Don’t wait for the snow to get you in the mood. Try one of these Cincinnati holiday activities!


Get an early start on the holiday season with these fun activities your entire family will enjoy. From ice skating to the arts to Downtown Dazzle, there is something for everyone.  So, grab your family, friends or date and make it a day or night to remember at one of these Cincinnati holiday activities.

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Fifth Third Bank Ice Rink
Fountain Square
October 27 – February 19

Make it a family activity or date night down on the square at the ice rink. Admission is $6, and skate rental is $4. Lockers, benches and concession are available. Check the calendar for Santa Skate nights and other special events. 

Antique Christmas
Taft Museum
November 3 – January 7

This year, you will see toys Santa might have left in years gone by, including a jack-in-the-box display, a vintage Lionel toy train set, and dancing antique dolls. Festive decorations include a miniature lighted village of German houses, a heavenly arrangement of angels, a German table-top chandelier, and feather trees. Enjoy such treats as an unusual brown-coated Belsnickle “Santa” candy container, trees with cotton fruit, and a display of vintage dime store memories. Admission to this exhibit is free for Taft Museum members, and $8-$12 for others. Currently, CincySavers is offering discount tickets. Purchase soon! Everyone is free on Sundays.


Brickopolis Holiday Junction
Cincinnati Museum Center
Starting November 10

In addition to favorites from holidays past, Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis will include a blizzard of bricks crafted into custom LEGO creations courtesy of the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana LEGO Users Group (OKILUG). From floor to ceiling, 1,800 square feet of LEGO landscapes will feature motorized trains, whimsical scenes with local flavor and a merry amount of surprises tucked into every pip of their environment. Santa will make his jolly arrival to light the tree and read wish lists on November 24. These and other activities are included with admission to Cincinnati Museum Center. Adults are $10.50, and children are $8.50.


Christmas at the Junction
EnterTRAINment Junction
November 11 – January 1

Experience the incredible Christmas Journey – traveling through an amazing winter wonderland to Santa’s house at the North Pole. You’ll get a cookie from Mrs. Claus and some one-on-one time with Santa himself. Santa does go on vacation after Christmas, so come visit before he’s gone! Also, be sure to visit the Main Street Holiday Trains exhibit featuring three wonderful train displays which are free to the public. Ticket prices range from $9.95 – $14.95 and can be purchased online.  Right now, CincySaver has Two-Do-It-All Admission tickets for $17.95. Purchased yours while they last.


Behringer-Crawford Museum Holiday Toy Trains
Behring-Crawford Museum
November 11 – January 1

Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park will again be transformed into a fantasy wonderland crisscrossed by more than 250 feet of model train tracks for the 25th annual Holiday Toy Trains exhibit. Visitors will see the Lionel and Plasticville trains, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and more than 30 moving, interactive displays. This exhibit has become a holiday tradition for generations of families. ArtsWave ArtsPass members should also check for discounts. This activity is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children 3 – 17-years-old. Children under 3-years-old are free.


PNC Festival of Lights
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens
November 18 – January 1

The Cincinnati Zoo will once again be transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 35th annual PNC Festival of Lights! In addition to admiring the beauty of 3 million LED lights, visitors can watch a Madcap black-light puppet show, ride the BB&T Toyland Express, search for fairies in Fairyland, marvel at the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, or snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands. Santa will be available for visits, starting at 4 p.m., an hour before the rest of the festivities begin. On Members Preview Night, Nov. 17th, Santa will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m. Show hours are Sunday – Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets range from $16 – $25 for adults and $12 – $21 for children and seniors depending on the package one chooses. Look at the packages and purchase tickets online today. Discount tickets can be purchased at Kroger.


Cincinnati Choo Choo Holiday Show
Krohn Conservatory
November 18 – January 7

There is something for everyone among the numerous Special Events that are planned, including Family Craft sessions, Adult Date Night, Dulcimer Concert, Holiday Food Demo, and Krohn by Candlelight Family Nights, and more! Special Holiday and Evening hours are scheduled. All of Krohn will be wrapped in holiday splendor and ready to display all the festive fun for families and friends. Moreover, each room will have a unique holiday display. Make Krohn part of your holiday tradition! Adult tickets are $7. Children 5 – 17-years-old are $4. Children under $5 are free. Don’t forget to print your $1 off coupon.


