Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

June 14, 2024

Holiday Fun Guide


(Feature Photo: Santa hears a young girl’s wish at The Taft’s Antique Christmas.)

Breakfasts with Santa

Eat up and grab those photo ops!

Breakfast with Santa
Grove Event Center
9158 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH | 513-522-2108 (Register)
Breakfast buffet and “The Magic Express” magic show plus learn how holiday traditions are celebrated across the world, too. Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; $10 per person.

Breakfast with Santa at Dave & Buster’s
11775 Commons Drive Springdale, OH
513-719-5306 |
Dig into a breakfast buffet that includes a hot cocoa station, $10 game card with unlimited game play, cookie decorating and photos with Santa. Saturday, Dec 7 – 9 11 a.m.; $25 per person.

Breakfast with Mother Christmas
Heritage Village Museum
11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH
513-563-9484 | (Register)
Pancakes and story time plus balloon art. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 & 15 10:30 & 11:30 a.m. $7 adults; $5 children; $15 adult breakfast and Holly Days combo, $8 kids’ breakfast and Holly Days combo (ages 5 -11); free for ages 4 and younger.

Metroparks Brunch with Santa
Voice of America MetroPark/Ronald Reagan Lodge
7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester, OH
513-867-5835 | (Register)
Join Santa for brunch, live jazz and a MadCap puppet show. Sunday, Dec. 15, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; $18.50 adults, $13.99 ages 3 – 6, free for ages 3 and younger. Vehicle permit is required to enter the park.

Breakfast with Santa at The National Exemplar
6880 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, OH
513-271-2103 | (Register)
Bring the kids to this family-friendly, fun-filled brunch! Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 9 and 11:30 a.m. Reservations $16 per child, $21 per adult; reserve your spot by contacting Lisa Hopkins at

Light Displays and Shows

Bundle up, hop in the car with the kids, and prepare to “ooh and ahh!”

Kings Island
6300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Island, OH
513-754-5700 |
Celebrate the holidays with ice skating on the Royal Fountain and seeing the Eiffel Tower transform into a 314-foot tall Christmas tree! Enjoy live shows, rides, treats, millions of lights, holiday characters and WinterFest’s signature blue hot cocoa! Select nights through Dec. 31; general admission $27.99 online; free parking when you buy four or more adult tickets; cardholders free with their pass.

37th Annual PNC Festival of Lights
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH |
Your kids’ eyes will light up as they admire 3 million LED lights leading the way through their favorite zoo! Now transformed into a “Wild Wonderland,” watch a MadCap black-light puppet show, ride the Toyland Express train ride, experience the Wild Lights show on Swan Lake and enjoy a snack at one of the two S’mores-n-More stands. Santa visits start at 4 p.m.; one hour before the festivities begin. New this year are Fiona fairy statues in Fiona’s Fairyland, holiday photo ops in the Hippo Hut, an immersive “Northern Lights” experience and more! See website for holiday hours.

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill
Historic Clifton Mill
75 Water St., Clifton, OH
937-767-5501 |
Celebrate 32 years with Clifton Mill with more than 4 million lights illuminating the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges. Experience the wonderland which includes a Miniature Village, a Santa Claus Museum, a Toy Collection and a synchronized lights and music show. Take a peek into Santa’s Workshop and you might see a live Santa; watch him check his list and go up the chimney (every 15 minutes!) Nightly through Dec. 30; see website for holiday hours.

Light Up the Fair 2019
Boone County Fairgrounds
5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky
859-568-4046 |
More than a half a million lights fill this gorgeous more than one-mile-long holiday light display. Open nightly through Jan. 4, 2020; gates open at 5:30 p.m., show begins at dark; Sun. – Thurs., 9 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 10 p.m.; $6 per person, free for ages 3 and younger.

Christmas Nights of Lights
Coney Island
6201 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, OH
513-232-8230 |
Cozy up in the warmth of your vehicle, and experience a two-and-a-half mile whimsical light show synchronized to popular holiday tunes from your radio. Be awed by glowing trees, dancing candy canes and of course, the tunnel of lights! Through Jan. 5; begins nightly at dusk until 10 p.m. including holidays; $6 per person, free for ages 3 and younger.

