Check Out the Best Cincinnati Christmas Outdoor Events 2021

It’s that time of the year again! The holiday season is just around the corner, and Cincinnati has plenty to offer for those looking to celebrate the Christmas spirit. Whether you’re a family with young children or someone who loves getting into the holiday spirit with friends, there are a lot of Cincinnati Christmas outdoor events that you can go to and spend quality time together. 

From amazing shows featuring Christmas tree lighting in Cincinnati to Christmas food tours around the city, there’s so much on offer to help you create the perfect winter wonderland experience this year.

A Christmas Village

But what if you’re not so keen on the idea of being with a lot of people inside, given the current global health crisis? Well, not to fear! Cincinnati has tons of outdoor events where you can spend your time with family and friends in an open, socially distanced setting. 

Here’s a list of the best Christmas events in Cincinnati  in 2021 that take place 100% outdoors:

Light Up the Square at Fountain Square

Ice skating at the heart of Cincy

There’s no better way to start the holiday season than witnessing a Christmas tree lighting in the Queen City! Without a doubt one of the best Cincinnati Christmas outdoor events every year.

On November 26, the annual tree lighting celebration will take place at Fountain Square to kick off the holiday season. All festivities will start at 5 PM, with a special appearance by Santa Claus and a dazzling fireworks display at night. 

For both the young and the young at heart, you can skate the day away at the outdoor ice arena that takes over Fountain Square. To top it all off, UC Health Ice Rink is adding bumper cars on ice this year! That makes this the all-around attraction to spend quality time with your kids or friends this holiday season. 

LM&M Railroad North Pole Express 

North Pole Express in Warren County

Step aboard a jolly, festive railcar and experience a unique journey through the historic town of Lebanon at the Lebanon Mason Monroe (LM&M) Railroad. The North Pole Express by LM&M has been a tradition for many locals in Warren County for years, and it is the only holiday-themed train ride in Southwest Ohio. This is a true one-of-a-kind experience to include in your Christmas plans this year.

Take a ride through this iconic, well-preserved Ohio town on a train that’s decorated to the hilt with holiday lights. This is also one of the best Christmas events in Cincinnati for families, as Santa and his elves actually join you on the journey! 

There are elves in each railcar that make festive balloons and tell stories about the North Pole. A totally huge hit for kids! 

Plus, the heated and socially distanced train will make sure you can experience the great outdoors all from your warm, cozy seat by the window.

LM&M also offers other specialty rides that are a treat for all ages. You can spend more time with your kids at the Magic Train, Clifford’s Big Red Train Ride, and A Day Out with Thomas, among others. 

  • Opening Dates: November 19, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28 and December 3-5, 9-12, 16-19, 22-24, 26
  • Location: 127 South Mechanic St., Lebanon, Ohio 
  • Cost: Coach Class $22-$26, Deluxe Class $35-$39, $5 Infants. Buy your tickets here.

Don’t miss out on an incredible Christmas experience and get your tickets for Lumaze Cincinnati now!

Cincinnati Streetcar “Christmas” Food Tour

A store selling holiday desserts

If you’re looking to fill your stomach with some seasonal food and make new memories this Christmas, then look no further than the Streetcar Christmas Food Tour! It’s a new holiday tour by Riverside Food Tour that runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas. 

But be warned – this special Cincinnati Christmas outdoor event is only available for 4 weekends, starting on November 27, 2021, so be sure to secure your tickets while you can!

This food tour is a must for foodies, but children can definitely join the fun, too. 

The tour starts in Graeter’s on Fountain Square for a steaming cup of their rich hot chocolate. Next, you get to go to an authentic Scottish Pub to try their holiday dishes. Finally, climb aboard Cincinnati Streetcar and head over to Over-the-Rhine, where you can enjoy their delicious flatbread pizza and a Christmas cocktail (mocktails for the kids). 

The tour will not only let you enjoy great food and drinks, but also the beautiful scenery of Washington Park, where you can join the holiday festivities and visit the historic Findlay Market. It is a great way to spend the holiday season with family and friends.

For health and safety reasons, everyone will have to bring their own face masks, as it is required to ride the public streetcar. 

  • Opening Dates: November 27, December 4, 11, 16 from 3 PM to 6 PM
  • Location: Graeter’s Ice Cream on Fountain Square 511 Walnut Street 
  • Cost: Adult: $65, Children ages 6-10: $55

A Garden Holiday at Krohn Conservatory 

A parent with his daughter enjoying nature in Krohn Conservatory

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life this holiday season, there’s no better place than the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park Drive. 

You’ll get to stroll around Cincinnati’s largest public greenhouse, which features over 3,500 plant species from around the world. It’s a great place to have fun with your kids and learn about ecology while you’re at it! The conservatory hosts five seasonal floral shows annually, and during the Christmas season, the conservatory showcases beautiful red poinsettias, holiday trees, and some unforgettable train displays. 

This is a very family-friendly space, so Cincinnatians of all ages can definitely have fun and be one with nature this Christmas! 

A Very Merry Christmas in Cincinnati 

The most anticipated time of the year is near, and it’s time to plan your celebrations at the many Cincinnati Christmas outdoor events this 2021. 

And the best part is, there’s no need to worry about your health and safety with these outdoor activities across Cincy! Have lots of fun and a very Merry Christmas this year, all while experiencing the best that winter has to offer. Although if you like to cozy it up a little bit more, you can always check out great Cincinnati Christmas indoor events such as Lumaze and have a great time with your family!

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