Get out there and experience all of the beauty that the City of Bridges has to offer this winter, and don’t wish half of your life away hoping that summer will arrive sooner. Enjoy, experience and educate your kids by taking part in one – or all – of these fun outdoor winter activities.
First Night Pittsburgh
Between Stanwix St. and 10th St.
Date: Dec. 31, 2014
This end-of-the-year celebration offers something for everyone in your family, showcasing hundreds of local and national artists with live performances, including music, dance, comedy, magic, theater, hands-on activities and visual arts. Your kids will be dazzled by a parade complete with signature giant puppets, and two spectacular fireworks displays. The evening wraps up on the Highmark Stage with a nationally recognized act (as yet to be determined), the countdown to midnight and the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball set against the backdrop of a stunning Zambelli fireworks display. Admission button prices are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and children age five and under are admitted free of charge.
Sparkle Season Lights Hike
Date: Dec 3, 2014
For nonmembers, an $18 fee ($13 for members) applies to this over seven-mile hike. The path will lead participants through the main light exhibits of Downtown Pittsburgh, and then a vigorous hike up Sycamore Street to the top of Mount Washington will delight hikers with a panoramic view of the city. More beneficial than driving, this fast-paced hike covers a relatively large expanse of Pittsburgh in a short period of time, and is the perfect way to experience this impending holiday season. At press time, 10 spots are left in the program; be advised that this is an advanced hike and not recommended for beginners.
Candy Cane Walk
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Date: Dec 7, 2014
Grab the kids and join a great group of outdoor enthusiasts for a family-friendly walk in Pittsburgh’s picturesque Highland Park. This free and holiday-inspired event will include an intense search for candy canes hidden along Highland Park’s winding trails. Make it a contest to see who can gather the most (and wear the family out), and afterward wind down with some delicious hot chocolate, fun and laughter around the fire. To participate, you must be a Venture Outdoor member.
Gingerbread House Display and Competition
200 Three PPG Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Date: Now through Jan. 7, 2015
The 12th annual Gingerbread House Display and Competition will be held November 21, 2014 through January 7, 2015 in PPG Place’s 13,000-square-foot outdoor Wintergarden. Be sure not to miss this delicious display of delectable dwellings created by Pittsburgh residents and local businesses and organizations. Local artist and train enthusiast Don Jones will enhance the exhibit with a handcrafted display of trains from his unique private collection. Admission is free to this family-friendly event, however donations are collected in the PPG Place Wintergarden for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Free Care Fund, which serves area children and their families.
Winter Family Memories
777 Waterwheel Dr.
Seven Springs, PA 15622
Date: Jan. 9-10, 2015
Spend some quality time with the kids at Pennsylvania’s largest, and most prolific, ski resort instead of spending your after-holiday hangover inside. Packages for this winter blues-beating event start at $309 per adult (children age 11 and under receive free lodging, skiing and inclusion package when sharing a room with paying adults) and include two nights of lodging in the recently renovated main lodge; unlimited skiing and snowboarding; breakfast each morning (plus one dinner buffet); one family-sized one-topping pizza per room; one snow tubing, bowling and roller skating rental session per person; one Bear Trap Fun Zone game card per child; and access to the indoor swimming pool and fitness center. You can’t beat such an affordable, and fun, family getaway – book your package today.
Related: Pittsburgh Winter Fun
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full-time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.