Downtown Events

Jeff Ruby’s Holiday Lunches

Monday through Friday, now through Dec. 21, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, 700 Walnut St. (513) 784-1200


The tradition continues! Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is now open for lunch, Monday through Friday until December 21. Treat your family and friends to all of your favorite menu items, plus specials like the roasted turkey club, and more delicious ways to make the holidays special.



Afternoon Tea at the Taft

Friday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Continues Dec. 14, 21, 28

Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St.


Visit the Taft Museum for a festive afternoon tea to complement your visit to Antique Christmas and Paris to New York. Enjoy a delicious assortment of savory bites and sweets—including petit fours and homemade scones—alongside a fine selection of teas from Churchill’s. A harpist will enhance your enjoyment.


Price includes admission, tax, and gratuity. Alcoholic beverages are available for additional purchase. Taft members, $45 adult/$20 child; non-members, $55 adult/$25 child.

Reservations required.  Call (513) 241-0343.



Holiday Market at Fountain Square

Friday, Dec. 7, 4 – 9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 12 – 9 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 12 – 5 p.m.


The brand new Holiday Market at Fountain Square features regional artisans and crafters. You’re sure to find something special for everyone on your list.


Take a break from shopping to enjoy lively seasonal entertainment or participate in DIY classes, like wreath making and cookie decorating, in the heated tent. There will also be plenty of free activities for kids and choir performances. The Market will also offer full concessions including beer and wine, along with delicious food from local businesses.



Opening Reception: Ingredients That Warm the Season

Friday, Dec. 7, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Lloyd Library and Museum, 917 Plum St.


Celebrate the opening of the Lloyd Library and Museum’s latest exhibition, Ingredients That Warm the Season, featuring botanical illustrations and recipes that tell the story of the traditions of food and decoration around the winter holidays. Return throughout December to view the exhibit. Holiday cards and gifts available at the Lloyd Shop.


The Library holds both historic and current books and journals, as well as archival materials, on a wide variety of disciplines, including botany, pharmacy, natural history, medicine,

scientific history, and visual arts.


Holiday Pops

Friday, Dec. 7, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 and 7 p.m.

Music Hall, 1241 Elm St.


Send your holiday spirit soaring with singers and dancers, humor and joy, magic and music at Holiday Pops at Music Hall. CCM graduate and Broadway star Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) joins the fun this year.  The program includes traditional music, like O Christmas Tree! and O Holy Night, classical works, and a holiday favorites sing-along of Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Up on the House Top, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Share the holiday cheer by bringing new or gently used coats, hats, gloves, or socks to the concert to benefit City Gospel Mission.  Tickets start at $25 for adults and $15 for children.



Breakfast with Santa & Big Boy

Frisch’s in Carew Tower, 25 West Fifth St. (513) 763-1080

Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 – 11 a.m.


Celebrate the holidays with Santa and Big Boy at the new Frisch's in Carew Tower. Order from the menu and enjoy breakfast, and then take a photo with Santa (and Big Boy) inside the restaurant.


This is a great way to get a little time with Santa away from the crowd! Goodie bags for the first 50 families, plus other fun holiday gifts.


5th Over-the-Rhine Holiday Home Tour

Saturday, Dec. 8 from 12 – 5 p.m.

Samuel Adams Taproom, 1727 Logan St.


This is the fifth annual OTR Holiday Home Tour, highlighting new areas of OTR’s vibrant transformation including the Brewery District and around Findlay Market.  Proceeds from the tour benefit the Future Leaders OTR, an organization that helps underprivileged OTR youth in their pursuit of higher education.


Tour check-in is at the new Samuel Adams taproom just off Central Parkway near Findlay Market. From there, you will set off on a self-guided walking tour of homes in the OTR, with plenty of food and drink stops along the way.


Tickets are $35.


11th SantaCon

Saturday, Dec. 8, starts at noon

JACK Cincinnati Casino, 1000 Broadway


The 11th Annual Cincinnati SantaCon expects more than 5,000 Santas and plans about 40 official SantaCon stops. The Cure Starts Now is the official charity this year.


Cincinnati SantaCon is about getting into the Christmas spirit and helping others do the same. All you need to do is register, and get yourself a Santa Suit.


Registration for 2018 Cincinnati SantaCon is $10 and includes a donation to pediatric cancer research, wristband, drink specials, snack specials, and early access to the Official SantaCon Venue Itinerary. You will also get entry into the Grand Raffle.


On Friday, Dec. 7 at noon, the participating venues and drink specials will be announced. Wristband pickup is available at Jack Casino, Rosedale and Moerlein Lager House.



The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati: Santa Claus – The Musical

Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., (513) 569-8080

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 and 5 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 5 p.m.

