Trains not your thing? Here are some tours that will take you through beautiful homes instead.
• Dec. 6: The fifth annual Holiday House Tour of six Mt. Lebanon homes is run by Coldwell Banker Real Estate's Route 19 South/Galleria office. The tour is from 9:30 a.m. to noon and is followed by an Atria's-catered luncheon with silent auction, raffle and boutiques at Bower Hill Community Church, 70 Moffett St. Tickets, $20, are available at Rollier's Hardware or the Coldwell Banker office, 1539 Washington Road. Proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish. Information: 412-344-0500.
• Five Ligonier Valley houses will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the fifth annual Holiday Home Tour sponsored by the Auxiliary of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Shuttles to three Ligonier houses will leave regularly from the museum, 1 Boucher Lane and Route 711. Homes in Latrobe and Greensburg are also on the tour. Tickets are $25. Tours of the Compass Inn are $2 more. Information: 724-238-6015.
• Dec. 7: Five houses in Peters, Washington County, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. for the Holiday Home Tour to benefit Watchful Shepherd USA, a child/family abuse prevention program. Mary Jane and Tom Sertik of Keller Williams Realty sponsor the tour. Tickets are $35 and available at the Bethel Park Keller Williams office, 1500 Oxford Drive, Suite 300, and area shops. Information: 724-941-3339 or www.watchful.org.
• Eight houses in Cranberry will be featured in the Cranberry Women's Club Christmas House Tour. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 (pre-sale only). Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. The tour is self-guided and maps are available on the tour day. Information: Terri Frund at 724-538-3121.
• Dec. 10: Howard Hanna Real Estate Services' 18th annual Holiday House Tour will feature six houses in Mt. Lebanon, open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The tour includes Chinese and silent auctions, bake sale and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. provided by Max & Erma's at the Hanna office, 607 Washington Road. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, available at the Hanna office or area businesses. Proceeds benefit Children's Hospital Free Care Fund. Information: 412-561-7400.
• Dec. 12-13: The 27th annual Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour on the North Side features restored and decorated Victorian homes plus Calvary United Methodist Church, famous for its Louis Tiffany stained-glass windows. Also, a model train exhibit includes hundreds of train sets. Guided tours leave at 12-minute intervals from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 13. A Holiday Shop with hot cider, antiques, gifts and crafts at the end. Regular tour tickets are $20 per person, train tickets, $10. On Dec. 13, brunch and tea tours are $40, and tickets for a tour and five-course dinner catered by Linda Iannotta are $100. Reservations required by calling 412-323-8884 or go to www.alleghenywest.info.
• Dec. 13: The Mount Pleasant Area (Westmoreland County) Historical Society will hold its seventh annual Holiday Home Tour from 2 to 8 p.m. The seven tour stops will include four houses, a church, school and the Chestnut Log House on Washington Street. Tickets, $15, are available at local shops or the log house. Information: 724-547-9115.
• Dec. 20: The eighth annual Dickens of Christmas Homes Tour, featuring houses in Historic Munhall Library Estates, will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Dinner will be served from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tour tickets, $15, available at Carnegie Library of Homestead, 510 E. 10th Ave. Dinner-only tickets are $45 and dinner and tour tickets are $55. Dinner reservations required by Dec. 10 by calling 412-377-7935 or at www.hmle.org.
• Clayton, Frick Art & Historical Center, Point Breeze. Tours of the 23-room turn-of-the-century Frick mansion, decorated in early 1900s style. Through Jan. 4. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Docent-led tours through Dec. 23 and Dec. 27-Jan. 4. Admission: $12 adults; $10 seniors, students, military. Information: www.frickart.org.
• Nemacolin Castle, Front Street, Brownsville, Route 40, Christmas candlelight tours with hot wassail and cookies, today and tomorrow, Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 27-28. Admission: Adults $7, children ages 12 and under $4. Information: 724-785-6882 or www.nemacolincastle.org.
• Old Economy Village, Ambridge. Christmas at the Village, lantern-lit Christmas event with demonstrations, children's activities, a traditional Christmas putz and German food, 2-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Admission: Adults $7, seniors $6, youth ages 6-17, $5.
• Christmas Fundraiser Dinner, 6 p.m. Dec. 13. Cost $75, $65 for Friends of Old Economy. Reservations required (724-266-4500, ext. 101) by Dec. 6. Information: www.oldeconomyvillage.org.
• Oliver Miller Homestead, South Park. A Scots-Irish Pioneer Christmas, Dec. 7, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; 18th-Century Pioneer Christmas featuring decorating and music, Dec. 14, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Admission: $1. 412-835-1554 or www.olivermiller.org.
• Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Oakland. Winter Flower Show through Jan. 4. Candlelight Evenings until 10 p.m. Dec. 8-30; Santa appears Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 21; Family Fun Days, Dec. 26-30. Admission: Adults $10; seniors and students $9, children ages 2 to 18 $7, Phipps members and children under 2 free. Information: 412-622-6914 or www.phipps.conservatory.org.