Steubenville Nutcracker Village

Holidays in Ohio

This holiday season, Ohio is the perfect place to gather family and friends to reconnect and be thankful for the amazing people in our lives. If you’re looking to catch up with dear friends and create new holiday memories in fun and unexpected ways, you can find inspiration here!

 

Whether you want to share the magic of your favorite holiday traditions, gaze at millions of twinkling lights, enjoy the peace of a crisp winter hike, take in the amazing tastes and aromas of the season or explore the latest art exhibit, Ohio is your home for the holidays.

Share your holiday memories and adventures on social media with #HolidaysinOhio.

Start by choosing a category below:

Holiday Traditions
Holiday Lights
Holiday Cheer
Holiday Shopping
Winter Wonderland
Cultural Pursuits

 

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Holiday Traditions

 

Holiday Tradition. Find It Here.

Ohio offers time-honored traditions that connect family and friends through the years. From peaceful sleigh rides and festivals full of holiday cheer to days spent searching for the perfect tree or enjoying hot chocolate during a candlelight walk, Ohio provides ways to continue family traditions and make joyful, new memories. Check out the list below to discover holiday traditions in Ohio:

Holiday Lantern Tours at Sauder Village | Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, 8 & 9, Archbold

A favorite stop for getting into the holiday spirit, Sauder Village’s Holiday Lantern Tours offer a new theme twist this year: A 1920s Christmas. Celebrate the season by touring the village by lantern light, acting out “The Night Before Christmas” in the District 16 Schoolhouse, belting out period holiday songs, or making a novelty at the Tin Shop – just like those from generations past. Holiday shopping is available at the Sauder Village Gift Shop, Lauber’s General Store, the Herb Shop, Glass Shop and Pottery Shop. Make it an overnight at the Sauder Heritage Inn with the Holiday Lantern Tour Package. Reservations are required for the Lantern Tours, so make your plans today!

Memories of Christmas Past | Nov. 18 to Jan. 7, Youngstown

For the 10th anniversary of Memories of Christmas Past, the amazing 1905 Arts & Crafts mansion of Olive and Wilford Arms (and home of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society) is decked out in opulent, vintage holiday decor and vignettes crafted by professional designers. The event brings back the “best of” the past nine years including the stunning crystal tree, a tree covered entirely in Youngstown made Plakie Twinkler ornaments and a room bursting with color from thousands of American Shiny Brite ornaments. There are plenty of oooohhhs and ahhhhhs around every corner along with elves, reindeer games and special events including a model train display, behind the ropes tours and author visits.

Heritage Farms | Thursday - Sundays, Nov. 23 - Dec. 23 (until sold out), Peninsula

Channel your inner Clark Griswold and snag the perfect holiday tree at this 170-year-old farm nestled in the stunning Cuyahoga Valley. Afterward, warm up with hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies next to the sandstone fireplace at the onsite Tree Barn. Not in northeast Ohio? Browse Ohio’s other cut-your-own holiday tree farms here.

A Christmas Story House | Open Year-Round, Cleveland

Relive scenes from the movie as you tour the home from the “you’ll-shoot-your-eye-out” classic, “A Christmas Story.” The home has become a cherished holiday tradition since opening its doors a decade ago and provides the perfect setting for share-worthy pictures. Climb under the sink like little brother Randy, or decode a secret message in the upstairs bathroom like Ralphie. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir leg lamp for someone on your gift list!

Steubenville Nutcracker Village & Advent Market | Nov. 24 to Jan. 7, Steubenville

Take your company to meet the Nutcracker soldiers of Steubenville. You will feel like you’re in a play as you walk through a lighted walkway flanked by the world’s largest collection of life-size nutcrackers – 150 strong, and still growing. Find the perfect holiday gift (or snack) at the open-air Advent Market, featuring local artisans selling their wares from miniature Swiss-style chalets.

Gardens Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Nov. 18 to Jan. 3, Columbus

The tradition of visiting Franklin Park Conservatory’s annual display of multi-colored poinsettias, seasonal foliage and twinkling lights will win the approval of all ages. This year, intricate gingerbread houses are being created to represent holiday traditions. Afterward, head several blocks west on Broad Street to see State Auto’s Christmas Corner, a life-size Nativity display that has been a must-see family tradition for decades.

Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village | Dec. 8-10 & 15-17, Columbus

A longtime favorite for history buffs and literary fans alike, Dickens of a Christmas exudes holiday joy from centuries past. The event brings Charles Dickens’ spirit to life through jolly carolers, decorations inspired by the famous author’s tales, and 19th -century-style cooking demonstrations. Browsing P. Wylie’s Emporium for the perfect gift is also a must.

Dickens Victorian Village | Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, Cambridge

Bundle up and travel back to 1850s England with this walking tour, featuring more than 180 life-size figures depicting scenes from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol throughout the city’s historic streets. Each day includes the Courthouse Holiday Lights Show, during which the 1881-era building is bathed in thousands of lights synchronized to holiday music. Enjoy a sweet candy cane cookie or gingerbread treat from Cambridge landmark, Kennedy’s Bakery.

