Winter Holiday Events in Cincinnati

Written by Erin Michel, Graduate Assistant for the Graduate School

Wintertime is fast approaching, and luckily there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the holiday season in style in Cincinnati. Whether wandering through vast outdoor light displays is your style, or you’d prefer something a little warmer, Cincinnati has you covered. Below is a list of some events to check out this holiday season.Replace with your introductory text.

Snow scenes on campus
  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens PNC Festival of Lights: From now through January 4th, the zoo will be all decked out in more than 4 million LED Christmas lights. It is certainly a sight to behold. Other offerings include costumed holiday characters, a North Polar Express train, a black light puppet show, light shows on Swan Lake, and even s’mores stations where guests can roast their own tasty treats. Festival activities begin at 4PM on each day that the zoo is open. 

  • Lumaze Christmas Light Festival and Mini-Market: If you’d prefer to look at Christmas lights in a warmer indoor environment, check out Lumaze at the Duke Energy Convention Center now through December 30. This year’s theme is “Glow Around the World,” and offerings include towering light structures depicting global landmarks as well as live entertainment, delicious treats, and local artisans selling handmade gifts. 

  • Ice Skating in Fountain Square: For a more athletic activity, Fountain Square has set up an ice-skating rink right in the middle of downtown. The rink will be open through 7 days per week through February 22 and includes not only traditional skating but also on-ice bumper cars. A concession stand with cold and warm treats is also available on-site.

  • Krohn’s Conservatory “Trains and Traditions” Holiday Show: From now through January 9, Krohn’s Conservatory will offer a breathtaking holiday display including “a tapestry of poinsettias, charming garden railways and beautiful replicas of Cincinnati landmarks created out of botanical architecture.” 

  • Mt. Adams Rein-dog Parade: On December 11 from 12:30-3PM, bring your furry friends down to Mt. Adams to celebrate the holidays. Registration for the event is free, but donations will be taken to benefit the SPCA. Dogs and owners will process down the streets in costume led by Santa Claus, and prizes will be offered for pups in a variety of categories. Additionally, there will be food vendors available during the event. 

  • Art on Vine Holiday Gift Fair at Rhinegeist Brewery: On December 12 from 12-7PM, Rhinegeist will be hosting a market full of local artists and vendors selling their own handmade goods. Stop in to pick up a gift for your loved ones, and enjoy a beverage while you’re at it!

  • The City Flea Holiday Market: On December 11 from 4 to 9 PM in Washington Park, the City Flea will host an outdoor gift fair. According to their website, “vendors range from vintage dealers to artisan pizza makers to plant studios.” This event is a great opportunity to find the perfect gift while supporting local small businesspeople. 

  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park presents A Christmas Carol: Through December 30, you can catch a showing of this classic heartwarming holiday tale. Playhouse in the Park describes their show as a combination of “faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life the familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts.” Tickets start at $30. 

  • Cincinnati Ballet presents The Nutcracker: Come and see one of the top ballet programs in the country perform a true holiday classic December 16-26 with tickets starting at only $29. Performances will take place in the Cincinnati Music Hall and dancing will be accompanied with live music by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Patrons aged 12 and above must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination for admission to the event.