Hot Ticket: Holiday Events in Cincinnati

Hot Ticket: Holiday Events in Cincinnati
Macy's Downtown Dazzle

The weather outside is going to get frightful, so before you descend into hibernation, pencil in some of these holiday-centric events. From tiny trains to Old World markets to costumed 5Ks, you’ll never run out of fun things to do.

Holiday Bazaar at the American Sign Museum Gift Shop
Now through November 30
Explore a diverse collection of cool vintage signs and start holiday shopping early with a 10 percent discount in November on all items in the gift shop. Museum members will save an additional 10 percent off their regular membership discount. American Sign Museum, 1330 Monmouth St., Camp Washington, (513) 541-6366,

SHOP: Cincinnati
Now through December 27, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Browse the work of more than 20 local artists in this shoppable holiday show. C-LINK Gallery brings you Cincinnati craftsmen, artists, and designers. Work ranges from fine art to functional glass, ceramics, and jewelry. Free opening reception: December 11, 6 pm–9 pm. C-LINK Gallery at Brazee Street Studios, 4426 Brazee St., Oakley, (513) 321-0206,, FREE

Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction
Now through January 2
Take a “journey to the North Pole,” where you can meet Mrs. Claus and Santa. Main Street Holiday Trains displays are free to the public. EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Ct., West Chester, (513) 898-8000,

Antique Christmas
Now through January 3, Tuesday through Sunday
The Taft’s annual display of antique ornaments, decorations, and toys includes pieces from Kathy and Stewart Gregory. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., downtown, (513) 241-0343,, FREE on Sundays

Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains
Now through January 3
Cincinnati’s favorite holiday tradition is back! The priceless Duke Energy holiday trains, now in their 70th year, once again join Museum Center’s family-favorite Holiday Junction for a must-see display of model trains zipping around a winter wonderland. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,

Holiday Junction
Holiday Junction

The Poinsettia Express
Now through January 3
The traditional holiday show features trains, flowers, and lots of smiles. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Dr., Walnut Hills, (513) 352-4081,

Sublime Beauty: Raphael’s Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn
Now through January 3
Painted around 1505, this mysterious blonde and blue-eyed sitter epitomizes Raphael’s excellence in female portraiture during his Florentine period. The piece is on loan from the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Dr., Mt. Adams, (513) 721-2787,, FREE admission

Rocky Mountain Express
Now through January 4
All aboard for a journey through the Canadian Rockies on a steam train adventure of a lifetime. Experience the human drama and epic engineering involved in building a railroad through some of the most demanding and breathtaking landscapes on earth in this OMNIMAX film. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,

Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia
Now through January 9
This retrospective exhibition showcases Mark Mothersbaugh’s art and music to date, from the beginning of his career in the early 1970s with Devo to the present. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 345-8400,, FREE on Wednesday nights, 5 pm–9 pm

The Forest for the Trees
Now through January 15
Look through rare and historic books to see how America’s forest lands have changed over time and view a visual interpretation of trees and forests through the artistic views of Eugene and Diana Avergon, local artists who have shared their photographic and abstract art with the Lloyd for this exhibition. Lloyd Library, 917 Plum St., downtown, (513) 721-3707,, FREE

High Style: Twentieth-Century Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection
Now through January 24
Traces the evolution of fashion from 1910 through 1980 with garments and accessories by the most influential European and American designers of the 20th century, including Schiaparelli, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Norell, Scaasi, and Charles James, among others. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Dr., Mt. Adams, (513) 721-2787,, FREE admission

U.S. Bank Ice Rink at Fountain Square
Now through February 15
Join a Broomball league or just lace up the skates for some outdoor fun. Fifth and Vine streets, downtown, Rink status: (513) 381-0782; General info: (513) 621-4400,

Macy's Downtown Dazzle
Macy’s Downtown Dazzle

Emancipation Proclamation
Now through June 18
See a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by former President Lincoln. Illustrations from Harper’s Weekly in 1863 round out the exhibit. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Center Way, downtown, (513) 333-7500,

