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Ohio Holiday Activities to Explore with the Family

With Thanksgiving now over and winter rapidly approaching, Ohio is full of vibrant holiday villages, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, and activities for the whole family to participate in.

Whether enveloped in snow, aglow with hundreds of lights, or deliciously decorated Ohio is a wonderland of magical holiday traditions no matter what area of the state you are visiting. Outside of classic Christmas tree lighting’s, sleigh rides, and gingerbread houses Ohio is full of unique activities to make the season memorable.

There is no shortage of holiday activities throughout Ohio. Each year dozens of unique Christmas events take place, celebrating the season through Christmas trains and nutcrackers to holiday caves and Santa Claus.

Winterblast: November 25- December 11

The 17th annual Winterblast in Akron kicks off on the day after Thanksgiving. The kick-off includes an illuminated holiday parade to welcome Santa, traditional tree lighting, fireworks, ice skating, ice bumper cars, ice bikes, Archie the 22ft talking snowman, igloos, seasonal treats, and more. This event is sure to please the whole family.

Yuletide Village Season of Lights Fridays and Saturdays: November 25-December 17

The Yuletide Village Season of Lights in Warren County, Ohio, is an annual event filled with light shows, warm seasonal food and drink, and plenty of Christmas shopping. The Christmas village serves delicious chili and piping hot spiced cider, which eventgoers can enjoy while listening to carolers and wandering through the numerous vendors with homemade goods.

Christmas Cave Fridays and Saturdays: November 25-December 17

Now on its fifth season, the Christmas Cave in Minford, Ohio, features nearly a mile of vibrant holiday light displays both above and below ground. Attendees can go on a self-guided light display in the White Gravel Mines. The mine’s mysterious passages are decked out with lights and 16 exhibits throughout the cave systems telling the story of Jesus’s birth.

Wildlights: November 25-January 1

As one of the best-known holiday traditions in central Ohio, Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo is fun for the whole family and includes numerous shows to see, events to watch, and food to eat. From millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, and live reindeer this event is sure to have something for every age.

Steubenville Nutcracker Village: November 25-January 7

The Steubenville Nutcracker Village is well known for being a magical yet unique Christmas attraction. Families can stroll along the beautiful Ohio River and lit-up Market Street Bridge to see the world’s largest collection of life-size nutcrackers with over 200 varieties. Eventgoers will come away from the village with some unique gifts and a great time.

The Polar Express: December 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th, 11th

The magical Polar Express train ride is held in Dennison, Ohio. The annual event includes a 90-minute Christmas train ride featuring hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas songs, a trip to the North Pole, and a visit with Santa Claus. Each child participant also receives a sleigh bell from Santa himself.

According to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohioans should celebrate the holiday season and celebrate family.

“At this Holy Season, let us thank God for every member of our family for the joy and love that each has brought us. Let us celebrate the uniqueness and wonder of each life, and let us remember that love is eternal and families are forever,” DeWine said.

Holidays in Ohio are full of distinctive seasonal activities to enjoy with loved ones and to create memories to share all season long. Additional holiday activities in Ohio can be found at

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Yuletide Village Season of Lights” by Yuletide Village Season of Lights.


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