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Light Up the Holidays

These five Ohio light displays will keep the holidays festive and bright

By Corinne Minard

There’s just something about holiday light displays. From drive-thru park displays to decorations within a zoo, holiday lights seem to take over Ohio during the month of December. We’ve identified five of the best to help you get your fix before the end of 2016.

festivaloflights_socialmediaCincinnati Zoo PNC Festival of Lights

More then 2.5 million LED lights will cover the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden until Jan. 1. Voted “Best Zoo Lights” by USA Today readers in 2015, the festival is known for its themed areas, black-light puppet show and Wild Lights show on Swan Lake.


clifton-mill-holiday-lightsThe Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill

Clifton Mill in Clifton (which is about 30 miles east of Dayton) combines history and lights for a festive celebration. The mill, which was built in 1802, is one of the largest water-powered gristmills still in existence. Through Dec. 31, the mill and surrounding area are covered in 3.5 million lights. The display takes six men about three months to put up.


Ashtabula County’s Lights on the Lake

Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula incorporates lights into its setting of hills and Lake Erie, making a memorable drive-thru display that’s ideal for the whole family. More than 70 displays are set up within the 54 acres and feature the Ashtabula Light House, Bascule Lift Bride and more.


Upper’s Winter Fantasy of Lights

Thirty-three acres of Harrison Smith Park, just east of Upper Sandusky, are transformed for a good cause each December. Each year, a different donation recipient is chosen to receive the proceeds from the event. In addition to driving through the displays, guests can take a carriage ride through the lights.


Columbus Zoo’s Wildlights

Until Jan. 1, holiday revelers can take in the sights, sounds and tastes of the season at the Columbus Zoo. Along with the lights, attractions include a skating rink, light shows, a zoo made of gingerbread, seasonal snacks and more.