Festive tours of W. Pa. homes, churches lined up
Numerous tours of festively decorated homes and churches taking place over the next few weekends will help to ring in the holiday season in our region.
• The Academy Hill Historic District Holiday Tour of Homes is a guided walking tour of six houses in the Academy Hill Historic District of Greensburg. The tour will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8. Tours begin and end at the YWCA on North Main Street. Cookies and cider will be served at the YWCA after the tour. Tours are by reservation only; tickets are $25. Details: 724-837-6274; www.ahhd.org.
• The Ben Avon Holiday House Tour: The tour visits five homes, including a reproduction of a house at Colonial Williamsburg, plus the Community Presbyterian Church. Music and a dramatic reading of “A Christmas Carol” will be performed at the church. The main tour is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7; candlelight tours will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25; $20 in advance. Details: 412-720-0602; www.avonclub.benavon.org
• The Freeport Christmas House Tour: The Freeport Renaissance Association is hosting a tour from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7 and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 of three homes, including an 1883 Victorian house with more than 35 Christmas trees. Tour tickets are $10. Details: 724-295-2041; www.freeportren.com
• The Norwin Historical Society Annual Holiday House Tour: The 17th annual tour will be from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7. Tickets are $17 and must be purchased in advance. The self-guided driving tour includes six homes throughout the Norwin area. Refreshments and entertainment will be offered at the Norwin Community Resource Center. Details: www.norwinhistoricalsociety.org.
• Scottdale Historical Society Christmas House Tour: The tour begins at the society's historic Loucks Homestead at 527 N. Chestnut Street. The tour will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 7 and feature six houses dating from the Victorian era to 2004. Refreshments will be served at the Loucks Homestead. Tickets are $15 or two for $25. Details: 724-887-5045; www.facebook.com/scottdalehs.
• Zelienople Historical Society Christmas Home Tour: The self-guided driving tour includes 10 homes with a wide variety of holiday decorating styles. Tour hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7. A lunch and quilt raffle will be held at the Park Presbyterian Church on Grandview Avenue. Tickets are $22. Details: 724-452-9457; www.zelienoplehistoricalsociety.com
• The Greensburg Garden Center Historic Church and Synagogue Tour: The second annual church tour will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 14. The tour visits three churches and one synagogue in Greensburg, all decorated by area florists. Each stop will include an informative talk and musical performances. Refreshments will be served at Seton Hill, following the tour. Tickets are $20; $10 for students and free for children 5 and younger. Details: 724-837-0245.
• The Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour presents six historic homes in the North Side's Allegheny West neighborhood, plus the Calvary United Methodist Church. The tour takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 14. There will be refreshments for sale and a Holiday Shop at the church. Tickets are available online at www.alleghenywest.org for $25.
The Toy Train Museum on Brighton Avenue is open once a year for the tour; the museum is the largest private collection of toy trains in the world. Admission to the train museum is $10. Free parking is available at the CCAC lot on Ridge Avenue. Details: 412-418-2027; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.