Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

The holidays are almost here and nights are growing longer — we need places to go with friends and families to brighten the season. Luckily, Pittsburgh has no shortage of light shows.

Whether you want to stay in the comfort of your car or get up close to a fantastic display of lights, here are 13 places that will make you say “wow.”

1. Clinton Christmas Light-Up Celebration

From Nov. 19 to Jan. 1, experience a mile-long drive-through of holiday lights. For $10 per vehicle (cash only), you can enjoy an array of holiday lights, inflatable decorations, wooden characters and decorated Christmas trees. Proceeds go to the community. The light show runs from 5 to 10 p.m. daily. 600 Clinton Park Drive, Imperial.

2. ELFburgh Christmas

From Nov. 26 to Dec. 23, guests see more than half a million lights along the Hundred Acres Manor. For $25, drive along Elf Trail to visit Santa at his Ice Castle. Open Fridays through Sundays and daily on Christmas week. 1 Hundred Acres Drive, Bethel Park

3. Fun Fore All’s Holiday Lights Mini Golf

Photos courtesy of Fun Fore All.

From Nov. 25 to Jan. 1, visitors will not only get a holiday light show but also a round of miniature golf.  Starting at $15, golfers walk through a holiday display with thousands of lights. Open daily from 5 to 9 p.m. 8 Progress Ave., Cranberry Township.

4. GLOWLAND

From Nov. 18 through Dec. 17, Schenley Plaza will be converted into a monthlong winter festival with art installations, live music and illuminations. While it is free to stroll through, GLOWLAND is hosting a kick-off party on Nov.18 that requires tickets to attend. Schenley Plaza, 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

5. Holiday Lights on the Lake

Photo courtesy of Holiday Lights on the Lake.

From Nov. 18 through Jan. 8, Lakemont Park will host the Holiday Lights on the Lake drive-through event. With tickets starting at $15, visitors can see more than 1 million lights decorating the 51-acre park. In addition to a light show, attendees can visit Santa at his gift shop, where they can buy ornaments, decorations and baked goods. For an additional $12, families can also take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The show runs from 6 to 10 p.m. daily. Lakemont Park, 700 Park Ave., Altoona.

6. Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden

Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

From Nov. 18 to Jan. 8, Phipps will be decorated with lights, 1,600 poinsettias, holiday trees, topiaries and detailed props. The Winter Flower Show opens at 5 p.m. each day. Tickets start at $19.95 and are available online. Read more about this cherished local tradition in our list of the Top 10 Pittsburgh events in November. 799 Pinkerton Run Rd. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Dr., Oakland.

7. Kennywood’s Holiday Lights

Photo courtesy of Kennywood.

From Nov.19 until Jan.1, the amusement park will host incredible light displays spread across its attractions. And you can’t miss the 100-foot-tall evergreen tree — billed as the tallest Christmas tree in Pennsylvania. There is also a model train display, ice sculpture, a walk-through petting zoo, music, a magic show and special food and beverages. You can even ride the Jack Rabbit, Kangaroo, Gran Prix and several Kiddieland rides, depending on the weather. Throughout the season, the park will host a tree lighting ceremony every day at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $14.99. Holiday Lights runs Friday through Sunday and then daily from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. The park is open from 5 to 9 p.m. This year, USAToday nominated Kennywood’s Holiday Lights as one of the country’s Best Theme Park Holiday Events. 800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin.

8. Overly’s Country Christmas

From Nov.17 to Dec. 30, visitors to Overly’s Country Christmas get to witness thousands of holiday lights and decorations. Walk around the Christmas Village filled with sights, sounds and treats. Tickets are $25 per car (up to eight people) to drive through or $5 per person to park and walk through (cash only). Vehicles holding more than eight people are $40. Overly’s Country Christmas operating times vary daily. 116 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greenburg.

9. Nellis Family Holiday Light Show

Photo courtesy of the Nellis Family Holiday Light Show.

While other shows are hosted by organizations or groups of people, the Nellis show is a family-run event nestled in a residential neighborhood. From Nov. 24 until Jan. 2, drive by and be amazed at 20,000 individually programmed holiday lights and decorations. Unlike the other shows on the list, this one is FREE. In addition to the thousands of lights, see holiday displays and listen to music on the family’s private radio frequency (105.3 FM). The Nellis family reminds visitors to be mindful of their neighbors. 673 Echo Glen Dr, Whitehall.

10. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

From Nov. 18 to Jan.1, Shadrack’s offers custom-built light displays that you drive by in your car while listening to festive music on the radio. With tickets varying between $30 to $40 per vehicle, you get 2 miles of holiday lights and a Christmas Village experience. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is open from 6 to 10 p.m daily. Note that this is a new location for the annual display. Cooper’s Lake Campground, 205 Currie Road, Slippery Rock. 

11. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Lights Drive-Thru

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

From Nov. 25 through Dec. 30, animals mingle with thousands of LED lights, decorations and music. Starting at $40 per vehicle, the show features more than 100 animal-themed light displays accompanied by festive music. Zoo Lights runs from 5:15 to 9:45 p.m. (days vary) but timed tickets must be purchased online. 7370 Baker St., Highland Park.

12.  Dazzling Nights at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

From Nov. 27 through Jan. 1, snap a selfie in front of a 30-foot holiday tree, activate interactive lights on the ground and head into a 65-foot-long tunnel at the Oakdale attraction that was once a sprawling coal mine. It’s off the beaten path enough to make you feel like you’re escaping the hubbub into a winter wonderland. Making the evening complete will be holiday tunes, toasty drinks and decadent nibbles. It’s on our list of the Top 10 Pittsburgh events in November. 799 Pinkerton Run Road. (by Jennifer Baron)

13. North Park Holiday Drive-In Laser Show

Allegheny County’s holiday drive-in laser show returns for its third year Dec. 9-22. The 45-minute light show invites families to enjoy the holiday music and lights from the comfort of their own vehicles at the North Park Swimming Pool Parking Lot on South Ridge Drive. visitors can choose from three sessions Sunday through Thursday (6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.), or four weekend sessions on Friday and Saturday (6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.). Tickets are $20 per vehicle Sunday through Thursday and $25 per vehicle for Friday and Saturday shows. (Note: Space is limited and tickets can sell out, according to a release sent out by the county. Plan to arrive 30-45 minutes before your time slot with your QR admission code ready.) S Ridge Dr., Allison Park

Find which festive holiday display is nearest to you:

Jason Phox

Jason Phox is a journalist in the Pittsburgh area working towards sharing important information with the people of the Steel City. I enjoy writing, photography, and mostly comic books.