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


Kunkle 4th of July Parade!

We hit the road early in anticipation of a fourth of July parade like none other!! At least like none other that this city girl has seen. Our destination, Kunkle, OHIO! It is a very VERY small town out in the country, population, 246 people and is located approximately 65 miles from Toledo.  That little town holds a special place in my heart. I am a Kunkle.  Growing up I enjoyed watching my grandfather’s eyes light up when he talked about Kunkle Ohio, the family history, stories, etc. My grandfather passed away a few years back and is still deeply missed.  So when asked if we wanted to attend the 4th of July parade it was something I couldn’t pass up, in a way it would be like visiting the memory of a magnificent man that I had the privilege of calling grandpa.

As we approached our destination suddenly cars started pulling over to the shoulder/field, mid-country road and parking.  We would apparently be walking the rest of the way. Haha! As we took that stroll towards the parade route I was astonished at how many cars were parked and at the amount of people in this tiny little town.  Clearly, this was THE PLACE to be!! We managed to find a small patch of grass that wasn’t claimed and we laid out our blanket and propped open our chairs and waited in anticipation for the parade to begin!

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We could hear the roaring of the motorcycles approaching from around the corner. The first thing to capture the eye was all the red, white, and blue flags, the image was an impressive & patriotic one.

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Then we did something amazing, the Master of Ceremony requested that we all say the Pledge of Allegiance. I can not think of a more perfect way to begin a 4th of July parade!! I fear sometimes we forget why we have the 4th of July, why we have the fireworks & cookouts. It is SO important that we teacher our children the history of the United States of America!  (Here are some links on the Declaration of Independence: Education World,  Books about the 4th of July, Lessons & Activities)

After the Pledge of Allegiance we then took a moment to commemorate all those who have served and scarified for our country….again something we, as parents, need to explain to our children that freedom isn’t free, so many have scarified so that we can be where we are today!  

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Speaking of history, it turns out that his parade originally began with a bunch of kids decorating their bikes. Who would have known it would evolve into the massive production it is today?

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Our 4 year old nearly lost her mind when she saw a princess that was her age!! How adorable are they!?!

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Then came, practically all little boys dream come true, a parade of fire trucks, SO MANY fire trucks!! It seemed like every county in the area had a truck in the parade. It was fascinating to see the various types of trucks, I had no idea there were so many! There were long ones, short ones, red ones, blue one….I sound like Dr. Seuss. LOL! And, as if seeing all those sweet fire trucks wasn’t enough, they, the passengers on the trucks, were tossing out candy to the crowd. The kiddos really made out on candy….look out Halloween you have some competition call the Kunkle 4th of July parade! Ha-ha!

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What followed was something my kiddos have NEVER seen before, a parade of John Deeres and other various tractors, our son though it was the SWEETEST!!

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There was beautiful horses, ponies, a woman (and I apologize for not recalling her name) who literally looked like she was straight out of the 1800s, dressed & riding side saddle.   There was a 4-H float, church float, etc.

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Suddenly there were semis coming through the parade, at first I thought the parade was over but then I realized they were part of the parade. Again, something you NEVER see in a city parade.

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Check this out, see that HUGE log? That is heading to Sauder’s to be transformed. How cool is that? I thought it was such a great opportunity for the kiddos to see how the log is transported.

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I so enjoyed not only watching the parade but watching my children’s expressions as they soaked in this new experience.  It was unlike anything we would see in the city which is what made it that much more memorable!

We will totally go back next year! But in terms of living in the country, which was honestly something I thought I wanted to do, I don’t think I could handle it. You can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl. Lol! The fumes from the tractors, semis, horses, etc. combined with the hot sun did get the best of me, I started to feel a little queasy. A country girl I am not! But I sure do enjoy visiting from time-to-time!

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HUGE thank you to all the magnificent people who organized the parade, were in the parade, etc. I do believe we just started a new family tradition, grandpa would be proud!

Hope everyone had a safe & enjoyable 4th!! God Bless America!

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