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 2021 holiday season.
Christmas and Holiday Fun for 2021:
Light up the Square and Downtown Dazzle return to Fountain Square in 2021. Light up the Square will happen on Nov. 26, 2021 to kick off the holiday season. Downtown Dazzle includes Santa rappelling from a Cincinnati skyrise, a fabulous fireworks display, live music, and more. Get all the details at the link above.
Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is at Cincinnati Museum Center starting November 12, 2021 , Thursday through Monday from 10am to 4pm. See our pics and read about our 2019 visit here. Advance ticket purchases are required.
The winter wonderland that is the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo will be back, Nov. 19, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022. The Cincinnati Zoo will still be shining bright as it’s once again transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 39th annual PNC Festival of Lights! In addition to admiring the beauty of 4 million LED lights, visitors can ride the North Polar Express train ride, 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.
Fountain Square Ice Rink will open on November 1, 2021 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. 1 to Feb. 22, seven days a week. Make reservations online. They will have a limited number of “walk up” time slots available as well.
The Krohn Conservatory’s Holiday Show for 2021 is “Trains and Traditions, A Cincinnati Holiday” and it will be open November 6, 2021- January 9, 2022. Experience a tapestry of colorful poinsettias, charming garden railways and beautiful replicas of Cincinnati landmarks created out of “Botanical Architecture” by local artisans; Applied Imagination. Krohn Conservatory is where holiday traditions take place in the warmth of the tropics.
See our pics and read about our visit to the 2019 Krohn Holiday Show here.
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 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. His magical bubbles will float and fall all around you and every time a bubble pops, a wish will come true for someone throughout the world. Plus, make a stop at Scuba Santa’s Post Office where you can write your special holiday wish on a magic bubble and drop it in Scuba Santa’s Mailbox. Scuba Santa will be at The Newport Aquarium every day from November 26 through December 24, 2021.
Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction will be open Nov. 13, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022. 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.
Santa’s Workshop will be set up on Saturdays and Sundays in Washington Park, November 27 – December 19, 2021. Santa and his merry band of Elves will be spending time in Washington Park making gifts, ornaments and other fun creations from 1pm to 3pm. Bring your family, bring your wish lists, but most all–be sure to bring your cameras!
Lumaze, an INDOOR Christmas Light Festival and Market, will be at the Duke Energy Convention Center from November 26 through December 30, 2021. Experience towering light gardens, glowing activities, delicious treats, and live entertainment… all under the twinkle of a million lights.
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 and what you can expect in 2021.
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 in 2021? 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 2021. Be sure to check with your chosend venue for information on masks and vaccination requirements.
A Christmas Carol will be at The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, November 24 – December 30, 2021. The Playhouse’s production of A Christmas Carol combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life the familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. A Christmas Carol‘s heartwarming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year. Special price for kids!
A Magical Cirque Christmas will be at The Aronoff Center on one date – December 11, 2021. Experience the enchantment of Christmas as Magical Hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.
The Nutcracker from the Cincinnati Ballet will be at Music Hall, Dec. 16-26, 2021. 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, November 19 – December 26, 2021. 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 3-5 and 10-12, 2021. 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.