Ohio is a magical place during the holiday season, with millions of dazzling Christmas lights on exhibit throughout the state. A great way to get into the festive holiday spirit is by visiting one of the many Christmas lights displays in Ohio! Whether visiting a walk through display or drive through Christmas lights in Ohio, gather your family and friends to enjoy the millions of twinkling festive Christmas lights in Ohio.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Keep reading to find the best Christmas lights displays in Ohio!
Franklin Park Conservatory (one of my favorite places in Columbus!)
Christmas Lights Displays in Central Ohio
Columbus Zoo Wildlights
Visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for their annual Wildlights display. The Columbus Zoo Christmas lights include millions of twinkling lights throughout the park, but that’s not the only attraction. Lace up your skates at the holiday skate rink, visit Santaland Zoo, view the animated light shows at Conservation Lake, ride the Polar Bear Express and many more activities for the entire family!
When: November 15, 2019 – January 5, 2020; Sunday – Thursday 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 5-10pm
Where: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium- 4850 Powell Road, Powell, OH 43065
*Read about my visit to the Columbus Zoo Wildlights
Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory
Beautiful light installations highlight the lush horticulture displays throughout the Franklin Park Conservatory. Along with the twinkling lights, visitors can view dozens of poinsettias, Paul Busse model railway, hand-blown glass ornament trees and family-friendly entertainment throughout the holiday season.
When: November 16, 2019 – January 4, 2020; daily 10am-9pm. To best experience the lights, I would suggest going after dusk.
Where: Franklin Park Conservatory- 1777 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43203
Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory
Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights
View twinkling holiday lights from the comfort and warmth of your vehicle as you drive through Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights (formerly called Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights). The Fantasy of Lights is a 3-mile drive-thru holiday light show, using LED lights.
When: November 15, 2019 – January 1, 2020; Sunday – Thursday 5:30-9:30pm, Friday & Saturday 5:30-10:30pm
Where: Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds in Delaware- 3311 South Old State Road, Delaware, OH 43015
WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio
View more than 1 million LED lights synchronized to Christmas music played through your car stereo as you drive through WonderLights at National Trail Raceway. Load up your car with family and friends to view these twinkling drive through Christmas lights in Ohio.
When: November 15, 2019 – January 5, 2020; Daily 5:30-10:30pm
Where: National Trail Raceway- 2650 National Road SW, Hebron, OH 43025
Christmas Lights Displays in Northeast Ohio
Lights on the Lake
Visit the largest holiday light display on Lake Erie at Ashtabula County’s Lights on the Lake. The event includes over 70 lights displays on the 54 acres of Lakeshore Park. They promise that some displays are “as big as a truck”. You’ll have to go and see what they mean for yourself. It’s a family tradition in the making.
When: November 29 – December 29; Friday through Sunday 6pm-9pm
Where: Lakeshore Park- 1700 East 1st Street, Ashtabula, OH 44004
Akron Zoo Lights
There’s fun for the entire family at the impressive lights display at the Akron Zoo Lights festival, featuring over 25 miles of lights and dozens of lighted displays throughout the zoo. View a synchronized light show, visit Santa land and meet Santa, create a S’more at the S’mores Station, encounter zoo animals up-close and many other fun activities for the whole family!
When: November 29-30, December 1, 6-8, 14-15, 20-22 & 26-30; 5pm-9pm.
Where: Akron Zoo- 505 Euclid Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44307
Photo Courtesy of Akron Zoo
Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
The whole family will enjoy one of Ohio’s largest and most spectacular holiday traditions, Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. The estate is illuminated inside and out with over one million lights and the historic Manor House is decorated like a winter wonderland.
When: November 29-30, December 1, 5-8, 12-23, 26-30 from 5-9pm
Where: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens- 714 North Portage Path, Akron OH 44303
Cleveland Public Square Holiday Lights
Welcome the holiday season by viewing hundreds of twinkling lights in the heart of Cleveland at Cleveland Public Square. Winterfest kicks off the holiday season on November 30th from 1-7:30pm, then the lights are on display through the holiday season.
When: Winterfest is November 30th from 1-7:30pm, lights are on display throughout the holiday season.
Where: Cleveland Public Square- 50 Public Square, Suite 1700, Cleveland, OH 44113
Christmas Lights Displays in Northwest Ohio
North Pole Express
Take a ride on the North Pole Express in Findlay. Ride the train through holiday decorations and visit the indoor winter wonderland, plus drop off a letter for Santa at the North Pole mailbox. The price is $3 for adults and $2 for children. The North Pole express is closed Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, but open on Christmas.
When: November 29 – January 5, 2020; Friday & Saturday 5:30-9:00pm and Sunday 5:30-8:30pm
Where: Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation Inc.- 12505 C.R. 99 Findlay, OH 45840
Toledo Ohio Zoo Lights
Visit the Toledo Zoo for their Lights Before Christmas event featuring nearly 70 miles of lights throughout the zoo. Other fun winter activities include an Ice Slide and Bumper Car on Ice at the Winter Village and Douglas, the Talking Fir Tree.
