Things to do in Cincinnati for December {2019}

December? Where has this year gone?!

The year (and the decade!) may be coming to a close but there’s still a lot to celebrate in December! From Santa rapelling down buildings to holiday trains to Victorian Villages, this curated list of things to do should keep you busy this month!

December Things To Do in Cincinnati

Dec. 1The Crafty Supermarket is at the Music Hall Ballroom, 11am-5pm. This indie craft show of is a juried show and features crafters, artists and makers from all over North America and draws shoppers from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and beyond. In addition to the makers, enjoy a live DJ, hands-on craft activities, and local food.

December 1: It’s the Holiday Season Kickoff for the Taft Museum of Art. Enjoy free activities for the whole family. The house will be decorated inside and out with lights, garlands, and displays of antique ornaments on old-fashioned feather trees.

December 3: Head to Music Hall for Happy Holidays with the Wurlitzer. Enjoy all your seasonal favorites as the one of a kind special effects and jingling bells of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ sets off the holiday spirit.

December 6: Take the kids to Storytelling with Santa at Glenwood Gardens‘ Gardenview Room. Santa Claus will be stopping by Highfield Discovery Garden to read the holiday tale, “The Polar Express.” Every child who attends will receive a 30th anniversary edition of “The Polar Express” thanks to the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati. After the story, children will have time to visit with Santa and explore Highfield Discovery Garden. Families are also invited to see the wonder of the Schott Train Display in Highfield Discovery Garden. Be sure to have your cameras ready! Light refreshments of hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Many activities in Highfield Discovery Garden are outside; dress accordingly.

You might also like our list of Christmas Craft Shows and Holiday Markets

December 6-7Christmas Saengerfest takes place in six amazing venues, beautifully decorated for the holidays in and around OTR. For 2019 the participating locations are: Memorial Hall, St Francis Seraph, First Lutheran, OTR Community Church, Prince of Peace Church and Christian Moerlein tap room and Northern Row Brewery & Distillery.

December 6-8: Head to Waynesville for Christmas in the Village. Stroll in and out of retail and dining storefronts, while listening to barbershop quartets, choirs, and musicians. You will be able to take a carriage ride and feel the holiday spirit in the air, all while listening to the clip clapping of the horses hooves and jingle bells. Costume characters will be strolling along the sidewalks throughout the weekend to help bring a smile to your face. Don’t forget jolly old St. Nick! He will be here all weekend long to listen to the requests of all the good boys and girls.

December 6-7: Ohio National has an outdoor Victorian Holiday Village set up each year. Visitors will take a delightful stroll among enchanting miniature Victorian houses decorated with holiday scenes and thousands of lights at Ohio National’s headquarters at the intersection of I-71 and Pfeiffer Rd. Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa, cookies, and photos with St. Nick. While the event is free, all guests are asked to bring a nonperishable food item (no glass containers, please) to donate to the Freestore Foodbank. 

December 7: Head to Fountain Square for Macy’s Downtown Dazzle! See Santa rappel off of a Cincinnati skyrise and wait with anticipation for the sky to fill with light thanks to a fabulous Rozzi fireworks display.

December 7: Enjoy some holiday fun at the Olde West Chester Christmas Walk Parade and Community Tree Lighting. The Merchants of Olde West Chester will host a free, family-friendly community event during the day beginning at 2 p.m. along Cincinnati Dayton Road Activities and it includes photos with Santa, shopping, kids’ games and crafts, a petting zoo, horse-and-wagon rides, food and beverage, live music and more. The Olde West Chester Christmas Walk starts at 7pm with the tree lighting taking place at 8pm.

December 7: They’ll have a Tree Lighting Ceremony at Anderson Towne Center. Enjoy free food, drinks, and entertainment. The event starts at 4pm, Santa arrives at 5pm, and the tree lighting is at 6pm.

December 7: The Snowman is featured as The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’ Lollipops concert. Get lost in the film as it plays above the stage and the Pops bring Howard Blake’s beautiful score to life.

