Macy’s Light Up The Square – Macy’s Light Up The Square(November 25) is the annual lighting of the Holiday Tree on Fountain Square downtown produced by 3CDC. Pre-light festivities start at 6:30pm and include live music, as well as skating on the U.S. Bank Ice Rink. The official ceremony starts at 7pm with tree lighting, a special “Zippy” arrival by Santa Claus and fireworks.
Holiday Lights on the Hill – Located at Pyramid Hill, this drive through light display opens November 18 – January 1, 6-9pm Sunday through Thursday and 6-10pm Friday & Saturday. Admission is $2.50 children/$7.50 adults Sun – Thurs and $3.50 children/$9 adults Friday & Saturday. Was named Best Light Show in 2006 by Cincinnati Magazine. Directions
Light Up Middletown – Head to Middletown’s Smith Park to check out Light Up Middletown, a spectacular drive-thru light display that grows each year! Open from 6-10pm starting the day after Thanksgiving and running through December, rain (snow) or shine. Admission is by donation, visitors encouraged to drop a donation in the box as you enter the park. All donations go towards park improvements. Special events throughout the season include the Hot Air Balloon Glow and weekend visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus in the historic Lock Tender’s House Museum inside the park. A $10 donation for photos with Santa and the Mrs. is suggested. Directions
Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods – Celebrating it 20th year, Holiday in Lights is a drive-thru light display at Sharon Woods featuring more than 120 moving and standing themed figures. Display opens November 18 at 6:00 p.m. and is open every day through December 31; Sunday – Thursday, 6-9pm and Friday & Saturday 6-10pm. Admission is $12 per car and includes access to Santaland (Dicken’s Carolers, Elf Show, Santa and more). Directions | Valpak Coupon, Save $2
Light up the Levee Holiday Lights Show – Visit Newport on Levee for their free holiday light display, Light Up The Levee! Experience more than one million lights sycronized to holiday music. The display will include a 30-foot tall Christmas tree with a six-foot tall topper of the Star of Bethlehem, ten- and 20-foot spiral trees, five-foot snowflakes, wreaths and more. 18 shows will take place daily beginning at 6:10 p.m., every 20 minutes with the last show at 11:50 p.m. Runs November 22, 2011, through January 2, 2012. Directions
Niederman Family Farm Christmas Walk – Niederman Christmas Farm is a free walk-though Christmas display, open the day after Thanksgiving through December, 5:30pm-10pm daily. Visitors will enjoy tens of thousands of lights that illuminate the path. Christmas music plays from speakers throughout the farm as you view life-size nativity and several Biblical scenes telling the real story of Christmas. Local choirs perform throughout the month. Kids will enjoy looking at the hundreds of decorated trees and seeing the live animals. The walking path is wheel chair and stroller accessible. Includes free hot chocolate and cookies. Directions
PNC Festival of Lights – Hosted at the Cincinnati Zoo, the PNC Festival of Lights is one of the Tri-State’s best light experiences during the holidays. Runs November 25 – January 1, from 5pm – 9pm. Featuring almost two million LED lights spread through out the Zoo, attendees will have fun exploring holiday themed areas including Fairyland, Candy Cane Forest and more. Costumed characters along with the BIG GUY will be there too. Tickets are $14 adults (ages 13 and up) and $10 children (ages 2-12). Directions
The Christmas Ranch – Featuring more than 350,000 lights, synchronized to music, The Christmas Ranch’s “The Gift of Lights” display is a wonderful family friendly experience. Spread out over five acres, visitors will enjoy a scenic drive-thru route which leads to a magical Christmas Village, lots of entertainment, hot cocoa, train & wagon rides and more. Cost is$12 per vehicle. A portion of the entrance fee will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati. The Christmas Ranch opens after Thanksgiving and runs through January 1. Hours are Sun – Thurs, 6pm – 10pm and Friday, Saturday and Holidays, 6pm – 10:30pm. Directions | Discount (Save $2)
Community Tree Lightings and Events (Feel free to add more in the comments):
- Park Hills – Breakfast with Santa Dec. 3 at 9:30am & Christmas in the Park/Luminary Night Dec. 11 5pm – 11pm.
- Taylor Mill, KY – Santa’s Street Visit Dec. 10 from 9am – 3pm.
- Hyde Park – Holiday Classic from 1pm – 8pm on November 18
- West Chester – Olde West Chester Christmas Walk, Tree Lighting at 8pm on November 19
- Florence, KY – Tree Lighting Ceremony from 6-8pm on December 6
- Fort Mitchell – Light Up Fort Mitchell from 5:30pm – 8:30pm on December 11
- Lebanon, OH – Holiday Illumination on November 25
- Deerfield Township, OH – Annual Tree Lighting from 5pm – 7pm on November 26.
- Montgomery, OH – Holiday in the Village from 5pm – 9pm on December 3
- Covington – MainStrasse Village Tree Lighting November 29 & weekend events throughout month.
If you want to do a day trip or overnight to some other holiday light displays you can also visit the following:
- Dayton Holiday Festival – Dayton, OH – November 25
- Kalightoscope Christmas – Louisville, KY – November 17 – January 2
- Light Up Louisville – Louisville, KY – November 25.
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I plan on making my first trip ever to Fountain Square and downtown Cincinnati to see the beautiful lights and decorations that everyone talks about. I want to take a carriage ride with the love of my life who moved here from Arizona to be with me.