Santa’s Workshop — Ditch the mall trip and head to Washington Park for a photo with Santa while and his elves make gifts, ornaments and other fun creations. Saturdays through Dec. 21. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.
North Pole Express — A 45-minute-long vintage train ride through the countryside full of holiday spirit. Enjoy a reading of The Polar Express, carols led by elves and a visit with Santa Claus. Through Dec. 22. $20.50 adults; $15.50 seniors and children; $8.50 toddlers; free for children under 2. 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, lebanonrr.com.
Santa Skates — Every weekend from now until Christmas, Santa will lace up his skates and join families out on the ice for an hour of holiday-filled fun. Noon-1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24. $3 admission; $3 skate rental. 520 Vine St., Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.
Christmas Town — A live nativity, petting zoo, garden of lights and more. Through Dec. 28. Free. 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Petersburg, Ky., creationmuseum.org.
Santa’s Workshop featuring the Shillito’s Elves — Visit the historic Shillito’s Elves in their new workshop. Bring letters to mail to Santa or get your picture taken with Santa on Saturdays and Sundays. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Through Dec. 29. $4; free for 3 and under. 6940 Madisonville Road, Mariemont, thesantaworkshop.com.
Holiday in Lights — Thousands of twinkling lights line miles of festive drive-thru displays through the wooded hills of Sharon Woods. Also visit Santaland for hot chocolate and photos with the man in red. Through Dec. 31. $13 per car. Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, greatparks.org.
Holiday Lights at Pyramid Hill — Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum presents a drive-through exhibit with more than a million lights and laser displays. Through Jan. 1. Free. 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, pyramidhill.org.
Scuba Santa at the Newport Aquarium — Santa returns to his Water Wonderland this holiday season. Scuba Santa’s magical dive show includes an elf, some friendly fish and a special underwater version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Through Jan. 1. Free with admission ($23; $15 children). Newport Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, newportaquarium.com.
Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights — Visit your favorite animals and enjoy holiday lights strung throughout the zoo, with Madcap Puppets in blacklight, a light show on Swan Lake, North Polar Express train rides, s’mores, Santa and more. Through Jan. 4. $15 adults; $10 child/senior. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.
Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction — Enjoy a magical indoor scene with lights, decorations, Santa and Mrs. Claus and a free holiday-themed train displays. Through Jan. 5. $12.95 adult; $11.50 senior; $9.95 children. 7379 Squire Court, West Chester, entertrainmentjunction.com.
Antique Christmas — This holiday favorite returns to the Taft with antique ornaments, toys and decorations on display throughout the season.
Special this year are a Civil War-era Christmas tree and an 1890s German nativity pyramid. Through Jan. 5. $10 adults; $8 seniors; $4 children. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.
A Cincinnati Scenic Railway at Krohn Conservatory — The Krohn’s holiday show invites you to control parts of their garden railway display through iconic Cincinnati landmarks such as the Taft Museum, Union Terminal and the Eden Park Springhouse. Through Jan. 5. $7 adults; $4 children; free for 4 and under. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com.
Holiday Junction at the Cincinnati Museum Center — Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday trains — more than 300 miniature rail cars and 60 engines run along 1,000 feet of track. Through Jan. 5. $12.50 adults; $8.50 children. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.
Newport Express Holiday Depot — Features a train display, LEGO sculpture, photo opps and more. Through Jan. 5. $5. Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportonthelevee.com.
Holiday Toy Trains — Follow 250 feet of track to operate more than 30 accessories from buttons on the layout. Through Jan. 19. $7 adults; $6 seniors; $4 children. Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Covington, Ky., bcmuseum.org.
Fountain Square Ice Rink — Includes concessions and lockers. The ice rink is available for private rental and groups. Special discounts and events in January and February. Through Feb. 15. $3 admission; $3 skate rental. 520 Vine St., Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.
Victorian Holiday Village — The 12th annual Victorian village features thousands of lights, miniature decorated Victorian-style homes, entertainment, free coca, goodies and free photos with Saint Nick. 6-8:30 p.m., Dec. 12, 13. Free. Ohio National Financial Services, One Financial Way, Montgomery, ohionational.com.
Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt — Visit Findlay Market and experience Cincideutsch’s traditional German Christmas market complete with traditional German food, mulled wine, sweets, beer and artisan gifts. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. Through Dec. 14. Free. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine. cincideutsch.com.
Macy’s Downtown Dazzle — Santa rappels down the side of the 525 Vine building office tower to the Macy’s rooftop at Fountain Square to kick off a spectacular fireworks display. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.
Santa Claws In-Store Photo Event — Tote your pet to any PetSmart location in the Cincinnati area to get photos with Santa. Remember to bring your own camera and a $5 donation to benefit local animal welfare groups. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 14. Cincinnati PetSmart locations. petsmart.com.
Story Time with Mrs. Claus — After the Macy’s Downtown Dazzle fireworks, head in to Macy’s Fountain Place for cookies and story time and crafts with Mrs. Claus. 7 p.m. Dec. 14. Free. Macy’s Fountain Place, 505 Vine St., Downtown, downtowncincinnati.com.
Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer — A holiday performance accompanied by the Albee Theater’s Mighty Wurlitzer and special guest Mary Ellen Tanner. 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12. $25. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org.
Cincinnati Santacon — Before embarking on an epic pub crawl, more than 500 Santas will meet at Fountain Square to sing songs, make merry and spread good cheer through the city. Noon-midnight Dec. 14. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, cincinnatisantacon.com.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas — The music of Mannheim Steamroller set to dazzling multimedia effects. 8 p.m. Dec. 14. $38-$78. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org.
Unsilent Night — A holiday parade of boomboxes by the CAC. 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 14. Free. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.
Christmas in Loveland — Enjoy an evening of carriage rides, crafts, caroling, a bonfire and more in historic downtown Loveland. 4-9 p.m. Dec. 14. Free. West Loveland Avenue, Loveland, historicloveland.com.
Light Up OTR — An eight-block radius on Elm, Race and Main streets will be framed with the soft-glow of 2,000 luminaries. In addition, a 30-foot tree will be mounted as a permanent holiday fixture at Washington Park. 6-10:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.
Christmas for the Nations — The Redeemer Church celebrates Cincinnatians from various ethnicities while sharing Christmas songs and stories. The event will include activities for children and finger food from around the world. 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Free. Mars Hill Academy, 4230 Aero Drive, Deerfield Township, redeemercincy.com.
Holly Days at the Heritage Village Museum — An afternoon full of crafts, storytelling, model trains, holiday food, music and more. Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. $7 adults; $4 children; free for members and children younger than 4. Heritage Village Museum, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, heritagevillagecincinnati.org.
Dazzle Days at the Library — The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County provides holiday activities, crafts, a model train display and entertainment. 1-4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. Free. Main branch, 800 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnatilibrary.org.
Luminaria Night — The Cincinnati Observatory Center hosts an evening filled with carolers, stargazing, shopping and hot drinks. Shuttles between Mount Lookout Square and the Observatory are provided. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Free. Cincinnati Observatory Center, 3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, cincinnatiobservatory.org.
The Nutcracker — A magical and family-friendly annual interpretation of the Tchaikovsky score, danced by the Cincinnati Ballet and soundtracked by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Dec. 20-29. Tickets start at $32. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.
Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival — The Christ Church Cathedral presents the oldest continuing festival of the Christmas season featuring a cast of more than 200 people in 14th century English character and attire. 5-7 p.m. Jan. 4; 2:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 5; 5-7 p.m. Jan. 5. Free. The Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St. Downtown, boarsheadfestival.com.
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