, hosted by the Women’s Committee of Carnegie Museum of Art. This year’s theme is Embracing the Art of Play. For more information, please visit the event webpage or contact the Women’s Committee at 412.622.3325 or 


Carnegie Trees 2013: Embracing the Art of Play 
December 5, 2013–January 12, 2014

Free with museum admission

Join us for this popular seasonal display to see the Hall of Architecture filled with several towering 20-foot Colorado spruce trees, each adorned with handcrafted ornaments that celebrate the art of play. This year's installation is inspired by the spirit of creative play running through the 2013 Carnegie International, the museum’s signature exhibition of contemporary art. The Hall of Architecture is also currently the site of an installation by International artist Gabriel Sierra, who has painted the walls of the space a rich purple and added subtle purple sculptural forms. Setting off the hall’s architectural casts in a new way, this choice of color will also add a royal hue to this season’s colorful decorations.

R.W. Moriarty Science Seminar: Anusha Ramdarshan, PhD
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Free with museum admission; no registration required.
Join us for this scientific seminar on current research at Carnegie Museum of Natural History! Hear Carnegie scientists and invited researchers discuss their latest findings on a wide variety of science topics.
Anusha Ramdarshan, PhD
Vertebrate Paleontology Postdoctoral Fellow
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Seminar: Puzzles in Paleobiology: Reconstructing the Diet of Early Primates and their Relatives

Coffee with the Curator: The presepio 
Thursday, December 12, 2013

10:30–11 a.m.: Light breakfast fare in Carnegie Café
11 a.m.–noon: Curator's talk in the CMA Theater
$35 ($28 Members)
Registration required. Call 412.622.3288 to register.

Celebrate the season with your friends or meet new ones over a light breakfast in the Carnegie Café. Then learn about the museum's renowned Neapolitan presepio, a stunning display handcrafted by Italian artists between 1700 and 1830 that re-creates the Nativity within a vibrant panorama of 18th-century Italian village life.

Rachel Delphia, the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, explores the history behind this beloved annual exhibition in an illustrated talk in the CMA Theater. Docents will be on hand in the Hall of Architecture following the program for further conversation.

Overnight Adventures: All-in-One Adventure (SOLD OUT)
Friday, December 13 to Saturday, December 14

Explore the museum at night by going on a hands-on adventure of our amazing exhibitions and get a look at collections that are not normally on display. You'll see it all in one amazing evening adventure!

Ages: Must be at least 6 years old

Cost: $35 per person, including chaperones. Fee includes a $10 non-refundable deposit due within 30 days of booking, and must be paid in full no later than one month in advance of the overnight. Unpaid reservations may result in cancellation of a program. No refund will be granted for withdrawals made with less than thirty days’ notice.

Chaperones: One adult for every 1–5 children (6 children=2 adults, etc.). Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult chaperone; adults must stay through entire overnight.

Accomodations: Participants sleep on carpeted and tiled floors as a group. No tents or air mattresses are permitted; sleeping bags, pillows, and a sleeping pad work well. Please dress appropriately for community sleeping. Access to electrical outlets available for special needs. 

Registration required. Contact Group Visits at 412.622.3289 or 

Breakfast with Santa-saurus!
Saturday, December 14

Let your little ones dress up as their favorite dinosaurs and come to the museum for a truly amazing family event! Eat a hearty breakfast while keeping a pterosaur-eye view of your favorite Mesozoic herbivores and carnivores in Dinosaurs in Their Time, and hang out with santa-saurus! At 8:40 a.m., the tables are cleared for very special hands-on activities. Same-day admission is included in the ticket price. It is a family experience your dinosaur-loving child will never forget!   

Seating is limited, so be sure to register early!

Menu: French toast, egg strata, assorted pastries, yogurt, granola, chunked fresh fruit, and cereal.

Cost: Members: $65 per adult/child pair; $10 per additional guest (up to two per adult/child pair)
Non-Members: $80 per adult/child pair; $15 per additional guest (up to two per adult/child pair)

Registration: Contact Program Registration at 412.622.3288 or

Christmas Day: Closed
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Please note: Hours and admission apply only to Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art at the Forbes Avenue location. Separate hours and admission apply to Carnegie Science Center and The Andy Warhol Museum, both on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

Winter Camps
Monday, December 30 and Tuesday, December 31

Experience the fun and excitement of summer camp in December! Investigate science and culture over your winter break at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Each day of camp features new experiments, exhibition explorations, and creative activities for ages 6-13. Sign up for one or both days.  


Camp Rate (per camper per day)  

9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.  

$45 ($40 Members)  


Post-care (per camper per day)  

3:00–6:00 p.m.  

$10 (no Member discount)  

Registration required. Call 412.622.3288 or email   


Registration deadline: December 23  

Monday, December 30

Peculiar Paleontology (ages 6–7)
Investigate prehistoric life to the extreme, from a gigantic mosasaur to tiny mammals that shared the dinosaurs' world! Investigate fossils, feathers, and more as you get an inside look at Mesozoic paleontology.

Egyptian Exploration (ages 8–10)
Learn about the fascinating customs, crafts, and culture of ancient Egyptians by exploring Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt. Try your hand at hieroglyphics, pottery, model mummification, and more.

Survivor Adventure (ages 11–13)
Through experiments and survivor challenges, investigate how animals and people adapt to life in extreme environments. Learn basic cold weather survival skills and investigate survival strategies of local plants and animals on a hike through Schenley Park.

Tuesday, December 31

Life on the Nile (ages 6–7)
Journey up the Nile to discover awesome ancient Egypt. Learn about the role of animals in Egyptian life and lore. Explore the secret life of beetles by observing live insects and seeing how they measure up to the mystical ancient Egyptian scarab.

Rockhounds (ages 8–10)
Take your interest in rocks to the next level with this in-depth geology investigation. Examine rocks, gems, minerals, and fossils in the lab and in our exhibition halls. Conduct experiments with model magma and lava to explore how geologic events change the face of the earth. 

Bringing Paleontology to Life (ages 11–13)
Learn about the science and art that go into recreating a view of prehistoric life based on fossils from the field. Explore the collections to investigate ideas about dinosaur skin, muscles, and movement.

Note: Should hazardous conditions result in cancellation of programs, announcements will be made on television stations KDKA, WTAE, and WPXI.