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Top 10 Santa Sightings in Pittsburgh - Alternatives to Santa at the Mall

Fun Places to See Santa


While the shopping malls around Pittsburgh generally do a good job with Santa, there are other great places to find the jolly guy which offer a little more fun and interaction and a little less standing in line.

1. Skate with Santa at Schenley

This popular annual event (one day only) at Schenley Park offers a special opportunity for kids (and their parents) to take to the ice with Santa and his elves amid the beautiful forested backdrop of Schenley Park. Bring the camera to capture the holiday memories!

2. Santa Family Fun Cruises

Enjoy a relaxing riverboat cruise with Santa Claus and the gang, including live entertainment and photos with Santa. This two hour Santa cruise around downtown Pittsburgh is offered select weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

3. Breakfast or Lunch with Santa at Pittsburgh Zoo

Join Santa for a special breakfast or lunch with live entertainment and goodie bags, before heading off to visit the new polar bears and the rest of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. If you aren't into the cold, the aquarium and jungle areas of the zoo are nice and toasty year-round!

4. Santa Trolley

If you've never been to the Western Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, you're in for a treat. Here you can combine the kids talking to Santa with a nice trolley ride, and an educational tour through the trolley museum. Plus a model railroad all decorated for the holidays. The kids really like this one!

5. Santa Carriage Rides at Settlers Ridge

Enjoy a fun date with Santa in a horse drawn carriage! Carriage rides with Santa are offered on Saturdays and Sundays around Settlers Ridge shopping area in Robinson Township for a donation to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

6. Santa Visits at Phipps Conservatory

Santa and his elves bring the tropics to Pittsburgh on weekends from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Every Saturday and Sunday at Phipps (not including Christmas weekend).

7. Meet Santa & His Penguins at the Aviary

Skip the shopping mall and bring your kids and your camera to the National Aviary for a visit with Santa and his penguin pals. Free with paid Aviary admission on Saturdays in December.

8. Santa, Breakfast, a Movie & You

A great idea for a special holiday outing with the kids, the Santa, Breakfast and a Movie event at SouthSide Works, offered on December 11 & 12, combines a yummy buffet breakfast with Santa, followed by a showing of Disney's Tangled at the Southside Works Cinema. Plus, crafts, pictures with Santa, and goodie bags to take home.

9. Breakfast with Santa at Hard Rock

Wake up early and treat your kids to Breakfast with Santa at the Hard Rock Cafe at Station Square. Each child will get to meet and greet Santa and put in their last minute wish lists. Includes a free train ride for the kids on the Station Square Holiday Express.

10. Breakfast or Lunch with Santa at Trax Farms

Combine your Christmas tree choosing, with Christmas shopping, decorating and Santa - all in one fun morning or afternoon at Trax Farms. The kids enjoy breakfast or lunch with Santa, plus crafts and a treat, while the adults can browse the Christmas Shop or enjoy coffee and refreshments from the Garden Cafe.
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