Five Places to Take Family during the Holidays in Ohio

Make memories with friends and family in the snow-covered Ohio heartland

The holidays are the time of the year when families gather and friends visit. If you have a house full of guests, load up the car and take a road trip to one of these Ohio destinations this holiday season.

Light up your world
Nobody does holiday lights like the historic Clifton Mill. With more than 3.5 million white lights, the surrounding Clifton Gorge and Little Miami River come to life. The lights turn on the day after Thanksgiving and last until the New Year. Every evening, the lights showcase a 100-foot waterfall of twinkling lights amidst a winter wonderland. In addition to the light display, visitors can spend time in the Clifton Mill Gift Shop and Miniature Village. For additional information, visit

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my
From Dec. 17-30 (except Christmas Day), the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo opens its gates for holiday festivities. Live music, visits from Santa and holiday crafts delight visitors of all ages. Indoor exhibits are open during December Days, so when you’ve had your fill of visiting the tigers and lions at their chilly outdoor homes, head indoors to spend time with the animals of the rain forest. For details, go to

Go home for the holidays
Each year, the Wood County Historical Center & Museum invites local groups to decorate for the Old Home Holiday Tour. The museum closes through the month of November in preparation for the big event and then reopens Dec. 8, when visitors can view the expansive Victorian home, participate in gingerbread-making classes or view the railroad displays until December 21. Visit or call (419) 352-0967 for more information.

Take a journey on the Polar Express
Re-enact the award-winning story, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg, in an old-fashioned train car. Your story begins when you leave the Dennison Railroad Depot and travel with Santa’s elves to the North Pole, where you pick up Santa. Spend more time with Santa as you travel back, reading stories and listening for reindeer bells. The trip is available weekends in mid-December. To learn more, go to

Relive the Tale of Two Cities
You’ll have “great expectations” for your visit to Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village where you’ll experience all things Charles Dickens on weekends in mid-December. Step back in time to the era of the famous author by reliving the carols, traditions and decorations of the past. Visit with the Dickens character and shop in the village shops. Visit for dates and times when the village is open.

Enjoy the holiday season with friends and family, while experiencing all the Buckeye State has to offer during the winter months.

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