There are so many great holiday events around Cincinnati that I look forward to each year. As your calendar fills up, you will want to make sure that you save these dates so that you don’t miss out!
Saturday, November 16 – Saturday, January 4
Festival of Lights was one of my favorite annual traditions as a child and now I share the tradition with my kids. Dress in layers because it can be really COLD!
In addition to admiring the beauty of 3 million LED lights, visitors can watch a Madcap black-light puppet show, ride the Toyland Express train ride, marvel at the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, or snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands. Santa will be available for visits starting at 4 p.m., an hour before the rest of the festivities begin.
NEW this year at PNC Festival of Lights! Families will enjoy searching for Fiona fairy statues in Fiona’s Fairyland and taking holiday photos in the Hippo Hut, which will be decorated to provide a festive backdrop! More giant lanterns, including some that fit the soon-to-be-open Roo Valley theme, will be placed around the Zoo. Guests will feel like they’re blanketed by stars in the new, immersive “Northern Lights” light experience. AND, getting into the Zoo will be much easier this year with the additional entrance on Erkenbrecher Ave.
Wednesday, Nov. 27 – Sunday, Dec. 29
Find out why this play is an annual tradition for young and old.
Your favorite holiday tradition. Or your chance to make a new one.
The Playhouse’s version of A Christmas Carol combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life its familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future.
As he witnesses all those who have improved his life — his first love Belle, his kindhearted employer Fezziwig, his nephew Fred and his heartily abused clerk Bob Cratchit — he realizes that it’s never too late to change his miserly ways.
A Christmas Carol’s heartwarming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year.
*The show runs approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes, including one intermission
*A Christmas Carol is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.
Friday December 6 & Saturday, December 7, 2019
Find out why you won’t want to miss Saengerfest!
See award-winning choirs from the World Choir Games and visit six great venues in Over-The-Rhine. Tour the Churches, Brewery, and newly renovated Memorial Hall. Help support numerous organizations with one ticket. Get around Christmas Saengerfest by shuttle buses. Buses will be available to take patrons from venue to venue.
Thursday, December 19- Sunday, December 29
Don’t miss Cincinnati’s favorite holiday tradition!
Following our Nutcracker tour to the world-renowned Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Cincinnati Ballet returns with twelve performances at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.
Join us for the magic and wonder of Frisch’s Big Boy Presents The Nutcracker, with sparkling choreography, awe-inspiring sets, and costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s beloved score played live by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
When Clara receives a nutcracker on Christmas Eve, her dreams take her on a grand adventure. Follow Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to the wondrous Land of Sweets, where a fantastic cast of characters awaits. Meet the Snow Queen and her King, Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, mischievous mice, brave toy soldiers, chicks, bumblebees and even Clara’s friend Minnie the Poodle. Plus, dozens of local young performers join Cincinnati Ballet’s professional dancers onstage for these holiday performances. It’s a spectacular holiday treat for the entire family!
4. Macy’s Downtown Dazzle (FREE)
A Crowd Favorite and free event.
Watch Santa and his friends rappel down the side of the Huntington Bank Center to the Fountain Place rooftop, followed by a spectacular fireworks display!
5. Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa at Newport Aquarium (Kentucky)
November 24 – December 31
Daily from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.*
Discover the magic of Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa® as Newport Aquarium presents a holiday celebration under the sea. It’s an experience that’s overflowing with enchantment and fun experiences the whole family will love.
Join the fun as Scuba Santa fills his air tank with magic bubbles – and sends them throughout the Aquarium creating an enchanted Water Wonderland. Be amazed as you’re surrounded by lights and bubbles dancing to holiday music in Shark Ray Bay Theater, where you’ll also have the opportunity to meet Scuba Santa one-on-one.
The undersea celebration continues with holiday music and more magical bubbles as you journey through the Seahorses: Unbridled Fun Gallery, where the ceiling is filled with hundreds of twinkling sea creature lights. The white gators in Gator Alley are having fun with a truckload of seasonal cheer and special decorations. Now even Mighty Mike loves the holidays.
The all-new Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa is a truly wondrous experience where families connect and interact with the magic of an undersea holiday celebration.
Friday, December 20- Sunday, December 22
This is one of my all-time favorite local bands for over 2 decades.
Friday, December 20- Monday, December 23
Aronoff Center for the Arts
Featuring original choreography and music, along with favorite holiday classics, this family-friendly production reminds you why Christmas is the ultimate season of hope.
