Ultimate Christmas and Holiday Fun Guide

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.

50+ Holiday and Christmas Things to do in Cincinnati

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!


Christmas Tree Farms in Cincinnati

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.


neighborhood Christmas lights in Cincinnati suburb

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.


Find Christmas and Holiday Information here):
🎄 Christmas Craft Shows
🎄 Things to do in December
🎄 Things to Do Over Winter Break
🎄 Things to Do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

25 thoughts on “Ultimate Christmas and Holiday Fun Guide”

  1. Yet again, an amazing resource! Thank you so much for all the amazing information you provide!

    PS: This will also make our work a bit easier as we prep more holiday activities for the Geocaching community. 🙂

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Very Merry Christmas!

  2. I definitely recommend checking out Awaited. This is not your ordinary Nativity play. Free cookies, hot cocoa and more before the show. Then a broadway quality spectacular that is easily on par with anything you would see at the Aronoff. And it’s all free. There’s no “big ask” for money and no “hard sell” to try to convince you to change churches or anything like that. Just an unforgettable retelling of the Christmas story from the perspective of the angels. Great music, great effects and an inner warmth that puts you in just-the-right spirit for Christmas. Over 50,000 people saw the show last year. Because of such high demand, the number of shows is being doubled so over 100,000 can see it this year. I’d still make sure to order tickets early to be sure you get some. Sorry for the long commentary, I’ve just never met anyone who doesn’t love this show after seeing it!

  3. Don’t forget the Barn Quilt Trail right across the river all over Boone County. We have 80 up now. They can be viewed 365 days a year any time during the day. Free. Go to website BooneBarnQuilts.com for locations. These are quilt blocks painted on boards on barns. All can be seen from the road.

    Love your site. Thanks!!!

    Joyce Foley

  4. November 14 please join the Salvation Army Toy Shop Auxiliary for their 59th annual fundraiser and doll auction at the Armstrong Chapel United Church in Indian Hill for a.silent auction, live auction, doll accessories and hand made items. Music and refreshments with homemade cookies will be served.
    Event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 11:00. Silent auction 11:00 to 12:30. Live auction begins at 12:45.
    50 yd line tickets to the St.Louis, Baltimore & Houston games available in the auctions. See 700 dressed dolls on display to be given to needy children this Christmas. It’s a fun event, come with friends.

  5. Victorian Holidays at William Howard Taft National Historic Site are free! On Saturday December 19th, everyone is invited to join us from 11 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. for our special Father Christmas event. During this time children and adults will be delighted to learn about the traditions of Christmas and will make holiday crafts to take home with them. Father Christmas will be here taking photos with everyone and all children will receive a free photograph. Free carriage rides starting at 1:00 pm.

    Our Victorian Holiday Celebration will culminate on Sunday, January 3rd, when the annual New Year’s Open House will be hosted by The Friends of the William Howard Taft Birthplace. Everyone is invited to visit the Taft House from 1 to 4 p.m. to enjoy holiday refreshments with The Friends — just as guests would have during the 1850’s. All events are entirely free and open to the public!
    William Howard Taft National Historic Site is located at 2038 Auburn Avenue and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. year round. Visit the Directions page for instructions on how to get to the park.

  6. Can you add our new exhibit of children’s books?

    Once Upon A Time: The Mysterious World of Children’s Stories is on display in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room at the Main Library from Nov. 18 to Jan. 8, 2017. Covering four centuries and featuring traditional fables, chapbooks, nursery rhymes and fairy tales from the Public Library’s rich book collection, this exhibition is sure to delight the whole family.

    The Cincinnati Room’s special hours are: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 513-369-6900. Visit http://www.CincinnatiLibrary.org/programs/exhibits.html.

  7. There is also a Live Nativity, at Loveland United Methodist Church. This event is free to the public, and hot chocolate and cookies are provided. It is a rebuilt town of Bethlehem where visitors are guided through the scenes by Luke in the retelling of the Birth of Jesus.

    https://www.lovelandumc.org/

    Friday December 2nd 6pm-9pm
    Saturday December 3rd 6pm-9pm
    Sunday December 4th 4pm-7pm

  8. Heard an interview from someone from Crossroads. Said there are always seats available because people order more tickets than they need. He said to just show up and you will get a seat. Didn’t say they would be great, but you would have a seat.

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