Top 9 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend (Dec. 12-Dec. 15)

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

1.  Eat, drink and be Santa! 

Even Santa Claus needs a break from the madness of the holiday season, so if your best colors happen to be red and white and you need a reason to “ho, ho, ho,” meet at Fountain Square with a Santa costume for a Saturday filled with caroling, scavenger hunting, barhopping and Christmas cheer for Santacon. 

Everyone can participate (department store Santa or not), and has a cheat sheet with tips for Saint Nicks of every ilk. 

The event runs from noon to midnight Saturday. Santacon is free but online registration is required.

holiday in lights photo

2. Take in the lights as holiday cheer hits a crescendo

If you just can’t get enough of holiday lights displays and your neighbors aren’t filling the skies with an electric glow, there are plenty of other options.

First on the list is The Christmas Ranch. This massive holiday ranch features 500,000 dancing Christmas lights synchronized to holiday music, unique Christmas craft gift shops, a bakery and café, model trains, Santa’s workshop, photo opportunities with the man in red, nighttime village wagon rides and more. 

You can check it out from 5 p.m. 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m .to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

The event runs through Dec. 31 and is located at 3205 S. Waynesville Road in Morrow.

Once you’re done at the ranch it’s time to go to Sharonville.

The Holiday in Lights features one-mile of holiday-themed light displays, strung over the trees and through the woods. 

Head inside to Santaland in the Sharon Centre for hot cocoa, carolers, baked goods and photos with Santa.

Holiday in Lights is open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

The event is located at 11450 Lebanon Road and runs through Dec. 31. It costs $13 per car.

3. Local beer bloggers take over Fifty West for CannonBlog dinner

Fans of fine dining, craft beer and the local blogging scene take note; Fifty West Brewing Co. has an event just for you this week.

The brewpub expanded its popular Cannonball dinner series to include six of Cincinnati’s local beer bloggers.

Each blogger brewed a five-gallon batch to be served Thursday night with a special six-course meal.

Patrons will be able to purchase a flight of all six beers and vote for their favorites on score cards ranked from the best to the so-so. The $20 price also includes the six experimental dishes from Fifty West kitchen.

The doors open at 4 p.m. Thursday and the event starts at 5 p.m.

Here’s the best part: whoever wins the competition will have their beer brewed on the full brewhouse and be served at the brewpub.

cannonblog dinner graphic

4. Let it snow laser show

The Drake Planetarium is turning its full-dome planetarium into a virtual snow globe with this animated laser light show, choreographed to classic holiday songs. 

The 32-minute show features Christmas tunes from Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Burl Ives and more, plus a multi-media finale with music from the Trans Siberian Orchestra. 

The show starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays until Dec. 22. Tickets cost $8 and more information is at

5. Get a pop-art masterpiece from DAAP

Students from DAAP’s Master of Fine Arts Program will take over various pop-up spots along Short Vine and its off-streets to showcase their work. 

Thirty-eight graduate students will exhibit works of painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, performance, new media and social practice in an effort to demonstrate their “collaborative approach to making artwork in the studio.”

The event runs 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at shops on Vine Street including: Views on Vine, Niehoff Urban Studio and more. For more information go to:

Cincinnati Shakespeare holiday show

6. Skewer Santa and Scrooge with the troupe at Cincinnati Shakespeare

Cincinnati Shakespeare brings back -- for the eighth consecutive year -- a non-stop holiday romp through everyone’s favorite Christmas stories.

They do it with four actors and in 90 minutes, skewering classics we all know and love. 

You name it and a tale you remember will end up in their satirical sights: A Christmas Carol, of course, but also It’s a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Nutcracker, Rudolph and more.

We’re pretty sure you won’t stop laughing.

The show runs through Dec. 29 and tickets cost $28. For more info go to:

7. Kick up the jams during Unsilent Night

The Contemporary Arts Center has joined the national movement to mark the holidays with an Unsilent Night procession.

Participants bring boomboxes and play cassettes of New Music/Experimental composer Phil Kline’s multi-track composition Unsilent Night as they walk through the city.

Working with Light Up OTR, the walk goes from Washington Park’s bandstand through Over-the-Rhine and downtown for about 45 minutes.

It will conclude back at Washington Park for a tree-lighting event. The CAC has some extra boomboxes but encourages everyone to bring their own “instruments.”

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine.

antiques christmas

8. Travel to the past during Antique Christmas

Ring those nostalgic, silver bells with Taft Museum of Art’s annual holiday display, Antique Christmas, filled with antique toys, ornaments and decorations.

This year’s display also includes a German nativity pyramid (dated 1890), a Civil War-era Christmas tree and a 1950s Christmas display. 

The show runs until Jan. 5 and takes place on Tuesdays through Sundays.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students; and $4 for children. The event is free on Sundays in December.

The museum is located at 316 Pike St. and more information is at

9. Get connected at Fabricate

If you’re in the mood for a break from the holiday scene, head to Fabricate in Northside (also in time for Second Saturday,) for a new installation from local artist Emily Louise Howard.

Howard’s “Connectivity” is a collection of drawings, prints and paintings that “explore the connections between ourselves -- specifically our bodies -- and the natural world. “
Howard was raised in Erlanger, Ky., and was educated at the University of Kentucky and the University of Cincinnati.

Organizers said Howard’s work has a feeling of “childlike wonder.” The works of the Brothers Grimm, Native American mythologies and the beauty of nature often inspire her artwork.

Fabricate is located at 4037 Hamilton Ave. The show starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. For more information go to:

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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