Date Nights for Cuffing Season

The weather outside is (still somewhat) delightful, so take your boo out on these classic dates around Cincinnati.

Photograph by bernardbodo via

As the temperatures cool, the lights go up, and you hear Mariah Carey singing in the distance, it can only mean one thing: the holiday season is here—and cuffing season is in full swing. Whether you’re in a steady relationship or looking for a creative way to ask that special someone out, here are our top recommendations to soak up the holly jolly festivities while they’re here.

Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo

What’s even wilder than the animals that inhabit the Cincinnati Zoo are the 4 million LED lights that transform the exhibits into a romantic wonderland. Along with the light show, guests can find the five Fiona fairies in Fairyland, enjoy a blacklight puppet show, watch a unique light display on Swan Lake—and you can snuggle up on the Polar Express— and indulge in sweets at the S’mores-n-More stands. Perfect for any age or the whole family, but parents deserve a date night, too.

Nov 18 – Jan 8, 2023. 3400 Vine St., Avondale. Adults $15-$22, Children $9-$13.

Photograph courtesy of Fountain Square

Ice Skating at Fountain Square

Is it the holidays if you don’t skate with the one you love? While it may not be the Rink at Rockefeller, it still gives that perfect city holiday feeling. Located in the heart of downtown, sitting right in front of the Tyler Davidson Fountain. If you want to spice things up, purchase a bundle ticket for ice skating and bumper cars. Make sure to buy tickets to secure your spot in advance due to capacity limits.

Nov 5, 2022–Feb 20, 2023, 520 Vine St., downtown. Skating $10, and Skating + Bumpers $15.

WinterFest at Kings Island

During the holidays, Kings Island transforms into 11 winter wonderlands, leaving you with an unforgettable Christmas experience. From ice skating on the Royal Fountain, the Eiffel Tower turned into a Christmas tree, parades, five million lights, live entertainment, and more, there is plenty of winter fun on hand.

Nov 25–Dec 31, 6300 Kings Island Dr., Mason, general admission starting at $29.99.

Cincinnati Ballet Dancers

Photograph by Peter Mueller

The Nutcracker Ballet

This classic Christmas story is the perfect date night for those looking to get dressed up for a night at the Ballet. This playful and magical ballet tells the story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they journey to the Land of Sweets. A show full of incredible music, choreography, and visuals, you’ll leave feeling as if you were transported yourself.

Dec 15–24, 1801 Gilbert Ave., Mt. Adams. Prices vary depending on the seat.

Cut Down A Christmas Tree at Berninger

This family-owned farm has been filling homes with cheer since 1955. When visiting you’ll have the opportunity to cut down your choice of tree from Scotch Pines, White Pines, Canaan Firs, or pre-cut Frasier Firs. Enjoy a free bag of popcorn upon arrival and a hand-made ornament. Skip the faux tree and immerse yourself in a tradition of picking out a real Christmas tree to take home and decorate.

Nov 25–Dec 4, 1220 Stubbs Mill Rd., Lebanon. Prices vary.

Holiday Pops Concert

If you love Christmas music and the symphony, don’t miss the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s fun holiday concert. Music Hall will be decked out in Christmas cheer, as the warmth of beloved holiday arrangements fill the room—another fun way to enjoy the season while getting dressed up to enjoy the arts.

Dec 9–11, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, tickets start at $26

Every Christmas Story Ever Told

Enjoy your favorite Christmas stories in one sitting with the Shakespeare Company. What begins as a production of A Christmas Carol turns into a slightly humorous look at all of our favorite “Beloved Holiday Classics” including Its a Wonderful Life, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and more.

December 8-31, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Prices vary.

Deck the Y’alls Light Fest

Located only 10 minutes from downtown Cincinnati is a sparking wonderland of over 2 million lights. Visit Thomas More Stadium to experience eight immersive displays, walk around the field, skate on the outdoor Cincinnati Cyclones Ice Rink, and enjoy shopping, sweets, fire pits, and much more. Now through January, 7950 Freedom Way, Florence. Kids $10-$18, Adults $14-$22, Military Discount $12-$18.

The Clifton Mill

Just a little over an hour out of the city lies a historic water-powered grist mill still in existence today. For 35 years, the Clifton Mill has celebrated the holiday season by illuminating the property with over 4 million lights. The lights that cover the property and even create a 100-foot “waterfall” of lights also serve as a visual concert synchronized with music. Indulge in hot chocolate as you explore the property and peek into Santa’s Workshop to witness Santa himself at work as he checks his list and goes up the chimney to load his sleigh. Nominated as one of USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards for 2022, we are sure you won’t want to miss this. Nov 25 – Dec 30, Clifton, OH, 6–9pm, Monday-Wednesday $10, Thursday-Sunday $15.

Cowboy Carriages

Nothing quite screams romance like a horse-drawn carriage ride. While this is available year-round, it’s even more magical during the holiday season. These Cowboy Carriage rides around downtown Cincinnati allow you to take in the history while enjoying the festive lights around downtown and the Christmas tree located in fountain square. Downtown Cincinnati, Newport and Covington, prices vary. Schedule by phone at (859) 739-4293

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