The Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo has a beautiful light display this time of year but you have to fight parking, walk through throngs of people, and hike the hills between displays. The train display at the Union Terminal costs $8 per adult which adds up for a family of four. And watching Santa rappel from atop the Macy’s building requires one to fight a crowd of thousands to catch a fleeting glimpse of the rotund rappeller in between near-frozen breaths of air. So, having already done ALL of that this year, I thought I am going to experience the holidays on my own terms and from the comforts of my own car.
The Sharon Woods Holiday in Lights display in Sharonville, OH allowed me to pack snacks, drinks, play games, listen to my music, and surround myself only with my loving and beautiful family- and my four-year-old insisted on coming too. I figured I could see a beautiful light display, experience the joy of the holidays, and skip all the hassles of these other celebrations. As the website says, “simply warm up the car, turn your radio to Warm 98, round up your friends, family, or a special date, and head to Sharon Woods. It’s that easy”.
Simply. Easy. Special date. Oh, and 57 minutes of immobile traffic in order to drive one mile to pay $13 to sit in my car and see a light display rivaled only by my tackiest of neighbors! The “light” display (and I use quotation marks because it appeared that one out of every 11 bulbs was burnt out) started with a waving Santa which, of course, my son missed seeing so the entire rest of the “world of wonder” was accompanied by him asking us to “just turn around already”. Oh, sure! Let’s just hop back in the line of cars stretching longer than Santa Claus’ list of naughty three-year-olds and wait our turn to see Santa because he waves! In lights!
But at least we got to see an Ark. Because when I think of Santa Claus and Christmas, the first thing that comes to mind is the complete and utter destruction of all creatures but for two of each (and ALL unicorns). So, those two rhinoceroses (rhinoceri?) and those two giraffes better be pulling Santa’s sleigh instead of heading to a boat. Nope. There’s the boat.
Beyond that we saw a T-Rex (which was awesome, per Knox). A triceratops which was actually an anatomically incorrect Stegosaurus, as my husband pointed out resulting in a dinosaur-themed argument between he and my son (I am not sure which one is more irrational). We also saw some reindeer… probably. At this point I don’t even know.
We made it out of the woods and saw Santaland. My husband pointed out we had now been in the car long enough to have driven to Gatlinburg and seen a more high-brow display, so we decided not to stop in and give Santa a piece of our mind. Although, it said we could enjoy our “favorite holiday beverage” (egg nog, extra rum, hold the nog?) so perhaps we should’ve given it a shot… or made it a double.
But, truth be told, my son and daughter loved it. Loved. It. He won’t stop talking about it and wants to go back. Nana and Pepaw, not so much. Mom and Dad, well, at the time the answer is a resounding “No”; but isn’t holidays with the kids about making special moments? In that mindset, maybe it is a way to “brighten” your holiday.
Check out all they have to offer and print off a $2 coupon at their website