With all of the fun things to do with kids in Pittsburgh, it’s no surprise that our city has a ton of great places to see Santa as well. From boat rides and unique santa photo opts to the more traditional Christmas markets and light shows, there’s no shortage of awesome places to see Santa in Pittsburgh. 2018 was our son’s first year REALLY experiencing Christmas, and we loved getting to try out a lot of these places first hand.
For 2019, we’ve been updating our list of Santa sightings and holiday celebrations in Pittsburgh. Keep reading for a list of the best places to see Santa in Pittsburgh in 2019.
**We plan to update this list periodically. Be sure save this post for later and check back for the best places in Pittsburgh to see Santa in 2019!**
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Holiday Events with Santa in Pittsburgh
There are so many great holiday events in Pittsburgh. Below are a handful of tree lighting and other events throughout the Pittsburgh area. If you’re looking for something near you, we always find Facebook to be a great resource for events!
- Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night downtown is the “official” start to the holiday season. Includes tree lighting ceremony, kids activities, fireworks and Visits with Santa at the Holiday Market.* (Location: Downtown Pittsburgh | Date: November 22 | Time: Tree lightings start at 4:30pm | Cost: Many activities are Free.) *Santa is available for visits in market square most days from November 22- December 23.
- Santa’s Spectacular Arrival at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon. (Location: 1500 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon, PA 15228 | Date: November 14 | Time: 4:30- 7:30PM | Cost: Free)
- Kick off the holidays at Waterfront’s Let it Glow event with Santa’s tree lighting after arriving by firetruck. (Location: 149 W Bridge Street, Homestead | Date: November 17 | Time: 3-6pm.) You can also get pictures with Santa at the Waterfront throughout the holiday season as well as brunch with Santa at the Waterfront.
- Head to Oakmont for the Hometown Christmas Parade and Event. (Location: 504 Allegheny River Blvd, Oakmont | Date: November 23 | Time: 4-8pm. Parade starts at 5pm.)
- Head to Downtown Pittsburgh to see Santa and his friends at the WPXI Holiday Parade (Location: Downtown Pittsburgh | Date: November 30 | Time: 9-11am | Cost: Free)
- Attend the Sewickley Light Up Night and Santa Parade to officially welcome Santa to the Village. (Location: Sewickley | Dates: December 6 & 7)
- Stroll along Butler Street for Taste of Lawrenceville’s Miracle on 41st Street. (Location: The Foundry at 41st, Lawrenceville | Date: December 8 | Time: 12-5pm | Cost: Registration is Free.)
Light Shows & Christmas Villages in Pittsburgh with Santa
The Lumaze Christmas light show is in Pittsburgh for the first time in 2019. We had a chance to check it out and it’s pretty amazing. Not only are there tons of activities for the kids and millions of lights, but it’s all indoors!
In addition to the Lumaze light show, Pittsburgh also has Shadrack’s light show in Butler and Overly’s Christmas Village in Greensburg. We haven’t been to either of them yet, but they come highly recommended by friends in the area! Below is more information on all three places to see Christmas lights in Pittsburgh.
- Attend a Fairytale Christmas light show at Lumaze Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s newest light show includes millions of interactive lights, live music, vendors and a train ride. (Location: 77 31st Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 | Dates: Nov 23- Jan 4 | Days & Hours Vary | Cost: $19.99+ for adults with discounts for children and seniors. Children under 4 are FREE.)
- View 3 miles of beautiful lights from your car at Shadrack’s Christmas Light Show at the Butler Fairgrounds. After the light show, stop by Santa’s Village for pictures with Santa, letter writing, carnival-style rides and refreshments. (Location: 127 New Castle Rd, Prospect | Date: November 15- January 5 | Daily 6-10PM | Cost: Light Show is $30 per car; admission to Santa’s Village is free with purchase of the light show; some activities available for a charge) Tip: Visit Mon-Thurs to avoid long lines and wait times to get into the show.
