PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The PPG Place Wintergarden always features beautiful displays of Santas, trains, gingerbread houses and international holiday traditions. But this year, you may get an extra treat.
Live musical performances will be held in the Wintergarden and they are just one of the many free activities in downtown Pittsburgh this holiday season.
There are more gingerbread houses at Oxford Center and free horse-drawn carriage and Holly Trolley rides on weekends. Fifth Avenue Place even has a weekend carnival.
“You could literally spend all afternoon downtown doing free holiday things and you’d never get bored,” Rachel Booth, co-creator of LivingPittsburgh.com, said.
Over in Oakland, the Cathedral of Learning has a free open house this Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. Each nationality room is decorated for the holidays and tour guides will be in costume. You’ll also find food and gift items from each country for sale in the gift shop.
In Lawrenceville, the burgeoning eclectic shipping district is hosting a free Joy of Cookie Tour today through Sunday with a free trolley on Saturday.
“You go around, sample cookies, get recipes for cookies. [It’s] a nice way to get a feel for what those shops are offering for the holidays,” Heather Walsh, co-creator of LivingPittsburgh.com said.
If you’d rather sit down and relax, check out a classic Christmas movie. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is playing for free at Regent Square. And $12 at the Oaks Theater in Oakmont pays for brunch and a viewing of “White Christmas.”
If your kids want to tell Santa their wish list, but you don’t want to pay for professional photos, you can do it for free at Northway Mall and at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District on specific weekend days.
“That way, you can not only get your photos for free, you can also do some creative cropping — your own thing to look a little more original,” said Walsh.
At Hartwood Acres, you can light up your night for only $12 per carload of passengers. Their Celebration of Lights is awe-inspiring, for children and adults alike.
“It’s one of the most spectacular light shows in Pittsburgh,” Booth said.
“One of my daughters literally said the last time we were there, ‘This is the best place ever,’ when we went through,” Walsh said. “And we weren’t even out of there, and she wanted to come back again.”
Find more information about Living Pittsburgh’s holiday guide as well as some unique money-saving tips by visiting LivingPittsburgh.com. You’ll also be able to register to win some prizes, including Steelers tickets and $100 shopping sprees at Right By Nature.