Everything Local Gift Guide

Avoid parking lots and shopping malls for Black Friday and beyond. Instead, preserve your mental and physical health by shopping small and contributing to your local economy for the holidays this year.

In addition to presumed health benefits, shopping local ensures that nearly 70 cents on every dollar remains in the local economy. When you shop small, you help to build a better local economy, reduce environmental impact, put your taxes to good use, create jobs, get better customer service, keep the community unique, and you encourage local prosperity. Whew—that’s a lot of good!

It is extremely important to share some of our favorite local businesses and gift ideas, as well as encourage everyone to Shop Small on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday*, and beyond (holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and more).

Gifts and Retail

Can’t decide what you want to give, but want to provide a number of local options? Check out the Queen City Card, which features dozens of participating restaurants, drinkeries, shops, markets, hotels, experiences, museums, and more. Click here to buy yours and to see a complete list of participating merchants.

In addition to its OTR location, the Columbus-based retro and vintage sports clothierHOMAGE, also calls Liberty Center home. HOMAGE always has great deals after the holiday, so keep your eye out to support local for Small Business Saturday.

If you’ve got any music lovers in your life, treat them to analog tunes courtesy of Everybody’s Records, Plaid Room Records, or Shake It Records. For home decor, visit Wildfire Hygge GoodsHigh Street, and Sara’s House. If you have a loved one with a green thumb, consider a plant from Frond or a local nursery, the gift of classes from The Budding Florist or Fern, or even a flower or plant subscription to Sadie Blossoms.

Peruse gifts at MiCA 12/v, a local art, fine craft, and design-based gift shop in OTR. Additional apparel, gift, and accessory shops include BlaCk Owned Outerwear, Buff City Soap, The Candle LabCincy ShirtsCorporate, Handzy Shop + Studio, Hi-Bred, Inspired Fashion, Jet Black Vintage, Junebug Jewelry Designs, Koch Sporting Goods, Manitou Candle Co., Originalitees, Queen City Alchemy, REKKIERivertown Inkery, WolfpackYellow Dahlia Candle Co., and many more.

For the readers, peruse the Ohio section of local reads and goods or buy a book written by a local author from Joseph-Beth Booksellers, or head to Downbound Books in Northside for books, games, or stationery. Some favorite local books include SENATE: Street & Savory, a cookbook by local chef, Daniel Wright; The Cincinnati Anthology, edited by Zan McQuade; and Walking Cincinnati, a guide to urban hikes in many of Cincinnati’s historic neighborhoods. For any Queen City lovers in your life, a subscription to Cincinnati Magazine is an excellent option.

Head to Findlay Market for one of their many events, a free tour, retail goods, or for Tablespoon Cooking Co. classes. Like food? Check out a Cincinnati Food Tour, kitchenware at Artichoke, everyday gourmet or boutique catering options through The Passion Plate, or serve up a gift to the award-winning The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s.

Shop ethically and sustainably at Flora Lee Naturals (garden-based skincare), Deerhaus Decor (sustainable general store), zero waste refillery Fill More Waste Less, or by buying a gift card to organic, natural Spruce Nail Shop (nail and skin services). You can also stop by &Sundries, a handcrafted soapworks and home goods maker, for the bath and body lover in your life.

For the Kids

King Arthur’s Court Toys, Learning Express Toys and Gifts, and Stoney Village Toy Shoppe all purvey toys and games for young people of all ages, including STEAM toys, board games, puzzles, and so much more.

Gumdrop, a shop for tots (and sister store to Handzy Shop + Studio), is located in Covington and purveys beautiful and thoughtful goods, such as apparel, toys, and games. Hutch Baby, an upscale, sustainable children’s boutique from NB to youth sizes 14–16, is located on Vine Street in OTR.

You can also head to O’Bryonville for LilyPad, where you engage children through purposeful play, classes, parties, and other events; Northside to enjoy an afternoon or make a donation on behalf of your gift recipient at Happen, Inc.; give a membership to The Play Library in OTR, where, you can Play & Borrow (and Play it Forward!) with a monthly or yearly subscription, or by buying playdates in bulk; give the gift of language to play dates and classes (including virtual options) through Spanish Play Dates; or purchase a membership or gift card to Happy Hangout, an indoor play space on the westside.

Markets and Craft Fairs

Patronize local and regional vendors and local food trucks at Cincinnati’s famed urban flea market, The City Flea (Holiday Market December 11) as well Art on Vine in November and December and Crafty Supermarket. The latter will be back in the Music Hall Ballroom featuring dozens of makers—local and regional—on November 26.

More area craft shows and various flea markets can be found here.

Art

If you’re looking to give the gift of local art, ideas include James Billiter (letterpress, woodcut, greeting cards, cross stitch, etc.), Janneke Beuerlein Art (abstract visual artist), Gee Horton (hyperrealist visual artist), Christen Collins Art, and Ellebrux, (jewelry, fine art, and handmade gifts). Work by James Billiter and Ellebrux can be found at The City Flea and various shops in greater Cincinnati. You can also have alpdesign create a custom home illustration, support local institution Rookwood Pottery, or give the gift of classes to Queen City Clay.

