It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Morgantown. Here are five nearby places to see Christmas lights, meet Santa, and feel merry and bright.

Travel to the little town of Bethlehem without leaving home. Every year, Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church in Westover hosts an unparalleled live nativity experience. Walk through streets alongside Roman soldiers, shepherds, and even live camels—exactly as Bethlehem might have been the night of Christ’s birth. The last showings for this year are this Friday, December 13, and Saturday, December 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission and parking are free; just be prepared for traffic to this popular destination.

The Westover Santa is back! This festive home off Maple Avenue has put on a unique, free light display for decades. Drive by for some quick holiday cheer, or stop and stroll through the colorful path. Santa visits every night from 6 to 9 p.m. until December 23.

Hop in the car and head over to Fairmont for the 12th Annual Celebration of Lights (30m). Stay toasty warm as you drive through more than a mile of brilliant Christmas displays. The event is a fundraiser for the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties, so a suggested donation of $10 per car is appreciated. The Celebration of Lights runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday—plus Thursday, December 26—from 6 to 10 p.m. until December 28.

When West Virginians think of Christmas displays, they think of Oglebay’s Winter Festival of Lights (Wheeling, 1h30m). This huge holiday show has delighted the young and young at heart since 1985. Drive through over six miles of lights and don 3D glasses for an even more magical night. Or make it a daylong affair with Oglebay’s many festivities including the Frosted Hilltop’s train and wagon rides, the Good Zoo’s LASER light show, and pictures with Santa. The Festival of Lights runs until January 5, and a donation of $25 per vehicle includes a 4-pack of 3D glasses.

Pack the kiddos into your hundred-horsepower sleigh and dash through the snow to Pittsburgh. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Schenley Park, PA, 1h45m) hosts a Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden, and it’s better than ever. Mosey through 10 acres of flowers and trees all aglow. The winter flower show runs from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the winter light garden runs from 5 to 11 p.m. daily until January 12.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so get out and get into the Christmas spirit.

photographed by Diana Chase Whitehair

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Written by Jess Walker
Jess Walker came to West Virginia to pursue her master’s degree in English, but stayed for the culture, nature, and stories. She writes for WV Living and Morgantown magazines. Her best ideas happen when she’s outdoors, preferably near a river and with a cup of coffee in hand.