7 Christmas Towns in Ohio to Put on Your Holiday Bucket List

There’s just something so magical about visiting a charming little town to experience the holidays!

Step into a world of holiday magic when you hit the road for a holiday day trip in Ohio. We have lots of charming Christmas towns in Ohio to choose from, spots that are just waiting for you to come enjoy their holiday spirit!

If you’re looking for festive downtown displays, spectacular light shows, Christmas parades, Santa visits, and other festivities to make the season bright, you’re in the right place.

The following list will take you on a trip through the best Ohio Christmas Towns we could find. All of these Ohio towns are decked out for Christmas and offer displays, events, and decorations to make your holiday adventures memorable.

Cambridge, Ohio

A Victorian Dickens Christmas theme in Cambridge, a Christmas Town in Ohio

Step back in time with Cambridge, Ohio’s “Christmas in the Dickens Victorian Village”. Downtown Cambridge will be decked out in full Victorian holiday splendor from November to December.

Seasonal events include their Dickens Victorian Village Displays (92 Dickens scenes set up along downtown Wheeling Avenue), Saturday trolley tours led by a costumed guide who will share the history of the area, carriage rides through town, and more.

Special events include:

  • Victorian Tea held at the historical Masonic Ballroom in downtown Cambridge
  • Trolley Tours
  • Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
  • Chocolate Walk where you’ll stop in local businesses and enjoy chocolate treats downtown

To top off your day, be sure to see the big fan favorite – the Guernsey County Courthouse Light Show. The circa 1881 courthouse, Christmas trees, and various light displays will come to life with a colorful light show that’s syrchronized to holiday music. This show starts around dusk, lasts an hour, and runs continuously.

Some events require registration and/or tickets.


Cincinnati, Ohio

Tiger Lantern at Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Light

When you think of Christmas towns in Ohio you might not think of Cincinnati. But I’m here to tell you that Cincinnati has a LOT of great events that will put you in the Christmas spirit.

Seasonal events include the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo, Winterfest at Kings Island (our local theme park), holiday train displays, drive-through light displays, an amazing list of markets and festivals (including Christkindlmarkt), and so much more!

Check out our extensive list of things to do for Christmas in Cincinnati.

Clifton, Ohio

lights illuminating Historic Clifton Mill as part of our Christmas towns in Ohio feature
Legendary Lights of Historic Clifton Mill / Facebook

If you’re looking for a mesmerizing light show, look no further than Historic Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio.

This charming example of Christmas towns in Ohio is a site (and sight) to see! Each year they string 4 million lights along the exterior of the historic mill, along the gorge and riverbanks, and in the surrounding trees and bridges.

Experience a Santa museum, a vintage toy collection, and an extenisive array of miniature villages. Santa is there, checking his list, right up until he has to leave for his deliveries.

The Legendary Lights of Historic Clifton Mill starts on the day after Thanksgiving and runs every night through December 30. They are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (6-8pm). Admission charged.

This twinkling Ohio Christmas town is close to Yellow Springs, John Bryant State Park, and Clifton Gorge. Plan to make a day of it!


Toledo, Ohio

Christmas lights at the Toledo Zoo as part of our Christmas Towns in Ohio series
Toledo Zoo / Facebook

Plan a visit to the award-winning Toledo Zoo for “Lights Before Christmas”. See more than 1 million lights and 200+ illuminated animal images, snap a photo with Santa at North Star Trading Post gift shop, grab some holiday snacks at the Yuletide Food & Spirits tent, and more. It all happens from November until the end of December each year.

Ring in the holidays with a visit to Metroparks Toledo’s “Holidays at the Manor House.” Volunteers transform this grand mansion at Wildwood Preserve into a festive holiday wonderland. Admission is free.

Cleveland, Ohio

image credit: A Christmas Story House

Nothing says Christmas like a tour of “A Christmas Story” House. That’s right, you can actually visit and go inside at the house used to film the 1980s Christmas movie classic, “A Christmas Story”.

A Christmas Story House is open to the public year round. You can take a tour, visit the museum (which contains original props, costumes, and other memorabilia from the film), and shop at the gift shop. Who doesn’t need a leg lamp after all?!

Not only can you take a tour of the house, you can actually stay overnight! Put on your best bunny jammies and stay in the “A Christmas Story” House or enjoy your night at the neighboring Bumpus House.

Tickets can be purchased online or in person.

They are closed on most holidays (including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).


Lebanon, Ohio

Come for the Christmas Parade and stay for the historic charm. This fan favorite for Christmas towns in Ohio has it all!

Lebanon is known throughout the region for their fantastic Christmas Parades. The Annual Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade and Festival happens on the first Saturday of December each year. They offer one during the day and then an evening parade at dusk.


Medina, Ohio

You can get into the Christmas spirit anytime of year when you head to Castle Noel, the largest indoor year-round Christmas entertainment attraction.

Your admission includes a guided tour of the 40,000 square foot space which is packed with all kinds of Christmas goodness. Plan on about 1.5 to 2 hours for the tour.

Wax nostalgic as you admire the vintage animated NYC storefront Christmas window displays. Channel your inner Ralphie as you slide down the big red slide. Check out props and sets from your favorite holiday movies. Reminisce at the “I Had That” Toyland experience. Take a walk through the Blizzard Vortex.

Note: you must book your tickets in advance for this Christmas attraction.


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About the Author
Bridgett Raffenberg
My name is Bridgett Raffenberg and I am the creator of 365Cincinnati. I've been uncovering and sharing all of the best things to do in Cincinnati since 2010. I enjoy exploring new spots, discovering local events, and meeting the people who call Cincinnati home!