Wheeling is gaining recognition as a must-see tourist destination. The combination of festivals, parks, historical tours and entertainment opportunities, along with Wheeling’s proximity to mountains, caverns, white water rafting and skiing, draws millions of visitors each year.
People in Wheeling know how to celebrate life and they love to entertain. Combine these qualities, and it’s easy to see why the city has developed an international reputation for its array of festivals and entertainment events throughout the year.
Schrader Environmental Education Center
This hands-on facility offers seasonal events for nature lovers of all ages and is a regional showcase for “Green Architecture.” The Schrader Center is Wheeling’s leader in outdoor and environmental awareness.
Stifel Fine Arts Center & School of Dance
The historic Stifel Center hosts changing art exhibitions that showcase the work of regional and national artists, jazz concerts, wine tasting events and hands-on visual arts classes. With state-of-the-art studios, expert instructors and classes for all ages, Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance is the perfect environment to engage in human movement.
Towngate Theatre & Cinema
Dozens of hit plays are staged each season at this church-turned-theater, located in the Centre Market district of Wheeling. When live theater is not in production, Towngate presents critically acclaimed films.
The Museums of Oglebay Institute
Visitors get a hands-on look at Ohio Valley history at the nationally accredited Museums of Oglebay Institute. The elegant 1846 Mansion Museum and the glittering Glass Museum are perfect places to explore the past through artifacts, photos and interactive heritage programs. Annual events include Holidays at the Mansion, appraisal days, the Antiques Show and Sale, history lectures, and more.
Oglebay Resort and Conference Center
Situated high in the hills above Wheeling, the park offers year-round recreational and cultural opportunities and modern overnight accommodations while retaining its picturesque natural beauty. Oglebay features several retail shops and the Mansion Museum, with period rooms and impressive collections of American furniture, china, silver, glass, toys and textiles.
Every winter, thousands of people come to see the annual Festival of Lights. Oglebay also has championship golf courses, the Good Zoo, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, horseback riding, skiing, and walking trails, as well as magnificent gardens.
City of Lights–Festival of Lights–Fantasy in Lights
From November through January, Wheeling becomes the City of Lights in one of the most spectacular outdoor light celebrations in the country. The Wheeling City of Lights and Oglebay’s Festival of Lights have been listed as one of North America’s top events by the American Bus Association. More than one million people travel through downtown Wheeling then Oglebay and throughout many residential areas. The Fantasy in Lights parade, an extravagant illuminated nighttime Christmas parade, great entertainment and social events complete the celebration and attract more than 3,300 busloads of visitors annually.
Cabela’s and The Highlands
This new shopping district is quickly becoming one of the most popular attractions in the region. Cabela’s 175,000- square-foot showroom is an educational and entertainment attraction, featuring museum-quality animal displays, huge aquariums and trophy animals interacting in realistic recreations of their natural habitats. The Highlands offer retail shopping, restaurants, entertainment including movie theaters and distribution locations for WalMart and Cabela’s.
Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival
During one weekend in late July, Wheeling becomes “Little Italy” for the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival. Thousands of people stroll through the city’s main business district, sampling ethnic foods, browsing through arts and crafts booths and enjoying live entertainment on multiple stages at the area’s largest, free, warm weather celebration.
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum
Experience the magic of imagination through dolls and dollhouses, trains, games, riding toys, western toys, toy soldiers, cars trucks and playsets of days gone by in a beautifully restored 1906 Victorian Schoolhouse at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum. The displays are constantly changing, and always feature thousands of toys and trains.
Home to the Wheeling Nailers hockey team of the ECHL and affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the arena stages state-wide high school wrestling and college basketball tournaments. Regional and state tennis, hockey and soccer fill the calendar along with entertainment and trade shows.
Jamboree in the Hills
A four-day event in mid July with over 20 performers and more than 120,000 fans takes place a few miles west of Wheeling near St. Clairsville, Ohio. This country music spectacular has a great atmosphere, great entertainment, and attracts people from all 50 states and countries like Canada, Sweden and France.
With a legend of elegance, Stratford Springs is designed as a world-class mini resort, committed to pampering its patrons. The Gift Shoppes feature an array of jewelry, clothing, unique gifts, Words and Music shop, hair salon and a massage center. The Guest House is graciously appointed with spacious suites and sweeping views.
Ogden Newspapers Distance Race Classic
Wheeling is a place of distinction for world-class runners, some of whom have competed in the Ogden Newspapers Distance Race. More than 1,500 runners take part in the 20-kilometer (12.4 miles) event which is held annually on Memorial Day weekend.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
The resort hosts more than 2.5 million visitors a year featuring a luxurious hotel, a full complement of table games including poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette, live greyhound racing, and off-track betting for both greyhound and horse racing. In addition, Wheeling Island offers a delectable buffet, the gourmet Pointe Restaurant and top-notch entertainment throughout the year.
The Washington Wild Things
Just 20 minutes from downtown Wheeling, this area professional baseball team is based in Washington, Pennsylvania. The Wild Things are a member of the East Division of the Frontier League.
They play their home games at CONSOL Energy Park and reached the playoffs in each of their first six seasons, setting the Frontier League single-season win mark twice.
Ohio Valley Mall
Located just 5 minutes from downtown Wheeling in
St. Clairsville, Ohio, the Ohio Valley Mall offers great shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Stores include Old Navy, Sears, Macy’s, Carmike Cinemas, Garfield’s Restaurant & Pub, Panera Bread, Starbucks, PacSun, Sam Goody and LongHorn Steakhouse and more.
Founded in 1929, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra continues a tradition of Classical and Pops concerts as well as free shows July 4th on the Waterfront and tours to other cities throughout each year.
André Raphel Smith is the current music director.
Marx Toy Museum
Producing Marx Toys from 1919 to 1980, Louis Marx & Co. became the “largest toy manufacturer in the world.”
The Official Marx Toy Museum displays the toys of Marx throughout five decades of production including metal wind-ups to historical playsets, push toys to trains, dollhouses and service stations, Johnny West figures, Big Wheels and thousands more.
The Captiol Theatre
The Capitol Theatre is home to the following:
- Wheeling Symphony Orchestra concerts
- Regional dance school programs
- Public/private school productions
- Festival of Lights concerts –rentals and theater promoted
- Up and coming country
- Christian/Gospel concerts
- Doo-wop/Motown/oldies concerts
- Jazz/blues/rock concerts
- Broadway productions –rentals and theater promoted
- Youth theater/family shows
- Theme/holiday specials
- Lecture/Chautauqua series
- Private functions –parties, dinners, receptions, socials
- Movies: Film festivals, Cartoon Saturdays, Late night movies for teens