Photo Credit: KDKA

The holidays are filled with many recreational functions to enjoy lights, exhibits and productions to inspire and entertain. The holidays in Pittsburgh celebrate and commemorate many traditions. Pittsburgh gets to promote and market businesses as it celebrates the holidays. The Plaza Tree Lighting is held in PPG Plaza and is surrounded and sponsored by many downtown businesses. Pittsburgh welcomes the holiday season with these events.

Winter Light Garden and Flower Show
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
1 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 622-6914

Date: Nov. 28, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015

The Winter Light Garden and Flower Show are designed separately. The Winter Light Garden Show is designed by Phipps Exhibit Coordinator Jordyn Melino and is open 5 to 11 p.m. The Winter Flower Show is designed by Terra Design Studios, LLC and is open 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Winter Light Garden has luminous orbs, trees and fountains of light including the Garden Railroad. The Garden Railroad will feature the Gold Rush exploring the landscapes of northern California and Mt. Shasta through miniature living plants, shrubs and trees with interactive buttons for children to push. For the Winter Flower Show, the song “Winter Wonderland” is paired with artful arrangements of LED lights, decorated fir trees, props and seasonal favorites such as colorful poinsettias.

Related: Family Guide To Holiday Volunteering

‘The Nutcracker’

Benedum Center
237 7th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 456-6666

Date: Dec. 5 – 28, 2014

“The Nutcracker” will be performed by the Pittsburgh Ballet Company this year. The performers keep is fresh with adding a new twist to this classic tale each year. More than 170 dancers are used to showcase and inspire this holiday favorite. The showdrop is in a house on Fifth Avenue in the Shadyside area and guests include Mr. and Mrs. Heinz. “The Nutcracker” is sensory friendly after a successful pilot last year to accommodate sensory sensitivities, autism and other special needs.

Kennywood’s Holiday Lights
4800 Kennywood Blvd.
West Mifflin, PA 15122
(412) 461-0500

Date: Nov. 28 – Dec. 21, 2014

The light show is filled with over one million lights choreographed to songs performed by local choirs in this holiday event. The event starts the day after Thanksgiving and lasts until December 21, 2014. Tickets can be purchased at Kennywood or for a $2 discount online and at participating Giant Eagle stores. Santa, the Gingerbread Express and other holiday activities are available at Kennywood. Kennywood is one of the oldest amusement parks in America. It was founded in 1898 and has been entertaining guests for over 110 years.

Related: Best Cheap Holiday Escapes Near Pittsburgh

Diane Straka is a freelance writer whose work can be found on