Tree of Life
November 17–January 10
Created by Cincinnati artist Matt Kotlarczyk, this interactive exhibit encourages visitors to place handwritten wishes for the New Year into glass vials that then adorn a sculptural tree. The wishes are later burned, and the ashes used to plant a new tree at the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2016. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Dr., Mt. Adams, (513) 721-2787,, FREE

TreeofLife_AAD Nov 2013 061

Holiday Walk
November 19–22
O’Bryonville businesses offer extended hours, while shoppers browse, sample refreshments, and enjoy live music. Customers receive a free ornament with purchase from participating retailers. 1971 through 2128 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville,

All Childish Things
November 20–December 19
Two longtime friends decide to raid a warehouse filled with Star Wars collectibles to satisfy a mysterious buyer with deep pockets. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 300-5669,

As You Like It
November 20–December 12
Shakespeare’s hilarious cast of characters, delightful music, and warm-hearted romance is the perfect choice for a cold winter’s night. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., downtown, (513) 381-2273,

November 20–22
This Old World German Christmas market is held on the grounds of the Germania Society. Includes items imported from Germany (glass blown ornaments, pyramids, smokers, nutcrackers, German clothing, steins, cuckoo clocks, candies, pastries), local crafts, homemade foods, assorted German beers and wines, Glühwein (hot mulled wine), a children’s lantern parade, and entertainment by local schools, dance groups, and bands. Germania Park, 3529 W. Kemper Rd., Sharonville, (513) 742-0060,

Holiday in Lights
November 20–January 2
Cruise through a mile of wooded roadway with holiday-themed light displays, depicting everything from Santa Claus and his elves to a variety of animals. Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Rd., Sharonville, (513) 769-0393,

Holiday Lights on the Hill
November 20–January 3
Drive through this two-mile holiday lights exhibit on grounds featuring 56 outdoor sculptures from 48 artists. Pyramid Hill, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton, (513) 868-1234,

24th Annual Holiday Toy Trains Exhibit
November 21–January 17
The exhibit, included with museum admission, is an interactive family event with vintage Lionel and Plasticville trains, Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, and more than 30 moving, interactive displays. BCM will also feature a lighted Studio 56 Dickens Christmas Carol Village display and the museum’s permanent Faragher model trains, which will also be decorated for the holidays. Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Rd., Devou Park, Covington, (859) 491-4003,

One of BCM’s vintage engines makes its way through a miniature, snow-covered forest.
One of BCM’s vintage engines makes its way through a miniature, snow-covered forest.

The Beach Mountain
November 21–February 1
Hang out on Beach Mountain and get tubular with a slide down the snowy 400-feet runs. Ride the magic carpet back up to do it again. Seasonal lighting adds to the fun. 2590 Waterpark Dr., Mason, (513) 398-7946,

Holiday in Lights 5K Run/Walk
November 21
Come dressed in holiday costumes for costume judging. Course winds through Sharon Woods and features the final mile through Holiday in Lights at dusk. Sharon Woods,11450 Lebanon Rd., Sharonville, (513) 769-0393,

PNC Festival of Lights
November 21–January 2
This family holiday tradition has set the night aglow for more than 30 years as the largest holiday light display in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, (513) 281-4700,

Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite and Holiday Concert
November 22
A CCM re-telling of Ellington’s adaptation of this holiday classic features the UC CCM Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Lab Band, and Musical Theatre Dancers. UC CCM, Corbett Auditorium, W. Corry St. and Jefferson Ave., Corryville, (513) 556-4183 or,

Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Cincinnati: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
November 24–December 6
The classic holiday movie hits the stage as a new musical. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 621-2787,

White Christmas
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Turkey Bowl on Fountain Square
November 24
The U.S. Bank Ice Rink turns into a frozen bowling alley complete with pins and frozen turkey bowling balls. Bring two nonperishable food items or $5 to participate. Fifth and Vine streets, downtown, (513) 621-4400,

