Cincinnati holiday events guide: Here are all the ways to celebrate the season

Get your jolly on around the Tri-State. Here are light displays, train displays and holiday festivities to check out now through the new year.

HOLIDAY LIGHT DISPLAYS AND TREE LIGHTINGS

PNC Festival of Lights
When: Open 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Through Jan. 1.
Where: ​Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale.
Details: ​Admission is $25 online for adults ages 13-61 and $21 online for people under 13 and over 61. Gate tickets are $27 (adults) and $22 (kids and seniors) at the gate.
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Holiday in Lights
When: 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Through Dec. 31.
Where: Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville.
Details: Admission is $13 per vehicle ($45 for buses and 15-passenger vans).
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Holiday Lights on the Hill
When
: 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Through Jan. 1.
Where: Pyramid Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton.
Details: $20 per carload Monday-Thursday and $25 per carload Friday-Sunday. Always $15 for park members.
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Light Up Middletown 
When: 6-10 p.m. daily through Dec. 31.
Where: Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave., Middletown.
Details: Admission by donation. Driving tour through Middletown's 100-acre park of themed displays made out of twinkling lights. 
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Christmas Light Show
When
: Dusk to 10 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Through Jan. 1.
Where: Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati.
Details: $6 per person. A 2-mile car ride through music-synchronized Christmas displays and a light show.
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Mainstrasse Village Tree Lighting
When
: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2
Where: Sixth and Main streets, Covington.
Details: Free tree-lighting event with music, free hot chocolate and cookies and photos with Santa.
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Holiday in the Village
When
: 5-7:30 p.m. Dec. 3
Where: Downtown Historic Montgomery at the Neuilly-Plaisance Fountain Plaza.
Details: Free event. Tree lighting, crafts, free horse-drawn wagon rides and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
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City of Florence
When
: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 6
Where: Florence Government Center, 8100 Ewing Boulevard.
Details: Free local event with holiday music, sleigh rides, activities at holiday stations and photos with mascots and Santa Claus.
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OTR aGlow Photo Walk
When
: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 8
Where: Park+Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine.
Details: Free event. Chris Glass with PhotoCorps will lead participants on a holiday-themed picture-taking scavenger hunt through Over-the-Rhine. More than 40 businesses and historical buildings will light up for the walk.
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Luminaria
When: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11
Where: Mount Lookout Square, 3175 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout.
Details: Free event. It's the 41st year for Mount Lookout’s holiday season festival of lights. This year’s event will include Light Up Mount Lookout Square. Many shops will decorate their storefronts and keep extended hours. The Cincinnati Observatory also will be open to show off the lights. Both telescopes will be open for viewings and refreshments will be provided. Two shuttles will run between the square and the observatory from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
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HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES

The O’Keeffe’s Ice Rink by Fifth Third Bank
When
: Noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-10 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 15. Extended holiday hours 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily Dec. 16-Jan. 2.
Where: Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown.
Details: $6 admission and $4 skate rental. Ice rink amenities include lockers, benches, warming tent and events such as skating with Santa each weekend through Dec. 18.
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BRICKmas
When: Through Dec. 30.
Where: Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine.
Details: $10 per person. Enjoy one of the region's largest holiday LEGO displays. Ticket prices include viewing a free holiday movie at the newly renovated Memorial Hall.
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Seasonal Krohn Conservatory Show
When
: Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with evening hours (5-7:30 p.m.) on Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Dec. 18-23. Through Jan. 8.
Where: 950 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park.
Details: $7 for adults, $4 for children and free for ages 4 and under. See holiday floral displays, toy trains and the Schmalz Family Holiday Village, which puts Cincinnati on display in miniatures. 
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Antique Christmas
When
: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Through Jan. 8.
Where: Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown.
Details: Adults: $10; ages 6-18: $8; seniors 65 and older: $8; children 5 and under free. View the Taft’s annual display of antique ornaments, decorations and toys. Also on display this year: a miniature log cabin in Christmastime woods; an antique clockwork Santa; an exhibit of early German nutcrackers; antique Christmas feather trees trimmed entirely with red and pink ornaments; and a large-scale tree with old patriotic ornaments in red, blue and white. 
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Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa
When
: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 31.
Where: Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport.
Details: Watch Santa swim with the fish and enjoy holiday music and other Christmas features throughout the aquarium. Online pricing: adults: $15.99 (ages 13+); children: $15.99 (ages 2-12); children under age 2: free.
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Macy's Downtown Dazzle
When
: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and Dec. 10
Where: Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown.
Details: Free event. Santa rappels down the Huntington Center at 525 Vine St. to the Macy’s rooftop to kick off a fireworks display. Also features performances from local choirs. Dec. 3: The Queen City Sisters and Rhythmic Sounds of New J perform; Dec. 10: The Cincinnati Boychoir and the Macy's Choral Ensemble perform.
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Springfield Township's Winterfest
When
: 1-4 p.m. Dec. 3
Where: The Grove Banquet and Events Center, 9150 Winton Road, Springfield Township.
Details: ​Free event. MadCap Puppets will perform a show at 1 p.m., followed by holiday crafts, a hayride and photos with Santa from 2 to 4 p.m. Visitors are asked to donate an unopened toy for children in need.
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Independence Christmas Walk & Tour
When
: 5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 3
Where: 5409 and 5272 Madison Pike, Independence.
Details: Free event. Begins with a Christmas parade and continues with free festivities along Madison Pike. Parking available near 5409 Madison Pike at Kroger parking lot with shuttles to Kenton County courthouse.
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Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Festival
When
: Parades: 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3; festival: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 3.
Where: Downtown Lebanon
Details: Free event. Street fair will feature craft and food vendors.
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OTR Holiday Home Tour
When
: 3-9 p.m. Dec. 10.
Where: Start at Future Leaders OTR, 1212 Race St., Over-the-Rhine.
Details: This 90-minute self-guided holiday home tour is the third annual fundraiser for Future Leaders OTR. Future Leaders OTR is a not-for-profit group dedicated to shaping the lives of youth in the community. Homeowners will invite visitors inside their homes to get a glimpse of once-neglected buildings brought back to life and decorated for the holidays. Tours are $25.
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Cincinnati SantaCon
When
: Noon-midnight Dec. 10.
Where: Starts at Jack Cincinnati Casino, 1000 Broadway St., Downtown.
Details: Hop on the free shuttles dressed as Santa Claus, then enjoy a day-long pub crawl to Monk's in Mount Adams; Holy Grail at the Banks; Taste of Belgium at the Banks and Over-the-Rhine; and back to Jack Cincinnati Casino. Though the ride is free, SantaCon organizers ask participants to donate to the Cure Starts Now.
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Mount Adams Reindog Parade
When
: 2 p.m. Dec. 10
Where: The Monastery, 1055 St. Paul Place, Mount Adams.
Details: Marty Brennaman will serve as grand marshal. Admission is free and on-site dog registration is from noon-1:45 p.m. Pre-register at www.spcacincinnati.org.
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OTR Rail Dog Parade
When
: 4:30-7 p.m. Dec. 10
Where: Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine.
Details: Free event. Dogs dressed for the holidays will parade through Over-the-Rhine, starting at Washington Park's dog park and ending at Queen City Radio.
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Latkapalooza
When: 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 24
Where: Mount Adams Pavilion, 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams.
Details: No cover, drink specials and door prizes. Open to ages 21-45. RSVP online at www.jewishcincinnati.org or contact Yad Cincinnati at jblumental@jfedcin.org. Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati's Young Adult Division and the Mayerson JCC.
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Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival
When: 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 31; 2:30 and 5 p.m. Jan. 1.
Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., Downtown.
Details: This annual free Christmas pageant was first performed at Christ Church in 1940 as a gift to Cincinnati and it has remained popular ever since. It does require a ticket, distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis, to see one of the four performances, though. Tickets will be given away starting at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 10 at the church.
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HOLIDAY TRAIN DISPLAYS

North Pole Express
When
: Select dates and times through Dec. 24.
Where: Lebanon Mason & Monroe Railroad, 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon.
Details: Adults: $22; seniors (62+): $18; children (2-16): $18; infants (1 year and under): free. Take an hour-long train ride with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. 
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Behringer-Crawford Museum Holiday Toy Trains
When
: Through Jan. 15
Where: 1600 Montague Road, Covington.
Details: Adults: $9; seniors (60+): $8; children (3-17): $5. Arts, crafts, LEGOs and trains.
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Christmas At EnterTRAINment Junction
When
: Extended holiday hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 10-30. Display open through Jan. 1.
Where: 7379 Squire Court, West Chester.
Details: Enjoy the holiday display, special daily visits from Santa and rest of the EnterTRAINment Junction. Adults: $13.95; seniors (65+): $11.95; children (3-12): $9.95; and ages 2 and under free.
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HOLIDAY MARKETS 

Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt
When
: Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18. Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17; noon-5 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18.
Where: Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown.
Details: Small European-style market features vendors offering traditional holiday sweets and European baked goods, Glühwein (hot spiced wine), other hot beverages, Christian Moerlein beer, and handcrafted gifts and decorations. There also will be live music, activities for children and visits from Santa Claus.
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Holiday Market 2016
When
: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 4.
Where: Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine.
Details: Cooking demos, free merchant sampling, scavenger hunt for kids, caroling, craft beer, cocktails and a visit from Santa Claus. Event is free to attend.
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Happy Holidays with the Kentucky Choirs
When
: 2-9 p.m. Dec. 10
Where: The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington.
Details: Adults: $21; students: $15. Sip hot chocolate while shopping for locally made crafts at the Carnagie's holiday market. Also, enjoy 3 and 7 p.m. musical performances by the Notre Dame Academy Pandatones, Calvary Christian's Sounds of Praise Touring Choir, Covington Latin, University of Louisville's Cardinal Singers and the NKU Carolers.
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City Flea Holiday Market
When
: 5-10 p.m. Dec. 17
Where: Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
Details: This urban flea market takes over Washington Park once again and offers visitors the chance to buy uniquely local holiday gifts. There will also be drink, food and holiday cheer on hand.
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