Where you can go see beautiful, twinkling Christmas lights without leaving your car

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

You want to experience the joy of the holidays, but not if it means braving cold wind, rain or snow.

Here are some of our favorite places to go to see Christmas light displays throughout the holiday season within a short drive of Dayton that don’t require you to leave your car!

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Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam


Since 1987, the Whispering Christmas lights display has been a holiday favorite in the city of Eaton. The display features over two million lights in total, casting a jolly glow over Fort St. Clair State Park. Throughout the end of December, the lights display will be open every night from 6-10 p.m. Santa Claus will be making an appearance every night from 6-9 p.m. until Dec. 23. Cabins are open to visitors through Dec. 24.

>> Eaton's Whispering Christmas lights display has become a decades-old tradition

When: Open every night until Dec. 31.

Hours: 6-10 p.m., every night of the week

Location: Fort St. Clair State Park, 135 Camden Rd., Eaton

Cost: $5 per car

More info: Facebook




The first season of the Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve in Troy will begin on Nov. 29 and run through Dec. 29. Located on a scenic 456-acre reserve, the mile-long drive-through tour will feature 80 light displays that work to enhance the natural beauty of the surroundings. The tour will end with a special glimpse of the historic homestead and barns decorated for the season.

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When: Open on weekends from Nov. 29-Dec. 29, 2019

Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 6-10 p.m., Sundays from 6-9 p.m.

Location: Lost Creek Reserve: 2385 E. St. Rt. 41 in Troy

Cost: $10 per car and $15 for groups of 15+. Cash only.

More info: (937) 335-6273 | FacebookWebsite

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham


With over a million sparkling lights, themed displays and Santa, Light Up Middletown has been a part of the holiday tradition for two decades. This drive-through light display offers themed displays, such as a floating sea serpent in the reflecting lake, whales giving Santa’s reindeer a ride, Santa’s Workshop, an American flag, a penguin village and more. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available in the Santa House from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings through Sunday, Dec. 21. Admission by donation. Open nightly, 6-10 p.m., Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, including holidays and regardless of the weather.

When: Nov. 28–Dec. 31, 2019

Hours: 6–10 p.m.

Location: Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave. in Middletown

Cost: Donations accepted.

More info: FacebookWebsite


For the second year in a row, the creators of Lumenocity and BLINK Cincinnati will have an art installation in the pavilion as part of Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill. This popular drive-through display will offer guests a holiday light experience that brings art and nature together in the 300-acre sculpture park. A few of the traditional features will include decorated ponds with swans, a skating pond with a sequence of skaters that light up and doves overhead.

>> Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill: What to know about this year’s plans

When: Nov. 22, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020. Open holidays

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 6-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 6-10 p.m.

Location: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton

Cost: Monday through Thursday $20; Friday through Sunday $25 (Per carload). Admission for Pyramid Hill members presenting a current membership card is $15 every day.

More info: (513) 863-8336 | FacebookWebsite

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham


Celebrate the season at The Christmas Glow, a mile of 3 million lights at the Christmas Around the World drive-thru experience. If you’re willing to get out of your car, you can visit Santa at the Christmas Village Santa Workshop and warm up by the fire pit. There are also shops and a petting zoo.

When: Nov. 22-Dec. 30, 2019

Hours: Monday-Wednesday drive-through only, 6-10 p.m. Thursday to Sunday drive-through and Christmas Village open, 6-10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday 6-11 p.m.

Where: Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Road in Middletown

Cost: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday drive-through only $18 per carload. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday drive through and village tickets $22 per carload. Bring a canned good for $2 off park admission and it will be donated to The Hope House Mission of Middletown. Additionally, there will be a Toys for Tots drop-off location at the venue. Group tickets by bus load (eight or more people) are $35 Monday to Wednesday drive-through only and $45 per bus load Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (drive-through and village).

More info: FacebookWebsite


This drive-through lights display is built over a mile of wooded roadway and has been a Cincinnati family tradition for nearly three decades. Holiday-themed displays depict everything from Santa Claus and his elves to every animal on the ark. If you’re up to getting out of your warm car, stop by Santaland for warm beverages, carolers, baked goods, a gift shop, a train display and photos with Santa.

When: Nov. 16-Dec. 31, 2019 (Santaland closes after Dec. 23)

Hours: 6-9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Location: 11450 Lebanon Road, Route 42, Sharonville

Cost: $15 per vehicle ($45 for buses/large passenger vans). A portion of the proceeds will go to A Child's Hope International.

More info: FacebookWebsite


This two-and-a-half-mile, drive-through light display features more than one million LED lights synchronized to festive holiday music. Features include larger than life trees, glowing snowflakes, dancing candy canes and tunnels of lights.

When: Open every night Nov. 8, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020, including holidays

Hours: Dusk until 10 p.m.

Location: Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave. in Cincinnati

Cost: $6 per person. Children 3 and under free. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Local charities who will benefit from Christmas Nights of Lights: Salvation Army, The Ruth Lyons Children's Fund, St. Vincent DePaul, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Starshine Hospice and Toys for Tots.

More info: FacebookWebsite

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