A Christmas Carol
November 25–December 30
This Cincinnati Playhouse tradition combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life the familiar story of a self-centered man given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Marx Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mt. Adams, (513) 421-3888,

106th Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day 10K Run and Walk
November 26
Volunteer, participate, or just cheer on the runners at this annual Turkey Day 10K. 1 Paul Brown Stadium, downtown,

Belterra Park Thanksgiving Day Buffet
November 26
Traditional turkey dinner with sides such as roasted garlic and chive smashed potatoes, sausage and sage brioche stuffing, and sweet potato casserole, along with specialty items such as pickled shrimp cocktail and butter squash bisque, plus a delicious selection of desserts. Belterra Park, 6302 Kellogg Ave., Anderson Twp., (877) 777-4064,

Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt
November 27–December 20, Friday through Sunday
The fourth annual Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt, an authentic German Christmas market, is held during Macy’s Light Up the Square. Featured vendors include local artisans, traditional German fare, Glühwein (hot spiced wine), and more. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, downtown,, FREE admission

Holiday Glide with Segway Santa
November 27–January 3
Tour the seasonal light displays at Washington Park, Music Hall, City Hall, and throughout OTR and downtown. Glide to Union Terminal, then explore the Betts-Longworth Historic District, houses of worship, and other destinations. Includes a special Segway Santa picture in front of the Christmas tree at Fountain Square. The Garage OTR, 1150 Vine St., #17, downtown, (513) 225-1583,

Holiday Harmonies
November 27–December 30
The grand rotunda will once again welcome local performers this holiday season with the return of Holiday Harmonies. Enjoy singers, dancers, and musicians from the community as they fill the rotunda with holiday spirit. Come support a favorite group or enjoy those you haven’t seen before. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,, FREE

Light Up on Fountain Square
November 27
It’s time to light up Fountain Square for the holidays. Festivities include live music, food, and (of course) a special appearance from Santa Claus. Fifth and Vine streets, downtown, (513) 621-4400,

Mary Poppins
November 27–December 27
Introduce the younger set to this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Sherman & Sherman musical featuring a slightly magical and delightfully resourceful nanny. Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., W. Price Hill, (513) 241-6550,

Metro’s Holly Jolly Trolley
November 27 and Saturdays through December 19
Board at the Westin and 10 other special stops along the route to see the holiday sights and to shop. Trolleys run every five minutes. Fourth, Fifth, Pike, and Elm streets, downtown, (513) 621-4455,, FREE

Santa’s Arrival & Union Terminal Tree Lighting
November 27
Santa Claus and his family arrive at Union Terminal to turn on the Christmas lights and usher in the holiday season at Cincinnati Museum Center. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,, FREE

Scuba Santa’s® Water Wonderland
November 27– January 1
Underwater dive show features Scuba Santa and guests as they return for a 13th season with new features and experiences. Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, (800) 406-3474,

Whitetail Acres Tree Farm
November 27–December 23
Cut your own tree and enjoy the whole holiday experience: snacks, wagon rides, and a bonfire. Feed the reindeer or shop in the heated gift shop for the season’s fresh evergreen decor. Whitetail Acres Tree Farm, 9127 Cooley Rd., Brookville, (765) 647-6812,

Wiley Wahoo’s Winter Wonderland and Photos with Santa
November 27–December 25
Take a photo with Santa and explore a winter scene based on the children’s book character Wiley Wahoo. MainStrasse Village, Main St., Covington, (859) 491-0458,, FREE

November 27–29
This Ohio Designer Craftsmen show features artists from across the nation who work in ceramics, metal, jewelry, photography, painting, glass, and more. Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. RiverCenter Blvd., Covington, (859) 261-1500,

30-Minute Findlay Market Tour
November 28; December 5, 12, & 26
Meet at the Market Center across from Taste of Belgium. This public tour focuses on the rich 160-year history of Ohio’s oldest public market. Additional tours are available year round. 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 665-4839,, FREE but donations accepted.

