Photo Credit: KDKA

The holiday season in the Pittsburgh region is a special time for families to bond and enjoy the light displays, making the season a memorable occasion. There are opportunities to view the lights by car or stroll through the downtown area of Pittsburgh or adjoining neighborhoods. There are also more than lights for your viewing pleasure; the sounds of the holiday season and spectacular computerized animations make for an enjoyable holiday experience. The various themes of the light shows will get families in the mood for the holidays and set another tradition in motion for many years to come.

Kennywood Holiday Lights
4800 Kennywood Blvd.
West Mifflin, PA 15122
(412) 461-0500
www.kennywood.com

Even though Kennywood Park is known for its world famous roller coaster rides, families will enjoy more than a ride through the holiday lights on display. There are millions of glittering lights and a trek on over to the lagoon area of the park for an exhilarating electronic production that will coincide along with Christmas songs in perfect unison. Don’t forget to rally around the astounding and beautiful Christmas tree to celebrate the season and watch the lights glow with an anticipation of joy for kids of all ages.

Winter Festival Of Lights
Oglebay Resort & Conference Center
465 Lodge Drive
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 243-4000
www.oglebay-resort.com

The Oglebay Resort and Conference Center has been a traditional light show destination for many years and the six-mile drive throughout the 80 light displays is a stimulating experience. Kids will love the Good Zoo on the zoo patio for an amazing electronic light display that combines music and a spectacular arrangement of over 35,000 LED lights. Admission to the Festival of Lights consists of a donation for each car which includes a return trip to the resort to catch up on anything you may have missed or want to see over and over again.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Big Butler Fairgrounds
776 Unionville Road
Prospect, PA 16052
(888) 321-7547
www.visitbutlercounty.com

Visitors to Butler County and the Big Butler Fairgrounds will be mesmerized with a spectacular light show of enormous proportions with hundreds of thousands of lights dancing right along with holiday music. Tune in your radio and then watch the ultimate in synchronization as the lights and music perform a quick-moving and eye-popping production. The technology also includes visual fun for the kids as characters flicker in poses like a comic strip movie. Admission is $25 per car load, and a visit to Santa’s Village for a photo with Santa and other entertaining activities are available with an extra fee.

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PPG Place
1 PPG Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 434-3131
www.ppg.com

Celebrating the holidays in downtown Pittsburgh at PPG Place is a fun-filled time for families. The opportunity to tie up the skates and glide along the Mass Mutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink around a beautifully decorated Christmas tree is not only fun, but also offers the chance to watch the illuminated trees that circumvent the rink. The reflections of a myriad of buildings and windows make for a winter wonderland. There are free horse drawn rides sponsored by Highwoods Properties and PPG Place, and a ride through nearby Market Square will delight families as they watch the lights on the trees, buildings and lamp posts.

Winter Flower Show And Light Garden
Phipps Conservatory And Botanical Gardens
1 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 622-6914
www.phipps.conservatory.org

The radiant and picturesque effects of light at the front entrance of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is like a painting that comes to life, and the colorful spheres in all shapes and sizes are an impressive beginning. The colors glisten in a kaleidoscope of beauty and inspirational design that complement the beginning of the winter season. Inside, you will find a variety of exhibit rooms that are organized with LED lights on trees and flowers, along with an immense evergreen in the Victoria Room. Each room has holiday music to accompany this holiday treat, and the walk through is a wonderful experience for all members of the family.

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Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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