Christmas cheer spreads in Cincinnati

By: Taylor Roberts ~Staff Writer~

Festival of Lights
Photo courtesy of | The Cincinnati Zoo will host its 33rd annual Festival of Lights this weekend. 

Every year around wintertime, Cincinnati begins to slowly transform itself into a winter wonderland for the holiday season. The weeks leading up to Christmas will feature traditional Cincinnati holiday events for every budget.

The Cincinnati Museum Center hosts its annual Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains, one of the largest portable model displays in the world now through Dec. 3rd. The display boasts more than 300 miniature rail cars and 60 engines run along 1,000 feet of track. Tickets start at $12.50.

The Krone Conservatory’s Poinsettia Express brings the holiday spirit to life with its train and flower displays now through Dec. 3rd. Tickets for adults start at $7. The PNC Festival of Lights returns for its 33rd year starting on Friday at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for the Festival of Light’s Members Preview. This year features a new Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake and a Frozen Wonderland themed area.

Returning entertainment includes short films in the 4-D Special FX Theater, the Toyland Express Train Ride and the Madcap Puppets’ Black-Light show, “Winter Wonders.” Tickets start at $25.

Storytelling and spellbinding special effects combine in the Playhouse in the Park’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” one of the city’s most popular family plays, which returns Nov. 25th through Dec. 30 for its 25th anniversary production. Tickets start at $40.

Nov. 27th marks Santa’s arrival by helicopter at the Cincinnati Museum Center Union Terminal. This will be followed by the annual tree lighting from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Macy’s Light Up Fountain Square occurs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 27th, featuring live music from Second Wind and a special appearance by Santa Claus. Admission for these events is free.

On Nov. 28th, guests can explore Music Hall’s Crafty Supermarket featuring 90-plus crafters, artists and designers from around the country and witness Macy’s Downtown Dazzle at Fountain Square after Santa repels down the Macy’s 525 Vine St. Building. Admission for these festivities is free.

This season Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati will perform “Cinderella,” presenting the family-friendly musical Dec. 2nd through Jan. 3rd for the holidays. Tickets start at $18. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, the oldest children’s theater in the country presents the holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” from Dec. 4th to 13th. Tickets start at $7.

From Dec. 18th to Dec. 27th, The Cincinnati Ballet performs the beloved holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker.” Tickets start at $32. Holiday hours for the U.S. Bank Ice Rink in Fountain Square begin Dec. 19th and last through Jan. 3rd. Admission costs $6 and skate rental costs $4.

For more information about events, visit venue websites or on ways you and your friends can enjoy the holidays in Cincinnati.