From the Christmas festival of lights, walking trails, and drive-through light displays, Cincinnati is one of the best places to be this Christmas. WalletHub even named Cincinnati #16 on their “Top 100 Best Cities for Christmas” list! The Queen City certainly boasts a wide range of dazzling holiday spectaculars—attracting people from all over the country for the holidays. Here’s a list of all the best Cincinnati light shows taking place this year.
Read on to find out where to head for Christmas festivals in Cincinnati!
Lumaze Cincinnati: Massive Indoor Christmas Festival
Christmas in Cincinnati isn’t complete without Lumaze and its illuminated light structures, LED swings, and Christmas-themed tunnels. The magical transformation of The Duke Energy Convention Centre this Christmas is the best setting for taking unforgettable family photos.
This famous light festival is coming to Cincinnati for the first time, and the theme for this year is Glow Around the World. You’ll see giant light sculptures of worldwide landmarks and interact with country-themed booths from Britain, France, China, India, and the Netherlands. You and your kids can even collect stamps from all the international places you’ll visit!
There’s also the usual slew of festive activities to enjoy after, where you can enjoy an assortment of seasonal food and drinks, watch live performances from local artists, and shop in the winter market. You’ll find many artisanal and unique items that are perfect for Christmas gifts and souvenirs.
For families with children, there’s also a play park with swings, Louis the Locomotive, bouncy farms, and even an LED hopscotch area. And of course, Santa will make an appearance, as well as in any great Cincinnati light show!
If you’re worried about safety, especially with the global pandemic, rest assured that Lumaze is committed to following local COVID-19 protocols. If you want to learn more, head on over to their FAQ page.
- Opening Dates: November 26 to December 30, 2021
- Location: The Duke Energy Convention Center
- Tickets: Secure your slots online on the Lumaze website.
Coney Island Night of Christmas Lights: A Drive-Through Experience
Are synchronized light shows more your thing? Coney Island Park holds the largest Christmas light shows in Cincinnati!
Here, you can lose yourself in the Christmas Nights of Lights drive-through experience—a full two and a half miles of Christmas spirit. It’s certainly a local favorite for holiday family fun.
Listen and sing along to traditional and rocking holiday music from your radio and see larger-than-life trees. Enjoy sparkling snowflakes and dancing candy canes in a magical wonderland. Immerse yourself in tunnels with more than a million lights and enjoy yourself with all your family.
Coney Island’s Christmas light displays start at dusk and continue until 10 PM. You’d have plenty of time to cozy up in your car and drive through this Cincinnati light show after enjoying the park’s other attractions.
- Opening Dates: November 12, 2021, to January 2, 2022
- Location: Coney Island Park
- Tickets: Purchase at the gate of Coney Island Park.
Cincinnati Zoo Christmas Lights: #1 Zoo Lights in the Country
Yet another favorite of Ohio families is the annual PNC Festival of Lights—transforming the Cincinnati Zoo into a “Wild Wonderland” with more than 3 million LED lights. Bring your family here to watch puppet shows, ride the Toyland Express, and spot fairies in Fairyland. Wander through the Candy Cane Forest, and visit the Gingerbread Village.
Don’t forget to stay a bit longer to see their famous Cincinnati light show. Once the clock hits 4 PM, Santa arrives and the Wild Lights show comes alive—bringing the Christmas spirit spin to Swan Lake. There are plenty of food stands where you can get tasty festive treats, like s’mores, to enjoy while you watch the show.
Finally, don’t miss the synchronized holiday lights and musical performance around the 21-foot-tall Christmas tree. There’s also a 4-D Special-FX Theater that tells the story of a boy’s trip to the North Pole. The Cincinnati Zoo’s Christmas experience is a must-see for adults and kids alike!
- Opening Dates: November 19, 2021, to January 9, 2022
- Location: Cincinnati Zoo
- Tickets: Purchase at the gate of Cincinnati Zoo.
Kings Island WinterFest: A Premier Christmas Festival in Cincinnati
Now, if you don’t mind driving a bit further to Kings Mills, Kings Island WinterFest is one for the books!
Get yourself into the Christmas mood by enjoying some old-fashioned winter fun at one of the best Cincinnati light shows. The International Street is adorned with a million lights and bright displays. You can enjoy them while ice skating on the Royal Fountain, shopping for gifts and ornaments, and feasting on delicious hot cocoa and freshly-baked treats.
WinterFest features not one, but ten enchanting Christmas wonderland. Bring your kids through Candy Cane Lane, take pictures at Charlie Brown’s Christmas Town. Watch Tinsel Town’s shows from The Mistletones, or stroll through Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza. You also have the Rivertown Wonderland, Actional Ice Zone, Artisan Village, Santa’s workshops, and more.
Favorite holiday characters like Jack Frost and the Sugar Plum Fairy will also appear. The Eiffel Tower display even transforms into a magical 314-foot Christmas tree!
Kings Island WinterFest is a great place for families to enjoy. Your kids will love it, and so will you.
- Opening Dates: November 26 to December 31, 2021
- Location: Kinds Island
- Tickets: Secure your slots online on the Kings Island website.
See You in Cincinnati this Christmas!
“Let us have music for Christmas… Sound the trumpet of joy and rebirth; Let each of us try, with a song in our hearts, to bring peace to men on earth.” Mildred L. Jarrell.
Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year, and Cincinnati knows how to celebrate it. Get into the holiday spirit with your loved ones, fill your heart and bellies with joy, and enjoy one (or all) of these Cincinnati light shows this winter!
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