Holiday Lights on the Hill
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum
1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, OH
513-868-1234 |
Pyramid Hill celebrates 20 years! The two-and-a half mile drive-thru experience takes you through lights including a newly designed over-arching lighting plan by Brave Berlin. Through Jan. 5, 2020; Mon. – Thu., 6 – 9 p.m., $20 per car load; Fri.- Sun., 6 -10 p.m., $25 per car load; members save $10 per carload.

Holiday in Lights
Sharon Woods
11450 Lebanon Road, Route 42, Sharonville, OH
513-769-0393 |
Feast your eyes on more than a million twinkling lights during this year’s holiday lights display. Includes more than 120 moving and standing holiday-themed figures from Santa to the 12 Days of Christmas.Through Dec. 31; Sun. – Thurs, 6 – 9 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 5:30 – 10 p.m. $15 per car, $45 per buses and 15-passenger vans. Stop by Santaland (Sharon Centre) for magic, treats, entertainment, a train display and more, through Dec. 23.

Light Up Middletown
Smith Park
500 Tytus Ave., Middletown, OH
Celebrate Light Up Middletown’s 20th year and enjoy twinkling holiday lights while driving through this beautiful 100-acre park. Come by Fridays and Saturdays from 7 – 9 p.m. to meet Santa through Dec. 21! Open nightly through Dec. 31, including holidays, 6 – 10 p.m.; choose your donation and set your own price.

Broadway in Cincinnati Presents Disney’s “The Lion King,” Jan. 8 – Feb. 2, 2020. Get your tickets now and don’t miss out!

Broadway Shows & More

Catch a performance — and make a show a holiday tradition!

Broadway in Cincinnati’s “Hello, Dolly!”
Aronoff Center for the Arts Proctor & Gamble Hall
650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, Oh
513-621-2787 |
Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, Hello Dolly is touring America and paying tribute to the original work of director/ choreographer Gower Champion. Dec. 3 – 15; tickets start at $30.

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Taft Theatre, 317 E 5th St., Cincinnati, Oh
513-569-8080 |
Local 12’s Bob Herzog transforms into a Man’s Best Friend —Snoopy! The whole family will fall in love with this holiday favorite. The kids will enjoy the whole Peanuts’ gang Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and more — as they remind us what Christmas is truly about. Dec. 7 – 16; tickets start at $10, and can be purchased at

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s “Bah Humbug! A One-Man Christmas Carol”
TCT’s Showtime Stage, 4015 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, Oh
513-569-8080 |
From Scrooge to Tiny Tim, the whole family will adore this classic holiday tale told with one actor playing every character! Sunday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m.; $10 tickets.

Cincinnati Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”
Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, Oh
513-621-5282 |
Clara and her Nutcracker Prince are back to conquer their journey to the Land of Sweets. This delightful family tradition will bring your family’s imagination back to childhood dreams. This favorite Cincinnati tradition offers a whimsical performance you’ll never forget. Dec. 19 – 29; single tickets starting at $29.

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s “A Christmas Carol”
Marx Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, Oh
513-421-3888 |
Take a musical journey with Scrooge through the past, present and future through Dec. 29; tickets start at $30. A sensory-friendly performance takes place on Tuesday Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. for individuals on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities. Tickets cost $15 per person. Support the Cratchit Family Food Drive when you see the show: bring a nonperishable food or personal care item and place it in one of the barrels located near the Box Office. Head to their website for a list of acceptable items.

Mason Dance Center’s “The Nutcracker — All Jazzed Up!”
Mason High School Theater, 6100 Mason-Mont Road, Oh
513-398-0353 |
If you missed the dazzling performance at Cincinnati Family’s Fall Fest & Expo this year, don’t fret! They are taking this jazzy twist of The Nutcracker to the stage! Sunday, Dec. 15, 1 and 4 p.m.; online tickets $10, at the door tickets $12.

Broadway in Cincinnati Presents “Disney’s The Lion King”
Aronoff Center for the Arts, Procter & Gamble Hall
650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, Oh | 513-621-2787 |
Hakuna Matata! The beloved musical roars its way back to Cincinnati Jan. 8 – Feb. 2. The Lion King has been seen by more than 20 million theater-goers and the tour has traveled to more than 80 cities in the U.S. Be a part of this heartfelt Broadway production which includes award-winning songs by Elton John and Tim Rice. Tickets start at $29 — hurry and get yours now!

