Thursday, December 8, 2016

Best Christmas Lights in the "Burgh

Each year in December, we get the kids in pj's and give them the impression that they're heading to bed early, only to load them up in the car and do a Christmas light drive! I recently asked on our facebook page for the best suggestions around our region. Since so many commented with such great suggestions, I thought they would be worth putting in a post where everyone can see the info in one place. 



1. Christmas Light Up Celebration (Clinton, PA)

TOP RECOMMENDATION! This One-Mile Drive Through Holiday Experience is the best kept holiday secret in Pittsburgh! Over a mile of lights and displays in a beautiful, enchanted woodland setting.  Located on Route 30, only two miles from the Pittsburgh International Airport, and fifteen minutes from shopping at the Mall at Robinson. 


Dates/Times: November 17, 2016 - January 1, 2017. Open daily from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.  Open on all holidays. $10 donation per car is asked.
600 Clinton Park Drive, Clinton, PA 15026

2. Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland (Big Butler Fairgrounds)
This award-winning Christmas light and music extravaganza is unlike any show you've seen. Guests simply tune in their radio, and watch the magic unfold as they drive through hundreds of thousands of brilliant LED lights dancing in perfect synchronization with the music filling their vehicle.  Journey ends at kid-friendly Santa's Village.  $25/carload, $40/mini-bus, limo, activity van.  New & Improved Santa's Village! Entry into Santa's Village is FREE with light show admission. It's a place where young and old alike can gather and enjoy the fun, festive spirit of Christmas indoors.
Dates/Times: November 18, 2016 - January 8th, 2017. Open daily from Dusk - 10:00PM. 

1127 New Castle Rd,  Prospect PA 16052




Baker Family Christmas Extravaganza of Lights and Music, a spectacular display of 35,000 Christmas lights set to cheerful holiday music. All donations benefit Parents In Toto (Autism Resource Center) in Zelienople. 

Dates/Times: November 26, 2016 - January 1,2017. Open daily from 5:00PM - 11:00PM. 

502 Hedge Row Court, Cranberry Township, PA 16066 


There are over 1 million sparkling lights as well as fun, festive opportunities to decorate cookies, ride the Gingerbread Express, visit Santa, and hear choirs singing throughout the park. You'll find hot chocolate and apple cider added to refreshment stands to help you warm up! Rides operate on a limited basis, but Kiddieland is open. Kennywood’s 4-D Theater will show screenings of The Polar Express: A 4-D Experience, included with admission. My kids loved this show! 
Go here to purchase tickets for only $10!
Dates/Times: Kennywood Holiday Lights will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 5-9pm,  November 25 - December 23, 2016. 

5.  Maplewood Avenue in Ambridge, PA
There is limited info online that I could find out about this one! It has been one of the top 10 houses in the country a few times. Donations benefit St. Jude's.

Located in the thriving Metropolis of Leechburg Pennsylvania on Main St., this annual computer animated light display has returned. This year they are fully converted to LED and RGB technology, adding a digital dimension to the display. The play list is nearly 1 hour long before repeating to the first song! Free to the public. 
Dates/Times: Starts at 5:30 pm Nightly, ends at 9:30pm on School nights, ends at 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday night. Runs through at least January 1st, 2017. 
147 Main Street, Leechburg, PA

If you're looking to take a little family road trip, this is a great destination! Since 1985, the Winter Festival of Lights has been delighting visitors of all ages. This annual holiday light show is one of the nation's largest, covering more than 300 acres over a six-mile drive throughout the resort. Located just over an hour from Pittsburgh in Wheeling, WV.  A per car donation is requested and is valid for the entire festival season. Trolley tours are offered several times each night beginning at Wilson Lodge. The family-friendly GlassWorks Grill at the Lodge is a yummy lunch or dinner stop!
Oglebay also offers a Christmas shop, festival of trees, holiday train rides, family hay rides, a straw maze, gardens of light + more. The on-site Good Zoo holds a light and music extravaganza as well. Various prices apply. Go here for more information.  
Dates/Times: November 11, 2016 - January 1, 2017. The Winter Festival of Lights is viewable Sunday through Thursday until 10:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 11:00 p.m.
465 Lodge Drive, Wheeling, WV 26003

Built around a whimsical "Snow Day at Phipps" theme, the changing exhibit rooms will feature topiary penguins, bears and reindeer frolicking in showcases of artful LED lights, decorated fir trees, whimsical props, colorful poinsettias, aromatic paperwhites, showy amaryllis and more. From snowball fights and ice skating to cuddly blanket forts, the displays will revive the wonder of a winter's day of childhood play in guests of every age. The outdoor Winter Light Garden will sparkle with luminous orbs, trees and fountains, as well as a brand new tunnel of lights designed to imitate a twinkling winter sky.
Dates/ Times: Open through January 8, 2017. Daily hours for Winter Flower Show are 9:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. and 5 – 11 p.m. for Winter Light Garden. Regular admission rates apply. 

