Christmas in Ohio – Customs and Traditions

This is how Christmas in Ohio looks like.

Ohio, nestled in the midwestern United States, becomes an extraordinary holiday destination, drawing millions of visitors annually. The state of Ohio transforms into a picturesque snowy wonderland during Christmas, offering an unparalleled holiday experience.

Derived from the term “great river,” Ohio, stemming from the Appalachian Mountains, boasts a service-based economy, ensuring exceptional services for visitors. Embracing the magical essence of Christmas, the state welcomes the festive season with cheer and jubilant celebrations.

For Christmas enthusiasts, Ohio stands as an ideal destination, offering an immersive experience steeped in local customs and traditions that enrich the holiday spirit. Taking time to explore these unique practices ensures an unforgettable Christmas experience in Ohio’s welcoming embrace.

Christmas Customs and Traditions in Ohio

Ohio, a captivating destination in the United States, promises an extraordinary Christmas experience, offering the perfect backdrop for creating cherished memories with loved ones. The state is adorned with dazzling lights, adorned Christmas towns, and unique holiday attractions, making it a haven during this festive season.

Here are some of the enchanting traditions found in Ohio:

Christmas display lights in Ohio

Experience the magic of Christmas in Ohio by witnessing the breathtaking Christmas display lights. Whether strolling through illuminated neighborhoods or driving through spectacular exhibits, Ohio showcases millions of dazzling lights.

Immerse yourself in the festive ambiance, accompanied by delightful Christmas carols, and marvel at the enchanting displays that illuminate the state.

Holiday-themed hotels

Throughout Ohio, discover a plethora of holiday-themed hotels, a cherished tradition in the region. These hotels boast elaborate decorations, including life-size nutcrackers, sparkling lights, and festive dishes, providing guests with a vibrant Christmas atmosphere.

Ohio’s Christmas-themed accommodations offer a myriad of Santa-inspired activities, ensuring a memorable holiday experience for all.

Wild lights at Columbus Zoo

Columbus stands as an iconic location offering unique traditions within Ohio. The Columbus Zoo transforms into a mesmerizing wonderland during the festive season, featuring over three million twinkling lights, captivating musical displays, and animated exhibits.

Beyond the stunning lights, visitors can partake in an array of activities, including visits from Santa and delightful train rides for the little ones.

Dickens Victorian Village

More than just a destination, Dickens Victorian Village is a revered tradition drawing visitors annually during Christmas. Honoring the work of Charles Dickens, this locale invites exploration of the author’s renowned tales.

Hand-painted mannequins portray scenes from beloved Dickens classics, illuminated by vibrant lights synchronized to melodious tunes. The ornate buildings create a captivating backdrop, unveiling the richness of history and diversity in this enchanting area.

Nativity scenes in Ohio

Although nativity scenes are prevalent in many parts of Europe, Ohio proudly showcases these displays across various areas within the state. With millions of sparkling lights, festive Christmas music, and stunning historic collections, the nativity scenes in Ohio offer a unique Christmas experience.

Over six hundred distinctive scenes depict various elements including Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the manger, and shepherds. These scenes, set up before Christmas, capture the essence of the holiday regardless of the time of year you visit Ohio, adding depth to your state exploration.

PNC Festival of Lights

Elevating your Christmas experience, the PNC Festival of Lights is a quintessential part of Ohio’s culture and traditions. The Cincinnati Botanical Garden and Zoo dazzle visitors with a symphony of twinkling lights amidst the animal-filled surroundings.

The garden boasts an impressive display of over three million lights, creating a captivating Christmas ambiance. Beyond the lights, indulge in activities like riding the Toyland Express or enjoying the illuminated view from the lake. Engage in scavenger hunts and other festive activities, making your visit to the region a delightful affair for your loved ones.

Christmas ranches in Ohio

Ohio hosts various ranches, with the Morrow Ranch standing out as a prime Christmas destination. Adorned with a million colorful Christmas lights, this ranch exudes holiday cheer, offering opportunities for photos with Santa and other festive activities like snowy train rides.

Additionally, the ranch features Christmas shops where you can purchase delightful treats from the café or bakery, enhancing your holiday experience.

Christmas markets in Ohio

Ohio reflects European influences, evident in its unique markets, such as the Christkindlmarkt. Explore this vibrant market, discovering an array of Christmas products and souvenirs perfect for the festive season.

Embrace European traditions by sampling food and beverages like mulled wines and pastries, allowing you to celebrate Christmas with a touch of European flair during your visit to this market.

Polar express train ride

The Polar Express train ride has emerged as a significant tradition in Ohio. As you venture into the region, this experience promises to be exceptional. Inspired by the beloved movie, the Polar Express offers an enchanting journey. Children can don Christmas-themed pajamas, creating a cozy atmosphere for enjoying the movie and the train ride simultaneously.

Christmas trees in Ohio

The Christmas tree embodies the essence of the holiday season, and Ohio offers a unique experience in selecting your own tree. Exploring the forests in the state to cut your family’s Christmas tree becomes a memorable tradition. With various tree farms and permits available, this adventure ranges from choosing cypress to spruce trees.

Often, it’s a tradition for male family members to pick the tree, adding a distinctive touch to your Christmas celebration.

Castle Noel

Castle Noel, located in Medina Ohio, stands as a year-round attraction, but it truly comes alive during the holidays. The castle offers an array of captivating scenery and fun-filled activities. With its extensive toy gallery, visitors can find unique gifts for loved ones, making the trip even more memorable for everyone.

Village lights

A cherished Christmas tradition in Ohio, the Village Lights event is open from December 4th through the Christmas season, drawing numerous visitors each year. In Columbus, this event in the German Village offers a plethora of activities. From complimentary cookies and hot chocolate to vibrant streets adorned with shops, restaurants, and luminaries, there are ample opportunities to find special deals on goodies for your loved ones.


Learn more about Christmas traditions in neighboring US states:

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.