Big Tree Plantation
November 28–December 23
Bring the family for a cut-your-own-Christmas-tree experience and start a new tradition. Big Tree provides the saw, wagon ride, hot chocolate, and thousands of trees. Bonus: a gift shop filled with festive trimmings. 2544 S. Waynesville Rd., Morrow, (513) 836-0975,, FREE admission

Crafty Supermarket
November 28
More than 90 vendors vie for your attention with handmade goods at this holiday indie craft show. Plus, enjoy a DJ, hands-on craft activities, cash bar, local food, and free swag bags for the first 100 shoppers. Music Hall Ballroom, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine,, FREE admission

Mural Tour: Cincinnati Genius
November 28
This ArtWorks walking tour is just over a mile long and covers seven to 10 murals downtown, including Charley Harper’s Homecoming (Bluebirds), John Ruthven’s Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon, and Tom Wesselmann’s Still Life #60. Meet at Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, downtown, (513) 333-0388,

Mural Tour: Spirit of OTR
November 28
This ArtWorks walking tour is about a mile long and includes seven to 10 murals in Over-the-Rhine. Learn the stories behind each mural and how they connect to the neighborhood. Meet at Coffee Emporium, 110 E. Central Pkwy., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 333-0388,

North Pole Express
November 28–December 22
A train ride to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus is one of the highlights of this LM & M Railroad adventure. Kids will also be entertained by Santa’s elves and enjoy a cookie and a cup of hot chocolate. Lebanon Station, 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, (513) 933-8022,

Ornament-Making Workshop
November 28
Bring the kids! This fun workshop is included with museum admission, plus the cost of materials for whichever ornaments kids choose to make. Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Rd., Devou Park, Covington, (859) 491-4003,

Santa Skates on Fountain Square
November 28–December 20
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. Fifth and Vine streets, downtown, (513) 621-4400,

Santa’s Workshop
November 28–December 19, Saturdays
Santa and his merry elves will be spending time making gifts, ornaments, and other fun creations. Bring the kids and a camera to capture the moment. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 621-4400,, FREE

The Steve Augeri Band
November 28
Former lead vocalist for Journey performs with musicians Adam Holland, Mike Morales, Craig Pullman, and Gerard Zappa. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Rd., Springdale, (513) 771-7744,

Advent Lessons and Carols
November 29
The annual service is sung by the choir of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral featuring seasonal choral music with the O Antiphon chants and handbells to mark the beginning of the Advent season. No tickets required, but free-will offerings accepted. St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, 325 W. Eighth St., downtown, (513) 421-5354,, FREE

Dickens Brunch
November 29; December 6, 13, & 20
Get in the spirit of Christmas past with costumed carolers and traditional English dishes such as prime rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding, bread and butter pudding, and more. Reservations required. Orchids at Palm Court, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 35 W. Fifth St., downtown, (513) 564-6465,

Friends of the Public Library Gift Shop Annual Open House, Main Library
November 29
Get a head start on holiday shopping at the Library Friends’ Shop, Mezzanine Level. The annual Holiday Open House includes a 25 percent discount on shop merchandise (some exclusions apply), a jewelry trunk show, and refreshments. Proceeds benefit the library. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 800 Vine St., downtown, (513) 369-6900,, FREE admission

Holiday Season Kick-off: Taft Museum of Art
November 29
Enjoy the Antique Christmas display and bring a camera for pictures with Santa, make an old-fashioned ornament, and listen to Christmas carolers during this seasonal celebration. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., downtown, (513) 241-0343,, FREE

Christmas Tree Lighting
December 1
Come for the lighting and have a photo op with Santa, see the train display, take a sleigh ride, enjoy holiday music from the Florence Community Band & Chorus, and other holiday activities. Florence Government Center, 8100 Ewing Blvd., Florence, (859) 647-5439,, FREE

