Christmas and Holiday Things to Do in Cincinnati

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!

50+ Holiday and Christmas Things to do in Cincinnati

We’d like to take just a moment to thank our sponsor for this post: SantaLand at Sharon Woods! Don’t miss this fun Christmas event when you go to Holiday in Lights!

Santa Land and Holiday in Lights 2018

Feel the magic that the holidays bring as you step inside Santaland at Sharon Woods! Take a photo with Santa, meet Mr. Scrooge, enjoy the Dicken’s Carolers and more. Click here for details.

More Christmas and Holiday Information:
Christmas Light Displays | Christmas Tree Farms | Breakfast with Santa | Live Nativities | Christmas Craft Shows | Things to do in December | Christmas Shows

Classic Cincinnati Christmas

Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is at Cincinnati Museum Center November 8, 2019 through January 5, 2020.

Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum of Art, November 8, 2019 through January 5, 2020 (free on Sundays).
DEAL ALERT >>>> Discount tickets here!

Fountain Square Ice Rink, opens November 2, 2019
DEAL ALERT >>>> Discount tickets here!

Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo,  Nov. 16, 2019 – Jan. 4, 2020

Krohn Conservatory’s Holiday Show -A Crystal Holiday, Nov. 9, 2019 -Jan. 5, 2020

Afternoon Tea at the Taft Museum of Art:  Join in for a festive afternoon tea to complement your visit to the Antique Christmas and The Poetry of Nature. Enjoy a delicious assortment of savory bites and sweets—including petit fours and homemade scones—alongside a fine selection of teas. A harpist will enhance your enjoyment. Happening on Fridays and Saturdays in December. Reservations required.

Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction, Nov. 16, 2019 – Jan. 1, 2020
DEAL ALERT >>>> Discount tickets here!

Holiday Toy Trains at Behringer-Crawford Museum, Nov. 16, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020

Macy’s Downtown Dazzle: 2019 dates TBD.

Santa’s Workshop will be set up on Saturdays in Washington Park, November 30 – December 21, 2019. 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!

‘A Franciscan Christmas’ at Christian Moerlein Event Center: You’ll see a Christmas Creche display featuring nativities from around the world.  Fr. Joachim’s model trains, a Dickens Christmas village, a huge Santa Claus display, and lots and lots of decorated Christmas trees with comfortable chairs where you can sit and enjoy a beverage or food from the Christian Moerlein Taproom.

See the Lights:

Holiday Lights at Sharon Woods, Nov. 16 – Dec. 31, 2019. This charming light show is built over a mile of wooded roadway, the only drive through light show through the woods of a beautiful Hamilton County park! The holiday themed displays showcase everything from Santa Claus and his elves to every animal on the ark. There’s no need to bundle up to enjoy Holiday in Lights; simply warm up the car, turn your radio dial to Warm 98, round up your friends, family, or a special date, and head to Sharon Woods. It’s that easy. Make sure to visit Santaland before or after you drive through the lights for the full Holiday in Lights experience!

Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, Nov. 22, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020; Hours: Mon-Thurs, 6-9pm ($20/car) and Fri, Sat, Sun 6-10pm ($25/car); Members are $15 any day.

Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo,  Nov. 16, 2019 – Jan. 4, 2020

Light up the Levee Light Show at Newport on the Levee, dates TBD

Christmas Town at the Creation Museum, Nov. 29 – Dec. 30, 2019 (closed Christmas Eve and Day)

Christmas Nights of Lights is at Coney Island Nov. 8, 2019 –  January 5, 2020

Christmas Shows and Performing Arts:

The Nutcracker from the Cincinnati Ballet, Dec. 19-29 at Music Hall

A Christmas Carol at the Playhouse in the Park, Nov. 27 – Dec. 29, 2019

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!), Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Dec. 13-29, 2019

An Acoustic Christmas with Over the Rhine at Memorial Hall on Dec. 20-22


    • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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 for locations. These are quilt blocks painted on boards on barns. All can be seen from the road.

    Love your site. Thanks!!!

    Joyce Foley

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

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

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