Ohio Christmas Events Calendar – 2016

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“Wildlights” at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The following is a list of Christmas events at Ohio parks, zoos, and historical villages. Some of the events start in November, so don’t wait till Christmas to make your plans. Please see the links below for additional details, registration (where required) and fees.




Central Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Alum Creek State Park Fantasy of Lights 11/18/2016 – 01/01/2017 ♦ See link for hours Drive through the campground and see one million lights and holiday displays plus visit Santa Claus & enjoy refreshments.
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Wildlights 11/18/2016 – 01/01/2017 ♦ Sun-Th 5pm-9pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm (Closed 11/24,12/24,12/25) Zoo lit by over 3 million festive LED lights. Holiday displays, music, carolers, refreshments, Santa and his reindeer. See our photos from a past visit to this Zoo event.
Bicentennial Park, Columbus, OH Grand Illumination Dec 2, 2016 to Jan 8, 2017 ♦ See link for hours Thousands of festive lights illuminating the riverfront. See web site for special events including Santa
Slate Run Metropark Christmas is Coming Dec 3, 2016 ♦ 1 – 3 PM Help decorate the farmhouse in Victorian fashion. Make an ornament to take home.
Franklin Conservatory Holiday Gift Making Dec 3 & 10, 2016 ♦ 11 AM – 2 PM Children create and make their own gifts
Franklin Conservatory Breakfast with Santa Dec 3 & 10, 2016 ♦ 8:30 – 10 AM Join Santa for breakfast and photo ops
Gallant Farm Holiday Evening on the Farm Dec 3, 2016 ♦ 6 – 8 PM Music, refreshments, and holiday decorations
Slate Run Metropark Tis the Season Dec 4,17,18, 2016 ♦ 1 PM Visit the farm, make popcorn ornaments
Franklin Conservatory Candlelight Dinners Dec 7,14,21, 2016 ♦ 6 PM Dinner in John F. Wolfe Palm House
Dawes Arboretum Holiday Greenery Workshop Dec. 7,8,9,10,11, 2016 ♦ See link for hours Create your own festive arrangements of greens from arboretum. Greenery, decorations, and candles supplied by Arboretum
West Jefferson, OH Christmas in the Park Starting Dec 9, 2016 thru Jan 1, 2017 ♦ See link for details 350,000 lights, parade, carriage rides, Santa
Ohio Village (OHS) Dickens Dinners Dec 9,10,16,17, 2016 ♦ 6 PM SOLDOUT Advanced reservation required, (800) 686-1541. $65 (OHS members pay $55); price includes staying on for Dickens of a Christmas
Ohio Village (OHS) Dickens of a Christmas Dec 9,10,11,16,17,18, 2016 ♦ See link for hours A Victorian Christmas in a 19th century village
Ohio Village (OHS), American House Hotel Christmas Buffet Dec 11 & 18, 2016 ♦ 11 AM and 2 PM Advanced reservation required, (800) 686-1541. See link for pricing; price includes touring the Village’s Dickens festivities.
Franklin Convervatory Mrs. Claus Kitchen Dec 17, 2016 ♦ 11 AM – 2 PM Decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus. Santa and two live reindeer make an appearance
Franklin Conservatory Central Ohio Youth Ballet Dec 28, 2016 ♦ 11 AM & 2 PM Holiday class ballet: The Nutcracker




Northeast Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Malabar Farm State Park Candlelight Holiday Tours Dec 2,3,4,9,10,11 2016 ♦ See link for hours Tour of Louis Bromfield’s house with holiday decorations, refreshments.
Zoar Village (OHS) Christmas in Zoar Dec 3,4, 2016 Christmas in an 19th century village with a visit from Santa
Quail Hollow State Park Christmas at the Hollow Dec 8 – 10, 2016 ♦ See link for hours Christmas at historic Stewart Manor. Decorations, crafts, entertainment and Santa.

