Looking for something to do with the family around holidays is easy enough. There is always something going on in Ohio! But, after spending money on gifts this holiday season, your wallet is stretched to it’s limits. Don't worry, below are some fun and free things to do with the family, friends or someone you want to get under the mistletoe!
1. Ohio State Parks (All over Ohio) Many of Ohio’s State Parks have fun hills to slide down, so grab your toboggans, inner-tube or old-fashioned sleds and make your way when the snow beckons you. Sledding is always free and fun!
2. Macy’s Lights Up the Square and Downtown Dazzle (Cincinnati) Macy’s kicks off the holiday season with a spectacular Christmas light display on November 23, with a fireworks display and a gravity defying Santa Claus rappelling down the side of the building. Also, every Wednesday throughout the holiday season, Macy’s will offer free horse-drawn carriage rides through the city.
3. WinterFest Tree Lighting at Public Square (Cleveland) Enjoy this annual celebration with music, dancing and hot chocolate. Every year the crowd gets bigger, with more than 50,000 people expected to show up to see the amazing light display! November 24th
4. Christmas in the Village (Waynesville) Don't miss this old-fashioned holiday event with horse-drawn carriages, carolers and live nativity scenes as 1,300 luminaries light up Main Street! Bring the kids to meet Dickens characters while you do some holiday shopping! November 30- December 2
5. Lock 3 Live Ice Skating (Akron) Grab your ice skates and embrace your inner figure skater at the largest ice skating venue in Ohio! The 10,000 square foot ice rink is fun for the whole family. If you don’t have skates, you can rent them for $3 and strap on skates for toddlers are free. November 23 - January 27
6. Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival (Columbus) On December 3, visit the Holiday Festival and Open House. It will be a great experience for the whole family to come out and celebrate as the Ohio Statehouse kicks off the season with music, fun and games. Mr and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for photos. Come grab some refreshments and have a great time in Capitol Square!
7. Great Lakes Brewing Company (Cleveland) Tour the Great Lakes Brewing Company and see the making of (and sample) the tasty holiday favorite Christmas Ale. Free tours are available by appointment, Thursdays and Fridays from 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM and Saturdays from 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM.
8. Christmas in the Village at Stradley Park Place (Canal Winchester) Have fun visiting with Santa, taking horse-drawn carriage rides, hay rides or enjoy the ice sculptures and other great activities. December 7 and December 8
9. Jingle Bell Bash at Legacy Village (Lyndhurst) Hang out with Santa Claus, get your face painted, groove to the music with a live D.J. and have loads of other fun with these free activities. Try to control yourself, although this event is free, Legacy Village has a lot of fabulous stores and the temptation may get the best of you! November 24
10. Victorian Holiday Village (Cincinnati) Another great activity for the kid in all of us. This is the 11th year for this unforgettable event and it gets better every time. Of course I like it because there will be cookies and hot chocolate, but others may enjoy the lights and the decorated child-sized houses. The kids will love getting to visit with Santa and taking home a complimentary picture. Ride the miniature train and see Santa’s elves make balloon art! November 30, December 1, 6 and 7
With so many great free events, even Ebenezer Scrooge can find something to do in Ohio! For other great holiday ideas in Ohio, check out Get Dazzled by the Lights this Holiday Season and Top 5 Festivals to kick-off the holiday season.
What are your favorite and free holiday places?