These Cincinnati holiday events will make spirits bright

CINCINNATI -- The holidays are all about spending time with family and friends. Share some of that holiday magic together at these events:

Holiday in Lights: 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday through Dec. 31. Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville. $13 per vehicle; $45 for buses and 15-person passenger vans. Driving through Sharon Woods to see holiday lights has been a holiday tradition for more than 27 years, and this year will be no different. The Hamilton County park will transform into a winter wonderland with thousands of sparkling light displays.

PNC Festival of Lights: 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale. $12-$17. Marvel at the zoo's more than 3 million lights. 

Holiday Junction: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. $10.50 adults; $9.50 seniors age 60 and up; $8.50 children ages 3-12; $5.50 toddlers ages 1-2; kids under age 1 free.  Holiday Junction features the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana LEGO User Group's floor-to-ceiling LEGO landscapes with motorized trains and other local creations.

Christmas Nights of Lights: Dusk-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 1. Coney Island Amusement Park, 6201 Kellogg Ave., Anderson Township. $6 per person; children age 3 and under free.  Coney Island will be lit every night until the new year during Christmas Nights of Lights, a two-and-a-half-mile drive-through animated light display set to festive music.

Kings Island Winterfest: Select nights Nov. 24-Dec. 30. Kings Island Amusement Park, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason. Free admission for Gold Pass members; $25 general admission. Winterfest, a Cincinnati holiday tradition, returns to Kings Island Amusement Park after more than a decade's absence. Enjoy lights, live entertainment and more than 17 rides at the park.

Holiday Lights on the Hill6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Dec. 31.  Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton. $20-$25 per carload; $15 for members. Enjoy a two-mile drivable path through Pyramid Hill decked out in twinkling lights.

The O’Keeffe’s Ice Rink: Noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-11 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 14. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown. $6 admission, $4 skate rentals. Skate the day away with family and friends. The rink will remain open through February, with hours changing after Dec. 14.

Cincinnati Choo Choo: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Nov. 18-Jan. 7; special holiday hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 25; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 24; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 25. Krohn's Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams. $7 adults; $4 children ages 5-17; free admission ages 4 and under. Admire Krohn's collection of beautiful holiday plants, model trains and hand-crafted ornaments. 

The Christmas Ranch: 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday through Dec. 23. The Christmas Ranch, 3205 S. Waynesville Road, Morrow. $15-$20 per vehicle. The Christmas Ranch is decked out with more than 1 million lights set to music. There are also shops, rides and a chance to meet Santa Claus at the ranch.

Santa's Workshop: 2-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 31. Santa's Workshop, 6940 Madisonville Road, Mariemont. $4 admission; children ages 3 and under free. Spend time with Santa Claus and his elves, which were displayed at Shillito's Department store in Downtown Cincinnati from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Playhouse in the Park’s 'A Christmas Carol': Nov. 22-Dec. 30. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams.  $30-$47. Playhouse in the Park will once again bring Charles Dickens' classic to life at the Marx Theater. The playhouse will host multiple performances of the play Nov. 22 through Dec. 30.

Frisch's Big Boy presents 'The Nutcracker': Dec. 14-24. Cincinnati Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. $36-$125. "The Nutcracker," presented by Frisch's Big Boy and performed by the Cincinnati Ballet, returns to Music Hall with 15 performances this holiday season. 

Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily Nov. 24-Dec. 31. Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport. $19.99 pass holders; $34.99 adults; $24.99 children. Watch as Santa makes special visits daily from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. to the aquarium. Enjoy a special breakfast event with Santa on Dec. 10.

Antique Christmas: Daily through Jan. 7. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown. Explore Christmases of yore with the Taft's Antique Christmas exhibit. The exhibit includes galleries showing the many faces of Santa through the years, Victorian-era decorations and antique toys.

Summit Park Ice Rink: Noon-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday through Jan.6. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash. $5 admission; ages 3 and under free. The new ice rink is under the glass canopy. Food trucks also will be nearby. The rink will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas day and New Year's day. Hours will be limited to noon-5 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Check here for updated rink hours after Jan. 6.

World of Bricks LEGO Art Exhibit: 2-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday through Dec. 22 and on Dec. 26. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Christmas Eve; 2-8 p.m. Dec. 26; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 27-29. Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport. $8. Take in the landscape and sculptures made from LEGO bricks created by artist Jonathan Lopes on display at the Levee through Dec. 29. 

A Franciscan Christmas holiday display: 4-10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 4 p.m.-midnight Fridays; noon-midnight Saturdays; 1-6 p.m. Sundays. Christian Moerlein Lager House, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine. Free. Marvel at the 50 international nativity scenes, Dickens Village, toy trains and figurines on display inside the Moerlein taproom. Brother Tim Sucher, OFM of St. Francis Seraph Church/School created the display. The brewery is accepting donations for the church and school.

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