There are still plenty of holiday events around Cincinnati that you can safely experience this year.
You can view many Christmas light displays from the safety of your vehicle or while walking.
- Drive-Thru Christmas Light Displays Around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
- Christmas Nights of Lights at Coney Island Amusement Park
- Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
- Light up the Fair at the Boone County Fairgrounds
- Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods
- Light Up Middletown
- Drive-Thru Winter Wonderland at the Erlanger Library
- Where to Find the Houses With the Best Christmas Lights Displays in Cincinnati
- The Christmas Ranch
- Land of Illusion Christmas Glow
- Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo
- Winter Nights River Lights on the Purple People Bridge
- Christmastown at the Creation Museum
- Christmastime at the Ark Encounter
- Holly Jolly Hamilton
- Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland at Newport Aquarium
- The Legendary Christmas Lights of Historic Clifton Mill
- Santa Skates and Bumper Cars on the Ice at Fountain Square
- Which Holiday Adventure Around Cincinnati Do You Want to Try Next?
Information accurate at the time of posting. Please check each attraction’s website or call before you go.
Drive-Thru Christmas Light Displays Around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Enjoy the following Holiday light displays from the safety of your vehicle. Load up your car and view the beautiful light displays at the following places listed below.
6201 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH
Come see over 1 million lights synchronized to traditional and newer, rocking Christmas music played through your car stereo.
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.
When: November 6, 2020 -January 9, 2021
Christmas Nights of Lights will be open every night including holidays.
Hours: Dusk to 10:00 P.M. Extended hours on weekends.
Any cars still in line at the time of closing WILL be permitted to enter and enjoy the show.
Admission: $7 per person (children 3 and under free)
Tickets can be purchased at the gate upon arrival. The ticket is valid for one person on the day of the visit through January 9, 2021.
Cash & all major credit accepted
Tips Before You Go:
To avoid the crowds, visit on a weekday or weekends after 9 P.M. The shortest lines are typically Monday through Thursday.
This event is rain or shine.
1763 Hamilton Cleves Road Hamilton, OH
See Journey BOREALIS, an artful adventure through the holiday lights at Pyramid Hill, November 20th through January 3rd.
This 2.5 mile, one-of-a-kind, drive-through holiday light spectacular features more than 1,000,000 lights and holiday art installations created by regional artists including Brave Berlin, the creators of BLINK Cincinnati.
When: November 20, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Open Daily Including Holidays – (Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve)
- Monday – Thursday 6 – 9 PM | $20 Per Carload
- Friday – Sunday 6 – 10 PM | $25 Per Carload
- Members Always $15
A Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Drive Through Christmas Lights Display, at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
There are a 500,000 individually controlled LED Christmas lights!
Each and every one of the ½ million LED Christmas lights that adorn the 1.5-mile driving path at the Light Up The Fair this year, are individually controlled.
Captivating displays along the way will light the path with something the whole family is bound to enjoy. Articulately choreographed to holiday-themed music, the show is conveniently broadcast live to the comforts of your car radio’s 97.9 FM channel.
When: November 13-January 3
- Sunday – Thursday 5:30-9pm
- Friday and Saturday 5:30- 10pm
- Open all holidays including Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve, and New Years Day
Children under 3-FREE!
- You can order tickets in advance online or pay with cash or credit at the gate
11450 Lebanon Rd, Sharonville, OH
Holiday in Lights is built with over 1 million lights and over 250 light displays, and has been an established holiday family tradition in Cincinnati for over 31 years!
Their charming light show is built over a mile of wooded roadway, the only drive-through light show through the woods of a beautiful Hamilton County park!
The holiday-themed displays showcase everything from Santa Claus and his elves, to every animal on the ark.
When: Open nightly from Saturday, November 21st through Saturday, Jan 2nd including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
6 PM-9 PM Sunday-Thursday
5:30 PM-10 PM Friday & Saturday
They will not be open on Thanksgiving & NYE.
- $5 Walking Tickets – on 12/2 and 12/30 (Car traffic will not be open on 12/2 & 12/30 for the Walk the Lights events)
- $15 Vehicle Tickets for cars, trucks, and SUVs
- $45 Bus tickets – 15 passenger vans
- *Special effects glasses are sold at the gate to enhance your experience. $2 for one, or 3 for $5.
- You can pre-buy tickets online
- Major credit and debit cards only -No Cash accepted year –
Tytus and Verity Parkway
500 Tytus Avenue, Middletown, Ohio
The mission of Light Up Middletown is to raise funds to make improvement to Middletown City Parks and to present a first-class holiday event that will draw guests not only from the immediate area but from a wider region.
By working with other local holiday event planners and light displays, Light Up Middletown hopes to make Middletown a hub of holiday activity.
