The 2022 Guide To Holiday Light Up Events In Ohio

These Light Up events will get you right into the holiday spirit!

Wrapped up white Christmas lights.

By

Stacey Fleurime

on

Jan 21, 2021

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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. The wintertime is the perfect occasion to get outside and enjoy some winter fun like ice skating, sledding, or just going for a stroll and taking in the crisp, cold air. However, one of the best ways to get everyone in the family in a good mood (especially as the holidays approach) is to enjoy a good old fashioned light show!

After all, what better way to scare away the winter blues than with lights, and lots of them? The great state of Ohio has some of the most picturesque winters out there, which is why you should take advantage and explore a new area and see what kinds of light shows are available in 2022! There are many light shows for Ohio 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 any seasonal sadness and get you in the holiday spirit ASAP.

Light Up Downtown Canton

Celebrate the Christmas Spirit in Canton

decorating a Christmas tree
Spending some time at a light show is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy this time of year.

Downtown Canton

Dec. 1, 2022, 5:30-8:30pm

If you’re in Canton and looking to start off the season of lights right, you’ve got to come to Canton Light Up Night! This is a fun activity for kids and adults alike, but make sure you’re ready by dressing in your warmest winter gear. Enjoy 16 city blocks featuring all kinds of attractions, entertainment, and refreshments that you won’t want to miss. It all culminates with the lighting of the Christmas tree!

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights

Fun With Lights, Animals, and Santa

Columbus Zoo Wildlights for Christmas
Lights aren’t the only thing on display at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — plenty of animals will be visible as well! Image courtesy of Columbus Zoo.

4850 Powell Rd | Powell | columbuszoo.org

Nov. 18-Jan. 1 (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day)

Sun-Thu: 5pm-9pm

Fri-Sat: 5pm-10pm

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! You won’t want to miss out on any of the fun, so make sure to pick up your tickets early. 

This yearly event is always a great time, because not only do you get to see the zoo decked out in its holiday best, but you get to see all your favorite animals!

Hometown Holiday and Grand Illumination

Family-Friendly Event With Plenty of Festive Features

Enjoy all the beautiful lights and a festive atmosphere! Though Santa is first introduced with a ride on a firetruck, he’ll eventually come down to greet all the kids. Image courtesy of Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau.

405 Public Sq | Troy 

Nov. 25

5pm-8:30pm

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. If you’re in the area this is not to be missed!

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill

The Historic Landmark, But Now With Lights!

A red house covered in white lights on the side of a hill covered in red lights.
It’s even more magnificent in person, with lights spilling onto every available surface. Image courtesy of WCPO.com.

75 Water St | Clifton | facebook.com/clifton.mill 

Nov. 25-Dec. 30

6pm-9:30 pm 

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 into a 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. Plus you’ll get to enjoy the mills, gorge, falls, and grounds all lit up and festive! Don’t forget about the moving light parade, the diner, or the drive in movie.

You won’t want to miss this legendary display!

PNC Festival Of Lights

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Annual Light Show

People walking through a tunnel of rainbow lights.
This rainbow light tunnel makes for the perfect photo op, and is sure to be a great memory for years to come. Image courtesy of Cincinnati Refined.

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

Nov. 18-Jan. 8

Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 9pm

Friday – Saturday – 10am – 10pm 

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.

Don’t forget that the Festival of Lights is included with Zoo admission!

Holiday Lights On The Hill

A Marvelous Drive-Through Display

A swan made of white lights with an orange beak surrounded by other light fixtures.
This clever display uses the reflections of the lake to double the beauty. Image courtesy of Pyramid Sculpture Park & Museum.

1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd | Hamilton | pyramidhill.org/events

Nov. 19-Jan. 2

Mon-Thu: 6pm-9pm

Fri-Sun: 6pm-10pm

If you need to get into the holiday spirit, one of the best places to do it is at this magical, winter wonderland full of lights. 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. Enjoy the sounds of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Cincinnati Boys Choir while you admire the lights!

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

Trees lit up with neon colors.
Columbus uses a variety of lights, whether they be small fairy lights or more far-reaching LEDs, to create the most aesthetically pleasing downtown possible. Image courtesy of Ohio Magazine.

The Scioto Mile | Columbus | sciotomile.com/holiday-lights

Nov. 25-Jan. 3

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 25 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). This is a great way to get a little colder weather exercise in and enjoy the festive lights!

Woodland Lights

A Winter Wonderland In The Woods

Trees and other fixtures covered in lights.
This cute walking tour may not have the highest density of lights, but it’s still sure to put you into the holiday spirit! Image courtesy of Dayton Local.

895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd | Washington Township | washingtontwp.org/recreation/woodland_lights

Nov. 18-Dec. 11: Thurs-Sun, 6pm-9pm

Dec 15-23: Nightly, 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

Four neon trees in a field. One is green, one is blue, one is white, and one is red.
If you can’t make it to the Cincinnati Zoo, the Christmas Nights of Lights makes for a great alternative. Image courtesy of Cincinnati USA.

