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The Best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio in 2023

Tonya Prater, Owner

Ohio is a magical place to spend the holidays and today we’re sharing a freshly updated list of the best Christmas light displays in Ohio in 2023 to get you in the holiday spirit.

the best christmas lights in Ohio in 2020

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 Ohio Christmas 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 and updated for 2023.

The Guernsey County Courthouse lit up for Christmas
The Guernsey County Courthouse in Cambridge, Ohio

The Best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio

We’re sharing our list of where to find the best holiday lights 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 for yourself, check out this list of some of our favorite Christmas light displays.

Kingdom of Lights at the Mohican Castle

Kingdom of Lights at Landoll’s Mohican Castle

Experience the magic of Christmas at the Castle, a Kingdom of Lights, at Landoll’s Mohican Castle in Loudonville, every evening through December 23rd.

Walk through a wonderland of more than 150,000 lights while listening to festive music that puts you in the Christmas spirit.

Don’t miss the chance to meet Santa at The Pavilion on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 8pm. After viewing the lights warm up at The Copper Mug, the on-site restaurant, with dinner or hot chocolate. New this year is dining in the igloos. For an extra special treat, book your stay in the castle, one of the Stable Rooms on in one of the cottages.

Address: 561 Township Road 3352 Loudonville, Ohio 44842
Website: www.landollsmohicancastle.com
Phone: 1-800-291-5001
Cost: FREE Sunday-Thursday, $10 a carload on Friday and Saturday

Did you know you can spend the night at the castle? Learn more about that experience here.

Christmas lights in different colors strung up at the Columbus Zoo to make Christmas trees on the water with gorgeous reflections and a pink rhino light
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights

One of Ohio’s most popular light displays, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights is open from November 17th, 2023 – January 7, 2024, and features animated light displays and thousands of twinkling lights. Santa will also be making an appearance. Advance reservations are recommended to see these Christmas lights in Columbus, Ohio.

Tip: Visit during the week for fewer crowds and if you’re able to splurge, book a private golf cart Wildlights Tour to see the zoo without the crowds for a truly unforgettable holiday experience. But book early- these tours sell out fast!

Sensory-Friendly Light Stroll at the Columbus Zoo

In addition to the regular Wildlights hours, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will host a sensory-friendly light stroll and sensory-friendly Santa experience.

November 14th, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., has been reserved for guests who may find a typical night at Wildlights too overwhelming. During the Sensory-Friendly Light Stroll, you’ll find smaller crowds, no holiday music, and the flashing, strobing, and blinking lights will be greatly reduced. Tickets for this event will be on sale at a later date.

Sensory-Friendly Santa Experience

Minimize the sensory overload when you purchase tickets for the Sensory-Friendly Santa Experience on December 10th from noon to 4:00 p.m. This event will allow families to visit Santa in an environment intended to be less stimulating. This event does sell out, so make sure you purchase tickets well 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.

holiday lights strung on forms to look like christmas trees lit up in green and red lights at night
Christmas at Kingwood

Christmas at Kingwood

Stroll the grounds of Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio as you sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate. The displays include the formal gardens lit up for the holidays with colorful light trees, an enchanting Snowman Circle, and the Community Tree Walk before touring the historic manor house with three floors of gorgeous decorations while listening to local musicians play live music in the drawing room. This popular event runs until December 30th. Timed tickets are required for entry and must be purchased in advance.

Address: 50 N. Trimble Rd., Mansfield, Ohio 44906
Website:
https://kingwoodcenter.org/christmas-at-kingwood/
Cost: See website for more information.

Read about our visit to Christmas at Kingwood Center last year.

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: Christmas Lights Middletown
Cost: Admission by cash donation

Cars drive through a tunnel of green and blue Christmas lights with a orange cross and dove on the right hand side.
Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights in Delaware, Ohio

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Delaware is home to Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights (formerly Alum Creek’s Fantasy of Lights) which has been part of Central Ohio’s family traditions for 24 years. This 3-mile drive-through display features tons of twinkling LED lights and animated displays wind through the Alum Creek State Park Campground. Stop for cocoa and a picture with Santa just down the road. Open nightly from November 17th until January 1. Sunday through Thursday hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday are open from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Address: Alum Creek State Park Campground 3311 S. Old State Rd. Delaware, Ohio 43015
Website: www.butchbandosfantasyoflights.com
Phone: 614-412-3499
Cost: Varies. Purchase tickets here.

