For Immediate Release: December 1, 2014

Ready, Set, Shine: Ohio Sparkles with Holiday Lights

COLUMBUS, Ohio —  It’s that time of year again when Ohio transforms from a vast sea of golden yellow and vibrant red to a dazzling winter wonderland. There’s no better way to take in the magic of the season than by enjoying holiday events with family and friends. From celebrations at zoos to light displays illuminating the renaissance of Ohio’s cities, travelers will find plenty of ways to keep busy this winter. Following is a sampling of Ohio’s seasonal events. For more ways to explore the Buckeye State, visit, follow @DiscoverOhio on Twitter, like Discover Ohio on Facebook, follow our Ohio Travel News Board on Pinterest or join the conversation on our blog at For a complete list of seasonal events, please visit the Fall/Winter Calendar of Events. Northeast November 29, 2014: Winterfest, PlayhouseSquare Traditionally held on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, this year’s Winterfest is making its way to the newly renovated Playhouse Square district. Starting at 1 p.m., guests can take in the magic of the holiday season while enjoying free horse-drawn carriage rides and family-friendly entertainment. The day’s events conclude with a spectacular tree lighting ceremony, holiday concert and fireworks show starting at 5 p.m. December 6, 2014: Light Up Lakewood, Lakewood An event for all ages, Light Up Lakewood includes a lighting ceremony, live entertainment and seasonal specials from local vendors. Other festival highlights include a parade down Lakewood’s Detroit Avenue, pictures with Santa and a dazzling fireworks show. The festival takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. and is primarily outdoors, with the exception of the new Vendor Village. Northwest November 14-January 4, 2015: Lights Before Christmas, Toledo Zoo The Toledo Zoo's Lights Before Christmas features a decked out 85-foot tree, which was named one of the top 10 Christmas Trees in the United States by Travelocity. In addition to more than one million lights and 200 illuminated animal images, visitors can coast down a new outdoor ice slide and meet live reindeer at the new Winter Village. The event is open Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. and 3 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. December 1-30: Upper’s Winter Fantasy of Lights, Upper Sandusky For the month of December, Harrison Smith Park, just east of downtown Upper Sandusky, puts on a light show for charity. Visitors can take in the park’s 33-acres adorned in millions of lights in personal vehicles or ride along in a horse-drawn carriage (available on select nights). A donation of $5 per vehicle is requested. Central November 17-January 4, 2015: Wildlights, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium’s 26th annual Wildlights extravaganza is now underway. New attractions include two animated light shows at Conservation Lake set to the spirited sounds of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Electric Yuletide” and Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy’s “Holiday Magic.” Stop by Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. December 5-23: SegAway Holiday Lights Tour, Columbus To take in central Ohio’s holiday light displays like never before, check out SegAway Tours of Columbus’ Holiday Lights Tour. Offered every night at 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., the 1.5-hour tour features The Ohio Statehouse, City Hall, Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Theater, The Columbus Dispatch building and the historic downtown Columbus Christmas display. The tour also cruises through light displays at Scioto Mile and Columbus Commons. Southeast November 29; December 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 2014: Uptown for the Holidays, Athens Uptown Athens’ Court Street will feature activities for children and games for all ages this year. The cheerful sounds of carolers, bands, choirs and local musicians will put attendees in a holiday spirit. Those feeling festive and competitive can participate in the second annual gingerbread decorating competition. Horse-drawn wagon rides, the annual holiday tree lighting, Santa appearances and free holiday movies make this event fun for the whole family. November 1, 2014-January 3, 2015: Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Music & Light Show, Cambridge Each night throughout the holiday season, the Guernsey County Courthouse transforms with 30,000 lights synchronized to children’s, traditional and modern Christmas music favorites. Four light shows are performed each evening from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. with extended hours on December 24-26 and December 31-January 1. This year’s display features a new children’s show with songs performed by Cambridge-area fifth grade students. Southwest November 22-January 3, 2015: PNC Festival of Lights, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden At this year’s PNC Festival of Lights, guests will navigate their way through two million twinkling LED lights and themed areas such as Fairyland and Candy Cane Forest. Highlights include an all new Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake, North Polar Express train rides and madcap black-light puppet shows. The event is open nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. November 21-December 31: Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods, Sharonville A family favorite in the Cincinnati area for more than 20 years, the outdoor light display at Sharon Woods offers visitors the opportunity to take in the magic of the season all from the comfort of their own vehicles. While enjoying the thousands of lights displays that line more than a mile of wooded terrain, guests can enjoy scenes depicting everything from Santa Claus and his elves to toy soldiers and more. Holiday in Lights is open nightly starting at 6 p.m., and admission is $13 per vehicle ($45 for buses and 15 passenger vans). About TourismOhio TourismOhio is the premier source of information for travelers and media about Ohio's vibrant tourism experiences, attractions and economy. Tourism marketing programs helped generate more than 195 million visits to Ohio in 2013. A part of the Ohio Development Services Agency, TourismOhio markets Ohio's distinctive travel opportunities and promotes the state's outstanding quality of life.

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