Hand-crafted Holiday Gifts
December 1
Bourbon balls, tiny terrariums, and fizzing bath bombs are part of a long list of hand-crafted gift ideas curated by lifestyle expert Amy Tobin. She offers up the how-tos and includes a holiday cocktail, a light supper, plus tastes of the food items demonstrated. New Riff Distilling, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, (859) 261-7433,

Perfect North Slopes
December 1
Take friends or family out for a day on the slopes. Ski the trails or enjoy the rush of a 1,200-feet-long run while snow tubing. Perfect North Slopes, 19074 Perfect Ln., Lawrenceburg, (513) 381-7517,

Soap Making for the Holidays
December 1
Make two customized soaps using goat’s milk or vegetable glycerin bases. Essential oils, botanicals, and natural additives available. Great for gift-giving. Registration required. Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, 2715 Reading Rd., Avondale, (513) 221-0981,

Best of the City 2015 Issue Launch Party
December 2
Enjoy food and drink from sponsors, 2015 Best of the City winners, and favorites from years past. Cooper Creek Event Center, 4040 Cooper Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 562-2777,

December 2–January 3
A fun spin on the classic fairy tale that demonstrates being smart is true beauty. This family-friendly version involves a missing sneaker. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-3555,

The Nutcracker
December 3–6
You just might discover the next Baryshnikov as students of the SCPA perform the classic ballet for audiences of all ages. The Corbett Theater, The School for the Creative and Performing Arts, 108 W. Central Pkwy., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 363-8100,

A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 4–6 and 12–13
Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are here to remind us all about what’s most important during the Yuletide season. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the animated television special. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., downtown, (800) 745-3000 or (513) 569-8080 ext.10,

Christmas Saengerfest: Choral Concert
December 4–5
This traditional choral festival features award-winning choirs performing in four historic venues. Start at Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine,

Christmas Town
December 4–26 (Fridays and Saturdays only) & December 28
This live nativity offers a recreation of the biblical events and narrative surrounding the birth of Jesus. Plus, view a spectacular light display in the museum gardens. Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg, (800) 721-2298,, FREE

Modern Living: Objects and Context
December 4–February 6
This two-part exhibition explores the intersection and conflation of design and art objects. Artists include Keith Benjamin, Such + Such, Brush Factory, Simparch/Matt Lynch, Matthew Metzger, and more. Opening reception December 4, 5:30 pm–9 pm. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, (859) 491-2030,, FREE

Panorama of Cincinnati Art
December 4–31
Features paintings by artists of Cincinnati’s Golden Age, including Joseph Scheuerle. Opening night ticket sales as well as a portion of all painting sales from the month of December benefit the Cincinnati Art Museum. Reservations are required for the opening night benefit. Cincinnati Art Galleries, 225 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 381-2128,, FREE after opening night

Prokofiev + Cello Majesty presented by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
December 4 and 30
The husband-wife duo of Rafael Payare and Alisa Weilerstein return for a weekend celebrating two remarkable 20th century Russian composers. Program includes Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 2 and Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 621-2787,

December 4–5
It’s the official off-season fan festival of the Cincinnati Reds. More than 300,000 square feet of activities include autograph and photo booths with current and former Reds players, interactive games for all ages, game-used and authentic memorabilia, and much more. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., downtown, (866) 800-1275,


A Plate Full of Christmas Cookies
December 4
Learn new recipes for a collection of very merry, Santa-worthy cookies, including white chocolate-dipped ginger cookies, toasted coconut wedges, and gold-dusted bourbon pecan balls. Nibble cookies and enjoy a light snack. The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s International Market, 5440 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield, (513) 674-6059,

BB Holiday Cruise: A Pirate’s Christmas Tale
December 5, 12, & 19
A Christmas twist on the “Pirates of the Ohio” tour with plenty of reindeer games and holiday treats, plus a visit from Santa. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, (859) 261-8500,

