Dasher’s Lightshow at Pittsburgh Mills Was a Big Letdown

Drive-through Christmas lights in Pittsburgh are all over the place these days including Christmas at the Zoo, Shadrack's at the Butler County Fairground, Overly's Winter Wonderland in the Laurel Highlands, and the drive-through lights in Clinton, PA, to name a few. 

These experiences can be hit-or-miss to us as there is always a value proposition to keep in mind. Namely, how much you have to pay versus how many lights you get to see (and how long you get to spend on-site) as well as any possible wait you have to enter outright. To put it bluntly, what you can get for your money really does vary with these attractions and your experience can be especially impacted based on when you visit as peak crowds can detract from the experience immensely.

We mention this purely to set the stage for Dasher's Lightshow. This one opened up in several cities around the country in 2021, and in Pittsburgh can be found in the back parking lot of the Pittsburgh Mills Mall just off 28. We went shortly after they opened and drove away with one thought and one thought only- this one was an overpriced mess. 

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15 Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh in November – When the Seasons Change

November in Pittsburgh is truly a month of change. If we are lucky the start of the month still has mild temperatures and peak fall colors, and by the end of the month winter is starting to descend upon the region.

As such, while there may still be a number of outdoor activities to enjoy this month, depending on the weather forecast you may also want to start moving inside for some experiences!

So if you are looking for things to do in Pittsburgh in November, check out the following options.

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Behind the Scenes at ScareHouse – A Unique Halloween Tour

Note: ScareHouse is now located in the Pittsburgh Mills shopping mall. We were invited by ScareHouse for a behind-the-scenes tour in 2021 to update this article, but have paid for the tour in the past as well.

If you're looking to get scared silly during Halloween in Pittsburgh, the city has a number of options for you.

But we have to be honest in saying that we're not ones to get excited about haunted attractions. We can appreciate the work and attention to detail that goes into making a haunt, but we're not rushing to get in line to get spooked, either.

So when we found that ScareHouse offers behind the scenes, lights on tours on select days during their operating season, we were in.

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The Asian Lantern Festival Celebrates Animals, Culture, and More

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is known for putting on many events throughout the year, and in fall 2021 they put on one of the grandest yet- the Asian Lantern Festival running on Thursday to Sunday nights through October 30th!

We were fortunate enough to visit the Seoul Lantern Festival when visiting South Korea in 2019 and absolutely loved the large, ornate, and colorful paper sculptures that lined Cheonggyecheon Stream in the heart of the city (see some of our favorites over at our travel blog at the previous link).

Naturally, when we heard that the Pittsburgh Zoo was going to host their own lantern festival, we knew we had to attend.

In this one, we thought we'd share a bit more about what the Asian Lantern Festival at the zoo is like, share a few of our favorite pieces, and give some tips to help you plan your visit for this limited-time show!

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15 Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh in September – Fall is Coming

September in Pittsburgh often brings about the first signs of fall. The temperatures start to decrease below 80, fall festivals and seasonal attractions open up, school is back in session, and more.

While the looming season change may first be noticeable in this month, there are still plenty of wonderful things to do during the month, and in this one we wanted to share a few of our favorites!

So if you are looking for things to do in Pittsburgh in September, check out the following options.

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Take a Stroll Through a Sunflower Maze at Maple Bottom Farm

At this point, it should be no surprise that we love checking out sunflowers near Pittsburgh when they're blooming. They're Angie's favorite flower and one of mine as well. 

So when we heard that there was a sunflower maze at Maple Bottom Farm in the Laurel Highlands, I had to go check it out shortly after it opened for the season.

While you may want to temper your expectations for the maze element of this one, this field checks a lot of boxes for us in that it is quite large, gorgeous, and allows for ample opportunities for photos inside the field itself!

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15 Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh in August – Summer Events and More

August in Pittsburgh is most certainly the peak of summer. Numerous sunny days means a number of great outdoor events, as well as many opportunities to beat the heat with ice cream, a cold adult beverage, a museum with air conditioning, and more.

In this one, we wanted to share some of the best things to consider checking out in Pittsburgh during the month!

So if you are looking for things to do in Pittsburgh in August, check out the following options!

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The Roundabout Popup is a Relaxing Beer Garden on the Ohio River

We regularly lament the lack of riverfront drinking options in Pittsburgh, and whenever a new space comes out onto the scene we try and get as much of it as we possibly can.

One of the longest-running riverfront beer gardens comes from the Lawrenceville-based brewery, Roundabout, and is the kind of urban oasis we absolutely adore. But to enjoy this one, you're not going to be heading to the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville, but rather the Ohio River in Chateau (just steps from Bicycle Heaven)!

It really is hard to beat this one on a hot summer night. 

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Pick Your Own Sunflowers at Renshaw Farms in Freeport

There are two things we know about sunflowers. The first is that they're Angie's favorite flower, and the second is that they only bloom for roughly 10-14 days each July in southwest Pennsylvania*.

As such, during these brief blooms we rush to get out to as many places as we can to view these gorgeous flowers.

One such farm is Renshaw Farms just outside of Freeport, PA. While the sunflower field here is not terribly large, we'll take any opportunity we can to see thousands of flowers in a field. So in this one, we wanted to share more about what you can expect with a quick visit!

*Note: Some sunflowers also bloom in late August or early September, but most of the sunflower farms in PA tend to be open publicly for July blooms. Renshaw Farms is one of the only farms we know of that is open during both blooms; however, we've only visited for the July flowers.

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7 Awesome Places to Enjoy Sunflowers Near Pittsburgh

When it comes to enjoying fields of sunflowers near Pittsburgh, we have to admit that we're quite spoiled. Between the many farms open to get photos within a field and others open for pick your own bouquets, you really have a number of options to get out and see these gorgeous flowers in southwest Pennsylvania. 

But there is one caveat- most of the fields require a bit of a drive outside of the city.

In this one, we wanted to share a few fields you can visit as well as give you an idea of costs and their respective opening dates as these flowers can have quite a limited blooming period!

Note: All prices are based on published information for the 2021 season. Please reconfirm at the farms directly via their respective links below as prices, dates, and times are liable to change. Most of the farms below are cash only.

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