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Top 5 Holiday Happenings

Grab your fuzzy mittens and a thermos of hot chocolate and check out our favorite holiday happening this week (Christmas sweaters optional.)

1. Macy’s Downtown Dazzle
Fireworks? Check. Christmas choirs and costumed performers? Check. Santa rappelling down the side of the 525 Vine Building? Checked it twice. Macy’s Downtown Dazzle family-friendly holiday hurrah takes place at Fountain Square on Saturday nights starting Nov. 30. Saturdays, Nov. 30–Dec 14, 6:30 p.m.(choirs at 5:45 p.m.), free admission, 520 Vine St., downtown, downtowncincinnati.com/exploring-downtown/holidays-downtown  

2. PNC Festival of Lights
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden gets decked out with all the trimmings every winter in the largest holiday lights display in the city. Whether you choose to stroll along the glowing footpaths or hitch a ride on the North Polar Express, you’ll see why the Festival has been around for more than 30 years: it’s just beautiful. Sunday-Thursday, 5-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 5–10 p.m., thru January 4, adults $15, children $10, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, (513) 281-4700, cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights/

3. Lebanon Christmas Parade and Festival Dec 7
Feeling nostalgic for the days of horse-drawn holiday floats paraded before quaint storefronts? Lebanon’s Antique Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade and Festival, set in the city’s historic downtown district, is a truly one-of-a-kind celebration, complete with carolers, candlelit streets, and dozens of antique and specialty shops peddling holiday goodies. Dec. 7, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., parades 1 p.m. & 7 p.m., free admission, 212 N. Broadway, Lebanon, (513) 932-1100, ohioslargestplayground.com/lebanon-antique-horse-drawn-carriage-parade

4. “The Gift of Lights” at The Christmas Ranch
A pop-up village that comes to life just for the holidays, the Christmas Ranch is a mini wonderland of tinseltown trains, ornament shops, and even a Santa’s workshop. The 110-acre ranch’s biggest draw, however, is their annual walk-thru (or drive-thru) Christmas light park, which features 500,000 LED lights arranged into giant Christmas trees, a Toy Factory, and lots of Frostys. Nov 29–Dec 31, Sunday–Thursday 5–9 p.m., Friday–Saturday 5-10 p.m., $15 per vehicle, 3205 S. Waynesville Rd., Morrow, thechristmasranch.com

5. OTR Aglow
Let the dueling light displays begin! Anyone with a street-facing window (businesses, residents, and nonprofits alike) along historic Over-the-Rhine is eligible to compete for the best holiday window display, and you can vote for your favorite (winner gets a prize!) The competition lasts Nov. 30–Dec. 6, with an awards party on Friday, Dec. 6. Nov 30–Dec 6, 5:30–10 p.m., Over-the-Rhine, otraglow.com