Make A Show of It – Cincinnati’s 2017 Holiday Show Line-up
By Terri Weeks

Make A Show of It – Cincinnati’s 2017 Holiday Show Line-up

Cincinnati’s performing arts venues offer a wide array of choices this holiday season. A holiday show is a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. Options include both local and touring productions of music, dance, and theater. There’s something for everyone!

Tried-and-True Classics

The Cincinnati Ballet teams up with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to perform The Nutcracker. This Cincinnati favorite is now in its 44th year. This year it returns to the newly renovated Cincinnati Music Hall (Dec. 14-24).

Another traditional favorite, A Christmas Carol, is in its 27th season. More than 20,000 people head to Playhouse in the Park to see this beloved Charles Dickens adaptation every year (Nov. 22-Dec. 30).

From Screen to Stage

Are you a fan of classic TV Christmas tales? Three of the most popular have been adapted for the stage. At the Aronoff Center, you can see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Dec. 3) and A Christmas Story (Dec. 5-10). North of Cincinnati, the Lebanon Theatre Company presents A Charlie Brown Christmas (Dec. 1-10).

Ho! Ho! Ho!

While most of the holiday shows are great for kids, two shows offer lots of laughs for teens and adults. Enjoy dinner at Arnold’s Bar & Grill before OTR Improv’s entertaining show, The Naughty List (Dec. 12-28). Cincinnati Shakespeare Company performs their hilarious show, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) (Dec. 21-31) in their new theater. 

Eleven Pipers Piping

Head to the newly-renovated Cincinnati Music Hall to enjoy some festive holiday music combined with vocals and dance. Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer features the organ from the old Albee Theater (Dec. 7). The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra performs holiday favorites at their annual Holiday Pops concert (Dec. 8-10). For something different, try a free outdoor concert at the Mariemont Bell Tower Carillon on Sundays at 4 pm and Christmas Day at 2 pm (Dec. 3-31).

Fa La La La La

Christmas is the perfect time for a choral performance. Listen to the Cincinnati Boychoir at the Aronoff Center at their performance of Sing Me A Story: A Christmas Carol (Dec. 2). Choirs from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music present choral favorites at their annual Feast of Carols (Dec. 2-3). Now in its fifth year, Christmas Saengerfest is a celebration of choral music with 20 regional choirs performing in four venues in historic Over-the-Rhine (Dec. 1-2).

Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree

Several national popular music tours make stops in Cincinnati this holiday season. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocks the stage at U.S. Bank Arena (Dec. 21) with The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis brings their unique sound to the Aronoff Center (Dec. 17). Cincinnati’s own boy band, 98 Degrees, performs toe-tapping tunes and four-part harmonies from their new Christmas Album on their Christmas Tour at the Aronoff Center (Dec. 15). Country music singer Jennifer Nettles adds a country flair to Christmas music at the Taft Theatre (Dec. 19).

The Reason for the Season

Churches all over Greater Cincinnati welcome the public to their special Christmas presentations. The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival at Christ Church Cathedral has been celebrated the week after Christmas since 1939 (Dec. 30-31). River Hills Christian Church in Loveland presents Illuminate which combines traditional elements of Christmas with TSO-style music and story (Dec. 22-24). Tickets are expected to go quickly for the final year of the immensely popular free Awaited show at Crossroads Church (Dec. 1-23).

About the Author

Terri WeeksTerri Weeks is a family travel writer in the Cincinnati area and one of the authors of the bestselling book Adventures Around Cincinnati: A Parent's Guide to Unique and Memorable Places to Explore with your Kids. She and co-author, Laura Hoevener, speak to groups all over Greater Cincinnati and are regular guests on the FOX19 Morning Xtra news program. You can find them at Terri and her family are on a mission to visit all 50 states by the time her kids graduate from high school. She blogs about their travels at and is the author of the ebook How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips. She’s a member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association.