When: November 22 – December 31, 2019; Sunday – Thursday 3-8pm, Friday & Saturday 3-9pm
Where: Toledo Zoo & Aquarium-
Upper’s Winter Fantasy of Lights
Drive through Upper’s Winter Fantasy of Lights at Harrison Smith Park in Upper Sandusky. The 33-acre park features millions of twinkling lights and dozens of unique light displays that you can drive through in your car. There is a suggested donation of $5 per car, which is given to a charitable organization.
When: December 1-30; Monday-Thursday 6-9:30pm, Friday-Sunday 6-10pm
Where: Harrison Smith Park- 525 East Wyandot Avenue, Upper Sandusky, OH 43351
Christmas Cruise Thru
As the largest light show in the tri-state area, the Christmas Cruise Thru features more than 100,000 outdoor lights and displays. Enjoy the twinkling lights from the warmth of your vehicle at these drive through Christmas lights in Ohio.
When: November 22 – December 24; Daily from 6-9pm
Where: Defiance County Fairgrounds- 530 South Main Street, Hicksville, OH 43526
Christmas Lights Displays in Southwest Ohio
Cincinnati Festival of Lights
Attend the annual PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo. Voted as the #1 Zoo Lights in the Country by USA Today featuring over 2.5 million twinkling lights! Along with the festive light displays, visitors can view the Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake, visit the Gingerbread Village, take a ride on the Toyland Express Train and many other fun family activities.
When: November 16, 2019 – January 4, 2020; Sunday – Thursday 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 5-10pm
Where: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden- 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45220
Photo Courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo
Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill
One of southwest Ohio’s favorite Christmas lights displays is the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill, featuring 4 million lights covering the mill, Clifton gorge and covered bridge. Visitors can enjoy a gift shop, Santa Museum and Miniature Village.
When: November 28 – December 30; Sunday – Saturday 6-9pm
Where: Historic Clifton Mill- 75 Water St. Clifton, OH
* Read about my visit to see the Clifton Mill Christmas Lights.
Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill
Walk through a fantasyland of holiday lights at Woodland Lights in Dayton. It’s a half-mile wonderland of holiday lights, displays, and festivities!
When: November 22 – December 1, weekends only 6-9 pm; December 6 – December 23, nightly 6-9 pm
Where: Countryside Park- 895 Miamisburg Centerville Rd, Dayton, OH 45459
Visit the Christmas Ranch in Morrow to walk through a Christmas Wonderland. View over 1 million twinkling lights choreographed to music, take a train or wagon ride, visit Santa’s Bakery and stroll through six Christmas shops. Don’t forget to get your picture taken with Santa.
When: November 22 – December 23; Sunday – Thursday 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 5-10pm; Closed Thanksgiving Day
Where: The Christmas Ranch- 3205 S. Paynesville Road, Morrow, OH 45152
Light Up Middletown
Enter through the festive tunnel of twinkling lights into a Christmas wonderland at Light Up Middletown. This driving tour features thousands of sparking lights and dozens of animated displays.
When: 6-10pm every night, Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve
Where: Smith Park- 500 Tytus Avenue, Middletown, OH 45042
Holiday Lights on the Hill
Holiday Lights on the Hill is a 2-mile round trip drive-through annual light display at Pyramid Hill in Butler County. With more than 2 million lights throughout the 300+ acre park, visitors driving through are sure to be amazed.
When: November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020; Monday – Thursday 6-9pm, Friday – Sunday 6-10pm
Where: Pyramid Hill- 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton, OH 45013
Christmas Lights Displays in Southeast Ohio
Guernsey County Courthouse Lights Display
Visit the Guernsey County Courthouse for an impressive light display synchronized to holiday music. With over 55,000 lights, three 20-foot Christmas trees and 60 animated displays, this FREE light show (featuring four separate light shows, each 8-12 minutes long) is fun for the entire family! While in Cambridge, visit Dickens Victorian Village.
When: November 1 – January 1; Daily 5:30-9pm
Where: Guernsey County Courthouse- 801 Wheeling Avenue, Cambridge, OH 43725
Guernsey County Courthouse
The Christmas Cave
Take a self-guided tour through an underground mine at the The Christmas Cave. The Christmas Cave features thousands of twinkling lights, the sounds of Christmas and exhibits depicting the birth of Jesus.
When: November 22-23, 29-30, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21; Friday and Saturday 4-10pm
Where: White Gravel Mines- 4007 White Gravel McDaniel Road, Minford, OH 45653
Website: No website, but can find on Facebook under White Gravel Mines
Take time to enjoy the beauty of the season with your loved ones at one of these Christmas lights displays in Ohio! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
*This post was originally posted in December 2017 and updated November 2019.
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