It’s the holiday season in the Cincinnati area. Holiday lights twinkle around almost every corner, stores are decked out in their holiday best, and festive fun awaits.

To get you in the holiday spirit, and to help you plan out your holiday events in Cincinnati for 2017, this handy list highlights 80 things to do for the holidays in the Greater Cincinnati area.

This countdown to the holidays includes festivities that run from December 1 through January 14. You’ll find all sorts of indoor and outdoor holiday happenings throughout Cincinnati and within 35 miles of its surrounding areas.

To start off with, there are numerous tree lightings and holiday parades to get you in the festive spirit. Then, get some home decorating ideas with the various holiday tours offered in and around the Greater Cincinnati area.

Next, enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season, with a month filled of performances, concerts, and other entertaining shows. And, to honor the true meaning of Christmas, you can visit a number of live nativities throughout the tristate area.

Looking to be more hands-on with the holiday fun? Check out the various crafts, holiday teas, exhibits, holiday shows and light displays that include festive interactive activities.

Finally, get ready to say so long to 2017 with some New Year’s Eve ideas that are sure to ring in 2018 in a memorable way.

So, deck your halls, then check out these 80 things to do for the holidays in Cincinnati in 2017!

Holiday Tours & Historic Open Houses

Over-the-Rhine Holiday Home Tour

For a look at Christmas past, present, and future in Cincinnati, this 90-minute tour begins at Future Leaders OTR and explores charming homes and once-neglected buildings brought back to life and decorated in their holiday finest.

Get an exclusive look into historic and ornate neighborhood homes, churches, and buildings in this self-paced walking tour.

You can either walk from property to property or ride the Cincinnati Street Car.

All proceeds benefit Future Leaders OTR, a nonprofit group committed to shaping the lives of youth in the Over-the-Rhine community.

Date: Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2

Place: Future Leaders OTR, 1212 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $25

Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/173808553168716/

Annual East Row Victorian Christmas Tour

The historic homes of the East Row Historic District are dressed up in their holiday finery, with garlands, greenery, and other holiday decor. The tour takes you inside the Queen Anne and Italianate architecture styles of homes throughout the second largest historic district in Kentucky.

The homes selected for the tour have distinctive interior and exterior historic design, such as original staircases, woodwork, and fireplace mantels, as well as newly renovated master suites, kitchens, and other areas.

You can choose to walk the tour, or use the tour shuttle, which makes periodic stops along the route. The interior of the homes on the tour are not handicapped accessible.

All the buildings on East Row, which combines Newport’s historic Mansion Hill and Gateway neighborhoods, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On-street parking for this event is limited. However, free parking is available in the lot between Fifth and Sixth Streets on Washington Avenue or the St. John’s United Church of Christ parking lot at Fourth Street and Park Avenue.

Additional parking is available at Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY, or the pay lot across from the Carnegie Event Center, 401 Monmouth Street, Newport, KY.

Date: Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3

Place: East Row Historic District, Newport, Kentucky

Time: Noon to 6 p.m.

Admission: $16, purchased in advance online (the location for ticket pickup will be provided after reserving), $18 the day of the tour. Free for children age 12 and younger accompanied by an adult.

Information: http://eastrow.org/victorian-christmas-tour-and-tea/

Christmas in the Country Home Tour

Tour both the historic Hillforest and Veraestau homes decked out in holiday decor. Hillforest, a National Historic Landmark, will be decorated in traditional Victorian splendor, while Veraestau will reflect a country estate holiday.

The Hillforest tour features costumed docents, musical entertainment, and holiday refreshments.

During the Veraestau tour, toast marshmallows over an open fire, decorate cookies, and enjoy hot chocolate.

A shuttle service is available to take you between the two properties.

Date: Sunday, December 3

Place: Hillforest, 213 Fifth Street, Aurora, Indiana 47001

Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $15, Student ages 7-14: $8, Child 6 and younger: Free, Member: $8

Information: http://www.hillforest.org/calendar.php?cID=41

Promont Holiday Open House

View the Italianate Victorian home bedecked in holiday decor that reflects this year’s theme, “Birds of a Feather.” The documented, self-guided tour features impromptu discussions with costumed docents.

The historic home, built in 1865, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Formerly home to John M. Pattison, Ohio’s 43rd governor, it is now the headquarters of the Greater Milford Area Historical Society.

The holiday tour also features two raffles, one for the “Madam of the Manor” holiday mannequin and the other for gift baskets containing featured items from the Promont gift shop.

Date: Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17

Place: Promont, 906 Main Street, Milford, OH 45150

Time: 1 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1853503108296197/

Christmas Open House at the Museum

Tour the historic 1825 building that houses the Mount Healthy History Museum at the annual open house presented by the Mt. Healthy Historical Society.

Originally serving as the Free Meeting House, the centerpiece of the museum is the Victorian-style Christmas tree, complemented by an exhibit of vintage party dresses.

The open house also features family fun, including crafts, live music, storytelling and, of course, Santa.

Visitors also can tour the Toll House, a white clapboard building built in 1859 that is also on the property.

Date: Sunday, December 3

Place: Mt. Healthy Historical Society, 1546 McMakin Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45231

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/878592325636268/

Christmas Tree Lightings & Holiday Parades

Mount Adams Reindog Parade 2017

If you’re looking for a unique parade, this is the must-see one. Voted the “Best Family Event” in Cincinnati, the march features dogs of all sizes parading through the streets of Mt. Adams.

The parade is led by Santa himself, accompanied by a Grand Marshal selected by the Mt. Adams Business Guild, the sponsor of the event.

Dog owners are invited to enter their dogs in these categories: small dogs under 25 pounds, large dogs 25 pounds and over, dog/owner look-a-like, and multiple dogs of two or more.

A group of celebrity and sponsor judges will choose the best costumed dogs and award prizes.

Food vendors and other vendors will be available at the parade.

Date: Saturday, December 9

Place: The Monastery, Mount Adams, 1055 St. Paul Place, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: Registration begins at Noon, Parade starts at 2 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: https://www.spcacincinnati.org/events/

Florence Christmas Tree Lighting

Florence, Kentucky, kicks off the holiday season with its Christmas Tree Lighting Program. Hop on a sleigh ride for a look at all the lighted displays.

The trees in the displays are all decorated by students in Florence’s elementary schools. Plus, the Florence Community Band & Chorus will perform holiday music.

There’s also a train display and holiday activities presented by Florence businesses and organizations.

Be sure to bring a camera for photos with Santa.

Date: Tuesday, December 5

Place: Florence Government Center, 8100 Ewing Boulevard, Florence, KY 41042

Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.florence-ky.gov/EVENTS/Media%20Release-Christmas%20Tree%20Lighting%202017.pdf

Miami Township Tree Lighting & Open House

Everyone is invited to the Miami Township tree lighting and open house, with the tree lighting taking place at 5:15 p.m.

The event features holiday craft making, face painting, and cookie decorating. Plus, children can visit with Santa.

Date: Saturday, December 2

Place: Miami Township Civic Center, 6101 Meijer Drive, Milford, OH 45150

Time: 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.miamitwpoh.gov/calendar.html

Light Up Fairfield

Fairfield rings in the holiday season with events at the Community Arts Center, but the main attraction is at the Village Green Amphitheater Stage, where Santa arrives at 5:30 p.m. and the big tree is lit.

