Top 9 things to do during Thanksgiving weekend: Nov. 23-27

Posted at 3:29 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 16:16:36-05

Art After Dark Comes Early

This month’s “Art After Dark” will come a little early to the Cincinnati Art Museum. There will be bourbon tastings and cocktails from New Riff Distilling, Eli’s BBQ, beer, live music and free tours of exhibitions "Kentucky Renaissance" and "Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth." 

5-9 p.m. Wednesday. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive. Free admission. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page. 

Thanksgiving Eve parties

There is no real evidence that Thanksgiving Eve is the most popular bar night of the year, but Thanksgiving-related stress and holiday homecomings offer two great reasons to enjoy a night out. Local bars and nightclubs understand; that's why many are offering parties the night before the holiday and beyond. Here’s our list of parties to know.

Ale to the Queen City

Sixteen local craft breweries are coming together this Thanksgiving weekend to welcome people returning to Cincinnati for the holiday. The inaugural Ale to the Queen City beer festival, which is being produced by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, will feature 35 craft beers on tap, live music and local food such as LaRosa's and Skyline Chili.

4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Mehring Way between Elm Street and the Roebling Bridge. Free admission.

‘A Christmas Carol’

It’s time again for Playhouse in the Park’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic story. If you haven’t previously seen veteran actor Bruce Cromer portray the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, you are missing something special. The show is one of the Playhouse’s most popular shows each season.

7 p.m. Wednesday and Friday;  2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Robert S. Marx Theatre, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams. Tickets start at $30. Runs through Dec. 31.

Macy’s Light Up the Square

It’s the official kickoff to the holidays in Cincinnati. Every year, Macy’s Light Up the Square draws thousands of people to Fountain Square on the day after Thanksgiving for the ceremonial lighting of the Holiday Tree. There also will be fireworks and live music from Naked Karate Girls.

6 p.m. Friday. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown. Free admission.

Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt

While on Fountain Square, you can browse the opening night of the Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt, which will feature vendors selling holiday sweets, European baked goods, spiced wine and other hot beverages, Christian Moerlein beer and handmade gifts and decorations. The U.S. Bank Ice Rink will be open, too.

Noon-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Weekends through Dec. 18. Fountain Square. Free admission.

Arnold’s beer tapping, vinyl release

Arnold's Bar and Grill plans to ring in the holidays on Black Friday with local music and seasonal craft beer. The bar will host its 12 Beers of Christmas tapping and "Holly Jolly Hangover" vinyl album release party Friday. (Arnold's actually will tap 14 beers; 12 just sounded more festive, said general manager Chris Breeden.) All profits from sales of the record, Arnold’s third produced in collaboration with local musicians and Northern Kentucky-based Neltner's Small Batch Records, will be donated to Cincinnati nonprofit UpSpring.

Beer tappings: 5 p.m. Friday; album release: 9 p.m. Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 208 E. Eighth St., Downtown. Free admission.

One City, One Symphony

Here’s a recommendation from arts writer Leyla Shokoohe: Here’s a recipe for home this Thanksgiving: take equal parts conversation, food and music and throw in a heaping of family and friends. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra offers another spin on this recipe, uniting these elements in One City, One Symphony (OCOS), which culminates in performances Friday and Saturday at the Taft Theatre. The community-wide project seeks to bring people together through music, and the concerts, headlined by saxophonist Branford Marsalis, will feature music from American composers exploring the concept of home.

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St. $12-$107.

'Gilmore Girls' watch party

In honor of the “Gilmore Girls” revival on Netflix, the 86 Coffee Bar will again be decked out as Luke’s, the iconic diner from the series, for a watch party. The coffee shop will screen all four 90-minute episodes back to back, with a 30-minute break between each.

4 p.m. to midnight Friday. 2820 Vine St. Free admission. For details, visit the event’s Facebook page.