CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - Nov 19, 2012) - Downtown Cincinnati dazzles during the holidays for the nearly 500,000 visitors who will celebrate the season with the festive traditions of shopping, dining and holiday-themed events and performances.
This year, downtown Cincinnati has extended its programming from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve with dozens of free activities for the whole family. Mindy Rosen of Downtown Cincinnati Inc. recommends the following features to enjoy each weekend of the holiday season:
November 23: The annual Light Up Fountain Square event draws thousands to see the official lighting of the city's holiday tree. Also located on Fountain Square is the U.S. Bank Ice Rink, a destination for holiday fun seekers, open daily from Thanksgiving through February 13, 2013.
November 30: Macy's Downtown Dazzle, a free event where Santa, his elf and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer rappel down a 30-story downtown skyscraper on Fountain Square followed by fireworks and story time with Mrs. Claus. Macy's Downtown Dazzle repeats December 1, 8, 15 at 6:30 p.m.
December 7: Redsfest, the annual fan fest produced by the Cincinnati Reds, opens at 4 p.m. through December 8 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Fans get to meet players, seek autographs and enjoy the dozens of interactive displays.
December 14: "Frisch's presents The Nutcracker by the Cincinnati Ballet" opens on December 14 at the Aronoff Center and runs through December 23.
December 21: Last minute holiday gifts are easy to find in downtown Cincinnati with more than 140 merchants featured in the Downtown Gift Card program. One special gift idea is the sixth edition commemorative Rookwood art tile with a design depicting the Taft Museum of Art celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, available for $75 exclusively at Macy's Fountain Place.
December 28: Get an early start on celebrating the New Year with a weekend visit to Cincinnati. The Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens on December 30 at Paul Brown Stadium. A free, festive New Year's Eve celebration on Fountain Square is held annually with free ice skating and a midnight fireworks show.
For a free Downtown Cincinnati Holiday Guide, visit www.DowntownCincinnati.com.