Throughout the afternoon are performances on the Village Green by Yuletide Brass, Fairfield Starz Dance, Fairfield Choraliers, Rhythm Express, and Pure Elegance.

At the Community Arts Center, view the festival of trees or get some holiday shopping done at the holiday market and winter farmers market.

Visits with Santa take place in the Community Arts Center’s Art Gallery from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Date: Saturday, December 2

Place: Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield, OH 450014

Time: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.fairfield-city.org/572/Light-Up-Fairfield

Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade & Christmas Festival

This annual tradition presented by the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce gets bigger every year, with not one, but two horse-drawn carriage parades.

The daylight parade kicks off at 1 p.m., with the evening parade starting at 7 p.m.

Throughout the day, festivities include Christmas carolers, musical entertainment, carriage rides, train rides to the North Pole on the North Pole Express with LM&M Railroad, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Be sure to visit the gift and food vendors along E. Mulberry Street or the 80-plus specialty and antique stores in downtown to do some early holiday shopping.

Date: Saturday, December 2

Place: Downtown Historic Lebanon, E. Mulberry Street, Lebanon, OH 45036

Time: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., parade at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: https://www.lebanonchamber.org/events/chamber-events-1/2017-lebanon-christmas-parade-8/

 

Christmas Performances

Awaited – A Christmas Experience

Over 90,000 people attended Awaited last year and based on the response, performance dates and times have doubled for 2017. Produced and hosted by Crossroads in Oakley and Mason, Awaited has become one of Cincinnati’s top holiday experiences for everyone.

Awaited tells the Christmas experience from the angels’ perspective. The show uses live performances, inspirational music, large images, flashing lights, and other special effects to show how God pursues each of us, no matter who we are, with his love and freedom.

Not your typical Nativity play, Awaited is a story that touches on rejection, risk, and the unexpected rescue by a long-awaited King.

Enjoy the free cookies, hot cocoa and coffee after the performance. And, if you love the songs, they are available to download from the Awaited website.

Date: December 1 -23.

Place: Two locations: Crossroads Oakley, 3500 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209 and Crossroads Mason, 990 Reading Road, Mason, OH 45040

TIme: Crossroads Oakley Performance Schedule: Mondays-Fridays, 7 p.m. (there is no show Wednesday, Dec. 13 and two shows Friday, December 22 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.); Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. (times for the Saturday, December 23 show are 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

Crossroads Mason Performance Schedule: Friday, December 15 and December 22, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 16, Sunday, December 17 and Saturday, December 23, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, December 18-21, 7 p.m.

Admission: Free but tickets need to be reserved in advance

Information: http://www.awaitedshow.com/

Happy Holidays With The Mighty Wurlitzer

Presented by The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, the performance features award-winning organist Walt Strony on the Wurlitzer, vocalist Nancy James, and the Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budwig Academy.

Voice and dance accompany the sounds of holiday favorites, complete with bells, whistles, and other special effects only the Mighty Wurlitzer can provide.

 

Date: Thursday, December 7

Place: Music Hall Ballroom, 1241 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $26, Student and Senior Citizen: $21

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/holiday-wurlitzer

Celebrate the Season

Through song and dance, the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s TCT On Tour explores the different holidays in December, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

The performance explores the history and traditions surrounding this festive time of year.

A reception follows the performance.

Date: Sunday, December 10

Place: Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Time: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $5, Child 12 and younger: Free

Information: https://www.cliftonculturalarts.org/ccac-events/celebrate-the-season-second-sunday-family-showtime/

Every Christmas Story Ever Told

This holiday hit is back and bigger than ever, as the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents a fresh take on several classic tales.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told begins with a traditional production of A Christmas Story, but suddenly things go haywire and the focus turns to pop culture Christmas favorites, like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and even Charlie Brown.

It’s 90 minutes of three actors lampooning everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss in a jolly and frivolous manner!

Date: December 21 through December 31

Place: The Otto M. Budig Theater, 1195 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. performances on Saturday, December 23, Saturday, December 30, and Sunday, December 31

Admission: $41

Information: http://cincyshakes.com/on-stage/every-christmas-story-ever-told2017/

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Based on the animated television special, this holiday classic goes from screen to stage, coming to life in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.

Through the adventures of Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and, of course, Rudolph, audience members discover that what makes you different also can make you special.

Date: Sunday, December 3

Place: Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 2 p.m.

Admission: $32 to $62 depending on seating level

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/rudolph?gclid=Cj0KCQjw9afOBRDWARIsAJW4nvyfQp3VmfDYVVDCT_7KA6emKCpDWRYElCHdyAo_YxyP7479JMdI-2kaAmTeEALw_wcB

A Christmas Story, The Musical

The national tour of this classic 1983 holiday movie comes to Cincinnati as a live musical.

The presentation gives a hilarious account of Ralphie Parker’s desperate quest to ensure an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Actions 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle is under the tree on Christmas morning.

A Christmas Story, The Musical has been nominated for three Tony Awards. The performance is two hours and 25 minutes.

Date: December 5 through December 10

Place: Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 7:30 p.m. December 5-7; 8 p.m. December 8-9; 2 p.m. December 9; 1 p.m. December 12; and 6:30 p.m. December 10

Admission: $30 to $97, depending on seating level

Information: https://cincinnati.broadway.com/shows/a-christmas-story-baa/

The Nutcracker

This classic holiday tradition performed by the Cincinnati Ballet returns to the Cincinnati Music Hall after 11 years!

The performance follows the journey of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince, complete with the Land of Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier dance in exotic celebrations.

Date: December 14 through December 24

Place: Cincinnati Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 1 p.m. December 17 and December 24; 2 p.m. December 16, December 22 and December 23; 6:30 p.m. December 17; and 7:30 p.m. December 14-16 and December 19-23

Admission: $36 to $125, depending on seating level

Information: https://www.cballet.org/nutcracker/

A Christmas Carol

The Cincinnati Playhouse presents its version of A Christmas Carol by combining faithful storytelling with stage magic to bring the story of Ebenezer Scrooge to life.

The performance spotlights Scrooge, who is given one last chance at redemption as the sinner is visited by four persuasive ghosts.

The presentation features hundreds of costumes and special effects as it delivers its heartwarming message.

The show, which runs for 2 hours and five minutes, including one intermission, is suitable for children ages 5 and older.

Date: Through December 30

Place: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Marx Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. performance on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission: $34.90 to $100.90, depending on seating level

Information: http://www.cincyplay.com/productions/a-christmas-carol

Sing Me A Story: A Christmas Carol

Presented by the Cincinnati Boychoir, the annual holiday extravaganza features favorite holiday songs and some new ones, too.

Bob Herzog and Kathy Wade are featured guest performers as the 200-member Cincinnati Boychoir present a fun retelling of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.

Date: Saturday, December 2

Place: Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 5 p.m.

Admission: $35 priority seating, $20 regular seating

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/cbc-christmas-carol

Holiday Pops

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra presents its holiday tradition, with special guests Tony-winning singer Laura Benanti and Denzal Sinclaire, a classic crooner in the style of the beloved Nat King Cole.