WinterFest at Kings Island | Nov. 24 to Dec. 30 (select nights), Mason

Relive your favorite childhood memories at WinterFest, which returns to Kings Island after a hiatus that spanned more than a decade. Those who fondly remember ice skating on the Royal Fountain, marveling at the Eiffel Tower turned massive Christmas tree, and glimpsing Santa at the winter village along International Street will finally have a chance to introduce newbies to one of southwest Ohio’s favorite holiday traditions.

Christmas Candlelighting at Roscoe Village | Dec. 2 & 9, Coshocton

Embrace a simpler time and way of life during the lighting of this historic village’s 35-foot-tall Christmas tree, all while lighting your own candle and joining in the singing of “Silent Night.” Don’t miss out on a magical conversation with Santa, complimentary hot-mulled cider and cookies, and the special “A Roscoe Christmas” tour depicting 1830s-era holiday traditions.

Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides at Spiegel Grove | Dec. 26–31, Fremont

Snuggle up with someone special for a cozy sleigh ride fit for a president through Spiegel Grove, the estate and home of Rutherford B. Hayes. Don’t miss an opportunity to explore the nation’s first Presidential Library while you’re on the grounds, and take a turn engineering the multi-tiered, Victorian model train exhibit through intricate holiday scenes (opens Nov. 24).

Cincinnati Choo Choo Holiday Show | Nov. 18 to Jan. 7, Cincinnati

Krohn Conservatory, known for its stunning indoor and outdoor gardens, will delight train lovers young and old with this year’s holiday exhibition. It features trains and trolleys chugging through recreations of Cincinnati’s most iconic landmarks, surrounded by vibrant poinsettias and classic evergreens. Giggle as you capture selfies with miniature versions of the Roebling Bridge and Ault Park Pavilion.

Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade | Dec. 2, Lebanon

Eagerly anticipated by visitors year after year, the Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade is an iconic holiday tradition. Visitors can rejoice in the season with a day spent browsing the city’s quaint shops, like Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory and BluClover, where one-of-a-kind holiday gifts are plentiful. Listen for the melodic carolers and entertainment throughout the town before settling in with family and friends to watch majestic horses outfitted with jingle bells and polished harnesses pulling wagons decked out for the season.

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Holiday Cheer

 

Holiday Cheer. Find It Here.

From sweet treats and amazing main courses to local wines and libations, Ohio’s creative chefs and mixologists can please even Scrooge’s palette. Enjoy an evening out catching up over a delicious meal or try a new taste with seasonal spirits and brews with family and friends. There are plenty of food tours and gifts to provide a taste of Ohio. Here are a few ideas to get your taste buds into the holiday spirit:

Columbus Food Adventures Tour | Ongoing, Columbus

Take in the sights and sounds of Ohio’s capital while sampling some of the city’s most notable dishes. From the delightful dishes of the Short North and historic German Village neighborhood to a tour focused solely on decadent desserts, you are sure to get your fill of holiday cheer. Pair one of the Columbus Food Adventure tours with the new Holiday Lights Tour for a full day of festive fun.

Deck the Wreath Wine Trail along Lake Erie | Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2 & 8-9, Erie County

Gather your family and friends for a festive tour of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands wine trail this holiday season. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and wine samples from each winery along with assistance selecting wines for holiday meals or host/hostess gifts. Kick off your adventure at a designated winery then decorate it with miniature ornaments from other wineries along the trail including local favorites Chateau Tebeau, D & D Smith Winery, Firelands Winery, Gillig Winery, Matus Winery and more.

Christmas at Glendower Historic Mansion | Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays Dec. 1-31, Lebanon

This historic mansion is transformed for the holidays with each room filled with lavish, whimsical and artistic decorations. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful décor themed to each room. While on your tour, enjoy tasty holiday cookies or a cup of eggnog or wassail for a delicious treat! Event runs 1-5 p.m., tickets can be purchased online or via cash at the door.

Holidays in the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve Metropark | Dec. 2-17, Toledo

Ring in the holidays at one of northwest Ohio's most festive celebrations. Each year, the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve transforms into a holiday wonderland and in 2017, the grounds surrounding the home will feature new activities for your entire family to enjoy. On select dates, cap off your visit with a stop at The Andersons S'more Hut where you can make deliciously gooey s'mores over an open fire.

Holiday Happenings at Gervasi Vineyard | Nov. 21 to Jan. 7, Canton

Kick off your holidays with a tantalizing mix of exquisite wines paired with seasonal tidings at one of Ohio’s most picturesque wineries. Spend a romantic evening with the one you love sampling wine and taking in the decorations, or make a weekend of exploring the Vineyard’s lush landscape with a rejuvenating getaway to Gervasi’s Villas suites. Round out the experience with a vintage horse-drawn carriage ride available Fridays and Saturdays starting on December 8!

Dickens Dinner at Glenlaurel Inn | Sundays & Wednesdays in December, Rockbridge

Discover the magic of the season while enjoying an exquisite Dickens Dinner among the lights, decorations and cozy fireplaces of Glenlaurel Inn’s Manor House. Immerse yourself and family in elegance as this six-course meal harkens back to traditional dining choices of England and Scotland during the Victorian era. During each course, there will be readings from the classic Charles Dickens story, “A Christmas Carol.” Dinners held Sunday and Wednesday evenings throughout December and all diners must stay on-site at the Inn the evening of the dinner.

Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns | Dec. 9 & 10, Holmes County

Picture yourself touring 12 quaint properties in Amish Country, devouring cookies at each stop! During this two-day tour, you’ll escape to the area’s charming inns full of holiday décor, festive music and friendly faces while gathering new cookie recipes. While you’re in Amish Country, explore the area’s shops filled with locally handcrafted quilts, furniture and antiques to find a gift for everyone on your list.

Xmas Ales & Ciders at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium | Nov. 18, Cleveland

Sip tasty Christmas ales and ciders surrounded by creatures of the deep. Celebrate the season with friends among sharks, stingrays and sea cucumbers as you enjoy after-hours access to the Aquarium. This gives you a new way to celebrate the “sea”son! Tickets required in advance.

Made in Cincinnati Wine and Whiskey at Woodstone Creek Winery & Distillery | Saturdays, Cincinnati

Cincinnati has a storied history of beer making but did you know its distillery and winery roots date back to the Prohibition Era? Assemble your friends on a Saturday between Nov. 4 and Dec. 23, to sip the latest wine and whisky concoctions during one of Woodstone Creek’s sampling events. From dry and sweet wines and mead to honey liqueur and single malt whiskey, you’re sure to please your palate and find holiday gifts.

Gingerbread House Display at the Warren County History Center | Dec. 1-30, Lebanon

Whether you’re a child or a kid at heart, you’ll enjoy viewing the whimsical and heart-warming gingerbread houses created for the History Center’s annual design contest. Stop in to see the creativity of the competitors or bring your family together to submit your own magical home. On December 5, the first-place winners of this sweet competition will be moved to Glendower Historic Mansion's "Christmas at Glendower," but the rest of the entries will remain on display at the History Center for everyone to experience.

Sample Cider and Spirits at West End Cider House | Athens

Cozy up with family and friends to sample farmhouse-style hard cider made from 100 percent Ohio-grown apples. Be adventurous and try one of the West End Cider House’s renowned craft cocktails made with fresh squeezed juices, seasonal and local produce, house-made bitters, syrups-and infusions, and a distinctive collection of distilled spirits from nearby Fifth Element Spirits. The Cider House is open Monday-Thursday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday & Saturday, 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Visit Gahanna Herbal Cocktail Trail | Through Dec. 31, Gahanna

Head to the herb capital of Ohio for an herbal, cocktail-infused culinary adventure that is sure to perk up your taste buds this holiday season. Pick up an Herbal Cocktail Trail Passport at the Visit Gahanna Visitor Center or at any of the trail’s restaurants, brew houses and bars featured in the passport. Purchase delicious concoctions from the one or more of the libation stations along the trail to receive a stamp in your passport and, once you collect six stamps, turn in your passport at the Visitor Center for a custom cocktail glass.

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Winter Wonderland

 

Winter Wonderland. Find It Here.

During the holidays, Ohio becomes a winter wonderland! Delight in outdoor adventures and the crisp winter air as you enjoy a hike, explore the state’s caves, take a blood-pumping toboggan ride, lace up your ice skates, or meet some of Ohio’s wildest residents. Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy Ohio’s natural beauty:

Maumee Bay State Park New Year's Eve Night Hike | Dec. 31, Oregon

Put on your hiking boots and bundle up for an invigorating hike at Maumee Bay State Park. Experience the peace of the park after dark and join a ranger to learn to call for owls and other native residents. Meet other explorers in the Nature Center at 5:15 p.m. to end the year in the outdoors. If you want to kick off the New Year in the nature, try the park’s New Year’s Day hike at 10 a.m.

Wild Days of Winter at Penitentiary Glen Reservation | Nov. 18 to Jan. 1, Kirtland

When the weather outside is chilly and white, you and your family can still have a delightful day learning about nature with the Wild Days of Winter Game. Take an entertaining turn on the life-size Candy Land game board, moving from space to space and learning about nature. After completing the game, make a craft, take on a wild scavenger hunt both inside and outdoors and even try snowshoeing around the park. Open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 18-Jan 1. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and open noon to 1 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Kaleidoscope Farms | Starting Nov. 24, Rawson

Introduce your family to everyone’s favorite holiday animals – Santa’s reindeer. Meet the majestic creatures and the other animals that call the farm home. Snuggle up with your loved ones on a horse-drawn wagon ride, then devour homemade cutout cookies and goodies. Don’t forget to pick out the perfect tree! Tree tagging takes place Nov. 19. Farm open daily starting Nov. 24 on weekdays from 4-6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays 2-6 p.m.

Ice Skate at RiverScape MetroPark | Nov. 24 to Feb. 28, Dayton

Gather your friends and family for a day on the ice! Whether you challenge your friends to a competitive game of broomball, teach a young one how to skate for the first time or sip hot cocoa while enjoying views of the Great Miami River and the city of Dayton, you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. Hours vary throughout the season.

Cleveland Metroparks Toboggan Chutes | Nov. 24 to March, Strongsville

For thrill seekers looking to go beyond traditional sledding, try out the tallest and fastest toboggan chutes in Ohio. Feel the wind through your hair and see who in your group can scream the loudest as these 700-foot-long chutes propel you at speeds up to 50 miles per hour!

