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Top 10 Favorite Holiday Places in Pittsburgh


Christmas, Hanukkah and other holiday traditions are apparent around every corner in the greater Pittsburgh area. But there are just some holiday places and exhibits that stand out - the ones that delight people year after year. Enjoy the holiday season in Pittsburgh at one of these beautifully decorated holiday places.

1. Nationality Rooms - Cathedral of Learning

Holiday Decorated Nationalty Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh
Photographer: GPCVB
Celebrate Christmas around the world between mid-November and mid-January as the Nationality Classrooms are decorated in the traditional holiday styles of the countries they represent. The 26 rooms depict Pittsburgh's diverse ethnic heritage with examples from Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

2. Miniature Railroad & Village

Pittsburgh Miniature Railroad & Village at the Carnegie Science Center
Photo by Michael Orban/Carnegie Science Center.
A Pittsburgh tradition that has enchanted millions of visitors through the years, the Miniature Railroad & Village features handmade scale replicas of historic sites from around Western Pennsylvania. Free with admission to the Carnegie Science Center.

3. Carnegie Museum of Art

Each holiday season, five fancifully decorated 20-foot holiday trees grace the grand Hall of Architecture at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland. Nearby, in the Hall of Sculpture, the Neapolitan Presepio is an elaborate recreation of the nativity scene, one of the finest and most complete examples of its kind.

4. PPG Place

Start off with a quick skate around the breathtaking 65-foot holiday tree in the center of the beautiful outdoor Rink at PPG Place. Then, warm up in the PPG Wintergarden as you enjoy the annual Spirits of Giving from Around the World exhibit.

5. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

The colors of the holiday season explode at Phipps Conservatory each winter, as colorful poinsettias, delicate winter flowers and fragrant evergreen trees entice visitors to the annual Winter Flower Show. Extended evening hours during the second half of December bring candlelight and musical entertainers as well. Plus, Santa Claus makes an appearance each weekend for photos and cookies!

6. The Harmony Museum

Enjoy Christmas the way it used to be at the Harmony Museum in Butler County. The main museum building, Wagner House annex, the Ziegler log house and other homes in this restored old German village, former home of the Harmonists, are beautifully decorated for the holidays.

7. Macy's Holiday Windows

Macy's continues the Kaufmann's tradition of animated holiday windows, on display from Light Up Night in mid-November through the holiday season.

8. Hartwood Mansion

Every room in the lovely mansion at Hartwood Acres is decorated for the holiday season, with Hartwood holiday tours running mid-November through early January. Candlelight tours are especially fitting with the holidays - offered on certain days by reservation only.

9. Pittsburgh Crèche

Each holiday season, from Light Up Night in November through Epiphany in January, the Pittsburgh Crèche delights vistors to downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Creche, a larger-than-life nativity scene, is the world’s only authorized replica of the Vatican’s Christmas crèche on display in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

10. Old Economy Village

Experience German Christmas customs and traditions of the early 19th century at Old Economy Village in Ambridge, PA. Enjoy the entire village decked out in its holiday finest, plus music, crafts, traditional German food cooked by a local church, and family events. The holiday Weihnachtsmarkt sells unique handmade gifts made by local craftsmen.

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