The performance features a blend of holiday favorites, plus dancers and singers from the Classical Roots Choir and the May Festival Chorus.

This year, the Cincinnati Pops is teaming up with St. Vincent De Paul to host a toy drive at all of its Holiday Pops performances. To donate, simply bring a new toy with you to the concert.

Date: Friday, December 8 through Sunday, December 10

Place: Springer Auditorium, Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Admission: Adult: $25 to $115 based on seating level, Child: $15

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/holiday-pops-2

Holiday Music Concerts

Christmas Saengerfest Choral Concert

This 160-year tradition brings award-winning choirs from the World Choir games to six historic venues throughout Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is considered the birthplace of Saengerfest, a German tradition that celebrates the singing of choirs, known as saengerbunds. German immigrants established the North American Saengerbund, which originally was comprised of choirs from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Indiana.

The first-ever Saengerfest held in the United States took place in Cincinnati in 1849.

For this year’s Christmas Saengerfest, more than 20 choral groups will be performing Christmas carols. They are: the Cincinnati Sound Chorus, Cooper High School Chamber Choir, NKU Vocal Ensemble, Mason Chorale, Queen City Concert Band, Cincinnati Boychoir, Oak Hills Band, Hyde Park Community UMC Cathedral Choir, Prince of Peace Choir, and Kanniks and the Greater Cincinnati Indian Choir.

Also, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club, The Discourse Ensemble, Southern Gateway Chorus, May Festival Youth Chorus, Northern Cincinnati Youth Orchestras, Cincinnati Home School Choir, Mother of Mercy Vocal Ensemble, Harrison VOCE, CCM Community Women’s Choir, St. Anthony’s in Madisonville, Yp/cc, and Delta Kings.

Date: Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2

Place: Six venues: St. Francis Seraph Church, 14 E. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202; the First Lutheran Church, 1208 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202; Over-the-Rhine Community Church, 1310 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202; Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1528 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202; Christian Moerlein Brewery, 1621 Moore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202; and Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: Hourly performances run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission: $30 per day

Information: http://www.christmassaengerfest.com/

Candlelit Christmas

The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati presents a concert of Christmas carols by candlelight, with Director Emeritus Earl Rivers returning to lead the ensemble.

With their lush tones, the group will be singing carols from around the world, including Deck the Halls, Le Cloche de Noel, and Carol of the Bells.

Joining the Vocal Arts Ensemble is Canterbury Brass, renowned for its brass chamber music.

Date: Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17

Place: Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $25 to $35 based on seating level

Information: http://www.vaecinci.org/events/

An Acoustic Christmas With Over The Rhine

Over the Rhine performs an acoustic musical concert of seasonal songs. The program includes Christmas carols and traditional seasonal tunes.

The trio also will perform original Christmas and holiday songs from their three holiday albums, as well as favorite tunes from their other recordings.

Date: Friday, December 8 through Sunday, December 10

Place: Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $40 to $65 based on seating level

Information: https://www.memorialhallotr.com/cincinnati-shows/acoustic-christmas-rhine/

98° At Christmas

The R&B quartet, 98 Degrees, sings holiday songs from their newly released Let It Snow album, recorded in July 2017 in Los Angeles.

The group’s four-part harmonies are ideal for Christmas standards, like Please Come Home for Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Live Nation presents the festive evening with Nick, Drew, Justin and Jeff.

Date: Friday, December 15

Place: Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 8 p.m.

Admission: $50.50, $60.50, $70.50

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/98-degrees

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis

A favorite holiday tradition for more than 30 years, the group celebrates with a show created by Grammy Award winner Chip Davis and featuring its Christmas classics.

Compositions from Fresh Aire, the series that introduced the Mannheim sound to American audiences, also will be performed.

Date: Sunday, December 17

Place: Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 7 p.m.

Admission: $38.50, $53.50, $68.50, $78.50

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/mannheim-steamroller

Giada Valenti: Love Under the Christmas Tree

Giada takes you on a romantic journey with her interpretation of pop hits from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, as well as holiday favorites.

She’ll be singing songs from her PBS music special, as well as Christmas classics, like Merry Christmas Darling, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Santa Baby, The Christmas Song, and many others.

Date: Sunday, December 10

Place: Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 7 p.m.

Admission: $35 to $55 based on seating level, $100 for VIP seating

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/giada

Holiday Entertainment

WinterFest Reimagined 2017

Dating back to 1998, this family tradition presented by ArtsConnect includes a winter village, a parade, entertainment, a petting zoo, a gift shop, and more.

The WinterFest parade kicks off the festivities, starting at the Old Kroger Building and ending at the Springfield Township Civic Center.

After the parade, visit the seven cottages in the winter village outside the civic center: Santa’s Place, Rudolph’s Barber and Tattoo Parlor, Charley Harper Gift Shop, Hometown Heroes, Fudge & Nut Hut, Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen, and DIY Family Crafting. Each cottage features different activities.

School performances take place outdoors every half hour. At the Grove Event Center, the Madcap Puppet Show presents Jules & Verne’s Excellent Adventure from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., followed from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. by a Cincinnati Civic Orchestra concert.

The Opera Express, a mobile opera theater, performs from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Throughout the day, there’s ice sculpture demonstrations, hayrides, a tree display by local schools, a petting zoo, and a s’mores pit.

Free parking and a shuttle ride to the event are available at Northminster Church, 703 Compton Road.

 

Date: Saturday, December 2

Place: Springfield Township Civic Center, 9150 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231

Time: Noon to 7 p.m.

Admission: Free, but donations of canned and boxed foods to benefit school food pantries, coats to distribute by St. Vincent DePaul, and toys to benefit Springfield Township families in need are welcomed. Cash donations are accepted to offset the costs of the festival.

Information: https://www.theartsconnect.us/244/WinterFest

Santaland

Festive indoor entertainment awaits at Santaland, including Christmas shows, musical entertainment, a talking Christmas tree, a holiday play area, and a holiday train display.

The Dickens Carolers will be strolling through Santaland singing traditional holiday songs. Friday and Saturday performances are 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m., and Sunday performances are 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Holly Jolly Elf Show runs December 1 through December 23 at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Ebeneezer Scrooge performances are scheduled Sunday through Thursday at 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 8:45 p.m.

Everette Green the Talking Christmas Tree performs nightly Sunday through Thursday at 7:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m., and 9:15 p.m.

The holiday train display and the holiday play area are open Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Santaland also features Santa’s Confectionaries, where you can purchase holiday candies and baked goods, and the Nature’s Niche Gift Shop, where you’ll find great ideas for holiday shopping.

Photos with Santa are also available Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prices start at $6.75.

Date: Through December 23

Place: Sharon Centre, Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241

Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.holidayinlights.com/santaland.html

Victorian Holiday Village

The 16th annual Victorian Holiday Village presented by Ohio National Services features miniature-sized, fully decorated Victorian-style homes and buildings, and thousands of twinkling lights.

The outdoor holiday tradition includes entertainment, children’s goodies, free cocoa and cookies, and a free 5×7 photo with St. Nick.