The Zombek family will be holding their 3rd Annual Christmas Light Display. The light display features over 20,000 LED Christmas lights, two reindeer heads that sing along with the music and 5’ RGB arches that dance to the music. Their 2016 goal is to successfully collect and donate $11,700, to Make-A-Wish®. Donations can be made on-location through their collection box or online here. (It looks like they've already raised more than their goal for the year - amazing!!) ❤
Dates/Times: November 26, 2016 – January 1, 2017. The show is one hour in length and runs continuously from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. on weekends.
214 Williamsburg Drive, Elizabeth, PA 15037

Here are some other neighborhood suggestions that I don't have much more info on. If anyone has specific addresses or websites about any of them, please let me know!
  • Glenburn Drive (Pleasant hills)
  • Woodland Ridge in Moon twp - a lot of houses participate and will have their lights up the whole month. It's off of Thorn Run Rd.
  • Hidden Valley Drive in West View/Ross (off Rochester Road close to 19) Many houses with a lot of lights!
  • Mt. Nebo Road (across from Home Depot) Lots of lights!
  • Maple Drive in Ross Twp. has three or four houses next to each other with tons of inflatables and some lights.
  • Pleasant Hills (Glenburn neighborhood, off 51 behind Uhaul) "is amazing!" 
  • Stonecrest plan off Saxonburg Blvd

Enjoy your family drives! Hot chocolate optional. 💓💓💓

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December family fun at Fifth Avenue Place

It's that time of year when we're planning our special family days in Downtown Pittsburgh to take in all the holiday displays and fun! Fifth Avenue Place has planned some Christmas activities especially for kids and families that you don't want to miss. And if you or your spouse happen to work downtown, they also have a few weekday holiday events to enjoy on your lunch break. 


Saturdays, November 26 – December 17
Creation Stations - FREE Family Fun with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


Saturday, December 3
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Snowman Squalls
Reflect upon the warmth of the holidays with The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh by creating snowmen snow globes and sock snowmen. Test your skills at the North Pole bean bag toss and be amazed as magician Chris Handa brings holiday magic to life!


Saturday, December 10
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bright Bulbs
Join cheerful elves from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and design personalized paper light bulb wreaths. Showcase your talent and create your very own ornament. Catch up with everyone’s favorite elf for creative balloon art and capture the seasonal spirit with a keepsake caricature.


Saturday, December 17
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Whispering Wishes
Visit for story time and enjoy holiday classics as read by Mrs. Claus. Design one-of-a-kind winter wishing dolls/elves and wishing plants with The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Show off your holiday spirit with a fun face painting.


Fifth Avenue Place has a great food court and bathrooms which are helpful before you head to the outdoor activities!


Saturdays November 19 – December 17
Every Saturday FREE Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley
11 a.m. – 5 p.m Discover all the sights and sounds of the holiday season in downtown Pittsburgh aboard the FREE Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley. Hosted by Santa’s little helpers, trolleys circle downtown each weekend picking up at stops approximately every 15 minutes. Visit www.downtownpittsburgh.com for a listing of all trolley stop locations.


Friday, November 25 – Friday, December 23

Monday – Friday Holiday Lunchtime Concerts
12 p.m Daily Live musical performances from some of Pittsburgh’s favorite artists bring the sounds of the season to life during the always entertaining Lunchtime Concert Series.

Friday-November 25: Featured performer The Roger Barbour Jazz Quartet
12p-2p

Wednesday, December 7 & Tuesday, December 20

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Jim O’Brien Book Signing
He's back! Pittsburgh sports author and historian, Jim O'Brien returns to Fifth Avenue Place. Meet him in Center Court December 7 and December 20 autographing all of your sports collection favorites include Jim’s newest book, FROM A TO Z: A Boxing Memoir from Ali to Zivic.

