Beginning on Wed., Dec. 1 and continuing through Jan. 2, 2022, The Frick Pittsburgh will invite visitors to its five-acre campus to “let their light shine and celebrate the season with a series of festive, family-friendly outdoor activities," according to a press release. The events kick off with the opening of the Winter Gardens, described as a “beautiful outdoor display of twinkling lights, and live greenery as was Frick family and Gilded Age custom,” including a kissing ball – a vintage holiday decoration considered a precursor to mistletoe – located under the Clayton mansion’s porte cochère.
Like other programming at the Frick, each winter activity is inspired by the Gilded Age, the era during which its namesake, 19th-century industrialist Henry Clay Frick and his family, lived. This includes ice skating at a temporary, custom-built rink, horse-drawn carriage rides, outdoor walking tours, and more.
It all culminates with Winterfest at the end of the month. Starting on Tue., Dec. 28 and running through Jan. 2, 2022, the Frick campus will play host to caroling by mother-daughter duo KEA & Auhneyah and holiday storytelling with Alan Irvine, as well as wagon rides and appearances by costumed characters from Anima! X and I Believe in Fairies Productions.
There will also be selfie stations, shopping at the Frick Museum Store, and festive treats at The Café at the Frick.
Much like Frick’s annual Summer Series, many of the winter activities will be free and open to the public. Some offerings, such as ice skating and horse-drawn carriage rides, will require fees and advance registration.
A press release says that The Frick Pittsburgh created its outdoor holiday programming and Winterfest as a way to “bring families and friends safely together” during the season, even as concerns over COVID-19 continue. Even so, visitors will be able to access indoor attractions. These include the Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement exhibition and artist-in-residence vanessa german’s installation Reckoning: Grief and Light at The Frick Art Museum, which promise a “safe-haven from the winter weather and a diverse sampling of classical and contemporary art.”
In terms of COVID-19 precautions, Frick will require that any visitor over the age of 2 wear a close-fitting mask over their nose and mouth when indoors and on outdoor group tours. Disposable masks will be available free of charge at the Grable Visitor Center. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test will also be required for indoor activities, including lectures, concerts, group tours, or dining inside The Café at the Frick.
Proof of vaccination or a recent negative test is not required to view exhibitions at The Frick Art Museum and Car and Carriage Museum, shop at the Frick Museum Store, dine on The Café patio, order carryout, visit the Greenhouse, or participate in outdoor programs.
“As a center and resource for our community, we at the Frick are excited to present our very first Winterfest, a reimagining of our holiday offerings which we hope will center opportunities for friends and families to come together to celebrate the joy of the season safely," says Frick marketing and communications associate Kaitlyn Clem. "We’re thrilled to have been able to collaborate with local businesses, artists, and creatives to bring this festive vision to life.”
The Frick Pittsburgh. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. thefrickpittsburgh.org