Read our review of Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights here.

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 are available. Open from November 17 through December 30; days of the week vary. Check online for the latest schedule. Tickets purchased in advance are good for any night of the event.

Address: 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road Dayton, Ohio 45459
Website: www.woodlandlights.org
Phone: 937-433-0130
Cost: $9, children under 2 are free.

The Christmas Ranch

As seen on HGTV and Good Morning America, The Christmas Ranch lights up from Friday, November 17th through December 23rd, 2023, 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.

Address: 3205 S Waynesville Rd, Morrow, OH 45152
Website: https://www.thechristmasranch.com/
Phone: 513-444-9362
Cost: $37 per carload and $47 for oversized van (10+ visitors) no buses or RV’s. You can save $5 by reserving your tickets online.

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 17th – December 31st, 2023. Reservations are required for members and non-members.

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 from November 24th – December 30th, 2022.  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: $15 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. Open November 17th- January 7th; reservations are required. Visit Santa in Santa’s Village nightly from 4 pm through December 23, with special sensory hours available on select days from 1 pm – 3 pm.

Address: 3400 Vine Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
Phone: 513-281-4700
Website: www.cincinnatizoo.org
Cost: Included with zoo admission. See the website for pricing and discount information.

Deck the Hall

Stan Hywet Hall and Corbin Conservatory will serve up a bit of nostalgia this Christmas season with Deck the Hall: Lights, Cameras, Christmas! The first-floor manor rooms, garden, and conservatory and gardens will sparkle with over one million lights and you’ll find glimpses of your favorite Christmas movies throughout the property.  Open select evenings from November 24 through December 30.

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

Walls of Christmas Lights lead to an LED Christmas Tree
Wonderlights at Hartford Fairgrounds

Wonderlights Christmas in Ohio

You won’t want to miss a visit to Wonderlights! You’ll find two miles of lights synchronized to old and new holiday tunes. The lights include several drive-through tunnels, floating snowflakes, dancing candy canes and lollipops, and gorgeous giant Christmas trees.

This display is open from November 10 through December 31, from 5:30-10 p.m. nightly. Reservations are strongly recommended, and sold in two time slots per evening.

Address: Hartford County Fairgrounds, 14028 Fairgrounds Road Croton, OH 43013
Phone: N/A
Website: Wonderlights in Ohio
Cost: Prices start at $30 per carload for up to seven passengers.

Read our review of Wonderlights Christmas in Ohio to see why we loved it.

Nativity scene in front of lighted Guernsey County Courthouse in Ohio
Guernsey County Courthouse Lawn in Cambridge

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 80,000 lights are synchronized with holiday music to create a spectacular display you won’t want to miss. You’ll also find a twenty-foot-tall Christmas tree and 60 animated displays located at the Cambridge Courthouse holiday lights display. This is one seasonal light show you do not want to miss! Open daily through New Year’s Day.

Address: 801 Wheeling Avenue Cambridge, OH 43725
Website: Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show
Cost: Free.

Read about our experience at the Dickens Victorian Village.

Pyramid Hill Lights (formerly Journey BOREALIS)

The name has changed from Journey Borealis, but the Pyramid Hill Lights event remains one of the holiday light shows in the tri-state area. From November 17 through December 31, you can enjoy over one million lights while sipping hot cocoa from the comfort of your car.

Located in Hamilton, Ohio, this spectacular drive-through light display is found 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. Pyramid Hill Lights will dazzle you with over 2 million lights covering the surfaces of their sculptures and transforming the park into a dreamy, seasonal sanctuary.

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: pyramid hill christmas lights
Cost: Entry fees are $25 per car for non-members, and $15 for members.

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 of events and more information. This event runs from November 20th – December 24th, 2023 from 6-9 p.m.

Address: 530 S Main St, Hicksville, OH 43526
Phone: 419-542-9000
Website: https://christmascruisethru.com/
Cost: Cash, check, and Venmo donations accepted 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,. 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 over one million lights put to work on 80 different displays, this is the largest drive-thru light show in northeast Ohio. You can spend an entire evening here enjoying this holiday wonderland.  Opening for the 2023 Christmas season on November 17th! Select dates November 17th – December 24th, 2023. Walk-It Night will be on December 4th, with one night to walk through the display for $5 per person, with no cars are allowed.