Thursday, December 8 – Saturday, December 10

11 a.m. – Close Gift Certificate BONUS Days
Only a few shopping days left! Find the perfect gift at Fifth Avenue Place and earn a FREE Fifth Avenue Place Gift Certificate with qualifying retail purchases. Redeem receipts from 11 a.m. – close in Center Court.
Receipt Total Receive
$25-$49.99 $5 Gift Certificate
$50-$99.99 $10 Gift Certificate
$100+ $25 Gift Certificate

Wednesday, December 7 – Friday, December 9

10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. Glass Eye Studio Sale at Crystal River Gems

The much anticipated holiday sale returns. Visit Fifth Avenue Place Wednesday, December 7 - Friday, December 9 and explore the world of glass art – from ornaments and paperweights to vases and bowls. Crystal River Gems will be selling a variety of hand-crafted gift items exclusively from Glass Eye Studio.

Friday, December 16, Monday, December 19 & Tuesday, December 20

6 – 9 a.m. Make-A-Wish & Wish 99.7 FM Light Up A Child’s Life Campaign
Help make a child’s wish come true this holiday season! Drop by Fifth Avenue Place for the annual Make-A-Wish fundraiser with WISH Radio, broadcasting live from 6 – 9 a.m. in Center Court, collecting donations and raising awareness for Make-A-Wish.

ONGOING HOLIDAY AMENITIES
Friday, November 25 – Saturday, December 24

After 4 p.m. Weekdays Holiday Parking Validation
All Day Saturdays Enjoy FREE Parking with any $20 Fifth Avenue Place retail purchase in the Fifth Avenue Place Garage on Evenings (enter after 4pm) and Weekends.
See Stores for Details • Limit: One Per Person

Fifth Avenue Place
120 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-456-7800
Twitter: @FifthAvePlace

Don't miss the full line up of holiday fun on our event calendar with these downtown family additions! 
  • PPG Place Wintergarden
  • Spirit of Giving Exhibit
  • Gingerbread House Exhibit
  • Ice Rink at PPG Place
  • Pittsburgh Creche
  • Photos with Santa
  • Peoples Gas Holiday Market
  • Kidsplay! (Liberty Avenue)
  • Free Carriage Rides


And don't forget.....FREE Saturday parking in Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages.

Cheers to Christmas'ing in Pittsburgh!


This post is sponsored so I received compensation or products in exchange for my promotion. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse companies that I don't value.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream (Coupon Code)

My kids have started seeing the signs around town for Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream and it's "are we going, Mom? Are we going?!" Disney on Ice is one of our favorite shows. The ice skating is amazing and having them dressed in our favorite Disney characters is the cherry on top! This year's features are Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Princess and the Frog and Cinderella and we can't wait to see how these stories come to life on the ice.


PPG Paints Arena 

December 9-11

Join us for a hair-raising, jazzed up, unforgettable adventure with the Disney Princesses at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream.  
  
 Save $5 off on Select tickets to the show. Use Code MOM16
Tickets at market pricing. No double discounts. Restrictions, exclusions and additional fees may apply. Offer expires on 12/4

Go here to view the show schedule and purchase tickets. 


Feld Entertainment’s Exciting Disney On Ice Production is a Celebration of Royal Proportions
featuring Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Princess and the Frog and Cinderella

Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they follow four of Disney’s most inspirational princesses on their adventures to fulfill their dreams in Feld Entertainment’s newest ice spectacular, Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. Combining the contemporary stories of two modern-day princesses, Rapunzel and Tiana, with the classic elegance of Cinderella and Snow White, Dare to Dream whisks audiences away on exciting journeys where dreams really do come true.

Audiences begin their magical, musical voyage in New Orleans celebrating the story of The Princess and the Frog with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, and then escape into the enchanted forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The trip continues to Cinderella’s kingdom in her search for true love and follows Rapunzel as she discovers the world beyond her tower on her quest to see the floating lanterns. The Disney Princesses then come together for the first time on ice during the finale, to welcome Rapunzel into their royal court in the ultimate princess experience.


“There’s something within each of the stories of Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that speaks to women and girls and families around the world,” says Producer Nicole Feld. “Each of these princesses is searching for what truly makes them happy. And I think that’s very reflective of what audiences are like today.”

“This show is different from anything we’ve ever done, and we’re excited about all the exhilarating aspects we’ve included in this production,” says Producer Juliette Feld. “This is the first time Rapunzel is featured on the ice with her tremendous amount of hair. And new this year, the Princess who started it all, Snow White, will be joining the show with the Seven Dwarfs, bringing more magic than ever before.”


Another distinctive design element of Dare to Dream is the revolving set, an idea conceived by Scenic Designer Stan Meyer. By designing a rotating piece that transforms to specifically fit each of the unique settings of the stories, Meyer was able to create one major centerpiece with four entirely different environments. When the set morphs into Rapunzel’s forest, a paneled backdrop of pastel flora and butterflies opens and a majestic tower slowly emerges, rising from the ice as golden hair falls from the window.

