Holidays in the Hills
By Maggie Butler

Holidays in the Hills

Experience the festive season with these Appalachian holiday events.

Olde Fashioned Christmas at Lanterman's Mill in Youngstown

While Appalachian Ohio may be known for its vibrant fall colors and verdant hills, the Eastern part of Ohio still has plenty to offer for the holidays and winter season. Be sure to check out these festive events to put yourself in the holiday spirit.


Travel back in time to Victorian England at the 14th season of Dickens Victorian Village. The public art exhibition is perfect for families, couples and groups alike with its 92 scenes of 180 lifelike figures representing classic scenes from the 1800’s. While you won’t run into Charles Dickens himself, be sure to look out for the town crier, groups of carolers, lamplighters, a bucket brigade, school children, street peddlers and Father Christmas.

Dates: November 1, 2019 – January 1, 2020

Hocking Hills

It’s no surprise that Hocking Hills is full of hidden treasures, but you can discover them yourself at the Annual Hocking Hills Holiday Treasure Hunt. Shop for your holiday gifts while collecting stamps at any six of the 27 participating stores. Once finished, submit your map and stamps to be entered to win prizes, including the grand prize: a weekend getaway in Hocking Hills for four people.

Want to see the best of Hocking Hills without having to search? Hop on the Santa Train, where your child can meet Santa and each coach is decorated, heated and filled with Christmas music as the train traverses through the historic Hocking River Valley.

If you can’t make it on the train to see Santa, just head over to the Santa House in Worthington Park in Logan. Children can visit Santa in his newly built home every weekend between 6-8PM until the last weekend before Christmas. Santa will make yet another appearance at the Downtown Lancaster Winter Fest and Tree Lighting on December 1st. Eat fresh kettle corn, take a horse-drawn wagon ride and gorge on free cookies after the tree lightning.

Hocking Hills Treasure Hunt Dates: November 1 – December 12, 2019
Santa Train Dates: November 30 – December 22, 2019 (Saturday and Sunday)
Downtown Lancaster Winter Fest and Tree Lighting Date: December 1, 2019
Santa House in Worthington Park Dates: December 7 – 22, 2019 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)


Take a break from the cold and blast the heat in your car as you venture through the Joy of Christmas drive-through holiday lights display, featuring one million lights in 75 holiday scenes. Stretch your legs at the various stops, like the Gingerbread House and Santa’s Ice Castle where you can enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and other snacks. Check out more holiday light displays glowing around the state with the 2019 Ohio Holiday Lights Trail.

Dates: November 15 – 17, 21-24, 2019 and November 28 – December 1, December 5-8 and 12-26


You’ll feel as though you are a cast member of The Nutcracker ballet as you stroll among the 183 life-size nutcrackers at The Steubenville Nutcracker Village. Finish your Christmas shopping at the open-air Advent Market that features local artisans and vendors, and marvel at the intricate gingerbread houses at the Gingerbread Village, opening November 29th.

Dates: November 26, 2019 – January 4, 2020


Take the stress out of picking the perfect Christmas tree on the Tannenbaum Wine Trail. This self-driving tour takes you along the Vines and Wines Trail in northeast Ohio where you will pick up your 18’’ Christmas tree at your first stop. Each participating winery will offer complimentary appetizers and samples of wines, and you will receive a ceramic ornament with winery’s name printed on it to adorn your new tree.

Then, finish your holiday shopping at Crafts, Corks & Christmas on December 8th. Two rooms at the Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant will be filled with juried crafters and vendors. Enjoy drink specials all day and live music at 4PM, plus an additional 10% off anything in the Grand River Cellars gift shop during the day.

Tannenbaum Wine Trail Dates: November 29-30, December 6-7, 13-14, 2019
Crafts, Corks & Christmas Date: December 8, 2019


Stray from the classic Christmas carols and spend the evening listening to Wynonna & The Big Noise at the Peoples Bank Theatre November 29th. Wynonna, dubbed by Rolling Stones as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline” brings her band, The Big Noise, to Marietta to feature beautiful Christmas arrangements for a night full of holiday magic.

Date: November 29, 2019


Feel festive this holiday season with Olde Fashioned Christmas at Lanterman’s Mill. You’ll be in the holiday spirit surrounded by artisan crafts, handcrafted gifts and fire-roasted chestnuts. Or enjoy the holly-jolly fun of Santa getting ready at Santa’s Winter Barn on December 1st, where you can snap a pic of his sleigh and even see a reindeer! Take the kids out to breakfast and they’ll not only enjoy fun holiday activities, but also get to see Santa — who will be around to pose for photos.

Olde Fashioned Christmas Dates: November 30 – December 1, 2019
Santa’s Winter Barn Date: December 1, 2019
Breakfast with Santa Date: December 14, 2019

photo by Chris Crook/Times Recorder


Zanesville truly transforms itself into a winter wonderland each holiday season when over 100 businesses and attractions decorate their buildings according to a storybook theme at A Storybook Christmas. Shop at the unique local businesses while immersing yourself in your favorite holiday books, including the likes of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Polar Express. End your evening with the magical light show at the Muskinghum County Courthouse.

Dates: December 4, 2019 – January 1, 2019

For more #HolidaysInOhio cheer, check out #OhioFindItHere. at

About the Author

Maggie is the Public Relations Intern for TourismOhio, where she assists with blog content, creation and editing and works closely with the public relations and marketing staff. She is a junior at The Ohio State University where she studies Strategic Communications and Spanish. Born and raised in Columbus, Maggie is a lifelong Columbus Blue Jackets fan and is always willing to give you her favorite restaurant recommendations around the city.