6201 Kellogg Avenue | Cincinnati | coneyislandpark.com/event/christmas-light-show

Nov. 11-Jan. 1

Dusk-10pm 

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. Enjoy dancing candy canes, beautiful snowflakes, the famous tunnel of lights, and all kinds of dazzling scenes sure to get you in the holiday mood.

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

A lot of thought goes into these light shows — the first one took an entire year to plan! 

801 Wheeling Ave | Cambridge | facebook.com/courthouselightshow 

Nov. 1-Dec. 31

Mon-Sun: 5:30pm-9pm

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.

You’ll love how this historic building from 1881 seems to come alive with festive cheer throughout the season. Sit and stay a spell and enjoy the hard work of all the “lighting elves” that make this magical light show possible! 

Conservatory Aglow

A Magical Experience of Outdoor Lights

A walkway lit with blue and purple lights.
This walkway shows that you’re about to walk into a glowing winter wonderland. This is one of the most popular light shows in Columbus, so make it a point to grab the family and attend! Image courtesy of Kid 101.

1777 E Broad St | Columbus | fpconservatory.org/exhibitions/conservatory-aglow

Nov. 19-Jan. 8

5pm-9pm

Showcasing a magical display of stunning lights, Conservatory Aglow transforms a botanical garden into a gorgeous light show. You get to experience visitor favorites like the gingerbread house and the musical light show, along with dozens of poinsettias and hand-blown glass ornaments. Entertainers are hired on various nights to keep the crowd even more entertained.  Brand new light displays will accompany the classics, including lighted pathways that lead to Dale Chihuly’s beautiful, illuminated displays.

You also get to enjoy the interior biomes of this botanical garden during the light shows! The entire conservatory will be open during the light events. It will close to the general public some time before the show starts. Many nights of this event will sell out, so it is imperative to buy your tickets in advance so that you do not miss your chance. 

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

A Drive Through Winter Festival Like No Other 

There is just so much to drive past on this light-filled journey through the streets! So hop in the car and bring friends and family to this popular light show in Ohio.

3311 S Old State Rd | Delaware | butchbandosfantasyoflights.com

Nov. 18-Jan. 1

Sun-Thurs: 5:30pm-9pm

Friday & Saturday: 5:30-10pm 

This exciting light show lets you enjoy the festivities from the comfort of your car! This show has been around for years, but since 2017 has rebranded with a new name. The drive is three miles long, and along it you’ll see many beautiful LED light displays. It makes it even better that you can enjoy this from the comfort of your own car with the people you are close to! Drive slowly and make sure you get to enjoy all the displays. From start to finish, you are sure to have an amazing time!

Akron Zoo Lights

This Light Display is Wild and Wonderful, Perfect for the Holiday Season!

People standing outside a large tank with lights in the background.
You’re going to have an amazing time amongst the animals and the lights, but don’t forget to stop by Mrs. C’s Sweets and get your holiday s’mores treat! Image courtesy of Akron Zoo.

500 Edgewood Ave | Akron | akronzoo.org/wild-lights

Nov. 25-Dec. 30

5pm-9pm

The Akron Zoo Lights will brighten your night with its shining lights and amazing animals. You get to gaze at the wonderful light displays placed throughout the zoo, and you also get to watch their animals interact in their habitats. You’ll see lighted trees synchronized to music, brand new light displays, and you’ll get to have sweet treats along with cold and warm beverages.

Come with the kiddos by December 23rd for a chance to meet Santa!

Cleveland WinterLand

A Lovely Treat In A Gorgeous Downtown Park

A park surrounded by trees covered in lights.
Cleveland’s Public Square is a nice place to hang out during any time of year, but it’s really a sight to behold when dressed up for the holidays. Image courtesy of Ed Balaun.

50 Public Sq. | Cleveland | winterlandcle.com 

Lighting Ceremony 

Nov. 26 starting at 4pm, fireworks at 6pm

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. After the lighting ceremony you can enjoy more fun activities throughout the holiday season including Santa in the Square, IceFest, and Adventure Days.

 Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Enjoy the twinkling lights both inside the hall and throughout the beautiful gardens

714 North Portage Path | Akron | stanhywet.org

Nov. 25-27, Dec. 1-4, 8-23, 26-30

3-8 PM. Estate is open until 9 PM 

What better way to enjoy this wonderful, historical building than when it’s all dressed up with lights for the holidays? Enjoy 30 decorated trees inside the mansion, as well as plenty of fun, holiday themed rooms. Venture outside to see one million lights twinkle and shine in one of the most impressive holiday displays around! Three holiday songs will be choreographed to seasonal music, and there will be plenty of refreshments available such as hot cocoa, wine, and cookies. Enjoy the lights as you stroll the property decked out in its winter finest!

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!


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