December 7: The Lebanon Christmas Parade, located in Historic Downtown Lebanon, features only horse drawn carriages. The highlights of the event are the 1pm afternoon carriage parade and the 7pm evening parade which will have over 100 decorated carriages pulled by minis, Clydesdales, Percherons and many more!

Dec. 7-8: Findlay Market hosts their annual Holiday Market. Local artisans and craft vendors set up shop at the Market for a weekend filled with holiday cheer, gift shopping, and seasonal food and drink. The Holiday Market is the best place in town to find the perfect local gift for everyone on your list while enjoying holiday entertainment by local choirs and musicians, food demos and samples, and maybe even a surprise visit by Santa Claus and an elf or two.

December 7-8: Springfield Township is hosting Winterfest. The two day event features puppet shows, arts fair, family entertainment, fireworks, and LOTS more.

Dec. 7-8: Get ready for the 25th Annual East Row Victorian Christmas Tour in Newport. Visitors may walk through the homes on the tour which reflect Queen Anne and Italianate architecture styles. Interior features include original staircases, fireplace mantles and woodwork. While garlands and greenery are hardly needed for the homes, the residences will be decorated in their best holiday finery. Besides holiday decor, visitors will see newly renovated kitchens, master suites, bathrooms and other areas. 

December 7-8: The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati presents A Charlie Brown Christmas. Celebrate the season with their live rendition of your favorite holiday TV special! Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get you down. Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are here to remind us about what’s most important during the Yuletide season.

December 7-8: This December, it’s a Queen City Christmas! From Ruth Lyons to Doris Day to Rosemary Clooney, the tri-state has a rich history of brilliant artists worthy of celebrating. Join The Cincinnati Men’s Chorus as they pay tribute to our hometown heroes!

December 8: Matthew 25:Ministries is throwing a Family Holiday Bash, 2-5pm. Their facility will be transformed into a Christmas Wonderland, including crafts, arcade games, giant board games, laser tag, superheroes, princesses, and pictures with Santa! Admission to the event is free, including refreshments, with donations being accepted to support A Kid Again’s work with children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

December 12-15: Step back in time for An Old Kentucky Christmas, hosted by First Church of Christ. An Old Kentucky Christmas will take you back in time to the simplicity of a colonial Kentucky Christmas.  The smell of Grandma’s cookies, the sound of carols and laughter, the joy of watching children and adults decorating ornaments. 

December 12-13: Ohio National has an outdoor Victorian Holiday Village set up each year. Visitors will take a delightful stroll among enchanting miniature Victorian houses decorated with holiday scenes and thousands of lights at Ohio National’s headquarters at the intersection of I-71 and Pfeiffer Rd. Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa, cookies, and photos with St. Nick. While the event is free, all guests are asked to bring a nonperishable food item (no glass containers, please) to donate to the Freestore Foodbank

December 13: Take the kids to Storytelling with Santa at Glenwood Gardens‘ Gardenview Room. Santa Claus will be stopping by Highfield Discovery Garden to read the holiday tale, “The Polar Express.” Every child who attends will receive a 30th anniversary edition of “The Polar Express” thanks to the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati. After the story, children will have time to visit with Santa and explore Highfield Discovery Garden. Families are also invited to see the wonder of the Schott Train Display in Highfield Discovery Garden. Be sure to have your cameras ready! Light refreshments of hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Many activities in Highfield Discovery Garden are outside; dress accordingly.

December 13-15: The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati presents A Charlie Brown Christmas. Celebrate the season with their live rendition of your favorite holiday TV special! Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get you down. Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are here to remind us about what’s most important during the Yuletide season.

