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By: Mark Frazee | Content Manager
'Tis the season! Can you believe it's already mid-November? Our teams are hard at work decking the halls for Holiday Lights 2022, and we can't wait to make new holiday memories together starting next week! This will already be our 11th season of Kennywood Christmastime magic. We're counting down the top 8 reasons you should plan your visit now for this year's spectacular!
More than anything else, the best part of Holiday Lights is simply walking around and taking in the sights of Kennywood transformed into a winter wonderland! Featuring more than two million lights, our crews begin decorating the park for Holiday Lights in September and don't stop until opening night. It's a months-long process! Plus, the state's tallest Christmas tree, measuring nearly 100 feet, will be back to provide the perfect backdrop for new holiday memories. The tree lighting ceremony, sponsored by Clearview Federal Credit Union, will begin at 6:00 p.m. nightly this year. It's a can't-miss nightly event as Kenny, Parker and all their friends gather as we spread Christmas cheer together.
With so many lights, we're proud to mention that Holiday Lights has once again been nominated by a panel of experts as the Best Theme Park Holiday Event in the USA Today 10Best Contest! Vote once per day on all your devices to help Kennywood take home top honors!
Oh what fun it is to ride! Yes, fan-favorite family rides are open during Holiday Lights! This year, the Kangaroo and Turtle rejoin the Holiday Lights ride lineup, alongside the Jack Rabbit (yes, that means coaster rides in December!), Merry-Go-Round, Noah's Ark, Auto Race and Gran Prix. Blast the spirits of Christmas past, present and future in Ghostwood Estate, then enjoy your favorite select rides in Thomas Town and Kiddieland! All of our Holiday Lights rides receive special holiday lighting, and we KNOW the Kangaroo backdrop's new Christmas sequence will look incredible! Rides are weather permitting.
Come hungry! Our Holiday Lights menu features a wide variety of seasonal specialties to satisfy your sweet tooth! Here's a few recommendations:
The Beer Garden will also be open for business this year, alongside the Parkside Beer in the Parkside Cafe with seasonal drinks for the grown ups (enjoy responsibly)! These include:
And when the weather outside is frightful, our hot drinks are oh so delightful! Stay warm and cozy with hot chocolate, hot apple cider and hot coffee all season long with a Holiday Lights souvenir refillable cup! Available around the park.
Dinner With Santa is an immersive, magical, can't-miss holiday experience for families. This very special dinner occurs at 4:30PM and 6:15PM nightly through December 23 and features a delicious all-you-can-eat Christmas buffet dinner with Jolly Old Saint Nick! The menu includes:
NEW for 2022, Dinner With Santa admission includes a free family photo with Santa, AND all children will receive a FREE miniature souvenir cup for hot drinks! We recommend buying Dinner With Santa tickets in advance, as these dinners often fill up fast. Buy your tickets now!
Our giant model train display returns to Holiday Lights in the Penny Aracde this year! Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Independent Hi-Railers, this massive display features incredible detail and evolves each season. The youngest and oldest Guests will love this attraction in the warmth of the Penny Arcade. Be sure to check out the minature version of Kennywood along the train route! The tiny park's scale version of the Turtle is a personal favorite.
Holiday Lights also features a number of specialty shows and entertainment! At the Kennyville Stage, Magician Doc Dixon returns to Kennywood with more holiday hilarity at 6:30 & 7:30 p.m. while Parker's Dance Party returns for everyone to get groovy to your favorite Christmas classics at 7:00 & 8:00 p.m. We will also host several choir performances at the Garden Stage at 7:00 p.m. select nights.
Other exclusive Holiday Lights activities include our walk-through petting zoo and spectacular displays of ice sculpting! Children (and grown ups!) can write letters to Santa near Thomas Town and of course grab a family photo with the big man in red himself nearby!
Throughout this year's Holiday Lights, we're excited to host a number of special events! Returning in 2022, we're crafting an exciting lineup of celebrity readers of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas that includes Pittsburgh Dad and WQED documentarian Rick Sebak!
The full schedule is coming soon, but we can now reveal our first celebrity reader of 2022 is legendary Wave Swinger operator Beth Snodgrass from Kennywood Memories! See her at 8:30 p.m. on opening night - Saturday, November 19, at the Kennyville Stage - the location of the Wave Swinger in the summer of 1988!
New for 2022, we will be introducing Holiday Lights Passholder Perk Weekends in early December for Gold and Platinum Passholders. More details on these coming soon. We're also planning several other yet-to-be-revealed special events that are sure to bring you back to Holiday Lights again and again!
Without a doubt, Holiday Lights is truly Pittsburgh's Home for the Holidays. We often meet families visiting from out of town during Holiday Lights, many of whom have not been to Kennywood in years, while we also meet many families who make it a Thanksgiving, Christmas or even New Year's tradition to celebrate the season at Kennywood! From the lights to the food to simply the thrill of riding the Jack Rabbit in December, both the young and the young at heart will cherish memories made at Holiday Lights forever. Come see Kennywood transformed into a magical winter wonderland!
Holiday Lights occurs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from November 19 through December 23 plus nightly from December 26 through January 1, 2023. Be sure to review our Operating Hours and Safety Updates prior to your visit.
2023 Season Passes
The best way to enjoy Holiday Lights is with a 2023 Season Pass! 2023 Gold and Platinum Passes include 2022 Holiday Lights, plus all of 2023! Do yourself a favor and head to our Season Pass page for a special surprise: Shop Passes
Also, One-Day Tickets for Holiday Lights are available for as low as $19.99.
And with that, the countdown is on: we'll see you for opening night Saturday, November 19!