BB Holiday Cruise: Rhinegeist’s Brew Ho Ho Ho Dinner Cruise
December 5, 12, & 19
Rhinegeist offers a four-beer tasting of premium and seasonal brews. Buffet, festive music, and a complimentary pint glass are part of the fun. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, (859) 261-8500,

Cincinnati Dinner Train
December 5, 12, 19, & 26
Includes a scenic train ride with a four-course dinner. Book individually or reserve an entire dining car for meetings or parties. Boarding at 2172 Seymour Ave. (near Cincinnati Gardens), (513) 791-7245,

Clay Alliance Holiday Pottery Fair
December 5
Join Clay Alliance for its sixth annual juried art show, Holiday Fair, featuring handmade ceramic goods by more than 30 of its talented members. Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave., Clifton, (513) 497-2860, and, FREE admission

Feast of Carols
December 5–6
Welcome the holiday season with festive choral favorites performed by CCM’s fabulous choirs and outstanding guest choirs. UC CCM, Corbett Auditorium, W. Corry St. and Jefferson Ave., Corryville, (513) 556-4183 or,

High Tea
December 5–27, Saturdays and Sundays
Offers a wide assortment of loose teas, culinary confections, and a harpist to add to the refined mood of this elegant afternoon tea. Reservations required. The Cincinnatian Hotel, 601 Vine St., downtown, (513) 381-3000,

Otto M. Budig Dance Academy Presentation of The Nutcracker
December 5
Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Dance Academy brings The Nutcracker to Cincinnati Museum Center for a special performance. Journey through the land of sweets and sugarplum fairies in this abbreviated version of the classic ballet. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,, FREE

St. Nicholas’s Arrival
December 6
St. Nicholas arrives with treats for children in this traditional German event. MainStrasse Village, Main St., Covington, (859) 491-0458,, FREE

Cookies Uncorked
December 8
Cookies Uncorked provides the naked cookies, icing, equipment, instruction, and encouragement. Everyone leaves with a dozen beautifully decorated sugar cookies. Includes wine and light bites. New Riff Distilling, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, (859) 261-7433,

A Very Merry Christmas Concert
December 9
Hear the Northern Kentucky Children’s Ensemble, Southern Gateway male chorus, soloist Robin Behlow, and the soulful sounds of Chertann Jones, Ciara Harper, Charmaine Webb, Robin Dunn, and Lamont Hill. All profits benefit Chicks & Chucks. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, (859) 491-2030,

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
December 9
Treat the whole family to this holiday musical based on the animated television special. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 621-2787,

Bring the Outdoors in for the Holidays
December 10
Create unique and eco-friendly accent pieces inspired by the outdoors. Civic Garden Center provides some interesting greens and branches; participants are encouraged to bring along their own container and found items from nature as a focal-point item. Registration required. Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, 2715 Reading Rd., Avondale, (513) 221-0981,

Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer
December 10
The 2001 Theater Organist of the Year Jelani Eddington, along with Cincinnati Opera Young Artist Tyler Alessi and students from the Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy, will perform holiday favorites with all of the bells, whistles, and special effects that only an instrument as grand as the Mighty Wurlitzer can create. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 621-2787,

Holiday Pops
December 11–13
Join John Morris Russell for a holiday family tradition: Grammy-winning vocal quartet New York Voices joins the Pops to warm your heart with traditional and contemporary holiday favorites—along with spectacular singers and dancers, and an appearance by Santa. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 621-2787,

Holiday Skies Planetarium Show
December 11
Experience the real holiday light show—the winter sky. Discover the mysteries of the Christmas Star, see a bright holiday “wreath,” and more. Wolff Planetarium, Burnet Woods, 3400 Brookline Dr., Clifton, (513) 751-3679,

Candy Cane Hunt
December 12
Hunt for candy canes at Goebel Park. MainStrasse Village, Main St., Covington, (859) 491-0458,, FREE

