5 Ways to Kick off the Holidays this Weekend in Cincinnati

This weekend brings the start of some of our very favorite holiday events! From the Festival of Lights at the Zoo to Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods, it’s going to be a fantastic, festive season in Cincy! (Don’t worry — we have some terrific ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, too!)

Here are 5 ways to kick off the holidays this weekend in Cincinnati:


Holiday in Lights

Nightly beginning Fri., Nov. 18 at Sharon Woods
It’s the 25th anniversary of this beloved lights display! Enjoy more than a mile of fantastic seasonal lights all from the warmth of your car. See more than 120 moving and standing holiday-themed figures depicting everything from Santa to the 12 Days of Christmas. Santa drives in on a fire truck on Friday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. — don’t miss it! {Read more about this annual lights display here.}

Peter and the Wolf

Sat., Nov. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Taft Theatre
Nothing says “festive” like the Cincinnati Pops — and this Lollipops concert is sure to get three (holiday) cheers from your kids! Introduce the whole family to this charming musical story. Every part of our orchestra helps bring this adventure to life, from the friendly bird, cat and duck (flute, clarinet and oboe), to the big, bad wolf (French horns)! Visit the Family Fun Zone to try orchestra instruments, make a craft and more! Open pre-concert starting at 9:30 a.m. and immediately following the concert.

Kindervelt’s 18th Annual North Pole Express

Sat., Nov 19 at LM&M Railroad
Welcome in the holidays on this vintage train ride during our unique, one-day event! The ride includes a narration of the holiday story, “The Polar Express,” complete with Santa, elves, caroling and more! Groups wishing to sit together must send their orders together. Pajamas welcome on all rides! Come enjoy a special experience with your children, while also benefitting the children of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

PNC Festival of Lights

Nightly beginning Sat., Nov. 19 at the Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo is spreading Christmas cheer and making spirits bright this holiday season with the tri-state’s longest running holiday tradition – the 34th Annual PNC Festival of Lights. The event kicks off with a special preview event on Friday, November 18 when more than two million LED lights will illuminate the Zoo.

Dancing Turkeys

Sun., Nov. 20 from 1-4 p.m. at the Taft Museum
Get into the Thanksgiving spirit with the Taft. Make a turkey decoration to adorn your dinner table, learn about animal textures at the Art Cart, and enjoy a guided or self-guided tour of the Museum. At 2 p.m., join hip hop dancers from Elementz as they teach us a few moves to help work off our Thanksgiving Day feast. Free admission and parking. Afterwards, peruse the Taft’s Antique Christmas display!


For more family friendly happenings around town, be sure to bookmark our Online Calendar!

Photo credit: Cincinnati Zoo

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