Christmas lights, plays and concerts are plentiful holiday cheer


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ALL OF THE LIGHTS

KENNYWOOD HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Christmas light show set to music, carolers, performances by local choirs, holiday foods, a model train exhibit, petting zoo, visits with Santa Claus and more. Rides open are Ghostwood Estate, Gingerbread Express (Olde Kennywood RR), Merry-Go-Round, Paratrooper, Kangaroo, Turtle and up to nine Kiddieland rides. $15.99, plus $1 amusement tax; save $2 with tickets from participating Giant Eagle locations. Children 2 and under free; $24.99 for a Holiday Lights pass; free with season pass. Fri.-Sun. 5-9 p.m. through Dec. 22. www.kennywood.com.

OGLEBAY WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: Oglebay Park, Wheeling, W.Va. Six-mile drive-through with 80 light displays, including the Christmas Tree Farm. Other new displays are Woodpeckers and Leaping Frog, and the Oglebay Village has been expanded. Sun.-Thurs. from dusk-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. until 11 p.m., through Jan. 5. Donation requested. 1-800-624-6988; www.oglebay-resort.com,

PLACES TO BE

CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART/NATURAL HISTORY: Oakland. "Carnegie Trees 2013: Embracing the Art of Play" features unique decorations for each tree, inspired by the spirit of creative play running through the 2013 Carnegie International, the museum's signature exhibition of contemporary art (today through Jan. 12). Neapolitan presepio, a miniature Nativity scene with more than 100 life-like figures created between 1700-1830 (through Jan. 9), tours daily. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m. 412-622-3131; www.carnegiemnh.org.

CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER: North Shore. The Miniature Railroad & Village, with the Allegheny County Mortuary as the new addition. Two Omnimax movies spotlighting trains run through Jan. 1: "Rocky Mountain Express" and "The Polar Express: An IMAX Experience." With Lionel Days, visitors will enjoy museum-quality artifact displays, classic train displays from Lionel's own collection, and festive train decorations on the grand holiday tree, all on loan from Lionel. Locomotion Weekend, Dec. 14-15, featuring features a rail yard full of guest train displays by local hobbyists. Breakfast Express features trains, stories, breakfast, "The Polar Express: An IMAX Experience" and guest Mr. McFeely (Saturdays through Dec. 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.). Holiday Magic laser show (daily through Jan. 1). 412-237-3400 or CarnegieScienceCenter.org.

COMPASS INN MUSEUM: Route 30, Laughlintown. Restored stagecoach stop built in 1799. Christmas Candlelight Tours, Sat.-Sun. 3-7 p.m. 724-238-4983.

FRICK ART & HISTORICAL CENTER: Point Breeze. Clayton holiday tour, "A Pittsburgh Christmas," focusing on Pittsburgh Christmases of the late 19th century, when the Frick children were young. Seasonal craft workshops and other programs through Jan. 5. Holiday hours: Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Extended hours Dec. 19 and 26, when Clayton is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (last tour at 8 p.m.), and The Cafe 10 a.m.-9 p.m., with dinner seatings at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Clayton admission: $12 adults; $10 seniors, students, military. Reservations strongly recommended.

GATEWAY CLIPPER CRUISES: Station Square. Santa Family Fun Cruises with Santa and DJ, Sat.-Sun. 1:30-3:30 p.m. (board 1 p.m.) through Dec. 22, $25, $12 kids; Holiday Dinner Cruise, Fri.-Sat. 6:30 p.m. through Dec. 21, $55; Holiday Luncheon Cruises, Dec. 14 and 20 at noon, $35, $18 kids. 412-355-7980; www.gatewayclipper.com.

NATIONAL AVIARY: North Side. Photos with Santa and a penguin, Saturdays through Dec. 21 at 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free with general admission. www.aviary.org.

NATIONALITY ROOMS: Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Oakland. Rooms are decorated for the holidays through Jan. 17. Narrated tape tours are available Saturdays 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $3 adults; $1 kids 8-18. 412-624-6000; www.pitt.edu/~natrooms.

PENNSYLVANIA TROLLEY MUSEUM: Washington, Pa. Ride with Santa on vintage trolleys, Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Trolleys & Toy Trains, which includes a visit to Lionel train layout, takes place during Santa Trolley on Dec. 14. 724-228-9256; www.pa-trolley.org.

