Get into the holidays with your kids. This handy guide is your quick reference to local family fun that kicks-off in November and lasts through December!
ONE NIGHT ONLY!
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL
Get your tickets now for a one-night only performance that brings the classic television show, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to life at the Aronoff Center for the Arts (650 Walnut St.)! Featuring the world’s most famous reindeer, a cast of iconic characters — including Hermey the Elf — the faithful re-telling will practically transport audiences into the show itself! Follow the story of Rudolph and his many adventures, including a visit to The Island of Misfit Toys, before he heads home to help save the holidays! Tickets are $35 – $65 and are on sale at 513-621-2787 or cincinnatiarts.org.
NOVEMBER HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
Looking for train displays or an outdoor event for the family? This month’s got something for everyone. Plus, find even more in our calendar online!
All Aboard for Trains
- CHRISTMAS AT ENTERTRAINMENT JUNCTION (7379 Squire Ct., West Chester) kicks off Saturday, Nov. 14. “Journey to the North Pole” to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, see winter train displays and more. Visit entertrainmentjunction.com for a complete schedule.
- HOLIDAY TOY TRAINS AT BEHRINGER-CRAWFORD MUSEUM (1600 Montague Road, Covington) rolls out Saturday, Nov. 21 — more than 250 feet of model train tracks! See the Christmas in Victorian England exhibit, too. It’s all free with admission ($9 adults, $8 seniors, $5 ages 3 – 17); visit bcmuseum.org.
- HOLIDAY JUNCTION AT CINCINNATI MUSEUM CENTER (1301 Western Ave.) opens Friday, Nov. 6, and promises more lights, new trains, visits with Santa, a kids’ train ride, vintage toys and more. Visit cincymuseum.org/holiday/duke-energy-holiday-trains.
- Hop aboard the North Pole Express from the LEBANON MASON & MONROE RAILROAD (127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon) and journey to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying holiday treats. Rides sell out, so get your tickets! ($11 – $22). Visit lebanonrr.com for a schedule of departure times.
- MACY’S DOWNTOWN DAZZLE returns on Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and 12. Watch Santa rappel down the side of the 525 Vine at the Huntington Center, followed by fireworks and visits with Santa in Macy’s Fountain Place. Enjoy live entertainment and a ride on the Metro’s Holly Jolly Trolley or a horse-drawn carriage ride. Get the schedule at downtowncincinnati.com.
- Cool off with snow tubing at BEACH MOUNTAIN (2590 Waterpark Drive, Mason), opening Friday, Nov. 20! Kids can ride the lanes in snow tubes, or play in the kids’ area for snowman building, small hill sledding (sleds are provided) and holiday pictures. Visit thebeachmountain.com for weather reports, prices and hours.
- Head to Waynesville for CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE, a small-town holiday experience with 1,300 luminaries on Friday and Saturday evenings, carriage rides, live entertainment, holiday eating and shopping. 6 – 9 p.m. Dec. 4, 12 – 9 p.m. Dec. 5, and 12 – 5 p.m. Dec. 6. Visit ohioslargestplayground.com.
- Travel back in time to a 19th-Century holiday during HOLLY DAYS at Heritage Village Museum (11450 Lebanon Road, inside Sharon Woods). Visit historical buildings decorated in 1800s style, enjoy stories, crafts and music. Open 12 – 4 p.m. Dec. 12 – 13; $8 adults, $5 ages 5 – 11. Visit heritagevillagecincinnati.org.
- It’s the annual ANTIQUE CHRISTMAS at the Taft Museum of Art (316 Pike St.)! Explore beautiful antique ornaments, decorations and toys. On display through Jan. 3; $10 adults, $5 ages 6 – 17; free on Sundays; visit taftmuseum.org.
- Ohio National’s VICTORIAN HOLIDAY VILLAGE is a bright note in the holiday season, and includes photos with St. Nick, hot chocolate and cookies, and a charming display of a Victorian Village. Located on the grounds of Ohio National Financial Services (Pfeiffer Road and I-71 interchange), the display benefits the Freestore Foodbank through your donation of a non-perishable food item. Open 6 – 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 10 and 11, and 5 – 8:30 p.m. Dec. 5.
SCUBA SANTA HAS A BRAND NEW LOOK!
Scuba Santa is heading to the Newport Aquarium (1 Aquarium Way, Newport on the Levee) for his 13th holiday season, and this year he is bringing a whole new experience for families. Holiday Under the Sea With Scuba Santa tells the story of how the holiday season is celebrated under the sea, blending everyone’s favorite scuba-diving Santa with unique galleries and indoor bubble showers, making you feel like you’re right there with the Jolly Old Elf! The exhibit kicks off on Nov. 27, get your tickets online at newportaquarium.com!
RUN, RUN, RUN AT THE THANKSGIVING DAY RACE!
The Thanksgiving Day Race is a perfect way to work up an appetite before your big meal! The race will celebrate the 106th anniversary of the of the 10K run, and it’s a great way to contribute to local charities while doing something good for yourself — just head to the website and choose from over a dozen different local organizations to lend your support. The race starts at 9 a.m. on Nov. 26, and begins and ends at Paul Brown Stadium. Registration fees vary from $32 – $40, and runners can sign up online at thanksgivingdayrace.com!
LOCAL LIGHT DISPLAYS
Pack the kids up in the car and head out for neighborhood light displays, but also mark your calendar for these other annual events. It’s time to “ooh” and “aah”!
- The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (3400 Vine St.) lights up with the PNC FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS on Friday, Nov. 20, and features a new Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake, a new Frozen Wonderland, visits with Santa and more. Open 5 – 9 p.m. Sun – Thu, and 5 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat through Jan. 2; visit cincinnatizoo.org.
- Take a drive through HOLIDAY IN LIGHTS at Sharon Woods (11450 Lebanon Road) and the annual Holiday in Lights exhibit. Enjoy the light displays that decorate more than a mile of wooded roadway, then head to the Sharon Centre for Santaland, complete with carolers, tasty treats, and visits with Santa. Holiday in Lights is on display 6 – 9 p.m. Sun – Thu, and 5:30 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat; $13 per vehicle. Visit holidayinlights.com.
- Take a gander at more than a million LED lights during Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park’s (1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton) annual HOLIDAY IN LIGHTS display. Open Nov. 20 – Jan. 3, families can drive through the park to see the giant sculptures all lit up for the holidays. Cost is $20 from 6 – 9 p.m. Mon – Thu; $25 from 6 – 10 p.m. Fri- Sun. Visit pyramidhill.org for details.
- Macy’s LIGHT UP THE SQUARE (Fountain Square, 5th & Vine), marks the annual lighting of the Christmas tree with more than 20,000 lights and an illuminated, five-foot-tall red star welcomes the holiday season. This year, the event takes place on Friday, Nov. 27 from 6 – 9 p.m. Visit myfountainsquare.com.