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The Best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio in 2020

Ohio is a magical place to spend the holidays and today we’re sharing a list of the best Christmas light displays in Ohio to get you in the holiday spirit.

the best christmas lights in Ohio in 2020

Even if we don’t get that often wished upon White Christmas, our great state is filled with wondrous views from end to end that make for a magical time for the entire family.

All across Ohio, you will find stunning and magical Christmas light displays capable of transporting adults back to the magical memories and dreams of Christmas. Some might even call these Buckeye State light displays mini Winter Wonderlands.

If you want to see the lights but don’t want to leave the comfort or warmth of your vehicle, check out our list of 21 Drive Through Christmas Lights in Ohio compiled for 2020. 

The Guernsey County Courthouse lit up for Christmas

The Best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio

Most of these displays can be viewed from the convenience of your car, but a few are walk-through events. If you want to see these Winter Wonderlands yourself, check out this list of some of our favorite Christmas light displays.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights

One of Ohio’s most popular light displays, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights is open from November 20th through January 3rd, 2021 and features animated light displays and thousands of twinkling lights. Santa will also be making an appearance. Reservations will be required this year with no walk-ups permitted so plan accordingly and in advance. 

Address: 4850 West Powell Road Powell, Ohio 43065
Website: www.columbuszoo.org
Phone: 614-645-3400
Cost: Varies, see website for current pricing.

Light Up Middletown

Experience 100 acres of dazzling lights and animated displays in this unique drive-through holiday wonderland. Drivers delight as they pass through the tunnel of lights to the enchanted exhibit. Open every night from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve from 6 to 10 p.m. 

Address: Smith Park 500 Tytus Avenue Middletown, Ohio 45042
Website: www.lightupmiddletown.org
Cost: Admission by cash donation

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Delaware is home to Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights (formerly Alum Creek’s Fantasy of Lights). This 3-mile drive-through display features tons of twinkling LED lights and several animated displays. Stop for cocoa and a picture with Santa just down the road. Open November 20th through January 3rd, 2021.

Address: Alum Creek State Park Campground 3311 S. Old State Rd. Delaware, Ohio 43015
Website: www.butchbandosfantasyoflights.com
Phone: 614-368-9961
Cost: Varies, see website for current pricing.

Woodland Lights Festival

Breathe in the crisp Dayton air as you walk through this half-mile of mesmerizing lights with animated displays and fun holiday activities. Cuddle up on a carriage ride or treat the tykes to amusement rides and live animals. Chase away the chills as you bond over bonfires. Food and drinks available. Open on weekends from November 27th to December 13th and nightly from December 18th until December 27th, 2020. Advance reservations are required. You may begin to purchase tickets on October 31st. 

Address: 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road Dayton, Ohio 45459
Website: www.woodlandlights.org
Phone: 937-433-0130
Cost: $7, children under 2 are free.

The Christmas Ranch

As seen on HGTV and Good Morning America, The Christmas Ranch lights up on Friday, Nov. 20th to Monday, Dec. 23rd, 2020, drawing visitors from all over the state of Ohio as well as Kentucky and Indiana. You’ll find lights, wagon rides, a train ride, pictures with Santa and shops to browse.  Social distancing and precautions are required this year. 

Address: 3205 S Waynesville Rd, Morrow, OH 45152
Website: https://www.thechristmasranch.com/
Phone:513-444-9362
Cost: $20 a carload

Tip: Purchase your tickets online before arrival to access Santa’s VIP Pass to receive 10% off all food, train rides, wagon rides, pictures with Santa and any purchases in the shops.

Holiday In Lights at Sharon Woods

If you are in the Cincinnati area, you will definitely want to visit the Holiday In Lights in Sharonville. This exhibit features over a mile of lights and displays that can be viewed from the comfort of your own vehicle, Don’t let bad weather scare you away, Rain or shine, this display is open nightly November 21st through January 2nd, 2021. Note: Holiday in Lights will be cashless this year and only accepting credit cards.

There will be no Santaland this year. 

Address: Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Route 42 Sharonville, OH 45241
Website: https://www.holidayinlights.com/home.html
Phone:513-769-0393
Cost: Walking tickets $5, $15 per vehicle or $45 for a 15 passenger van or bus. Make sure you snag a ticket for $2 off here before you go.  

Lights Before Christmas

Head over to the Toledo Zoo for another fun zoo-based display that is loved by those young and old. With over 1 million twinkling lights and 200 animated animal displays, your family will love this Winter wonderland. Open November 20th  through December 31st, 2020.

Address: 2 Hippo Way Toledo, Ohio 43609
Website: https://www.toledozoo.org/lights
Phone: 419-385-5721
Cost: See website for pricing.

