Dazzling light designs, decorative displays, and fabulous painted windows are just a few of our favorite things to experience in Cincinnati this holiday season! So, bundle up and get ready for winter because there’s plenty to do and see in the Queen City, even when it’s cold outside!
Windows of Wonder
Every year downtown Cincinnati transforms itself into a wonderful display of seasonal artwork on the windows of different businesses all throughout the city! This is put on by FOUND, a collaborative project led by Artworks. You can take a walk during the day or as the sun sets and as the festive lights are turning on for the night to enjoy the whimsical creations that will leave you feeling all the joys of the holidays. Each piece of art has a QR code next to it for you to scan to discover a little more about the painting. So be sure to scan as many as you can to reveal the meaning behind the art! One of the highlights this year is of a giant snow globe depicting a special moment from the holiday season that warms your heart right up! This piece is titled, “Frozen in Time” and is located on Main St. in OTR, along with many others! Taking a look around to see the variety of painted windows is a perfect opportunity to explore the neighborhood while looking for Christmas gifts and supporting the community by shopping local! To find out more information about the many artists involved and exact locations of the artwork visit Artworks’ website.
Another delightful thing to do while you’re walking around the downtown area is to spend some time at Founders Forest to see a public art installation of 50 lit up trees that lead you down Imagination Alley, a community space in Over-the-Rhine. The installations lights reflect off mosaic art pieces that are on the walls of surrounding buildings, creating magical visuals that will leave you in awe and inspire you!
Festival of Lights
This beloved event and family tradition is back and just keeps getting better! Everywhere you turn you are sure to find something that will catch your eye and grab your attention! There are light displays synced to music that are absolutely spectacular! Making you want to dance and sing along. Take a ride on the train to get the full effect around the lake that offers the musical feature and takes you on a fun ride of dazzling lights! The Zoo at night, with all of its shimmering lights becomes a whole new world to explore that you could spend hours in! The new installation “Under the Sea”, is a must to check out! Walk under giant jellyfish that change colors and move in the wind like they’re underwater! As you make your way through different sections of the park head over to the hippos to find Fiona’s Fairy Land to play a fun scavenger hunt to find Fiona as little fairy statues that are covered in glitter and totally adorable! There are beautiful snowflake photobooths set up for your family to take the perfect group picture and don’t forget to go down the famous Rainbow Tunnel, which is a fan favorite! The Festival of Lights is a choose your own adventure type of interactive experience that you’ll want to put on your list of things to do every holiday season!
Krohn Conservatory Holiday Show
Each year Krohn Conservatory puts on a seasonal show that features an amazing train display that is a part of Cincinnati’s history and holiday tradition. The train tracks go by several miniature replications of Cincinnati landmarks created by local artisans and through the botanical gardens, giving a sense of playful nostalgia to the conservatory. They also have an impressive nativity scene set up outside for people to visit and be reminded of the blessings of the season.
No matter what you celebrate you’ll be sure to find something fun and memorable to do this year that you can make into a tradition of your own for years to come! Most of these fantastic experiences are up until a few days after January 1st so you can plan to see and do everything with your friends and family this holiday season!