Top 5 Holiday Light Displays

Here are the five best spots to get your Christmas light fix.

This post has been updated.

1. PNC Festival of Lights @ The Cincinnati Zoo
Festival of Lights has been a local tradition going on 35 years. As Cincinnati’s largest light display, this is truly the granddaddy of them all. Enjoy a casual night at the Zoo with the family, some hot chocolate, and more than two million LED lights. Spice up the trip by taking part in the scavenger hunt, taking the Toyland Express train ride, or seeing Santa himself (through December 23). Pro tip: Save by buying tickets online, or grab half-price tickets at Skyline (good for select dates). Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, November 18–January 1, Sunday–Thursday 5–9 pm, Friday & Saturday 5–10 pm, adults $19, children/seniors $13. Parking $10. (513) 281-4700,

2. The Gift of Lights @ The Christmas Ranch
As seen on Good Morning America and HGTV, The Gift of Lights at The Christmas Ranch sits on 110 acres in Morrow (north of Kings Island) and features approximately one million LED lights. The walk-thru display runs through New Year’s Eve, and partial proceeds benefit The Shriners Hospital for Children, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and The Neediest Kids Of All. Take a wagon or train ride and admire the lights dancing to the music. Pro tip: Avoid crowds and save money by going during the week, and print their coupon to save a couple of bucks at the gift shop. The Christmas Ranch, 3205 S. Waynesville Rd., Morrow, November 25–December 31 (closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day), Sunday–Thursday 5–9 pm, Friday & Saturday 5–10 pm, $15 per vehicle Monday–Thursday, $20 per vehicle Friday–Sunday, (513) 444-9362,

The Christmas Ranch
The Christmas Ranch

Photographs by Robert Ivers, Courtesy of The Christmas Ranch

Playground at The Christmas Ranch
Playground at The Christmas Ranch

Photograph by Robert Ivers, Courtesy of The Christmas Ranch

The Carousel at The Christmas Ranch
The Carousel at The Christmas Ranch

Photograph by Robert Ivers, Courtesy of The Christmas Ranch

3. Holiday Lights on the Hill @ Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
Visit Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum for Holiday Lights on the Hill. Take a two-mile drive through the park and see millions of tiny lights without having to leave your warm car. Don’t miss Candy Cane Lane, featuring (you guessed it) towering 10-foot candy canes. Pro tip: Members get in for just $15 every day. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., Hamilton, November 18–January 1, Monday–Thursday 6–9 pm, Friday–Sunday 6–10 pm, $20 per vehicle Monday–Thursday, $25 per vehicle Friday–Sunday, (513) 868-1234,


Photograph courtesy of Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum

4. Holiday In Lights @ Sharon Woods
Amazing Cincinnatians for more than 27 years, the light display at Sharon Woods is a local favorite. Drive a mile of beautifully decorated wooded roads, and be on the lookout for everything from Santa Claus to Noah’s Ark. To complete the atmosphere, the folks at Sharon Woods recommend tuning your car radio to Warm 98 for some Christmas music. Go the extra mile by getting out of the car to visit Santaland for entertainment and hot chocolate. Pro tip: Save $2 on admission by using their coupon. Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Rd., Sharonville, November 17–December 31, Sunday–Thursday 6–9 pm, Friday–Saturday 5:30–10 pm, $13 per vehicle, $45 for busses and 15-passenger vans; (513) 769-0393,

5. Light Up Middletown @ Smith Park
Middletown offers the best bang for your buck. Make a cash donation of any amount to enjoy some holiday spirit in the 100-acre park. Light Up Middletown is a drive-thru display that succeeds due to the help of volunteers and donations from loyal fans. Come on Friday and Saturday to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Pro tip: Make the trip on Thursday, December 11 (7–7:30 p.m.) for Balloon Glow and see some hot air balloons. Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave., Middletown, November –December 23, all week 6–10 pm, donations, (513) 423-1877,

Honorable Mention
Zapf’s Christmas Display is just your average neighborhood light display…on steroids. A local favorite 46 years running, you can follow them on Facebook (Zapf’s Christmas Display) or Instagram (@digitalzapper) for updates. Every day, 6–10 p.m., 2032 W. Galbraith Rd., North College Hill


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