Find more December shows listed in THINGS TO DO!


A Duke Energy Holiday Train Display at CMC

Festive Events!

For the most wonderful time of the year, head to create memories at one of these holiday events!

City of Montgomery’s Holiday in the Village
Dec. 7, 5 – 7:30 p.m.
513-891-2424 |
Take a ride on the “Jolly Trolley” free holiday shuttle (5 p.m. at Twin Lakes and Bethesda North Hospital; service ends at 9 p.m., departing from Ohio National Financial Services). Following the tree lighting (and the announcement of the Winter Coloring Contest winner, plus giveaways), stroll along Shelly Lane and visit the North Pole Workshop.

Taft Museum of Art
Antique Christmas
Through Jan. 5, 2020
316 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH
513-241-0343 |
New displays include feather trees with vintage Disney and German fairytale ornaments. Enjoy treats in the Taft’s holiday-decorated dining room. Write letters to Santa, shop for gifts, take an Antique Christmas Tour Thursday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. —with Kathy and Stewart Gregory (display contributors to this year’s exhibition). Free for members; regular admission pricing for non-members.

EnterTRAINment Junction
Christmas at the Junction
Through Jan. 1, 2020
7379 Squire Court, West Chester Township, OH
513-898-8000 |
A “Journey to the North Pole,” will take you on an adventure to meet Mrs. Claus and Santa. Special hours from Dec. 8 – 30 (check website for details); closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tickets $17.95, or buy online and get $2 off; age 2 and younger are free.

Krohn Conservatory
A Zinzinnati Holiday
1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH
513-421-4086 |
See our city from a different perspective at Cincinnati Parks’ nationally recognized holiday display of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world surrounding historical representations of Cincinnati’s buildings. Through Jan. 5, 2020. $10 adults, $7 ages 5 – 17, free for ages 4 and younger.

Cincinnati Museum Center
Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains
Daily through Jan. 5
1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH
513-287-7000 |
Holiday trains, Santa, build a snowman, get immersed in a LEGO wonderland, take a ride on the train. See website for hours. $14.50 adults, $13.40 seniors, $10.50 ages 3 -12, $5.50 ages 1 – 2, free for members and ages 1 and younger.

An Old Kentucky Christmas
6080 Camp Ernst Road, Burlington, Ky
859-586-4673 |
Experience colonial days while following your nose to Grandma’s cookies, enjoying the sound of carols and decorating ornaments! Free! Dec. 12 and 13, 5 – 8 p.m.; Dec. 14 and 15, 2 – 8 p.m.

Holiday Markets

Support the community by shopping local.

Matthew 25: Ministries
Global Village Market
11060 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH
513-793-6256 |
Browse unique crafts purchased from artists around the world served by Matthew 25. New this year, experience The Missionarium: watch local artisans at work.

New Vision UMC
4400 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH
513-961-4817 |
The cities largest free holiday festival and market. Shop at more than 60 vendor booths, enjoy food concessions, free entertainment, kid’s crafts and activities, a visit from Santa Claus and more. Friday, Dec. 13, 4- 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Winter Market at Fountain Square
520 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH
A shopping experience to remember with regional artisans and crafters in newly designed huts. Enjoy concessions and wine while you browse and shop.
Through Dec. 22; Fridays, 4 – 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 12 – 9 p.m.; Sundays, 12 – 5 p.m.

Christmas in Loveland
Downtown Loveland, Loveland, OH
Find decor to personalize your home, unique, handmade pottery, and browse the town, supporting local businesses. Saturday, Dec. 14, 4 – 9 p.m.

Independence Christmas Walk Craft Extravaganza
Independence, Ky
Enjoy a night-time Christmas parade, the crowning of Miss Independence, plus an array of local craft and food vendors at the Independence Courthouse and Independence Senior Citizen Building. Saturday, Dec. 7, 4 – 9 p.m.

Ultimate Holiday Craft Expo
Hilton Cincinnati Airport, 7373 Turfway Road, Florence, Ky
Shop a variety of local boutiques, crafters and specialty vendors. Order your tickets in advance and drop them in the raffle box for a chance to win some door prizes. Parking and admission, free; Sunday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

About the Author

Amanda Hayward

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a mom of three with one on the way. If she's not writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.