The most wonderful time of the year is officially upon us—and you’re probably wondering when and where the best Christmas lights displays in Ohio are. This year, there are plenty of light displays all throughout the state to get you in the spirit. The following 14 displays are our favorites.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Holiday Lights on the Hill (Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum)
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park transforms into a winter wonderland from November 17 to December 31. View the lights every night on Monday - Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday - Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $20 per car load Monday - Thursday and $25 per car load Friday - Sunday. (Members are $15 per car load.) This magical display is located at 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., Hamilton, OH 45013.
2. Deck The Hall (Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens)
Deck The Hall at Stan Hywet Hall is a holiday bucket list item you don't want to pass up. This year, you can attend Deck The Hall on select evenings over the holiday season from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Specifically, the evenings you can attend are November 24-26 and the following December dates: 1-3, 7-10, 14-23 and 26-30. This year, the mansion will be decked out in the theme of "Postcards from the Past." Ticket prices for this magical indoor and outdoor event vary according to age, date and member status. (Children 5 and under are free.) Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is located at 714 North Portage Path, Akron, OH 44303.
3. The Christmas Ranch (Morrow)
April Dray/Only In Your State
Here at The Christmas Ranch, you can observe more than 1 million LED lights, eat at Santa's Bakery and Cafe, take a train ride, check out the Christmas shops, meet Santa himself and so much more. Admission is $20 per vehicle Friday - Saturday and $15 per vehicle Monday - Thursday and the display is open from November 17 - December 23 this year. Hours for Sunday - Thursday are 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. and Friday - Saturday from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. The Christmas Ranch is located at 3205 S. Waynesville Road in Morrow, Ohio 45152.
4. Wildlights (Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights is also a popular destination for families during the holiday season. Beginning November 18 and lasting until January 1, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a magical winter wonderland. See the lights Sunday - Thursday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and on Friday - Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (It is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.) Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. You'll find it at 4850 Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065.
5. The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill (Clifton)
The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill are featured nightly from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (weather permitting) starting the day after Thanksgiving until December 31. (On Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve the display closes at 8 p.m.) Admission is $10 per person and children 6 and under are free. Clifton Mill is located at 75 Water St., Clifton, OH 45316.
6. Woodland Lights (Dayton)
"Walk the path to holiday fun" at this magical, Dayton-area holiday attraction. It's a half-mile wooded path that features some of the state's most enchanting Christmas lights. You can visit Woodland Lights every weekend (Friday - Sunday) from November 24 - December 3 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. From December 8 - 30, Woodland Lights is open nightly from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tickets to take this enchanting walk are $8 per person. Children ages 2 and under are free. (We recommend purchasing tickets in advance.) You'll find it at 895 Miamisburg Centerville Rd., Dayton, OH 45459.
7. The North Pole Express (Findlay)
Board a quarter-scale train (for $3 per adult and $2 per child ages 12 and under) and ride through holiday lights and decorations at this family fun destination, which also features a railroad gift shop, a decorated museum and pictures with Santa. The display begins the day after Thanksgiving and is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. until December 30. (It will be closed on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.) Board the North Pole Express at 12505 County Rd. 99, Findlay, OH 45840.
8. PNC Festival of Lights (Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden)
This year, The PNC festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden runs from November 18 to January 1. It's open on Sunday - Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday - Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 pm. This year, you'll find a few new activities in addition to the classics. You can ride the BB&T Toyland Express, search for fairies in Fairyland or even see Santa. You'll find this magical display at 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45220. (Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance.)
9. Light Up Middletown (Middletown)
Light Up Middletown is open the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve and features a drive-thru light display. (There is no set admission fee but donations are encouraged.) View the lights every night from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., regardless of weather (including holidays.) You can see Santa Claus every Friday and Saturday through December 23 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. (Pictures with Santa are $10 or two for $15.) This display is located at 500 Tytus Ave., Middletown, OH 45042.
10. Ashtabula County Lights on the Lake (Ashtabula)
You'll observe more than 70 displays on Lakeshore Park's 54 acres. You can visit this magical, lakefront display every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from November 24 - December 31 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. (The display ends at 8 p.m. on December 24, 25 and 31.) Admission is $5 per vehicle. This holiday display is located at 1700 East 1st S., Ashtabula, OH 44004.
11. Holiday In Lights (Sharonville)
Open nightly from November 17 until December 31, this family favorite drive-through light display in the Cincinnati area features more than a mile of dazzling lights. See them on Sunday - Thursday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. and on Friday - Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $13 per vehicle. Holiday In Lights is located at Sharon Woods Park (11450 Lebanon Rd., Route 42 Sharonville, OH 45241.)
12. Lights Before Christmas (Toledo Zoo)
Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo is fun for the whole family. The zoo features more than a million lights, making it a magical winter wonderland from November 17 until December 31. View the lights on Sunday - Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday - Saturday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. (It is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.) Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. You'll find it at 2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH 43609.
13. Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights (Delaware)
This drive-thru holiday light show also features pictures with Santa, free hot chocolate and cookies and gift shops. It is open from November 17 until January 1 on Sunday - Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Friday - Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $20 per vehicle on the weekdays and $30 per vehicle on the weekends. The Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights is located at 3311 South Old State Rd., Delaware, OH 43015.
14. Upper's Winter Fantasy of Lights (Upper Sandusky)
Bring the whole family to enjoy this Christmas light extravaganza, which runs from December 1 - 30. It is open on Friday - Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Monday - Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per vehicle. Upper's Winter Fantasy of Lights is located at Harrison Smith Park (525 East Wyandot Ave., Upper Sandusky, OH 43351.)
Have you been to any of these holiday light displays before? Where’s your favorite place to look at Christmas lights in Ohio? Share your thoughts, recommendations and experiences with us!