Winter is upon us and we have a roundup of family friendly events ready for you to enjoy this holiday season in the ‘Burgh. Keep reading for a list full of  light displays, sweet treats, and everything winter fun! 

Winterfest 2021

You are invited to the Town of McCandless’ very first Winterfest celebration on Saturday, December 18th at 4 p.m. and ending with a finale of  fabulous fireworks at 7 p.m.! Bring the family down to the Town Hall ground to celebrate the holiday season. Features include an ice carving demonstration, winter-themed games, a ride-on train for small children, bonfires with s’mores, impressive light displays, and music! Santa himself will also be present to grant every wish from your child’s Christmas list. The Heritage Center will host an indoor storytime with classic Christmas novels read by a Northland Library children’s librarian between 5 and 6 p.m. Tasty food and hot chocolate will also be available to keep you nice and warm! 

Hip Hop Nutcracker

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is back and better than ever on December 30th at 7:30 p.m. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. A unique and joyful event, this evening-length production is performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set. Get tickets at

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022

Returning in-person since the start of the pandemic, countdown your way into the New Year with your family at this year’s Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s very own new year celebration presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Free and open to everyone, this celebration includes outdoor live performances from local artists such as Byron Nash, a new art installation featuring very large rabbits called Intrude, access to indoor galleries and performances, the iconic New Year’s Eve Parade presented by Giant Eagle, and of course the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh ball along with a Pyrotechnico fireworks display that will officially bring us into 2022! Keep an eye out for a more indepth blog on everything you need to know about Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022 coming very soon. 

All of the Lights

There’s a host of exciting and beautiful light displays for you and your family to enjoy but here are a few of our faves:

Holiday Lights at Kennywood

Not a fan of rides but still want to experience the magical lights of Christmas? Kennywood offers one day tickets giving you access to more than one million twinkling lights, the tallest Christmas tree in the state, new festive foods and holiday drinks, up to 20 attractions made specifically for kids, visits with Santa and much more, from now until New Years! This year marks the 10th anniversary of Kennywood’s Holiday Lights. For tickets and more information visit their website

ELFburgh Christmas – Drive Thru Event

Trading in scares for Christmas cheer, Hundred Acre Manor presents ELFburgh Christmas. This   family friendly event features over half a million lights along the elf trail that leads to Santa himself at his Ice Castle workshop. Experience the lights, sounds, and secret lives of elves without even leaving your car. Tickets are available now between December 23. 

Christmas Drive-Thru Light Show

Open every night until January 2 2022, the magic of christmas returns to the big Butler fairgrounds for the 7th season—dollar energy fund presents, Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland! lights come to life with music on your radio, and new displays! This mega drive through light show is safely enjoyed from the comfort of your vehicle.

Zoo Lights Drive-Thru

Get cozy in your car as you drive through thousands of environmentally-friendly LED lights that transform the park at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, into an unforgettable winter wonderland. Enjoy over 80 animal lights with 30 new displays, classic characters, and carols along the way.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Rebecca Hansborough

Rebecca is a Pittsburgh transplant of five years with experience in content writing, social media management, public relations, web editing, and much more. Her passion for food inspired her to create an Instagram based food blog that shares a combination of local cuisine and homemade meals. When she’s not focusing on food, she also enjoys the Pittsburgh arts and entertainment scene, from Broadway shows, music festivals, to gallery crawls. She is excited to share her love for all things Pittsburgh with future readers!

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