2019 Guide To Holiday Light Displays + Light Up Events In Ohio
Light Up Your Life With These Whimsical Events All Over Ohio
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As the days shorten and the weather worsens, it can sometimes be difficult to remain upbeat, even with a good dose of holiday cheer. What better way to scare away the winter blues than with lights, and lots of them? The great state of Ohio, although it may not have the merriest weather, has many light shows for its residents to enjoy, no matter where they might live. We’ll give you an overview of when and where you can find these light up events to fight off that seasonal sadness.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights
Fun With Lights, Animals, and Santa
4850 Powell Rd
Powell, OH 43065
Nov. 15-Jan. 5 (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day)
With around 400,000 visitors annually, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights is one of Ohio’s most popular light displays, and for good reason. 3 million lights are animated to move in time to various music to create a dazzling display. Plus, this display also features animals inside heated shelters (including reindeer!), a holiday skating event, and a chance to meet Santa!
Hometown Holiday and Grand Illumination
Family-Friendly Event With Plenty of Festive Features
405 Public Sq
Attracting people from all around Miami County, the Hometown Holiday and Grand Illumination takes place in beautiful downtown Troy, featuring a visit from Santa, carriage rides, shopping, and a special holiday reading from the Mayor. Hot chocolate will be served to warm little fingers, along with other festive refreshments. Make sure that you stay for the main event: the tree lighting ceremony, which will take place at 6:45.
The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill
The Historic Landmark, But Now With Lights!
75 Water St
Clifton, OH 45316
Nov. 28-Dec. 31
On Dec. 23, 24, and 31: 6pm-8pm
Ordinarily, Clifton Mill is a picturesque sight — a historic grist mill built in 1802 that overlooks a scenic river — but during the holiday season, this site is transformed breathtaking display bursting with joyous light. Named one of the top 10 light displays in the entire country, Clifton Mill uses a whopping 4 million lights to pull off this stunning scene. The display features a synchronized musical light show, a Santa museum, a miniature village, and a live Santa who’s hard at work packing up toys.You won’t want to miss this legendary display!
PNC Festival Of Lights
The Cincinnati Zoo’s Annual Light Show
3400 Vine St
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Nov. 16-Jan. 4
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day
The PNC Festival of Lights is here to give the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights a run for their money. Both have their own perks, with the PNC Festival of Lights featuring light-up animal sculptures, the Winter Wonders Show, a ride on the Toyland Express Train, storytime with Mrs. Clause, and a chance to write Santa a letter. Plus, lots and lots of lights — around 3 million, all told.
Holiday Lights On The Hill
A Marvelous Drive-Through Display
1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd.
Hamilton, OH 45013
Nov. 22-Jan. 5
Taking place in a beautiful, expansive sculpture park, Holiday Lights on the Hill is a 2-mile drive through experience, featuring impeccably decorated trees, fascinating light sculptures, and entire scenes illustrated with lights. The park is open even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, making it the perfect festive family destination. Even if you can’t make it during the holiday season, Pyramid Hill is worth a visit during any time of year to view the sculptures, which are sprawled throughout the park’s 300+ acres.
The Scioto Mile
Celebrate The Holidays In Downtown Columbus
Nov. 21-Jan. 6
Dusk to dawn
For some free holiday fun, try walking through the winter wonderland that is The Scioto Mile. All 175 acres of this naturally beautiful string of parks is glamorized with over 250,000 lights from November 21 onward. Sit on one of the many park benches to enjoy the view, or take a gander as you pass by on Civic Center Drive (while someone else is driving, preferably).
A Winter Wonderland In The Woods
895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd
Washington Township, OH 45459
Nov. 23-Dec. 2: Fri-Sun, 6pm-9pm
Dec 7-Dec 23: Mon-Sun, 6pm-9pm
With thousands of lights strung out over a half-mile wooded trail, Woodland Lights makes for an enchanted walk that the whole family can enjoy. In addition to this cheery light display, Woodland Lights offers carriage rides around the beautiful park with Percheron horses, a visit with Santa in a charming historic cabin, live animals (deer, silver foxes, and wild turkeys), local food trucks, and amusement rides, appropriate for both older and younger children. This is a great opportunity to experience the holidays in nature, especially for those living in nearby Dayton.
Christmas Nights Of Lights
Cincy’s Largest Synchronized Light Show
6201 Kellogg Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45230
Nov. 8-Jan. 5
Dusk-10pm (extended hours on weekends)
The Christmas Nights of LIghts display hasn’t been around for long, and it’s one of the more modern-looking light shows. Accompanied by festive music played through your car stereo, the 1 million lights jump and dance to create a stunning visual. The entire show lasts around 30 minutes, which means that there can be a bit of a lineup during the busier hours. No need to worry about the weather — Nights of Lights is open rain, shine, or snow, and you’ll be perfectly cozy and warm in your vehicle.
Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show
Four Magnificent Synchronized Light Shows On One Historic Building
801 Wheeling Ave
Cambridge, OH 43725
Nov. 2-Jan. 1
Just to give you an idea of the complication involved in the Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show, the entire display takes 364 electrical circuits, 36 animated light displays, and 30,000 lights in total to pull off. Now that’s impressive! The entire display consists of four separate shows, each eight to twelve minutes long. This doesn’t seem like much, but every two minutes of the light show originally took at least eighteen hours of work. All this hard work pays off, however, in the final product, featuring traditional holiday music as well as a more contemporary take featuring local saxophonist Gordon Hough.
Light Up Lakewood
A Free, Family-Friendly Winter Festival
Celebrating both the holiday season and the rich culture of Lakewood, Light Up Lakewood is now entering its 13th year, and it’s more popular than ever. Shop to your heart’s content in the Holiday Market, hosted inside the Lakewood Masonic Temple, observe ice carvings while sipping on hot cocoa, enjoy live music while chowing down on food from local food trucks, or spectate one of the many events, like the holiday parade, lighting ceremony, or winter fireworks. There’s so much to see and do, you won’t know where to start!
Cleveland Public Square
A Lovely Treat In A Gorgeous Downtown Park
50 Public Sq
Cleveland, OH 44113
Famous for the part it played in the classic movie “A Christmas Story,” Cleveland now uses over 500,000 bulbs to deck out its public square for the holidays. It’s the perfect place to take a stroll and admire the city, have a skate on the ice rink, or meet other locals getting in the holiday spirit. The square is illuminated through January 1.
Wherever you live in Ohio, you can still get a good dose of holiday cheer from twinkling lights. The days may be dark, but that doesn’t mean they have to be depressing! Winter is a time to hang out with loved ones and appreciate your community, including their light displays. Here’s wishing you the happiest of holidays!