The Holiday Season is coming up, and Cincinnati offers tons of Holiday Fun. To help you stretch your Holiday budget, Cincinnati Parent has come up with 50 Free Things to do in Cincy this Holiday Season! From Festivals and Tree Lightings to Volunteer events and Museum days.
1. See the Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center for FREE with these vouchers.
2. Skate into the New Year at the U.S. Bank Ice Rink’s New Years Eve Blast. Free Skating and great fireworks!
3. Celebrate Macy’s Light Up The Square on November 27! Activities include tree lighting and fireworks.
4. Join Fernside staff in celebrating Children’s Grief Awareness Day during the Fernside’s Blue Out on Fountain Square, on November 19! The event will close with a massive blue balloon release, each balloon in memory or in honor of someone special.
5. Compete in the Turkey Bowl at Fountain Square on November 19! The game is simple: bowlers have three chances to knock down the most pins, using frozen-turkeys-turned-bowling balls. Bring two non-perishable items to participate.
10. Explore the fourth annual Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt at Fountain Square. Live entertainment will be scheduled each day and will feature holiday and traditional German music, activities for children, and visits from Santa Claus!
11. Enjoy the Nativity Experience, running December 13-31. Room-sized display features moving figures in true-to-life activities, soft lighting and narration.
12. See one of the world’s largest indoor train displays at EnterTRAINment Junction. “Main Street Holiday Trains” are free to the public.
13. Get into the Christmas spirit at the Light Up Goshen Parade on November 21! There will be foods, rides, and Santa Claus himself!
14. Experience Lebanese culture at the Taste of Lebanon festival on November. Try authentic cuisine, dancing, and music!
15. See the Robot Zoo exhibit at your local library! There are fun hands-on activities for kids ages 4-12!
16. Brighten up the holiday season with a trip to see Light Up the Levee, at Newport on the Levee. It features more than one million LED lights dancing in synchronization to holiday music.
17. Cheer on friends and family during the Thanksgiving Day Race, where spectators are free!
18. Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Santa at Macy’s Fountain Place. Bring your camera to take photos of the kids with Santa various dates from November 27 through December 24!
19. Enjoy shopping, dining, Horse-drawn carriage rides, antique fire truck rides, carolers, and more at Hometown Holidays, November 27 and 28 at Kirk Jewelers.
20. Join Santa for his arrival and tree lighting, November 27, at the Cincinnati Museum Center to kick of the holiday season!
21. Jam out for Family Karaoke on November 27 at Happen Inc! Kids and families will have chance to sing, dance and show off talents. Email to reserve spot, as space and performances are limited.
22. Travel back in time for Christmas in the Country, November 28 and 29. Local historic stores will be open. Kids can enjoy free horse-drawn trolley rides and Santa in the firehouse.
23. Scarf up homemade baked goods and take pictures with Santa on November 28 at H.J. Benken Florist.
24. Ride the trolley during Metro Holly Jolly Downtown Trolley to see downtown sights from Fourth, Fifth, Pike and Elm streets. Trolleys available various Saturdays throughout December.
25. See thousands of twinkling lights, decorations, and Santa during the Hometown HoliDazzle Illuminated Parade and Festival, November 28.
26. Celebrate with Mt. Washington during the Mt. Washington Holiday Walk, which features Santa, kids’ games, refreshements, and the tower lighting! Event takes place November 28.
27. Watch an amazing firework show during select weekends in November and December for Macy’s Downtown Dazzle! The 20-minute family-friendly program also features holiday music.
28. Join the Taft Museum of Art for the Holiday Season Kickoff on November 29, free to all kids. The events includes free hot chocolate, ornaments, and plenty of holiday tunes.
29. Enjoy the Advent Lessons and Carols on November 29, at Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral. Favorites will be be sung and performed on handbells!
30. Participate in one of the many seasonal activities that the Annual Tree Lighting has to offer, such as an ugly sweater contest and race car competition. The event takes place November 29.
31. Kick-off holiday shopping with specials in many stores and restaurants in Harper’s Point during their Kick-off to the Twelve Days of Christmas special, December 1!
32. Spend time with the Family at Family Fun Night: Christmas Around the World, December 2 at Cold Spring Branch Library.
33. Listen to classical Christmas tales during various Thursdays in December at the Blue Manatee’s Children Bookstore.
34. Take a trip to Christmas Town, which features free live nativity, lights and live dramas.
35. Greater Cincinnati’s tradition of the Victorian Holiday Village features variety of holiday activities. Some include houses decorated with holiday scenes, thousands of lights and free family entertainment. The magic runs through December 12.
36. Shop ’til you drop at Christmas @ the Market, December 5 and 6. Merchants and vendors line South side of market with Christmas gifts, food and drinks. Caracole sells Christmas trees on Elm Street Esplanade and entertainment includes choirs and skits.
37. Enjoy the old fashion atmosphere of Christmas in the Village December 4-6, which features twinkling storefronts, luminaries, and costumed carolers.
38. Visit Santa’s Workshop at Washington Park!
39. Celebrate the holidays at Anderson Township’s Holiday Tree Lighting, December 5. Activities include kids’ games, shopping, and live entertainment.
40. Check out the Mount Healthy Historical Society Holiday Open House December 6. Tour the museum and join the holiday spirit, with activities like children’s crafts, storytelling and live hammered dulcimer music.
41. Make crafts, listen to stories, and nibble on delicious holiday treats at Family Christmas Night, December 6 at Parkside Christian Church.
42. Meet St. Nick, on horseback, at the Arrival of St. Nicholas, December 6. Each child receives gift and free hot chocolate and cookies.
43. Experience An Old Kentucky Christmas, December 10-13.
44. Enjoy Christmas in Pleasant Plain, December 12. The event includes door prizes, a silent auction, and plenty of pictures with Santa!
45. Ogle at the Live Nativity, featuring live animals, on December 12! There will also be tons of games and refreshments.
46. Walk through the Holiday Open House at Promont, December 13. The free admission includes self-guided tours, miniature replicas, and refreshments.
47. Get creative during Cookies with Santa, where kids can decorate cookies and make crafts!
48. Chow down at the Community Pancake Breakfast, December 19.
49. Enjoy a holiday story time at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub and Restaurant’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
50. Each hour in Rotunda, celebrate coming of new year while learning about different countries and their culture with music, games and crafts, during the International New Year’s Celebration!