Black Friday Hike at Cuyahoga Valley National Park | Nov. 24, Brecksville

Leave the crowds behind on Black Friday and head to the peace and quiet of Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Join park rangers for a challenging 7.5-mile hike over hills and through the scenery of the state’s only national park. Want to work off the delicious food you had on Thanksgiving? Spend the entire day exploring even more of the park’s 125 miles of hiking trails. Hike starts at the National Park Service Office at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 24.

Winter at The Wilds | Nov. to March, Cumberland

Bring your binoculars and cameras for a one-of-a-kind safari in the heart of Ohio! The Wilds is a conservation center that is home to rare and endangered species. During the winter, you can get up close and personal with giraffes, rhinos and more magnificent creatures out on the range or behind the scenes in their winter homes. Make it an experience your family and friends will never forget by spending the entire weekend in the Wilds’ cozy Lodge. A visit to the Wilds also makes an amazing gift for the special people in your life!

First Day Hike at Caesar Creek State Park | Jan. 1, Waynesville

Declare a New Year’s resolution to spend more time in the outdoors and start with a revitalizing hike on New Year’s Day. Discover the historic legends and picturesque beauty of the park as a naturalist leads you through life in the 1800s at Pioneer Village, past the flowing waters of Horseshoe Falls and across the Swinging Bridge along this 3-mile hike. Challenge your group to see who can find the most fossils in this area once covered by water. Hike starts in the Nature Center at 1 p.m.

Hike the Darby Creek Greenway at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park | Galloway

This isn’t your ordinary holiday walk! Surprise and delight your family and friends with a leisurely, 5-mile hike through the park’s picture perfect prairies and woodlands. Your visitors will be amazed as they come upon a herd of bison, North America’s largest land mammal, in Ohio. Spend this holiday season where the buffalo roam.

Christmas in Ash Cave | Dec. 9, Logan

A favorite holiday tradition in Hocking Hills takes place in a legendary cave. Using the stars and a lantern as your guide, take the trail to Ash Cave for an evening of fun and holiday cheer. Sing along with carolers, meet Santa and share holiday tales around the campfire while enjoying delicious hot chocolate and cookies. The whole family will enjoy this traditional holiday custom in an unusual place! Event runs 5-7 p.m.

Celebrate with the Critters at the Ohio Wildlife Center | Dec. 27, Powell

Spending time with family and friends are what the holidays are all about. Why not gather together to learn more about the animals with whom we share our communities? Take your family to meet the animal ambassadors of the Ohio Wildlife Center, from birds and reptiles to coyotes and raccoons, for an eye-opening and heartwarming experience. Bond as you make feeders for the Center’s wild birds. Have a fun-filled family day while learning more about and giving back to our wild neighbors. Event runs 1-4 p.m.

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Lights

 

Holiday Lights. Find Them Here.

Get lost in the wonder of the season in awe-inspiring light displays including the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill or Deck the Hall Light Spectacular at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Be dazzled by a new holiday light tradition at the Chinese Lantern Festival or enjoy the glow with your favorite animals at an Ohio zoo. There is no shortage of displays to make your holidays merry and bright! Download the Holiday Lights Map for more ideas across the state.

Gallipolis in Lights | Nov. 22, Gallipolis

The entire community of Gallipolis comes together to create a sparkling light display for residents and visitors to enjoy.  Enjoy a performance by the Gallipolis Twirling Angels, visit the live Nativity scene and try tasty cookies before settling in to a perfect seat to countdown to the lights. At 7 p.m., the switch will be flipped turning the Gallipolis City Park into a fairytale land of illumination.  Event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show | Nov. 1-Dec. 31, Cambridge

Each night of the Dickens Victorian Village celebration, the historic courthouse is bathed in color as four different shows synchronize music with animated light displays. Gaze at the 15,000 lights outlining the building built in 1881 and sing along with shows themed to holiday favorites like Frosty the Snowman, contemporary music from local Gordon Hough and other delightful tunes. Before the show starts, explore downtown Cambridge for a tour that will take you back to the 1850s in England.

6th Annual Sandusky County Fairgrounds Winter Wonderland | Dec. 7-10 & 14-17, Fremont

The holidays are for giving and what better way to help others and have fun at the same time than by enjoying dazzling Christmas lights! Businesses and organizations across the community along with junior fair board members come together to bring beautiful holidays scenes to life. For just $1 per person, with kids under 12 free, your group can take in the lights, enjoy crafts and games, take a train or horse ride and taste delicious cookies and hot chocolate. Bring a food item donation for the Sandusky County Food Pantry to help those in need have a brighter holiday.  Thursdays and Sundays are drive through only from 6-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays are walk through from 6-9 p.m.

Joy of Christmas Holiday Lights Festival | Nov. 17-19, 23-26 & 30, Dec. 1-3 & 7-26, Columbiana

Gather your family into the car and discover a world of shimmering lights as you drive through the bright displays of Firestone Park. Sample delicious cookies and hot chocolate while listening to live music. Stop in to view a collection of delectable gingerbread houses and see the jolly old elf himself at the Gingerbread House and Santa’s Ice Castle before continuing through more than a million glowing lights and 75 displays.  Event runs 6-9 p.m. Visit website for ticket prices.

