December Happenings & Tinsel Towns

The holiday season and December Happenings shine across our Tinsel Towns!  Explore the sparkling winter adventures built by the doers, makers, and storytellers of Richland County. Our twinkling cities and villages come together to celebrate the season and nostalgia of Christmas with the region’s newest attractions and events. Step into the traditions of holidays past to make your memories of today shine brighter.  Make Mansfield part of your story this season!

Check out our Tinsel Towns listings and full calendar of events for the best holiday events in one place.

December is kicking off with the opening of the beloved Tiny Tim Shoppe for the youngest shoppers in the community.  Also in downtown Mansfield, the Frank P. Lahm Aviation Museum recently opened and offers an opportunity to learn about the Brigadier General and local history. The collection features artifacts ranging from film to uniforms dating from 1852 through today.

Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas

BibleWalk, Ohio’s only wax museum, is offering free admission to The Life of Christ Tour beginning December 19th to December 31st. While visiting, you may want to check out the Museum of Woodcarving. The impressive work of faith is the largest collection of wood carvings by one man.

The Clear Fork Alliance Church will be hosting Experience Bethlehem; this free event walks you through Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. This event takes place Dec. 9th and 10th from 6:30-8 and the 11th from 2 to 4.

Christmas Tree Lightings

Christmas Tree Lighting at Marshall Park welcomes Santa, the Jazz Band, Hot Chocolate & Cookies and more on Dec.1st from 5:30-6:30.

The Yule Log & Tree Lighting with Santa at the Bellville Bandstand is Dec.1st at 7:00.

Christmas Time in the City At the Richland Carrousel Park features carolers, carriage rides, photos with Santa, and the City of Mansfield Tree lighting (6pm) on Dec. 2nd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

You’ll find more events like Shelby’s Parade of Lights, the Mechanics Bank lights and Central Park displays listed on our Lighting Displays & Events page.

Craft Shows, Holiday Fairs & Open Houses

The First Friday Shop Hop will be on Dec. 2nd. Explore the shops downtown for that Christmas gift for someone special while supporting our local small businesses.

The Tiny Tim Shoppe allows children to shop and wrap Christmas gifts for friends and family with help from a volunteer. Open on select Saturdays (Dec. 3, 10 or 17 and Friday night during Christmas in the City). Advance sign-up is required. 
Browse the 53rd Annual Holiday Fair at the Mansfield Art Center for unique gifts. You can also give the gift of an experience by purchasing a gift card for future classes offered at the MAC. The Holiday Fair continues through December 24th.

The 45th annual Ontario Community Craft Show will be held Dec. 3rd with jewelry, seasonal crafts, wood decor, crochet, wreaths and more.

Christmas Lights, Tours & Santa!

Plymouth’s Christmas in the Village (Dec. 1, 2, 3) offers carriage rides, shopping with over 60 artisans and vendors, food trucks, a 2,000 sq. foot ice rink, ice carving, the Polar Express Train Car and so much more.
Oak Hill Cottage Christmas Tours are offered on Sundays (Dec. 4, 11, 18). Tour this Gothic Revival Landmark decked out in Victorian fashion for the holidays.

Christmas at Kingwood runs nightly from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30th.  Reservations are required. Bundle up, buy a cup of hot chocolate in the cafe, and wind your way through the magical light displays on the estate grounds. Once in Kingwood Hall, peek into the stunningly decorated rooms while you’re serenaded with live music by local performers.

If you’d rather skip the lights and simply tour the mansion decked out for the holidays, special Kingwood Hall Christmas Tours are offered Tuesday, Dec. 6th and 20th, from 11 a.m. to noon. 

Check out our list of Holiday Attractions for more places to celebrate the holiday season.

‘Tis the Season to Learn Something New

Ballroom Dancing is an excellent way to while away time during the winter months, and you may make a few new friends too! Winter is a great time to learn something new and make a few new friends. Lessons are offered every Thursday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Take a needle felting class (Dec. 3) at Alpaca Meadows to learn the basic technique of making a three-dimensional Santa following step-by-step instructions. 

The Phoenix offers Taproom Trivia (Dec. 20) and a Game Night (Dec. 6) for those looking to exercise their brains.

Visit our Events page and on our Make It! page that highlights fun holiday themed activities and hands-on workshops

Theater & Live Music

The Richland Academy of the Arts 7th performance of The Nutcracker Ballet will be Dec. 2nd and 3rd. You won’t want to miss this holiday classic.

Based on the 1992 comedy about a disco diva who witnesses a murder and is placed in protective custody as a nun, Sister Act: the Musical continues at the Renaissance Theatre on Dec.3rd and 4th.

If you’ve ever wondered how Santa Claus originated, you’ll want to watch this performance based on the fantastical story by L. Frank Baum (author of The Wizard of Oz), The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus at the Mansfield Playhouse is not to be missed (Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17 and 18).

The Youth Orchestra: Holiday Prelude (Dec.11) brings together the finest student musicians from North Central Ohio. 

Holiday Pops- Mansfield Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (Dec. 17) present traditional holiday classics with new favorites.

The Muppet Christmas Carol Film will be shown at the Renaissance Theater on Dec. 18. The classic Christmas tale told through our favorite Muppets characters.

The Phoenix Brewing Company invites various musicians to entertain with live music every Friday and Saturday (except Christmas Eve). 

Check out our Performing Arts page for more holiday performances.

Christmas Fun for the Family

You’ll have two opportunities to experience Christmas at the Cabin (Dec. 2 & 9). Join the MRCPL at the historic Pugh Cabin at Malabar Farm for stories, songs and crafts as you welcome the Christmas season. A special guest will make an appearance. 

Make your way to any branch of the MRCPL to participate in the “Disguise a Gingerbread Friend Contest.” The contest runs to December 17th and is open to Pre-K to 5th grade. }

Attend the Buckeye Imagination Museum Christmas Party on Dec. 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and make holiday-themed crafts, meet Santa and receive a gift on the way out. Advance registration is not required. Free for members, regular admission for non-members.

The Richland Carrousel presents Bedtime Stories with Santa on Dec. 7th. You’ll get free photos with Santa, free rides, free cookies and of course, bedtime stories. Advance registration is required. Kids ages 6-12 years are invited to attend a Movie and Game Night (Dec. 2nd, 5 to 9 p.m.) at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary. Keeper Talks continue on Sunday the 4th, 11th, and 18th from 3-3:15 in December. Meet the bird handlers and resident birds and learn interesting avian facts to amaze and amuse your family and friends.   Meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus and their Reindeer at Christmas is for the Birds at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary on Dec. 10th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

New Year’s Eve

We’ll wrap up the year with a New Year’s Eve Celebration at Central Park in downtown Mansfield!

Calendar of Events

For the most up-to-date event listings, live music, and other community events, visit our ever-changing Calendar of Events at

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