Fabulous Frames & Art is not only the world’s largest Charley Harper dealer, it also features custom framing and Rookwood and Cincinnati gifts. Visit one of their four Cincinnati locations to see their goods.

If you’ve got someone in your life interested in musical arts, give the gift of music lessons through Cincinnati School of Music, which has options for all ages. You can also give the experience of painting at Color Me Mine in Crestview Hills, Not Your Average Paint & Sip class, or youth classes and workshops through Liberty Exhibition Hall.

Pets

Our four-legged friends are family and, thus, we like to spoil them as such. I recommend doing so at Argos All-Natural Pet Food and SupplyFindlay Market, Fuzzybutts Dry Goods, Jungle Jim’s Market, or by finding your neighborhood Pet Wants. For a complete list of community vendors where Brewhaus Dog Bones are sold, click here.

Experiences, Not Things

Give the gift of wonder from the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, EnterTRAINment JunctionChildren’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Kings Island, Coney Island, Newport Aquarium, or Madcap Education Center.

For the 21+ crowd, consider giving a Cincy Brew Bus, Brewing Heritage Trail, or an American Legacy Tours tour; creating a custom six pack at Higher Gravity or Root Cellar; picking up a hard-to-find bomber from Cappy’s; or attending a beer or wine tasting at Jungle Jim’s Market or Marty’s Hops and Vines.

Check out one of Cincinnati’s excellent museums in the Cincinnati Museum Center, Taft Museum of Art, National Underground Railround and Freedom Center, Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati, Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Observatory, or give a membership for a loved one to the American Sign Museum. (General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum, 21c Museum Hotel, Contemporary Arts Center, Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, and the William Howard Taft National Historic Site is free.)

Celebrate Cincinnati’s robust arts scene with a show at the Aronoff Center, Know Theatre, Ensemble TheatreCincinnati Shakespeare Company, Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati POPS Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, or the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Memorial Hall’s Longworth-Anderson Series features Grammy Award-winning talent in a “perfect jewel” of a theater.

Want to give the gift of fitness while supporting community? Consider giving a Y membership. Looking for an adventure? Full Throttle Adrenaline Park has a rage room, virtual reality, go-karting, axe throwing, and paint ball all in one fun-filled destination. Similarly, the OTR Funplex has a smash room, paint splatter room, karaoke, escape room, slime making room, cocktail/mocktail crafting, and more. Gifts cards are available to both.

Consumable Gifts

Instead of buying more things, I recommend getting a gift card to a small business or restaurant so that they can try a new place or patronize a favorite. A gift card may not seem fun, but I assure you that they are practical!

You can also consider a tea sampler from Churchill’s Fine Teas; coffee beans and a mug from a local coffee shop or roaster such as Coffee Emporium, Deeper Roots, and Urbana Cafe; or spices from Colonel De’s in Findlay Market.

Wellness

Treat yourself or a loved one to to a spa day at 21c Museum Hotel or The Woodhouse Day Spa; retreat getaway, fitness event, empowerment workshop, or social with The Beauty Boost; professional makeup and medspa services for skincare, lips, lashes, and brows at Omega Beauty; or medusa services with Victory Wellness MedSpa or Pure Vive Med Spa. Savannah’s Hyde Away offers massage services and has a Black Friday deal of 10% off all gift cards through November 28. (Use code blackfriday at checkout.)

Let the Metro, fare free Connector, Red Bike, or an electric scooter connect your trip to shops, restaurants, parks, and drinkeries when you spend time in the urban core this holiday season!

*Small Business Saturday is on November 26, 2022 and it is an initiative to shop small and to support local businesses. In fact,“For every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy.”

Written by: Linsey Kraeling – Woman, wife, and mother about town, proud millennial, and lifelong Cincinnatian with an invested interest in community involvement and having a full plate—literally and figuratively. Follow along with and read more about eating like a sophisticated six-year-old, supporting local, and acting like a tourist in her own city at instagram.com/linsinnati and tourdecincinnati.com.

Everything Holidays

For all of your holiday 2022 needs—markets, wondrous local fun, performances, magic, twinkling lights, gift-buying, and more—check out the list below of the many fun goings on over the next several weeks, as well as a comprehensive list for where you can host a holiday party. All events are linked to a site with more information regarding admission costs, dates and times, and location.

No matter your preference for the holiday season, whether it be celebrating with light displays, a large corporate gathering, or by supporting the arts, we have you covered.

