Oh happy holidays! While it may seem that Christmas arrives earlier and earlier each year (thanks to retailers and radio stations), this month is when the real fun begins— the holiday festivities! With the countdown beginning, it can be difficult to make time for all the fun events around town, so we did the tough part for you! Check out some of the Toledo-area holiday happenings and enjoy the beauty of the season.
Lights Before Christmas
December 1-December 31
Friday and Saturday 3-9pm
2 Hippo Way, Toledo
The Lights Before Christmas is a holiday favorite for people across the region. Enjoy visiting the zoo at night when you can witness a light display like no other. Be sure to stop by the aquarium to see Santa swim with the fish. Then visit Santa’s Workshop at the Arctic Encounter where you can tell him your Christmas wishes. Other attractions include a new 3-D holiday light display, ice bumper cars and the ice slide.
North Pole Express
December 1-December 30
Friday-Saturday 5-9pm, Sunday 5-8pm
Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation
12505 County Road 99 Findlay
All aboard! The North Pole Express will allow your family to travel by train through Northwest Ohio.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you ride along through the winter wonderland. Tickets are reasonable, $3 for adults and $2 for children. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop!
December 1-January 20 • Daily, 6pm-midnight
St. Clair Street between Washington St.
and Monroe St. in Toledo
A relatively new holiday tradition, the Hensville Lights brighten up downtown Toledo with more than 200,000 twinkling lights decorating all the buildings on St. Clair located between Washington St. and Monroe St. Enjoy a stroll and view a special dancing light show in Hensville Park.
Sunday-Thursday 5:30-9pm /
Michigan International Speedway
12626 U.S. 12, Brooklyn, MI 49230
Enjoy an amazing light display as you drive along at the Michigan International Speedway. For 20 years Nite Lites has been impressing visitors, who can enjoy this year’s three-mile display of over 500,000 lights. On certain days guests can visit Winter Wonderland where children can see Santa and take a free train ride. The cost is $20 per car.
Miracle on Main Street
Friday: 5pm / Saturday: 11am-4pm/
5632 Main St. Sylvania, OH
Ready for a jump start into the holiday season? Enjoy a weekend of festive events in Sylvania at the Miracle on Main Street. The weekend will include live music, crafts, art exhibits, a parade, tree lighting, a 5k run, and a visit from Santa. For a full schedule please visit the Sylvania Chamber website.
A Christmas Carol
The Valentine Theatre
410 Adams St., Toledo
Enjoy a Christmas classic when a musical version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is brought to the stage by the Toledo Rep. This story of a bitter old man transformed by three spirits of Christmas will surely put you in a holiday mood. Tickets: $27 for adults, $17 for children.
Holiday Lantern Tours
“A 1920s Christmas”
December 2, 8, and 9 • 4:30–8pm
22611 St. Rte 2, Archbold
Learn about the holiday traditions of the 1920s as you visit the Grime Home, learn about shopping at the Elmira Depot, act out The Night Before Christmas in the District 16 Schoolhouse, and sing 1920s Christmas songs in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Truly a blast from the past, the tours, which are about 90 minutes long and begin every half hour, are family oriented, but they may be a little too long for your really young ones. Preregistration and prepayment is required. Non-members $13/adult, $7/children. Members: $11/adult, $6/children
Annual Christmas Festival and Cookie Walk
Saturday, December 2 9am-2pm
Zion Lutheran Church
8307 Memorial Hwy, Ottawa Lake, MI
Celebrate the holidays with the Annual Christmas Festival and Cookie Walk, which will feature crafters and vendors from around the area.
Candy Cane Trail
Saturday, December 2 • 1-3pm
Shoppes of Mayberry Square
Centennial Road, Sylvania
Follow the Candy Cane Trail and enjoy the holiday decorations at the Shoppes of Mayberry Square. There will be face painting, visits with Santa and a meet and greet with a princess or two from Laurel’s Princess Parties. The whole family can enjoy this free event.
Visit with Santa
Specific days and times can be found on their website
3201 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg
Visit Levis Commons during December for a great opportunity to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus They will be available to listen to holiday wishes on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, as well as everyday during the week prior to Christmas. And while you’re at Levis Commons, enjoy a beautiful horse and carriage ride through the beautifully lit mall.
Holidays in the Manor House
December 2–December 17 • 10am-8pm
Wildwood Preserve Metropark
5100 W. Central Ave., Toledo
Enjoy one of the classic family traditions of Toledo with a visit to the Manor House. Volunteer decorators have transformed the home into a winter wonderland. After visiting the house, stroll over to the Metroparks Hall for some family-friendly activities, stopping to make a s’more on the way! Because of a great turnout last year, an additional week has been added. Oh, and did we mention admission is free?!