When: Open Every Night Thanksgiving Through New Year’s Eve
Hours: 6:00 PM – 10: 00 PM – Open in all weather & Holidays
*Balloon Glow Event December 15th – Time TBD
- Weather date December 16th
- The Balloon glow will feature approximately 10 balloons spread around the park.
Admission: Cash donation – you set the price!
Drive-Thru Winter Wonderland at the Erlanger Library
401 Kenton Lands Rd, Erlanger, Ky
Tickets not required, free to the public. Come on down to the Erlanger Branch for our very first parking lot light show!
Don’t miss your chance to drive through our tunnels, see light animation from Cincy Illuminations, and even wave at Santa!
Search their light scenes for hidden animals and take a guess on how many you see to enter a raffle at the end!
When: Saturday December 12 and December 13
Drive-by anytime from 6-9pm
Admission: FREE -No registration is required.
If you prefer to drive around and look at over the top Christmas lights, Cincy X-mas lights has you covered.
The Cincy X-mas Lights Facebook page and Instagram @cincyXmaslights are the best places to stay up to date on all of the “over the top” Christmas light displays at residents’ homes in the Tri-state area.
Use the tips for viewing holiday lights before you go.
3205 S. Waynesville Road, Morrow, OH
This event has BOTH a drive-thru and indoor and outdoor walk-thru experience. There are seven heated buildings in the Village area, connected, for the most part, by gravel walkways. Strollers are welcome.
Many of the displays are viewable from your vehicle as you enter and exit the center village area, or while exploring the outer reaches of The Christmas Ranch by Train and Wagon rides.
When: Friday, Nov. 20 – Wednesday, Dec. 23
- $15 per carload
- $30 per oversized van (10+ visitors) No buses, RVs or oversized trucks
- Free Parking
Tips before you go:
Their busiest times are on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On these days, you may want to consider arriving at 5PM when they open.
Mon-Thurs, the crowds are not as large and your wait times are significantly less. Santa will be there through 12-23-19.
8762 Thomas Road, Middletown, OH
Christmas Glow is more than just Southwest Ohio’s largest drive-thru of over 3.8 million lights.
Make it a family tradition or an escape from reality. Either way this Winter Wonderland is like no other!
They also have:
- Christmas Village – Pictures with Santa & other holiday characters
- Petting Zoo – Experience our live camel and more furry friends
- Tree of Illumination – The perfect family photo by our 35′ Christmas Tree
- Ride Rudolph! – Test your saddle skills with a wild, bucking mechanical reindeer
- Rides for Tots – ALL-NEW carousel and train ride for kiddos.
- Build Your Own Holiday Bear – Create your own stuffed friend in our gift shop
- Singing Penguins – That’s right! Enjoy LIVE Christmas songs performed by penguins!
- Polar Roar! – The area’s largest polar bear (plus tons of fun photo ops)
- Shark Cove – Be on the lookout for our giant glowing Shark
- Christmas Treats – Holiday-themed treats like hot cocoa by our fire pit, funnel cakes, fudge, cider, & adult drinks
- Cassano’s pizza location inside the park
When: Select Dates in December
- $7 One ticket is valid for one person to enter both the drive-thru light display & The Winter Wonderland (When open on select nights) NOTE: kids 3 & under are free.
3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH
- 3 million LED lights throughout the Zoo
- Families will enjoy searching for Fiona fairy statues in Fiona’s Fairyland
- Guests will feel like they’re blanketed by stars in the immersive “Northern Lights” light experience.
- 27 larger than life Animal Lanterns located throughout the Zoo
- Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake
- Meet one of the Royal Sisters in Frozen Wonderland
- Ride the North Polar Express Train Ride daily starting at 2:30pm
- Roast Smore’s at the Smore’s Stations
- Enjoy freshly roasted nuts and other holiday treats
- See animals inside multiple indoor heated buildings
- Play the 2020 Scavenger Hunt
When: Nov. 21, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021
- The zoo will be closed all day on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
- Santa visits begin at 4pm thru December 23.
Hours: 1:00pm – 9:00pm
- Festival of Lights activities begin at 4pm
- North Polar Express train ride begins at 2:30pm
Admission: Festival of Lights admission is included with your zoo admission at no additional charge.
For the best value, visit the Zoo early and stay for the lights!
- Children ages 2-12 $7-$17
- Adults ages 13-61 $12-$23
- Seniors ages 62+ $7-$17
- Parking $10
Reservations are required and recommended a week in advance.
Check out my article for tips for visiting the Festival of Lights for additional tips before you go.
425 York St, Newport, KY
Enjoy a socially distanced family activity with a beautifully lit holiday walk across the Purple People Bridge and along the river at the Levee.