Historic Clifton Mill

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill is one of the premier light displays in the Midwest and has been for two decades, with over four million lights brightening up the mill and property.  You will see animated displays, Santa and his workshop and even a twinkling light waterfall. Open nightly November 27th through December 30th, 2020.  You won’t’ want to miss this stop!

Tip: The gate opens at 5 p.m. Plan to arrive early so you’re there to see the lights turn on promptly at 6 p.m.  

Address: 75 Water St. Clifton, Ohio 45316
Phone: 937-767-5501
Website: https://cliftonmill.com
Cost: $10 per person age 4 and up. Children 3 and under are free.

PNC Festival of Lights

Over 3 million LED lights brighten the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Guests can ride the BB&T Toyland Express train or watch a Wild Lights show over the lake. Tasty treats to enjoy at the festival include homemade fudge, hot cocoa, and s’mores. Santa also makes the rounds to meet the kiddies (through December 23rd). Open November 21st through January 3rd with bonus dates on January 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17, 2020. Reservations are required. 

Address: 3400 Vine Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
Phone: 13-281-4700
Website: www.cincinnatizoo.org
Cost: Included with zoo admission. See the website for pricing and discount information.

Deck the Hall 2020

Stan Hywet Hall and Corbin Conservatory will serve up a bit of nostalgia this Christmas season with  A Very Merry Christmas. The first-floor manor rooms, garden and conservatory will come alive with snowmen, elves and nutcrackers for a nostalgic Christmas.  View this website for dates. Reservations are required for 2020.

Address: 714 North Portage Path Akron, Ohio 44303
Phone: 330-836-5533
Website: www.stanhywet.org
Cost: Member and general admission pricing available on the website.

Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show

Experience a taste of Victorian life as you meander the streets, shops, and restaurants in downtown Cambridge. The Dickens Victorian Village has 94 vignettes depicting life in the 1800s. Built in 1881, the antique courthouse is transformed as 30,000 lights are synchronized with holiday music to create a spectacular display you won’t want to miss. Open November 1st through January 1st, 2021.

Address: 801 Wheeling Avenue Cambridge, OH 43725
Website: https://yourradioplace.com/courthouse-holiday-light-show/
Cost: Free.

Journey BOREALIS

Located in Hamilton, Ohio, sip your mug of hot cocoa, warm up the car, and sing along to the holiday tunes to begin your tour of Journey BOREALIS, a spectacular drive-through light displays at one of the area’s most loved parks, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum. This winter wonderland is a twinkling twilight of Christmas spirit and magic. Journey BOREALIS will dazzle you with over 2 million lights covering the surfaces of their sculptures and transforming the park into a dreamy, seasonal sanctuary.

From November 20th until January 3rd, 2021 Pyramid Hill is a 300+ acre sculpture park that showcases over 60 pieces of monumental sculpture art nestled in the breathtaking meadows and rolling hills of the park by day. But by night, Pyramid Hill turns into the best holiday light display in Hamilton.

Visitors of all ages fall in love with the parks enchanting Christmas spirit and enjoy taking their kids, grandkids, and entire families to the park to see the lights each year. It’s a tradition that you’ll look forward to for years to come. Tip: Make sure you download the app with music prior to arriving. 

Address: 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd, Hamilton, OH 45013
Phone: 513-868-8336
Website: https://journeyborealis.com/
Cost: $20-$25 per carload for non-members, $15 per carload per member, free to Hamilton residents on Tuesdays

Christmas Cruise-thru at Defiance County Fairgrounds

The Christmas Cruise Thru at the Defiance Country Fairgrounds boasts over 100,000 lights and displays. Check out their website below for a schedule and more information. This event runs from November 21st to December 23rd, 2020 from 6-9 p.m. 

Address: 530 S Main St, Hicksville, OH 43526
Phone: 419-542-9000
Website: https://christmascruisethru.com/
Cost: Monetary Donation at the Gate

Lights on 193

Head on over to Route 193 in Kingsville and find over 20,000 lights all in a single residential light display!  This display is less than 15 minutes from both the Millard Family Lights Display and the Lights on the Lake allowing you to easily see all 3 displays in one evening, so grab your thermos of hot chocolate and head on out for an evening that will be fun for the whole family! This display kicks off Thanksgiving Day and runs through December 30th, 2020. And don’t forget to enhance your experience by tuning in to 99.1 FM.

Address: 4880 state route 193 Kingsville, OH 44048
Phone: N/A
Website: https://www.facebook.com/christmaslightson193kingsville/
Cost: FREE 

Millard Family Light Display

10 songs and 30,000 lights come to life in this residential display put on by the Millard Family which normally kicks off around Thanksgiving.  This was mentioned earlier, but this display is within 15 minutes of both the Lights on 193 and the Lights on the Lake, so make a night of it and have fun checking them all out! 

