Our Cincinnati Weekend Picks: November 18–21

Check out these can’t-miss weekend events in Greater Cincinnati.

See dazzling holiday light displays, enjoy an evening of fine art, sample rare beers, and get a taste of the Mediterranean at these weekend events happening in Greater Cincinnati.

PNC Festival of Lights

The Cincinnati Zoo transforms into a wild winter wonderland this weekend for its 39th Festival of Lights. See beautiful displays composed of 4 million LED lights, search for Fiona statues in Fairyland, catch a ride on the North Pole Express, watch a blacklight puppet show, and grab a snack at the S’mores and More. This is a holiday tradition that all ages will enjoy.

Nov 19–Jan 9, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale

A Fine Art Evening at Essex Studios

After closing for the pandemic, the Walnut Hills studio is throwing open its doors once again for a one-night art event. Featuring the work of five Essex artists including Gilda Horn, Stephen Jenkins, Dave Laug, Magno Relojo, and Trish Weeks, the event will also open the studios of 20 other artists for a night of tours, refreshments, and music. Read more about the grand return of Essex Studios in our interview here.

Nov 19, 6–10 pm, 2511 Essex Pl., Walnut Hills

Journey Borealis at Pyramid Hill

Enjoy this drive-thru holiday light display from the comfort of your car. This 2.5-mile course features more than 1 million LED lights in displays like Jerusalem’s Hanukkah celebration, Pyramid Hill’s famous Swan Lake, Germany’s Candy Cane Forest, Grinch’s Greenland, Bethlehem’s birth of Jesus, and the North Pole. If you can’t make it this weekend, remember Hamilton residents get in free on Tuesdays.

Nov 19–Jan 2, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton

Light Up the Levee

Ring in the holiday season and watch the Levee’s holiday tree light up the night this Saturday. Family-friendly activities abound, including face painting, balloon art, giant games, and writing letters to Santa (the big man will make a special appearance). You can also enjoy the Bridgeview Box Park’s holiday food and drink specials, a live DJ, and a holiday photo op. The tree lighting ceremony starts at 5 p.m. at Aquarium Plaza.

Nov 20, noon–7 pm, Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport

Beer, Booze, and Bonks

Sample exclusive and rare beers from 26 Cincinnati breweries at the first annual Beers, Booze, and Bonks festival this Saturday. Cartridge Brewing and Third Eye Brewing headline this new event at Fowling Warehouse, which also features Northern Row, Fretboard Brewing, Nine Giant, Streetside Brewery, Urban Artifact, Listermann, and HighGrain. The fest will also have food vendors including LaRosa’s, a “kick the keg” afterparty, and “Glow Fowling” to wrap up the evening. Cheers!

Nov 20, noon–midnight, Fowling Warehouse Cincinnati, 2940 Highland Ave., #230, Oakley

Taste of Lebanon Mediterranean Food Fest

This carry-out only festival celebrates the flavors of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Enjoy stuffed grape leaves, homemade sambousek, hummus, tabouli, and other delicious dishes—and don’t forget to take home some baklawa.

Nov 21, 12–6 pm, St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Church, 2530 Victory Pkwy., East Walnut Hills

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