7 Days of Holiday Fun

1. Celebrate Winter Solstice at the Cincinnati Nature Center
Winter Solstice
Hot chocolate, hiking, Celtic music, and a scavenger hunt? I. Am. In. Guests are also invited to enter a nature-themed gingerbread house competition, which is pretty much the coolest thing ever. December 20, 12–4 p.m., Member adult $7, child $3, Member family maximum price of $20, Nonmember adult $10, child $5, Nonmember family maximum price of $30, Cincinnati Nature Center, 4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, cincynature.org

 

2. Ride Metro’s Holly Jolly Downtown TrolleyTR05_METRO_SANTATROLLEY_rdax_420x315Board for free in front of the Westin on Fifth Street or at any of the designated stops on Fourth or Fifth Streets and see all of the downtown holiday sights. Trolley service runs about every five minutes (or, as long as it takes your kid to stop squealing in anticipation). Saturdays through December 20, 12–5 p.m., Fourth, Fifth, Pike, and Elm Sts., Downtown, downtowncincinnati.com/happening-downtown/holidays-downtown

 

3. See the Cincinnati Shillito’s Elves

ShillitosIf you were a kid in Cincinnati in the ’80s, you need this in your life. Frankly, if you were a kid ever, you need this in your life. Still animated, never antiquated, the Shillito’s Elves have a new home in Mariemont—and a smaller display in Carew Tower—where they’ll definitely delight the next generation of Cincinnatians. Through December 31, Santa’s Workshop, 6940 Madisonville Rd., Mariemont, thesantaworkshop.com

 

4. Have a Cup of Hot Chocolate at Dojo Gelato
Dojo Hot Chocolate
There is such a thing as a cup of cheer, and it’s Dojo Gelato’s Italian Drinking Chocolate. You might not want to share. Dojo Gelato, Historic Findlay Market, 137 Elder St., dojogelato.com

 

5. See the PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Festival of Lights
Brave the crowds for this brilliant display and you won’t regret it. And bundle up: Ducking into the Elephant House to warm up might seem like a good idea, but my goodness, the smell. Through January 3, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Clifton, cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights

 

6. See the Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
Breathtaking display that’s worth the price-per-carload. Besides, kids are small. Just fill up your back seat and drive slow. Through January 4, Monday through Thursday, 6– 9 p.m., $20 per car, Fri through Sun, 6–10 p.m., $25 per car, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., Hamilton, pyramidhill.org

 

7. Visit Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Trains
Holiday-Junction
Because there’s nothing that says Christmas in Cincinnati like Union Terminal and miniature rail. Also, talking reindeer. Through January 4, Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org/holiday/duke-energy-holiday-trains

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