Free Family-Friendly 2019 Christmas Events in Toledo & Surrounding Area

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! Toledo & the surrounding areas are literally bursting with fun family friendly holiday events! The best part, there is something for everyone and every budget! For our family moderation is key during this special time of year, sure we splurge on certain family traditions like, Children’s Wonderland, Disney on Ice, and the Nutcracker.  But in order to keep that Christmas cheer & make certain the entire family, (including mommy and daddy), stay merry & bright throughout the season we seek out fun FREE events in our community…and let me tell you, there is no shortage of fun, FREE, family friendly Christmas events!

Bowling Green’s Annual Holiday Parade in historic downtown BG…“Polar Express: Next Stop Bowling Green,”!

Where: Downtown Bowling Green, OH. The parade steps off at 9:50 a.m. & the first float is set to hit Main and Wooster streets at 10 a.m.

When: Saturday November 23rd 10am-12pm….Over 10 marching bands, 40 floats and 140 units, from dance groups, to sports teams, to scouts and other organizations  BG’s parade boasts of being Northwest Ohio’s biggest and best! The 2019 Bowling Green Holiday Parade’s theme is “Polar Express: Next Stop Bowling Green,”!





The Annual Levis Commons Tree Lighting and Christmas Kickoff is back for its 16th year and COOLER than ever….so cool it’s FROZEN!


When……. November 23rd 

5pm-8pm: Visit with Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff

5pm-9pm: Horse and carriage rides $5/person $10/family of four

5:50pm: Santa arrives with a dancing entourage from PHS Dance Team and Perrysburg Twirling Sophisticates in the Taylor Automotive Family Trolley.

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Disney’s Frozen Jr* will be on stage bringing you an hour of your favorite Frozen music and fun from Act 2 Productions Toledo.

7:00pm (aprx) Count down to light the 50 foot tree



Hope for the Holidays & Tree Lighting

When: November 22nd @ 5pm

Where: Promedica Park

Join ProMedica and 13abc as we kick off the holiday season with an evening of Santa, character meet and greets, food trucks, carolers and family fun! 13abc will be on hand for a live broadcast throughout the evening that ends with the lighting of the Promenade Park tree!

5-6 p.m.: 13abc Action News Live news broadcast from Promenade Park
5-8 p.m.: Hope for the Holiday Celebration & Toy Drive



Santa’s Magical Arrival @ The Shops at Fallen Timbers

Where: The Shops at Fallen Timbers 3100 Main Street Maumee Ohio

When: November 29th 5:30-7:30pm

What: The Shops at Fallen Timbers will be Welcoming Santa to town with a Magical Arrival Event. Friday, November 29th from 5:30 – 7:30 enjoy Character Appearances, Music and Dancing, Face Painting and Balloon Animals, a bounce house, and we will end the evening with bringing Santa Down Main St. on a Firetruck to enjoy a Fireworks Spectacular!
This event is free and open to the public!


Downtown Wauseon’s 10th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade!



Where: Downtown Wauseon

When: Saturday Nov. 30th – 7pm

Who loves a parade! It’s time for Downtown Wauseon’s 10th annual Lighted Christmas Parade! Parade winds through historic downtown Wauseon. The parade features, bands, horses, carriages, twirlers, and more!! It wraps up with caroling, FREE refreshments, and a visit with Santa at the Depot!


Maumee Holiday Light Parade

When: November 30 @ 7pm

Where: Light parade will start at the Maumee Indoor Theater & proceed southbound on Conant St.

The Holiday Light Parade is an annual event that takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. NEW THIS YEAR: At the suggestion of the Maumee Police Division, the route for the parade has been changed. Holiday Light Parade: Lighted floats and walking groups will line up along the six-block stretch of West William Street. The parade will then step off from the Maumee Indoor Theater and proceed southbound down Conant Street toward the river before turning right onto Broadway Street to disperse.

The Streets will be alive with crowds of kids both young and old waiting to see the 60+ lighted floats and the man of the night SANTA!



Pemberville Lighted Christmas Parade

When: December 1st @ 6:30pm

Where: Downtown Pemberville



Christmas in Ida & Parade of Lights (and Fireworks!!)

When: Dec. 6th-7th

Where: Downtown Ida

Christmas in Ida & Parade of Lights…..Hosting over 52,000 visitors, and known as a family destination of the Midwest, the festival creates a winter wonderland known for its hospitality, entertainment and the Granddaddy of all, the spectacular Christmas in Ida Parade of Lights featuring parade units from Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Canada and Michigan. Most of the events are Saturday, including lunches with Santa, story time with Mrs. Santa Claus and the craft shows are all day! Click on Website for full rundown of events for the weekend!