8. A Zinzinnati Holiday at Krohn Conservatory
Saturday, November 9, 2019 – Sunday, January 5, 2020
10 am – 5 pm
You are cordially invited to discover the beauty of our city’s German history through our immersive Holiday display. Surround yourself with evergreens and poinsettias as you stroll through the historical representations of Cincinnati’s buildings.
Enjoy the graceful Altas Cedar and the outstanding color of the Lawson Cypress. On view, you will find an array of Amaryllis such as the lovely Papilio and the classic Red Pearl varieties.
Delightful botanical architecture surrounded by model train tracks created in natural components by the Applied Imagination team. The train display and historical buildings created by Applied Imagination will immerse our visitors in the sights and sounds of chugging trains and splashing water, with trains overhead and trolleys at your feet.
Handmade ornaments made by our dedicated volunteers, Krohn Crafters, adorn the holiday tree in the main lobby and spread across the desert house with a miniature natural fairy village. This year, the hallway connecting the main showroom to the desert house will house the Crafters’ natural wreath collection. Select handmade Krohn Crafters ornaments will be for sale in the gift shop, while supplies last.
To honor German tradition, Krohn Crafters created a natural pickle ornament. The legend of the Christmas pickle entails being the first to find the pickle ornament on the tree on Christmas morning, granting the finder a special surprise.
Visitors can also experience live musical performances on select dates, the Schmalz Family holiday display, extended “candlelight” nights and great photo opportunities.
9. Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum of Art (FREE on Sundays)
November 8, 2019–January 5, 2020
Enjoy a glimpse of Christmas past at the Taft Museum of Art’s annual exhibition of holiday treasures. Visitors will find beautiful decorations throughout the historic house, thanks to generous collectors from Cincinnati and beyond.
This year, guests can expect many new and exciting displays, including several feather trees with decorations ranging from vintage Disney ornaments to characters from German fairy tales. Figures of the jolly old elf will also be on view under a large tree adorned with antique paper, chenille, and glass ornaments.
Other highlights include a whimsical display of the types of transportation Santa Claus uses to make his special deliveries, as well as a feather tree, hung with brightly colored Russian ornaments watched over by figures of Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden.
A forest of small trees decorated with pre-WWII German, Polish, and Japanese miniature glass ornaments and a vibrant collection of Art Deco gift boxes will also put visitors in the holiday spirit!
10. Christmastown at the Creation Museum (Kentucky) FREE
Nov. 29 – Dec. 30, 2019
*Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd, Petersburg, KY
Tour the dazzling garden of lights, reflect on the true meaning of the season at the live nativity, and experience more during the free, annual ChristmasTown!
November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Holiday Lights on the Hill is a 2-mile round trip drive-through annual light display.
Open Daily Including Holidays
Monday – Thursday 6 – 9 PM | $20 Per Carload
Friday – Sunday 6 – 10 PM | $25 Per Carload
Members Always $15
November 8th through January 5, 2020
Experience this amazing light show synchronized to both traditional and rocking holiday music through your car radio. Visitors of all ages will be awed by the larger-than-life trees, glowing snowflakes, dancing candy canes and fantastic tunnels of lights! In the warmth of your own car, you can sing along to the sounds of the season synchronized to each holiday display. Christmas Nights of Lights welcomes carloads of families and friends to enjoy this Christmas tradition.
With two and a half miles to drive through, your family can see displays and light shows made of over a million lights driven by more than forty thousand computer channels.
The show will begin nightly at dusk and run through 10 p.m. Christmas Nights of Lights will be open every night including holidays.
Select Night November 22-Dec 31
Winterfest will take place select nights November 24- December 30th and builds on fond memories of previous guests who attended Winterfest in the ’80s.
(Get tips for your visit here)
Imagine an old-fashioned winter…rosy-cheeked skaters gliding under twinkling lights, the magic of dazzling holiday events and carolers in traditional costumes, shops filled with ornaments, trinkets and toys, the aroma of freshly-baked treats and the spirit of everyone’s favorite season captured in an atmosphere of warmth and nostalgia – a place where memories of holidays past are present; a place where memories of Christmas activities are waiting to be made.
Step into WinterFest at Kings Island on select nights in November and December. It’s an unforgettable experience with the park transformed into ten enchanting winter wonderlands.
There’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy at our Christmas event, like ice skating on the Royal Fountain, seeing the Eiffel Tower transformed into a magical 314-foot tall Christmas tree, live shows, rides, delicious holiday treats, millions of lights and holiday characters spreading merriment, like Jack Frost, Candy Cane and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
*All events were accurate at the time of this posting but make sure that you double-check with the event source before the event in case there are any changes or cancellations. Click the link for the event’s website.
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