Holiday light displays start
Get ready to gawk: Several popular holiday light displays will open this weekend. The 34th annual PNC Festival of Lights will bring more than 2 million LED lights to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods depicts everything from Santa Claus and his elves to all the animals on the ark. And Holiday Lights on the Hill features trees that sparkle up to 40 feet in the air, dancing lights in ponds and illuminated sculptures at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum.
- PNC Festival of Lights: Opens Saturday. 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Runs through Jan. 2. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale. Online: $16 adults, $12 children and seniors. At the gate: $18 adults, $13 children and seniors. Open nightly through Jan. 1. cincinnatizoo.org
- Holiday in Lights: Opens Friday. 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Runs through Dec. 31. Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road. $13 per vehicle ($45 for buses and $15 passenger vans). www.holidayinlights.com
- Holiday Lights on the Hill: 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Runs through Jan. 1. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton. $20 per carload Monday-Thursday and $25 per carload Friday-Sunday. Always $15 for park members. pyramidhill.org
ArtWorks 21 Candles
ArtWorks is turning 21 with a big birthday party on Friday. The arts group will take over a hangar at Lunken Airport with nearly 500 original works of art by local artists, body-painted models, an art installation featuring 5,000 balloons and a giant birthday cake. There will be music and food, too. Bonus: WCPO Insiders get $10 off a general admission ticket, which includes food and one drink ticket.
6:30-11 p.m. Friday. Lunken Airport, Hangar 2, 4510 Airport Road. $50 general admission. ArtWorks21.com
‘Phantom of the Opera’
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. A story about a deformed, masked, lonely musical genius who lives in the shadows, and the woman with whom he becomes obsessed. It’s one of the most popular musicals of all time, and the Broadway production is on stage at the Aronoff.
Through Nov. 27; showtimes vary. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St. Prices start at $45. www.cincinnatiarts.org
The Stretch grand opening
The Banks will rock this Saturday with the grand opening of The Stretch, a new bar that will regularly feature music spun by local and national DJs. The full-service bar will offer wine, beer and cocktails, and it will open with music by local DJ Fusemania.
4 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. 191 E. Freedom Way, The Banks. Free admission. For details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
I Love the ’90s Tour
I’m going to try not to hurt myself dancing Saturday when the I Love the '90s Tour will bring Salt N Pepa, Color Me Badd, Tone Loc, Coolio, Rob Base and Vanilla Ice to U.S. Bank Arena. Yes, their heydays were more than two decades ago. But please know I will STILL blast CMB on any given day because “All 4 Love” is the JAM.
8 p.m. Saturday. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway St. $55-$102. usbankarena.com
Pour Over Cincy/NKY: A Local Coffee Showcase
Cincinnati has its share of food, beer, wine and spirits festivals, but a new coffee showcase in Newport, Pour Over Cincy/NKY, will spotlight the variety of coffee shops and roasteries in the region. Attendees will receive a 12-sample card including four-ounce pours of different roasts and methods of brewing coffee. Sample shops and roasters such as Smooth Cincy Coffee, Carabello, La Terza, Deeper Roots and Pneuma Coffee.
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen, 517 W. Seventh St., Newport. Tickets: $10 online, $12 at the door. www.facebook.com/pourovercincynky
Crafty Supermarket Holiday Show
Crafty Supermarket is too eclectic to be described as simply a craft show. For the holiday edition, there will be more than 130 crafters, a live DJ, food, swag bags and (obviously) crafting activities, too.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. University of Cincinnati Recreation Center, 2820 Bearcat Way. Free admission. Craftysupermarket.com
MUSE presents ‘RISE’
If you’ve never heard the wonder of Cincinnati’s women’s choir MUSE, jump on the opportunity this weekend. The ensemble will kick off its 34th season with “RISE,” a pair of concerts at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Expect to hear traditional and contemporary protest songs, reflecting MUSE’s commitment to inclusiveness, peace and social justice. Emma’s Revolution, a duo featuring activist musicians Pat Humphries and Sandy O., will perform with MUSE in the second half of each concert.
7:30 p.m. Saturday (sold out) and 3 p.m. Sunday (tickets still available). National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way. $20 general admission; $17 seniors and students. www.musechoir.org
Germania Society’s Christkindlmarkt
Cincinnati’s oldest and most authentic German Christmas market takes place once again this weekend at Germania Park. The Germania Society’s Christkindlmarkt will feature German food and beer, live music, a petting zoo, carolers, carriage rides, Gluhwein (glow-wine) and visits from Santa Claus and St. Nikolaus under heated tents.
5-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Germania Park, 3529 W. Kemper Road. $3 per person; children 12 and under free. Germaniasociety.com
More events to know
- Balluminaria: This beautiful festival of hot air balloons will take place Saturday on Mirror Lake in Eden Park.
- Bud Light Tailgate Zone: The Bengals are back in town, and Sunday offers the perfect chance to tailgate before the team takes on the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium.
- A Taste of Lebanon: Eat your fill of Mediterranean food at this festival at St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church on Sunday.