Lighting Designer Peter Morse incorporated these same pastels and royal colors by surrounding the audience in rich shades of purple, a prominent color in Rapunzel’s world. When Rapunzel and Flynn Rider finally reach the end of their journey, the entire arena goes dark as a single lantern slowly floats up into the air, and suddenly, lanterns illuminate the sky above the audience.

“When we create Disney On Ice, what we’re hoping to do, aside from bringing families together and telling great stories, is create memorable moments,” says Producer Kenneth Feld. “In the Tangled sequence, there is one moment that is absolutely unforgettable. At every show, one special child is picked to launch the first lantern. All you see is the one lantern that goes up, and as soon as it reaches the top, all the other lanterns light up the arena. It’s breathtaking.”


Here's something fun to bring with you to the show! Click on each picture below to print and create a Mickey or Minnie crown for your kiddos. ❤
               


We're excited for the show, I hope you are as well! 


About Feld Entertainment
Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! More information about Feld Entertainment is available online at www.feldentertainment.com.



#DisneyOnIce #DaretoDream 

Disclosure: I am an FEI Family Activator and received tickets in exchange for promotion of this show. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse venues I don't love!
   

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kennywood Holiday Lights: Ticket Giveaway

Holiday Lights at Kennywood opens this weekend! It's a fun and different experience going to an amusement park in the winter and Kennywood will be decked out in full holiday spirit! My family loves the festive atmosphere with so many Christmas lights and the Christmas music playing throughout the park is enough to put everyone in a jolly mood.


Last year we were lucky enough to catch a snowfall! Talk about holiday spirit! ❤❤❤



Kennywood Holiday Lights will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 5-9pm,  November 25 - December 23, 2016. 



There are over 1 million sparkling lights as well as fun, festive opportunities to decorate cookies, ride the Gingerbread Express, visit Santa, and hear choirs singing throughout the park. You'll find hot chocolate and apple cider added to refreshment stands to help you warm up!




Kennywood’s 4-D Theater will show screenings of The Polar Express: A 4-D Experience, based on the Caldecott Medal Children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. My kids loved this show! 


Rides in the main park are open on a limited basis, the carousel is open. Kiddieland has up to 8 rides open.  


Your kids might also enjoy a special opportunity to have dinner with Santa! Dinner reservations can be made for Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 & 23.  Dinner is an all-you-can-eat buffet from 3:30-4:30 pm with a visit from Santa from 4-4:45 pm. After that you're welcome to enjoy the evening at the Festival of Lights.
 $29.99 / adults. $23.99 / ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under are free. Space is limited and reservations are required here


You might run into a few fun characters on your visit!


Admission at the Gate: $18.99 (+ $1 amusement tax). Save $3.00 at Giant Eagle or Purchase online for only $10!  ($1.25 processing fee & $1 amusement tax). You can also purchase a season pass for Holiday Lights for $25. Kids 2 and under are FREE! Parking is also free in the Kennywood lot. 

Don't miss the Lagoon where the reflections are gorgeous! The fantastic light show at the Lagoon runs every 30 minutes and is choreographed to some of our favorite Christmas songs. 
Show times: 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00pm, 8:30 pm. Shows last 10 minutes 


GIVEAWAY:
I have the chance to share with you a chance to enjoy the Kennywood Holiday Lights with your family! One lucky winner will win 4 tickets for the day of your choice.


Thanks, Kennywood, for being a great Pittsburgh holiday tradition!


Don't forget to check out their Black Friday Season Pass sale which is already live on their website!



This post sponsored by Kennywood. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse venues I don't love!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Free canvas print

Is everyone is the middle of all their holiday shopping? Pictures are one of our favorite gifts for grandparents (and what they request), so I was pretty excited to hear about this FREE canvas print offer! 



I just got a free 12x8" canvas print and I am allowed to share this with you!
FREE 12x8 Canvas Print! - All you need to do is to click the website link http://www.canvasonsale.com/congrats/ , upload your favorite picture, choose 12x8" canvas and enter the voucher code from the website in the basket.




 Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift. 
Once you have ordered your free canvas you can share this with your friends anywhere in the web, so they also get a free canvas print. FREE 12x8 Canvas Print! (Shipping not included.)



The AMAZING FREE CANVAS FOR AMERICA CAMPAIGN. 

