Don’t you love it when the family gets together for the holidays? There’s the hustle and bustle of wrapping presents, planning and creating holiday meals, and then…there’s the sitting in front of the television for hours mode. How about, instead of becoming holiday couch potatoes, you take that multigenerational family of yours to some of the best spots in Pittsburgh that, no matter what the age, your family members will love? Here’s my family’s favorite spots.
In Oakland, one of Pittsburgh’s icons stands tall and true. The Cathedral of Learning, located on the University of Pittsburgh campus, has 29 classrooms decorated in the style of 29 different countries. During the holiday season, many of the rooms get their hall’s decked in its country’s traditional style. Cost to visit? Free, although you may take a guided tour for a couple of dollars.
Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
Beginning Friday, November 27th, Phipps Conservatory will host its annual Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. The conservatory will be open nightly from 5-11pm. Can’t make the night show? You can still head to Oakland and check out the stunning holiday decorations in the indoor, themed rooms. The show runs through January 10th, but Phipps itself is open year round. Free with paid admission.
How about a gorgeous view of Pittsburgh proper decked out in holiday lights? Mount Washington is the place you’ll want to head to- and don’t forget your camera! Although the overlook is accessible by car, parking at Station Square and taking a ride up the Duquesne Incline is the way to go.
Head to the incline’s observation deck and be prepared to be stunned. Views are free but riding the incline up and down is a fee.
Peoples Natural Gas Holiday Market
Located in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, the Peoples Natural Gas Holiday Market is an homage to traditional Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. Opening day is November 20th this year and the market will feature regional, national, and international vendors selling one-of-a-kind and handmade items. Santa also makes an appearance. Free admission.
Spirits of Giving From Around the World at PPG Place
While you’re in Market Square, head on over to the Winter Garden at PPG Place. Running from November 20th through January 7th, the show features Santas from around the world, as well as a giant display of gingerbread houses and a miniature train display. Admission is free!
Carnegie Science Center
Speaking of miniature train displays, Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore is THE spot to visit for a four-season miniature train exhibit! Its Miniature Railroad and Village draws thousands of guests each year for its picturesque scenes of Pennsylvania icons and the attention to detail is so amazing. The exhibit reopens on November 24th and is included in science center admission.