It is hard to believe, but fall is winding down and the holiday season is about to begin. The unofficial kickoff in Pittsburgh is Light Up Night, which takes place on Friday, November 18th this year. After that, all attention turns to Christmas music, frenzied shopping and finding things to do in Pittsburgh during the winter. Over the years, Christmas light displays in Pittsburgh have become a tradition for thousands around the area. With such popularity, more and more have been popping up each year. Here is a list of holiday light displays in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area this year:
- Overly’s County Christmas – 11/18/16 – 1/1/17. Located at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds, Overly’s features a short but dense drive thru with parking at the end. Walk through the Christmas Village, shop, and warm your hands at the bonfire…
- Oglebay’s Festival of Lights – 11/11/16 – 1/1/17. Oglebay Resort, near Wheeling, WV, puts together a huge drive thru display that stretches out across several miles. Along the way you can stop at the Good Zoo for additional holiday displays, as well as at Wilson Lodge and several gift shops. Not walk-able, but plenty of parking and things to see and do along the way.
- Downtown Pittsburgh – 11/18/16 – 12/23/16. Light Up Night in Downtown features a series of events and activities at various locations across the Golden Triangle. It is centered around the Stnawix / Gateway Center area and features entertainment and the lighting of the tree by Santa himself. However, be sure to visit the city up until Christmas to shop at the Holiday Market in Market Square, or go ice skating at PPG Plaza in the ambiance of the castle-like glass buildings. Note that ice skating is open all winter until the weather no longer cooperates.
- Phipps Conservatory Winter Flower Show and Light Garden – 11/25/16 – 1/8/17. Phipps always does amazing things with their gardens, indoor and outside, no matter the time of year, but takes it to a new level during the holiday season. Phipps is located adjacent to Schenley Park in Oakland, adjacent to the Carnegie Mellon and Pitt campuses.
- Christmas Light Up Celebration – 11/17/16 – 1/1/17. One of the newer Christmas light displays in located in Clinton, PA, not far from the Pittsburgh airport. It is a one-mile drive thru, but will operate as a walk thru on 11/17 and 11/18. Hayrides are also available on Sundays thru Thursdays.
- Kennywood Park Holiday Lights – 11/25/16 – 12/23/16. Weekends only. Enjoy Kennywood in the winter! Several rides are open plus an all-new Gingerbread Village. Also don’t miss “The Polar Express: A 4D Experience”. Light shows, a giant Christmas tree, and Kennywood – what is not to like?
- Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland – 11/18/16 – 1/8/17. Shadrack’s is newer to the scene, and will set up shop again at the Big Butler Fairgrounds. The Christmas Wonderland features a drive thru, along with a walkable, indoor Santa’s Village, with shopping, train rides and of course, hot chocolate, among many other activities.
Note that the Hartwood Acres Christmas lights, or “Celebration of Lights”, looks to be closed indefinitely. This was a very popular light display in northeastern Allegheny County, centered around the Hartwood Mansion in Hartwood Acres County Park. It closed a few years ago due to lack of sponsorship.
If you know of any other Christmas Light Displays in Pittsburgh or in the surrounding southwestern Pennsylvania area, please let us know and we may add them to the list.
Remember to visit us daily at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Guide for top attractions, history, happenings and all kinds of things to do in Pittsburgh!