Categories included below are:

  • Events
  • Markets
  • Lights and Displays
  • Winter Fun
  • Performing Arts
  • Venues

Events

Black Violin: Give Thanks Holiday Tour
November 15, 7:30p
Aronoff Center
Hip-hop meets classical with the acclaimed band Black Violin, led by classically trained string players Wil B. (viola) and Kev Marcus (violin), who are joined onstage by DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes.
cincinnatiarts.org

North Pole Express by LM&M Railroad
November 18–20, 23, 26–27, December 1–4, 7–11, 14–23
Experience the wonder of the holiday season by journeying down the train tracks of Warren County, Ohio. Passengers spend time with Santa and his elves on the one hour and 15 minute festive train ride.
lebanonrr.com
Tickets start at $22

Metamora Old Fashioned Christmas Walk Opening Day
November 25–December 18
Festive decorations, live music, shopping, and more.
facebook.com

UDF’s Downtown Dazzle on Fountain Square
November 26 and December 3, 10, 17
See Santa rappel from a Cincinnati skyrise and watch a fireworks display. Music and festivities start at 6:30p and the Downtown Dazzle show begins at 7. Enjoy a drink or hot cocoa at Fountain Square’s Bar or have fun at the ice rink.
myfountainsquare.com

UDF’s Santa’s Workshop at Washington Park
November 26 and December 3, 10, 17
Bring your family, your dog, your friends to meet Santa, but most all—be sure to bring your cameras. 
washingtonpark.org

BB Riverboats Holiday Lunch Cruise
November 30, 12–2p (boarding at 11a)
Two-hour cruise featuring games, entertainment, and a buffet.
bbriverboats.com

Krampus!
West Side Brewing, 5p

An evening of hellish delights with the demons of Krampuslauf Zinzinnati, including Krampus Coal (Vanilla Baltic Porter) release and Craft Burger Bros serving up burgers. A portion of proceeds will be donated to charity.
facebook.com

BB Riverboats Holiday Dinner Cruise
December 2, 7:30–9:30p (boarding at 6:30p)
Take in the skyline, watch the river go by, and enjoy a fantastic holiday meal. All seating is reserved.
bbriverboats.com

BB Riverboats Holiday Brunch Cruise
December 4, 12–2p (boarding at 11a)
Dine on a hearty seasonal spread, then sit back and enjoy a perfectly relaxing afternoon while taking in the sights and listening to Dixieland Jazz Band. All seating is reserved.
bbriverboats.com

Mt. Adams Reindog Parade at The Monastery
December 10, 2–3p
A Mt. Adams tradition for over 20 years. Dogs (and owners) dress in their Holiday Best, and prizes are awarded in a variety of categories. Food and vendors will be available before the parade. Registration is from 12:30–1:45p.
mtadamscincy.org

LatkaPalooza
December 24
Cincinnati’s annual Hanukkah bash at a local bar [TBD] for drinks, a DJ, and dreidel with friends—old and new. No cover. Cash bar. Kosher food. Open to ages 21-39.
jewishcincinnati.org

Findlay Market Holiday Market 2021

Markets

Germania Society Christkindlmarkt
November 4–6
The region’s oldest German Christmas market, based on traditional Christmas markets popular throughout Germany. German beer, mulled wine, and shopping unique gifts from local crafters under a covered pavilion and heated tents.
germaniasociety.com
$5 per person (credit/debit only), free admission for ages 12 and under and active/retired military with current ID

Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market at the Duke Energy Convention Center
November 11–13
300 vendors selling decor, gifts, apparel, toys, treats, and more.
cincinnatiholidaymarket.com
Save $2 by buying tickets online

Lakota East Holiday Arts & Crafts Show
November 12–13
Unique gifts for everyone on your list.
lakotaeastcraftshow.com
$2 admission ($5 early bird on Saturday), under 18 free

Holiday Market
November 13, 11a–4p

Third Eye Brewing
Sip on holiday cocktails, mimosas, and award-winning beer while knocking off items from your shopping list.
facebook.com 

Art on Vine
November 13, 12–7p
Rhinegeist
Local artists and makers showcasing and selling fine arts and handmade goods every first Sunday of the month.
artonvinecincy.com

Holiday Shopping Expo at the Lawrenceburg Event Center
November 18–20
Weekend of shopping from a selection of boutiques, crafters, upcycled and repurposed goods, specialty stores, local business, and more. Local group performances, wine tasting, and door prizes.
facebook.com

Oak Hills Band Association Fall Craft Fair
November 19, 9a–3p
Oak Hills High School
Get a start on your holiday shopping featuring more than 250 crafters and artisans. 
facebook.com
$5 per person (ages 10 and under free)

Fall Sycamore Arts & Crafts Show
November 19, 9a–4p
Sycamore High School
Arts and crafts, live student musical performances, and food offerings.
sbob.org

The OFF Market Holiday Market
November 19, 10a–4p
Summit Park
Monthly marketplace bringing together small businesses, artisans, brewers, bakers, farmers, and more—held in the same footprint as the summer market with the addition of an ice skating rink and other holiday festivities.
theoffmarket.org

Holiday Bazaar at Queen City Clay
November 19–20
Handmade ceramics and gifts.
queencityclay.com

Greater Cincinnati Winterfair
November 25–27
Northern Kentucky Convention Center
Experience artful shopping organized by Ohio Designer Craftsmen, a nonprofit organization that supports artists and the community through year-round programming.
winterfair.org
$7 (children 12 and under free), available online or at the door. Ticket is valid for all three days.