- Walk around Overly’s Christmas Village and see Santa in his workshop. (Location: 116 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg// Dates: November 22- December 30 | Time: 5:30-9pm (open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays) | Cost: $5 per person or $20 per carload of 4+ people. Option to purchase a Santa picture with commemorative frame for $8.)
Attractions in Pittsburgh with Santa Visits
We’re lucky to have so many fun things to do in Pittsburgh with kids. Many of our favorite things to do with kids in Pittsburgh also offer Santa visits. Below are just a few fun places to get pictures with Santa in Pittsburgh.
- Take a picture with Santa among the beautiful flowers and holiday decorations at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Garden’s Santa Visits. Be sure to also catch the Holiday Magic! Light Show and Winter Garden while you’re there. (Location: 1 Schenley Park Rd, Pittsburgh | Multiple dates and times starting Fri, Nov 29| Cost: Free with admission.)
- Cruise on the Gateway Clipper with Santa, along with a DJ dance party and a treat from Santa himself. (Location: 350 W Station Square Dr, Pittsburgh | Dates: November 29 & 30, December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 | Time: 10am & 1pm boarding | Cost: $26 for adults; $13 for children & $5 for infants)
- Visit Santa and his Penguin Helpers at the National Aviary on Saturdays. (Location: 700 Arch St, Pittsburgh | Dates: Nov 30 and Dec 7, 14 and 21 | Time: 11am- 1pm | Cost: Free with admission.) You can also have brunch with Santa at the National Aviary. See here for more details.
- Polar Express PJ Parties at Carnegie Science Center for include viewings of Polar Express, a hot chocolate bar and breakfast snacks. Plus photos with Santa and “Stars Over the North Pole” in the Buhl Planetarium. (Location: 350 W Station Square Dr, Pittsburgh | Dates: Nov 29 and Dec 7, 20, 21 and 22 | Time: 8:30am-Noon (Dec 20 is 5:30-9pm | Cost: $19 for ages 3+ and $5 for ages 2 and Under.)
Breakfast or Brunch with Santa in Pittsburgh
If you’re looking to have brunch or breakfast with Santa in Pittsburgh, these events tend to fill up fast! Below are a handful of ideas on where to go for pancakes with Santa in Pittsburgh. .
- Breakfast or lunch with Santa at the Pittsburgh Zoo. (Location: 7370 Baker St, Pittsburgh | Dates: December 1, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22 | Time: 9-10:30am or 12-1:30pm | Cost: $30 for adults and children over 2; $7 for children under 2; Membership discount available)
- Breakfast with Santa at Bloom Cafe at Quality Gardens. (Location: 409 Route 228 W, Valencia, PA 16059 | Date: November 30 | Time: 8:30am or 10:30am | Cost: Kids 3-12 are $10 and Adults are $18. Purchase tickets here.)
- Breakfast or Lunch with Santa at the Hard Rock Cafe (Location: 230 W. Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh | Dates: Weekends in December | Time: 8:30am breakfast/ 12pm lunch | Cost: $23.95 for Adults, $19.95 Kids 10 & Under, Kids Under 3 are free)
- Special brunch and cookie decorating with the Clauses in Santa’s workshop at Fairmont Hotel. (Location: 510 Market St, Pittsburgh | Date: December 7 | Time: 10am-12pm | Cost: $100 for 1 child and 1 adult; $35 for each additional adult; Reservations required at 412-773-8904)
- Breakfast or lunch with Santa at Trax Farms. (Location: 528 Trax Rd. Finleyville, PA 15332 | Dates: Breakfast starts Nov 1 and Lunch is on the weekends in December | Time: 9:30am or 12pm | Cost: $9; Call 412.835.3246 to reserve a spot. )
- Breakfast with Santa on the Polar Express at Greenhouse Winery (Location: 1048 Pinewood Rd, Irwin, PA 15642 | Date: December 7 | Time: 10am- 12pm | Cost: Adults are $15: Children 4 – 8 are $10 and kids under 3 are FREE!; Call 724.446.5000 to reserve a spot. )
- Celebrate Yinzer Yuletide at O’Reilly Theater. Breakfast with Santa and a screening of Mickey’s Christmas Carol after. (Location: 621 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222 | Dates: Dec 14, 15, 21 & 22 | Cost: $25 for Adults & $15 Kids 2-12)
Unique Venues to See Santa in Pittsburgh
Looking for somewhere unique to see Santa in Pittsburgh in 2019? If you’re visiting Pittsburgh during the Holidays, you’re in luck! From seeing Santa at the airport to farms and mini-golf, below are a few additional ideas of places to see Santa in Pittsburgh in 2019.
