Best Places to See Santa in Pittsburgh
Christmas is a time of wonder. The lights, the presents, and the music all add up to a season that fills our minds with memories and our hearts with delight. None of this is more evident than through the eyes of a child. Many of us have memories of leaving out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and then waking up to gifts under the tree in the morning. Visiting Santa is a highlight of the season for many children as they sit on his lap and verbalize their gift list. Even though we as adults know that it’s just a kind soul donning a big belly and red suit, we still love seeing the awe in the eyes of the kids as they visit Santa himself.
If seeing Santa is on your list of things to do this holiday season, then we have suggestions for you on the best places to see Santa in Pittsburgh. From attractions to stores, prepare that holiday list and get the kiddos ready to visit good ole’ Saint Nick.
If you are looking for a Christmas market, light show, and live entertainment, then Lumaze is the place to go! Not only do they have visits with Santa, but their holiday theme this year is all about the jolly guy. Princes and princesses can have “A Fairytale Christmas” as they help Santa and Storyland characters find lost presents. Not only can kids tell their Christmas wishes to Santa, but they can also play on playgrounds, stroll through the Christmas Light Gardens, and ride on Louis the Locomotive.
Adults can peruse the market filled with local artisans and enjoy seasonal beverages. Christmas Glow truly has something for everyone, no matter his or her age. The best part? The entire thing is under roof, so you can enjoy all of the activities regardless of the weather.
Breakfast with Santa and Friends
Santa and his friends all come together to create a special breakfast just for kids! Children can see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch, Snoopy and more as they eat breakfast together. After feasting on pancakes and sausage, children can have a photo with Santa, make a craft, and view holiday decorations. Characters are available for photos, too, so be sure to make a list of which ones your kids want to visit after having Breakfast with Santa and Friends.
Phipps is lovely at any time of year, but the conservatory gets festive when the holidays roll around. The Winter Flower Show and Light Garden have been going on for over a dozen decades (do the math!). They offer over 10 acres of gardens filled with lights, a floating forest, a tree carousel, poinsettia trees, and a rainbow glow tree. It is a unique experience! Families can participate in Family Fun Evenings, and Santa is available to visit with the kiddos. Live music is scheduled throughout December to add to the holiday vibe of an already festive place.
Breakfast with Santa Cruise
Experience the first meal of the day differently! Take a 2-hour cruise on the Three Rivers to meet Santa and a few of his friends on the Breakfast with Santa Cruise. The boat trip is both fun and interactive as there are story readings, a DJ dance party, face painting, balloons, and a full-service bar for the adults…at breakfast!
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has a 2-mile track, and kids can take a ride on the Santa Trolley. Saint Nick will be available for photos, and children can make crafts and feast on complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. The museum itself is interesting and becomes even more so once the Santa Trolley comes into town.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
The zoo? The aquarium? You better believe it! And it’s even more spectacular than that. Kids can eat Breakfast or Lunch with Santa while they are there. Be sure to register for this breakfast buffet, as spaces are known to fill up fairly quickly. Children can decorate a donut, meet zoo ambassador animals (how fun!), and hand-deliver a letter to Santa. This is sure to be a memorable event for the kids with a fun, animal-centric twist.
Santa’s House in the Holiday Market
Inspired by German Christmas markets, the Peoples Gas Holiday Market is brimming with Alpine-looking chalets filled with artisan quality vendors and gifts. Do your shopping, watch live performances, and visit with Santa. It’s also the season for giving, so for a $5 donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, you will receive a cherished photo with Santa. $5 buys 25 meals for a local in need. What a way to share the love this holiday season while having the perfect keepsake.