Although the village remains lit throughout December, specialty houses, entertainment, and gifts are only available during the specified dates.

Date: December 1-2 and December 7-8

Place: Ohio National Financial Services grounds, 1 Financial Way, Cincinnati, OH 45242

Time: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., except for December 2 when hours are 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Admission: Free, but visitors are asked to bring a nonperishable food item (no glass containers) to benefit Freestore Foodbank

Information: https://www.ohionational.com/portal/site/client/Victorian_Holiday_Village/

Macy’s Downtown Dazzle

A must-see sight as Santa rappels down Huntington Center at 525 Vine Street to Macy’s rooftop at Fountain Square. His descent kicks off a fireworks display.

In addition to the 20-minute fireworks display, the weekend, family-friendly event includes holiday music from local choirs, the ArtsWave Cincy Sings Carolers singing holiday tunes at various spots around Fountain Square, and holiday fun inside Macy’s Fountain Place.

Each weekend Downtown Dazzle has a theme. The December 2 theme is Magic of the Holidays, with music from the Queen City Sisters and the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus.

Family Fun for the Holidays is the theme for December 9, as the Wicked Stepsisters from the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s holiday production of Cinderella host Cinderella and the Cincinnati Boychoir as they sing festive family favorites.

Indoors at Macy’s Fountain Place, holiday festivities include story time with Mrs. Claus at 7:15 p.m. on the third floor, visits with Santa in a festive North Pole setting from Noon to 8 p.m., and weekend carriage rides at Macy’s Celebration Station, with final boarding at 4:45 p.m.

Face painters and balloon twisters also will be on hand.

Date: Saturday, December 2 and Saturday, December 9

Place: Fountain Square, corner of Fifth and Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45202

Time: 6:30 p.m., with choir performances at 5:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: https://www.downtowncincinnati.com/happening-downtown/holidays-downtown

Santa’s Workshop Program

Designed for children under age 10, the 45-minute program features a craft activity and an outdoor “sleigh” ride in the park.

Santa will be making a special visit, with each child having time for an individual chat with the jolly old elf.

Be sure to bring your camera and a staff member will take a picture of the family with Santa.

Register online to reserve your preferred time to visit with Santa. Times are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Date: Friday, December 8

Place: Anderson Parks RecPlex, 6915 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Admission: $10 per resident, $15 per nonresident

Information: https://andersonparks.com/event/santas-workshop/

North Pole Express

Hop aboard for a 1 hour and 20 minute journey through Warren County. At the midpoint of the ride, the train stops to pick up Santa and there will be a reading of the Christmas classic, The Night Before Christmas.

During the nine-mile trip, balloon artists dressed as elves will entertain passengers.

All children receive a souvenir North Pole Express train ticket from the conductor, a visit with Santa and his elves, and a bell from Santa’s sleigh.

All passengers receive a souvenir hot chocolate mug.

Hot chocolate and cookies are served on the platform as you wait to depart.

Date: December 1, December 3, December 8-10, December 14-17, December 21-24

Place: Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad Station, 127 S. Mechanic Street, Lebanon, OH 45036

Time: 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday; and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Christmas Eve

Admission: Ticket prices based on Cocoa Class, Deluxe Coach Class, and Lackawanna Coach Class, respectively: Adult: $40, $32, $22; Senior Citizen age 62 and older and Child 2-16: $32, $28, $18; Infant 1 year and younger: Free

Information: http://www.lebanonrr.com/northpole.html

The Polar Express Pajama Party

Hop aboard for a Polar Express experience at Newport on the Levee. As passengers enter to view the movie, they are greeted at the door with a train ticket, hot cocoa, cookies, and popcorn.

Kids and adults are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring their favorite blanket or stuffed animal.

After the movie, everyone receives a bell, just like the one in the movie, plus free rides on the Newport Express train, where you’ll experience a snowy wonderland when you step outside.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17

Place: Former IMAX Theater in the Valet Circle, Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071

Time: 4:15 p.m., movie starts at 5 p.m.

Admission: $8, tickets sold online only and are not available at the door

Information: https://www.newportonthelevee.com/events/2017/10/03/-the-polar-express-pajama-party

WinterFest

There’s lots to see and do at Kings Island WinterFest, from activities and shows to rides and holiday displays with more than five million lights.

In addition to 17 rides, the family fun tradition features an artisan village, ice carvers, Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, Christmas crafts, pictures with St. Nick, and even a Charlie Brown Christmas tree lot.

Among the holiday shows are A Peanuts Guide to Christmas, Blitzen’s Brass Band, Jingle Jazz, a Cool Yule Christmas, The Mistletones, What the Dickens?!, a holiday sing-along, and many more.

Enjoy the sounds of carolers in traditional costumes, shops selling ornaments, toys and other holiday delights, and nine winter wonderlands, complete with ice skating, a magical Christmas tree, and 14 holiday characters, including Jack Frost and the Sugar Plum Fairy, spreading holiday cheer.

You can choose to add ice skating, a holiday buffet dinner, and cookie decorating activities to your admission ticket.

The Lighting Ceremony is nightly at 5:30 p.m. and is a must-see sight as the Eiffel Tower and International Street glow in thousands of twinkling lights.

Date: Through December 30

Place: Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, OH 45040

Time: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission: $25 to $45, depending on date and package selected

Information: https://www.visitkingsisland.com/play/winterfest

Civil War Christmas

The James A. Ramage Civil War Museum will be decorated in holiday decor using natural materials like those used in the 19th century.

Plus, you’ll learn how Civil War soldiers celebrated Christmas by viewing a special exhibit of vintage Christmas ornaments and quilts.

The event also features making ornaments to take home, children’s activities, and a visit from Santa.

Check out the used book sale and the gift shop will be open for those who want to do some early Christmas shopping or are looking for unique stocking stuffers.

Date: Sunday, December 10

Place: James A. Ramage Civil War Museum, Battery Hooper Park, 1402 Highland Avenue, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Time: Noon to 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.fortwright.com/?c=article&l=en&s=james-a-ramage-museum&id=48

Pioneer Christmas

Step back in time and celebrate Christmas just like the pioneers. See how a home would have been decorated for a traditional holiday celebration at the Cabin in the Clearing.

Traditional pioneer fare will be available to sample and Santa will be on hand to visit with young and old.

Date: Sunday, December 10

Place: Keehner Park, 7211 Barret Road, West Chester, OH 45069

Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.westchesteroh.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/3343/122?curm=12&cury=2017

A Night of Christmas Splendor

Harpist Sabra Thomas presents an evening of soft and enchanting Christmas music, followed by a special reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The festive evening at the Bethel Branch library also includes hot chocolate and candy canes.

Date: Tuesday, December 12

Place: Bethel Branch of the Clermont County Public Library, 611 W. Plane Street, Bethel, OH 45106

Time: 6 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: http://engagedpatrons.org/EventsExtended.cfm?SiteID=5338&EventID=316119&PK=

Holiday Lights 2017

Deerfield Towne Center, northern Cincinnati’s lifestyle shopping center, kicks off its holiday season with a lineup of festivities, including music and entertainment.

Enjoy carriage rides or have your photo taken with Santa. There’s also crafts for kids to make.

