Cincy is packed with holiday fun, with plenty of festivities to fill your calendar all month long. If you are itching for an adventure a bit farther from home, however, there are a number of holiday-themed getaways just a short drive away. Here are a few of our favorites.
50 Days of Lights Celebration
French Lick, Indiana
Get in the holiday spirit at French Lick Resort during their 50 Days of Lights celebration that is packed with festivities. Santa is on hand every Saturday afternoon through Dec. 23 to hear wish lists. Little ones can also enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, classic holiday movies and a toymaker workshop. On Saturdays throughout December, visitors of all ages will delight in the sounds of the season with performances by holiday choirs and the Dickens Carolers. For a complete list of programming, visit
Christmas in Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Indiana
America’s Christmas Hometown is just a short drive away in the quaint town of Santa Claus, Indiana. While it is a fun spot to visit year-round, it truly comes to life this time of year. Write a letter to Santa at the Santa Claus Museum & Village (and receive a reply before Christmas), visit with Santa at the Santa Claus Christmas Store, stock up on nostalgic candy from days gone by at Santa’s Candy Castle and drive through the 1.2-mile festive light display at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort. Special programming is held throughout the holiday season. Learn more at https://santaclausind.org/10-holiday-activities.
WinterFest at Kings Island
See Kings Island in a whole new light during WinterFest. The park transforms into a winter wonderland bathed in the glow of thousands of twinkling lights. The pièce de résistance is seeing the park’s iconic Eiffel Tower transformed into a magical 314-foot-tall Christmas tree. When it comes to activities, there is something for the whole family – from ice skating and carriage rides to live shows, rides and delicious holiday treats. WinterFest runs through Dec. 31. Learn more at www.visitkingsisland.com/play/winterfest.
Legendary Lights of Historic Clifton Mill
Clifton Mill, Ohio
Historic Clifton Mill is beautiful to behold on any given day. During their legendary light display, it is absolutely breathtaking. An extraordinary light display consisting of 3.5 million lights illuminates the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges. Every night until Dec. 23, little ones can peek into Santa’s workshop to see a live Santa at work. Every 15 minutes, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh. Other highlights include a musical covered-bridge light show every hour on the hour and an outdoor miniature village complete with replica train station, moving light parade, diner and drive-in movie. The light display runs through Jan. 1. Visit https://cliftonmill.com/christmas to learn more about this magical experience.
A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland
A bit farther away, but well worth the drive, A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland features more than three million twinkling lights and tons of family-friendly holiday activities. Kids will love the indoor winter wonderland ICE!,® featuring Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas™. Other activities include ice skating, carriage rides and the mesmerizing show, Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Beginning Dec. 1, the resort will introduce SoundWaves, a luxury indoor and outdoor water experience for all ages, making this the perfect weekend getaway. Learn more at ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com
Whether you are looking to get away for a day or an entire weekend, these holiday-themed getaways will help your family make the most of the holiday season this year. Happy travels!