Epic Cincinnati Holiday Roundup

We’re in the thick of the holiday season, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed at all.the.holiday.things Cincinnati has to offer, you’ve come to the right place! Today we’re recapping all our holiday features, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Tree farms? Santa pics? Local gift guides? Drive-thru light displays? Check, check, check and check.

First thing’s first: do you have a Christmas tree?

You can’t do the holidays without a Christmas tree! Or a fresh-from-the-farm wreath.

Now…  have you seen Santa yet?

He’s all over the Queen City! Pictures with Santa are a must. As are brunches, lunches, skate sessions and train rides.

Our favorite Santa sighting is also the most unique: Scuba Santa at the Newport Aquarium! Now through Dec. 24, visit Newport Aquarium’s Shark Ray Bay Theater where your kids can meet Scuba Santa one-on-one and tell him what they want for Christmas. 

Scuba Santa

Make a holiday bucket list… and check it twice! 

There’s no shortage of family fun around the holidays in Cincinnati. Here are 10 can’t-miss holiday traditions, including Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker, which has several post-Christmas performances, so you can continue the holiday spirit into the New Year!

Of course, WinterFest at Kings Island is a worth-the-splurge activity, as it’s an awesome celebration of all things holidays! And ice skating at Fountain Square is fun, festive and affordable family activity.

Wondering what all this holiday fun will cost you? Not to worry! Here are 50 free things to do in Cincinnati this holiday season! 

Trains, trains, trains

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a festive train display, and there are lots from which to choo-choose in Cincy! 

Krohn Conservatory’s annual holiday show does not disappoint! Meanwhile, Holiday Junction Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center is everything we could ever wish for, and more: Santa, trains and an epic holiday LEGO display!

Don’t forget to Enjoy the Arts

Cincinnati is known for its arts scene, and the holidays are the perfect time to enjoy the arts.



Cincinnati Ballet’s, The Nutcracker, is back December 15-24 with visions of sugarplums or rock with Rudolph at the Children’s Theatre’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr.

Bundle up and Enjoy Christmas Lights for Days Nights

Cincinnati knows how to do Christmas lights. Prepare to be dazzled by one of these epic Holiday Lights Displays, including the Cincinnati Zoo’s beloved Festival of Lights.

For families with younger kids, we especially love drive-thru displays, which allow for a festive experience from the comfort and warmth of the car! Coney Island’s Christmas Nights of Lights and Journey Borealis at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park are both excellent choices!

Finally, don’t forget your holiday shopping

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Our Local Holiday Shopping Guide has you covered! You could also give the gift of a class or experience at one of these local venues.

Phew! It truly is the most wonderful time of year here in Cincinnati – get out and enjoy!

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