This is a list of Holiday Events taking place in December 2017 at various Ohio parks, zoos, and historic sites. Some events require that you register in advance, and many charge fees. Please see the links for additional information.
Learn how to create a wonderful DIY wreath suitable to adorn any front door throughout the holiday season. A varied selection of greenery, cones, berries and other plant parts are all included in the class cost. Take home your masterpeice. There is a fee to participate.
Musical entertainment, juried craft show, village tours, carriage tours, tree lighting ceremony, candle-lit church service
New Year’s Eve Night Hike
Dec 31, 2017 ♦ 5:15-6:30pm
Join us for our Annual New Year’s Eve Night Hike at Maumee Bay State Park Nature Center. Meet at the Nature Center at 5:15 pm on New Year’s Eve. We’ll test our night vision on the boardwalk and bring in the New Year naturally! All ages welcome, make sure to dress for the weather! Hope to see you there! (state park calendar)
Enjoy a multi-course holiday meal in the dining room of the historic Hayes Home, where the Hayes family had its Christmas dinners. Costumed living history presenters provide an evening of 19th century fun. The evening begins with a carriage ride to the home, followed by the meal and after-dinner entertainment. Tickets are $250 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 419-332-2081, ext. 238. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums members receive first opportunity for reservations.
Ride through the grounds of Spiegel Grove in a horsedrawn sleigh, as President Hayes did when he lived here. Rides are by South Creek Clydesdales. A horse-drawn trolley may be used in addition to our in place of the sleigh depending on demand and staffing levels. Cost is $3 per rider ages 3 and up. Rides are free for kids age 2 and younger. Rides are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations are taken. Sleigh rides can take place whether or not there is snow.
Dinner in John Johnston’s dining room featuring a traditional seasonal menu from the Johnston’s era. From there guests will visit each room of the home decorated for the holidays from the 18th to the 21st century. Reservations required, (937) 773-2522;
Bring your child to the Burr Oak Lodge and meet Santa in the lobby or while you eat breakfast in the dining room. Then help your child make an ornament for your tree and one for the birds too! (state park calendar)
Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 9am-noon
Join us before or after Breakfast with Santa for some more holiday fun. Help your child make an ornament to decorate your tree and one for the birds too! All materials are provided for this free program. (state park calendar)
Dec 23, 2017 ♦ 2-4pm
We’ll take a 1.5-mile hike to discover evergreen plants and plants associated with the season. Meet at the lodge boat ramp.(state park calendar)
Shawnee State Park
Breakfast with Santa
Dec 16, 2017 ♦ 8-11am
Join the friendly lodge staff with your children for breakfast with Santa in the Shawnee Lodge dining room from 8-11am. Kids will have the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and share their holiday wish list with a photo opportunity. For more information call the front desk at 740-858-6621. It’s a wonderful holiday weekend get-away as the lodge has over 30 trees decorated. (state park calendar)
Every Sat. and Sun. through Dec 17, 2017 ♦ See link for departure times
A holiday themed train trip featuring Santa starting in Nelsonville, OH
Hocking Hills State Park: Ash Cave
Christmas in Ash Cave
Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 5 – 7 PM
Step away from the hectic holiday season and come bundled for the weather while enjoying a lighted stroll back to Ash Cave. Once you arrive at the cave, warm up with refreshments by an open fire. Listen to or join with our carolers, have the kids visit with an old-fashioned Santa or help to decorate our Christmas tree for wildlife. (state park calendar)
Now through Dec 31, 2017 ♦ Gates open every day at 5 pm, the lights come on at 6 pm. Gates close at 9 pm; lights go off 30 minutes after gates close. Closes at 8pm on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
3.5 million lights at restored water-powered grist mill on Little Miami River. There’s also a Miniature Village, a Santa Claus Museum , a Toy Collection and a spectacular synchronized lights and music show that features the old Covered Bridge. Every night until the night before Christmas Eve you can peek into Santa’s Workshop to see a live Santa at work and then, every 15 minutes or so, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh.
Nov 17 – Dec 31, 2017 ♦ Sun-Thurs 6-9pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-10pm
This is a drive-through display; besides decorated trees, there are more than 120 animated and still figures. There is a Santaland featuring Santa and his elves. The event takes place in the Sharon Woods park of Hamilton County; $13 is charged per car. There is a $2-off coupon at the event’s website.
Make your own holiday decorations and gifts out of natural material. Meet at the Nature Center. Space and materials are limited. Cost: $15. Preregistration and prepayment required for a spot in this workshop. To register, call: 513-897-2437 (state park calendar)
Meet at the Nature Center and take a break from the holiday rush. Enjoy a hike thru a scenic forest. Please wear appropriate footwear. Bring your vehicle; we will drive to the trailhead. (state park calendar)