Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cincinnati Sparkles at Christmas Time

Don’t just sit there on the sofa all wrapped up in your snuggly. You’ll miss the holiday sparkle that transforms bad Cincinnati weather into a winter wonderland.

Yes, we’re having one of those snowy holiday seasons some people sing about. But if slushy streets and icy sidewalks aren't your thing, you’ll still get a kick out of the city’s abundance of colorful lights, festive decorations and holiday fun.

Get Downtown
Try streaming "Christmas Shake" --written and sung by a Cincinnati native-- to get in the mood. Then begin your chilly Cincinnati thrill fest with a trip to the heart of the city. December 14th is your last chance to catch Macy’s Downtown Dazzle on Fountain Square. It’s a celebration with lights and music. You'll giggle like a kid as the jolly old fat guy in red shimmies down the 525 Building with his reindeer and an over sized elf.

Speaking of Santa, December 14th is also your chance to check out Santacon 2013. Hundreds of Santa clones converge on the Square to sing, and mingle with the crowd before hitting nightspots from Fountain square to Mount Adams.

Food and Fun
Even if you miss all the Downtown Santa festivities, there’s still no better place in the Tri-State to eat, drink, and show off your ice skating savvy. One glide around the Square’s outdoor family friendly rink, and you’ll feel a holiday spirit kick in that will last all December long.

If you prefer food with your fun, Fountain Square is just a brisk walk away from whatever dining pleasure you desire. And don’t forget The Banks, home of the city’s newest and coolest Restaurants.

Check out the Choo-Choos
Kids will love the holiday trains at the Museum Center. Yes, I’m still disappointed that they moved the display from the C G & E building on Fourth Street. But it’s only a few minutes away, and it’s still big fun for kids of all ages. Duke customers can download a free pass for the display, but there's a fee for parking in the museum lot.

The “Cincinnati Scenic Railway” at the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park is equally impressive. You’ll love the miniaturized Cincinnati landmarks, past and present. They also offer a schedule of family friendly activities. Krohn is about a mile northeast of Downtown, off Gilbert Ave. Admission: Adult - $7, Kids - $4, under 4 - free.

Downtown is Still a Neat Place to Shop
Downtown isn't big city shopping the way grandma remembers it. But when you combine it with ice skating, a great meal, and lights and music on the Square, it’s still a grand holiday experience. You’ll find gifts in several stores along Fifth Street near the square. For something extra special there’s Tiffany and Sax (at least for now). 

At Booksellers on Fountain Square you can sip coffee, settle in and remember how it used to be before everyone started downloading books or buying them online. And if you simply must bump elbows with a crowd, Macy’s and T J Maxx will have their doors open wide.

Cincinnati in December is a sparkly experience, slush and all. Instead of moaning and groaning about the weather, why not get outside and enjoy it? Just remember to watch out for the ice, otherwise you might find yourself bringing in the new year with a colorful bruise or two.