Who’s ready to kick off December with a big ol’ holiday-filled bang? Lots to do, so get to it!
Reach for the stars at Northern Kentucky University’s Haile Digital Planetarium. Watch as the moon formed, visit places that could be the origin of life, learn about the phases of the moon, seasons, and see eclipses in this award winning NKU production. 7:30 p.m., free (with reservations)
Create fused glass ornaments for yourself or as a holiday gift at Brazee Street Studios in Oakley, during the Open House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids are welcome. Cost is $15 per ornament.
Get in the Christmas spirit at the Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Christmas Festival. Starting with a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus at 10 a.m., the festival includes street vendors and live entertainment. Watch for parades at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. Free.
Ride in a carriage, listen to holiday music, warm up by a bonfire, shop local and see twinkling lights at Light Up Madeira from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Throw a clay bowl on a real potter’s wheel and create your own piece of functional art at Happen Inc.’s Clay Goes Round and Round event from 10am-5pm (first come, first serve). Kids and adults get a chance to create one piece of pottery, at the pottery wheel with a ceramic artist. Free.
Visit Santa’s Workshop in Deerfield Township, 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. – open to Deerfield Township residents only. Get your picture with Santa and make some holiday crafts. Free with advanced RSVP.
Stroll through Over-the-Rhine with American Legacy’s Spirit of Christmas Tours. You’ll walk through the Gateway Quarter with award-winning guides, visiting churches of local and national significance. Two-hour tour begins at 11 a.m. at 1218 Vine St. Tickets are $20 for each adult, $10 for each child.
Visit Santa’s Workshop at Washington Park from 1 to 3 p.m. He’ll be there this Saturday and every following Saturday until Christmas. Free.
Catch the Magical Holiday Circus Show at 1 and 3 p.m. with Circus Mojo at Newport on the Levee. The whole family will love the Big Band Nutcracker Circus, where the sugarplum fairy spins in the air and the Rat King takes a pie in the face. Free.
Enjoy holiday activities, crafts, and performances by popular entertainers for the entire family in the Reading Garden Lounge of the main Cincinnati Public Library. Zak Morgan performs at 1 p.m., and CCM Tenor Will Reed at 3 p.m. Free.
See The Nutcracker in a whole new way. de la Dance Company performs The Nutcracker All Jazzed Up at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Jarson-Kaplan Theater at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. Tickets $30.25.
Can’t get enough of The Nutcracker? Check out Kristin G.’s roundup of 2012 Nutcracker Events in Greater Cincinnati.
Pose for pictures with Santa at the Durr Branch of the Kenton County Libraries from 2 to 4 p.m. Bring your own camera and stay for a craft. Free.
Watch Santa rappel down the side of the 525 Vine Building, a downtown office tower, to the Macy’s rooftop at Fountain Square to kick off a spectacular holiday fireworks display during Macy’s Downtown Dazzle. The excitement begins at 5:45 p.m. Free.
Shop for artsy people on your gift list at the Christmas Art Show at the Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center in Covington from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Spend the afternoon soaking up the nostalgia of Christmas past and present at Hamilton’s Historic German Village Christmas Walk. From noon to 5 p.m., there will be strolling musicians, carriage rides, local musicians and school choirs, petting zoo, Santa Claus, live reindeer and more. Free.
Frolic outside in nature and warm up with hot cocoa at the Cincinnati Nature Center’s Outdoor Social from 1 to 3 p.m. PlayScape programs are for children 12 and under with an adult. Members free; nonmembers free with CNC daily admission.
Hear Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, 7 p.m. at Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are $12, $6 for non-UC students and free for UC students.
Make crafts, ride in a carriage and get photos with Santa at the Erlanger Library‘s Holiday Extravaganza, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Free.
Watch the miniature trains go by at Holiday Junction Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center now through January 6. These trains have become a beloved Cincinnati holiday tradition… don’t miss out on building new family memories with this wonderful display.
See even more trains and an indoor Journey to the North Pole at Christmas At EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester. Open daily through December 31 (except Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Take in some of the amazing outdoor holiday light displays throughout the tristate. Our own Karen E. shares details about the best light displays.
Hop aboard the LM&M railroad for a festive holiday train ride. Riders on the North Pole Express get to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, be entertained by Santa’s Elves and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a holiday cookie. Tickets range from free for infants to $20.50 for adults.
Do some figure-eights at U.S. Bank Ice Rink on Fountain Square. Santa Skates are held on Saturdays and Sundays, noon-1 p.m. Cost is $3 to skate, $3 for skate rental.
So much is happening near downtown — see Amy Q’s post about holiday fun in downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine.
Tour downtown in a carriage ride from Macy’s Celebration Station, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The carriage boards at the corner of Fifth and Race Street. Free.
Tell Santa what you want for Christmas at Macy’s Fountain Place. Bring your own camera for photos with downtown’s only Santa in a festive North Pole setting. Friday and Saturday, 11a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Free.
Where else can you see Santa in the tristate? Our own Michelle H. has the Santa scoop in this post.
See the Miami Valley Ballet Theatre perform The Nutcracker at Fairfield Community Arts Center. Shows are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and matinees at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10 for kids ages 10 and under and $15 for 10 and up. Call 867-5348 to purchase tickets.
Peek into the decorated, child-sized buildings of Ohio National’s Victorian Holiday Village. Plus, get free cocoa, cookies, 5×7 photos with St. Nick and more. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until 8:30 p.m. Free.
Hi-ho, hi-ho with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest, a children’s production by the Sunset Players. Shows are at 7 p.m. on Friday, and 2 p.m on Saturday and Sunday at Dunham Recreation Center Arts Building. Tickets are $5.
When not blogging for Family Friendly Cincinnati, you can find Susan writing at her personal blog, Working Moms Against Guilt.