Be sure to complete your visit by stopping at the Wish Tree to make someone’s holiday wish come true!
The Wish Tree is located on the Newport side of the bridge approach.
There is no admission fee to walk across the bridge.
Park at Newport on the Levee Parking Garage
1 Levee Way, Newport, KY
Parking Garage Rates:
- Monday – Sunday:
- 0-1 hour stay – Free
- 1-2 hour stay – $3
- 3-24 hour stay – $5
- Lost ticket – $5
2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd, Petersburg, KY
ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum is becoming a Christmas tradition for families in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Stroll through the museum’s botanical gardens amid the breathtaking display of thousands of multi-colored lights.
Each year, they add new designs and more color throughout the garden trails, so that your experience is never the same!
Enjoy a live nativity, petting zoo, skating on our Glice® (synthetic ice) rink, festive treats and shopping, and so much more!
When: Wednesday through Sunday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. (ET) from November 27 through December 20.
- Every evening beginning at 5 p.m. from December 21–30
- *Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Hours: 5 PM–8:30 PM on Select Days
- Parking $10 per vehicle
- *Addition fee to tour the Creation Museum
1 Ark Encounter Dr, Williamstown, KY
You’ll also enjoy a life-size ark and gardens illuminated in rainbow-colored lights, Ararat Ridge Zoo, festive food and drinks, traditional Christmas carols, a massive fair trade market and gift shop for Christmas shopping, and so much more.
Bring the family for an unforgettable evening of festive lights, gift shopping, and more at the life-size Noah’s ark.
When: 5 PM–8:30 PM on Select Days -Wednesday through Sunday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. (ET) from November 27 through December 20.
Every evening beginning at 5 p.m. from December 21–30, closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Parking: $10 per vehicle
*Addition fee to tour the Ark Encounter
December 5, 6PM – 9PM
The historic German Village will offer a special drive-thru light show with accompanying holiday music. Vehicles will be lined-up at the Arch, located at Third + Dayton Street to start.
December 12, 11AM – 3PM
Bring the kids for this family-fun event. Come to 2270 Pleasant Avenue in Lindenwald where Santa Claus will greet you with a FREE gift, hot chocolate, and cookies for every child!
1 Levee Way, Newport, KY
Celebrate a Cincinnati holiday tradition with Scuba Santa at Newport Aquarium.
See Scuba Santa swim underwater with a tank full of sharks and tell him what you want for Christmas! Meet cheerful elves straight from the North Pole and enjoy a Water Wonderland full of colorful holiday lights and festive music.
When: November 27 through December 24
Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. – 5, 6 or 7pm – check the calendar before you go
- Adults Ages 13+ are $25.99
- Kids 2-12 $17.99
- Kids under 2 are free
- Advanced ticket purchase or pass holder reservations are required due to limited capacities.
For 32 years Clifton Mill has celebrated the Christmas season in a very special way.
Their light display, featured in Midwest Living and Ohio Magazine, is one of the country’s finest with over 4 million lights illuminating the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees, and bridges.
There is even a 100-foot “waterfall” of twinkling lights. The flip of one switch turns all the lights on at once transforming night into a fantastical winter wonderland which includes a Miniature Village, a Santa Claus Museum, a Toy Collection, and a spectacular synchronized lights and music show that features the old Covered Bridge.
Every night until the night before Christmas Eve you can peek into Santa’s Workshop to see a live Santa at work and then, every 15 minutes or so, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh.
When: November 27, 2020 through December 30, 2020
On Christmas Eve, Christmas, they close at 8 pm, and on New Year’s Eve we are closed.
Hours: 6pm to 9pm -Gates open at 5pm
*The lights go off 30 minutes after gates close at 9pm
Admission is $10 per person for everyone age 4 and older.
Children 3 and under get in Free!
- Limited Capacity – crowds will be held at 25% – there may be longer lines
- Masks are Mandatory – no exception – social distancing is highly encouraged
- No Inside Restrooms
- No Inside Dining – a food truck will be outside for hot chocolate & snacks
Santa Skates and Bumper Cars on the Ice at Fountain Square
When: Saturdays & Sundays from Nov. 28-Dec 20!
Hours: Santa will skate and ride bumper cars with patrons and the 12pm and 2pm rink sessions on Saturdays and Sundays.
Admission: The ice rink features two different kinds of sessions:
- Bumpers + Skating: $15 – During this split ice-session, a barrier will divide the rink into two sections, with skaters on one side and cars on the other. As a patron, you can enjoy both sides.
- Skating Only: $10 -During this session, the entire ice is available for ice skating.
A rink reservation will be required to enter the rink platform and to participate in the event. As always, masks are required!