We don’t have the palm trees like Los Angeles does, the giant skyscrapers like NYC, the beaches of Miami, or the forests of Portland. But what we do have here in Ohio is some true holiday magic.
Hallmark itself even recognized an Ohio town for its Christmas charm. In 2019, the city of Portsmouth gained recognition for its month-long winter fest, and Hallmark awarded the town its “Hometown Christmas Town” for that year. Portsmouth’s Winterfest features ice skating, millions of Christmas lights, snow tubing, and dozens of vendors.
Here are some other Ohio towns that haven’t necessarily been given an accolade by Hallmark, but that Only In Your State, a national publication, says Christmas in these 10 Ohio towns looks like something from a Hallmark movie:
The City Park in Gallipolis transforms into a winter wonderland, with dozens of Christmas trees adorned with homemade ornaments, and a gazebo decorated in wreaths and bows. It’s also completely free, and decorations last over a month long. This year, you can join the Christmas cheer starting November 22 until January 1st,
The annual Christmas in Zoar in this small German town transports you to the North Pole. The Zoar Garden is lit with thousands of colorful bulbs, there are carolers that stroll the town, and even horse-drawn carriages that can carry you around while you view the twinkling lights. And, it’s rumored that Santa is even there! This year’s Christmas in Zoar event starts Saturday, December 2nd, and ends the next evening on the 3rd.
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3. Chagrin Falls
You know the trope in most Hallmark movies, where someone moves from their fancy tech job in California back to their small, hometown? Well, Chagrin Falls would definitely be that cozy little town the main character moves back to, falls in love, and realizes that small-town living has its own perks. Every December, Main Street in Chagrin Falls is decked out for the holidays. From the lit trees and wreaths everywhere, to the small shops that lean into the Christmas spirit, you’ll feel like the main character in this movie.
This little town transforms into a Nutcracker Village starting at the end of November! The Steubenville Nutcracker Village features the largest display of life-size nutcrackers in the United States, not to mention all of the Christmas lights, vendors, carolers, and more at Steuben Park. There’s also an Advent Market that takes place every Friday through Saturday until the end of December. The Nutcracker display will run from November 21st until January 7th this year.l
5. Crocker Park
A holiday market, an ice skating rink, live Christmas concerts, Santa’s Village, train rides, plus so much more. Crocker Park is a Christmas Grinch’s absolute worst nightmare.
6. Grand Rapids
The Village of Grand Rapids (Ohio! Not Michigan!) kicks off the holiday season with a “Light Up the Night” parade, this year on December 9th, but starting in November, the entire village is decorated to look just like Santa’s Village.
Every holiday season, Middletown transforms into their own “Whoville,” with an ice skating rink, 100 acres of dazzling lights, and a drive-thru light display. The ice skating rink opens November 11th until January 15th!
If you’re interested in traveling back to Christmas during the Victorian era, this is a must-see. The Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge features 80+ scenes of lifelike figures representing typical scenes from Victorian life in Charles Dickens novels, all enjoying life during Christmas time.
Maybe Christmas is more than just Santa and presents to you. If you lean into the religious aspect of the holiday season, then the Historic Kirtland Nativity Exhibit might pique your interest!
10. Easton Town Center
This one’s a little closer to home! Year after year, Easton’s outdoor shopping mall lights a giant tree in the middle, and Easton’s Grand Ilumination night is next Friday, November 17th. You and your family can watch the tree light up for the first time this year, plus music performances!
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