Deck the Hall 2017 at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens | Nov. 24-26 & 30, Dec. 1-3, 7-10, 14-23, 26-30, Akron

Admire more than one million sparkling lights at one of Ohio’s most spectacular holiday traditions. Gather your family under the stars for the nightly tree lighting before savoring freshly baked gingerbread cookies, warm pretzels, hot cider and more around the fire in the Hall’s Courtyard. Tour the Manor House, decorated to match this year’s theme of Postcards from the Past, then enjoy DAZZLE, the Hall’s outdoor light show choreographed to music. Ticket prices can be found on the website. Event runs 5-8 p.m.

Holiday Lights on the Hill | Nov. 17 to Dec. 31, Hamilton

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum transforms into an enchanted wonderland each holiday season. Load up everyone in the car for a drive through this award-winning display featuring more than a million sparkling lights and marvelous illuminated sculptures. Be part of the experience as you travel through light tunnels and a candy cane lane.  Everyone will be in the holiday spirit after a visit to Pyramid Hill! Open Monday-Thursday from 6-9 p.m. with tickets at $20 per carload and Friday-Sunday from 6-10 p.m. with tickets at $25 per carload. Member tickets are $15.

Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill | Nov. 24 to Jan. 1, Clifton

Clifton Mill is a must see for holiday lights aficionados! The anticipation builds as each hour the site goes completely dark before 3.5 million spectacular lights illuminate the historic mill and covered bridge as holiday music slowly builds into a resounding crescendo. Also, check out the onsite Santa Claus Museum, which houses more than 3,000 St. Nick artifacts dating back to 1850. Want to make a day of your visit? Breathe in the crisp air and stillness of nature with a hike through Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival | Nov. 17 to Jan. 7, Columbus

Make a new family tradition by taking in the brilliant colors and incredible artisan craftsmanship of the Chinese Lantern Festival. You’ll be mesmerized by the exquisite silk lanterns, larger than life light displays and exciting performances of traditional Chinese dances and songs as you walk through this magical display at the Ohio Expo Center’s Ohio Department of Natural Resources Park. This popular event made its debut last year and is sure to be a crowd-pleasing event again! Open nightly from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Visit the website for ticket prices.

Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park | Nov. 17 to Jan. 1, Delaware

Discover a world of shimmering lights at Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds as you snuggle up with your loved ones and drive through this wondrous landscape. Stop at the Cross Creek Camping Resort to grab a piping hot cup of cocoa and visit Santa before or after traveling through the vivid light display. Sundays-Thursdays from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Fridays & Saturdays from 5:30-10:30 p.m. Visit website for ticket prices.

36th Annual Holiday Tree Festival | Nov. 18 - 26, Akron

More than 200 beautifully decorated trees and 85,000 twinkling strands of lights await you at this longtime holiday tradition. Stroll the John S. Knight Center and have each member of your family pick out the tree they love the most! This magical display benefits the Akron Children’s Hospital so enjoy a day of holiday fun for a good cause! Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Nov. 18 & 25; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 & 26;  11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Nov. 21, 22, & 24; and 2 – 6 p.m. on Nov. 23.

Woodland Lights | Weekends Nov. 24-Dec. 3 and Daily Dec. 8-30, Washington Township

Join in the 25th anniversary celebration of the magical Woodland Lights. View whimsical depictions of holiday scenes and illuminated animals as you walk the path along a woodland pond. This year, the whole family can step into the story of the Grinch in Grinchworld then meet live animals, take a carriage ride and more. View a holiday film or cartoon classic next to a roaring fire at Sam’s Holiday Central, and don’t forget to visit Santa himself in a historic log cabin decorated in its holiday finest. Open 6-9 p.m. and tickets are $8 per person with ages 2 & under free.

PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden | Nov. 18 to Jan. 1, Cincinnati

The holiday season gets wild when three million LED lights transform the zoo into a dazzling wonderland. Cozy up on a train ride, laugh along at the Madcap black-light puppet show, enjoy the music of strolling carolers and sample tasty s’mores under the twinkling lights. Visit the zoo’s animal inhabitants to see how they enjoy the winter weather!  Open Sunday-Thursday from 5-9 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 5 -10 p.m. Tickets available online or at the zoo.

Candlelight Walk and Christmas in Peninsula | Nov. 30, Peninsula

The warm glow of luminaries will light your way as you stroll the charming Village of Peninsula during its annual Christmas Walk on November 30th. Local shops, restaurants and organizations will greet you with tasty treats, joyous music and holiday cheer. Candlelight Walk runs from 5-8 p.m. Visit the town to enjoy even more family-friendly holiday festivities Dec. 3, 10 and 17th during Christmas in Peninsula

Village Lights Presented by Schmidt's in Historic German Village | Dec. 3, Columbus

Kick off the holiday season with a visit to German Village. Gather your friends and family for a walk along the area’s historic streets with luminaries guiding you to festive shops, strolling carolers and delicious treats from local restaurants. The warm glow of lights will bring everyone together for an evening of holiday cheer. Event runs 5- 9 p.m.