Northwest Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Toledo Zoo The Lights Before Christmas 11/18/2016 – 12/31/2016 ♦ See link for hours Festive holiday lights, rides, ice carving, ice rink, and Santa!
Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont Hayes Train Special – A Holidy Tradition Nov 25, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017 ♦ See link for hours Festive holiday model train exhibit
NW Ohio Rail Preservation (in Findlay, OH) North Pole Express 11/25/2016 – 1/1/2017 ♦ See link for hours Quarter scale train rides, holiday decorations, Santa Claus
Saulisberry Park, Kenton, OH Lake of Lights 11/27/2016 – 12/26/2016 ♦ 6-9 PM Drive through Christmas light display, live Nativity scene, horse drawn wagon rides, live character nights. See link for specific event nights.
Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont Christmas Dinners at Spiegel Grove Dec 1,2,3 2016 ♦ See link for hours Cost is $250 / person. Call (419) 332-2081 for details
Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, Piqua An Irish Christmas at the Johnston Farm Dec 3, 2016 ♦ See link for hours Dinner and entertainment. Reservations required, (937) 773-2522;
Armstrong Space Museum Cosmic Christmas Dec 8, 2016 ♦ 4-6 PM Visit from Santa, refreshments, see the outdoor light display
Fort Meigs Holday Open House Dec 11, 2016 ♦ 1 – 4 PM Music, refereshments, and activities
Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont Horse-drawn sleigh rides in Spiegel Grove Dec 26-31, 2016 ♦ 1-4 PM Nostalgic horse-drawn sleigh tours. Sleigh rides cost $3 for all ages; admission to the Hayes Home or Hayes Museum is a separate charge. (419) 332-2081.




Southeast Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Adena Mansion (Chillicothe, OH) Holidays at Adena Nov 26,27, 2016 & Dec 3,4,10,11, 2016 ♦ 10 AM – 4 PM Holiday themed tour – Call 740-772-1500 for details
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway Santa Train Sat & Sun starting 11/26/2016 – 12/18/2016 ♦ See link for hours A holiday themed train trip featuring Santa starting in Nelsonville, OH
Lake Hope State Park Holiday Trail of Lights Dec 1-31, 2016 ♦ 4-8 PM Short hiking trail with Christmas lights
Hocking Hills State Park: Ash Cave Christmas in Ash Cave Dec 10, 2016 ♦ 5 – 7 PM Holiday Music, Christmas tree decorating, refreshments, visit from Santa
Campus Maritius Musuem Caroling with Santa Dec 10, 2016 ♦ 1 – 3 PM Caroling with Santa Claus, make crafts
Lake Hope State Park Santa and Wagon Rides Dec 17, 2016 ♦ See link for hours Call Lake Hope Park Office at 740-596-4938 for details

The TrekOhio Store features your favorite TrekOhio -branded items such as T-shirts, hats, and water bottles. We also carry a 2016 Wall Calendar with photos from our hikes in the Hocking Hills.

Check it out at http://trekohio.com/store/

Southwest Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Cincinnati Zoo PNC Festival of Lights 11/19/2016 – 1/1/2017 (Closed 11/24. 12/24, 12/25) See link for hours Festive lights, light show, puppets, refreshments, Santa & his reindeer, train ride
Clifton Mill (Clifton, Ohio) Legendary Lights at the Clifton Mill 11/25/2016 – 12/31/2016 ♦ See link for hours 3.5 million lights at restored water-powered grist mill on Little Miami River.
Sharon Woods Park in Hamilton County Holiday in Lights 11/18/2016 – 12/31/2016 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.
Caesar Creek State Park Holiday Traditions Dec 10, 2016 ♦ See link for hours Create Christmas decorations using natural materials. Reservations required

Additional holiday events around the state can be found here and here.




© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2016

3 thoughts on “Ohio Christmas Events Calendar – 2016”

  1. Carol Beachy says:

    West Jefferson Christmas in the Park 21st year
    Dec9 thru Jan 1

  2. KH says:

    Will there be a list for 2015? Thanks.

    1. Deb Platt says:

      Kyle, we just updated our calendar for 2015!

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