This post was published on September 17, 2017 and updated to reflect 2018 dates and pricing.
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.
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 taking even adults back to the magical memories and dreams of Christmas. Some might even call these Buckeye State light displays mini Winter Wonderlands.
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 Best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights
One of Ohio’s most popular light displays, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights is open from November 16th through January 6th, 2019 and features several animated light displays, thousands of twinkling lights and even an ice skating rink. And don’t worry, Santa will also be making an appearance.
Address: 4850 West Powell Road Powell, Ohio 43065
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 everynight from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. Visit Friday or Saturday from 7-9 p.m. thru December 23rd, 2018 to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Address: Smith Park 500 Tytus Avenue Middletown, Ohio 45042
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 16th through January 1st, 2019.
Address: Alum Creek State Park Campground 3311 S. Old State Rd. Delaware, Ohio 43015
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 23rd to December 2nd and nightly from December 7th until December 23rd, 2018.
Address: 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road Dayton, Ohio 45459
Cost: $8, children under 2 are free.
Tip: Avoid the line by purchasing tickets in advance.
Holiday In Lights
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 nighlty November 16th through December 31st, 2018.
Address: Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Route 42 Sharonville, OH 45241
Cost: $15 per vehicle.
Tip: Visit the website for a $2 off coupon and tips to enhance your visit.
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 16th through December 31st.
Address: 2 Hippo Way Toledo, Ohio 43609
Cost: See website for pricing.
The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill is one of the premier light displays in the Midwest and has been for two decades, with over 3 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 Thanksgiving through December 31st, 2018. You wont’ want to miss this stop!
Address: 75 Water St. Clifton, Ohio 45316
Cost: $10 per person age 7 and up. Children 6 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. Open November 17th through January 1st, 2019.
Address: 3400 Vine Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
Cost: Varies, see website for pricing and discount information.
Deck the Hall Winter Wonderland
Akron hosts a spectacular display of over 800,000 lights at the historic Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Carefully coordinated with music, this light show is sure to please. Enjoy live music as you shop in the Music Room. Hot beverages and fresh baked goods round out your shopping experience. Open November 23rd-25th, 29th-30th and December 1st-2nd, 6th-9th, 13th-23rd, and 26th- 30th, 2018.
Address: 714 North Portage Path Akron, Ohio 44303
Cost: Member and general admission pricing available on the website.
Tip: Visit the website to learn how to get the most out of your visit.
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. 2018 dates to be announced.
Address: Lakeshore Park 1700 East 1st Street Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
Cost: 2018 pricing to be announced
Christmas by Candlelight
Drink in the dazzling parade of holiday lights on the Marion County Fairgrounds. Tune in to festive music as you drive through the many themed displays. Open November 22nd through December 25th, 2018.
Address: 220 East Fairground Street • Marion, Ohio 43302
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 December 31st, 2018.
Address: 801 Wheeling Avenue Cambridge, OH 43725
Holiday Lights on the Hill
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 Holiday Lights on the Hill, an award-winning, drive-through lights display 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. Holiday Lights on the Hill will dazzle you with over 2 million lights covering the surfaces of their sculptures and transforming the park into a dreamy, seasonal sanctuary. By day, 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. 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.
Address: 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd, Hamilton, OH 45013
Cost: $20-$25 per carload for non-members, $15 per carload per member
Newly Added: Christmas Cruise-thru at Defiance County Fairgrounds
The Christmas Cruise Thru at the Defiance Country Fairgrounds boasts over 100,000 lights and displays and weekends in December are a special treat with appearances by Santa, reindeer, carriage rides, a S’mores state and entertainment to bolster a great Christmas light show. Check out their website below for a schedule and more information.
Address: 530 S Main St, Hicksville, OH 43526
Cost: Monetary Donation at the Gate
Have you been to any of these light displays? What Ohio light display is your favorite?
© 2018, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.