PEOPLES GAS HOLIDAY MARKET: Market Square will be transformed into a winter wonderland featuring vendors housed in Alpine-style wooden chalets, musical performances and a house for Santa Claus with a bay window, an ice-capped chimney and a candy cane entryway, weekdays 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. through Dec. 23.

PHIPPS CONSERVATORY & BOTANICAL GARDENS: Schenley Park, Oakland. Winter Flower Show and Winter Light Garden capture the magic of light and glass, through Jan. 12; Santa Visits (Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 22); Candlelight Evenings (through Jan. 12); Brunch in Bloom (Sundays in December, plus Jan. 5); Holiday Tea (Fri.-Sat.); Gifts and Greens Market (Thurs.-Sat.). 412-622-6914; phipps.conservatory.org.

PPG PLACE WINTERGARDEN: Stanwix Street, Downtown. "Spirits of Giving From Around the World" display of life-size Santas and original paintings capturing a world of Christmas folklore and fantasy. Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. through Jan. 7. Free. www.ppgplace.com.

RINK AT PPG PLACE: Downtown. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun. noon-8 p.m. $8; $7 kids, seniors; $3 rental. 412-394-3641.

HOLIDAY PLAYS

SLEEPING BEAUTY HOLIDAY Gemini Theater, The Factory, Point Breeze. Through Dec. 23. Sat.-Sun. 1 and 3:30 p.m. $12. 412-243-5201 or www.geminitheater.org.

MRS. BOB CRATCHIT'S WILD CHRISTMAS BINGE Christopher Durang's twist on Dickens. Little Lake Theatre, Route 19, North Strabane. Through Dec. 14. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m. $12-$18. 724-745-6300.

A MUSICAL CHRISTMAS CAROL Tom Atkins takes the role as Scrooge in this holiday favorite. Pittsburgh CLO at Byham Theater, Downtown. Through Dec. 22. Thurs.-Fri. 7:30 p.m.; Sat. noon, 4 and 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 and 6 p.m. (exceptions). $14.75-$60.75. 412-456-6666 or www.pittsburghclo.org.

PLAID TIDINGS: Holiday edition of "Forever Plaid." CLO Cabaret, Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown. Through Jan. 12. Wed.-Thurs. 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m.; Thurs. 1 p.m.; some exceptions. $42-$32.75. 412-456-6666.

GODSPELL: Based on the Gospel according to Matthew. Kean Theatre, 5847 Meridian Road, Richland. Fri.-Sat. $10-$28. 724-444-5326. www.keantheatre.com.

RUDOLPH, FROSTY, THE GRINCH & FRIENDS: Celebrating the music of classic TV Christmas specials. The Strand Theater, Zelienople, Dec. 14 and 21, 2 p.m. $10-$20. 724-742-0400; www.thestrandtheater.org.

A TAFFETA CHRISTMAS: The holiday version of the fabulous singing Taffetas. The Theatre Factory, Trafford. Thurs. through Dec. 15. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m. $16-$18. 412-374-9200; www.TheTheatreFactory.com.

MADELINE'S CHRISTMAS: Little Lake Theatre, 500 Lakeside Drive South, Canonsburg. Through Dec. 15. Sat.-Sun. 1:30 p.m. $5.50-$10. 724-745-6300.

NUTCRACKERS

THE NUTCRACKER: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Benedum Center, Downtown. Dec. 13, 7 p.m.; Dec. 14, 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 15, noon and 4:30 p.m.; Dec. 19-20, 7 p.m.; Dec. 21, 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 22, noon and 4:30 p.m.; Dec. 23, 7 p.m.; Dec. 26-27, 7 p.m.; Dec. 28, 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 29, noon. $25.75-$96.75. 412-456-6666, www.pbt.org.

THE NUTCRACKER: Carnegie Performing Arts Center, Andrew Carnegie Music Hall, Carnegie. Through Dec. 15. Fridays-Saturdays 8 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. $12-$15. 412-279-8887. www.carnegieperformingartscenter.com.

THE NUTCRACKER: Westmoreland Symphony and Laurel Ballet Company at Palace Theatre, Greensburg. Dec. 14, 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 15, 2 p.m. $10-$34. 724-836-8000.

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