By Jessica Wasik
There’s nothing quite like Pittsburgh during the holidays. Following the kickoff of the season with its annual Light Up Night, the city transforms into a picture-perfect display of illuminated skyscrapers, sparkling river reflections and holiday decorations. Its unique topography and festive attractions make venturing toward the downtown region an ideal option for those searching for a unique backdrop for seasonal photos. If that sounds like you, here are the best places to take your holiday photos in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
Send holiday wishes from high atop the city like only Pittsburghers can with a photo taken at Grandview Overlook. Named the most beautiful vista in the country by USA Weekend, this neighborhood overlook presents an unprecedented view of downtown Pittsburgh. There’s plenty of space around the overlook to pose large families without blocking the city behind you, so it’s great for extended families. Grandview Overlook is in the Mount Washington section of the city.
Point State Park
601 Commonwealth Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Perhaps next to Grandview Overlook, few places in the city are as iconic as Point State Park. With its tall, thundering fountain, Heinz Field in the near background and a picturesque view of the city skyline, this sprawling city park is a favorite of locals and tourists alike to visit for Pittsburgh portraits. Pose with one of Pittsburgh’s three rivers behind you for a unique backdrop like no other holiday card will have. Point State Park is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh near the city’s “Golden Triangle.”
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
1 Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
A blooming, colorful winter garden may not be the first thing that comes to find when you envision your holiday photos, but this unexpected backdrop certainly makes for some breathtaking and original holiday cards. The winter season is the ideal time to visit when the Winter Flower Show and Light Garden Days of Snow and Nights Aglow Show takes place. Wander through festive illuminated gardens featuring sparkling evergreen trees, magical props, beautiful tones of lights and seasonal flowers like amaryllis, Paperwhites and poinsettias. Don’t forget about a visit with Santa who will be there to pose with your children or your entire family for the perfect holiday memories.
MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night marks the official opening of the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place. With its recent $1 million upgrades to the ice surface, rental skates and dasher boards, this downtown outdoor rink is a great choice for adventurous families looking to add a few action shots in place of traditional holiday photos. Lace up your skates and show off your best moves in front of its gigantic decorated Christmas tree that sits right in the middle of the ice. The MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place is located in PPG Plaza between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.
2525 E. State St.
Hermitage, PA 16148
Kraynak’s may be around 75 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, but the drive is worth every mile to spend the afternoon exploring its magical Christmasland. Your family will have its pick of photo ops, thanks to the store’s countless themed Christmas tree displays that each feature lifelike animated characters, holiday scenery and stunningly decorated artificial Christmas trees. Pose in front of your favorite twinkling displays and meet up with Santa himself to share your wish list and capture another holiday memory. Kraynak’s Christmasland is only open until New Year’s Eve though, so be sure to plan your holiday photos early enough to experience this iconic Hermitage area holiday extravaganza.