If the thought of a mall at Christmas time makes you cringe, or if you’re tired of giving the same old gifts every single year, think locally and buy your friends family a Northside gift!

The Northside is full of museums, institutions, talented musicians, great writers and great local businesses. This gift guide barely scratches the surface, so get creative with your holiday shopping this year and avoid all that crazy mall traffic.

 

Museum memberships

Museums rotate exhibits all the time, and many offer additional benefits to members in addition to free or reduced-cost admission. It’s always fun to spend a Saturday exploring a museum with the family, or to show off our community’s many cultural institutions to visiting friends. Don’t forget to check museum gift shops for unique holiday gifts, too!

  • Andy Warhol Museum: $50 – $200, depending on package. Includes membership to the Carnegie Science Center and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Buy Online
  • Carnegie Science Center: $50 – $200, depending on package. Includes membership to the Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Buy Online
  • Children’s Museum: $99 – $380, depending on package; or $154 for a joint membership with the National Aviary. Buy Online
  • Mattress Factory: $70 – $1,000, depending on package. Buy Online
  • National Aviary: $75 – $1,000, depending on package; or $154 for a join membership with the Children’s Museum. Buy Online

 

Books and CDs

For a twist on a classic gift, pick up a book about the Northside or a CD from one of the area’s many talented musicians.

  • The Paris of Appalachia by Brian O’Neill: Book, $16.95. A fun, hopeful look at Pittsburgh’s many stories. Buy Online
  • Resurrecting Allegheny City by Lisa Miles: Book, $16. A detailed history of Allegheny City, now the Northside. Buy Online
  • A Trip to America by the Ortner-Roberts Duo: CD, $22, includes shipping and handling. A blend of traditional Klezmer and Creole music on the piano and clarinet. Buy Online
  • A Celtic Christmas by George Balderose: CD, $18. “A warm, gentle garland of yuletide and Celtic tunes guaranteed to drive the winter chill from your door!” Buy Online
  • Bellyrock by Ishtar: CD, $15, includes shipping. A blend of traditional Turkish belly dance music and American surf rock that will have you dancing. Buy Online
  • The Jaw for the Job, the Heart for the Sin… by Brewer’s Row: CD, $13.99. “American root rock” from a group of talented Northsiders. Buy Online

 

Miscellaneous

  • Gift cards: $5 – $100, depending on how much you choose to spend. Some Northside businesses that offer gift cards are Billy’s Troy Hill Bistro in Troy Hill, Bistro to Go in Deutschtown, Giant Eagle, Crazy Mocha in Central Northside and Buena Vista Coffee in Central Northside. Ask your favorite local business if it offers gift cards.
  • Holiday basket from Sweet Time Café: Call for prices and item selection. 501 E. Ohio St., 412-231-7170.
  • Fresh roasted coffee from Amani Coffee: $9.99 per lb. Available in a variety of flavors, including French (dark), Columbia (medium), Hatian blend and others. Gift cards also available. 507 Foreland St., 412-322-0647.
  • Cigars from Executive Cigars: $3 – $22, depending on cigar. Gift cards also available. 630 Suismon St., 412-321-1101.
  • Fresh baked goods from the Priory Fine Pastries or Schorr Bakery: Ask at the store for prices. Cookies, cakes, pies, pastries! Order a custom cake to make any holiday special. Priory: 528 E. Ohio St., 412-321-7270. Schorr: 3912 Perrysville Ave., 412-321-7568.

Have another great gift idea? Leave it in the comments!