Date: Saturday, December 9

Place: Deerfield Towne Center, 5503 Deerfield Boulevard, Mason, OH 45040

Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission: Free, but a donation of a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots is requested

Information: https://www.deerfieldtownecenter.com/event/deerfield-towne-center-hosts-holiday-lights/2145498148/

Religious Christmas Displays

Crib of the Nativity

In the spirit of the season, visit the antique barn outside Krohn Conservatory to view a live nativity scene. The presentation features live animals, including a cow, sheep, and donkey, and life-size waxen figures in handmade garments.

The annual tradition, sponsored by the Western and Southern Fund, began in 1939. The creche, which is housed under hand-hewn beams and a thatched roof, is a historical representation of the first Christmas.

Date: Tuesday, December 12

Place: Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: Free, but donations accepted to benefit The Salvation Army.

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/crib-of-the-nativity/

A Franciscan Christmas

The Christmas Creche display, presented by St. Francis Seraph Church, begins in the church’s courtyard where there’s a live nativity, complete with goats, sheep, and donkeys.

Walk a few blocks to the Christian Moerlein Event Center to view Br. Tim Sucher’s Christmas creche collection, which includes nativities from around the world and Fr. Joachim Lux’s model trains.

Also on display are decorated Christmas trees, a Santa Claus display, and a Dickens Christmas village.

The Christian Moerlein Taproom will be serving food and beverages.

Date: Live Nativity: Sunday, December 3, 2017 through Friday, January 5, 2018; Christian Moerlein Event Center:  December 1 through January 1

Place: St. Francis Seraph Church, corner of Liberty and Vine, Cincinnati, OH 45202 and Christian Moerlein Event Center, 1621 Moore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: Live Nativity: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily; Christian Moerlein Event Center: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to Midnight, Friday; Noon to Midnight, Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Admission: Free, but donations are welcomed to support St. Francis Seraph church and school

Information: https://www.stanthony.org/a-franciscan-christmas-with-st-francis-seraph-parish/

Nativity Experience

This year marks the 70th year the Comboni Missionaries have been presenting its Nativity Experience, an animated nativity scene.

Visitors also can view nativity displays from around the world, tour the mission’s museum, and shop in the Mission Market and Christmas Boutique.

Date: Opening Night December 10, then nightly December 15-30, closed Christmas Day

Place: Comboni Mission Center, 1318 Nagel Road, Cincinnati, OH 45255

Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Open 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve

Admission: Free

Information: https://www.combonimissionaries.org/event/nativity-experience-opening-night/

Bible Christmas Display

As its gift to the community, the Niederman Family Farm presents its annual Walk Thru the Bible Christmas Display.

More than 10,000 people visit the display each year, which features millions of lights illuminating true to life Biblical scenes along a half-mile walk-through display.

Life-sized figures of Bible characters tell the story of the Bible, from Creation to the Ascension of Christ, including the Christmas story. The figures are accented by oversized pictures that depict Jesus’ life.

The family-friendly event also includes entertainment and hot chocolate and cookies in the barn, holiday-themed music, and live animals.

Date: Through Saturday, December 30

Place: Niederman Family Farm, 5110 Lesourdsville West Chester Road, Hamilton, OH  45011

Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Admission: Free, but donations are accepted

Information: https://www.niedermanfamilyfarm.com/home.html

Living Nativity

The Loveland United Methodist Church presents its 16th annual Living Nativity, an outdoor guided walk through Bethlehem.

Through drama and song, each of the 21 stations depict a dramatic presentation of the story of Christ’s birth.

Following the 30-minute tour, visit with the live animals, including donkeys, sheep, goats, and alpacas.

Hot cocoa and cookies will be served inside the church.

Date: Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 3

Place: Loveland United Methodist Church, 10975 S. Lebanon Road, Loveland, OH 45140

Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.lovelandumc.org/

2017 Bethlehem Village

Experience what village life was like the night Jesus was born with this biblically accurate portrayal of the City of David presented by Monroe First Church of God.

The live, outdoor Nativity captures the likely sounds of the night Christ was born in Bethlehem.

The self-guided, indoor Bethlehem Village Town Center features interactive experiences, such as authentic weaving looms, rare Jacob sheep, and a handmade bread oven.

Date: Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 3

Place: Monroe First Church of God, 100 East Avenue, Monroe, OH 45050

Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: http://www.bethlehemvillagenativity.com/

Hands-On Christmas Activities

Ornament Blow

Professional glass artists at Neusole Glassworks will help you blow your own Christmas ornament from hot liquid glass at this fun and educational holiday event.

Ornaments will be ready for pickup in about one week.

Participants must be 5 years or older.

Reservations are required. When reserving a date and time, schedule a 15-minute time slot for everyone attending with you who wants to make an ornament.

Date: December 2-3, December 10, December 15-17, December 21, and December 29

Place: Neusole Glassworks, 11925 Kemper Springs Drive, Forest Park, OH 45240

Time: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: $35 per person

Information: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NeusoleGlassworks/events/?ref=page_internal

Santa’s Workshop

Join Santa and his elves to make ornaments, gifts, and other festive creations at Washington Park.

Remember to bring your Christmas wish list to give to Santa, or if you haven’t written one yet, stop by the wish list station where elves will help you write it.

Be sure to bring your camera for photos with Santa. Dogs are welcomed, so this is the perfect opportunity to take your 2017 Christmas family photo. (Just take a friend along to snap the photo!)

Date: Saturday, December 2, December 9, December 16, and December 23

Place: Washington Park, 1230 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information: https://washingtonpark.org/event/santas-workshop-11/2017-11-25/?event

Holiday Fun

Children ages 3 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to join in on some holiday fun as part of Taft Jr., a program presented by the Taft Museum of Art.

The event includes holiday story time, making an ornament, and exploring the toys and decorations that are part of the Antique Christmas display.

Date: Thursday, December 7

Place: The Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $10 in advance, $12 at the door, Free for children and Taft members

Information: http://www.taftmuseum.org/taft-jr

Holiday Memory Book DIY

Learn the basic techniques to making a handmade holiday memory book. Participants will make one 4”x6” book and one 3”x3” book.

Since sticky notes are used in the making of the books, the inside pages are replaceable, so you can add or remove pages throughout the years.

The event, for ages 16 and up, is part of the Krohn Conservatory’s Family Holiday DIY series. Registration is required at https://krohn.cincyregister.com/2017DIYHOLIDAY.

Date: Saturday, December 2

Place: Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 11 a.m., Noon, and 1 p.m. sessions

Admission: $15, includes all materials to make two books and admission to the Krohn Holiday Show

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/family-holiday-diy/?instance_id=17856

Holiday Wreath Making

Learn how to make a fresh holiday wreath with the help of a professional florist. Materials and instructions are provided, so just bring your creativity.

Feel free to bring personal embellishments from home to accent your wreath creation.

Registration is required.

Date: Saturday, December 2

Place: Caldwell Nature Preserve Nature Center, 433 W North Bend Road, Cincinnati, OH 45216

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission: $30 per person

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/holiday-wreath-making-2/?instance_id=16442

Holiday Crafts Evening Workshop

All ages will have fun learning how to make crafts from natural materials that the Nature Center staff has been collecting since early summer.

