Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

February 3, 2023

2017 Holiday Guide!

 2017 Holiday Guide presented by Broadway in Cincinnati.  Give an unforgettable experience at the theatre this holiday!


Broadway in Cincinnati

Need a great gift idea?  rather than giving an item to unwrap, consider giving your loved ones an experience they can always remember.  Whether you want to treat your child to a kid-friendly show, like the upcoming Broadway in Cincinnati productions of School of Rock, The King & I, and Aladdin, or you want to enjoy a date night or girls’ night with Waitress or Chicago, there’s a Broadway show for everyone on your list. 




Behringer Crawford Museum

Get a 2018 Family Membership for just $75!


Cincinnati Art Museum

During December, CAM will offer 10% off all new memberships ($45 individuals, $75 families)!


Cincinnati Museum Center

Memberships are buy-one, get one 50% off, plus three free months, making a 15-month Family Membership for $99 plus a second 15-month Family membership for just $50.


Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Zoo Family Memberships begin at $129 and are on sale for $116 through Dec. 31! Memberships include free parking and discounts on guest passes and food/gift shops.


Contemporary Arts Center

Purchase a family membership for only $65!


Newport Aquarium

Buy three annual passes and get a fourth one for free, now through Dec. 31 (new passes are $48.99 adults, $32.99 ages 2 – 12, and $43.99 seniors)!



It’s just not the holidays without trains – whether you take a ride on one, or just enjoy a display of model-sized proportions.


LM&M Railroad’s North Pole Express

127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon

513-933-8022 or

Take a magical train ride with Santa and his elves! Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies before boarding the North Pole Express, then visit with Santa (parents, bring your cameras!), get a souvenir and enjoy a special reading of The Night Before Christmas. Train departs 6 and 8 p.m. weekdays; 12, 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 12, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23. Train also departs 4 and 6 p.m. Dec. 24. Tickets are $22 – $32 adults, $18 – $28 seniors and ages 2 – 16.


Whitewater Valley Railroad’s The Polar Express

Grand Central Station, Connersville, IN

765-825-2054 or

The Polar Express comes to life on a train journey through the quiet countryside to the North Pole where Santa boards for a special visit and gift for all his fans. Trains depart Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17. Tickets are $35 ages 2 and older.


EnterTRAINment Junctions’ Christmas at the Junction

7379 Squire Ct., West Chester

513-456-2496 or

Families will enter a 1950s street scene with nostalgic department store display windows before venturing into an incredible winter wonderland! Visit the reindeer stables at the North Pole, watch elves make toys in their workshop, stop for a cookie from Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and visit Santa in his study. Christmas at the Junction is open through Dec. 31, but Santa will go on vacation after Christmas. Visit web site to buy tickets online.



Krohn Conservatory’s Holiday Show, Cincinnati Choo Choo

1501 Eden Park Drive

513-421-5707 or

There’s something for everyone at this holiday exhibit that takes you back in time to the city’s holiday festivities and traditions. Check out beautiful poinsettias and fanciful evergreens, along with the train display and historical buildings created by Applied Imagination that takes the models overhead and at your feet. Cincinnati Choo Choo is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, with special evening hours until 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 – 23. The Krohn is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dec. 24, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Dec. 25. Admission is $7 adults, $4 ages 5 – 12.


Behringer-Crawford Museum’s Holiday Toy Trains

1600 Montague Road, Covington

859-491-4003 or

It’s holiday central with over 250 feet of model train tracks, vintage Lionel and Plasticville trains, Thomas the Tank Engine, and more than 30 guest-activated displays. Plus, families can enjoy a Charles Dickens display, Polar Express readings with local librarians and more fun all season long. Exhibit is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tue – Sat, and 1 – 5 p.m. Sun through Jan. 14, 2018. Open 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dec. 24, and 1 – 5 p.m. Dec. 31. Admission is $9 adults, $8 seniors, and $5 ages 3 – 17. Wednesdays are Grandparents’ Days – one grandchild gets in free with a grandparent’s paid admission!


Heritage Village Museum’s Train Days

Inside Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road

513-563-9484 or

Take a break from the hectic holidays and check out the collections of Heritage Village volunteers as they set up their model trains adding to the Great Circle Line & Points North O-Scale Model Railway. Open for viewing 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Dec. 20 – 22 and Dec. 29. Admission is $3 ages 12 and older, $1 ages 5 – 11, and free ages 4 and younger.



Tots brimming with excitement need wide-open spaces to blow off steam this holiday season, these happenings will give them the space to do so!


Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights

3400 Vine St.

Kids can run wild like the animals as the Zoo drapes itself in its annual holiday light show. Check out a Madcap Puppets show, ride the BB&T Toyland Express Train, hear a story from Mrs. Claus, see Santa’s reindeer and plenty of other animals, enjoy live music and search for hidden fairies in Fairyland! Bundle up for a free-range excursion that will let your little ones blow off steam while enjoying the magic of the season. Hours are 5 – 9 p.m. Sun – Thu, and 5 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat, through Jan. 1. Any day tickets are $12 – $17 online, $13 – $19 at the gate, and parking is additional.