(Shows continue Dec. 14 – 16)


Jam-packed with a sleigh-full of fun, energetic and original Christmas music, and Local 12’s Bob Herzog, Santa Claus: The Musical will be sure to put you and your entire family in the holiday spirit.


After 1,000 years of faithful service, Santa Claus has decided to retire. But not all the elves in Santa’s Workshop are too thrilled about his chosen replacement. With the help of his tech-savvy daughter, Beatrice, website designer Nick is in for the adventure of his life as he prepares to take over the reins to Santa’s sleigh...before the next Christmas!


Runtime: 60 minutes, Ages 4+. Tickets start at $10.



Macy’s Downtown Dazzle: Holiday Harmony

Saturday, Dec. 8, choirs at 5:30 p.m., show at 6:30 p.m.

Fountain Square, Corner of Fifth and Vine Streets


This is the final Dazzle of the year and it’s FREE. Downtown Cincinnati Inc. welcomes the Queen City Sisters and the Classical Roots Community Choir with host William H. Caldwell, the Choir’s conductor who perform on Fountain Square from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.


At 6:30 p.m. see Santa and his friends rappel down the side of the Huntington Bank Center to the Fountain Place rooftop, followed by a spectacular fireworks display.  Afterwards, visit with Santa inside the Carew Tower and hear Mrs. Claus read Christmas stories.



Handel’s Messiah

Sunday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.

Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth Street, (513) 621-1817


Hear every electric detail of Handel’s masterpiece in what has quickly become a Collegium Cincinnati tradition. This year, Collegium Cincinnati will be joined by the Cincinnati Boychoir on selected choruses. Tickets start at $20.



DIY Herbal & Oatmeal Bath Tea

Hosted by Supernova Soaks & Natural Solutions

Sunday, Dec.9, 1 – 4 p.m.

Downtown Cincy Winter PopShops, 639 Main St.


Stop by the Downtown Cincy Winter PopShops to build your own bath tea. You will be able to choose from lavender buds, chamomile, green tea, Supernova Soaks' Original Oatmeal mix, and more and take home a gift to give or maybe keep for yourself! Prices range from $12 to $15.



Beer Feast

Sunday, Dec. 9, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St.


Cozy around the table as Rhinegeist presents a lavish, multi-course Beer Feast punctuated by some of their most unique and heartwarming brews. Sartre OTR has curated a distinctive, beer-focused, family-style menu that puts the “comfort” back in comfort food.  Tickets are $75.


Reception: Cheeseboards, cured meats, popcorn, and gougères paired with Being (Grisette)


First Course: Lamb terrine with Armenian walnuts paired with Brittlebrain (Belgian Style Golden Ale)


Second Course: Peperonata braised rabbit spaetzle paired with Skeleton Brut (Imperial IPA with Grape Must)


Third Course: Rare smoked beef sirloin and pommes aligot paired with Double Oaked Mastodon (Belgian Style Dark Ale Aged in Bourbon & Wine Barrels)


Dessert: Sweet potato cheesecake paired with Gramps (American Barleywine)



Skystar Observation Wheel

Monday – Thursday, 4 – 11 p.m.; Friday noon to 12:00 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 12a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Banks – Freedom Way


SkyStar, the 150-foot-high mobile observation wheel on Freedom Way has extended its visit to June 16.


More than 100,000 riders have enjoyed SkyStar during its Cincinnati visit. With this extended stay, America’s largest portable observation will be a part of the city’s spring events including Taste of Cincinnati.


SkyStar provides unique views of downtown Cincinnati, Covington, the Ohio River and the Roebling Suspension Bridge. It features more than one million LED lights. Each of the 36 gondolas is enclosed, climate controlled and can hold up to six passengers. Skystar offers a private experience and riders are not paired with strangers. The SkyStar experience consists of four revolutions and lasts approximately 12 minutes.


Ticket price: $12.50 plus tax – children 2 and under are free


RENT, The Musical

Opens, Tuesday, Dec. 11 and continues through December 23

Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., (513) 241 – 2345


In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway...and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production.


A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.


Tickets start at $31.



Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

Cincinnati Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street


Talented organist Mark Herman returns to the keyboard in Music Hall’s elegant ballroom. This will be his fourth concert with the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer. Herman has the distinction of having been the youngest person to win the American Theatre Organ Society’s prestigious “Organist of the Year” award. You can be sure he will be playing all your seasonal favorites.


Evans Mirageas, the Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera, will be master of ceremonies for this concert. He and Mark Herman will be joined by SCPA’s Nutcracker dancers.


Once the pride of Cincinnati’s RKO Albee Theatre, the magnificent sound of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ once again entertains audiences in Cincinnati. This remarkable instrument now has a permanent home in the ballroom of historic Music Hall. Tickets start at $27.

Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more


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