Looking for some socially distant ways to celebrate the season? We’ve updated our guide to all of the Pittsburgh Christmas light displays.
With drive-in movie theaters going back in style, and drive-in concerts and comedy shows making an emergence, drive-thru light shows fit right in: you make minimal contact with people and can still enjoy glittery, shimmery light displays from the comfort of your car. We rounded up the best drive-in light shows in the ‘Burgh to spread holiday joy, not germs.
*= tickets must be purchased in advance
**= timed tickets required
Zoo Lights Drive-Thru @ Pittsburgh Zoo* **
- 📍 Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
- 🗓 Select evenings from Nov. 26, 2021 to Dec. 30, 2021
- 💲 Cost: $50/car ($40/car for zoo members)
Animals are cute. Holiday lights are cute. Put them together and you have a very cute evening, where you drive through the zoo — lit up by environmentally-friendly LED lights — and listen to a themed, guided audio tour. Even if it’s not snowing, it’s guaranteed to be a winter wonderland.
Holiday Laser Show @ North Park* **
- 📍 North Park
- 🗓 Dec. 12-22, 2021
- 💲 Cost: $20/car for Allegheny County residents ($25/car for non-residents)
Enjoy a 45-minute light show synchronized with music from the comfort of your car with this one-of-a-kind drive-in experience. Make sure to arrive 30-45 minutes before your time slot, and don’t wait to buy your ticket — space is limited and they’re expected to sell out quickly.
- 📍 Wheeling, West Virginia
- 🗓 Nov. 4, 2021 – Jan. 19, 2022
- 💲 Cost: $25/car suggested donation
Just a little under an hour from Pittsburgh proper, this light show near Wheeling, West Virginia, is one of the largest in the nation, dating back to 1985. Featuring 300 acres of lights over a six-mile drive, there’s plenty to take in, with 90 attractions in this light show. One million LED lights mean it’s fantastic and good for the environment. It costs a suggested donation of $25 per vehicle, meaning it’s easy on the wallet, too. You can use your own car on an Oglebay Trolley, which you should book seven days in advance.
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland @ Butler County Fairgrounds*
- 📍 Butler County Fairgrounds
- 🗓 Nov. 12, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
- 💲 Cost: $30-$40/car
Festive holiday music plays on your car radio as you drive through two miles of this custom-made holiday display. The show features giant LED displays set to a comical take on the “12 Day of Christmas” if you’re looking for a laugh. Plus, the attraction features a 300-foot drive-through tunnel and a 50-foot light tree.
- 📍 Findlay Township
- 🗓 Nov. 20, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022
- 💲 Cost: $10/car donation
This one-mile drive through attraction is the “best kept holiday secret in Pittsburgh,” now in its 27th season. The $10 cash-only show is created thanks to the efforts of volunteers and “generous gifts” from family and businesses, and is a great choice if you’re looking for something easy on the wallet and the eyes.
- 📍 Westmoreland County
- 🗓 Nov. 18 to Dec. 30, 2022
- 💲 Cost: $20/car – cash only
This show, which first began in 1956, is operated mainly by volunteers. You can listen to carols over your car radio, drop off a letter to Santa and even catch a glimpse of the Grinch. Make sure to bring cash, since they do not take cards for admission.
Zombek Family Christmas Light Display @ Elizabeth, PA
- 📍 Elizabeth, Pennsylvania
- 🗓 Nov. 27 to Dec. 28, 2021
- 💲 Cost: Free
The Zomebek family has been decorating their home for the holidays to raise money since 2014. Since starting the christmas light display they family has raised over $75,000 for Make-A-Wish.
Christmas in the Park @ Grove City
- 📍 Grove City, Pennsylvania
- 🗓 Nov. to Jan. 2, 2022
- 💲 Cost: Free
Now in its 14th year, Christmas in the Park is a free drive-thru event held by the Grove City Chamber of Commerce that features light displays created by families, organizations and businesses in the area. The display is open daily from 5-11pm.
Dasher’s Lightshow @ Pittsburgh Mills
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- 📍 Pittsburgh Mills Mall
- 🗓 Nov. 5, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022
- 💲 Cost: $25/car
Dasher’s Lightshow is the new this year. From the Dasher’s website, it looks like they run light shows in several cities. You can see a video from the lightshow on the Macaroni Kid Instagram account here.
Pro tip: It looks like you can use the promo code “KID2021” to save 20% on tickets.
Looking for more (local) holiday cheer?
This story was origonally published in December 2020 and has been updated for the 2021 holiday season.
📸 Header photo: Getty Images