Cincinnati Parent’s Epic Holiday Roundup

We’re in the thick of the holiday season, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed at Cincinnati has to offer, you’ve come to the right place! Today we’re recapping all our holiday features, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Tree farms? Santa pics? Local gift guides? Drive-thru light displays? Check, check, check and check.

Behold: Cincinnati Parent’s Epic Holiday Roundup:

First thing’s first: do you have a Christmas tree?

You can’t do the holidays without a Christmas tree! Or a fresh-from-the-farm wreath.

Be sure to call before you go, as many local U-Pick farms have been picked out!

Now…  have you seen Santa yet?

Scuba SantaHe’s all over the Queen City! Pictures with Santa are a must. As are brunches, lunches, skate sessions and train rides.

Our favorite Santa sighting is also the most unique: Scuba Santa at the Newport Aquarium! Now through Dec. 31, visit Newport Aquarium’s Shark Ray Bay Theater where your kids can meet Scuba Santa one-on-one and tell him what they want for Christmas. 

Make a holiday bucket list… and check it twice! 

There’s no shortage of family fun around the holidays in Cincinnati. Here are 11 can’t-miss holiday traditions, including Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker, which has several post-Christmas performances, so you can continue the holiday spirit into the New Year! And, of course, you’ll get a hefty dose of nostalgia at Antique Christmas at the Taft.

Or go under-the-radar with these little-known festivities, including this weekend’s *FREE* Victorian Holiday Village!

Of course, WinterFest at Kings Island is a worth-the-splurge activity, as it’s an awesome celebration of all things holidays! And ice skating at Summit Park is fun, festive and affordable family activity.

Wondering what all this holiday fun will cost you? Not to worry! Here are 50 free things to do in Cincinnati this holiday season! And now through Dec. 31, kids ride FREE on the SkyStar Wheel!

Trains, trains, trains

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a festive train display, and there are lots from which to choo-choose in Cincy! 

Krohn Conservatory’s annual holiday show does not disappoint; A Zinzinnati Holiday boasts some of the most unique train displays in town, with the cars rolling through hand-built, plant-based replicas of Cincy’s most beautiful buildings. Meanwhile, Holiday Junction Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center is everything we could ever wish for, and more: Santa, trains and an epic holiday LEGO display!

Finally, for an under-the-radar, more low-key train experience, head over the river and check out Holiday Toy Trains at the Behringer-Crawford Museum.

Don’t forget to Enjoy the Arts

Cincinnati is known for its arts scene, and the holidays are the perfect time to enjoy the arts.

In addition to Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker, theatre fans can choose from holiday standards like A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s A Charlie Brown Christmas plus new classics like The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati on Tour’s Mrs. Claus Saves The Day and Madcap Puppets’s A Madcap Christmas Carol.

Bundle up and Enjoy Christmas Lights for Days Nights

Cincinnati knows how to do Christmas lights. Prepare to be dazzled by one of these epic Holiday
Lights Displays
including the Cincinnati Zoo’s beloved Festival of Lights.

For families with younger kids, we especially love drive-thru displays, which allow for a festive experience from the comfort and warmth of the car! Coney Island’s Christmas Nights of Lights (pictured at left), Holiday Lights on the Hill at Butler County’s Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Boone County’s Light Up the Fair are all excellent choices!

Don’t forget your holiday shopping

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Our Local Holiday Shopping Guide has you covered! Or make a day out of shopping, with this comprehensive Cincinnati Holiday Markets and Craft Shows guide. You  could also give the gift of a class or experience at one of these local venues. Creative kids would love a gift of theatre à la The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

Once Upon a Child has its own Toyland this year, which will definitely keep Santa on budget! And while you’re there, be sure to get your kiddos something to wear on Christmas Eve!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something to wear (Cincy moms, we’re talking to you!), stay on trend (and on budget!) with a new-to-you holiday styles from Clothes Mentor!

Finally, don’t forget to take a break during holiday break

Winter break is a much-needed break from school for kids; for parents, not so much.

Make sure your kids stay entertained all break long at one of these Awesome Winter Break Camps in Cincinnati.

And if you’re looking for fun things to do with your crew during those 14+ days, be sure to consult our roundup of 40 Things to Things to Do Over Winter Break.

Phew! It truly is the most wonderful time of year here in Cincinnati – get out and enjoy!

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