9 holiday attractions in the Tri-State

CINCINNATI -- Looking for ways to get in the holiday spirit this year?

Well, it's not too late to enjoy some holiday fun before the New Year approaches. Whether you're planning a night out with family or friends here's a list of nine holiday attractions in the Tri-State you don't want to miss.

RELATED: Gallery of Holiday attractions in the Tri-State http://bit.ly/19GVLf3

1. Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods

A Tri-State tradition for more than 20 years, Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods is a family-friendly event you don't have to get out of your car to enjoy. Thousands of lights and holiday decorations span a mile of a wooded roadway through Sharon Woods Park.

Because of its popularity, Holiday in Lights can draw a large crowd on the weekends, so a long wait can be expected. Visitors are also encouraged to dial their car radios to Warm 98 for festive music to accompany their ride through the woods.

It's a classic Cincinnati holiday staple you don't want to miss.

Get details below.

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Cost: $13 per vehicle, $45 for buses or 15 passenger vans
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 6-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
When: Event runs through Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
Address: 11450 Lebanon Road, Route 42 Sharonville, OH 45241
Website: http://www.holidayinlights.com/home

2. The Christmas Ranch

For holiday fun north of the city, the Christmas Ranch in Morrow, Ohio (which is about 10 minutes north of Kings Island) is a holiday attraction that's worth the drive. As the area's largest outdoor holiday display, the Christmas Ranch has more than 500,000 LED lights synchronized with holiday songs.

Owners Mike and Debi Fuchs transformed what was once a 110-acre dude ranch into the Christmas Ranch which consists of a Christmas Village complete with lights, a nativity scene, train rides, six gift shops (including a bakery and cafe) and Santa Claus himself (the "real" one, according to the staff).

The majority of the exhibit takes place outdoors so be sure to bundle up before you head out. There is, however, a large fire pit in the center of the Christmas Village that will be sure to give you a break from the Tri-State's frigid temps. But regardless of the weather, the impressive light display will be sure to keep your thoughts off the cold.

It's also important to note that a vast portion of the proceeds goes toward charities involving children, including Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Neediest Kids of All.

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Cost: $15 per vehicle
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
When: Runs through Dec. 31, 2013.
Address: 3205 S. Waynesville Road in Morrow, Ohio 45152
Website: http://thechristmasranch.com/

3. Krohn Conservatory's Annual Holiday Show

This holiday season the Krohn Conservatory, located in Eden Park, is presenting "A Cincinnati Scenic Railroad" in conjunction with their annual holiday floral show. This family-friendly exhibit depicts classic Cincinnati landmarks, such as the Taft Museum, Union Terminal, the Tyler Davidson Fountain and even the Christian Moerlein Lager House with model trains running beside them.

The train display, designed by Applied Imagination, and made with "botanical architecture" celebrates Cincinnati's history. The exhibit also has interactive stations that allow you and the little ones can to play conductor. Just by using your hand print you can turn train lights of and on, operate railroad crossings and more.

The exhibit also features the Schmalz Holiday Village with the classic "Motionettes" (moving characters) that were once used in the windows of Shillito's and Pogues during the holidays.

Starting Saturday, Dec. 14 there will also be a LIVE Nativity outside the Krohn Conservatory featuring the return of Mary, the Christmas Lamb, who was born on Christmas Eve at the nativity in 2011.

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Cost: $7 for adults, $4 for children, children 4 and under free
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
When: Now through Jan. 5, 2014
Address: 1501 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Website: http://www.cincinnatiparks.com/krohn

4. PNC Festival of Lights

Lions and tigers and bears and holiday lights, oh my! From now through the end of the year the Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating the holidays with the return of a Tri-State favorite: the PNC Festival of Lights. Each year thousands of lights are hung throughout the zoo's and if you're lucky, some of the animals may be out, too.

Whether you're planning an evening out with family or friends, the Festival of Lights exhibit makes for a delightful nighttime stroll through Cincinnati's wild side. With the Tri-State's recent drop in temperatures, the walk could be a bit brisk, so we advise you layer up and wear comfortable shoes.