For children who want to make presents for family members, there’s a Secret Santa room. The evening also features live musical performances.

Registration is required by December 6.

Date: Friday, December 8

Place: LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Admission: $5 per person or $15 per family up to 4 children and 1 to 2 adults

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/holiday-crafts-evening-workshop-2/?instance_id=16392

Holiday Crafts Afternoon Workshop

All summer, the Nature Center staff has been collecting various media from nature especially for this holiday workshop. During the family-friendly activity, learn how to make crafts from all sorts of natural materials.

The afternoon also includes live musical performances and a Secret Santa room where kids can make presents from nature for family members.

Registration is required by December 6.

Date: Saturday, December 9

Place: LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center, 5400 Lanius Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45224

Time: Noon to 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 per person or $15 per family up to 4 children and 1 to 2 adults

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/holiday-crafts-afternoon-workshop-2/?instance_id=16360

Santa-bration

It’s a Santa celebration all weekend, filled with holiday and winter crafts, a chance to win a Parks goodie bag, and carousel rides on Carol Ann’s Carousel.

The carousel features 44 Cincinnati-centric characters and panels depicting animal characters playing in the various Cincinnati parks.

Santa will be at the carousel on December 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Snap a photo with Santa using your mobile phone (no cameras are permitted).

Date: Friday, December 22 through Sunday, December 24

Place: Carol Ann’s Carousel, Smale Riverfront Park, 8 Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Carousel tokens, which never expire, are $2 per person for one ride, $10 for six rides, $20 for 13 rides, $75 for 50 rides, and $150 for 100 rides

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/santa-bration-at-carol-anns-carousel-11a-330p/?instance_id=17864

Holiday Tea, Santa Brunch, and Other Festive Food Events

Victorian Christmas Tea

Enjoy a traditional Victorian Christmas Tea in a historic home located in the East Row Historic District of Newport, Kentucky.

The menu features tea sandwiches, assorted cakes, tarts, and cookies, scones with homemade clotted cream and jam, and traditional savory-sweet English tea.

There is limited on-street parking. Free parking is available in the lot between Fifth and Sixth Streets on Washington Avenue or the St. John’s United Church of Christ parking lot at Fourth Street and Park Avenue.

Other parking options are Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY, or the pay lot across from the Carnegie Event Center, 401 Monmouth Street, Newport, KY.

This is a popular event, so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance.

Date: Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3

Place: East Row Historic District, Newport, Kentucky (the address for the tea will be provided closer to the event)

Time: Seatings are 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Admission: $30, reservations required and can be made online only

Information: http://eastrow.org/victorian-christmas-tour-and-tea/

Festive Afternoon Tea

The Taft Museum of Art presents an elegant afternoon holiday tea, complete with a harpist playing festive music.

Enjoy seasonal savories and sweets as you sip your favorite tea. Gluten-free and vegan menus are available.

The admission cost includes entry to the Antique Christmas and Elegant Geometry displays.

This event sells out quickly, so advance registration is required.

Date: Friday, December 8; Saturday, December 16; Friday, December 22; and Thursday, December 28

Place: The Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $60, $40 for museum members; Child ages 12 and younger: $25, $20 for museum members

Information: http://www.taftmuseum.org/afternoon-teas

Victorian Christmas Tea Time

Enjoy a festive, three-course tea in the historic Hillforest parlors. Overlooking the Ohio River, the Italian Renaissance style mansion was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1891.

The Christmas tea menu includes seasonal treats and flavored tea. After the tea, you’re invited to tour the Victorian Christmas exhibit.

Advance reservations are a must for this event.

Date: Tuesday, December 5 and Thursday, December 7

Place: Hillforest, 213 Fifth Street, Aurora, Indiana 47001

Time: 1 p.m.

Admission: $30, $28 for members

Information: http://www.hillforest.org/take_reservation.php?cID=16

Brunch With Santa

Here’s your chance to dine with the big red elf himself as he beefs up for his Christmas Eve deliveries!

The brunch is an all-you-can-eat buffet, with a selection of breakfast and lunch specialties.

The event includes one complimentary photo with Santa for each child in attendance.

Date: Sunday, December 10 and December 17

Place: Mill Race Banquet Center, The Mill Course at Winton Woods, 1515 West Sharon Road, Cincinnati, OH 45240

Time: 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $18.35; Child age 2-12: $8.75; Child under age 2: Free

Information: https://www.greatparks.org/special-events/brunch-with-santa

Cookies With Santa

Enjoy cookies and refreshments with Santa, and have your picture taken with St. Nick, too.

The event, presented by The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, also includes craft making.

Date: Sunday, December 3

Place: Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, 4015 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, OH 45227

Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Information: https://campscui.active.com/orgs/TheChildrensTheatreofCincinnati#/selectSessions/2208604

http://cincinnatiusa.com/events/cookies-santa-1

Holiday Shows

Krohn Conservatory Holiday Show

The 2017 Holiday Show brings you home for the holidays aboard the Cincinnati Choo Choo, with its miles of train track surrounded by botanical architecture and historical buildings.

The Krohn Conservatory showroom will be decked with poinsettias, evergreens, amaryllis, cyclamen, and other holiday plants.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of chugging trains overhead, trolleys at your feet, splashing water, and the traditional large evergreen tree decorated with handmade natural ornaments.

Special Family Nights by Candlelight are planned for December 18-23 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. During these evenings, enjoy the holiday show by candlelight, as well as live music and special programs. Santa will be visiting, along with other costumed characters.

Date: December 1, 2017 through January 7, 2018

Place: Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including Christmas Eve; Christmas Day hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $7; Child age 5-17: $4 children; Child age 4 and younger: Free; $1.00 off admission coupon on show’s website.

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/programs-and-events/seasonal-krohn-conservatory-show-513-421-4086/

Holiday Skies

See the winter sky put on its own holiday light show! You’ll discover the mysteries of the Christmas star and see a bright holiday “wreath” of twinkling stars during this Wolff Planetarium program.

As part of the program, you’ll hear the tale of Santa as he pulls his sleigh across the sky and his three baby goats!

Seating in the planetarium is limited, so reservations are required. The show is open to adults and children ages 5 and older accompanied by an adult.

Date: Saturday, December 8

Place: Wolff Planetarium, located inside the Trailside Nature Center in Burnet Woods, 3400 Brookline Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Time: 7 p.m.

Admission: $5 per person

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/holiday-skies-4/?instance_id=16359

Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa

Scuba Santa creates a magical water wonderland as he dons his scuba gear, fills his air tank with magic bubbles and sends them throughout the Newport Aquarium.

The all-new undersea celebration is highlighted by holiday music and festive exhibits. Check out the twinkling sea creature lights on the ceiling of the Seahorses: Unbridled Fun Gallery and the special decorations of the white gators in Gator Alley.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Shark Ray Bay Theater, magic bubbles fill the theater. When one pops, a wish comes true for someone in the world. Then, join a Scuba Santa elf in song to welcome in Scuba Santa for a one-on-one visit to tell him what you want for Christmas.

