No matter what kind of holiday break you may have (whether it’s this whole week off of work or just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) Pittsburgh seems magical this time of year. It’s full of Christmas decorations and lighting and tons of fun activities that you and your family can enjoy. I’ve already given you a number of great events with my December 2015 Events in Pittsburgh blog that’s created at the beginning of each month, but here are some extra special activities that can get you even more into the holiday spirit!
2015 Holiday Activities in Pittsburgh
- Phipps Family Fun Days
With the theme of “Deck the Halls” these family fun days at Phipps Conservatory are sure to get your family in the Christmas spirit, while educating them at the same time. Your kids will be educated by volunteers about the indoor gardens while enjoying the decorations at the same time. You can also stop by the Winter Flower show that’s open through January 11th and the Winter Light Garden if you can stay past 5PM!
- Get Aboard The Western Pennsylvania Railroad Museum
With special shows only open during the holidays this museum could easily turn into a family tradition, especially if your kids loves trains! This year’s show is called “A Journey in Miniature” and begins on Saturday November 14 2015 and runs through Sunday, January 17 2016. With only $6 for adults and $4 for children, your kids can explore and learn about this 4,000 square foot layout that includes a “fictitious Mon-Valley System (according to the Museum Press Release. On Friday evenings you can also catch a special show called “Steam at Twilight” were the show’s setting goes even further back from 1953 to 1949. The Museum chairman Bill Humphrey says this could be your family’s next great tradition,
“The kids just love it here, you can see it on their faces as soon as they walk through the door. It’s truly a magical place for them.
- Kennywood Holiday Lights
Pittsburgh’s favorite park Kennywood does a great job at creating seasonal activities that become annual traditions. This year you can enjoy millions of lights with some fantastic choirs, a visit with Santa, and even a new 90-foot tall Christmas tree (Pennsylvania’s tallest!). You can even enjoy some of the rides that will be open like the Gingerbread Express. And new to Kennywood this year you can watch a 4-D showing of The Polar Express in Kennywood’s new 4-D theater, according to kidsburg.org. While most of the dates for Kennywood holiday lights have past, there are still some opportunities available on the days after Christmas – December 26 2015 and December 27 2015 from 5 PM – 9 PM according to the Kennywood website.
- Ice Skating Rinks
Of course there’s always the great tradition of ice-skating at Schenley Park’s outdoor skating rink. Kidsburgh.org does remind you that since this park is going through renovations this year their hours may be varied. But you don’t have to miss out on skating with your family because there’s also the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at the Plaza PPG Place where skating lessons are even offered!
- Carnegie Science Center Holiday Camps
If you’re planning to go to all of the above activities before Christmas, but need to keep your kids busy the days after Christmas when they’re off school but you have to go back to work, then the next few camps are perfect for you! First up are a number of different full-day and half-day camps at the Carnegie Science Center. These camps run from December 28 to December 31 and are for ages; f 4-5 for the half days, which typically run from 9:00 am – noon and 6-10 year olds, get the full day classes, which typically run from ages 6-10. Your kids can learn about anything and everything from engineers teaching them to build skyscrapers and buildings to learning about space! For a complete list stop by the Carnegie Science Center website.
- National Aviary’s Holiday Camps
If your kids are less into science and more into animals then the National Aviary’s Holiday camps are for you because they’ll learn all about Penguins! These camps run on Monday December 28, Tuesday December 29 and Wednesday December 30. Make sure you stop by the Aviary’s website for pricing and age ranges.
- Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium’s Winter Mini-Camp
For even more animal education enroll your kids in the mini-camp at the Pittsburgh Zoo! At the Wildlife Academy there are classes for different ages where they will learn about a different animal each day! Stop by the Zoo’s website for more information on pricing and registration!
2015 Pittsburgh Holiday Shows
If you have family visiting during this holiday break then these activities are sure to keep you all busy creating lasting memories that your visitors won’t soon forget! For even more great traditions, don’t forget about the thriving arts scene in Pittsburgh. Stop by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s websites to see a number of classic Christmas shows that are running at a number of great theatres and varying dates including:
- The Nutcracker – Dec. 4 – Dec. 27 at the Benedum Center
- A Musical Christmas Carol – Dec. 4 – Dec. 23 at Byham Theatre
- Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – Dec. 22 – Dec. 27 at Heinz Hall
- Cirque Dreams Holidays – Dec. 29 – Dec. 30 at the Benedum
- The Wizard of Oz – Jan. 6 – January 11 at Heinz Hall
Hopefully this blog has you excited about the holiday season in Pittsburgh this year! If you just moved here any one of these activities are sure to make your first Christmas a special one and could easily turn into a tradition. If your thinking about moving here hopefully all of these great activities in Pittsburgh during this time of year will make you even more excited about becoming a “Yinzer”. And if you’re a Pittsburgh native but are looking for something new to do this year hopefully we gave you some ideas! Whatever your Pittsburgh status is, we hope this blog has encouraged you to enjoy all that Pittsburgh has to offer!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
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Until Next Time,