Holiday Lights in Ohio
By Nick Dekker

As temperatures begin to dip, holiday decorations go up, cheerful music plays and friends and families gather to celebrate Ohio’s winter wonderland. Holiday light displays brightly illuminate the dark winter sky, giving you the perfect excuse to entertain guests or plan a romantic date night. In every region of the state, there are plenty of opportunities to see dazzling holiday lights.


Deck the Hall – Akron, Nov. 24 – Dec. 26

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens sparkles inside and out with more than 800,000 lights for one of Ohio’s most spectacular holiday light traditions. The historic Manor House is decorated by the theme “Home for the Holidays,” and “DAZZLE” is a stunning outdoor light show animated with music. Deck the Hall features nightly tree lightings with Santa, live music from the Music Room, freshly baked goods and warm drinks, unique shopping and more!

Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo – Akron, Nov. 24 – Dec. 30

Come enjoy thousands of lights and dozens of holiday displays at the Akron zoon this holiday season. Take a ride on the Wild Winter Express and stop by Mrs. C’s Sweets for s’mores and other treats!


Upper’s Winter Fantasy of Lights – Upper Sandusky, Dec. 1 – 30

For the month of December, Harrison Smith Park presents a light show for charity. Drive through the 33-acre park filled with millions of unique light displays or take a carriage ride through the park on select dates.  Proceeds benefit a local charitable organization that is selected yearly.

Lights Before Christmas – Toledo Zoo, Nov. 17 – Dec. 31

The zoo features more than a million lights, 200 lit animal images and includes a decorated 85-foot tall tree, which was named one of the Top 10 Christmas Trees in the United States by Travelocity. Slide down the ice slide, visit Santa, watch ice carving demonstrations and more!


Wildlights – Columbus Zoo, Nov. 17 – Jan. 1

Enjoy millions of LED lights, 3 animated musical lights shows, a holiday skate rink and more at the Columbus Zoo’s 27th annual Wildlights. This year, you can enjoy two new light shows, Rudolph’s Remix Animated Musical Light Show and Holiday Magic Animated Musical Light Show. New features also include Character Christmas stage show and Tinseltown: A Pop Culture Christmas. Other new attractions are Holiday Seek-n-Find and Oak Ridge Bears Jingle Jamboree.

Christmas by Candlelight – Marion, Nov. 23 – Dec. 25

Drive through a winter wonderland of thousands of colorful lights and decked out holiday decorations from the comfort of your own car throughout the Marion County Fairgrounds. Listen to festive music and enjoy several themes including a Nativity scene that comes to life each weekend performed by local churches and animals.


Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show – Cambridge, Nov. 1 – Jan. 6

Watch as the Guernsey County dances to the sounds of holiday music every day throughout the season. The courthouse features 36 animated light displays and 15,000 lights outlining the building. Before the show, be sure to check out Dickens Victorian Village where you can enjoy 92 Dickens scenes while taking in downtown Cambridge’s streetscape, historic architecture, shops and diners.


The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill – Clifton, Nov. 24 – Dec. 31

The historic mill is located on the cliffs of the Little Miami River gorge and comes to life every holiday season. With more than 3.6 million vibrant lights including a synchronized music light show on the covered bridge, the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill is a hometown favorite and spectacular holiday tradition.

Light Up Middletown – Middletown, Nov. 23 – Dec. 31

Enter through a tunnel decked out in lights to begin your journey through a sparkling fantasyland. Light Up Middletown is a driving tour allowing you to go through Smith Park that includes several themed areas featuring quirky light displays such as a floating sea serpent in the fishing lake, Santa’s Workshop, a deer leaping over the roadway, a hot air balloon and more!

Woodland Lights – Dayton, Dec. 8 – Dec. 30

The annual festival features activities, entertainment, live animals, food, rides for kids and, of course, Santa in his historic log cabin. Fans of the festival can expect to see the return of popular attractions, plus a new laser light show, a tunnel of lights, and a trackless train ride. Revolving activities include: Train rides through the park for kids on the Carillon Polar Express; carriage rides; and live performances in the Entertainment Pavilion.

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