- Holiday Open House at the Pittsburgh International Airport with Santa and activities throughout the day. Plus, kids can play at the kids’ area in terminal C while you’re there! (Location: Airport Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA | Date: Dec 7 | Time: 10am- 5pm | Cost: FREE. Pre-registration is required by Dec 4.)
- Experience Christmas on the Farm at Freedom Farms with local food and alcohol vendors, christmas cookies, crafts, Christmas tree shopping and of course, Santa. (Location: 434 Overbrook Rd, Valencia| Date: Dec 7 & 8 | Time: 11am- 5pm)
- Head to Soergel Orchard’s Snowflake Festival for tree lighting, snow princesses and the arrival of Santa. (Location: 2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford | Date: December 13 | Time: 6-9pm.) *Naturally Soergels also has allergen-free donuts with Santa. Details TBD.
- Play mini golf at the holiday lights course and eat your share of cookies at one of many holiday events at Fun Fore All. Take pictures with Santa, enjoy a dessert bar, holiday activities, open play and mini golf with the price of admission. (Location: 8 Progress Ave, Cranberry Township | Dates & Cost vary by event.)
Pittsburgh Malls with Santa
Of course, we can’t forget about the malls in Pittsburgh with Santa visits. With several malls in the Pittsburgh area there’s no shortage of photo ops with Santa. To name a few:
- Ross Park Mall
- Dates & Times: November 8- December 24; hours vary by day.
- Cost: Photo Packages vary; purchase skip the line & package here
- Location: 1000 Ross Park Mall Drive, Ross Township
- South Hills Village
- Dates & Times: Nov 2- Dec 24; hours vary by day
- Cost: Photo packages vary; purchase skip the line & package here
- Location: 301 S Hills Village, Bethel Park
- The Mall at Robinson
- Dates & Times: Nov 10-Dec 24; hours vary by day
- Cost: Photo packages vary)
- Tip: Add your name to the virtual waiting list so you can shop until it’s time for you see Santa and play under the tree.
- Location: 100 Robinson Centre Drive Pittsburgh, Robinson Township
- Monroeville Mall
- Dates & Times: Nov 17-Dec 24; hours vary by day
- Cost: Photo packages vary
- Location: 200 Mall Circle Drive, Monroeville
- Westmoreland Mall
- Dates & Times: Nov 8-Dec 24; Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 11am-5pm
- Cost: Photo packages vary and include a phone call from Santa himself. Pet nights are also available.
- Location: 5256 US-30, Greensburg
Visiting Pittsburgh During the Holidays?
If you’ll be in Pittsburgh at Christmas, be sure to check out our list of the best things to do Pittsburgh with toddlers. (This is a great list of things to do for kids of almost all ages!)
Looking for a family friendly hotels in Pittsburgh? We recommend the hotels below. They’re all Pittsburgh hotels with pools and they offer larger rooms and suites for families.
- The Westin Pittsburgh right next to the Pittsburgh Convention Center
- The Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh
- The Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh- Downtown by the Heinz History Center
If you want ideas for family-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh, we also have you covered in this post: The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Pittsburgh.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
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