Cincinnati Christkindlmarkt
November 25–December 31, Thursday–Sunday
Moerlein Lager House Schmidlapp Event Lawn
Holiday themed Christmas festival featuring food, beverages, merchandise, holiday lights, and choral and musical entertainment.
cincinnatichristkindlmarkt.com

Crafty Supermarket Holiday Show
November 26
Music Hall Ballroom, 11a–5p
This event marks 13 years of bringing you the best handmade goods around from over 100 makers from all over Ohio, the midwest, and beyond—just in time for holiday shopping or simply treating yourself.
craftysupermarket.com

WestSide Holiday Market
November 26
Westwood Town Hall, 12–5p
100+ local vendors, food trucks, photos with Santa, holiday music, free swag bags for the first 200 people, and a free fitness class.
facebook.com

Shop Local on the Levee
November 26–27
Newport on the Levee
Celebrate Small Business Saturday with Shop Local on the Levee as local artisans and makers offer holiday hand-crafted goods.
newportonthelevee.com

Winter Market at Washington Park
November 26–27, December 3–4, 10–11, 17–18
The Winter Market will feature regional artisans and crafters in cozily designed huts, with local organizations to curate each weekend. Vendors will vary from weekend to weekend—lineup TBA.
washingtonpark.org

Holiday Market at Findlay Market
December 3–4
Dozens of farmers and outdoor vendors plus over 50 full-time merchants selling holiday gifts, food and decor. The Market will be selling Christmas trees, wreaths, and garland at Jane’s. Get a FREE commemorative ornament locally made by Lucca with every tree purchase.
findlaymarket.org

Art on Vine
December 11
Rhinegeist, 12–7p
Local artists and makers showcasing and selling fine arts and handmade goods every first Sunday of the month.
artonvinecincy.com

The City Flea
December 17–18
Washington Park
December 17: Evening Holiday Market, 4–9p (11a early bird mini market)
December 18: Daylight Holiday Market, 11a–5p
Cincinnati’s original curated urban flea market, small business incubator, community organization, and city advocate.
thecityflea.com

Holiday at the Junction, EnterTRAINment Junction

Lights and Displays

The Christmas Casino
November 2–January 2
Every year the casino resort is transformed into a whimsical and enchanting winter wonderland certain to dazzle and delight with added NEW holiday attractions every year.
thechristmascasino.com

Celestial Holiday at Krohn Conservatory
November 5–January 8, 2023
Krohn will be transformed into a glowing winter wonderland surrounded by shimmering lights and twinkling stars.
$10 for adults, $7 for youths (5–17), and children (4 and under) free
cincinnatiparks.com

Light Up the Fair
November 11–December 31
Lighting up the Boone County skies with over one million lights from the comfort of your vehicle along a two-mile path.
lightupthefair.com
$15 per couple, $25 per carload (3–7 occupants), military and first responders free

Coney Island’s Nights of Lights
November 11–January 2
2.5-mile drive through light show synchronized to both traditional and rocking holiday music through your car radio.
coneyislandpark.com

Holiday Junction
November 11–January 2
Cincinnati Museum Center
Celebrate 76 years of winterland whimsy, featuring track-level views of over 300 rail cars and 60 locomotives, the Northern Lights display, Holiday Scavenger Hunt, Brickopolis LEGO scenes.
cincymuseum.org
Free for members, $10 for non-members, or $5 with any other museum admission

Christmas at the Junction
November 12–January 1, 2023
EnterTRAINment Junction
Take a magical journey through a Winter Wonderland to the North Pole where you can see the Reindeer & Elf Workshop. Then, visit Mrs. Claus in her kitchen and, of course, visit Santa in his study.
entertrainmentjunction.com

Holly Jolly Days at Behringer-Crawford Museum
November 12–January 8, 2023

White Christmas exhibit from the Rosemary Clooney house, holiday toy trains, and Winter Wonderland in NaturePlay.
bcmuseum.org
Admission included with museum admission (free for members, $9 for adults, $8 for seniors 60+ and $5 for children ages 3–17). Face masks recommended.

The Christmas Ranch
November 18–December 23 (closed Thanksgiving)
Lights, shops, bonfires, and train and wagon rides.
$22 per car load, $33 per oversized van (10+ visitors), no buses or RVs, free parking
thechristmasranch.com
Reservations required for admission

Holidays at the Farm
November 18–December 23

Caroling, classic movies, pony rides, train display, reindeer scavenger hunt, live entertainment, trails, hay wagon ride, marshmallows toasting, and more.
greatparks.org

Journey Borealis at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
November 18–January 1, 2023 (Tuesday–Thursday, 6–9p and Friday–Sunday, 6–10p, closed Mondays)
Driving display featuring an artful adventure through the holiday lights. To enjoy the new, festive soundtrack by Butler Philharmonic Orchestra and vocals by Cincinnati Boychoir, please download the OTOCAST APP before arriving to the show.
journeyborealis.com 
Admission is $25 per carload for non-members and $15 per carload for members
City of Hamilton residents get in FREE on Tuesdays (please bring your ID or a current utility bill)

