Holiday Camps and Winter Boredom Busters

December 22, 2023

Oh hey there, holiday enthusiasts! We all know the buzz around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but let's be real – kids tend to dial up the energy to 11 during the holiday break. 

Cabin fever, anyone? 

But don't worry, we've got your back! Check out the scoop below for some seriously cool holiday fun and winter camps happening right here in Pittsburgh. These winter boredom busters are not just about keeping the kiddos entertained; they're about turning up the holiday cheer and making sure this break is packed with unforgettable moments for your little ones. 

Let's sleigh this holiday season together!

Featured Winter and Holiday Camps for Kids in and around the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA

Day off at the Museum at Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History

This season, Carnegie Museum of Art is offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity for creative kids who have a day off from school during the winter months! Introducing Day Off at the Museum–a new program inviting young artists ages 6 through 10 to spend their days off from school immersed in art, learning, and fun.

During these single-day programs, kids will explore the museum’s galleries for inspiration, create unique artworks through painting, printmaking, sculpting, and mixing mediums, learn through playful art and sensory challenges, and dive deeper into artful subjects. 

Programs take place from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. $65 per day for Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh Members, and $75 per day for non-members. 

Registration is now open for November 29, December 28, 29, 2023, and January 15, 2024. 


Holiday Camps for Kids at National Aviary

Don't let your kids miss out on a day of adventure! Let them explore the wonders of nature and get up close with vibrant animals at the National Aviary's One Day Camp on Friday, November 24 from 9 am – 3 pm. Expert educators will guide them through immersive habitats and teach them all about forest species with fun activities and Animal Encounters. Hurry and sign up now, spots are filling up fast!

Join the National Aviary for a one day Winter Camp on December 27th, 28th, or 29th and let your little ones learn all about the amazing ways birds adapt and thrive during the chilly months. Aviary experts will take your kids on a journey of discovery, where they'll learn about bird migration patterns, their unique behaviors, and how they survive in the cold.

More Winter and Holiday Camps for Kids in and around the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA

  • After School Kids Program at Nourish and Move Studio in Beverly Shops - An enriching 10-week after-school program for kids ages 6-9 that combines physical activity, mindfulness, and creativity in a welcoming and safe environment. The classes begin with ice breakers and silly games, creating a sense of community and excitement. Children then delve into breathwork and a yoga flow, where they build strength, flexibility, and emotional awareness. The program finishes with guided meditation and a craft activity, reinforcing mindfulness and allowing kids to express their creativity. Every Tuesday for 10 weeks starting 1/9/24 from 4-5pm at Nourish & Move Studio in Beverly Shops. Sign up before 12/22 and receive $30 off your tuition. 
  • Jingle Bell Rock Camp at Sing Sing Sing! - Saturday, December 16th at 1pm
  • Children's Museum of Pittsburgh has weekend workshops for all ages in November and December. 
  • Kids Workshop Extravaganza at The Cheerful Balloon will embark kids on a balloon sculpting adventure on December 28th. 

Fun Winter Events & Best Holiday things to do with kids and families in and around the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA

One of our favorite things to do as a family over the holidays is to go see holiday lights! Whether it's a drive through, walk-through, or driving around trying to spot Clark, we love it all! Some of our favorites definitely include Kennywood Holiday Lights and Dazzling Lights at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Want to know where the best places to see holiday lights are? Check out our Holiday Lights guide for everything you need to know. If you're wanting to plan your own lights adventure, you can find an interactive map and free printable scavenger hunt to help you find the best Christmas houses in Pittsburgh in our Griswold List!

Capture those family memories by getting a photo taken with Santa. In Pittsburgh, you can find Santa and his elves nearly every weekend (if not day) in December. You can find all your local Santa Sightings (including breakfast and lunch with Santa, mall Santa, trolley Santa and more) here. Some unique Santa Sighting opportunities include a Santa Cruise on the Gateway Clipper and Santa trolley at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. 

Bundle up and enjoy the outdoors this winter. Put on some skates and head to the Rink at PPG, raise your adrenaline with snow tubing at Boyce Park, or walk through a real live Nativity at the Pittsburgh Crèche. Find more outdoor winter fun spots here

Holiday performances are in full swing. Jam out with the Trans Siberian Orchestra or twirl around at the Nutcracker at the Bennedum; or seek out a smaller, more kid friendly performance at a smaller local theater or even a high school. We've got all your favorite holiday performances and where you can see them listed for you here

Set up a hot cocoa bar in your kitchen and stay in for a festive night of watching your favorite Christmas movies.

Run, Run, as fast as you can,,,, to the Gingerbread Houses display at the City County Building  at 414 Grant Street. After you've gathered some inspiration, head home to make your own Gingerbread houses. Check with your local library or Parks & Rec and see if you can enter a Gingerbread House Contest!

Pittsburgh Museums are wonderful any time of the year, but during the holiday season, they are dressed to impress. Take a walk through the trees at the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History, visit the iconic model train display at the Carnegie Science Center, or check out the brand-new Museum of Illusions. Heinz History Museum is free for kids all of December. This is a great time to cross this Pittsburgh classic off your bucket list!

Help contribute to our list! What are your favorite things to do in Pittsburgh over the holiday break?

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