Drive Through Christmas Light Shows in Cincinnati, perfect for 2022

Cincinnati has some pretty spectacular options when it comes to drive through Christmas light shows this year! Most of our traditional drive thru Christmas light displays are returning AND a few have been added for 2022.

And don’t miss a few holiday light shows that offer the opportunity to wander around outdoor spaces like the Cincinnati Zoo and the Cincinnati Nature Center for their outdoor light displays (you’ll find those listed towards the end).

Christmas lights at Festival of Lights

Enjoy our list of the best local Christmas Light Shows… and don’t miss the map at the end that will help with your request to “find a Christmas Light Show Near Me”!

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the light shows are requiring online ticket purchases / timed tickets / reservations for 2022. Check the light show of your choice for their 2022 admission policies. In addition, some are not accepting cash at the gate.

Child in awe of the Christmas lights at Land Of Illusion Christmas Glow
photo credit: Land of Illusion’s Facebook page

🎄 Christmas Glow at Land of Illusion

Celebrate the season at The Christmas Glow. Enjoy more than 3.8 million of lights at the 2 mile long Christmas Around the World drive-thru experience. Visit Santa at the Christmas Village Santa Workshop or just take in the majestic lights of the 45-foot Christmas Tree as you and yours warm by the gas fire pits. Stop by and say hello to Charlie the Camel in the petting zoo and enjoy kids rides, gift shop, hot chocolate, sweets, and more.

Dates/Times: Christmas Glow Drive-Thru experience goes from November 23, 2022 through Dec. 23, 2022, 6-10pm. They are closed Nov. 28-30 and Dec. 5-7.

Land of Illusion Adventure Park is located at 8762 Thomas Road., Middletown, Ohio 45042.

🎄 Christmas Nights of Lights (at Coney Island)

Get our Christmas Nights of Lights tips here

If you’re looking for the perfect socially distanced Christmas event, this is it! Experience this amazing light show synchronized to both traditional and rocking holiday music through your car radio. Visitors of all ages will be awed by the larger-than-life trees, glowing snowflakes, dancing candy canes and fantastic tunnels of lights!  In the warmth of your own car, you can sing along to the sounds of the season synchronized to each holiday display. Christmas Nights of Lights welcomes carloads of families and friends to enjoy this Christmas tradition. With two and a half miles to drive through, your family can see displays and light shows made of over a million lights driven by more than forty thousand computer channels. The show will begin nightly at dusk and run through 10 p.m. Christmas Nights of Lights will be open every night including holidays.

Dates/Times: Christmas Nights of Lights will be at Coney Island from Nov. 11, 2022 thru January 2, 2023, dusk to 10pm. Open rain, shine, or snow!

Christmas Nights of Lights is at Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230

Lighted trees and flag at the Christmas Nights of Lights light show at Coney Island
photo credit: Christmas Nights of Lights

🎄 Holiday in Lights at Armco Park (formerly at Sharon Woods)

Holiday in Lights has a new home for the 2022 season – Warren County’s Armco Park! They’ll have more than a million lights and 250 light displays to view from the comfort of your car.

Dates/Times: Holiday in Lights will be at Armco Park from Nov. 18, 2022 through December 30, 2022.
Nov. 18 thru Dec. 13: They are closed on Monday and Tuesday and Thanksgiving Day
Dec. 14 thru Dec. 30: open daily (including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)

No cash will be accepted at the gate.

They will accept all major credit and debit cards and you can pre-buy your tickets.

They will have a 5k Family Run/Walk and a 1 Mile Family Walk on November 19, 2022.

Holiday in Lights is at Warren County Armco Park, 1223 N. State Rt. 741, Lebanon, OH 45036

🎄 Journey Borealis at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park:

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park will light up the night with Journey Borealis. This 2.5 mile drive through is a one-of-a-kind holiday light spectacular features more than 1,000,000 lights and holiday art installations. This drivable tour of the park provides a safe, contactless experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Journey Borealis is the park’s oldest and most popular tradition and the park’s largest fundraiser. Since its launch, this event has attracted literally hundreds of thousands of guests.

Tune into 91.7fm WVXU for holiday music while you enjoy this drive through light show.

Plan ahead – no public restrooms are available. No limos or buses permitted.

Dates/Times: Open from November 18 through January 1, 2023 (closed on Mondays). Hours: Tues.-Thurs: 6-9pm, Fridays and Saturdays: 6-10pm

Journey Borealis is at Pyramid Hill, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton, Ohio 45013

🎄 Light up Middletown

Light Up Middletown is a fantasy drive-thru light display in Middletown, Ohio’s downtown 100 acre Smith Park.

