Holiday Happenings

‘Tis the season for holiday festivities! Add in as many of these fun events as you can for the most wonderful time of the year. Here’s a roundup for your family, whether you are in the mood for theater, concerts, or light displays. We’ve got a range of activities for everyone!

Lights Before Christmas
The Toledo Zoo
2 Hippo Way
419-385-5721 |
Sunday-Thursday, 3-8pm
Friday-Saturday, 3-9pm

Is it really the holiday season without a trip to the Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas? This award-winning light display is known throughout the country and pleases the whole family year after year. Enjoy lights strewn all over the zoo, holiday snacks, snow tubing, visits with Santa, and, of course, the zoo animals. Non-member prices are $23 for adults and $20 for children aged 2-11 and seniors (60+). Members enjoy unlimited daily visits. The lights go on November 19 and will shine through December 31. This event requires reservations for all visitors.

Nights of Lights
Presented by ProMedica
Promenade Park
400 Water St.
419-936-2875 |
Friday, December 17 6-9pm
Saturday, December 18, 6-9pm
Sunday, December 19, 6-9pm
Sunday, December 26, 4-6pm

This December, residents of Toledo and surrounding areas are invited to enjoy the scenic holiday lights displayed in downtown Toledo’s Promenade Park. As part of ProMedica’s Nights of Lights, there will be visits from Santa Claus, character meet-and-greets, hot chocolate and dessert food trucks, The Photo Tower, musical performances, and more!

Nite Lights
Michigan International Speedway
12626 U.S. 12, Brooklyn, MI
517-937-6426 |
Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-9pm
Friday-Saturday, 5:30-10pm

Have you ever wanted to take a lap around a racetrack? This holiday, you can! Load up your crew and head to Michigan International Speedway for a dazzling drive through a Christmas light show. Nite Lights happens daily, starting at 5:30pm, from November 25 to December 31. Due to COVID-19, there will be no Winter Wonderland, train rides, or visits with Santa this year. Cost for a single car is $25.

Hensville Lights
Downtown Toledo
St. Clair Street between Washington and Monroe
Daily, 5pm-12am

Hensville brings new meaning to Deck the Halls with its annual Hensville Lights. This 200,000 light display along St. Clair St. and the dancing light show in Hensville Park will brighten your day. Lights will shine from the weekend before Thanksgiving through early January.

Holiday Light Show
Lucas County Fairgrounds
1406 Key St., Maumee|

Open on select dates

Take in an incredible Christmas light show from the comfort of your car! Simply tune in to the FM radio station to listen to holiday tunes as you drive through the show, which takes about 20- 25 minutes. It is scheduled to open on Friday, November 19 at 5pm and will close on December 30. Purchase tickets for $23 online, or in person for $25.

Model Railroad Display in Holidays at the Manor House
The Manor House
5100 Central Ave.
December 4-12, 10am-8pm

The 46th annual Holidays at the Manor House will return at Wildwood Preserve and feature a variety of popular train displays. Free tickets are required to tour the decorated Manor House this year, but reservations are not required to enjoy the model trains and outdoor lights!

Children’s Wonderland
7060 Sylvania Ave, Sylvania
December 10-23, Open daily, 11am-8pm
December 24, 11am-2pm

A tradition for decades in the area, Children’s Wonderland brings generations together with its beautiful holiday displays. Wander through the holiday exhibits, hop aboard a child-sized train, and snap a picture with Santa. There’s a reason why everyone enjoys this wonderland year after year.

A Night In Bethlehem
Hope Lutheran Church
2201 Secor Rd.
419-536-8383 |

A good reminder of the reason for the season, a Night in Bethlehem at Hope Lutheran Church allows you to take in the sights, smells and sounds of a bustling marketplace, complete with authentic shops staffed with artisans and live animals. And then there’s the exciting news: a baby has been born! Admission is free.

Noon Year’s Eve
Toledo Zoo
2 Hippo Way
419-385-5721 |

Say hello to 2022 a little early…ring in the new year at Noon Year’s Eve, a perfect way for the little ones to partake in the festivities of the new year without staying up past bedtime. Join the crowd as the recycling ball is raised, confetti falls, toasts are made with apple juice, and then sing “Auld Lang Syne.” Visitors will also enjoy ice carving demonstrations, animal feedings and the Ice Slide.

Nativity Festival
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
428 N Erie Street
419-243-4214 |
Thanksgiving Day – December 19
Thursdays & Fridays, 4-7pm
Saturdays, 12-3pm

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church becomes its own magical wonderland with more than 100 nativities from around the world— many of them on loan from area residents— displayed among beautifully decorated tablescapes. Wander through and marvel at the nativities from 1223 through present day. The event is free and open to all, with donations appreciated and marketplace items for sale.

The Blade Holiday Parade
Downtown Toledo: Summit and Jefferson Streets
November 13, 10am-12pm

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the annual Blade Holiday Parade is back and promises to be bigger and brighter than before. Santa Claus is sure to make an appearance, too!

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical
Stranahan Theater & Great Hall
4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.
November 19, 6pm

This holiday season, the beloved tradition that has captured the hearts of families everywhere returns to the live stage. The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical is the thrilling spectacle of music and dance that transports audiences to the North Pole.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Christmas Eve and Other Stories
The Huntington Center
500 Jefferson Ave.
December 3, 4pm & 8pm

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas rock opera is sure to delight fans both young and old with two shows this December. The tour will feature fan favorites like “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Good King Joy,” and “This Christmas Day.” Tickets range in price from $49-$89.

The Midtown Men Holiday Concert
The Valentine Theatre
410 Adams St.
December 5, 7pm

Celebrate the season sixties-style with the Midtown Men, stars from the cast of Broadway’s original Jersey Boys. Enjoy a thrilling holiday performance featuring classics like “Winter Wonderland” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as well as rock and roll hits from the 60s.

Toledo Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Stranahan Theater & Great Hall
4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.
December 12, 2pm & 7pm
December 13, 2pm

The incredible story of The Nutcracker comes to life with the Toledo Ballet’s annual performance, now in its 80th year! The combination of effortless dancing, gorgeous scenery, and the classic score performed by the Toledo Symphony makes for a wonderful afternoon or evening at the theatre.

Mannheim Steamroller
Stranahan Theater & Great Hall
4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.
December 17, 8pm

The beloved Christmas tour of Mannheim Steamroller is back after taking a break in 2020, and rolls right into Toledo just in time for Christmas. Tickets start at $38.

Science After Dark
Imagination Station
1 Discovery Way
Saturday, November 20, 7 -11pm

Enjoy the magic of the season with a little bit of science and a whole lot of shopping at Imagination Station’s Science After Dark Holiday Night Market – Presented by Tito’s Vodka. The science center will open for an after-hours, adults-only evening filled with entertainment, food, cocktails, and shopping. Presale tickets $40 for members, $45 for nonmembers. Tickets at the door are $45 for members and $50 for nonmembers