Ohio Christmas Events Calendar – 2017

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.

“Wildlights” at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium




Central Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Alum Creek State Park Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights Now – Jan 1, 2018 ♦ Sun-Thurs 5:30-9:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30pm Drive through the campground and see a light show. There is a fee per vehicle.
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Wildlights Now – Jan 1, 2018 ♦ Sun-Th 5pm-9pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm (Closed 11/23,12/24,12/25) Millions of LED lights, animaged musical light shows, Santa, reindeer and other holiday festivities. See our photos from a past visit to this Zoo event.
Slate Run Farm Christmas is Coming Dec 2, 2017 ♦ 1-3pm Help decorate the farmhouse in Victorian fashion. Make an ornament to take home.
Franklin Conservatory Festive Holiday Wreath Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 10am-noon; also at 1-3PM 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.
Franklin Conservatory Family Fun: Holiday Ornament Craft Dec 2, 2017 ♦ 11am-2pm and Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 11am-2pm Fill a clear plastic ornament with your choice of festive natural and decorative items. $2/ornament
Franklin Conservatory Breakfast with Santa Dec 2, 2017 ♦ 8:30-10am and Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 8:30-10am Join Santa for breakfast and a meet-and-greet photo opportunity (admission fee)
Franklin Conservatory Family Fun: Cookies with Santa Dec 16, 2017 ♦ 11am-2pm and Dec 17, 2017 ♦ 11am-2pm Decorate a holiday sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles. Santa and two of his live reindeer make a special appearance (admission fee)
Franklin Conservatory DIY Retro Holiday Wreath Dec 2, 2017 ♦ 1-3pm Enjoy this fun, easy retro wreath workshop made with, colorful, shatterproof ornaments while sipping wine. All wreath supplies and wine are all included. (fee)
Slate Run Farm Tis the Season Dec 3, 2017 ♦ 1-3 PM Take a break from the holiday bustle with a quiet stroll around the farm. String popcorn and make an ornament to take home.
Dawes Arboretum Holiday Greenery Workshop Dec 7, 2017 ♦ noon-2pm | Dec 8, 2017 ♦ 6-8pm | Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 9-11am | Dec 9, 2017 ♦ noon-2pm 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 8, 2017 thru Dec 10, 2017 ♦ See link for details Christmas lights, carriage rides, visits with Santa, and more (see link for details)
Ohio Village (OHS) Dickens Dinners 2017 dinners are sold out Dinners and buffets at the American House Hotel while hearing carols performed by the Ohio Village Singers
Ohio Village (OHS) Dickens of a Christmas Dec. 8, Dec. 9, 2017 ♦ 5:30–9 pm | Dec. 10, 2017 ♦ Noon–5 pm | Dec. 15, Dec. 16, 2017 ♦ 5:30–9 pm | Dec. 17, 2017 ♦ Noon–5 p.m. Carols, decorations and traditions inspired by Dicken’s colorful tales




Northeast Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Malabar Farm State Park Candlelight Holiday Tours Dec 1,2,8 & 9, 2017 ♦ 5pm – 9pm and Dec 3 & 10, 2017 ♦ 12pm -5pm Tour of Louis Bromfield’s house with holiday decorations, refreshments. (state park calendar)
Zoar Village (OHS) Christmas in Zoar Dec 2, 2017 ♦ 10am-6pm | Dec 3, 2017 ♦ noon-5pm Musical entertainment, juried craft show, village tours, carriage tours, tree lighting ceremony, candle-lit church service

Northwest Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Maumee Bay 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)
Toledo Zoo The Lights Before Christmas Nov 17 – Dec 31, 2017 ♦ Sun-Thurs 3-8pm; Fri-Sat 3-9pm Over one million lights and more than 200 illuminated animal images!
Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont Christmas Dinners at Spiegel Grove Dec 7, Dec 8, and Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 6:30-10:30pm 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.
Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont Victorian Christmas music program Dec 16, 2017 ♦ 1-2pm Rangers from the James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio, will reveal the origins of beloved Christmas songs and have a sing-a-long. Admission is free.
Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont Horse-drawn sleigh rides Dec 26, Dec 27, Dec 28, Dec 29, Dec 30, and Dec 31 ♦ 1-4pm 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.
NW Ohio Rail Preservation (in Findlay, OH) North Pole Express Weekends from now to Dec 20, 2017 ♦ Fri-Sat 5-9pm; Sun 5-8pm (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas day) Quarter scale train rides, holiday decorations, Santa Claus
Saulisberry Park, Kenton, OH Lake of Lights Now – Dec 26, 2017 ♦ 6-9 PM Drive through Christmas light display, live Nativity scene, horse drawn wagon rides, live character nights. See link for specific event nights.
Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, Piqua Christmas Past, Present and Future at the Johnston Farm Dec 2, 2017 ♦ See link for hours 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;
Armstrong Space Museum Cosmic Christmas Dec 7, 2017 ♦ 4-6 PM Join us for our Cosmic Christmas event. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as you listen to a story and complete a craft. Meet Santa, and hear the sounds of the holidays in the air. (There is a fee)
Fort Meigs Holday Open House Dec 10, 2017 ♦ 1 – 4 PM Holiday music, refereshments, and activities




Southeast Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Burr Oak Breakfast with Santa Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 8-11am 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)
Burr Oak Holiday Ornaments 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)
Burr Oak Yuletide Plants 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)
Adena Mansion (Chillicothe, OH) Holidays at Adena Dec 2-3, and Dec 9–10, 2017 ♦ 10am-4pm Holiday themed tour; see links for details
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway Santa Train 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)
Campus Maritius Musuem Caroling with Santa Dec 2, 2017 ♦ 1 – 3 PM Caroling with Santa Claus, make crafts

Southwest Ohio

Location Event Date Description
Cincinnati Zoo PNC Festival of Lights Now through Jan 1, 2018 (Closed 12/24, 12/25) See link for hours Festive lights, Photos with Santa & see his reindeer, listen to Mrs. Santa tells stories to the kids, and much more. See the link for details.
Clifton Mill (Clifton, Ohio) Legendary Lights at the Clifton Mill 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.
Sharon Woods Park in Hamilton County Holiday in Lights 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.
Caesar Creek State Park Holiday Traditions Dec 9, 2017 ♦ 10am-noon or 1-3 pm (state park calendar) 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)
Hueston Woods Holiday Hike Dec 24, 2017 ♦ 11am-noon (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)
Hueston Woods Raptor Caroling Dec 24, 2017 ♦ 2-3pm (state park calendar) Meet at the Nature Center to learn about our winged music makers. (state park calendar)

Additional holiday events around the state can be found OhioTraveler.com and OhioFestivals.net.




© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2017


5 thoughts on “Ohio Christmas Events Calendar – 2017

  1. Never knew about this site. I like it. Do you keep it updated for events during the year? Looking forward to your publishing for 2017.

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