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Holiday Shopping

 

Checking Your List. Find It Here.

Finding the perfect gift can warm your heart and be the perfect excuse to seek out Ohio’s unique holiday shopping venues. From quaint towns with local artisans to urban holiday markets, it’s easy to check off your holiday shopping list while enjoying the season’s sights and sounds. Gather your friends for a day of shopping and fun! Here are a few of places you can pick up a unique gift for the ones you love:

Christkindlmarkt | Nov. 17-19, Cincinnati

The oldest and most authentic German Christmas Market in the region is an ideal place to celebrate cultural traditions while enjoying some holiday cheer. Featuring music, a children’s lantern parade, caroling, carriage rides and more, this market is an experience your entire family will enjoy! Taste traditional German foods and pick up German gifts such as steins and cuckoo clocks for the hard-to-please people on your gift list. For more shopping and fun, visit Hamilton’s Christkindlmarkt on Dec.1-3.

Shopping in the Short North | Columbus

The Short North shopping mecca is converted into the Short North Pole for visitors to frolic to and fro, enjoying the crisp winter air as they cruise through specialty shops, eateries and other treasure troves. Take in the splendor of candy cane archways and warm glow of window displays straight from the North Pole itself!

BAYarts Holiday Shop | Nov. 18-19, Bay Village

Revel in the charm of the BAYarts Huntington House turned into an extravagant winter wonderland of offerings from more than 100 local artists including mugs, ornaments and all the gifts you’re looking for this holiday season. Warm up after getting your shopping done with delectable coffee, hot chocolate and baked goods at the nearby Fuller House.

Shops of Waynesville | Waynesville

Downtown Waynesville fills its shoppers with glee as they browse the sparkling storefronts of 60+ retail shops to uncover gifts and spend quality time with those they care about. Weave in and out of boutiques and stop to enjoy some local eats as you stroll through the quaint downtown area. Be sure to visit December 4-6 for a special Christmas in the Village featuring 1,300 luminaries, carriage rides, entertainment, carolers and a visit from Santa Claus.

Beeker’s General Store Holiday Open House | Nov. 25-26, Pemberville

Soak in the nostalgia of vintage Christmas collectibles and keepsakes you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. One of Ohio’s oldest general stores will showcase its special holiday open house as part of Pemberville’s Christmas in the Village. Share in the wonders of handmade gift baskets, fragrant holiday candles, old time candies, German feather trees and games/toys of Christmases long ago. While you’re in town, enjoy the festival of trees, horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa Claus meet-and-greet and vintage sleigh display, all part of Christmas in the Village, that will get you and your family ready for a memorable holiday season.

Christmasfair | Nov. 18-19, Columbus

Makers from all around come together to bring shoppers holiday delights at the annual Christmasfair. Make your elf responsibilities easier than ever and connect with this community of incredible creators. Over 150 exhibitors will be displaying pottery, folk art, paintings, stained glass photography and much more.

I-X Christmas Connection | Nov. 17-19, Cleveland

Peruse more than 600 booths of unique gifts from jewelry and clothing to furniture and handmade trinkets. Kids can pick up a pre-wrapped gift for Mom and/or Dad then decorate, and eat, their own tasty gingerbread treat. You’ll be checking off your Christmas list and actually enjoying it!

A Storybook Christmas | Nov. 29 to Jan. 2, Zanesville

Each holiday season, Zanesville transforms into a magical Storybook Christmas! Local businesses turn shopping into an experience sure to delight as they create amazing displays based upon their favorite storybook tales. Gather your family and friends for the amazing nightly Courthouse Light Show and be enchanted by the Visions of Sugar Plums Gingerbread House.

Toledo Museum of Art Museum Store | Toledo

Immerse yourself in the visual experience of the Toledo Museum of Art while browsing for truly creative gifts for your loved ones. The Museum Store has specialty gifts inspired by the museum’s world-famous collection including seasonal items, jewelry, children’s toys and books as well as exclusive items developed in the TMA Glass Pavilion Hot Shop. To spread the joy of a truly personalized present, sign up to make your own glass art to give. Specialty gourd and ornament workshops are taking place throughout the holiday season.

Winterfair | Dec. 1-3, Columbus

Find a gift for discerning family members or friends on your list with the fine arts and crafts available at Winterfair. Delight in viewing refined jewelry and leather works or marvel at the watercolors and sculptures created by master artists. Head to Columbus early and stop at the nearby Ohio History Connection to enjoy the exhibits and pick up an Ohio gift in the gift store.

Nelsonville Historic Square Arts District | Nov. 24 to Dec. 24, Nelsonville

Unlock the wonder of the season with a behind-the-scenes look at Nelsonville’s own toy-making wonderland in Santa’s Village, open only for the holidays. Shop North Pole Nelsonville for specials in all of its shops, galleries and cafes. Visitors will find everything from handmade lace to soothing herbal remedies, priceless art and out-of-this-world local eats and drinks.

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Cultural Pursuits

 

Cultural Pursuits. Find Them Here.