Address: 2104 E 40th St Ashtabula, OH 44004
Website: N/A
Cost: Donations accepted. 

Joy of Christmas Light Display

At the Harvey S. Firestone Recreational Park, you will find the Joy of Christmas Light Display.  With well over one million lights put to work on 75 different displays, you can spend an entire evening here enjoying this holiday wonderland.  This light display has a good number of interactive displays and some stand-alone features as well. No matter what type of lights you enjoy looking at, you will find them here! Opening for the 2020 Christmas season on November 19th! Follow this schedule: Friday – Sunday, November 19, 20, 21 & 22, Thursday – Sunday, Nov. 26, 27, 27 & 29, Thursday – Sunday, Dec. 3, 4, 5 & 6, & NIGHTLY Thursday Dec. 10-Thursday Dec. 27.

Address: 338 E. Park Ave., Columbiana, OH 44408 (Due to construction, enter on the corner of E. Park Ave. & Lakeview Dr.)
Phone: N/A
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Joyofchristmaslightshow/
Cost: $10 per car; $2 per person (motorcoach), or you can pay $25 and get an entire season pass.

City of Bedford Christmas Lights 

Take a cruise to the city of Bedford and take a look around the town square.  The entire town square is decorated with twinkling Christmas lights, while your favorite Christmas songs are playing in the background. This cute display will bring back memories of small-town Christmas!  It’s been called the “It’s a Wonderful Life” celebration of Ohio, with its old-fashioned holiday decor.

Address: Downtown Bedford, OH
Phone: N/A
Website: http://christmasinbedfordfalls.com/
Cost: FREE

Magic of Lights Drive-Thru Display

If you are looking for a one of a kind, drive-thru light show, be sure to check out the Magic of Lights Drive-Thru Display in Middleburg Heights.  This display is over a mile long and offers visitors a chance to see over 30 different cutting edge displays, including a light tunnel that is over 100 feet long and kicks off November 25th and runs until January 22nd, 2021.  

Address: Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 19201 E. Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
Phone: N/A
Website: https://magicoflights.com/northeastohio/ 
Cost: $20 per carload if purchased online prior to arrival. If purchased at the gate they are $25-30 per vehicle.

Ashtabula County’s Lights on the Lake

Revel in the largest light display on Lake Erie. Over 70 themed displays light up 54 acres of Lake Shore Park. 2020 dates are: Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 27th through December 27th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  This year will be “Christmas at a Distance” and will be completely touch free. 

Address: Lakeshore Park 1700 East 1st Street Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
Phone: 440-993-1051
Website: www.aclotl.com
Cost: Donations or prepurchased tickets. 

Christmas lights at a home

Lenz Family Light Spectacular for Jesus in Carlisle Twp/Grafton

This private display at the Lenz home features over 45,000 lights, covering 3 of their five rural acres! The focal point is a 3 foot by 24 foot long sign that displays, “Happy Birthday, Jesus”. You’ll find the display between Banks Road and Slife Rod on Indian Hollow Road. This is a drive-by display only so be mindful of traffic. 

Address: Between Banks Road and Slife Rod on Indian Hollow Road.
Cost: Free

Have you been to any of these light displays? What Ohio light display is your favorite?

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Ursula Fitzgerald

Wednesday 16th of October 2019

We really enjoyed The Christmas Ranch near Cincinnati. It was so nice. I noticed this one was not on the list.

Tonya Prater

Thursday 17th of October 2019

Thanks so much for the recommendation! I'll have to look into it!

Vince Sutter

Friday 30th of November 2018

For NE Ohio, the Christmas Cruise Thru at the Defiance Country Fairgrounds in Hicksville, Ohio is a must see!! The address is 530 S Main St, Hicksville, OH 43526. The season is hitting its stride now and opens tonight with Santa, reindeer, and entertainment to bolster an great Christmas light show.

Toni Crumley

Sunday 29th of November 2020

I lived in Hicksville for years but moved to Van Wert in 2012 , They didn't have the Cruise Thru when I lived there but it is a great community and they all work together to put this together its a free will donation event. So it is an awesome display and all money stays in the community. You will really enjoy. May your Holidays be happy ones.

Carmen Edelson

Sunday 19th of November 2017

So many amazing spots!! This makes me so excited for the holiday season :)

Lara Dunning

Saturday 18th of November 2017

I love holiday light displays it sounds like there are a ton of ways to experience them in Ohio. I'd love to see them all, but the Woodland Lights sounds really magical.

kristin

Friday 17th of November 2017

Oh this is so wonderful. I bet the lights are beautiful!

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