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The Ultimate Guide to Local Holiday Activities

We know celebrating the holiday’s may look a little different this year, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of virtual and local activities in the Greater Cincinnati region that may be useful in your holiday planning. Many attractions are taking enhanced health and safety measures for visitors while others have gone completely virtual.

  • Coney Island’s Nights of Lights – You don’t even have to leave your car to enjoy it. Christmas Nights of Lights will return to Coney Island this holiday season, the perfect socially distanced event for the holiday season. The 2-mile path features more than 1 million LED lights. The tradition runs through Jan. 9. It will be open from dusk until 10 p.m. daily, with extended hours on the weekends. 
  • Newport Aquarium’s Scuba Santa – Running every day through Dec. 24, aquarium guests can tell Scuba Santa what they want for Christmas while he swims in a tank full of sharks. 
  • Holiday Junction at Union Terminal – With more than 300 rail cars and 60 locomotives chugging through a mini metropolis. This year, there will be new additions, including the Northern Lights display. The display is a perfect backdrop for pictures as wispy green lights dance behind you and snow-rimmed trees surround you. The museum will follow safety protocols.
  • Ice Skating on Fountain Square – Fountain Square’s ice rink is back — but you’ll need a reservation this year. The rink will be operating for ice skating through Feb. 15. This year, the rink will include a new experience: bumper cars on ice. The bumper cars may be driven by adults as well as children ages 7 and up, and will allow for individuals with limited physical abilities to enjoy the rink in a new way.
  • The Christmas Ranch – Located in Morrow, Ohio, The Christmas Ranch is a whimsical place with over 1 million dancing Christmas lights, synchronized to holiday music. As seen on Good Morning America and HGTV, don’t miss this drive through experience, which runs through December 23rd.
  • Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights – The Cincinnati Zoo will still be shining bright as we’re once again transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 38th annual PNC Festival of Lights!
  • ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum – Stroll through the museum’s botanical gardens amid the breathtaking display of thousands of multi-colored lights. This year’s event runs Wednesday through Sunday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. from Nov. 27 through Dec. 20. It will run every evening (beginning at 5 p.m.) from Dec. 21-30, closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Virtual Events

  • BalletMet “A Nutcracker Holiday” – While The Nutcracker won’t be seeing any live performances this year, fans can explore “A Nutcracker Holiday”, an online hub for all things Nutcracker. This Free virtual experience is a great way to experience the story as a family this holiday season from December 5 – December 27 this year.  
  • Joy Around the World: Virtual Holiday Scavenger Hunts for Kids –  a gathering on Zoom to sleigh ride across the internet. These virtual holiday scavenger hunts for kids take you to amazing websites in search of answers to fun, funny questions.
  • Holiday Hoedown – The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum invites families to listen to a seasonal story and songs, learn festive country music history, and create a snowman-themed banjo ornament using recycled materials.

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