Ohio is a hotbed for arts and cultural activities that will inspire and renew your soul. Exclusive exhibits at world-class art museums, awe-inspiring stage and musical performances and more will send you and your family and friends into the night with a renewed holiday spirit. Following are a few events to inspire your cultural pursuits:

It's Friday! At the Toledo Museum of Art | Every Friday Nov. to Dec., Toledo

Unwind among the masterpieces of the Toledo Art Museum Collection. Each Friday, meet friends or bring your family to a variety of events after hours at the museum. Don’t miss the free tours, wine tastings, glassblowing demonstrations, live music and more. End the week surrounded by art!

The Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concert | Dec. 14-17 & 21-23, Cleveland

Celebrate the sounds of the season with The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus. Get into the holiday spirit as you sing along to your favorite yuletide tunes. Be on the lookout for a surprise visitor during the performance! For more magical music, join the Orchestra December 19-20 as they provide the live music for the cult classic, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Tickets can be purchase via the Orchestra’s website.

Silver Screen Classics at the Valentine Theater | Nov. 10 & Dec. 15, Toledo

Meet your friends for an evening of some of your favorite Hollywood classics. Tap your toes to the music of “Singin’ in the Rain,” or hold your loved ones close as you view the heartwarming holiday standard, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Want more holiday magic? The Toledo Jazz Orchestra, University of Toledo Marching Band, The Ten Tenors and others will be performing throughout the season.

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion Exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum | Now through Jan. 7, Cincinnati

Spend the day immersed in the mesmerizing world of high fashion as you view van Herpen’s collection. Her work weaves art with architecture, engineering and science through her use of diverse materials, 3-D printing and traditional handwork. You’ll leave wondering how she creates such engaging pieces of fashion.

Alphose Mucha: Master of Nouveau Exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute | Now through Dec. 31, Dayton

Enter the world of Art Nouveau in this amazing exhibition from Alphose Mucha. Enjoy the only Midwest stop of this exhibit by exploring rare lithographs, proofs and drawings and introducing your friends and family to the nuances of this elegant art form.

Marie Antoinette Festival | Nov. 3-5, Marietta

Quaint Marietta, the oldest town in Ohio, was named to honor Queen Marie Antoinette and recognize France for supporting the American Revolution. Enjoy a weekend of elegant and historic fun. Throughout the weekend, take a tour of Marietta’s historic mansions, enjoy a Bloody Mary brunch, sample decadent treats on the Cake Walk and don your finest masks for the Marie Antoinette Masquerade Extravaganza! There’s even a special Family Masquerade Ball for kids with crafts, dances and historic characters.

Holiday Concert & Holiday Traditions Around the World at the Zanesville Art Museum | Dec. 7, Zanesville

A night of music, art and holiday cheer is the perfect way to kick off the yuletide season. Stroll the museum sampling delicious goodies, listening to carolers and shopping for the perfect gift in the store before taking in musical performances by the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Cambridge’s own bluegrass trio The Yurco Boys, Y-City Barbershop Chorus and more. Children can create crafts such as European salt dough ornaments, Asian paper lanterns and African tassel and bead necklaces with the museum staff. Event runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The American Museum of Natural History's Dinosaur Gallery at COSI | Opening Nov. 18, Columbus

Picture yourself in a time when dinosaurs roamed as you visit COSI’s new permanent exhibit, the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery. Gaze at these towering giants and give your best dinosaur roar as you check out specimens from the AMNH’s world-renowned collection. If you have additional time to spend, explore COSI’s classic exhibits to discover more about science!

The Nutcracker presented by Ballet Theatre of Ohio | Nov. 25 & 26, Dec. 2 & 3, Akron

Share the wonder and enchantment of this time-honored holiday classic with your entire family. Whether seeing it for the first time or enjoying it again and again, everyone will be transported to a magical wonderland through the artistry of the performance featuring engaging dance and dramatic music. Tickets can be purchased via the Akron Civic Theatre’s website.

Columbus Museum of Art's Beyond Impressionism Exhibition | Now through Jan. 21, Columbus

Immerse yourself in the serene imagery found in impressionist art. Share a leisurely afternoon with friends and family exploring the works of some of the 19th century’s most-renowned artists. After a relaxing day admiring art, devour a sweet treat like a sundae or slice of Hot Schokkolate Cake at the Schokko Art Café located in the museum.

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Holiday Top 5 Experiences

 

Top 5 Can't Miss Experiences

Whether you are hosting friends and family from out of town or traveling to Ohio and want to enjoy some of the state’s best seasonal offerings, here are five must-do, must-taste and must-remember holiday experiences from each region of Ohio!

Northeast

  1. Enjoy a magical evening of holiday traditions during Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Hall Gardens in Akron. The estate sparkles with more than 800,000 lights, the historic Manor House shows off its holiday decorations. Don’t miss “DAZZLE,” the outdoor animated light show set to music, Gingerbread Land and more.
  2. Reenact scenes from the classic holiday movie, “A Christmas Story” at the Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland! Be sure to visit the museum to see tons of props from the movie and perhaps purchase a leg lamp for someone deserving on your shopping list.
  3. Stroll among more than 100 life-sized Nutcrackers in the Steubenville Nutcracker Village. Each Nutcracker is hand-painted and many reflect some character or aspect of Steubenville from a Franciscan friar to a Venetian gondolier.
  4. Laughs, smiles and rosy cheeks are guaranteed as you race down the Strongsville Toboggan Chutes! You will get your heart pumping walking up 108 steps again and again to speed down the twin, 700-foot refrigerated ice chutes starting Nov. 24.
  5. Admire the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s winter spectacular, Glow. This year brings a new outdoor light display featuring radiant, colorful orbs and thousands of twinkling lights creating a winter wonderland!

