Best Places To See Santa

December 2, 2011 5:55 AM

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(Photo Credit: CBS)

(Photo Credit: CBS)

By Jessica LaRosa

Ho Ho Ho! With Christmas right around the corner, it’s a great time to take the kids to see Santa. Luckily, Kris Kringle is making a number of stops in the ‘Burgh this year, so take advantage of some of these great opportunities!

holidaydl ppgsanta Best Places To See Santa

(Photo by KDKA)

Spirits of Giving Around the World

PPG Place – Wintergarden

Stanwix Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15272

Daily November 18 – January 7
Hours: Mon to Thurs 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

My absolute favorite Christmas spot in all of Pittsburgh is the amazing “Spirits of Giving Around the World” display at PPG Place. Not only is it a gorgeous presentation of holiday decor displayed in the glass, castle-like tower of PPG, but the display offers a unique combination of education and fun. As you walk around the room, centered by an extravagant 32-foot tall Christmas tree, you will discover how children all around the world celebrate their holidays. Beautiful life-size replicas of different Santas across the globe are on display along with corresponding stories of the history, cultures, and traditions native to the specific region. Best of all, when you’re finished, you can walk right out the door to the Rink at PPG where you can warm up with hot cocoa, or take the kids for ice-skating in one of Pittsburgh’s most beautiful squares.

ice skating 107898173 Best Places To See Santa

(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

Skate with Santa

Schenley Park

Overlook Drive
Beechview, PA 15216

Date: December 11, 2011
Hours: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The Rink at PPG

PPG Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15272

What better way to spend a chilly winter afternoon than to skate with Santa? Luckily, Santa has a few different skates planned, at both the Schenley Skating Rink and the Rink at PPG. Bring your family (and your camera!) to Schenley to skate around an awesome outdoor rink with Santa, enjoying Pittsburgh’s skyline as the backdrop. Or, head down to PPG Plaza and join Santa on the Rink at PPG. Here you can enjoy skating around a beautifully decorated Christmas tree with holiday music and plenty of cheer.

santa claus 107522145 Best Places To See Santa

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Macy's Santaland

400 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA

November / December

I can remember visiting Kaufmann’s Santaland every Christmas season while I was growing up. Even though Kaufmann’s has become Macy’s, the charm and magic created in Santaland is still spectacular. Kids of all ages will feel like they’ve walked into a Christmas wonderland, and the center of the show is obviously good ol’ Saint Nick himself. Feel free to bring your wish list to share with Santa, and then get your picture taken with him as well. Even after you’ve met with Santa, there is still plenty of Santaland to enjoy and explore. I can’t imagine a Christmas without visiting Santaland.

santa1 e1291499539396 Best Places To See Santa

(Photo by CBS)

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Sat to Sun, December 10-11 and 17-18
Times: 9:30 a.m. Breakfast; 12:00 p.m. Lunch
Reviews, Directions & More Info

Make plans to visit Santa at the Pittsburgh Zoo this holiday season! Schedule to have either breakfast or lunch with jolly ol’ St. Nicholas, and enjoy great food, holiday crafts, cookies, and the chance to visit your favorite zoo animals as well. Bring your camera so that you can get your picture with Santa before he departs for the North Pole. There’s nothing better than Christmas at the zoo. Reminder: This event requires registration. Click here for more information.

Jessica LaRosa is a fitness and Pittsburgh enthusiast currently displaced in suburban Philadelphia. You can follow her healthy living journey at For the Fun of Fit.

View Comments
  • Pittsburgh Dad

    There are some great Santas around Pittsburgh. And, there are some not so nice Santas. Such as the Santa at Meders in West Mifflin. Last year he yelled at me for taking a picture of my kids with him. He told me I should be buying their ‘overpriced’ photos, not taking my own. If only I had quoted Will Farrell in ELF on the way out, ” He’s not the real Santa and he smells like beef and cheese”.

    • Pgh Mom

      I have to disagree with Pittsburgh Dad. Meder’s is a great place to see Santa! If I remember correctly, the photos were only $8 last year – with at least a portion of the proceeds being donated to charity. That’s a steal compared to the ridiculous prices at the mall. And, if you’re buying a photo, I’ve never had a problem there snapping a pic of my own as well. The only thing I’d have to caution about Meder’s – check the times that Santa is there. He’s often scheduled for some hours in the afternoon and some hours in the evening. We always seemed to show up during a time that he wasn’t there or when they had cut off the line for him to be able to leave. Leaving without being able to see Santa, especially when the kiddos have been anticipating it, is no fun at all….

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