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7 Winter Activities in Cincinnati, OH

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There are many fun things to do in Cincinnati when winter comes! Whether you're looking for a calm, peaceful place to take a stroll or a winter wonderland where you can enjoy holiday festivities, Cincinnati has it all! If you're looking for Cincinnati Christmas events, here's what to look for in Cincinnati this winter, 2021.

1. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Festival of Lights

  • Nov. 19, 2021, to Jan. 9, 2022
  • 3400 Vine St. Cincinnati, OH 45220

santa waving a crowd at cincinatti zoo festival of lights - photo by cincinatti zo

Every year at this time, the Cincinnati Zoo puts on a spectacular display of holiday spirit. This year with the 39th annual "Wild Wonderland" event, 4 million LED lights will be viewable by the public. The event will also include Wild Light shows on Swan Lake, a Polar Express train ride, and snacks served at the S'mores-n-More stands.

There is no additional charge for entering the Festival of Lights; to enter, one must only pay zoo admission. That means visitors to the zoo can see the animals during the day, then stay over to watch the lights come on!

At the zoo, visitors can also enjoy spending time in Santa's Village, talking to roaming Holly Jolly Elves, and seeing the new immersive "under the sea" area. There are 27 Animal Lanterns located throughout the zoo, and costumed characters roam the zoo starting at 4 pm.

Kids can roast S'mores at the S'mores stations, enjoy roasted nuts and holiday treats, participate in the scavenger hunt, and enjoy the happy zoo celebration on December 31. Learn more. 

2. Christmas at Entertrainment Junction

  • Nov 13, 2021, to Jan 2, 2022
  • 7379 Squire Ct, West Chester, OH 45069

EnterTRAINment Junction was voted Ohio's Best Family Entertainment Center! With the world's largest indoor train display, a railroading museum, and an indoor children's play area, it's a virtual smorgasbord of fun for the kids. During the holidays, the Junction becomes a place to enjoy holiday traditions.

Kids can enjoy a "Journey to the North Pole" and meet Mrs. and Mr. Claus! The journey to the North Pole includes Reindeer and an Elf Workshop. Come for the holiday workshop and stay for the beautiful winter train displays on Main Street.

3. Fountain Square Ice Rink

  • November 1- February 22
  • 520 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Fountain Square Ice Rink,  Downtown Cincinnati - photo by cincinnati USA

Enjoy the downtown dazzle at the Fountain Square Ice Rink! People in Cincinnati have been enjoying ice skating in Fountain Square downtown for years! This is a great place to bring the kids on a weekend day or a date on Saturday night. At pre-specified times, the ice rink features bumper sessions, with a bumper dividing the rink into two sections. During bumper sessions, skaters skate on one side and cars skate on the other!

4. 32nd Annual Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Christmas Festival

  • Saturday, December 4, 2021

Lebanon is a community close to Cincinnati, where you can enjoy the Horse Drawn Carriage Parade on Saturday, December 4. This annual beloved holiday tradition is a favorite of families with young children. This year, there will be a daylight parade at 1 pm and a candlelight parade at 7 pm. Pick the one that's right for your family!

5. Go To a Park

washington park church with colorful water fountains - photo by cincinnati parks

Did you know? Cincinnati has more than 5,000 acres of park land, including 65 miles of hiking and bridle trails, 70 neighborhood parks, 5 neighborhood nature centers, and more. With all of those parks in the area, you can pick the one that's most convenient and attractive to your family. Try visiting the park on a cold winter day after fresh snow, when the parks are peaceful and beautiful!

6. Visit Big Tree Plantation

  • 2544 South Waynesville Road, Morrow, Ohio 45152

Of all the tree farms in the Cincinnati area, the Big Tree Plantation is a place where you can cut down your own pine, spruce, or fir tree. On special days, you can also enjoy the Winter Wonderland with Santa. Santa dates are on November 27, 28, 29, and December 5, 6, 12, and 13. Santa tickets are sold from 10 am to 5:30 pm, and the event ends at 6. 

7. Visit Scuba Santa at Newport Aquarium

  • 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071

santa scuba diving in tank with sing rays in newport aquarium - cincinnati parent

Does your family love to see the animals at the aquarium? If so, then you should bring your family to see the Scuba Santa as he swims with a tank full of sharks! On Tuesday, November 23 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, annual pass holders for the aquarium enjoy a sneak peek of the Scuba Santa, and kids are given cookies! Learn more

Wanting Christmas Events Near Me? Cincinnati is the Place to Be!

At Chris Gorman Homes, we're proud to be building some of the most beautiful dream homes in the world right here in Cincinnati. When you live in Cincinnati, you can enjoy fun, family-friendly activities all winter long. To find out more about what's great about building a custom home in Cincinnati, call us to get started with a free consultation. We'll be happy to discuss the home building process and talk about what we can do to make your home building process a success.

Ready to build your dream home? contact our team today!

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