The nights are growing longer and there’s a chill in the air, but there’s a twinkling in the darkness that guides your way. It’s winter and it’s time for holiday lights! We looked high and low for the best and brightest light displays in the tristate, and compiled our Top 11 (because 10 was not enough) for your viewing pleasure.
Here are 11 Spots to see Christmas Lights Around Cincinnati — even on the coldest nights!
The Zoo will shine bright as it’s transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for this annual light festival. In addition to admiring the beauty of 4 million LED lights, visitors can find the five Fiona fairies in Fairyland, take in a blacklight puppet show, marvel at the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, or snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands. Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati. November 18, 2022 – January 8, 2023.
Southwest Ohio’s largest drive-thru lights event, with more than 3.8 million lights at this two-mile-long Christmas Around the World drive-thru experience. Visit Santa at the Christmas Village Santa Workshop or just take in the majestic lights of the 45-foot Christmas Tree as you and yours warm by the gas fire pits. Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Rd., Middletown. Open November 23 – December 30, 2022.
The dazzling show features more than 2 million lights synchronized to rockin’ holiday songs, all from the comfort of your own vehicle. Catch the light display through January 2. Coney Island Park, 6201 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati. Open November 11, 2022 – January 2, 2023.
The spirit of everyone’s favorite season is captured in an atmosphere of warmth and nostalgia at Cincinnati’s premier holiday event–a place where memories of holidays past are present; a place where memories of holiday activities are waiting to be made. Step into WinterFest at Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 45040. Open select nights in November 25 – December 31, 2022.
A Cincy favorite, the Lights at Clifton Mill are indeed legendary. A sea of red lights cascade down the riverbanks, and the historic covered bridge comes to life in a synchronized light show. Cross the bridge and travel back in time to the 1800’s. There’s also a miniature village with tiny replicas of Clifton Mill’s historic buildings. Clifton Mill, 75 Water St, Clifton, OH 45316. Open 5-9 pm, November 25 – December 30, 2022. (Dec. 24th, 25th hours are 6-8pm)
Tour the season’s fantasyland of holiday lights at this drive-thru display. Your journey begins with a tunnel of lights that leads to an abundance of themed areas. You’ll encounter a floating sea serpent in the lake, Santa’s workshop and sleigh, a penguin village and plenty more festive fun. Deer leap over the road and there are surprises around each sparkling turn. Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave., Middletown. Open November 24 – December 31, 2022 from 6-10pm.
Located in historic and charming downtown Middletown, the third annual Middletown Holiday Whopla features a state of the art ice skating rink, beer & wine garden, food trucks, and Holiday Whoville train rides. It is surrounded by larger than life interactive light displays, nestled amongst specialty shops, bars, restaurants, and so much more. Continue a family tradition or start a new one with us this holiday season! Downtown Middletown. Open November 14, 2022 – January 16, 2023.
Holiday in Lights is an affordable outdoor light display at Armco Park, viewed by guests from the comfort of their own vehicle. Holiday in Lights is built with over 1 million lights and over 250 light displays, and has been an established holiday family tradition in Cincinnati for over 32 years! The holiday-themed displays showcase everything from Santa Claus and his elves, to every animal on the ark. There’s no need to bundle up to enjoy Holiday in Lights; simply warm up the car, round up your friends, family, or a special date, and head to Armco Park. It’s that easy. Armco Park, 1223 OH-741, Lebanon. Open November 18 – December 30, 2022.
This is not only an incredible lights display, it’s also in an amazing, one-of-a-kind park. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum is an outdoor gallery on a monumental scale. The journey includes over 1 million LED lights — including an LED light tunnel, a Candy Cane Forest, projections by Brave Berlin (the creators of Blink and Luminosity) and Sam Durgan, Santa Search Lights, and several more surprises. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., Hamilton. November 18th, 2022 – January 2nd, 2023.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of this beloved Dayton holiday celebration! Through December 23, experience a fantasy land of holiday lights and displays along a half-mile paved path through the park. Visitors can stroll through the 10 acres of sparkling lights and whimsical displays, or take a ride on the Rieck Express train along a separate path. Visit Santa in a historic cabin, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and much more. Countryside Park, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd., Washington Township. November 18 – December 23, 2022 from 6-9:00pm.
Experience the Nature Center in a whole new light! Walk along trails that sparkle with gentle lights, and enjoy children’s activities, music, bonfires, holiday shopping, and the historic Krippendorf Lodge and Abner Hollow Cabin adorned in period decorations. Cincinnati Nature Center, 4949 Tealtown Rd, Milford. December 1, 2022 – January 1, 2023, select dates from 5:30-9pm. (Closed December 24 & 25)
Now it’s your turn to pass along the tradition! Make one of these dazzling places for Christmas lights around town a part of your family’s holiday every year.