Admission is by CASH donation – just drop something in the box at the entrance gate.

Dates/Times: Light Up Middletown is open every night from Thanksgiving thru Dec. 31, 2022, 6-10 pm, regardless of weather, and including holidays.

Light up Middletown is at Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave., Middletown, Ohio 45042

🎄 Light Up the Fair

Light up the Fair is a drive thru light show held at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Northern Kentucky.

Dates/Times: Nov. 11 – Dec. 31, 2022; “open 7 days a week, including all holidays”

Light Up the Fair is at the Boone County Fairgrounds, 5819 Idlewild Rd., Burlington, KY 41005

🎄 The Christmas Ranch (a walk through experience with some displays visible from your car)

Make this Christmas season special with The Christmas Ranch. Enjoy train and wagon rides, Christmas shops, bonfires, pictures with Santa, and more.  

The Christmas Ranch is both an OUTDOOR and INDOOR walking experience. There are seven heated buildings in the Village area, connected, for the most part, by gravel walkways. Strollers are welcome.

Many of the displays are viewable from your vehicle as you enter and exit the center village area, or while exploring the outer reaches of The Christmas Ranch by Train and Wagon rides.

Purchase one ticket per car or large van (see their site). No buses, RVs, or oversized trucks allowed.

Dates/Times: Open from November 18 through December 23, 2022 (closed on Thanksgiving Day). November hours: Sun-Wed, 5-9pm and Fri/ Sat 5-10pm (closed Thursdays in November only). December hours: Sun-Thurs, 5-9pm and Fri/Sat 5-10pm.

The Christmas Ranch is located at 3205 S. Waynesville Rd., Morrow, Ohio 45152

photo credit: Creation Museum’s Facebook page

ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum

ChristmasTown returns for 2022. Stroll through the museum’s botanical gardens amid the breathtaking display of thousands of multi-colored lights. Enjoy a live nativity, petting zoo, skating on their Glice® (synthetic ice) rink, festive treats, and more.

Head inside the museum for a free showing of Encounter the Wonder Christmas video in their 4D SFX Theater. See their Christmas Star program in the 4K planetarium (timed ticket required). Or shop inside at the museum store.

Get a bird’s-eye view of the colorful lights as you soar down the Screaming Raptor’s special 3-line Zip Line Christmas course (limited availabilty, tickets required).

Dates/Times: ChristmasTown is 5pm-8:30pm on select days from November 25 through December 30, 2022. See their site for details. They are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

ChristmasTown is at The Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg, KY 41080

Tiger Lantern at Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Light

Festival of Lights at The Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo will once again be transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 40th 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.

The North Polar Express Train will be equipped with a longer-than-ever light tunnel to make your ride extra bright! North Polar Express train ride begins at 2:30pm. Santa will be available for visits starting at 4 p.m. through December 23. Madcap Winter Wonders performances happen nightly at the Ampitheater.

Don’t miss their Photo Opp and Elfie Selfie Spots! Test your knowledge during the new scavenger hunt. Make your way through the Zoo to solve these festive riddles and heat things up with a little friendly competition! 

Dates/Times: Festival of Lights will be at the Cincinnati Zoo from Nov. 18, 2022 thru Jan. 8, 2023. The zoo will be open Sunday through Thursday: 10am-9pm and Friday – Saturday: 10am-10pm; Festival of Lights activities begin at 4pm. Closed all day on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

The Cincinnati Zoo is located at 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220

photo credit to CNC

Light in the Forest at Cincinnati Nature Center:

Nature Center trails will sparkle with gentle lights reflecting a theme of peace, tranquility, and inspiration featuring the forest as a canvas for an artistic display of light. The softly illuminated trees and paths will feature new installations by five regional light artists, added children’s activities, live music, festive shopping, a decorated historic home, and more!.

Light in the Forest  is a winter tradition offered at Cincinnati Nature Center’s Rowe Woods location. To promote safety, preregistration is required and ticket sales are limited. The event runs from 5:30-9 pm, but reservations are made for a timed arrival. Please reserve your spot for your arrival time at 5:30 pm, 6 pm, 6:30 pm, 7 pm, 7:30 pm, or 8 pm.

Pre-registration is required.

Dates/Times: Light in the Forest on select dates, Dec. 1, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023 (closed Dec. 24 and 25).

Light in the Forest is at Cincinnati Nature Center, 4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, Ohio 45150

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