Fall and Winter Camps
Cincinnati Museum Center
November 22 – December 29

Fall and Winter Camps will be taking place at Union Terminal and the Cincinnati Observatory. Museum Camps at Cincinnati Museum Center in November and December will continue as planned! While Museum Camps will not be accessing the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, look forward to days packed full of fun activities and engaging programs like Harry Potter, Star Wars and Legos. Choose a Fall or Winter Camp to see dates, times and prices.  


Christmas Carol
Playhouse in the Park
November 22 – December 30

The Playhouse’s version of A Christmas Carol combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life its familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes, his past, present and the possibilities of the future. As he witnesses all those who have improved his life. A Christmas Carol‘s heart-warming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year. Discount tickets are also available for preview performances before opening night and student discounts. 513-421-3888 for information on discounts. ArtsWave ArtsPass members should also check for discounts. Ticket prices range from $30 – 85.


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Weekend Carriage Rides at Macy’s Celebration Station
Boards at corner of Fifth and Race Streets
November 24-26, December 2-3 & 9-10

Enjoy free horse-drawn trolley carriage rides through the heart of the city from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The final boarding time is at 4:45 p.m. so please arrive early and dress warmly. This is one many Downtown Dazzle Cincinnati holiday activities. 


Macy’s Downtown Dazzle
Fountain Square
November 25, December 2 & 9

Each Saturday Santa rappels down the Huntington Center at 525 Vine St., to the Macy’s rooftop to kick off a spectacular fireworks display. This 20-minute family-friendly program also features performances from local choirs. Then, come inside to Macy’s Fountain Place to warm-up with holiday fun.

The Dancing Princesses
Ensemble Theatre
November 29 – December 29

Wanting the best for his daughters, an overprotective king locks the castle doors each night. Yet, each morning, the princesses’ shoes have been curiously worn to tatters. Keen to cobble together the mystery of the frayed footwear, the King resorts to drastic measures of royal proportions. Tickets are $21 – $55 and can be purchased online, by calling 513-421-3555, or by visiting the box office at the theatre.


Crafts, Cocktails and Claus
Cincinnati Museum Center
November 30

Enjoy spiked eggnog and cocktails as you work alongside your children and Santa himself to build something special this holiday season. You will also get exclusive access to Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis. Let your children’s creativity flow through their fingertips as they learn through play and make fun crafts sure to spread holiday cheer. Enjoy light refreshments, cocktails for the adults, hot cocoa for the children and joy for all. Ticket prices range from $15 – $40 and can be purchased online.

12th Annual Winterfest
Kennedy Heights Arts Center & Pleasant Ridge Community Center
December 1

Winterfest is packed with fun, festive and FREE activities for all ages. Come for part or all of the celebration. Sip & Shop from 5 p.m. -7 p.m. at the Holiday Boutique in Kennedy Heights Arts Center main building. Complimentary hot cocoa will be provided. From 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Pleasant Ridge Community Center, children and families will enjoy carnival games, crafts, refreshments, performances by local music groups and visits with jolly old Santa Claus. Then from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., its party time with free food and a cash bar.

Holidays at Main
The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County (Downtown)
December 1 – 3, 8 – 29

The Cincinnati Northern Model Railroad Club will bring their holiday train display to the Main Library’s atrium Dec. 1-3 during normal library hours. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind storybook tree in the atrium Dec. 8-23. Check out their calendar and see what all The Public Library has to offer this holiday season.

Black Nativity
Word of Deliverance
December 2, 8-9

The spirited performance is presented with a taste of African-American flavor.  “Black Nativity” articulates not only the story of Jesus’ birth, but also the splendiferous sound of Gospel music! The production is a commemoration of how many celebrate the amazing story Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary both nationally and internationally. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online. Right now, Goldstar has discounted tickets for $15. Hurry and purchase before the deal ends.