Macy’s Downtown Dazzle

Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine Streets

Head downtown to Fountain Square on Dec. 2 and 9 beginning at 5:30 p.m. for a dazzling collection of free and fun activities, including Macy’s Downtown Dazzle (when Santa goes rappelling), story times with Mrs. Claus inside Macy’s Fountain Place, weekend carriage rides, visits with Santa, caroling and more.


Newport Aquarium’s Water Wonderland With Scuba Santa

1 Aquarium Way, Newport

Kids can jump from exhibit to exhibit in the Aquarium, trying out the Shark Bridge, and watch Scuba Santa in an underwater show full of lights, bubbles and dancing. Then meet the Jolly Old Elf one-on-one and tell him all your holiday wishes. Scuba Santa is in town through Dec. 31, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (except Christmas Day). General admission is $24.99 adults, $16.99 ages 2 – 12.




MetroParks of Butler County’s Brilliant Bebb

Governor Bebb MetroPark, 1979 Bebb Park Lane, Okeana

513-867-5835 or

Brilliant Bebb features an old-fashioned pioneer village with carriage rides, live animals, arts and crafts, family photo opportunities, and of course, visits with Santa for the littles! Hours are 5 – 9 p.m. Dec. 1 – 2, and 4 – 8 p.m. Dec. 3; admission is $10 per car or van.


Washington Park’s Santa’s Workshop

1230 Elm St.

Head to Washington Park for Santa’s Workshop on Saturdays in December from 1 – 3 p.m. (through Dec. 23). Kids can stop by the wish-list station where elves where help them write a list for Santa, then they can meet the Jolly Old Elf himself. Be sure to bring your cameras for an afternoon of memories!


The Christmas Ranch

3205 S. Waynesville Road, Morrow

It’s a whimsical place full of fun for all ages, including a million Christmas lights, train and wagon rides, letters from Santa, Christmas shops and more. Hours are 5 – 9 p.m. Sun – Thu, and 5 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat. Admission is $15 per vehicle Mon – Thu, $20 per vehicle Fri – Sun.


Victorian Holiday Village

Ohio National Financial Services, Pfeiffer Road in Blue Ash

Bring the family to view charming Victorian houses and buildings, take a free photo with St. Nick (one per family), enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and free goodies for the littles! Hours are 6 – 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 7 and 8, and 5 – 8;30 p.m. Dec.


Drive-thru light shows are perfect for little kids – they can stay comfy in the warmth of their car while enjoying the sights and sounds of the season! Try one of these:


  • Sharon Woods’ Holiday in Lights (11450 Lebanon Road; Drive over a mile of seasonal light displays showing everything from Santa to the 12 Days of Christmas. Afterwards, hop out of the car and head into the Sharon Centre for Santaland where kids can meet the Man of the Hour, enjoy treats, crafts and more. Hours are 6 – 9 p.m. Sun – Thu, and 5:30 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat, through Dec. 31 (Santaland ends after Christmas); cost is $13 per car.
  • Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum’s Holiday in Lights (1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton; features a two-mile drive through the outdoor museum to see the sculptures decorated in lights. Hours are 6 – 9 p.m. Mon – Thu, 6 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sun through Dec. 21; cost is $20 per car Mon – Thu, $25 per car Fri – Sun.
  • Coney Island’s Christmas Nights of Lights (6201 Kellogg Ave.; features a light show synchronized to holiday music you can listen to on your car radio while you drive through glowing snowflakes, dancing candy canes and tunnels of lights. Open nightly at dusk through 10 p.m.; admission is $6 per person, free ages 3 and younger.
  • Smith Park’s Light Up Middletown (500 Tytus Ave.; includes a dazzling holiday display and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus every Fri and Sat from 7 – 9 p.m. through Dec. 23. Hours are 6 – 10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31; admission is by donation.



Christmas isn’t Christmas without a visit with the Man in Red!


Breakfast With Father Christmas

Heritage Village Museum inside Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road

513-563-9484 or

Step back in time and enjoy breakfast, story time, and the chance to meet Father Christmas. Held at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Dec. 9; $8 ages 12 and older (three children under 12 included with each paid adult).




Crafting With Santa

Liberty Heights Church, 7904 Princeton Road, Liberty Township

RSVP and bring a camera to watch the kids make a craft with Santa on Dec. 2 at 8:30 a.m. Visit web site for price.


Photos With Santa

Liberty Center, 7100 Foundry Row, Liberty Township

Take a photo with Santa by the fireplace – get a 5×7 for $5 or bring your own camera for a free snap. Hours are 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon – Thu, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat, and 12 – 6 p.m. Sun, through Dec. 16. From Dec. 17 – 23, hours are 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Mon – Sat, and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sun. Hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Dec. 24.


Breakfast With Santa

Joseph Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Road

513-396-8960 or

Enjoy a pancake breakfast, some Christmas crafts, and a meet-and-greet with Santa at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 2 and 9. Tickets ($15.95 adults, $9.95 ages 12 and younger, free ages 2 and younger) must be purchased in advance.