Saturday Dec. 7th at 7pm, HUGE light parade and fireworks!



The Polar Express Storytime

All aboard! Come in your PJs and join other kiddos for a magical evening as they host their annual Storytime of the beloved classic The Polar Express. Free hot chocolate and cookie…and activities to follow!!

When: Friday December 6th, 2018 7:00 PM

Where: Barnes & Noble Fallen Timbers 3100 Main St #1400, Maumee, OH 43537



How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime



When: Saturday Dec. 7th 11am-12pm

Where: Barnes & Noble Franklin Park & Fallen Timbers

“Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!” and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! We will have good deed badges and tracking booklets for kids to log all the good things they do this holiday season. Activities to follow!


Heralding the Holidays -Toledo Botanical Gardens


When: Friday, December 6, 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Toledo Botanical Gardens

Heralding the Holidays
Heralding the Holidays is a decades-long tradition showcasing the artist and garden clubs of the Artist Village at Toledo Botanical Garden. Throughout the weekend, you will find art, jewelry, stained glass, and pottery for sale, dried herbs and herbal products, food trucks and roving carolers. Visitors can blow a glass ornament, and glimpse Father Christmas (Friday evening) wandering through the village. Village studios will be decorated. For more details visit the Artist Village website.


City of Toledo Holiday Tree Lighting 

When: December 15th 3-7pm

Where: Ottawa Park Ice Rink

Bring your family to Toledo’s 6th annual Holiday Tree lighting, outside the Ice Rink.


Light-Up Waterville for the Holidays

When: Saturday December 7th 6pm-9pm

Where: Third Street

Special lighting celebration to take place on Third Street at 6:00 p.m. kids can visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, enjoyed music and view tree lighting at 6:00 pm.


Home for the Holiday’s Parade- Downtown Perrysburg & Parade

When: December 8th @ 2pm

Where: Downtown Perrysburg

Downtown Perrysburg, Inc. (DPI) is busy preparing for the annual “Home for the Holidays” parade, complete with marching bands, horse drawn carriages, dancers, and other street performers, clowns, big and small balloons, little cars and big trucks, candy and of course Santa Clause! The parade will begin at 2 p.m.


Miracle on Main St Holiday Weekend & Light Parade 

When: December 6 at 5:00 pm & December 7 
Where: Downtown Sylvania, 5632 N. Main St.
Sylvania, OH 43560
For Full Lists of events click on website.

Holidays in the Manor House

When: December 7th- 15th  10am-8pm

Where: Wildwood Metropark 5100 Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615

Ring in the holidays at one of Northwest Ohio’s most festive celebrations, Holidays in the Manor House! For over 40 years, community volunteers have transformed over 30 areas of the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve into a holiday wonderland. Tour the Manor House and see why over 25,000 people make Holidays in the Manor House an annual tradition. They always incorporate the kiddos into the tour by adding a small scavenger hunt for items, dress up & photo opportunities, s’mores outside, & NEW this year, ice skating!!!



Winter Wonderland- Co-sponsored by the City of Toledo

When: Tuesday, December 03 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Where: Toledo Heights Library 423 Shasta Drive Toledo, OH

Help us celebrate the holiday season with an event for all ages. We’ll start with a craft at the Library, then walk together to the Highland Park Shelter House to enjoy live music, cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa!





It’s A Wonderful Life: Silver Screen Classic Film ($5 a person)

When: Friday, December 20th & Sunday, December 22nd @ 7:30pm

Where: 410 Adams St, Toledo, OH 43604

Enjoy Toledo’s New Old Fashioned Night Out! Cold Tall Drafts, Full Bar & Popcorn available! It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers. (Tickets are general admission but reservations are strongly encouraged for this film).

Cost: $5 per person for admission

Order tickets here:


Family Movie Time

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (26 minutes), TV-G

When: Saturday, December 21 4:00pm – 4:30pm

Where: Kent Branch Library

Every who down in Who-ville likes Christmas a lot, but the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT! So the cuddly as a cactus Grinch (with termites in his smile and garlic in his soul) tries to wipe out Christmas for the cheerful Who-villains, only to discover: maybe Christmas, he thought doesn’t come from as store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more! Magnificently narrated by Boris Karloff and animated by cartoon legend Chuck Jones, it’s an award-winning Who-roast-beast-feast of a holiday classic!



Click here for details


Service, Eat, Love, (Shop), and Praise

This weekend was amazing.  It was one of those weekends where even though it was busy and full of activities I feel renewed and refreshed this morning.  This past weekend I was fully submerged in my community and got to spend time with family and friends, through service and praise, what could be better than that?


