Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo has become the region's largest and most anticipated holiday event with 2.5 million lights sparkling well past Christmas. The special holiday entertainment, carolers, children's activities, reindeer, train rides, and seasonal fare have made this event one of the tri-state's most cherished family traditions.

Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt on Fountain Square

Cincinnati's most authentic German Christmas Market takes place on Fountain Square for three weekends starting after Thanksgiving. Vendors staff charming half-timbered houses, offering a large scale of traditional holiday sweets and European baked goods, Glühwein (hot spiced wine) and other beverages, Christian Moerlein beer, and handcrafted gifts and seasonal decorations. 

Opening weekend occurs alongside Macy's Light up the Square and Macy-DCI's Downtown Dazzle, which feature the annual lighting of the Christmas tree and rappelling Santa Claus. Live entertainment is scheduled each day and features holiday and traditional German music, activities for children, and visits from Santa Claus. For more information visit their website  Cincideutsch.com or find Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt on Facebook.

Historic Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade & Christmas Festival

Historic buildings provide the perfect backdrop for the ever-popular Lebanon Christmas Parade, which was shown on Martha Stewart in 2005. More than 100 horse-drawn antique carriages parade through the streets, pulled by miniature horses, majestic Clydesdales, and all kinds of horses in between. Early birds line the streets at 1pm for an afternoon parade, and those who attend the 7pm procession are treated a candlelit parade. Other festivities include Christmas carolers, storytelling, musical entertainment, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus extended business hours for the city's 60-plus antique and specialty stores.

Fountain Square Ice Rink

The Fountain Square ice rink is located in the center of the redesigned Square, in view of the fountain. At 7,000 square feet, it is about the size of the rink at New York's Rockefeller Center. Amenities include skate rental, lockers, benches, and a heated tent with vending machines for snacks and drinks. Hot drinks and sweets are available at Graeter's on the Square and at Ingredients across the street.

Holiday Fest at The Beach Waterpark

See The Beach Waterpark like never before, decked out in millions of festive lights, with a giant outdoor skating rink, a toboggan slide, horse drawn carriage rides, a petting corral, and much more.

Holiday Junction at the Cincinnati Museum Center

The Cincinnati Museum Center hosts an annual celebration of model trains each holiday season. Enjoy the four-level, multi-train layout with vintage trains traveling through one-of-a-kind towns, through hills and mountains, and across bridges. A four-level layout of simultaneously running trains, two dioramas recreating pages from the Lionel train "wish books," and a display of some of the oldest model trains ever produced inspire visitors of every age. Children will enjoy special activities designed just for them, including a journey by train through a winter wonderland and crafts in the Kids' Corner.

The Christmas Ranch

Located on five beautiful acres, The Christmas Ranch offers visitors more than 350,000 lights, most of which are synchronized to music using state-of-the-art technology! This true winter wonderland has been featured nationally on HGTV and ABC's Good Morning America!

Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods

Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods is a mile-long outdoor light display viewed from the comfort of your own vehicle with paid admission. Also enjoy the indoor Santaland at the end of the tour.

Christmas Markets: Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church Bazaar: Nov. 15-16, 2013

The 2013  Christmas Markets will feature a variety of holiday-themed activities for guests of all ages, including: live music featuring local children’s choirs and headliner Katie Laur on Saturday; silent auction; kids games, crafts and Santa visit; and dozens of booths featuring handmade crafts, fine art, food and more. 5-8 p.m. November 15 and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. November 16, 2013.

 

Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church, 5950 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45213.

 

NEW this year – Gingerbread House Competition. The competition is open to professionals, organizations and individuals. Entries will be displayed during Christmas Markets, judged by a group of celebrity judges, and then auctioned off to the highest bidder with proceeds going to GLAD House.

All proceeds from this event benefit Interfaith Hospitality Network, GLAD House, The Caring Place and other charitable organizations.

 

BETHLEHEM VILLAGE NATIVITY -- Authentic Outdoor Reenactment -- FREE ADMISSION -- Conveniently located just North of Cincinnati, Exit 29 in Monroe!

Check website for dates and times: www.BethlehemVillageNativity.com Monroe First Church of God -- 100 East Ave. Monroe, OH 45050 -- (513) 539-8200