But don't worry.

If you get too cold there are several spots where visitors can warm up and warm drinks available for purchase.


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Cost: $15 general admission, $10 for ages 2-12 and 62 and up, free for ages 2 and under
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
When: Now through Jan. 4, only open during day on Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day
Address: 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
Website: http://cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights/

5. Light Up the Levee

If you're looking for a fun holiday light show across the river, then look no further than Light Up the Levee in Newport. The Levee has on display their annual holiday light show which is synchronized with holiday music every 20 minutes and (best of all) it's free for all to enjoy.

So if you're catching an evening movie or dinner in the neighborhood, take a walk over to the Levee's promenade where you can't miss the festivities. And for a few more weekends Christmas carolers also stroll through the Levee to spread the holiday cheer.

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Cost: Free
Hours: Light show takes place every 20 minutes on the Levee
When: Now through Jan. 5
Address: 1 Levee Way Newport, KY 41071
Website: http://www.newportonthelevee.com/

6. Niederman Family Farm Christmas Walk

If you're looking for a traditional holiday outing you can bring the entire family to without breaking the bank, then don't pass up the chance to check out the Niederman Family Farm Christmas Walk.

The entire display, which includes tens of thousands of lights, life-size nativity scenes, depictions of biblical scenes and a more than 50 speakers playing festive music, is entirely free.

Located in Liberty Township, the Christmas Walk is a truly family-friendly experience that even gives out free hot chocolate and cookies to visitors.

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Cost: Free
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 6-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 6-10 p.m.
When: Now through Dec. 30
Address: 4972 LeSourdsville-WestChester Drive in Liberty Township, Ohio 45011
Website: http://www.niedermanfamilyfarm.com/christmas-walk.htm

7. Holiday Lights at Pyramid Hill

Holiday Lights at Pyramid Hill in Hamilton is a drive-through display featuring more than 1 million holiday lights in addition to laser light displays. The exhibit, which is located in a sculpture and park and museum, spans miles of roadway and an additional 70 acres.

Some of the attractions include a twinkling light tunnel, candy cane lane and more. The best part is you don't have to get out of your vehicle to enjoy the fun.

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Cost: Admission (per carload-limit 8 passengers per van): Monday-Thursday $20. Friday-Sunday $25.
Hours: 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday. 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday
When: Now through Dec. 31
Address: 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road Hamilton, Ohio 45013
Website: http://www.pyramidhill.org/index.php

8. Light Up Middletown

Returning for the 15th year is Light Up Middletown, a circle driving tour that takes place through a 100-acre park. The entire operation is run by volunteers and all proceeds go toward funds that raise money for improving Middletown parks.

This year's exhibit includes a sparkling fantasyland, a floating sea serpent fishing in a lake, Santa's workshop, train, animated swans, deer leaping over a roadway and much more. There's even an opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus every weekend through Dec. 21.

The exhibit is also open on holidays.

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Cost: No set entrance fee, admission by donation to the park
Hours: 6-10 every night, including holidays
When: Now through Dec. 31
Website: http://lightupmiddletown.org/Home.php

9. Metamora Christmas Walk

For a truly old-fashioned holiday experience, the Metamora Christmas Walk in Indiana might suit your needs. The historic village is turned into a Winter Wonderland, which includes decorated store fronts, thousands of lights and decorations hung throughout, and lanterns that line the canal from the mill to the aqueduct.

Stroll through the shops for some unique holiday gifts to escape from the cold, stop by the fire pit at the Grist Mill and grab a warm beverage and don't forget to get your photo taken with Santa Claus. It's a festive celebration the entire family will enjoy.

The exhibit, however, only takes place on the weekends, so be sure to mark it on your calendar early.

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Cost: Christmas Walk portion is free
Hours: Friday and Saturday open until 10 p.m., Sunday shops open until 5 p.m.
When: Only on weekends through Dec. 22
Address: 19060 Main Street Metamora, IN 47030
Website: http://www.metamoraindiana.com/christmas_walk.htm

Photography by Sam Grier, WCPO contributor and Emily Maxwell, WCPO photojournalist

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