CINCINNATI -- Want to show out-of-town relatives the Queen City? Or are you raring to get into the Christmas spirit?
Here are your best bets for a good time this weekend in Greater Cincinnati:
Art After Dark Comes Early
Former Cincinnati Bengal Dhani Jones is hosting this month’s “Art After Dark” event at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Wednesday. The theme for this edition is New York City style, with CAM celebrating its recently opened fashion exhibit "High Style: Twentieth-Century Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection." (If you haven’t been, run, don’t walk; the Charles James gowns are fabulous.) There also will be music by Black Signal, former “American Idol” contestant Jess Lamb and DJ Mowgli, plus food, drinks and a photobooth.
5-9 p.m. Wednesday. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive. Free admission. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
A Tale Fit for the Holidays
It’s a milestone year for Playhouse in the Park’s “A Christmas Carol”: This is the theater’s 25th anniversary 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 productions 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 $40. Runs through Dec. 30. www.cincyplay.com
Light Up the Square
It’s the official kickoff to the holidays in Cincinnati. Every year, 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 2nd Wind. While on the square, you can browse the first 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!
- Light Up the Square: 6-9 p.m. Friday. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown. Free admission. www.MyFountainSquare.com
- Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Weekends through Dec. 20. Fountain Square. Free admission. www.cincideutsch.com
We Want the Funk
Mariemont native Freekbass is giving us a preview of his soon-to-be released new album, “Cincinnati,” this weekend. The funk musician will release his seventh full-length album on Dec. 11, but is celebrating early with a show Friday at the Southgate House Revival. The release is his debut on Philadelphia-based indie label Ropeadope, the first time he has had a national label and distribution deal.
8:30 p.m. Friday. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport. Opening act the Almighty Get Down. $12.50 advance; $15 at the door. www.southgatehouse.com
Bring on Festivus
Arnold’s Bar & Grill is hosting a Black Friday and Festivus featuring 12 kegs of Christmas beer and one keg of Festivus beer. Arnold’s also will have gifts, and the whole staff will be wearing the “finest” ugly Christmas sweaters they can find. Read WCPO beer reporter Jesse Folk’s story for all the details.
9 p.m. Friday. Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. 8th St., Downtown. Free admission. www.arnoldsbarandgrill.com
This Isn’t Your Average Craft Show
Crafty Supermarket is too eclectic to be described as simply a craft show. For the holiday edition, there will be more than 90 crafters, a live DJ, food, a cash bar, swag bags and crafting activities, too.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Free admission. craftysupermarket.com
You Can Go ‘Home’ Again
This movie is an oldie but goodie, starring a super-young Macaulay Culkin as a precocious child who must guard his home from burglars after being accidentally left behind during his family’s Christmas vacation. On Saturday, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will perform the film’s score live in sync with a screening of the film.
7 p.m. Saturday. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. $10-$104. www.cincinnatisymphony.org
Are You Ready for Some Football?
The Bengals are back in town, and Sunday offers the perfect chance to tailgate before the team takes on the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bud Light Tailgate Zone will be open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Banks, featuring live music from 3 Day Rule, LaRosa’s Pizza and drinks at the Bud Bar.
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday. Freedom Way, between Main and Walnut streets. Free admission. Facebook.com/BudLightTailgateZone
See the Dazzling Lights
So many popular holiday light displays are open for the gawking around Greater Cincinnati, and the long holiday weekend offers a great time to visit them. The PNC Festival of Lights brings 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: 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Through Jan. 2. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale. Online: $25 adults, $20 children and seniors. At the gate: $27 adults, $21 children and seniors. Open nightly through Jan. 2. cincinnatizoo.org
- Holiday in Lights: 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Through Jan. 2. 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. Through Jan. 3. 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. http://pyramidhill.org