Can’t Miss Holiday Experiences in Ohio

Collect enough magical memories to last until Spring!

Winter Wonderland in Ohio

By

Kyle Reyes

on

Jan 21, 2021

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The holiday season (or the fifth season as some especially electrified holiday enthusiasts like to call it) is one you must take advantage of. It’s a time for reconnecting with friends and family members and making memories together.  

If you’re hosting the special people in your life from out of town or going to visit them in Ohio, we’ve got 15 of the state’s best seasonal offerings everyone (even cranky Aunt Marge) is guaranteed to enjoy. Check out Holiday Experiences in and around Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland!

Columbus

Dickens Victorian Village - Columbus

Enjoy a Historic Christmas Display at the Victorian Village

647 Wheeling Ave | Cambridge | dickensvictorianvillage.com

What the dickens? The transformation of historic downtown Cambridge into a charming, Victorian village for the holiday season is almost unreal. You feel as though you’ve stepped back straight back in time to 1850s England as you’re exploring the streetscape and admiring the architecture, eclectic shops, and eateries. There are 94 scenes depicting life-sized, handmade mannequins participating in classic Victorian life. Look around! Some are located in shop windows, others are on the street, and you can find even more in second-floor windows.

Dickens Dinners - Columbus

Take a Step Back in History at this Ohio Festival!

800 East 17th Ave  | Columbus | ohiohistory.org/ohio-village/dickens-of-a-christmas

Not to be confused with Dickens Victorian Village — Dickens Dinners is a festival that takes place in December at Ohio Village, inspired by Charles Dickens. Dine in Dickens’ world and listen to carols performed by the Ohio Village singers. Spend the rest of the evening strolling throughout the village until 9pm. This event is super popular and usually sells out. Tickets go on sale in October!

A Storybook Christmas - Columbus

A Picturesque Town Just Outside of Columbus

205 North Fifth Street | Zanesville | visitzanesville.com/Storybook-Christmas/Booklet

Zanesville is the perfect example of a community coming together during the holidays. Local shops and businesses each chose their favorite storybook and decorated with that theme in mind. You’ll have to drive or walk down the street to fully appreciate their portrayal of the timeless tales. Don’t be shy! Walk inside and stop for a visit.

Cincinnati

Winter Fest - Cincinnati 

Kings Island gets a Makeover for the Holiday Season

6300 Kings Island Drive | Kings Island | visitkingsisland.com/events/winterfest

Kings Island - an amusement and water park - apparently loves the Christmas season so much, they re-open their gates November 23rd to celebrate. The park is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with festive rides, ice skating, holiday shows, carolers, twinkling lights, custom Christmas creations, and so much more. These people really understand how to launch you into the spirit of Christmas!

PNC Festival of Lights - Cincinnati

Light up Your Holidays at the PNC Festival of Lights

3400 Vine Street | Cincinnati | cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights

The PNC Festival of Lights has been a family tradition for over 30 years. They’re the largest light display in Cincinnati, voted #1 Zoo lights in the country by U.S.A. Today, and offer many festive activities to make your holiday evening wild. Meet reindeer and other animals, watch a puppet show, take a train ride, and warm up with a snack at one of the S’more-n-More stands. It’s recommended to arrive before 4pm or after 8pm to avoid traffic.

Deck the Hall - Cincinnati 

Enjoy Nature’s Beauty at Stan Hywet Hall Gardens

714 North Portage Path | Akron | stanhywet.org/events/deck-hall-lights-cameras-christmas

Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Hall Gardens is a tradition in Akron that involves over 800,000 Christmas lights and the exquisite historic Manor House. The property is dressed up for the holidays and can’t wait to show off for you! Come to meet Santa, a brilliant light show, and music. Parking is free and remember to wear walking shoes!

Cleveland

A Christmas Story - Cleveland

Take a Tour Through this Christmas Classic!

3159 West 11th Street | Cleveland | achristmasstoryhouse.com

Get ready to experience a Christmas movie classic on a whole other level by living it. At the Christmas Story House and Museum, step into Ralphie’s childhood home by signing up for a tour. The house is open year round to the public and filled with original props, costumes, and memorabilia from the film -- we’re talking Randy’s famously overstuffed snowsuit, toys from Higbee’s window, and the family car. Plus, take home the ultimate souvenir -- a Major Award Leg Lamp -- from the gift shop!

