Although the Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner, family and friends are already scurrying to plan their Christmas get-away. Some my travel across the globe and visit their family in Italy and others my dread the cross-town drive to have dinner with their folks. Other’s, like myself, have little options for family yuletide fun, so exotic destinations for the holidays is my rule of thumb. If you are in the same boat as myself and do not live in the mid west, I would suggest an unconventional winter holiday in the Queen city of Cincinnati, OH. Though not most people’s first choice of a winter get away, I assure you that if you visit this city, you will have plenty of money left over to throw a great New Years Eve bash.
Cincinnati may be known for such holiday fares as the annual Thanksgiving Day Race, but did most of you know that you could actually ski here in the city of Flying Pigs? That’s right. If ice skating is not your thing you should take I-275 just on the other side of the border to Indiana (though a different state, it is still considered the Greater Cincinnati area) and spend a weekend at Perfect North Slopes. The ten slopes that are geared towards everyone from beginner to advanced will keep the entire family entertained for the entire weekend. They even give ski and snow boarding lessons if you are a true novice.
Who said that amusement parks are only fun when it is warm outside? One of the largest amusement attractions in the Greater Cincinnati area does not limit itself to the warm summer months. Paramount’s King Island located just a few miles north of Cincinnati in Kings, Ohio, this amusement park dazzle its patrons with a marinade of holiday scenes. All of these scenes and festivities are illuminated with thousands of white lights that cascade from the top of the multiple storied miniature Eiffel Tower down to the skating rink. Though this is not a free event, the twenty minute jaunt from downtown should not be a problem. Hey, you can even sing “Jingle Bells” all along the way there!
Kings Island is not the only place where a bevy of white holiday lights can been seen. While in Cincinnati for the holidays, make sure you travel to the oldest zoos in the country. At Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, you can take in the Festival of Lights where you can match your wonderment for animals with the wonderment of light.
Moving back a little closer to the heart of the city, we see that during the days following Thanksgiving and running all the way through the New Year, Fountain Square, located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, boast being a Mecca of Christmas cheer. Everything from a lit 3 story Christmas tree to the newly placed 2 story video screen atop of Macy’s will certainly keep you entertained. I would suggest traveling to this downtown hot spot to partake in the holiday ritual of ice skating. This Rockefeller Square-esque skating ring attracts the young and old and is a great way to rock your winter blues away.
Fountain Square and the skating rink are not the only beauties to behold while you are trotting around the downtown Cincinnati area. By walking, just a few blocks sought of the magnificent square, the sprawling downtown vision opens up to a natural masterpiece of the Ohio River. The view is stunning of you partake on a cloudlessly sunny day, but if you want to experience e the true wonderment of the rushing river, you should wait until the night falls upon the city. The lights reflected from Covington, KY’s (Cincinnati’s southern neighbor) skyline off the Mighty Ohio is seen by few, but enjoyed by all.
As said in the beginning of this lament, when you think of places to vacation during the holiday season the first cities that come you mind may be Miami or Los Angeles. Though these cities are warm and a great get away from the cold Midwestern snowstorms, please do not forget about Cincinnati. Remember, it was Samuel Clemmons who wanted to be in Cincinnati if the world ends.