It’s beginning to look a lot like …
From decorated rooms at the Mansion Museum to an Enchanted Winter Breakfast to Christmas concerts to holiday light displays to a variety of specialty shopping experiences, Wheeling is ready for the holidays!
Take a stroll or a drive through downtown Wheeling to view the storefronts participating in the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission’s decorating contest. Vote for your favorite here. Voting closes Wednesday, Dec. 18, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 20.
Holidays at the Mansion, featuring 13 period rooms decorated in holiday finery at Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, through Jan. 5. It is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. $10; free for ages 17 and under accompanied by an adult; 304-242-7272; www.OIonline.com
OGLEBAY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Oglebay’s landscape is alive with twinkling lights through Jan. 5. The Winter Festival of Lights features more than one million lights in 90 displays and covers more than 300 acres over a 6-mile drive through Oglebay Park. New to the show in 2019, guests can experience a variety of enchanting activities at the new Frosted Hilltop attraction located near Oglebay’s iconic Mansion Museum at The Hilltop. This magical wonderland is home to the Snowflake Express Train Ride, designed for children, located inside Oglebay’s greenhouse, while guests of all ages can embark on a 20-minute guided adventure through the twinkling hillsides while aboard the new Frosty Wagon Ride. While at the Frosted Hilltop, guests can experience the Garden Bistro’s new Ice Lounge featuring firepits, s’mores kits and seasonal refreshments, including holiday beverages for guests 21 and older, while enjoying panoramic views of the breathtaking hillside. Visitors can warm up at the Ice Lounge from 5-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. With the return of 3D Sleigh Bans, the 2019 Winter Festival of Lights promises to be even more stunning. This year, guests will enjoy new holographic filters, including gingerbread men, candy canes, snowmen and snowflakes. For information about the Winter Festival of Lights, visit www.oglebay.com/lights.
HOLIDAY ART SHOW & SALE
Buy local by visiting Oglebay Institute’s Holiday Art Show & Sale, open through Dec. 23, at the Stifel Fine Arts Center and the Schrader Environmental Education Center. T to his annual shopping experience showcases the talent of dozens of regional artisans and crafters offering one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. Shop hundreds of unique items, including pottery, paintings, photography, jewelry, textiles, home décor and gourmet goodies. Sale hours at the Stifel are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is also open during scheduled classes and events. Sale hours at Schrader are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. 304-242-7700; www.OIonline.com
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Start your Christmas shopping now! Shop all around town at your favorite small businesses to support Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. There are plenty are places to go in Centre Market (with more than 30 locally owned businesses), the Elm Grove business district, Edgewood, the Elm Terrace Shopping Center and The Highlands just to name a few. And the Artisan Center Shop is one of several places in downtown Wheeling to pick up the perfect gift. New this year on Small Business Saturday will be a synthetic ice rink to be set up from 3-8 p.m. on the Plaza on Market in downtown Wheeling. Skating is free of charge, and ice skates will be available for use.
VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS
Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance presents several performances of “The Nutcracker” throughout the holiday season. Performances are set for 1 and 3 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8 and 15 at the Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park. Tea and photos with OI’s elegantly dressed ballerinas will delight children after each performance at the Mansion. There will be performances at 3 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 22, and 7 p.m. on Dec. 23, at Towngate Theatre. Call 304-242-7700 or www.OIonline.com for reservations.
CANDY CANES & COCOA
At the Candy Cane Hunt, craft a holiday bag, and then walk along the nature trails around the Oglebay Institute Schrader Environmental Education Center to see how many candy canes you can find. Certain ones may win you a prize! Bundle up. Bring a flashlight, too. Then, warm up with hot chocolate after the hunt. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Candy Cane Hunts are set for 4-5 p.m. on Dec. 2, 7 and 11. $12 ($10 OI members) per child with accompanying adult. Pre-registration required. Register online or by phone at 304-242-6855.
OH, CHRISTMAS TREE
A stunning Christmas tree will be the subject at Artworks Around Town’s first Paint & Sip at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3. Paint, canvas and brushes will be provided. Bring your own beverage, apron or wear old clothes. Artworks members Lynne and Jeff Mamone will lead the event. Reservations are required and can be made by calling or texting 304-280-9921 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The $35 fee is due upon registration, and enrollment is limited to 25 people. Make checks payable to Artworks Around Town. Light refreshments will be provided. Artworks is located in Wheeling’s historic Centre Market district at 2200 Market St.
CHEERS TO THIS PAINT AND SIP
Support the Junior League of Wheeling by attending the Wine Glass Paint and Sip, from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at River City Restaurant. $30 per person includes a wine glass and painting instruction by Moon River Studio. Snacks will be provided, and alcohol will be available for purchase. To reserve your spot and to pre-pay, call Emily Freeman at 304-312-4767 or email email@example.com.
SYMPHONY ON ICE
Don’t miss one of the Ohio Valley’s favorite holiday shows, when the Wheeling Symphony presents its annual holiday extravaganza, Symphony on Ice, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at WesBanco Arena. Join the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra along with champion professional skaters (Katie McBeath and Jeremy Abbott), the Pittsburgh and Wheeling Figure Skating clubs, local middle and high school choirs, and surprise guests to welcome the sounds of the season. www.wheelingsymphony.com
Experience the magic of Christmas at Wheeling University’s first Christmas tree lighting at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The evening kicks off with the arrival of Santa Claus, performances by Nathan Foster and Kaitlin Shields, caroling by students from St. Michael’s, Wheeling Central Catholic High School and St. Vincent de Paul. There will be cookies, hot cocoa and pictures with Santa.