CCM Ensemble-in-Residence Holiday Concert
December 12
The Cincinnati Children’s Choir, CCM resident choirs, and satellite choirs from across the tri-state perform holiday songs from around the globe. UC CCM, Corbett Auditorium, W. Corry St. and Jefferson Ave., Corryville, (513) 556-4183 or,

Cincinnati Cyclones vs. Evansville Icemen
December 12
Celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with special photo ops with your favorite Star Wars characters. The team will wear special jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. Kids will receive a Cyclones lightsaber. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, downtown, (513) 421-7825,

Cincinnati SantaCon
December 12
Thousands of folks dressed as Santa pub crawl through more than 40 participating establishments downtown and in nearby Mt. Adams. Various venues,, FREE to participate

The City Flea Holiday Market
December 12
Curated urban flea market offers an outdoor holiday winter sale. Stay for the works: lights, holiday music, hot chocolate from Coffee Emporium, and holiday-themed wares from vendors. Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine,, FREE admission


Holly Days
December 12–13
Enjoy a 19th century Christmas village setting with crafts, music, treats, storytelling, and model train displays. Heritage Village Museum, 11450 Lebanon Rd., Sharonville, (513) 563-9484,

The Polar Express
December 12–13
The Cincinnati Boychoir presents a musical reading of The Polar Express. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 621-2787,

December 13
It’s the 40th year for this Mt. Lookout tradition. As the neighborhood lights up the streets, the Cincinnati Observatory will open its buildings and telescopes for the general public. Cruise from Mt. Lookout Square to the Observatory for carolers, stargazing, their “spacey” gift shop, and hot drinks. No reservations needed. Viewing through the historic telescopes is included, weather permitting. The Cincinnati Observatory, 3489 Observatory Pl., Hyde Park, (513) 321-5186,, FREE

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
December 13
Thirty-one years and counting: The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller in this classic holiday concert. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 621-2787,

Mystery Dinner Theatre
December 13
It’s a holiday train–inspired night of Mystery Dinner Theatre. Admission includes dinner and the show. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,

Second Sunday Family Showtime: The Elves and The Shoemaker
December 13
Based on the tale by the Brothers Grimm, this beloved, warm-hearted story reminds us that where we find goodness, generosity, and hope, anything is possible. Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave., Clifton, (513) 497-2860,

Fork + Bottle Dinner: Baby, It’s Cold Outside – An ode to holiday cocktails
December 14–17
Guest brewers, distillers, and winemakers create special pairings for dinner menus prepared by Chef Jared Bennett. This month’s dinner will feature holiday-inspired cocktails. Special menu offered nightly. Metropole, 609 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 578-6660,

A Ceremony of Carols
December 15
For four decades, the sopranos and altos of the Christ Church Cathedral Choir have presented Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece during the holiday season. Considered one of the loveliest collections of carols, A Ceremony of Carols is gloriously medieval in spirit. Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., downtown, (513) 621-1817,, FREE

Michael W. Smith presented by Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
December 15
One of the most celebrated Christian music artists of all time, Michael W. Smith ushers in the spirit of Christmas with a joyous and festive program. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 621-2787,

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)
December 16–27
Keep the youngest Santa believers home for this slightly irreverent look at all of our favorite holiday classics, including It’s a Wonderful Life, Frosty, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and more. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., downtown, (513) 381-2273,

Marvel Universe Live
December 17–20
More than 25 Marvel characters, including Spider-Man and The Avengers, go on one epic quest. Watch an action-packed show with pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles, and cutting-edge special effects that were two years in the making. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, downtown, (513) 421-4111,

Wassail Walk
December 17
O’Bryonville businesses offer extended hours, while shoppers browse and sample refreshments. 1971 through 2128 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville,

Frisch’s Presents the Nutcracker
December 18–27
With Tchaikovsky performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and choreography by Victoria Morgan, you can’t go wrong with this sweet holiday ballet adventure. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 621-2787,

