‘Tis the Season for Holiday Events
From the U.S. Bank Ice Rink to light and train displays, there are all kinds of events happening to get you in the holiday spirit. Check out our Holiday Events Guide for more than two dozen ideas! (And speaking of holiday fun, here’s a heads-up on how to pick up free tickets to the popular annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival.)
Redsfest is like Christmas for Reds fans. You get to mix and mingle with more than 75 current and former players, coaches and broadcasters at the Duke Energy Convention Center. There will be autograph and photo sessions with players such as Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart and Billy Hamilton, interviews, Q&A sessions with Pete Rose, and a fun zone just for kids.
3-10:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown. One-day pass: $17 adults, $7 children; two-day pass: $25 adults, $12 children. cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/fan_forum/redsfest.jsp
Holiday Pops featuring Melinda Doolittle
The Cincinnati Pops will be playing holiday favorites with flair during its annual “Home for the Holidays” program this weekend. “American Idol” alum Melinda Doolittle and her big, beautiful voice will join the Pops, and if these concerts don’t get you in the holiday spirit, nothing will.
8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St. $20-$115. www.cincinnatisymphony.org
Covington Night Bazaar
The Covington Night Bazaar sounds like a great chance to pick up some holiday presents but also have a good time -- even if you hate to shop. A giant tent set up at Roebling Point will be filled with all kinds of craftspeople and local artists. There also will be a DJ, seasonally themed cocktails, local brews and food.
6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Roebling Point, 302 Court St., Covington. Free admission. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Gomez Salsa opens in Walnut Hills
Popular Over-the-Rhine eatery Gomez Salsa has officially opened its second location in Walnut Hills. The new restaurant, located at 2437 Gilbert Ave., offers the same tacos and "turtles" that Andrew Gomez made famous at the first location; however, the new space offers inside seating and serves alcohol, unlike the original Gomez, which is a street-side walk-up window with to-go service. Click here to see photos of the new location.
4 p.m. to midnight Wednesday-Saturday. 2437 Gilbert Ave. www.facebook.com/gomezwalnut/
‘Sing Me a Story: How the Grinch Stole Christmas’
Let the Cincinnati Boychoir get you in the holiday spirit with some of your favorite songs of the season, as it tells the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
5 p.m. Saturday. Aronoff Center for the Arts, Procter & Gamble Hall, 650 Walnut St. $15, $25 and $35. www.cincinnatiarts.org
Celebrate Repeal Day
I love any chance to have cocktails so I’m all in for honoring Repeal Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition on Dec. 5, 1933. On Saturday, Japp’s is offering live music, food from Bottle & Basket, classic cocktail specials and welcome cocktails made with Middle West Spirits’ new gin, Vim & Petal. Dress in costumes of the era.
7-10 p.m. Saturday. Japp’s Since 1879, 1136 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. Free admission. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Braxton Winter Block Party
Braxton Brewing is hosting a block party to celebrate the bottle release of its bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout, Dark Charge, along with five variants. Food trucks Texas Joe, Cuban Pete Sandwiches and Empanadas Aqui will be at the party, and there also will be live music all day. Expect to hear from bands such as Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle, Noah Smith, the Tillers and the Hot Magnolias.
Starts at noon Saturday. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington. Free admission. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Festival
Historic Lebanon will be decked for the Christmas season with local food and craft vendors, carolers and carriage rides. Mr. and Mrs. Claus also will be on hand. Enjoy two parades, the first at 1 p.m. and a second, candlelit edition at 7 p.m.
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday. 212 N. Broadway St., Lebanon. Free. For more information visit the event's Facebook page.