December Happenings and Events

Welcome to December in Mansfield! From time-honored celebrations to the opportunity to create new memories with family and friends, embrace Christmas nostalgia in Mansfield and Richland County.

Experience a nostalgic Christmas here in Richland County. Bookmark our Tinsel Towns listings where you’ll find the best holiday events in all our cities, villages, and towns in one easy-to-find spot so you don’t miss a thing.

Don’t miss the kick-off to the season at “Christmas Time in the City”, the opening of the Tiny Tim Shoppe and Christmas at Kingwood, featured on Ohio’s Holiday Lights Trail. Reservations are required for Christmas at Kingwood.

Stop by the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library and pose in front of their Holiday Photo Backdrop for your holiday photos. The Library will have the Photo Backdrop open during regular business hours and it is located in the second floor lobby.

Celebrate the Heart of Christmas

Visit Biblewalk, Ohio’s only wax museum, and take a walk through The Life of Christ for free December 22, 23, 26 (closed 24 & 25).While visiting, you may want to check out the Museum of Woodcarving. This impressive work of faith is one man’s largest collection of woodcarvings. Also visit the Votive American Folk Art display and the rare Bible collection.

The Clear Fork Alliance Church will host their annual Experience Bethlehem (Dec. 8-10); this free event walks you through Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth.

Christmas Tree Lightings & Santa Sightings

Christmas Time in the City At the Richland Carrousel Park features carolers, carriage rides, photos with Santa, and the City of Mansfield Tree lighting on Dec. 1st from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visit the Tiny Tim Shoppe during the lighting, but don’t forget to sign up!

The Yule Log & Tree Lighting with Santa at the Bellville Bandstand is Dec.7th at 7:00. Enjoy live music while sipping wassail and meeting a live reindeer.

Travel to Ontario on Nov. 30 for the annual Tree Lighting in Marshall Park and enjoy an evening of live music, hot chocolate and sweets, and say hello to Miss Ontario.

Spend an Evening with Santa (Dec.13) at the Crestline Public Library. Play games and enjoy light refreshments while visiting with Santa.

Check out the Lighting Displays & Events page for similar events.

Christmas Shopping

The First Friday Shop Hop will be on Dec. 1st. Explore the shops downtown to find that perfect 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. 2, 9, or 16 and Friday night during Christmas in the City). Advance sign-up is required.

Shop at the 8th Annual Plymouth’s Christmas in the Village (Dec. 1 & 2). The event features a small business shopping mart, food trucks and vendors, ice carving sculptures, a parade of lights, Santa and more!

Browse the 54th Annual Holiday Fair at the Mansfield Art Center for unique gifts. You can also give an experience gift by purchasing a gift card for future classes offered at the MAC. The Holiday Fair continues through December 24th.

Butler’s Christmas in the Village Craft Show (Dec.2), Shady Lane Alpacas (all month starting Dec. 2), Daytime Shop and Dine at Kingwood Center Gardens,  and Christmas at Alpaca Meadows are a sampling of additional locations and events serving your Christmas shopping needs.

Christmas Lights, Tours & More!

The Herlihy Christmas Open House (Dec. 7th) opens to the public every other year during the Christmas season. The collection of this private home features over 30 trees, thousands of lights, hundreds of Santas, villages, trains, and much more!

Take a Candlelight Holiday Tour at Malabar Farm State Park (Dec. 2 & 3 and 9 & 10th) and see Bromfield’s Big House all decked out for the holidays.

See Oak Hill Cottage, Mansfield’s Gothic Revival Landmark, decked out in Victorian fashion during a Gaslight Tour (Dec.8 & 15) or Christmas at Oak Hill Cottage tour on Sundays during the month of December.

Buy your tickets now for Christmas at Kingwood! You won’t want to miss the area’s most-visited holiday venue, open nightly from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30th. 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.

Meet Santa and his reindeer, decorate a cookie, make crafts, enjoy light refreshments, and see a few feathered friends up close at Christmas is for the Birds at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary on Dec. 9th from 3-4 or 4-5 p.m. Advance registration required.

Check out our list of Holiday Attractions to learn how to visit the reindeer at Kleerview Farm and for more places to celebrate the holiday season.

From ceramic mugs to snowman felting to ornament paint pouring, you’ll find plenty of seasonal crafts to make this month. Check out our Make It! page for more fun holiday-themed activities and hands-on workshops

Theater & Live Music

Richland Academy of the Arts: The Nutcracker Ballet (Dec. 9th and 10th) blends Tchaikovsky’s magical score, with fairytale scenery, and vibrant theatrical staging to deliver a stunning production of this holiday classic.

A Christmas Carol- One Woman, a Whole Host of Characters (Dec. 8,9,10) offers a unique twist to the timeless Christmas tale where you’ll be transported from the Renaissance Theatre to the world of Scrooge, haunting spirits, and redemption.

The Mansfield Playhouse features A Christmas Carol: Every Man Has the Power to Do Good (Dec. 8,9, 15, 16, 17) is a fresh take on an old tale that is sure to thrill both young and old.

Our Performing Arts page has a complete listing of holiday performances including presentations by the Mansfield Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra, and The Artistic Jazz Orchestra.

The Phoenix Brewing Company invites various musicians to entertain with live music every Friday and Saturday (except Christmas Eve). More live music is offered at other sites along the Wine & Ale Trail.

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