Northwest

  1. Spend an evening in the festive fun and wondrous glow of the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium's Lights Before Christmas! Dancing lights set to music, carolers and more create a cheerful atmosphere to enjoy the animals and the season.
  2. Bundle up for a magical sleigh ride through the grounds of Spiegel Grove, the home of President Rutherford B. Hayes in Fremont. Allow time to tour the home all decorated for the holidays as well as the fascinating museum.
  3. Find inspiration in the artistic masterpieces of the Toledo Museum of Art. In addition to master works, don’t miss Fired UP: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists in the Glass Pavilion and Glorious Splendor, 30 masterpieces of late Roman art jewelry opening Nov. 18. There is a fantastic gift shop as well!
  4. Sip some holiday cheer along the Deck the Wreath Wine Trail. This is a self-driving tour so plan accordingly to allow your group to enjoy complimentary wine samples and add ornaments to your wreath at each winery stop.
  5. End the year with your favorite people during a night hike under the twinkling stars at Maumee Bay State Park's New Year's Eve Hike. Or, if you prefer, ring in the new year with a naturalist-guided two-mile hike on the boardwalk New Year’s Day.

 

Southeast

  1. Take your family to the charming, time-honored holiday tradition of Cambridge’s Dickens Victorian Village. Experience old-world England as you stroll through 94 vignettes and 180 life-like figures representing classic scenes from Victorian society. Be sure to check out the Courthouse Light Show with thousands of twinkling lights, synced up to holiday sounds!
  2. Snuggle up with family on a one-of-a-kind safari while viewing majestic creatures including giraffes and rhinos at Winter at the Wilds. Bring your camera and make unforgettable memories this season in Cumberland.
  3. Get into the holiday spirit while viewing the enchanting displays of local businesses, decorated to showcase legendary and timeless tales at A Storybook Christmas in Zanesville.
  4. Enjoy an evening of exploration and holiday cheer in an unexpected place at Christmas in Ash Cave. Listen to the singing of carolers and warm up by the open fire as you sip hot cocoa with your children.
  5. Devour a delicious dinner filled with the tastes of England and Scotland in the beautifully adorned for the holidays Glenlaurel Estate while enjoying the works of Charles Dickens at Glenlaurel Dickens Dinners.

Southwest

  1. Enjoy a magical winter wonderland at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum’s Holiday Lights on the Hill in Hamilton starting Nov. 17. There will be plenty to talk about after driving through a million lights with multiple tunnels and a candy cane lane, not to mention the sculptures that are there year-round.
  2. Spend a wild evening as you meet reindeer and other animals at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s PNC Festival of Lights! You can catch a Madcap black-light puppet show, ride the BB&T Toyland Express and snack at one of the S’mores-n-More stands.
  3. Watch a magical parade of horse-drawn carriages, enjoy live entertainment and take a trip on the North Pole Express during the Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Christmas Festival. More than 100 decorated carriages will be featured in the 1 pm. and 7 p.m. candlelight parades.
  4. Celebrate the season with a returning family favorite as Kings Island is transformed into winter wonderland during WinterFest! Skaters, holiday shows, carolers, characters and more will create nine winter wonderlands with five million lights.
  5. Travel back in time with the Cincinnati Choo Choo at Krohn Conservatory. Red poinsettias, fanciful evergreens, cyclamen, amaryllis and a giant evergreen will round out this festive experience.

Central

  1. Take in the brilliant lights of the traditional Chinese lantern installations at the Chinese Lantern Festival. In its second year at the Ohio Expo Center, the festival will include several new lanterns to explore and indoor entertainment for all ages.
  2. Take the family and stroll the historic streets of German Village as luminaries light your way to local shops, singing carolers and sweet treats at Village Lights presented by Schmidt's. You can even take the kids on horse-drawn carriage rides at this free, festive event!
  3. Gather your family and friends for a historic holiday of joyous wagon rides, traditional crafts, live music and more at Christmas in Zoar. Tour through the juried craft show and don’t miss the tree lighting ceremony!
  4. Spend an evening of wonder amongst the magical lights of WILDLIGHTS at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. Stroll through the polar bear exhibit and visit the manatees before sipping hot cocoa and watching your children dance to the music of the synced lights show!
  5. Family fun is abundant in the heart of Ohio at Columbus Commons Holiday Lights. Stop by after a downtown dinner and don’t miss the 320,000 twinkling lights covering the beautiful oasis in the middle of the urban landscape.

 

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Holiday Festivals & Events

 

Can't Miss Holiday Festivals & Events

November

December

New Year's Eve

 

Click here to search for more Holiday festivals and events (searchable by date and region) or click here to download/order your Ohio Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.
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Think Ahead

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Showcasing 39 larger-than-life illuminated displays crafted by Chinese artisans, the vibrant Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival has returned to Columbus this...Read more

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