Pancakes With Santa

Little Miami High School, 3001 E US Highway 22 and 3

513-899-3781 or

Enjoy a pancake bar, make a craft with Santa’s elves, and then visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus before checking out the Holly Jolly Holiday Fair.   Held 8 – 11 a.m. Dec. 9; tickets are $7.


Breakfast With Santa

Voice of America MetroPark, 7850 VOA Park Dr., West Chester

513-867-5835 or

RSVP by Dec. 11 for a yummy buffet breakfast, entertainment from Charlie Cadabra, and a visit with Santa! Held 12:30 – 3 p.m. Dec. 16; tickets are $14.95 ages 8 and older, $12.95 ages 3 – 7.


Brunch With Santa

Winton Woods, 10245 Winton Road

513-521-7275 or

RSVP for a buffet brunch and a chance for the kids to tell Santa what’s on their wish lists and take a complimentary photo. Held at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Dec. 10 and 17; tickets are $18.35 adults, $8.75 ages 2 – 12, plus tax.


Santa Visits Macy’s

Macy’s Fountain Place, Fountain Square

Bring your camera for a fun pick with Santa as little ones tell him all their holiday wishes. Santa is all ears from 12 – 8 p.m. Fri and Sat through Dec. 16, 12 – 6 p.m. Sun through Dec. 17, and 12 – 5 p.m. Mon – Sun, Dec. 18 – 24.


Photos With Santa

Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport

Sit with Santa and share your holiday wishes – take your own photos, or choose from a professional photo package. 12 – 5 p.m. weekends through Dec. 23.


Santa’s Workshop

Washington Park, 1230 Elm St.

Head to the park for a visit with Santa and his merry band of elves. 1 p.m. Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23.



Carol Ann’s Carousel, 8 W. Mehring Way

Santa’s coming to the Carousel – bring the kids for holiday crafts, a picture with Santa (cell phones only, please) and enter to win a Parks goodie bag! From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dec. 22 – 24. Carousel tickets are $2 per ride.



Traditional favorites are on the calendar this season, along with a few new shows!



Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St.

513-621-2787 or

Ralphie Parker only wants one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. Audiences will love this hilarious tale of Ralphie’s quest to secure the coveted gift in this musical based on the classic film. Performances run Dec. 5 – 10; tickets start at $30.






Music Hall, 1241 Elm St.

The Cincinnati Ballet returns to Music Hall for their annual production of the timeless classic featuring a young Clara who finds herself in the midst of a wonderful holiday adventure complete with a Nutcracker Prince, a Sugarplum Fairy, and the Land of Sweets! Performances run Dec. 14 – 24; tickets start at $36.



Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle

It’s an annual favorite that combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life the familiar tale of Scrooge and his last chance at redemption by four ghosts. Performances run through Dec. 30; tickets start at $40.



The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati at Taft Theatre, Fifth and Sycamore Streets

800-745-3000 or

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati presents a classic fairytale set to popular music that will have boys and girls laughing with audience participation, side-splitting humor and outlandish characters, all performed as a holiday “panto.” Performances take place 2 p.m. Dec. 9, 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 p.m. Dec. 17; tickets start at $10.





Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St.

513-621-2787 or

The original television classic comes to life on the stage! Watch as both Rudolph and Hermey the Elf learn valuable lessons about how being different can often be a very good thing. Performance takes place at 2 p.m. on Dec. 3; tickets are $32 – $62.



Mason High School, 6100 Mason Montgomery Road

The Mason Dance Center will present a fun take on the classic story with a jazzy version that blends with the traditional tale. Proceeds from the performance will benefit the Mason High School After Prom.   Performances take place at 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 10; tickets are $10.






Music Hall, 1241 Elm St.

513-381-3300 or

The Cincinnati Pops have come home to Music Hall for a joyful blend of holiday favorites for the whole family. Let your holiday spirits soar with special guest Denzal Sinclaire, the Classical Roots Choir and the May Festival Chorus. Performances take place 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 9, and 2 p.m. Dec. 10; tickets start at $25 for adults, and are $15 for children.



Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St.

Wanting the best for his daughters, an overprotective king locks the castle doors each night, but each morning, the princesses’ shoes are worn to tatters. In order to solve the mystery, he resorts to drastic measures in a heartfelt and humorous take on the classic fairy tale. Performances run through Dec. 30; tickets are $27 – $55.



Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 1195 Elm St.

513-381-2273 or

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s smash holiday hit returns with a traditional production of A Christmas Carol that devolves into a funny look at all our pop culture Christmas favorites, like Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown. Performances run Dec. 21 – 31; tickets are $41.



Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Dr.

513-867-5348 or

Christmas Eve is a night of enchantment for Clara and her magical Nutcracker Prince in this performance from the Miami Valley Ballet Theatre. Performances take place 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9, and 2 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 ages 10 and younger.



Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave.

513-241-6550 or

It’s the classic tale of a red-headed orphan who turns a millionaire’s life upside down and inside out as she charms him into helping her find her parents, and ultimately, a place in his heart just for her. Performances run through Dec. 23; tickets range from $26 – $29.

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