December Happenings and Events

Whether you’re trying to get in the holiday spirit or just stave off cabin fever, we have a calendar full of events that are sure to clear away any early winter blues. For traditional favorites like the candlelight tour at Malabar Farm or new additions like a free tour at Carrousel Works, see the Destination Mansfield – Richland County calendar for a full list of events happening here.

For the person who already has the Christmas tree up:

View the decked halls of Kingwood Hall and the magical outdoor Trail of Lights Christmas at Kingwood (Nov 254-Dec 30, Thur-Sun, 3-8pm). Experience Malabar Farm State Park during Candlelight Holiday Tours (Dec 1-2, 7-9). Tour Louis Bromfield’s Big House while it’s decorated for the holidays and enjoy fresh baked cookies and hot cider. Meet the former residents of Oak Hill Cottage in this once-a-year, Saturday evening Ghosts of Christmas Past Tour (Dec 8). The Herlihy Christmas Open House (Dec 6-9) returns this year. This private home is opened to the public every other year and features over 30 Christmas trees.

Enjoy a four-course meal with a murderously festive comedy on the side. The Wishmaker House Bed & Breakfast, Winery & Wine Bar is hosting a murder mystery dinner: The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year (Dec 4). If you’re looking to entertain the whole family, head to the Renaissance Theatre for the next screening in their Family Film Series: The Muppet Christmas Carol (Dec 16). Enjoy a magical brunch with two princesses who are no stranger to the cold at Lexington Event Center’s Breakfast with the Snow Sisters (Dec 22).

If you need to put in a good word with the big man himself:

Santa will be stopping by at the Richland Carrousel Park (Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23) for photos. You can also have breakfast with Santa at Black Dog Tavern (Dec 8) where you’ll have the opportunity to get your picture taken with Santa and his reindeer! The Ohio Bird Sanctuary will also play host to Santa and his reindeer at Christmas for the Birds (Dec 15). The cost of admission is a gift for the birds: sunflower seeds, suet cakes, Clorox wipes, mealworms, or bluebird nuggets, but monetary gifts are greatly appreciated too!

If you missed the Black Friday sales and need a last-minute gift:

Stop by Downtown Mansfield after 5 p.m. for the First Friday Shop Hop (Dec 7) where you’ll find special events, activities, and offers from over 50 independent downtown businesses. Up north, Plymouth’s streets will line with 60+ handmade craft and artisan vendors for the Christmas in the Village Street Market (Dec 1). Treat someone to a little pampering and make a Holiday Bath Gift Package (Dec 1), create a festive decoration from fresh-cut evergreens during the Holiday Swag Workshop (Dec 6), or make a Poinsettia Hanging Ornament (Dec 8) at Kingwood Center Gardens. Let your little ones shop for you with the help of the volunteers at the Tiny Tim Shoppe (Dec 1, 7, 8,15, 22). Shop for gifts that support local artists at the Mansfield Art Center Holiday Fair (Dec 1-Dec 29). If you’re looking for cozy, bundle your loved ones in everything alpaca! Meet friendly alpacas, shop The Farm Store, or stop in for the make-and-take felting workshop at Christmas at Alpaca Meadows (Dec 1-2).

For the person who listens to Christmas music year-round:

Fans of the beloved movie will love Elf the Musical Jr at the Mansfield Playhouse (Dec 1, 7-8, 14-16).  North Central Ohio’s finest youth musicians with the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform their Holiday Prelude (Dec 2). Neos Dance Theatre presents a 1940s Nutcracker (Dec 8-9), a twist on the classic that pays tribute to the golden age of film, fashion, and American Christmas traditions. Finally, ring in the season with the world-class Mansfield Symphony Orchestra and their community favorite Holiday Pops Concert (Dec 15).

And if you need a break from the holiday chaos:

Catch the latest screening during the Stephen King Film Festival with The Shining (Dec 1) at the Renaissance Theater. Learn how to turn pieces of glass into jewelry at the Shady Lane Alpaca Farm’s Fused Glass Class (Dec 2). Wine down with Vine Art Wine and Paint at City Grille (Dec 6). Sample Cypress Hill wine and appetizers while local artist, Ryan Failor, takes you step by step through a seasonal painting. Take a Free Tour at Carousel Works (Dec 8) or make use of the special holiday hours at the Ohio State Reformatory (Thursday-Sunday, Nov 23 – Dec 17).

And finally, be sure and check our Calendar of Events for more Christmas craft workshops, live music, and holiday tastings at local wineries and breweries to enjoy the season with family and friends