Cincinnati Family Magazine

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July 15, 2024

the nutcracker

Cincinnati Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

Best Bet Events | December 13 – 19

Make merry memories this week with Cincinnati Family Magazine's Best Bet Events!

From choo choo trains, theatrical performances like The Nutcracker (pictured above), lights shows and more… there is plenty of holiday fun happening in Cincinnati this week! 


Mon 13


Create memories that last a lifetime and experience the magic of the holidays at the world’s largest train display; then take a journey to the North Pole for an encounter with Mrs. Claus and Santa!  EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Court, ; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; $18.95 Do-It-All admission, free for members and children under 2; (513)898-8000 or


Tue 14


Bask in the glow of a million twinkling lights at this new Cincinnati Christmas festival! Little ones will love the magic castle playground, ride-along train, LED hopscotch & swings, visits with Santa and so much more. Families can snap a picture at worldly lights displays, enjoy live music performances, do a little holiday shopping at the local winter market and grab a bite to eat (grown-ups can enjoy a drink from the licensed bar if they’d like). At Lumaze, there is something for everyone! Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm Street, Cincinnati; 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; adult pricing: $22.99 weekdays, $25.99 weekend & holidays, $27.99 Christmas. children (4 – 12)/senior (65+) pricing: $16.99 weekdays, $19.99 weekend & holidays, $21.99 Christmas; family packages, 2 adults + 3 children: $75.99 weekdays, $89.99 weekend & Christmas;


Wed 15


Watch model trains chug around villages, mountains and through tunnels in these large model train displays inside an actual historic train station and Hayner House. Heritage Village Museum , 11500 Lebanon Road, Sharonville; Dec 15, 16, 16, 22 & 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; $3 admission, free for members; 513-563-9484 or

Thu 16


Rock out to holiday music synchronized to over 1 million lights during this fun drive through experience!  Coney Island , 6201 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati; 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; $30 per carload (up to 8 passenger), $7 per person Mon – Thu, group pricing available;

Fri 17


Choo choo! Holiday Junction Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is pulling into its home at Cincinnati Museum Center once again- don’t miss out on this family holiday tradition. Cincinnati Museum Center , 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; $10 general admission OR add Holiday Junction to any museum experience for $5, free for members and children two and younger; 513-287-7000 or


TRAINS AND TRADITIONS, A CINCINNATI HOLIDAY Experience a tapestry of colorful poinsettias, charming garden railways and beautiful replicas of Cincinnati landmarks created out of “Botanical Architecture” by local artisans; Applied Imagination. Krohn Conservatory is where holiday traditions take place in the warmth of the tropics.   The Crib of the Nativity, sponsored by the Western & Southern Fund, will be open December 10 – January 2nd daily from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; $10 adults, $7 children 5 – 17, free for children 4 and under. ; 513-421-5707 or


Step back in time to shop at a 16th Century yuletide market, bask in the colorfully lit Gum Drop Alley, enjoy hot food and drinks while listening to strolling carolers and don’t forget to get a photo to remember the event- choose Santa or plead your case with Krampus to get off the naughty list (photo with commemorative frame + $10).    Renaissance Park , 10542 Ohio 73, Waynesville; 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; visit website to purchase tickets online ; 513-897-7000 or

Sat 17


Downtown sure is dazzling during this fun event; Santa will be rappelling from a Cincinnati skyrise, there will be music, festivities and even fireworks to cap off the evening!  Fountain Square , 520 Vine Street, Cincinnati; 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.;

Ice Skating at Kings Island WinterFest is pure, slippery fun!


Kings Island has been magically transformed into a winter wonderland. Families can go ice skating, bask in the glow of more than 5 million lights, go on exhilarating rides, enjoy live entertainment and meet lots of friendly holiday characters.  Kings Island , 6300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Mills; 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; online tickets as low as $29.99, group discounts available; visit website for more information ; (513) 754-5700 or

PNC FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS The 39th PNC Festival of Lights will be just as special and memorable as ever! Families can enjoy familiar favorites like the holiday light displays (there are over 4 million lights glowing!), Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake, Madcap Winter Wonders,  Toyland Express Train rides, finding Fiona Fairy statues, roasting s’more sand so much more. Festival of Lights festivities start at 4 p.m. each evening. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; included in daily admission or membership; 513-281-4700 or

Sun 19

JOURNEY BOREALIS HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW Gather the family and get ready for a 2.5 mile drive-through experience like no other! Journey Borealis showcases over 1 million lights and absolutely amazing holiday installations by regional artists including Brave Berlin, creator of BLINK. The 2021 soundtrack will feature the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra, and Cincinnati Boychoir.  Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park , 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton; 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; $20 per carload Mon – Thu, $25 per carload Fri – Sun; 513-868-1234 or

LIGHT IN THE FOREST (register) Take a stroll through Cincinnati Nature Center for their second annual holiday lights walking tour. This year’s event will feature new artistic light displays curated by partner Brave Berlin (the creative team behind Cincinnati’s Lumenocity and BLINK), live music, shopping, a decorated historic home and more! Cincinnati Nature Center, 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford; 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; $12 nonmember adult, $7 nonmember child, $10 member adult, $5 member child ; 513-831-1711 or


Make merry memories in Indiana’s Canal Town, Metamora. There will be plenty of decorations, live music, shopping and of course… Santa!  Metamora Canal Town , 19049 North Main Street, Metamora; 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.; shop small at many unique shops; 765-647-1212 or


About the Author

Amanda Ciani

Amanda Ciani lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and their three terrific sons. She enjoys writing haiku parenting poems for her Instagram account (@cinciciani), and Twitter account (@haikuciani).