‘THE LITTLEST ANGEL’
This classic Christmas story of a little angel who is transformed from a celestial pest to the toast of the Heavenly Host comes to life onstage at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre. Evening performances of “The Littlest Angel” take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14. A matinee performance is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Tickets can be purchased at www.OIonline.com or by calling 304-242-7700. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, if available.
Inspired by the independent craft fair movement throughout the country, Wheeling Heritage’s Handmade Holiday strives to establish a marketplace of unique and creative handmade goods that supports local artists and increases awareness about handmade, locally produced craft goods. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 1400 Main Street, Wheeling.
CENTRE MARKET OPEN HOUSE
Centre Market is hosting a Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Shop local for unique finds, enjoy yummy food and check out Wheeling’s breweries. The Wheeling Symphony Auxiliary will sponsor a Children and Families Concert from noon-1:30 p.m., and SMART Centre Market will present the “Science of Stringed Instruments.”
Get in the holiday spirit with the Warwood Christmas Market, set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Kids can chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus and make a gift for their parents in Santa’s workshop while adults and kids of all ages shop more than 50 local and homemade vendors for the perfect gifts. The event, hosted by Grow Warwood Pride, Warwood Farmers Market and Warwood School, will be held at the Warwood School gymnasium.
LIGHTS ON AND RIDE!
Bike through the Oglebay Festival of Lights for the 12th annual Oglebay Christmas Lights Bicycle Ride, hosted by Brew Keepers on Saturday, Dec. 7. The post-ride gathering will be at Brew Keepers in Centre Market. Riders should be able to maintain a 10mph pace over the route. Visit the Facebook page for ride option details.
ENCHANTED WINTER BREAKFAST
The Enchanted Winter Breakfast, hosted by Youth Services System Inc. and Generations Restaurant & Pub, is a brand-new event, set for 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Generations Restaurant & Pub, in Wheeling. Guests young and old are invited to dress in costume! Bring the kids or grandkids to enjoy the excitement of a pancake breakfast with everyone’s favorite ice queen, ice princess and snowman. Additional activities include a photo booth, balloon wands and swords, a snowflake craft, a talking reindeer prize drawing and face painting. Proceeds benefit the Youth Services System Inc. Winter Freeze Shelter, which provides a warm, safe place to sleep for anyone who needs it. Tickets are $10, available on Eventbrite.com, through the event listing on the YSS Facebook page and at youthservicesystem.org.
DECK THE HALLS 2
Get in the holiday spirit with Clientele Art Studio on Saturday, Dec.14, for the second annual Deck the Halls Art Show. A live auction featuring custom painted skate decks by more than 15 of Wheeling’s talented artists will take place with all proceeds going to the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless. The show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. Light refreshments will be served by Whisk.
CHRISTMAS IN THE VALLEY
Enjoy a family-friendly Christmas concert at Christmas in the Valley, 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at The Capitol Theatre. The concert features Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the valley’s own Ron Retzer Trio. The concert will showcase all genres of Christmas songs — gospel, country, pop and oldies. Doors open at 6 p.m. A portion of the proceeds benefit Heaven Bound Ministries and Celebrate Recovery. $25.
RUDOLPH THE MUSICAL & DINNER WITH SANTA
The beloved TV classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Broadway at The Capitol presents Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at The Capitol Theatre. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life on stage. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Buy tickets here. Before the show, enjoy Dinner With Santa at The Capitol Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. The menu will include a pasta bar, green beans, garlic breadsticks, beverages and a decorate-your-cookie station. A photo with Santa is included. Dinner tickets here.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT WITH QUARTZ STRING QUARTET
Lunch With Books at noon Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Ohio County Public Library, will feature a Christmas concert with the Quartz String Quartet Quartz (a string quartet with clarinet), featuring members of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Festival Opera and Pittsburgh Symphony. The group will present a lively program featuring Mozart and Christmas music with a bit of Dvorak and Brahms. Quartz Quartet members are Ellen-Maria Willis (violin), Katie Wickesburg (violin), Louise Farbman (viola) and Paula Tuttle (cello), with clarinetist Mary Beth Malek.
FEEL THE LOVE
The tri-state area welcomes one more year of the Feel The Love: Celebrating a BE Taylor Christmas concert in honor of the late B.E. Taylor and the season he loved so much. B.E.’s son, B.C. Taylor, will be joined with all the familiar faces: Rick Witkowski, Hermie Granati, Jeff Jimerson and Jamie Peck. This will be the final year for the concert that started in 1995 and continued through the next two decades. Five shows are planned, with the final one at The Capitol Theatre. The schedule includes: Saturday, Dec. 14, Scottish Rite Cathedral, New Castle, Pa; Monday, Dec. 16, and Tuesday, Dec. 17, Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh; Saturday, Dec. 21, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania; and Monday, Dec. 23, The Capitol Theatre, Wheeling. Tickets available here.