In the Kroger Penguin Palooza, you’ll find penguins spreading holiday cheer in their own special way, as well as the Scuba Santa’s Post Office, where you can write a holiday wish on a magic bubble and mail it in the Scuba Santa mailbox.

Date: Through December 31

Place: Newport Aquarium, 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071

Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $24.99; Child age 2-12: $16.99

Information: https://www.newportaquarium.com/Visitor-Tips/Aquarium-Events/Water-Wonderland-With-Scuba-Santa

Brilliant Bebb

Thousands of lights and luminaries deck out the Pioneer Village at Governor Bebb MetroPark, with each cabin decorated for the holidays.

The event also features interpretation tours, live animals, musicians, demonstrations, and arts and crafts vendors.

You can also take a carriage ride and have a family photo taken. Refreshments will be available.

Date: Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 3

Place: Governor Bebb MetroPark, 1979 Bebb Park Lane, Okeana, OH 45053

Time: Friday-Saturday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission: $10 per vehicle

Information: http://reservations.yourmetroparks.net/programs/1479/

Holiday Exhibits

Antique Christmas

The Taft Museum of Art presents its annual display of antique decorations, ornaments, and toys. This year’s theme explores Christmas past, with displays highlighting toys Santa might have left many years ago.

You’re sure to spot dancing antique dolls, a jack-in-the-box, and a vintage Lionel toy train set. See a Belsnickle Santa candy container, trees with cotton fruit, and a paper doll tree, and experience Christmastime at a neighborhood dime store.

A miniature lighted village of German houses, feather trees, a German tabletop chandelier, and a dining room set for a holiday feast are among the many antique displays.

Date: December 1, 2017 through January 7, 2018

Place: The Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: Tuesday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $10 in advance, $12 at the door; Child age 6-18 and Senior Citizen: $8 in advance, $10 at the door; Child age 5 and younger and museum members: Free; Sundays only are free for all

Information: http://www.taftmuseum.org/cur_exhib or Phone: 513-241-0343

Holiday Toy Train Display

The 26th annual Holiday Toy Train Display at the Behringer-Crawford Museum has been a holiday tradition for generations of families in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.

The exhibit features more than 250 feet of model train tracks, with vintage Lionel and Plasticville trains, and kids favorite, Thomas the Tank Engine.

There are 30 guest-activated displays to enjoy, along with a Charles Dickens display and other special holiday exhibits.

Visit on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. as local children’s librarians read the classic children’s book, Polar Express.

The afternoon also includes making a Christmas craft, visiting with Santa, and enjoying hot chocolate and cookies. There is limited seating, so reservations are required by calling 859-491-4003.

Date: Through January 14, 2018

Place: Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Devou Park, Covington, KY 41011

Time: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Christmas Eve: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; New Year’s Eve: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Admission: Adult: $9; Senior Citizen age 60 and older: $8; Child age 3-17: $5; Child under age 3 and museum members: Free

Information: http://bcmuseum.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=120

Holly Days

Experience a 19th century holiday season, with historical buildings decked out in traditional decorations from the 1800s at the Heritage Village Museum.

The event also features model train displays, storytelling, craft making, holiday music, holiday treats, and more.

Date: Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10

Place: Heritage Village Museum, Sharon Woods Park, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241

Time: Noon to 4 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $10; Child age 5-11: $6; Child under age 4 and museum members: Free

Information: http://www.heritagevillagecincinnati.org/holly_days.aspx

Holiday Junction Featuring Brickopolis

Over 12,000 square feet in the special exhibition gallery of the Cincinnati Museum Center will be filled with a variety of interactive train layouts in different sizes and themes, including Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, and Super-O.

The awe factor at this event is 1,800 square feet of Lego® creations from floor to ceiling by the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Lego Users Groups (OKILUG). These Lego landscapes feature whimsical scenes with a local flair, motorized trains, and other special surprises.

Plus, you can hop aboard a riding train for a journey through a winter wonderland.

Date: Through January 2, 2018

Place: Cincinnati Museum Center

Time: Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $10.50; Senior Citizen over age 60: $9.50; Child age 3-12: $8.50 Toddler age 1-2: $5.50; Infant under age 1: Free

Information: http://www.cincymuseum.org/holiday-junction

Christmas Journey

The Christmas walk-through at EnterTRAINment Junction takes you back to the 1950s, with a street scene featuring nostalgic department store display windows decked in holiday decor.

As you walk through the display, you’ll make your way to the North Pole, where you’ll see reindeer stables, elves making toys in their workshop, and Mrs. Claus making cookies in her kitchen.

Kids of all ages can visit with Santa Claus in his study. He’s ready to hear your Christmas wish list!

The admission price also includes the Main Street Holiday Trains exhibit, a maze and fun house, and the American Railroading Museum.

Date: Through December 31

Place: EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Court, West Chester, OH 45069

Time: Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday: Noon-6 p.m. Special holiday hours are until 9 p.m., December 10-23 and December 26-30

Admission: $17.95, $14.95 when purchased online, Free for children ages 2 and younger

Information: http://entertrainmentjunction.com/funhouse/christmas-journey/

Holiday Light Displays

Winter in the Woodlands

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along a luminaria lit trail in a self-guided walk through the forest at California Woods Nature Preserve.

After your walk, sit by a crackling fire while enjoying acoustic music by Ceol Mohr.

Other activities include making crafts and decorating your own home-baked holiday cookies.

Registration is required. Rain date is Saturday, December 2.

Date: Friday, December 1

Place: California Woods Nature Preserve, 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230

Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission: $6 per person

Information: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/event/winter-in-the-woodlands-5/?instance_id=16394 or Phone: 231-8678

Holiday in Lights

A Cincinnati holiday tradition for over 27 years, the outdoor light display features holiday themed presentations throughout the mile of wooded roadway.

Among the holiday scenes are Santa and his elves, snowmen and trees, and every animal on Noah’s ark.

As you’re driving through the park, be sure to tune your radio to Warm 98 for sounds of the season that complement the display.

Date: Through December 31

Place: Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241

Time: Sunday-Thursday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission: $13 per car, $45 for 15-passenger vans and buses

Information: http://www.holidayinlights.com/home.html

Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

Voted #1 Zoo lights in the country by USA Today, Cincinnati Zoo’s 35th annual PNC Festival of Lights features three million LED lights.

Throughout the Wild Wonderland, more holiday delights await. Search for fairies in Fairyland, find the mouse in each gingerbread house, check out the wild lights show on Swan Lake, meet one of the Royal Sisters in Frozen Wonderland, listen to Lachey’s Holiday Quartet, and ride the BB&T Toyland Express.

Be sure to catch the Madcap black light puppet show, with performances at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. each evening, plus a 9:30 p.m. show on Friday and Saturday.

New this year:

  • Santa visits, which start at 4 p.m., an hour before the festival’s activities begin,
  • A light wall at the outdoor 4D theater featuring classic holiday movie clips,
  • A festive scavenger hunt,
  • Life-size animal lanterns throughout the zoo.

Back by popular demand are those yummy s’mores stands where you can roast s’mores. Or, enjoy fresh roasted nuts and other holiday treats.

And don’t forget to visit the animals in their indoor heated buildings, see Santa’s reindeer, hear a story from Mrs. Claus, and write Santa a letter at the Holiday Post Office.

