Strolling or driving along a beautiful trail with thousands of LED lights is pretty much a required activity in our book. Here's our guide to some of the best holiday light shows in the Cincinnati area. Make sure to check event websites to review their COVID-19 policies, as some require reservations, online ticket purchases, and some are closed on specific holidays.
PNC Festival of Lights
“Things may look a little different this year, but The Cincinnati Zoo will still be shining bright as we’re once again transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 38th annual PNC Festival of Lights! In addition to admiring the beauty of 4 million LED lights, visitors can ride the North Polar Express train ride, marvel at the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, or snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands. Santa will be available for socially-distanced visits starting at 4 p.m. through December 23.”
When: 11/21 – 1/3
Where: Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati
Cost: Included with Zoo admission
Christmas Nights of Lights
See it for yourself with our drive-through video.
“Christmas Nights of Lights is coming back to Cincinnati for the 2020 season! Come see over 1 million lights synchronized to traditional and newer, rocking Christmas music played through your car stereo. Pack your vehicle full of friends and family to enjoy the show and begin a new Christmas tradition with us.”
When: 11/6 – 1/9
Where: Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave, Anderson Township
Cost: $7 per person, children 3 and under free.
“ You can make this Christmas season special with the lights, shops, bonfires and train and wagon rides! Of course, I don’t leave anyone out on Christmas Eve and I work with local charities to help less fortunate children who are in need. Some of the groups we help are the Shriners Hospital for Children, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Neediest Kids of All and Little Miami Food Pantry. I hope to see you soon! I have a candy cane for you when we have our picture taken together at the Christmas Ranch!”
When: 11/20 – 12/23
Where: 3205 S Waynesville Rd, Morrow
Cost: $15 per carload, $30 per oversized van (10+ visitors)
Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods
“Our charming light show is built over a mile of wooded roadway, the only drive-through light show through the woods of a beautiful Hamilton County park! The holiday-themed displays showcase everything from Santa Claus and his elves, to every animal on the ark. There’s no need to bundle up to enjoy Holiday in Lights; simply warm up the car, round up your friends, family, or a special date, and head to Sharon Woods. It’s that easy.”
When: 11/21 – 1/2
Where: Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Rd, Sharonville
Cost: $15 per vehicle, $45 per bus (15+ visitors), $5 walking tickets
Light Up The Fair
“Each and every one of the ½ million LED Christmas lights that adorn the 1.5-mile driving path at the Light Up The Fair this year, are individually controlled. Captivating displays along the way, will light the path with something the whole family is bound to enjoy. Articulately choreographed to the holiday themed music, the show is conveniently broadcast live to the comforts of your car radio’s 97.9 FM channel.”
When: 11/13 – 1/2
Where: Boone county Fairgrounds, 5819 Idlewild Rd, Burlington, KY
Cost: $6 per person. Children under 3 free.
Light Up Middletown
“Enter through the tunnel of lights to enjoy a sparkling fantasyland. Light up Middletown is a driving tour through a 100 acre park. Several themed displays include a floating Sea Serpent in the reflecting lake, Santa’s Workshop, American Flag, Penguin Village, Deer Leaping Over the Roadway, Helicopter, Whales and much more – all with thousands of twinkling LED animated lights.”
When: Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, 6PM – 10PM every night
Where: Smith Park, 500 Tytus Avenue, Middletown
Cost: Cash donations, you set the price.
Holiday Lights on the Hill - Journey Borealis
“This is not only an incredible lights display, it’s also in an amazing, one-of-a-kind park. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum is an outdoor gallery on a monumental scale. Holiday Lights on the Hill is two miles of dazzling lights displays at one of Cincinnati’s most beautiful locations.”
When: 11/20 – 1/3
Where: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd, Hamilton
Cost: $20 per car (Mon. – Thur.) $25 per car (Fri. – Sun.), Member always $15 per car
Winter Wonder Lights
“Winter Wonder Lights is an 8-minute light show that dances across Fountain Square’s rink and plaza once an hour from 5pm- rink close every Thursday through Saturday, from Nov. 28- Dec. 18 and daily from Dec 19 to Jan. 2. The best way to enjoy the Winter Wonder Lights is during your 1-hour rink reservation.”
When: 11/28 – 12/18
Where: Fountain Square, Downtown
Cost: Best enjoyed during your 1-hour rink reservation: $10 Full ice sessions (ice skating only sessions), $15 Split ice sessions (rink + bumper cars)
ChristmasTown at Creation Museum
“ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum is becoming a Christmas tradition for families in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Stroll through the museum’s botanical gardens amid the breathtaking display of thousands of multi-colored lights. Each year, we add new designs and more color throughout the garden trails, so your experience is never the same! Enjoy a live nativity, petting zoo, skating on our Glice® (synthetic ice) rink, festive treats and shopping, and so much more!”
When: 11/27 – 12/20
Where: The Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd, Petersburg, KY
Cost: Free, $10 parking, Upgrade your ChristmasTown experience by touring the Creation Museum’s stunning exhibits and enjoying a delicious turkey or roast beef dinner in Noah’s café with exclusive holiday pricing: $24.99 for Adults; $22.99 for Seniors; $17.99 for Youth; $9.99 for Children (ages 5-10).