A Community Celebration
Saturday, December 2 • 6pm
Franciscan Center Lourdes University
6832 Convent Blvd, Sylvania
419-283-1434 or 419-243-1958, cscchorus.com
The Clarence Smith Community Chorus presents an evening of beautiful music featuring the community chorus, voices of Bowling Green State University, Voices of Harmony, Ballet Folklorico Imagenes Mexicanas and jazz saxophonist CJ Manning. Prior to the concert, audience members can visit a special art exhibit by local artists from 4-5:30pm. Tickets for this concert, $15, can be purchased online or at the door.
December 3 • 11:30am-2pm
7060 W. Sylvania Ave., Sylvania
Get your skates ready because it is time for fun! For $10 at the door, you can enjoy ice skating, crafts, music, a photo booth, and a pizza lunch at the Hanukkah Palooza.
Perrysburg Holiday Parade
Sunday, December 3 • 2-4pm
130 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg
A popular Perrysburg tradition, the Perrysburg Holiday Parade will surely put everyone in a festive mood. The parade includes man marching bands, horse drawn carriages, dancers, street performers, candy, and a visit from Santa!
Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah
Sunday, December 3 • 4pm
2535 Collingwood Blvd, Toledo
The Toledo Symphony returns to Rosary
Cathedral to perform alongside choirs and
international vocalists for this entrancing performance. Last year’s performance was sold out, so be sure to get your tickets soon!
Every weekend in December
Saturdays 5:15 and 7:00pm; Sundays 9:00am, 10:45am, and 12:30pm
Locations vary across Toledo
Discover the true meaning behind Christmas with Cedar Creek’s weekend church services. Cedar Creek offers age-specific programming, so everyone in your family can better prepare spiritually for the holidays. Cedar Creek Kids (babies-5th grade) and CedarCreek Students (6th-8th grade) are offered at all Cedar Creek locations. Christmas services will be held on December 22nd at 5pm and 7pm, and December 23rd and 24th at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm.
Tree Lighting & Holiday
Sunday, December 3 • 3pm
6925 Providdence Street, Whitehouse
Providence Street and Waterville Street will be dressed to the nines for the holiday season during the decorating contest. Visit with Santa, enjoy a Holiday Open House with downtown businesses, watch a parade, listen to live music, and don’t miss the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6pm.
Think Tank Workshop:
December 2-24, weekends • 2pm
1 Discovery Way, Toledo
Use a holiday tradition of building a gingerbread house to work on your engineering and geometry skills at The Imagination Station. Kids will put their design skills to use as they create this tasty treat. And after your gingerbread house is finished, you can take it home to snack on or display it during the holiday season.
December 8-December 24 • 11am-8pm
7060 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania
For over 50 years, Children’s Wonderland has been a delight for adults and children alike. With train rides, exhibits and visits with Santa, it’s an event you won’t want to miss! Plus, you could win free tickets this year with our special coloring contest.
See details on page 13.
Hayes Train Special
All December during regular museum hours
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential
Library & Museums
Spiegel Grove, Fremont
A train whistle signals the start of the Christmas season as the “Hayes Train Special” model train display is ready for visitors at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. Your family will love the 12-foot-by-24-foot display where they can blow the train whistle, run the Ferris wheel, lower the crossing gates and more with interactive buttons. This holiday favorite for kids and adults alike is included in the price of a regular museum ticket. Members are admitted for free.
Holidays On A Carriage Ride
Friday, December 8 10am
5100 W Central Ave, Toledo
Oh what fun it is to ride! The whole family will enjoy a traditional carriage ride. this season when Molly and Sally, the mule team from Providence, take you on a leisurely ride through the wintry park. Registration is required in advance. Rides every half hour beginning at 10am. $6/rider, free/kids 5 and under.
December 9-10, Saturday 2 & 7pm, Sunday 2pm
4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo
For 77 years, The Toledo Ballet has brought Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to life on stage. Enjoy breathtaking dancing, exquisite scenery and beautiful music from the Toledo Symphony Orchestra as Clara is whisked away with her Nutcracker Prince into a magical world.
This Stranahan Theater is one you
Fort Meigs Holiday
Sunday, December 10 • 1-4pm
29100 West River Rd., Perrysburg
Take a step into the past and visit Fort Meigs for educational festivity. Enjoy holiday music, hands-on activities and refreshments while answering your questions about the War of 1812.
The Toledo Club’s Annual Parade of Trees
December 12-14; 19-21
5:30 with seating every hour
The Toledo Club
235 14th St. Toledo
The Toledo Club will host their Annual Parade of Trees. This is an event open to the public and allows participants to enjoy a prime rib dinner buffet ($39-adults/$16-children) and bid on beautiful Christmas trees. All the trees are donated and the money earned from the silent auction will go to a charity of the donor’s choice. An additional event allows the public to bid on the trees, but rather than dinner, visitors can enjoy a Sunday brunch and a visit with Santa. The Sunday brunch will take place from 11am-2pm on December 17th.
Go Inside the Tree
Saturday, December 15 6-9pm
6165 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg
Forget admiring the tree from just the outside – go inside the glowing 50-foot Christmas tree at the Town Center. This event gives you a unique and beautiful perspective from the inside, perfect for photographs.