Where to Find a Live Nativity Scene in Cincinnati

Camels and donkeys and lambs – oh my! Cincinnati has a number of live nativity scenes that will be open throughout the Christmas season.

It’s a wonderful time to make this one of your new Christmas traditions!

Live Nativity in Cincinnati

Some of the live Nativities include performances that bring the manger to life (see Live Nativity Scenes Around Cincinnati) and some include a manger set with live animals (see Manger Scenes). We’ve even included a list of Nativity Scenes you can find as part of a Major Attraction.

Do you know of a nativity scene I missed? Email me and let me know!

Manger Scenes (with live animals):

A Franciscan Christmas
When: Open November 24 through January 6, 2023
Where: St. Francis Seraph Church, 1615 Liberty Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Cost: free; donations are welcome for the support of St. Francis Seraph Church and School

The displays of “A Franciscan Christmas” are coming back at the church and friary.

The nativities from around the world will be displayed in church in the alcoves on either side of the main altar. The Dicken’s village will be in the refectory. The Santa display will be in the first floor suite. The displays in the church are open to the general public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays leading up to Christmas. Hours for the indoor displays are Monday through Thursday: 9am-5pm; Friday and Saturday; noon to 7pm; Sunday: noon to 5pm. (closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day).

The live nativity is in the outdoor courtyard and is open daily 1-7pm (closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day).


Paul Young Funeral Home’s Nativity is Celebrating 70+ Years

When: December 16 – 31, 2023
Where: 7345 Hamilton Avenue, Mt. Healthy, OH 45231 and 
3950 Pleasant Avenue, Hamilton, OH 45015
Cost: free

Created by founder Paul Young, Sr., this Cincinnati tradition is celebrating its 70+ years in Mt. Healthy and nearly 40 years at the Hamilton location.


Crib of the Nativity
When: December 8, 2023 through January 7, 2024; 9am-9pm daily
Where: Eden Park, adjacent to the Krohn Conservatory
1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cost: free

Greater Cincinnati is treated to a beautiful and meaningful Christmas tradition which began in 1939 in Lytle Park in downtown Cincinnati. During World War II, the Nativity display was moved to Union Terminal as a source of inspiration to the troops and their families. The display moved to its current location, adjacent to the Krohn Conservatory, in 1967. Since its opening, it is estimated that the Crib of the Nativity has delighted nearly 3 million visitors. With its hand-hewn beams and thatched roof, the créche is a representation of the first Christmas. Live animals grace the grounds, while life-size waxen figures in handmade garments add a measure of realism to this depiction of the birth of Jesus. The Biedenharn family of Crittenden, Kentucky, has built the Nativity scene every year since 1954.


Village of Lockland’s Live Nativity
When: December 5, 2023
Where: Richardson Park, 101-109 Wyoming Ave.
Cost: free

The Village of Lockland will host a Crib Dedication event on Dec. 5 (6pm) to open this season’s live nativity.


Live Nativity Scenes as Part of an Attraction

Christmas Town at the Creation Museum
When: Wednesday through Sunday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. (ET) from November 24 through December 30, 2023. They are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Where:  2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg, KY 41080
Cost: Admission is free to ChristmasTown at the Museum after 5:00 pm. Separate from their regular daily admission, this event is free of charge and open to the public. (Does not include museum exhibit entry, parking fee, food, retail items, zip lines, museum shows, or camel rides.)
Step back in time as you view a realistic recreation of the events surrounding the night of our Savior’s birth. Reflect on the true meaning of Christmas as you watch Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. {details}

Live Nativity Scenes Around Cincinnati (by date):

Annual Living Nativity at Loveland United Methodist Church
When: Dec. 1-3, 2023
Where: 10975 South Lebanon Rd., Loveland, Ohio 
Cost: free
Loveland United Methodist Church invites you to experience a guided outdoor walk through Bethlehem at their Annual Living Nativity! {details}

Live Nativity at St. Paul Lutheran Church
When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: 106 Maple Street, Reading, Ohio 45215
Cost: ???
Enjoy live actors and pettable animals, cookies and cocoa, kids’ crafts, a bonfire, and all your favorite Christmas carols! {details

The Comboni Nativity Experience
When: December 15-30, 2023; 6-8pm. Closed Christmas Eve and Day.
Where: 1318 Nagel Road, Cincinnati, OH 45255
Cost: free; donations for area food banks gratefully accepted.
Your visit will start with the Mission Museum, followed by Cribs from Around the World, and ending with the Animated Nativity. {details}

Outdoor Live Nativity at Hyde Park Methodist Church
When: December 10, 2023, 5-7:30pm
Where: 1345 Grace Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio
Cost: free
All are welcome to their free Outdoor Live Nativity presented on their beautifully-illuminated front lawn! Costumed characters and live animals prepare our hearts for Christmas day, bringing the story of Jesus’ birth to life in a meaningful way. Warm refreshments, carolers, and fun for the whole family–you don’t want to miss this wonderful Advent celebration! {details}

Drive Through Nativity at Church of the Saviour
When: December 10, 2023; 5:30-7:30pm
Where: 8005 Pfeiffer Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
Cost: admission is free
For the past 35 years, Church of the Saviour has hosted the Drive Through Nativity as a Christmas gift to the community! Ten different live scenes capture biblical times with animals and inspirational music. The scenes are placed throughout the parking lot at the back of the church. Happens rain or shine. {details}

Family Christmas Night and Live Nativity at Freedom Church Cincinnati
When: December 15, 2023, 6-9pm
Where: 3755 Cornell Road, Sharonville, Ohio 45241
Cost: free
Live Nativity, pictures with Santa, hot chocolate, and more! {details}

Christmas in Cincinnati

Looking for more Christmas fun? Check out our Christmas and Holiday Things to Do in Cincinnati Guide!

3 thoughts on “Where to Find a Live Nativity Scene in Cincinnati”

  1. Night in Bethlehem at Crestview Presbyterian Church in West Chester has a live Nativity Sat. 12/8 and Sun. 12/9 5:30P-8:00P. Also a visit through the town of Bethlehem with activities and food. FREE

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