It all started Friday evening.  Our local playgroup sponsored pizza and movie night at the Beach House, a local family shelter.  For the past two weeks moms in our group have been generous in donating money to go towards the pizza order, made cookies, made brownies, purchased juice and pop, donated napkins, cups, and plates, donated movies, and some even dropped off their own donations  based upon the shelter’s wish list.

So on Friday evening two other moms met at my home and we loaded up one of the moms Jeeps (it was so kind of her to drive, I was initially supposed to drive but my driver’s side windshield wiper fell off and wouldn’t you know it just so happened to be raining. It was a little scary to say the least but everything has worked out) with the donations, picked up pizza, and dropped of everything at the Beach House.  While there it reminded me to be thankful for all I have. Sure there are moments when I wish I had a new computer, a new phone, a new mattress but being there on Friday reminded me to count my blessings.  I have a home, heat, clothing, shower, a bed, and so much more. It also reminded me that in a blink of the eye it could all be gone, and my family could be that family in the shelter.  It felt good to know that I was part of a group of amazing mothers who saw an opportunity in their local community, to give families less fortunate the joy of a family bonding activity in an otherwise less than ideal circumstance, and they were willing to help.


I started listening to K-love, a Christian based radio station, about two years ago and then I took their 30 day challenge and have been listening to nothing but since January. I listen mostly in the car while driving the kiddos to and from school, after school activities, playgroup meetups, church, and weekly errands. My interest in Christian music all began at a local Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting. Two DJs from Yes FM came in and explained the influence music can have on our children (I will blog more about this in the future) and that was my “aha moment”. Up until that point I thought it was cute when my son sang a Lady Gaga song word for word, I didn’t make the connection between the music and the image that was being portrayed in/by the music. So we made the switch to listen to positive and encouraging music. Now my son sings Matthew West and Casting Crowns songs word for word. So when my family heard that the Come to the Well tour was heading to Toledo we were excited.

It should be known that my mother and extended family have been listening to Christian music for years, decades really. I always thought they were a little crazy or overly religious, what was the big deal?  I thought church was just the motions. I thought Sunday mass was just what you did, just because. It didn’t sink in, the magnitude, the feeling of peace that comes with knowing that Christ loves you know matter what.  I think I was ashamed, guilty, or felt like I didn’t deserve Christ love, or maybe just elementary in my thinking (I will address this more in a future blog). So, it was a crazy journey there but I have finally come to the well.


So the evening of the concert my family, my parents, sister, brother, grandfather (who turns 80 in a couple of weeks), uncles, aunts, cousins, my son, and I all met at Tony Packo’s for dinner before the concert.

It was a blast to catch up with everyone over Hungarian food at one of Toledo’s popular establishments. 

Dinner is served

Tony Packo’s has been serving Hungarian food since 1934 and is well-known for its buns signed by celebrities, M*A*S*H connections, and of course the delicious food.


So we had a few minutes before the concert, what to do, what to do? Hmm, shop!  Off course! So we stopped into the Swan Creek Candle co. and enjoyed the amazing aromas and the cool antiques on the second floor.  

I took a few pictures of some items I would like for Mother’s day (Hint…Hint for my hubby. No more grabbing the cheap, contents containing known carcinogens candles ten minutes before we have Mother’s Day brunch).

This is my favorite. This would make a great Mother's Day gift.


COME TO THE WELL concert was awesome.  It was so much fun being with the extended family, having 4 generations present at such a moving concert was truly a gift from God (and my parents, thank you for the tickets), I felt so blessed and thankful for this night. The concert included, Lindsay McCaul, Matthew West, Royal Tailor, and Casting Crowns.


My 4-year-old thought Lindsay McCaul sang beautifully and wanted her CD.  I agreed and yes, Nana got him the CD after the concert and we are so enjoying it.

I was really impressed with the group Royal Tailor, they are a great band for teens and tweens to listen to, I like the positive influence they can have on the younger generation.

Matthew West

Finally Casting Crowns came on stage. I had a difficult time explaining to our preschooler how a concert works. After every song prior to Casting Crowns he asked, “Are they next”?  

All their songs are beautiful and moving but I got teary-eyed during Just Another Birthday.

Thankfully before I got to that point of sobbing, so others could hear, my little prince exclaimed, (and during a moment of silence for prayer), word for word…” I can’t hold it any longer. I have to go. I have to now. I have to go poop now!!”  I guess God even knows when things are getting just a little to deep.

It was an amazing weekend.

Do you have a favorite song or Christian band that you enjoy listening to?