Top 9 things to do in Cincinnati for Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 28-Dec. 1)

Looking for something fun to do this Thanksgiving weekend? 9 On Your Side has teamed up with CityBeat to bring you the Top 9 picks!

1. Burn off that turkey during the 104th Annual Thanksgiving Day Race

The course for the 104th incarnation of this traditional holiday run/walk has been changed from the standard jaunt through Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky -- runners and walkers will now pass by new additions and historic sites and neighborhoods in the Cincinnati area.

Fountain Square is on the course as is the new Horseshoe Casino and Over-the-Rhine, allowing participants to view the community changes happening there.

The race benefits local nonprofits including Neediest Kids of All and the Ronald McDonald house.

Once the race is over, you can also celebrate with food, music and more until you’re ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

The race starts at 9 a.m. Thursday and you can register online, or in person on race day.

2. Holiday spirit takes over Fountain Square

Fountain Square gets a holiday makeover this week with the annual tree-lighting ceremony.

The festivities start at 5 p.m. Friday with live music from Archer’s Paradox starting at 6 p.m. Tom+Chee will be there with tasty grilled cheese.

It all leads up to the tree lighting at 7 p.m., more live music from the Von Trap Kids and a fireworks finale.

3. Grab your skis and get ready to shred some fresh powder

In a true sign that winter is just peeking around the corner, Perfect North Slopes is set to open this Friday.

The owners said the Back Stage, Tuff Enuff, Farside, Clyde’s Superslide, Learn-to-Turn Area and more will be open this weekend. Tubing lanes will also be open.

Skiers are warned that conditions can vary this early in the season so the runs may not be their normal width.

For those of you that need a tune-up or new equipment, the gift and repair shop is also open.

For ticket prices and more, go to:

4. Black Friday Shop Local Events

Independent businesses are in the Black Friday shopping spirit this year with a ton of shop-local incentives to prove big deals don’t just come from big-box stores. 

All day Friday is OTR’s fifth annual Holidays in the Bag event ( Buy the official $5 holiday bag and receive discounts at participating OTR stores. Hyde Park retailers will also be jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon with special sales starting at 6 a.m.

And the shopping doesn’t end there. 

Saturday is American Express’ Small Business Saturday (, a nationwide push to support small businesses. Discounts will be available through American Express. 

Also on Saturday is OTR’s Main Street Merry Market. This pop-up shop happens from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 14 ( With all this, there’s no reason not to shop local this season.

5. Do your holiday shopping German-style at Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt

While German Christkindlmarkts, including the oldest and most renowned in Nuremberg, date back to 1639, this is the second for Cincideutsch -- a group of German-speaking Cincinnati residents. 

Expect handcrafted gifts, seasonal décor, hot-spiced Glühwein, traditional German holiday sweets, European baked goods and more out of charming half-timbered vendor fronts.

After its run on Fountain Square, the market will move to Findlay Market for two more weekends.

The fun starts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It picks up again at 11 a.m. Sunday and runs until 5 p.m.

6. Get your Grinch on at the Aronoff Center

The musical adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss’ story is back for more in the Queen City.

Despite his dastardly thievery of decorations and gifts, the Grinch — a cousin of Scrooge, to be sure — discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

After two consecutive years as a holiday hit on Broadway, the show is touring across America, with a stop at the Aronoff for Thanksgiving weekend.

The show runs through Sunday and tickets cost $28 to $88.

Maybe your heart will grow a size or two.

7. Over-the-Rhine is AGLOW with holiday cheer

Historic Over-the-Rhine will be in lights for seven nights starting Saturday. 

This holiday event invites street-level OTR storefronts and residential windows to compete in a glowing window display extravaganza.

Participants will set their original window displays a-glow between 5:30 and 10 p.m. each evening until Dec. 6. 

Windows will be judged based on creativity and awards will be given to the best street-level business, best nonprofit and best resident.

Registration is required online and ends Friday, Nov. 29. 

8. Help Fifty West Brewing celebrate a birthday

Just on the heels of Ei8ht Ball’s grand opening, local brewing company Fifty West is celebrating its first anniversary.

The starts Wednesday with a performance by local blue grass band The Tillers at 7 p.m.

The brewery will open early for lunch on Friday to help you take a break from all that Black Friday shopping. Local acoustic act Steven Daly will take the stage at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, you can sample the new Ale of Two Cities (a subtly smoky and malty amber ale made in collaboration with Great Lakes Brewing Co.,) and MOOving Violation (a chocolate milk stout that will bring back childhood memories,) as you wait for RedBeard’s Revenge to start at 7 p.m.

Then you can relax and recover from the holiday weekend on Sunday with Fifty West’s Bloody Mary special Sunday brunch.

9. Bring on the bawdy fun during Twelfth Night

Regulars at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company have enjoyed petite but dynamic performer Sara Clark in roles ranging from Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice to the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist

Now, in her eighth season, she’s proven to be a resourceful director, too.

Of Shakespeare’s sweet, jubilant comedy Twelfth Night, she says, “Rational hierarchy is turned topsy-turvy and nothing is quite what it seems.”

Her staging opens this week. Expect a happy ending -- as well as another feather in Clark’s diverse cap. 

The play runs through Dec. 15; for tickets and more go to

BONUS: We know many of you will be shopping, so make sure and check our Black Friday guide here.

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