Christmas in Cincinnati is definitely one of our favorite times of year! It’s a time to see the lights, take pictures with Santa, enjoy all the holiday train displays, see the live nativities, and so much more.
Ring in this holiday season with these fun Christmas and Holiday Events happening in Cincinnati!
Click the links for full details; we are currently updating for the 2023 holiday season.
Christmas and Holiday Fun for 2023:
Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is at Cincinnati Museum Center starting November 10, 2023. See the Duke Energy Holiday Trains (formerly on display downtown at CG&E) plus all the fun at CMC’s Holiday Junction. Brickopolis will be back as well! See our pics and read about our previous visit here. Advance ticket purchases are required.
Holidays on the Farm, a new event last year, is at Parky’s Farm again for 2023. Enjoy the farm under the twinkling glow of lights for the holidays. They’ll have wagon rides, Santa and his reindeer, farm animals, pony rides, carolers, and more. Wander along the lighted trails, listen to music, gather around the fire pits, and have a cold one at the beer garden. Holiday movies are back (outdoors on the large projection screens). And new this year: artificial ice curling! Holidays on the Farm is open from 5pm to 9pm, Friday through Sunday through December 17 and then they’ll be open Thursday through Saturday for Dec. 21-23. They’ll extend the schedule for Dec. 26-31 when they’ll be open Tuesday through Sunday.
Cincinnati Christkindlmarket at Moerlein Lager House will be back this year (it was new last year). This is a holiday-themed Christmas festival with food, entertainment, holiday lights, theme days, and more. Don’t miss this year’s new addition – an ice slide! The event starts on November 22 and runs Wednesdays through Sundays until December 31, 2023 (closed Christmas Day).
Light up the Square returns to Fountain Square in 2023. Light up the Square will happen on Nov. 24, 2023 to kick off the holiday season. Get all the details at the link above.
Fountain Square Ice Rink will open on November 4, 2023 AND they’ve added bumper cars to the mix! 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 from Nov. 5 to Feb. 20, seven days a week. Make reservations online. They will have a limited number of “walk up” time slots available as well.
Santa’s Workshop will be set up on Saturdays and Sundays in Washington Park, November 25 – December 17, 2023. Santa and his merry band of Elves will be spending time in Washington Park making gifts, ornaments and other fun creations from 11am to 2pm. Bring your family, bring your wish lists, but most all–be sure to bring your cameras!
The winter wonderland that is the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo will be back, Nov. 17, 2023 – Jan. 7, 2024. The Cincinnati Zoo will still be shining bright as it’s once again transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 41st annual PNC Festival of 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.
Read our tips for your visit to Festival of Lights.
The Krohn Conservatory’s Holiday Show for 2023 is “Golden Days of Yule”. Krohn Conservatory will be transformed into a glowing winter wonderland surrounded by the shimmering lights and twinkling stars.
See our pics and read about our visit to the Krohn Holiday Show here.
Deck the Y’Alls Lightfest, a new event last year, will be at Thomas More Stadium in Florence, KY. This interactive sparkling wonderland features more than 2 million dazzling lights and ten immersive themed displays. Guests will have the opportunity to walk around the field and can even skate on our outdoor ice rink located right on the first base line! Get some holiday shopping done with a variety of vendors, enjoy great food, cook s’mores by the fire pit and meet Santa! Happening Nov. 24, 2023 – Jan. 1, 2024 (closed Nov. 27 and Dec. 4).
See Scuba Santa at the Newport Aquarium! It’s a Water Wonderland full of playful penguins, colorful holiday lights, and a flurry of magical bubbles. See Scuba Santa swim underwater with a tank full of sharks – including the three new Sand Tiger Sharks and tell him what you want for Christmas. Meet cheerful elves straight from the North Pole and join in the fun as Scuba Santa fills the Theater with bubbles. Scuba Santa will be at The Newport Aquarium from late November until December 24, 2023.
Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction will be open Nov. 18, 2023 – Jan. 2, 2024. See the magic of Christmas at the home of the World’s Largest Indoor Train Display. Take a “Journey to the North Pole”, where you can meet Mrs. Claus and Santa himself.
Yuletide Village Season of Lights will be at Renaissance Park in Warren County, November 24 – December 16, 2023 (Fridays and Saturdays only). Visit with Woodland Santa or Krampus, shop at the Yuletide Market, wander through themed lit areas ranging from the rivers of lights to their colorful Gum Drop Alley while costumed carolers serenade you, and more.
WinterFest returns to Kings Island this year, Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, 2023. Kings Island transforms into 11 enchanting winter wonderlands and features ice skating on the Royal Fountain, the Eiffel Tower turned into a magical Christmas tree, the WinterFest Wonderland Parade, more than five million lights and live entertainment throughout the park. Enjoy live entertainment and many activities. And 20 rides are open!
Have a train lover in the family? You can find Christmas Train Displays at Krohn Conservatory (details listed above), Highfield Discovery Garden, Cincinnati Museum Center (details listed above), EnterTRAINment Junction (details listed above), Behringer-Crawford Museum, Milford Garden Center, and at Heritage Village Museum for their Train Days.
More Christmas and Holiday Fun:
Drive Through Christmas Light Shows are abundant in Cincinnati this year. Check out our list and visit one each week!
Cutting down your own Christmas Tree is a wonderful way to start the season! Here’s our list of local Christmas Tree Farms in Cincinnati and surrounding areas.
Gas up the car, pack up some fun holiday snacks, and map out your route… because it’s time for Neighborhood Christmas Light Displays!
Looking for some ways to see Santa this year? We’re gathering up all the spots we can find for Pictures with Santa and Breakfast with Santa.
Take it easy this season and order your Christmas dinner from one of our wonderful local restaurants.
Christmas Shows and Performing Arts:
Enjoy these Cincinnati Christmas and holiday shows and performances in 2023.
A Christmas Carol is back at Playhouse in the Park! The holiday story you love unfolds in spectacular fashion with a brand-new production specially designed for Moe and Jack’s Place – The Rouse Theatre! The show runs from November 24 through December 30, 2023.
The Nutcracker from the Cincinnati Ballet will be at Music Hall, Dec. 14-24, 2023. Take in the magic and wonder of The Nutcracker, with sparkling choreography, awe-inspiring sets and costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed live by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!) will be at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, December 7-30, 2023. What begins as another annual production of A Christmas Carol, soon devolves into a slightly irreverent look at all of our favorite “Beloved Holiday Classics” including pop culture favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudolph, Charlie Brown and more! Add in topical references that always keep this annual tradition fresh and fun as we send up everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss for 90+ minutes of high octane jollity and frivolity.
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra will perform at Music Hall for Holiday Pops at Music Hall, December 8-10, 2023. Cincinnati’s beloved holiday tradition returns with music, warmth, laughter and seasonal inspiration for the entire family. Gather those dear to you to share unforgettable memories in the grandeur of a Music Hall adorned with wondrous decorations and joyful song.