Ride the Holiday Connector
Downtown Cincinnati
December 2,9 & 16

Ride the Cincinnati Bell Connector free from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. and listen to singers from the Young Professional Choral Collective entertain riders on the Cincinnati Bell Connector with festive holiday tunes.

Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Aronoff Center
December 3

The beloved TV classic Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season.   Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in this musical. Tickets are $32 – $62 and can be purchased online or by calling 513-621-2787.

A Christmas Story The Musical
Aronoff Center
December 5 – 10

A Christmas Story The Musical is the hilarious account of Ralphie’s desperate quest to ensure that this perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas.  Directed by Tony Award®-winner John Rando, this new musical is based on the classic 1983 movie, A Christmas Story.  This musical captures holiday wonder with such deliciously wicked wit that it is sure to delight children and grown-ups alike. Tickets range from $30 – $103 and can be purchased online or by calling 513-621-2787.

Holiday Pops
Cincinnati Music Hall
December 8 – 10

Cincinnati’s smash-hit holiday tradition comes home to Music Hall! Make new family memories with a joyful blend of holiday favorites, starring Tony-winning singer Laura Benanti along with Denzal Sinclaire, a classic crooner in the style of Nat King Cole. Warm your heart and send your holiday spirit soaring with dancers and singers from the Classical Roots Choir and May Festival Chorus. Tickets are $15 – $115 and can be purchased online or by calling 513-381-3300.


CityWide Cincinnati Holiday Celebration and Gift Mall
New Vision United Methodist Church
December 9

New Vision United Methodist Church is hosting it is 5th Annual City Wide Cincinnati Holiday Celebration and Gift Mall. From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., come see live entertainment, Santa Claus, a live Nativity scene, eat great food and more importantly shop for the holiday season. There will be vendors from small minority-owned businesses selling homemade, unique gifts for the holiday season. From jewelry, shoes, clothes, t-shirts, novelties, confections, cosmetics, hats, books, health foods, baked goods, food and much more will be provided on site. This event is free to all.


Cincinnati Cinderella ChristmasCinderella Christmas
Taft Theatre
December 9 – 17

For the holidays, The Children’s Theatre will treat audiences to a Cinderella Christmas, starring African-American actress Kiara Hines.  In this hilarious holiday panto, you will jeer at the deliciously dysfunctional stepmother and sisters as much as you will cheer for Cinderella in her quest to attend the magnificent Christmas Ball. Get ready for plenty of audience participation, side-splitting humor, and outlandish characters in this classic fairy tale set to popular music. Put on your glass slippers and join us this winter as we celebrate a Cinderella Christmas. Tickets are $10 – $30 and can be purchased online


Frisch’s Big Boy Presents the Nutcracker
The Aronoff Center
December 14 – 24

This year, The Nutcracker will feature African-American Ballerina Salome Tregre as Clara. This is the first time an African-American will take the lead role. Tregre’s performance dates are Dec. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m., 17 at 1 p.m., 19-23 at 7:30 p.m. and the 24 at 1 p.m. Join Clara as she embarks on this enchanted journey through a spectacular snowscape to the Land of Sweets. Ticket prices range from $36 – $125 and can be purchased online today. ArtsWave ArtsPass members should also check for discounts. Currently, patrons can receive 20% off tickets to all Nutcracker performances using code CLARA1718

Pictures with Black Santa
Cincinnati Art Museum
December 17

Black Santa will make a stop at the Cincinnati Art Museum from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. He will be greeting children of all ages, reviewing their Christmas lists and taking pictures by the tree. Parents are welcome to take their own pictures, as well as download hi-resolution images from The Voice of Black Cincinnati Facebook page from our photographer.

Cincinnati holiday activitiesThese Cincinnati holiday activities will keep your family entertained. Not to mention all the holiday décor ideas you’ll want to try at home. So, go ahead and pull out those ugly elf and reindeer sweaters. It is time to be jolly! If there are any holiday events we have missed, please let us know at The Voice of Black Cincinnati.


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African-Americans in the region. Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook for local news, events, job postings, scholarships and a database of local Black-owned businesses.

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