Holiday in Lights at Armco Park in Warren County (formerly Sharon Woods)
November 18–December 30
Outdoor light display viewed from your vehicle, built with over 1 million lights and over 250 light displays, and has been an established holiday family tradition in Cincinnati for over 32 years. Purchase special effects glasses at the gate to enhance your experience—$2 for one or 3 for $5
holidayinlights.com
Admission is $20 per vehicle; $60 for buses and 15-passenger vans
No cash is accepted
$1 off coupon here

PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo
November 18–January 8, 2023
Open Sunday–Thursday until 9p; Friday and Saturday until 10p (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas)
The 40th annual Festival of Lights, featuring 4 million LED lights, the North Polar Express train ride (starting at 4p), the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, and snacks at one of two S’mores-n-More stands.
cincinnatizoo.org
Included with zoo admission

Light Up Middletown
November 24–December 31
Drive through fantasy light display celebrating 23 years. Open in all weather and holidays.
lightupmiddletown.org
Admission by cash donation–you set the price

ProLink Staffing’s Light Up the Square presented by Macy’s
November 25, 6–11p
Kick off the holiday season with Fountain Square’s annual tree lighting celebration. Festivities begin at 6p with live music, followed by a special appearance by Santa Claus, then a dazzling fireworks display.
myfountainsquare.com

Yuletide Village
November 25–December 17

Fridays (5–9p) and Saturdays (3–9p)
Renaissance Park
A glowing 16th century Yuletide Village awaits. Food services begins at 5.
yuletidevillage.com

Deck the Y’alls Lightfest
November 25–January 1, 2023
Experience more than 2 million lights, themed areas, holiday shopping, great food, Santa Claus, ice skating, carnival, and more
decktheyalls.com

Light Up the Levee at Newport on the Levee 
November 26, 4–7p (click here for the schedule of events)
An evening of festive fun including a holiday market, live music, fireworks, and a visit from Santa Claus as they light their 50-foot tree.
newportonthelevee.com

Light in the Forest
December 1–January 1 (select dates)
Enjoy a peaceful walk in the winter woods with an expanded trail featuring a lit forest, new installations by five regional artists, children’s activities, live music, bonfire, holiday shopping, and more.
cincynature.org
Click here for admission prices

Hanukkah at Fountain Square
December 18, 6–7:30p
Celebrate Hanukkah with the Cincinnati Jewish Community, featuring an outdoor menorah lighting, ice skating, bumper cars, and so much more.
jewishcincinnati.org

Menorah Lights on the Levee
December 18
Newport on the Levee
Join in the Festival of Lights as we light the menorah and celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
newportonthelevee.com

Bumper Cars at the Ice Rink on Fountain Square

Winter Fun

Ice Skating at Fifty West
November 1–February 23, 2023
Ice skate before grabbing a bite to eat from the 50W Burger Bar while enjoying the heated tent and great craft beer.
fiftywestbrew.com
$10 per person for one hour of ice time and skate rental (free for children under 4)

Skating + Bumper Cars at the UC Health Ice Rink presented by 5/3 on Fountain Square
November 5–February 20, 2023
Figure and hockey rental skates are available, plus the concession tent will serve snacks and beverages. The ice rink will feature two different kinds of sessions: bumpers and skating ($15) and skating only ($10).
myfountainsquare.com

Warm 98.5 Ice Rink at Summit Park
November 12–December 16
After a spin on the ice, grab a hot chocolate, a DORA beverage, or a meal from one of the four on-site restaurants or the nearby Neighborhoods at Summit Park.
summitparkblueash.com
$7 per person (skate rental included), children under 3 free

The Station on the Levee
November and December (multiple dates)
Newport on the Levee
All aboard The Station on the Levee! Families are invited to take a ride on the holiday train inside The Gallery.
newportonthelevee.com
$5

Kings Island WinterFest
November 25–December 31 (select nights)
Step into a world of holiday magic featuring experiences and activities and festive food. Voted in 2021 as one of the top Theme Park Holiday Events in the country by USA TODAY readers.
visitkingsisland.com
Admission starting at $29.99

Performing Arts

Trans-Siberian Orchestra presents the Ghosts of Christmas Eve
November 19, 3p
Heritage Bank Center
Multi-platinum, progressive rock group playing its “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” tour.
heritagebankcenter.com

Memorial Hall presents Christmas with The Celts
November 29, 7:30p
memorialhallotr.com
$30–50

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!) at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
December 8–31
Fresh and fun annual tradition that sends up everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss for 90+ minutes of high octane jollity and frivolity.
cincyshakes.com

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr.
December 10–19
The Children’s Theatre (Taft Theater)
60-minute musical adaptation of the beloved classic television special.
thechildrenstheatre.com

Holiday Pops at Music Hall
December 9–11
Cincinnati’s beloved holiday tradition returns with music, warmth, laughter, and seasonal inspiration for the entire family. Share unforgettable memories in the grandeur of a Music Hall.
cincinnatisymphony.org
$25–115
This concert is eligible for Pay What You Wish Pricing. To learn more, visit Music for All.

