dazzling nights

Dazzling Pittsburgh is delighting kids of all ages

Photo above courtesy of KDKA.

A new holiday light display is wowing visitors from around the region with designs inspired by their setting in nature. The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden near Robinson used a company out of Miami to design the “Dazzling Nights” display.

You’ll feel like you’re stepping into another world where fireflies dance among the clouds surrounding you, and what appears to be glitter glistens among the tall trees.

“We love walking through. It’s like these magical fairies,” says Lisa Williams of Robinson who walked through the display with her young daughter.

Williams said she liked the exercise for herself and her young daughter. It’s a chance to “get active, get the energy out before she goes to bed.”

Each stop along the two miles of meandering pathways is unique with lights guiding you to each of 14 features, including interactive lily pads that light up when you step on them. A glowing tunnel of lights is a backdrop for the perfect picture, and totems circle a pond, reflecting in the water and changing with the music.

dazzling nights
Dazzling Nights photo courtesy of KDKA.

It takes an hour to an hour and a half to walk through it all, which is different from the drive-through light displays in the Pittsburgh area.

Older kids will enjoy the time with friends. Savannah Inman from Cranberry says Dazzling Nights is “way better with friends because you get into the spirit, too.”

12-year-old Reid Fowler agrees: “You can talk on the walk,” he says with a laugh.

Jonathan Russell of Pittsburgh’s Morningside neighborhood visited Dazzling Nights recently with his wife. “We’ve really enjoyed strolling through. It’s peaceful, relaxing, nice,” he told KDKA.

While the lights will be even more beautiful with snow on the ground, you don’t have to wait for real snow to get in the holiday spirit. There’s a machine blowing what looks like snow!

Ten-year-olds Miley Phillips and Lyla Beck from the South Hills both love the foam snow and the lights. “I think this is the best place to go,” Phillips said.

“It’s over the top –better than anything I’ve ever seen,” Beck added.

The 460 acres of land where the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is now was once an abandoned coal mine and the pond was filled with acid drainage.

It’s a remarkable place: Once you see the lights, you’re going to want to go back in spring, summer and fall to see it in the different seasons, which is just as beautiful.

You do have to reserve your tickets in advance. They’re $25 per person and there is a fee for on-site parking. There are discounts if you’re a Botanic Garden member. Dazzling Nights is open every day except Christmas through January first.

For more information, visit the Dazzling Nights website or the Botanic Garden website. And don’t miss Kidsburgh’s guide to all the holiday lights displays in our areas.

Want more holiday fun? Check out our big guide to holiday events, our guide to sensory-friendly holiday fun and our roundup of miniature train displays.