It’s the most wonderful time of the year — and Ohio knows it. Situated between the great cities of Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati and surrounded by numerous, festive towns, we are the best location to experience all Ohio has to offer this holiday season. We have put together an extensive guide filled with Christmas events happening in our area this year. Enjoy this special time of year as you create memories with your family and friends!
Wilmington, OH Holiday Events
Event: HomeTown HolliDazzle Parade
Date: November 25th
The Holidazzle festival starts at 3pm with a variety of family friendly activities including visits with Santa and the Grinch, train rides, live music and food vendors. The parade kicks off at 7pm. What a fantastic way to start your holiday season!
Event: Brunch with Santa
Date: December 16th
- Live Santa
- Photos with Santa available for purchase
- Letter to Santa Station
- Cookie Decorating Station
- Indoor Snowball Fight
- Coloring Station
Price, time, menu and ticket information coming soon. Learn more here
Event: The Murphy Theatre
Date: Friday, December 15 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 16 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 17 at 2:00 PM
$8 for children 12 and under, seniors 65+, and veterans with ID.
Event: Cookies with the Claus
Date: December 14th
Event: Ralph’s New Years Eve Party
Date: December 31st
Get ready for a night of exclusive excitement at Ralph’s Garage! Save the date for their ticketed event – an unforgettable evening filled with:
- Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
- Champagne to toast to the night
- Beats by a fantastic DJ
Time: 9 pm to 1 am
Tickets available soon on Squarespace
Price: $99 per person
Tickets will be available for purchase soon.
Columbus, OH Holiday Events
Event: Wildlights at the Zoo
Date: November 17th – January 7th
Experience the Columbus Zoo like never before! The Holiday season comes alive with millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, reindeer and other holiday festivities that can only be found at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Event: The Nutcracker
Date: December 7th – December 23rd
BalletMet’s production of The Nutcracker is returning to the Ohio Theatre for the holiday season – and if you hurry, there’s still time to score amazing tickets for any performance! The Nutcracker Columbus production is an absolute delight for theater fans of all ages, who love it for its whimsy, its charm, and its palpable Christmas magic.
Cincinnati, OH Holiday Events
Event: Light Up The Square
Date: November 24th
Kick off the holiday season with Cincinnati’s annual tree lighting celebration! Festivities begin at 6pm. The evening will feature live music, a special appearance by Santa Claus and a dazzling fireworks display.
Date: December 14th – 22nd
Dressing up and seeing the Nutcracker is like living out a childhood Christmas fantasy, and Cincinnati offers this opportunity every year thanks to their incredibly gifted ballet. Due to the venue’s recent renovation, Music Hall, the performance is guaranteed to be more unforgettable than ever.
Event: Fountain Square Ice Rink
Date: November 4th – February 19th
Fountain Square will be the only rink in the Tri-State to offer Bumper Cars on Ice this fall and winter. They will operate alongside ice skating seven days a week. Reservations can be made via the link above. They will have a limited number of “walk up” time slots available as well.
Event: Celestial Holiday
Date: November 11th – January 7th
Krohn Conservatory will be a sight to behold this holiday season as it is transformed into a glowing winter wonderland. A great place to visit with the whole family.
Event: Coney Island
Date: November 10th – December 31st
Coney Island’s Nights of Lights is the region’s largest and best drive-through holiday light spectacular! You and your family will stay warm and dry as you experience more than 2 million lights, all moving perfectly in sync with festive and fun holiday music.
Visitors of all ages and mobilities will be awed by larger-than-life Christmas trees, glowing snowflakes, dancing candy canes, fantastic tunnels of lights, and more!
Event: PNC Festival of Lights
Date: November 17, 2023 – January 7, 2024
The Cincinnati Zoo will still be shining bright as we’re once again transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 41st annual PNC Festival of Lights! Come early for more animals and stay for the lights!
In addition to admiring the beauty of 4 million LED lights, visitors can find the 5 Fiona fairies in Fairyland, take in a blacklight puppet show, marvel at the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, or snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands.
Dayton, OH Holiday Events
Event: Grand Illumination
Date: November 24th
Watch the holidays light up during Dayton’s traditional tree lighting on November 25th. At 7:55 p.m., they’ll throw on the switch and approximately 50,000 gold lights will brighten the two-story-tall tree on Courthouse Square in honor of the festival’s 50th anniversary!
Event: A Carillon Christmas
Date: November 21st – December 30th
Carillon Historical Park in Dayton features a winter wonderland of lights, train rides, slides and other attractions during A Carillon Christmas. With more than 15 miles of dazzling lights, Christmas themed activities and caroling, it’s one of the best places in Ohio to spend the holiday season.
Events: Breakfast with Santa
Date: December 17th
Don’t miss Santa’s annual visit to the Market for a tasty buffet breakfast prepared by some of the 2nd Street Market vendors. Afterwards, listen to Santa read a special holiday story then take a few minutes to take a photo and tell him your holiday wish! All ages are welcome. *Pre-registration is required to attend this event. Tickets will not be sold at the door. Event tickets are $10 per person. Two different breakfast times will be available.
Lebanon, OH Holiday Events
Date: December 2nd
The Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce will host the Annual Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Festival in historic downtown Lebanon. The festival runs from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The parades are at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Clifton Hill, OH Holiday Events
Date: November 24th – December 25th
For 35 years Clifton Mill has celebrated the Christmas season in a very special way. Our 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.
Mason, Ohio Holiday Events
Event: Winterfest at Kings Island
Date: November 24th – December 31st
This year, Kings Island is proud to present WinterFest. WinterFest is praised for its breathtaking lighting displays and enjoyable ice skating on the fountain.
Date: November 24th – December 16th
Renaissance Park in Warren County Ohio offers a warm glow Fridays & Saturdays from November 25 to December 17. The village beckons you to take in light shows, enjoy hot food & drinks while you wander through our Yuletide Market.