December 14: It’s time for the annual Mt. Adams Reindog Parade (find the event info when you click and then scroll way down on that page)! The procession through the streets of Mt. Adams will be led by Santa himself, flanked by the Grand Marshall. Every year they have a group of celebrity and sponsor judges that help choose the best costumed dogs for prizes. Costume categories have historically been Small Dogs (under 25 lbs), Large Dogs (25 lbs and over), Dog/Owner Look-A-Like, and Multiple Dogs (2 or more dogs). Be creative – they’re looking for fun, unique, and festive costumes for each category! Food and vendors will be available before the parade, so come on down and join the party ahead of time!

December 14: Head to Fountain Square for Macy’s Downtown Dazzle! See Santa rappel off of a Cincinnati skyrise and wait with anticipation for the sky to fill with light thanks to a fabulous Rozzi fireworks display.

December 14: Get your best singing voice ready for Cincinnati SantaCon. Dress up as Santa, join a few other Cincinnati Santas, and hop around to some downtown establishments… all while singing carols. Noon to midnight, starting at Jack Casino.

December 14: Paul Young Funeral Home will host their annual Christmas Open House, 4-7pm. This is the opening of their life-sized nativity and the Open House event includes carriage rides, live music from the Yuletide Brass Quartet, live reindeer, and more. Free.

December 14: Grab some great gifts at The City Flea‘s Holiday Market, held at Washington Park, 4-9pm

December 14: Be swept back in time while visiting Old Historic Loveland during Christmas in Loveland. Enjoy everything from Jolly Ole’ St. Nick and Mrs. Claus at the North Pole, to a live Nativity scene, to a Winter Wonderland!

December 14-15: The Esquire and Mariemont Theaters are hosting an interactive, sing along version of White Christmas. Crowd participation, singing and surprises and most importantly, SNOW! This Cincinnati tradition is not to be missed! Mariemont Theater is on Dec. 14 and Esquire is on Dec. 15 (while ticket supplies last).

December 14-15: The Heritage Village Museum’s Holly Days takes visitors back in time to feel the warmth, the beauty, the sights, sounds and smells of the 19th-century holiday season. Each historical house will be decked out with traditional decorations from the 1800s. Stop by and sample holiday treats. Hear holiday music being played at Somerset Church. Children can make traditional holiday crafts. Each day there will be a reenactment of the first Christmas Dinner in Cincinnati, or as it was known in 1788 – Columbia. Native Americans, settlers, and soldiers all came together for a peaceful holiday celebration. The reenactment of the 1788 Columbia Christmas dinner features period correct food and clothing.

December 15Art on Vine – The Holiday Gift Sale at Rhinegeist, 12-6pm

Dec. 17: Christ Church Cathedral Choir will perform Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols as part of their Music Live @Lunch series.

December 20-23: Awaited will be at The Aronoff Center this year. Awaited is the creative retelling of the Christmas story brought to life on stage by over 80 performers. Featuring original choreography and music, along with favorite holiday classics, this family-friendly production reminds you why Christmas is the ultimate season of hope.

December 20: Take the kids to Storytelling with Santa at Glenwood Gardens‘ Gardenview Room. Santa Claus will be stopping by Highfield Discovery Garden to read the holiday tale, “The Polar Express.” Every child who attends will receive a 30th anniversary edition of “The Polar Express” thanks to the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati. After the story, children will have time to visit with Santa and explore Highfield Discovery Garden. Families are also invited to see the wonder of the Schott Train Display in Highfield Discovery Garden. Be sure to have your cameras ready! Light refreshments of hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Many activities in Highfield Discovery Garden are outside; dress accordingly.

December 21: Head to Fountain Square for Macy’s Downtown Dazzle! See Santa rappel off of a Cincinnati skyrise and wait with anticipation for the sky to fill with light thanks to a fabulous Rozzi fireworks display.

December 21: See live reindeer at Northgate Mall (in front of Kathy’s Happy Organs), 1-4pm.

All events were accurate at the time of this posting but things do happen and events do occasionally get canceled or postponed. You should always double check with the event source before you head out the door. Links for each event are provided so that you can be sure the date is still accurate before you head out.

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