11 Spots to Celebrate the Holidays in Pittsburgh- MultiGen Style!

 

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.

Nationality Rooms

 



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

 


Also in Oakland, the Hall of Architecture is the spot to head for beautifully-decorated Christmas trees- and a Neopolitan Presepio straight from Italy.  Dated between 1700 and 1830, the handmade Nativity covers a 250 square foot area. 

National Aviary

 



Hey, birds need a little holiday spirit in their lives, too! National Aviary’s Wings in Winter Holiday Show gives guests an up close and personal peek into some of the trained birds that call the North Shore home. The birds fly around the room and guests can sing Christmas carols tweaked to fit the avian friends. On select days you can even get a photo with Santa and his penguin helpers.  

Phipps Conservatory

 

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.


Mount Washington

 



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. 

Pittsburgh Crèche

 



Pittsburgh is the home to the world’s only authorized replica of the Nativity Crèche that stands outside of Saint Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican. You can find it at the USX Tower Plaza on Grant Street from November 20th through January 7th. Free admission. 

Kennywood Holiday Lights



Over one million lights decks the halls and paths and rides at Kennywood Park this holiday season. Holiday Lights is open on weekends beginning November 27th and runs through December 27th, excluding Christmas. The light extravaganza also offers musical shows, ice sculpting, and screenings of The Polar Express in the park’s 4-D theater. 

Pittsburgh Tours and More




How about jumping on a climate-controlled bus and touring some of the best holiday sights and sounds that Pittsburgh has to offer? Pittsburgh Tours & More’s Christmas Carol Tours offer four separate versions and locations, but each one will take you through a beautifully-decorated church and gives you a snack at the end! Dates and times vary, so please visit the official website for details. 




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