Sponsored by US Family and Canvas on Sale. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Free Store in Penn Hills

I love this movement in our city of sharing free resources. So many of us have things in our homes that maybe our children have outgrown or we simply don’t need anymore. But it might be in great shape and be useful to another family. These pre-loved items are finding new homes at Free Stores cropping up across Allegheny County. People are providing mutual aid instead of wasting resources. Free Store Penn Hills is the newest family member in this beautiful chain. Past and present Penn Hills residents are working to eradicate suburban poverty by opening this consignment store without price tags for neighbors in need in the Lincoln Park Community Center.


Starting November 19, 2016, Free Store Penn Hills will be open to shoppers and donors Mondays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. These hours are aligned with the center’s food pantry schedule, which operates twice per month. Shoppers from across Allegheny County and elsewhere are welcome. The store will distribute everything from clothing and books to toys and toiletries. Donations accepted include, books, book bags, clothing, diapers, home décor, luggage/purses, school supplies, school uniforms, toiletries, toys and games. Due to safety concerns, Free Store Penn Hills is unable to accept cribs, car seats, furniture or other items subject to a recall. Personal items, including bedding, pajamas, toiletries and undergarments, must be in new packaging.


The theme of Free Store Penn Hills is to Love Your Neighbor. This quote is even painted on the store’s back wall! In our family, we try to teach our children to love their neighbors by performing random acts of kindness. For the past 3 years, we’ve participated in the Foster Love Project’s placement bag drive. [Full disclosure: I am also the founder.]  Each year, we love and support children who face difficult challenges in their family life with our volunteer work with Foster Love Project.


Kids that need to be removed suddenly from their homes for safety concerns, often aren’t able to take their belongings with them. And if they do take some belongings, they are often placed in a trash bag. We believe this sends the message of being disposable. And that is why these placement bags are so valuable. Yes, they take time, effort, and money, but the need to show them their dignity and worth is worth it all! They need to know that they are not just a number in the system. My kids have a had a big role in this endeavor whether it's packing bags, hauling bags or delivering packages to foster families.


Free Store Penn Hills also sought to create a space that gave shoppers a sense of dignity and respect. To do so, they teamed up with At Home’s newest store in Pittsburgh located at 3000 McIntyre Square Drive. The 91,000 square-foot retail destination allows customers to affordably turn their house into a home, and the major donation allowed Free Store Penn Hills to create a warm, welcoming space. Fellow Penn Hills alum and HGTV Design Star Finalist Luca Paganico offered his styling expertise.  



Highlights of the store include a children’s corner, where kids can attend story time and participate in arts and crafts classes. They can also interact and add their art to the murals  painted by local artists JaQuay Walker Taylor and Deborah McKenzie. A resource table will be a fixture in Free Store Penn Hills, providing valuable and timely information to the public.


Here’s how your family can commit a random act of kindness.

Attend the Grand Opening
Come out to meet your neighbors on Saturday, November 19th at 10 a.m. at the Lincoln Park Community Center. Following the dedication ceremony, drop off donations, shop the store or enjoy refreshments provided by The Cupcake Crew and Frankstown Road Giant Eagle. The Consumer Health Coalition and Healthy Together Mascot Enroll-o-bot will be on site to help families enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. Children’s activities include arts & crafts, a face painter and stories--books provided by Reading is Fundamental (RIF).

Donate to the Free Store
Free Store Penn Hills distributes everything from clothing and books to toys and toiletries. Solicited donations include books, book bags, clothing, diapers, home décor, luggage/purses, school supplies, school uniforms, toiletries, toys and games. Due to safety concerns, we’re unable to accept cribs, car seats, furniture or other items subject to a recall. Personal items, including bedding, pajamas, toiletries and undergarments, must be in new packaging.

Grant a Wish
On Saturdays, the store will host the Confident Kids Craft Club. They need the community’s support to purchase art supplies. Click here to buy something from their Amazon Wish List.  Free Store Penn Hills will also offer interactive and educational workshops for families, such as financial literacy programs and breastfeeding information sessions. Interested facilitators can contact Heather at dearmomdiary@gmail.com.

Buy a Gift Card
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for At Home’s Pittsburgh store will take place Friday, November 18 at 9 a.m. You can add a gift card to your holiday shopping list to donate to Free Store Penn Hills, or pick up one of the 50,000 unique items to make the holidays a bit brighter for a neighbor in need.


Momtourage friends - How are you committing acts of kindness with your family?

Be sure to follow the Free Store Penn Hills and At Home on social media! Tag your photos using #LoveYourNeighbor

Twitter: @FreeStorePH @AtHomeStores


This post is sponsored by At Home so I received compensation or products in exchange for my promotion. All opinions remain my own as I don't endorse companies that I don't value.