The Nutcracker at Music Hall
December 15–24
Cincinnati’s favorite holiday tradition.
cballet.org

An Acoustic Christmas with Over the Rhine
December 16–18
Presented by Nederlander Entertainment and Memorial Hall.
memorialhallotr.com
$44–74

Fowling Warehouse

Venues

Whether for a company holiday function or a fun way to get out with a group of friends, there are several options around the city to host your next party—from small to large gatherings. Here is a list of just some of the many ideas.

Restaurant Spaces

There are many restaurants in Cincinnati that offer private room rentals. Here are several options for where to book yours.

Butcher and Barrel
Central Business District
A variety of seating options for corporate events, birthday celebrations, or rehearsal diners.
thebutcherbarrel.com

Ché OTR
OTR
The Cellar at Ché OTR can accommodate 24–30 guests.
checincinnati.com

Galla Park Gastro
The Banks
Booking options include private room (30 seated, 60 social), half venue (200 guests), and full venue (500 guests).
gallapark.com

Khora at Kinley Hotel
Central Business District
Perfectly sized for large gatherings with delicious heart-felt dishes.
khorarestaurant.com

Metropole at 21c
Central Business District
Nine unique event spaces, including a private dining room, and spaces that double as 21c Museum galleries. Space is available for private parties of 10 to 350.
metropoleonwalnut.com

Moerlein Lager House
The Banks
Several private dining options to accommodate groups from 20 guests to 150 to 300 and even 1500 on the Schmidlapp Event Lawn.
moerleinlagerhouse.com

On the Rhine Eatery
Central Business District
Set up shop at the OTR Eatery food hall.
ontherhineeatery.com

Pampas
O’Bryonville
From small and intimate gatherings to larger-scale private events and rentals.
pampascincinnati.com

Prime Cincinnati
Central Business District
Several private dining options available for party sizes 8 to 80.
primecincinnati.com

Entertainment

These aren’t your ordinary event spaces. These venues have built in entertainment as well, from bowling, rage rooms, and arcades, to sightseeing and go-karting.

BB Riverboats
Newport
Group events and dining, sightseeing, kids, holiday, and specialty cruises.
bbriverboats.com

Fowling Warehouse
Norwood
fowlingwarehouse.com

Full Throttle Adrenaline Park
Florence
Corporate events, party packages, meeting space, and catering. High-speed go-karting, paintball, axe throwing, rage room, and virtual reality.
gofullthrottle.com

Pins Mechanical
OTR
Groups of 15 or more; pricing based on group size and allocated event space.
pinsbar.com https://www.pinsbar.com/cincy-events

Queen City Riverboats
Dayton, KY
Private events, public events, concert cruises, and game day shuttles.
queencityriverboats.com

Rotolo | Bowling Bocce Eatery
Newport
Equipped with private event space and amenities for group sizes of 20 to 500.
rotolobowling.com

Selfie Galaxy
Westwood
10–50 guests
selfiegalaxy.com

WONDERCADE
Westwood
Book a party room for up to 16 total people (kids and adults) for two hours. Entire arcade is also available for rent.
wondercadecincy.com

Large Group Event Spaces

These local venues can accommodate larger gatherings for over 50 people and up to 375.

American Sign Museum
Camp Washington
Workshops, trade shows, meetings, and weddings, including seated dinners for up to 175 guests.
americansignmuseum.org

The Columns
Findlay Market
Up to 150-person cocktail party.
thecolumnscincy.com

Hotel Covington
Covington
Accommodates groups of 10 to 250.
hotelcovington.com

The Madison Event Center
Covington
Weddings, corporate events, and social events. Can accommodate events from 100 guests to 375.
madisoneventcenter.com

The Metropolitan Club
Covington
Several event space options, for seating from 2 to 200.
metropolitanclub.net

New Riff Distilling
Newport
Rentals for up to 90 guests.
newriffdistilling.com

Oakley Kitchen Food Hall
Oakley
Accommodates up to 300 guests.
oakley-kitchen.com

Peterloon
Montgomery
Nonprofit events, fundraising events, musical performances and recitals, corporate meetings and events, brunches, luncheons, dinners, receptions, and weddings
peterloon.org

Revel Urban Winery
OTR
Rent out the entire building or the second floor.
revelotr.com

The Skeleton Root
OTR
Unique event spaces for up to 100 guests.
skeletonroot.com

Somerhaus
OTR
Up to 72 guests
somerhaus.space

The Summit
Madisonville
From small meetings to big conferences—indoors, outdoors, or on the roof. Group sizes from 15 to 320.
thesummithotel.com

The Turn Vintage Warehouse
Newport
Up to 85 guests
theturnvintage.com

The View at Shires’ Garden
Central Business District
Small and intimate gatherings to events with up to 200 guests.
theviewatshiresgarden.com

The Woodward
OTR
From 60 to 600 guests.
woodwardtheater.com

Small Group Event Spaces

These local venues can accommodate smaller gatherings for 50 people or less.

