Best Family-Friendly Christmas Activities in Pittsburgh

Christmas in Pittsburgh is about more than shopping and cooking. In fact, the entire city prepares for this epic month of celebration long in advance. If you and your family are looking for some excitement, there is sure to be something to do around every corner. Here are the top family-friendly Christmas activities in Pittsburgh this year.

Lumaze Family Christmas Wagon

Lumaze Pittsburgh

Have you ever wanted to step into a fairytale? We know your kids do and now they finally can. At this family-friendly indoor event, you get to take part in something magical. Wander around your very own holiday fairytale and step into a magical world. While there, you will help Santa and his elves save Christmas! Once you’ve saved Christmas, explore the interactive light gardens and check out the illuminated structures. If you get hungry, try some of the delicious food on offer and sip down a festive beverage. As you meander around the million sparkling lights, your kids will beg you to bring them back again.

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Light Up Night’s Fireworks

Light Up Night is the official start to Christmas in the city of Pittsburgh. It’s always the Friday before Thanksgiving and you can enjoy a whole day of fun. During the first day, there will be a tree-lighting ceremony, live music and the opening of the Christmas markets. In the evening, there are three firework shows ending the night with a bang. The first show happens at 7 pm at the Highmark Building. That’s also when the Unity Tree lights are turned on. The second show starts at 8:30 pm at the river in front of the point. Then, it ends shortly after 9:30 pm with the official display on the Allegheny River. If you want the best view, make sure you are on the North Shore river trail.

Shadrack Christmas Lights

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

Butler has a fun attraction available and you don’t have to get out of the car to enjoy it. This drive-through experience gives you access to a magical light and sound display. It’s a three-mile course that you follow and you will be spellbound by the light displays. While you visit, you can have the kids take a picture with Santa, ride the train and drink some hot chocolate.

Phipps Holiday Magic Banner

Phipps Conservatory’s Winter Flower Show

This event starts the Friday following Thanksgiving. The conservatory is turned into a winter wonderland that the entire family will rave about. The outdoor garden also hosts a light display that you can only see after dark. While you visit, make sure you visit with Santa, check out the train and listen to live music.

Kennywood Christmas Lights

Kennywood’s Holiday Lights

Looking for another winter wonderland experience? Then you won’t want to miss out on Kennywood’s lights. Every inch of this park is transformed for the holiday with thousands of beautiful lights. There are light shows held every 30 minutes on the lagoon. You can also see the gingerbread house exhibits and live performances. When you are done walking around, let the kids ride some of the ten kiddie attractions.

Christmas Seating

Christmas at the Nationality Rooms

At Pitt’s Cathedral, there are dozens of themed rooms, but they are heavily decorated during Christmas. If you visit during the open house, you also get to experience live music, readings and plenty of yummy food options.

Christmas Rose Lights

Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights

If you are up for a short drive, your family won’t be disappointed with the Winter Festival of Lights. It’s a drive-thru Christmas extravaganza on over 300 acres. It’s been in operation since 1985 and continues to impress. In fact, many of the displays were welded together by the high school students in town. Make sure you stop and see the 60-foot poinsettia wreath complete with candle formation. If you don’t want to deal with the traffic, consider using Trolley Tours from the Wilson Lodge instead. It would provide the perfect get-away for the family this season.

With so much to do around Pittsburgh, it can be challenging to decide what to see first. What’s on your family’s agenda for Christmas fun? Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite festive location.


Christmas Activities, Events, Family friendly

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