It’s that time of the year when twinkling lights, fruit cake and Santa look-a-likes are as abundant as the frost on your windshield and there is no better way to embrace all of the holiday delights than with some of the festivals around the Tri-State.
This year, some of the area’s best events are bringing together fun, food and fabulous sights and sounds. To get you pointed in the right direction, here’s a list of the top nine holiday festivals you won’t want to miss.
But the list doesn’t end here. Be sure to tell us your favorite holiday festivals in the comments section below!
1. Downtown Dazzle
Lights, fireworks and…a dare devil Santa? Macy’s 6th Annual Downtown Dazzle gives people a chance to see holiday lights, a spectacular fireworks display and a Santa who rappels down the 525 Vine Building office tower to the Macy’s roof. The family-friendly program combines performances from local choirs and other fun holiday-themed attractions. The Downtown Dazzle runs on Saturday with the remaining events on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15.
For more information, go to http://www.downtowncincinnati.com/PlanYourVisit/Holidays_2012.aspx .
2. PNC Festival of Lights
While the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is traditionally a destination to see the animals, Tri-State residents flock to the zoo to see more than two million LED flicker and glow at the PNC Festival of Lights. The celebration, now in its 30th year, allows guests to stroll through the themed areas of the zoo and see animals that are out to play. This year, the make-your-own s’mores station, the North Polar Express Train Ride and a lights show on Swan Lake create a fun experience for all. The Festival of Lights is open through Jan. 1, 2013.
For more details about the event and prices, go to http://cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights/ .
The North Pole is coming to Sharonville as a local park is transformed into a world of holiday cheer! Santaland is at Sharon Centre in Sharon Woods and brings carolers, Santa, a holiday train display, shopping opportunities and plenty of lights. Visitors can sneak a peek at Mrs. Claus’ bakery, get a picture with Santa and see a talking Christmas tree. The free event is open through Dec. 23.
For the hours and more information, go to http://greatparks.org/events/santaland.html .
4. North Pole Express
At Lebanon’s North Pole Express “choo, choo” meets “ho, ho, ho.” The half hour train ride to the decorated LM&M Junction ends with visits from Santa and holiday fun. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and a holiday cookie, settle in and enjoy the ride with pit stops to send your letters to Santa and chat with elves. The rides are on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23.
Get the rest of the information at http://www.lebanonrr.com/northpole.html .
5. Spirit of Christmas Tours
The Tri-State area is full of holiday traditions and history and a new tour is giving people a chance to learn the background stories behind local celebrations. The Spirit of Christmas Tours go through the Gateway Quarter and are led by the American Legacy Tour’s award-winning guides. Attendees will visit churches of local and national significance and the tour ends in the fully decorated St. Francis Seraph Church and Friary. A decorated Charles Dickens Village and a stable of live animals make the tour a fun experience. The tours are every week until Dec. 22.
For prices and more information, go to http://americanlegacytours.com/?q=tours/spirit-christmas .
Next page: Have holiday fun with your four-legged friends and hunt for candy