It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..
Well, that's not exactly true, as it's pouring down rain right now at my house (and yours too, I'm sure). But my Christmas tree and lights are up, as are several other of my neighbors, so I'm starting to feel "the Christmas Spirit". And did you realize we only have three weekends left until Christmas!?!
Therefore, I suggest that you devote this weekend to a trip out of the county and spend some time visiting Overly's Country Christmas in Westmoreland County.
Overly's is a charming little Christmas village that is a must-see if you have a family. We made our first trip out there last year and plan to make it an annual tradition.
Overly's website describes their festivities as a place to experience "an impressive holiday light display complete with a walk-through Christmas Village that’s filled with an array of old-fashioned traditions and treats. Sing carols ‘round the bonfire, revel in the model train display, have your picture taken with Santa (in the days before Christmas) and shop for gifts in the C. Edgar & Sons General Store as you experience the beauty of this illuminated winter wonderland!"
Last year I was a bit confused at exactly how it all worked...was it a drive-through light display like the former Hartwood Acres Celebration or a walk-through village? The director of Overly's answered my question with the following "First, it is a drive through on the way to our parking lot. From there, enter Christmas Village through the Canopy of Lights and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of an old-fashioned Christmas. Meander through the buildings, gather 'round the bonfire and roast some marshmallows or sing some Christmas carols. Then if you wish, take a horse-drawn wagon ride or sleigh ride through Christmas Village and the lights of Overly's Country Christmas."
I was sold by that answer, so we made the drive out to the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds. This was my report from our visit
We made it out to Overly's last night and I have to say we loved it! You're right, the light displays aren't as big or impressive as Hartwood, but the "Country Christmas" atmosphere and the ability to get out of your car and wlak around was fantastic.
We enjoyed the live animals in the nativity, the talking tree and the bonfire. It was definitely chilly so if you're planning a trip, dress very warm as most of the "displays" are outside. We did just about everything there was to do (except horse/sleigh rides).
We frist drove around the perimiter, as instructed, to see the lights. The displays were much more "handmade" which I kind of liked..they really did have a personal feel to them (like Mr. Overly himself made them--I have no idea if that's the case, but that's how it "felt").
After driving around the perimeter we parked and went in. We wandered through the country store, let the kids ride the small train (goes very fast!), spent some time with the talking tree (the kids thought this was fantastic!) and the nativity scene. We warmed up by the fire, then went in to see Santa and the antique toys (very tight space in there but the line moved rather quickly) and then ended the night with hot cocoa and a visit inside to see the train display.
I'd definitely go again, it's sort of like the Trax Farms or Soergel Orchard's of Christmas. There really isn't anything else like it (that I know of) and we definitely enjoyed it enough to go back next year.
Overly's Country Christmas
Westmoreland County Fairgrounds
From Pittsburgh: Take the Pennsylvania Turnpike Route 76 to Exit 67 (Irwin). Go east to Greensburg. Take Route 30 to the Greensburg/Mt. Pleasant Exit. Go south five miles on Mt. Pleasant Road to the Westmoreland Fairgrounds.
HOURS AND PRICING
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5:30 - 10:00p.m. Sunday - Thursday
5:30 - 11:00p.m. Friday & Saturday
Christmas Eve Hours
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
To best experience Christmas Village, arrive 1 hour before gates close.
Monday - Thursday $10.00 car or family van
Friday & Saturday - $12.00 per car or family van
$15.00 per limousine, extended passenger van or minibus.
Wagon/Sleigh Rides & Kids' Express Train Rides