Fun and Festive Holiday Ornaments
December 19
Learn to make a burlap poinsettia wreath and recycled puzzle wreath. Reservations required. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Clifton Branch, 3400 Brookline Ave., (513) 369-6900,, FREE

Hills of Kentucky Dulcimers Christmas Concert
December 19
Listen to the group perform the Christmas songs that once echoed through the hills. Enjoy the sounds of handmade dulcimers played with a holiday twist. Included with museum admission. Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Rd., Devou Park, Covington, (859) 491-4003,

Holiday Model Trains
December 19–20
Enjoy a holiday model train display with the Cincinnati Northern Model Railroad Club, courtesy of Downtown Cincinnati Inc. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 800 Vine St., downtown, (513) 369-6900,, FREE

OTR Rail Dog Parade
December 19
Dress up your OTR canines in their holiday finery and join the parade in honor of the ongoing streetcar project. Meet at Washington Park dog park. Vine and Main streets, Over-the-Rhine, (513) 241-2690,, FREE

Winter Solstice Celebration Weekend
December 19–20
Come and celebrate holidays from around the world. Enjoy a weekend of fun, hands-on activities about Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and La Posada. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,, FREE

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
December 20
Based on a beloved service offered at King’s College in Cambridge, England, since 1918, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols takes an imaginative approach to liturgy, weaving together scripture and song, moving from prophecy to fulfillment, to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., downtown, (513) 621-1817,, FREE

BB Holiday Cruise: Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise
December 24
Bring family and friends to enjoy a Christmas Eve feast while seeing the sights along the Ohio River. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, (859) 261-8500,

Christmas Eve Dinner at Metropole
December 24
A la carte: Let Chef Jared Bennett prepare a feast of all your farm-to-table favorites, plus a few other holiday-inspired specials. Call for reservations. Metropole, 609 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 578-6660,

Christmas Bird Count
December 27
Dress for the weather and plan to be out for almost four hours to support the 115th Annual Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society. Please preregister to receive details. Cincinnati Nature Center, 4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, (513) 831-1711, ext. 125,, FREE

BB Holiday Cruise: New Year’s Eve Cruise
December 31
A three-entrée buffet, entertainment, and a split of champagne at midnight help you ring in the New Year. Old Smokey Moonshine offers a free tasting, too. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, (859) 261-8500,

Cincinnati Cyclones vs. Toledo Walleye
December 31
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Cyclones and fireworks. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, downtown, (513) 421-7825,

Happy Zoo Year
December 31
The zoo will cap off all celebrations with a kid-friendly countdown followed by fireworks. Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, (513) 281-4700,

Huntington Bank New Year’s Eve Blast on Fountain Square
December 31
Ring in 2016 with friends and fellow Cincinnatians. Enjoy music from DJ Tweet, wacky games and prizes, dance contests, and more. Rozzi’s fireworks will light the sky when the clock strikes midnight. Full bar service and drink specials available. Fifth and Vine streets, downtown, (513) 621-4400,

International New Year’s Eve Celebration
December 31
Meet in the rotunda to celebrate the New Year and travel around the world. Each hour features a different country and its unique culture with music, games, and crafts. Be sure to stop by customs for a special participation stamp. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, (513) 287-7000,, FREE

Know Theatre CityBeat NYE Speakeasy Party
December 31
A benefit for Know Theatre rings in the New Year with a 1920s speakeasy-theme in Know’s basement bar with casino games, food, drinks, and a midnight toast. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 300-5669,

76th Annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival
January 2–3
Since 1940, Christ Church Cathedral has presented an annual production of the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival as a gift to the community. Medieval costumes, a large orchestra and choir, spectacular lighting effects, and general holiday cheer make this an unforgettable experience. Call or visit the website for ticket information. Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., downtown, (513) 621-2627,, FREE with ticket

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