GMTS Newsletter: Holiday fun before the holidays

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

It’s beginning to look a lot like … Thanksgiving?

I mean Christmas. Yes, that’s it.

This year Thanksgiving falls on the latest possible date, which is why so many holiday attractions are opening early this year. They get a whole extra weekend in spending and attendance by doing so, and people don’t have to cram in looking at Christmas lights between chowing down on turkey and throwing elbows for a Furby Boom.

And here in the Tri-State, we are as full of fun holiday attractions as Uncle Mort is after Thanksgiving dinner.

Take your pick! There’s no excuse not to celebrate the season – even if the season hasn’t technically begun yet.

-Cincinnati Ballet Nutcracker Luncheon : This is a wonderful way to introduce a youngster to the world of ballet. Extremely talented young dancers from the Otto M. Budig Academy perform parts of the famous ballet in a luncheon setting, so kids are free to roam around – or get up close and personal with the dancers if they like.

Not sure it’ll help the decision, but I’m honored to emcee the event again this year. Tickets: $45 and includes lunch. This event sells out, so jump on it early.

-Cincinnati Zoo PNC Festival of Lights: In a word: amazing. The sheer scope of the decorations and thousands and thousands lights will keep even the crankiest of kids entertained. There are strolling entertainers, plus MadCap Puppets, train rides and more. 

It opens Friday night – I’ll see you there!

If you don’t have a zoo membership, it’s $15 for adults, $10 for kids 2-12 and seniors – plus parking. And because I’m all about the deal, you can go for ½ off during the week if you pick up coupons at Skyline Chili locations.

-Trains, Trains, Trains: If your kids are into them, you have tons of options.

You can’t get better than the Duke Energy Holiday Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Your kids love ‘em, you love ‘em, and more than likely your parents loved ‘em, too. Duke customers, don’t forget - you can get in free!

The Newport Express Holiday Depot is new this year at Newport on the Levee, complete with a Lego model of Music Hall and visits with Santa. And it’s a good deal, too: $5, with kids under 3 free.

Krohn Conservatory’s Cincinnati Scenic Railway is open in Eden Park featuring mini replicas of famous Cincinnati landmarks built with “natural components.” It’s great in and of itself, but this year, the Shillito’s Elves are there, too. Plus there’s a new interactive train display and a live nativity. $7 adults/$4 children, and you can get $1 here .

EnterTrainment Junction has Christmas at the Junction this year, where trains, Santa, reindeer and elves intersect. A Do-It-All Ticket is still under $15, which will get you admission to the whole place.

-KaLightoscope: If you’re willing to take a trip south, Christmas at the Galt House in Louisville is just spectacular. An exhibit called KaLightoscope features huge luminaries made of rebar and covered in silk, each handmade by Chinese artisans.

Included in the $18.99 price per adult (which, by the way, comes with one free kid’s ticket!), kids can also take a sleigh ride on a “magic” green screen, get pics with Santa, make snowflakes, check out a life-size gingerbread house, meet the “Snow Fairy Princess” and take a mini-train ride. Well worth the trip! My kids love it and were interested the whole time – and that’s no small feat.

Today’s Distracting Link:

One completely random fact. Refresh and get another.


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