Free outdoor holiday light displays in Cincinnati

Cincinnati has decked the halls this holiday season. All corners of the tri-state are aglow with Christmas lights! From local attractions to houses that would make Clark Griswold swoon, we’ve got the lowdown on the best free outdoor holiday light displays in Cincinnati:

Parks/Attractions:

Piatt Park, Krohn Conservatory and Washington Park all have outdoor lights that are free to enjoy. And Found at Th Banks features dazzling light displays in Over-the-Rhine and The Banks.

Houses with next level light displays:

At W. Maple Avenue in Fort Mitchell, discover two stories of Christmas cheer at this N. KY home. Then venture over to the 6000 block of Tosha Drive in Burlington. Two neighbors in KY have teamed up to create the display “Lights On Tosha” – thousands of lights synced to more than one hour of music c/o 87.9 FB.

Back in Ohio, at the 700 block of Southwind Drive in Fairfield, you’ll find a charming display featuring Snoopy, Frosty, and all your favorite holiday friends. Then drive up to the 2800 block of Pleasant Avenue in Hamilton for a holiday party of every inflatable imaginable, all on display in front of this charming home. And, of course, no holiday is complete without a visit to Zapf’s. At the 2000 block of W. Galbraith Road sits Zapf’s Christmas display. The Christmas display was started by his father, Bill “Santa Z” Zapf, in 1970. Continuing Santa Z’s tradition is Zapf’s way of keeping his father’s legacy alive.

Ohio Financial

This year’s Victorian Village was cancelled due to COVID-19, but Ohio Financial’s grounds shine brighter than ever. The green space outside the building is aglow with twinkling lights on every tree, making for a little moment of peace this holiday season. 1 Financial Way, Cincinnati, OH 45242

Holiday Events

Light Up Middletown

This “fantasy drive-thru light display in Middletown, Ohio’s downtown 100-acre Smith Park” not only decks the halls with tons of glowing holiday displays, it also serves as a fundraiser for Middletown City Parks. Open through Dec. 31. Admission is by cash donation; you set your own price. 500 Tytus Avenue, Middletown.

Winter Nights, River Lights

Winter Nights, River Lights illuminates the Purple People Bridge with 1,000 purple-and-white lights, a 25-foot Christmas “wish” tree, projections and seasonal music played over speakers spanning the bridge. North American Properties, the team behind Newport on the Levee’s redevelopment, and some other local contributors stepped up to secure the funding for the illumination. Through Jan. 15.

ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum

The Creation Museum transforms its botanical gardens into a special ChristmasTown each year. Discover thousands of lights and displays along the garden trails — including several life-size dinosaurs — a live nativity, a petting zoo, an ice skating rink, gift shop, holiday food and a zip line (to get a bird’s eye view of the lights). Please note, while the outdoor exhibit is free, skating is $7.99 and parking is $10. Open select days through Dec. 30. 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Petersburg, KY.

Bright Light Nights at Liberty Center

Now through Jan. 1, enjoy a nightly tree-lighting show at Liberty Center.

Swoon-Worthy Downtowns

Cincinnati has some downright charming little communities; here are some of our favorite downtowns to drive through during the holidays: Oakley, Hyde Park, Mariemont, Milford, Montgomery, Mt. Healthy, Madeira, Hamilton and Loveland all boast Hallmark-level downtowns.

And course, Downtown Cincinnati shines brightest. Bundle up and check out Winter Wonder Lights, an 8-minute light show that dances across Fountain Square each hour.

Worth the Drive

Scioto Mile Light Show

During the holidays, Columbus’s 175-acre green space is aglow with 9,500 miniature colored lights twinkling from 100 trees and 166 LED spotlights in vibrant hues that change from red to blue to green to purple. Passersby can best view the light show by driving along Civic Center Drive, which links Broad Street to Main Street, or strolling the walkways. Nov. 25-Jan. 3, 233 Civic Center Dr., Columbus, 43215

Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center in Columbus shines during the holidays. The attraction features a 50-foot tree made up of nearly 30,000 LED lights. Every weekend through Dec. 23, Easton offers horse-drawn carriage rides for a small fee and musical performances by a cappella groups, a brass band and carolers. Through Jan. 3, 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus 43219

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