Date: Through January 1, 2018

Place: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Time: Sunday-Thursday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $17 purchased online, $19 at the gate; Child and Senior Citizen: $12 purchased online, $13 at the gate

Information: http://cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights/

Holiday Lights on the Hill

This annual light display features twinkling light displays along a two-mile drive through Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum.

See trees lit in all white or multi-colored lights, as well as lighted sculptures and holiday displays.

Date: Through December 31

Place: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, OH 45013

Time: Monday-Thursday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday-Sunday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission: $20 per car Monday-Thursday, $25 per car Friday-Sunday, $15 for members

Information: https://www.pyramidhill.org/holiday-lights-on-the-hill

Christmas Nights of Lights

Drive through to view the light shows and holiday displays at Coney Island while listening to traditional and pop holiday music synchronized to each display through your car radio.

Among the sights are larger than life lighted trees, dancing candy canes, glowing snowflakes, and tunnels of lights.

New for 2017:

  • A candy cane entrance;
  • An extra half mile, making the light spectacular two and a half miles long, with more than one million lights;
  • A second light tunnel;
  • Two more animated trees;
  • More toy soldiers;
  • New music.

Christmas Nights of Lights benefits these local charities: Salvation Army, The Ruth Lyons Children’s Fund, St. Vincent DePaul, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Starshine Hospice, and Toys for Tots.

Date: Through January 1, 2018

Place: Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230

Time: 5 p.m. through 10 p.m.

Admission: $6 per person, Free for children under age 3

Information: http://coneyislandpark.com/event/christmas-light-show/

Garden of Lights

Stroll the Creation Museum’s botanical gardens, which are lit with thousands of multicolored lights for the Christmas season.

Each year features new designs and more color through the garden’s trails.

Within the displays are a live nativity, one of the Wise Men who will tell of the Maji’s journey to Bethlehem, and biblical characters who will tell about their connection to the birth of Christ.

Date: December 8 through 23 and December 26 through 30

Place: Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Petersburg, KY 41080

Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission: Free, but there is a $5 per vehicle parking fee

Information: https://creationmuseum.org/christmas/

Light Up Middletown

Billed as a “drive-through fantasy light display,” the holiday light show at Smith Park features numerous themed displays, among them Santa’s Workshop, Penguin Village, and Deer Leaping Over the Roadway.

Drive through the tunnel of lights to enter the 100-acre park to view the thousands of LED animated lights. Every year, the light display expands, with more lights and displays.

Every Friday and Saturday through December 23, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Date: Through December 31

Place: Smith Park, 500 Tytus Avenue, Middletown, OH 45042

Time: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission: Cash donation of whatever amount you can give

Information: http://www.lightupmiddletown.org/home.aspx

Ring In The New Year

Happy ZOO Year

“Party animals” of all ages are invited to ring in 2018 at the Cincinnati Zoo as part of the 8th annual Happy Zoo Year.

New Year’s Eve festivities include the Zoo’s festival of lights display, the Madcap black light puppet show, a meet and greet with Father Time and Baby Zoo Year, party favors, and costumed characters.

An early countdown to the New Year starts at 8:55 p.m., followed by fireworks presented by Rozzi Fireworks.

Date: Sunday, December 31

Place: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Time: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: Adult: $17 purchased online, $19 at the gate; Child and Senior Citizen: $12 purchased online, $13 at the gate

Information: http://cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights/#symple-tab-happy-zoo-year

New Year’s Eve 2017 with the Cincinnati Pops

The Cincinnati Pops and conductor John Morris Russell are joined by jazz vocalist Morgan James to ring in 2018.

Themed “A New Stage in History,” enjoy a sophisticated evening of cocktails and enchanting music.

 

Date: Sunday, December 31

Place: Springer Auditorium, Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 8 p.m.

Admission: $25 to $115 based on seating level

Information: https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/new-years-eve-2017

The Rumpke Mountain Boys New Year’s Eve Ball

Ring in the New Year with the Rumpke Mountain Boys as they combine their signature vocals, string instruments, and special effects to present an unforgettable musical experience.

Special guests include the Restless Leg String Band and David Gans.

A full-service bar and food will be available.

Date: Sunday, December 31

Place: 20th Century Theatre, 3021 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209

Time: 7 p.m., doors open; 8 p.m. show

Admission: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Information: https://www.rumpkemountainboys.com/shows.html

Top of Kentucky New Year’s Eve Dance

The Top O’ Kentucky Boogie Club is ringing in 2018 with a dinner dance gala, featuring dinner and great dance music to boogie to all evening.

Providing the music for the evening are the Boogie Club’s DJ and Duke’s Band.

The admission price includes two tickets for adult beverages.

There’s limited seating, so reserve early.

Date: Sunday, December 31

Place: Gardens of Park Hills, Vista Room, 1622 Dixie Highway, Park Hills, KY 41012

Time: 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Admission: $45 per person

Information: http://topofky.com/

New Year’s Eve Cruise

With the Cincinnati skyline as your backdrop, ring in 2018 on the river with this New Year’s Eve Cruise.

The evening features entertainment and a three-entree buffet of carved beef tenderloin, baked airline chicken, and shrimp scampi over risotto.

At midnight, there’s a champagne toast and a late night buffet featuring Cincinnati chili, pulled pork sliders, and hog dogs with buns.

Party favors will be provided.

Date: Sunday, December 31

Place: BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071

Time: 8 p.m. boarding, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. sailing

Admission: Adult: $105; Child age 4-12: $65

Information: http://bbriverboats.com/cruises/new-years-eve-cruise

New Year’s Eve Blast

Celebrate the new year with fellow Cincinnatians at a New Year’s Eve Blast at Fountain Square, hosted by Mix 94.9 Cincinnati and presented by Land Rover.

The evening will feature food vendors, great music, and fun games on the Fountain Square stage every half hour.

At midnight, enjoy the fireworks display that rings in 2018.

Date: Sunday, December 31

Place: Fountain Square, 5th and Vine Streets, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Admission: Free

Information: https://myfountainsquare.com/event/new-years-eve-blast-3/?event

New Year’s Eve 2018

It’s a masquerade theme this year, as Howl at the Moon presents New Year’s Eve 2018, with numerous packages available so you can customize the evening to your liking.

All party packages include a gourmet dinner buffet and champagne. Additional options are reserving a bowling lane for your party, replacing the dinner buffet with an appetizer buffet, or reserving a hotel room at AC Hotel Cincinnati at the Banks.

The event is for ages 21 and older.

Date: Sunday, December 31

Place: Howl at the Moon, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, 145 Second Street East, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Time: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Admission: $35 to $800 depending on package selected and number of guests in your party

Information: https://www.howlsplitsville.com/events/cincinnati-nye/

There you have it, 80 Cincinnati holiday events, all to make your month of December a festive one.

Whether you love checking out the holiday lights or taking in a Christmas performance, you’re sure to find a holiday event that meets your interest.

So, make a plan, get all your Christmas shopping and wrapping done early, and spend time enjoying the festive fun taking place throughout Greater Cincinnati’s holiday playground!

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