Nutcracker Village - Cleveland

This Village Goes all out During the Holiday Season!

120 South 3rd Street | Steubenville | steubenvillenutcrackervillage.com

For 4 weekends following Thanksgiving, over 150 life-size nutcrackers come to live in Fort Steuben Park. They depict local, literary, popular, and historical characters like Scrooge, Sherlock Holmes, and the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. The nutcrackers proudly stand guard in their village, but they won’t mind if you steal a picture with them. You should also check out the musical production Steubenville puts on based on the different characters — “Wooden Heart Follies.”

Toboggan Chutes and Chalet - Cleveland

Ride Down this Chute at The Chalet!

16200 Valley Parkway | Strongsville | clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/activities

A must-do winter activity is feeling the thrill of tobogganing at The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation. The twin, 700-foot ice chutes operate with or without snow. What are you waiting for?! Challenge your friends to a race or grab your family and take a wintery slide down the chute. There’s a 4 person limit per toboggan.

Sleigh Rides through Spiegel Grove - Cleveland

Relax and Enjoy the Nature of Spiegel Grove with a Pair of Ohio’s Finest Horses

Spiegel Grove | Fremont | https://www.rbhayes.org/events

Allow a pair of trusty clydesdales to take you on a jaunty carriage ride through President Rutherford Hayes’ old estate. Or, just enjoy the wintery grounds of Hayes’ home from the walking paths. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums offers enchanting rides on a first-come, first-served basis, with no reservations taken. Check their website for dates!

The Toledo Museum of Art - Cleveland

Enjoy the Holiday Season at the Toledo Museum of Art

2445 Monroe Street | Toledo | toledomuseum.org

The Toledo Museum of Art ranks as one of the finest in the United States, but around the holidays it is, simply put, fantastic. With a collection of more than 30,000 works from artists such as Egas, Picasso, Pissarro, and Manet, and pieces from all over the world, the galleries are certainly one to visit. You won’t want to miss Fired UP: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists and Glorious Splendor, 30 masterpieces of late Roman art jewelry opening November 18th.

Deck the Wreath Wine Trail

Wine, Wreaths, and a Wonderful Day Await at this Wine Trail

1 South Broadway | Geneva | https://www.ohiowines.org/events/deck-the-wreath-wine-trail

Do “winter” and “wine” start with the same letter because they’re such a wonderful pair? We think so. Sign up for the best tasting of your life by exploring the Lake Erie Shores and Islands V.I.N.O. Wine Trail. On the tour, you’re given a 20 inch Christmas wreath to kick off your journey. You must drive to each destination. Once there, you’ll receive complimentary wine samples, a light appetizer, and a miniature ornament to decorate your wreath.

Canton Palace Theatre

Enjoy a Holiday Classic at this Historic Theatre

605 Market Avenue North | Canton | cantonpalacetheatre.org

The Canton Palace Theatre has been a staple of this town for generations. This holiday season, they are outfitting their beautiful theatre for Christmas! Stop by for a holiday classic in a great theatre and take in the beauty of this historic building.

Holidays in the Hay Candlelight tours

Enjoy Historic Christmas Tradition at This Festive Tour

10825 East Boulevard | Cleveland | wrhs.org/events/

Cleveland has always embraced the holiday session. Explore their traditions young and old at the Cleveland History Center with the Holidays in the Hay Candlelight Tours, beginning Thursday, November 18. Tour the Hay-McKinney Mansion, explore festive refreshments, and have a happy holiday season!

Winter Wonderland Open House

Massillon Public Library is Hosting a Variety of Holiday Events!

717 East 17th Avenue | Columbus | massillonlibrary.org/calendar

Stop by Massillon Public Library on the 20th of November for some holiday fun! There is music, holiday arts and crafts, refreshments, and beautiful spaces to take photos. Check out their calendar for their full list of Winter events. 

Make this holiday season the best and brightest you’ll ever remember! Attend one of these events and you’re bound to have an amazing time with your friends or family. Let us know in the comments which experience looks most interesting to you!

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