Gather Cincy
East Walnut Hills
Party space can accommodate up to 30.
gathercincy.com

The Growler House
East Walnut Hills
Parties from 1 to 50; private tastings or “Beer 101” classes available.
thegrowlerhouse.com

Mom ’n ‘Em
Camp Washington, Madisonville
Baby showers, birthdays, corporate meetings, pop-ups, and small weddings. A mobile coffee cart is also available.
momnemcoffee.com

It is also helpful to consider breweries with event spaces, such as Big Ash, Braxton, Esoteric, Little Miami, Listermann, MadTree, Rhinegeist, West Side, and more. If you are unsure about whether or not a restaurant, brewery, or other business may have a space that is available to rent for a private party, just ask!

Written by: Linsey Kraeling – Woman, wife, and mother about town, proud millennial, and lifelong Cincinnatian with an invested interest in community involvement and having a full plate—literally and figuratively. Follow along with and read more about eating like a sophisticated six-year-old, supporting local, and acting like a tourist in her own city at instagram.com/linsinnati and tourdecincinnati.com.

Bourbon Heritage Month

September is Bourbon Heritage Month and Cincinnati is ready to celebrate!

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon. In order to be bourbon, it must contain at least 51% corn in its mash, it must be aged in new, charred-oak barrels, and it must be stored at no more than 125 proof and bottled at no less than 80 proof. Though bourbon can technically be made anywhere in the US, 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky, our neighbor just to the south.

It is for that reason that we have a lot of great bourbon bars, events, and even bourbon-inspired foods in our area. Below is a comprehensive list of all things bourbon to try during Bourbon Heritage Month and beyond.

Old Fashioned cocktail from Mid City Restaurant
Old Fashioned cocktail from Mid City Restaurant

Food

There are so many excellent bourbon-inspired menu items across the region. Here are a handful of suggestions of what to get at nearby local restaurants.

Bourbon House Pizza (Florence, Newport)

Bourbon BBQ Wings and Chicken

bourbonhousepizza.com

BRU Burger Bar (downtown, Montgomery – Coming Soon)

Bourbon burger with peppercorn-bourbon glaze

bruburgerbar.com

The Eagle (OTR)

Kale Salad with bourbon-soaked raisins

eaglerestaurant.com

The Littlefield (Northside)

Sour Cream Doughnut Holes

Cinnamon sugar dusted, served with a bourbon caramel sauce (during Sat/Sun brunch).

littlefieldns.com

LouVino (OTR)

LouVino Triple Stack with bourbon maple and whipped cream

louvino.com

Purple Poulet Southern Bourbon Bistro (Newport)

Several bourbon-inspired menu items

purplepoulet.com

Note: Menus are always changing and can be viewed on the link shared for each restaurant.

Bourbon peach confit jumbo wings from HighGrain Brewing Co.
Bourbon peach confit jumbo wings from HighGrain Brewing Co.

Desserts

The creativity that goes into making a bourbon-inspired dish is fascinating, and the relationship between Bourbon and dessert will always be a fun combination.

Bouquet Restaurant (Covington)

Bread Pudding Stuffed Croissant topped with bourbon glaze

bouquetrestaurant.com

Graeter’s (multiple locations)

Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan

graeters.com

Happy Chicks Bakery (Northside)

Bourbon Apricot cake and cupcakes

happychicksbakery.com

Libby’s Gourmet Desserts (Forest Park)

Bourbon Butter Cake

libbysgourmetdesserts.com

Maverick Chocolate (Findlay Market, Rookwood)

Prohibition Milk Chocolate bar, made with real Kentucky Bourbon

maverickchocolate.com

Senate (Blue Ash)

Chocolate & Bourbon Bread Pudding

senatepub.com

Note: Menus are always changing and can be viewed on the link shared for each restaurant.

Graeter's Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan ice cream
Graeter’s Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan ice cream

Bars

There are a lot of great bourbon bars in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, but, thanks to their varied and unique selections, these really stand out.

Bourbon Haus 1841 (Covington)

Local and rare varieties, plus craft cocktails.

bourbonhaus1841.com

The Littlefield (Northside)

Cozy bourbon bar and kitchen.

littlefieldns.com

Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar (Covington)

Craft cocktails and an extensive selection of whiskey in an upbeat setting.

oldkybourbonbar.com

Prohibition Bourbon Bar (Newport)

1920s-era speakeasy-style bourbon bar.

newberrybroscoffee.com

Revival Vintage Bottle Shop (Covington)

A retail and bottle shop with a one-of-a-kind shopping and tasting experience.

revivalky.com

Wiseguy Lounge (OTR, Covington)

Elite bourbons and craft cocktails with a roaring twenties vibe.

goodfellaspizzeria.com

Rare vintage bottle of bourbon (Nelson Groves) at Revival Vintage Bottle Shop in Covington
Rare vintage bottle of bourbon at Revival Vintage Bottle Shop in Covington

Distilleries

We all know about the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but we have some pretty great distilleries nearby, too. Here are several local options, including the type of bourbon they produce onsite.