Address: 338 E. Park Ave., Columbiana, OH 44408
Phone: N/A
Website: https://tourcolumbianaohio.org/joy-of-christmas/
Cost: $20/vehicle provides access to the drive-thru light show, Gingerbread House & Santa’s Ice Castle or you can pay $40 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. The season kicks off with a tree-lighting ceremony on November 22 at 6:00 pm.

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 22nd – December 31, 2023.

Address: Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 19201 E. Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
Phone: N/A
Website: https://magicoflights.com/northeastohio/
Cost:
Advance weekday tickets start at $23 per vehicle; tickets are also available at the gate, but will cost you more.

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. 2023 dates are: Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 24th – December 31st, 2023 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m, with shortened holiday hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Address: Lakeshore Park 1700 East 1st Street Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
Phone: 440-993-1051
Website: www.aclotl.com
Cost: Donation of $5 per Car or Van. Buses – $1 per person, Mini Buses – $20; advance tickets are available at local businesses.

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

Christmas Light Spectacular at Cedar Springs Pavilion in Tipp City features a large lighted pavilion with Christmas trees, deer, polar bear, trees and more.
Christmas Light Spectacular at Cedar Springs Pavilion in Tipp City, Ohio

Holiday Lights in Sharonville Paused for 2023; we’ll be anxiously awaiting news in 2024!

If you are in the Cincinnati area, you will 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.

Address: Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Route 42 Sharonville, OH 45241
Website: https://www.holidayinlights.com/home.html
Phone: 513-769-0393
Cost: TBD

Holiday Lights in Belpre

Belpre Holiday Lights Display

Over 200 holiday light displays can be found at Civitan Park and around town in Belpre. You’ll find over 200 light displays in this walk-through display. The experience begins when you drive through a tunnel of lights that loops that leads you to a parking area where you can give a cash donation to the volunteers at the ticket booth. Make sure to stop at the ATM before you arrive.

You’ll find parking along the river where you can park and make your way across the street to view the lights, or if you prefer, drive past for a quick look. You’ll find Santa at the gazebo for photos and meet and greets on select days, while the towering Christmas tree and Happy Holiday sign make a nice backdrop for family photos.

Bundle up and allow 30-45 minutes to view the lights. There is a walking path that is paved and accessible so you can easily push a stroller, wheelchair, or walker and there are a few benches where you can stop and rest or just enjoy the view.

Address: 1500 Blennerhassett Ave Belpre OH 45714
Website: Belpre Holiday Lights
Cost:
Donation

Now we need your help! Where do you think we can find the best Christmas lights?

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A list of the best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio

Monica

Friday 10th of December 2021

We love the Wonderlights show! It's always worth the drive (We drive from NE Ohio).

Tonya Prater

Saturday 11th of December 2021

We drove from NE Ohio too and thought it was well worth the drive! We're heading back this week.

Katrina

Friday 10th of December 2021

This is such an extensive list - and so many of these are ones I didn't know about! The only one we've done (so far) is ZooLights, and it was beautiful!

Tonya Prater

Saturday 11th of December 2021

The Zoolights is amazing! Hopefully you'll be able to see a few more displays too.

Chris

Friday 3rd of December 2021

Don't forget whispering Christmas in Eaton ohio. It's free over 1 million lights and you can park and meet Santa, drink coco and warm by the fire. I have been to almost all of these and the Christmas ranch and clifton mills are the best in my opinion

Tonya Prater

Saturday 11th of December 2021

Thanks for letting me know about it, Chris! I'll check it out. Clifton Mills is gorgeous, isn't it?

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.

Vince Sutter

Sunday 4th of December 2022

@Toni Crumley - This is the 9th year of the Christmas Cruise Thru in HIcksville, Ohio. Van Wert has their own light show at their fairgrounds as well. I suggest visiting both! Each has their own strengths and are well worth the visit. The Christmas Cruise Thru has worked hard to add more pixel lights that are really bright and exciting since they are able to change colors and intensity. Many are synchronized with the transmitted music.

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.

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