Boone County Distilling (Boone County)

Kentucky Pot Still Bourbon

Small Batch Bourbon

boonedistilling.com

Knox Joseph Distillery at OTR StillHouse (OTR)

Straight Bourbon Whiskey

otrstillhouse.com

New Riff Distilling (Newport)

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Single Barrel Bourbon

newriffdistilling.com

Northside Distilling (downtown)

Bourbon whiskey

northsidedistilling.com

Old Pogue Distillery (Maysville, KY)

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky

oldpogue.com

Pensive Distilling (Newport)

Bourbon

pensivedistilling.com

Second Sight Spirits (Ludlow, KY)

Oak Eye Kentucky Bourbon

Bourbon-barreled rum

secondsightspirits.com

Wenzel Whiskey (Covington)

Whiskey blending warehouse and event space.

facebook.com

Woodstone Creek (St. Bernard)

Straight bourbon whiskey

Five grain bourbon

woodstonecreek.com

Tours and Tastings

The B-Line

Northern Kentucky’s Self-Guided Bourbon Trail featuring 19 “sipping points”: taverns, distilleries, restaurants, and bars.

thebline.com

Bourbon and Bootleg Dinner

Specialty selected bourbon cocktails followed by a curated dinner and bourbon tasting, while learning about Newport’s bootlegging past.

americanlegacytours.com

Bourbon and Distillery Tasting Tour

Cincy Brew Bus

Start at New Riff, then tour and sample at Second Sight Spirits, Boone County Distilling, and Wooden Cask.

cincybrewbus.com

Kentucky Bourbon Adventure

(Private Tour Inquiry Only)

Cincy Brew Bus

Two- or three-stop option. Choose from: Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, and Four Roses. Minimum group size is 8.

cincybrewbus.com

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Choose your own adventure featuring 41 distilleries, tours, tastings, activities, big-city nightlife, quaint country towns, Bourbon-themed hotels, historic bed & breakfast accommodations, and more.

kybourbontrail.com

Wall of rare bourbon at Revival Vintage Bottle Shop in Covington
Wall of rare bourbon at Revival Vintage Bottle Shop in Covington

Events

May

Bourbon Flights

Cincinnati Zoo

Stroll the Zoo sampling a variety of bourbons (neat, on the rocks, or with mixers).

cincinnatizoo.com

July

Bacon, Bourbon, and Brew Festival

Newport

Dedicated to our rich history and connections to the brewing and pork industries as well as our region’s long ties to the bourbon industry.

thingstodocincinnati.com

September 7

Bourbon Heritage Tasting

Hotel Covington, 5–10p

Rare bourbon, open craft beer bar, and complimentary small bites.

Tickets

September 8

Neeley Family Distillery/Hidden Barn Dinner

Rich’s Proper Food and Drink, 6:30p

Three course dinner and pairings, plus the first opportunity to purchase the Rich’s Proper Hidden Barn Private Barrel.

Tickets

September 10

Heaven Hill Bourbon Dinner

Newport Syndicate, 6:30p

Signature cocktail and three bourbon tastings guided by a Heaven Hill representative alongside a 3-course plated meal.

newportsyndicate.com

September 15

Old Pogue Tasting

Bourbon Haus 1841, 7–9p

Exclusive tasting and discussion with the owner of Old Pogue, Peter Pogue.

facebook.com

September 16

On the Rocks

Bourbon Tasting Event

MegaCorp Pavilion, 6–9p

Inaugural celebration of Cincinnati’s adult beverage scene, including bourbon, vodka, and gin.

cincinnatimagazine.com

September 22

The Spirits Are Alive and Well

Tousey House Tavern, 5–10p

Tousey House’s 200-year anniversary open house celebration with Chef’s culinary showcase, history, and Boone County Bourbon.

thebline.com

October 7

Dinner Featuring Knob Creek & Wine Pairings

Newport Syndicate, 6:30–9p

Dinner featuring a bourbon pairing by Knob Creek and wine.

thebline.com

October 22

Bourbon in the Bluegrass

Farm Haven (Union, KY)

Local bourbon, live bluegrass, food trucks, plus more family friendly fun.

cityofunionky.org

October 29

Boots, Bourbon, and Biscuits

Receptions – Erlanger, 11a–2p

Biscuit bar, brunch, live music, entertainment, auction, bourbon tasting, open bar, and more. Supporting the Children’s Law Center.

childrenslawky.org

Date TBA

Bourbon and Bacon

Exclusive bourbon tasting package, featuring six different bourbons plus some of Cincinnati’s favorite eateries and brands.

bourbonandbaconcincy.com

View more events courtesy of thebline.com.


Written by: Linsey Kraeling – Woman, wife, and mother about town, proud millennial, and lifelong Cincinnatian with an invested interest in community involvement and having a full plate—literally and figuratively. Follow along with and read more about eating like a sophisticated six-year-old, supporting local, and acting like a tourist in her own city at instagram.com/linsinnati and tourdecincinnati.com.