A roundup of events happening in Southwest Ohio

FILE: Jason Isbell performs at the Railbird Music Festival on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Lexington, Ky. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Credit: Amy Harris

caption arrowCaption
FILE: Jason Isbell performs at the Railbird Music Festival on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Lexington, Ky. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Credit: Amy Harris

Credit: Amy Harris

The Journal-News has compiled a giant list of just some of the area’s events happening now and through the next couple of weeks.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)

This annual favorite mashes up Christmas movies and TV shows and sends them up in hilarious fashion. On the comedic chopping block per usual are “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Grinch,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Rudolph,” and many more. See it the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, through Dec. 26. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $14-$60. For more information, call (513) 381-BARD or visit cincyshakes.com.

Ana Gasteyer

This comedian and actress known for her stints on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Masked Singer” is also a singer/songwriter. She is touring in support of her album, “Sugar and Booze,” a send-up of traditional holiday Christmas albums. See her at Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30-$55. For more information, call (513) 977-8838 or visit memorialhallotr.com.

Jim Brickman: The Gift of Christmas

This Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, pianist, and radio host embarks on his annual holiday tour featuring his original holiday compositions such as “The Gift,” “Sending You A Little Christmas,” “If You Believe,” and more. See him at Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45-$65. For more information, call (513) 977-8838 or visit memorialhallotr.com.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Jason Isbell has been a solo artist but he’s touring once again with his band, the 400 Unit. They recently released their fifth album together, “Georgia Blue.” Marty Stuart And his Fabulous Superlatives will open. See them at the Icon Music Center, 25 Race St., Cincinnati, on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45-$125. For more information, call (513) 232-5882 or visit iconmusiccenter.com.

Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer

This multi-faceted, annual Christmas event will feature the voices of Kenny Smith’s Peace & Serenity Choi accompanied by a soprano and tenor, the sounds of a renowned theater organist, and the sights of dancers from the Cincinnati Ballet. See it at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, on Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $27-$32. For more information, call (513) 621-2787 or visit cincinnatiarts.org.

Amy Grant + Michael W. Smith Christmas

Amy Grant, a.k.a. the Queen of Christian Pop, has sold over 30 million albums. She and her longtime collaborator and fellow artist, Michael W. Smith, will perform a holiday show filled with music from their many holiday albums. See them at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, on Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45-$150. For more information, call (513) 621-2787 or visit cincinnatiarts.org.

A Swingin’ Christmas

This holiday celebration will feature jazz vocalist Mandi Gaines with the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra as part of the Fitton Showstoppers! series. “We are incredibly excited to have performances, exhibitions and events live at the Fitton Center again,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center. Other popular performances on the Fitton Showstoppers! series in the 2021-2022 season will include Shades of Buble, a three-man tribute to Michael Buble on Sat., Apr. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” featuring Just Strange Brothers on Sat., May 21 at 7:30 p.m. This year’s season will run from Nov. through May. For a complete list of programming, events and activities, visit fittoncenter.org, Patrons may view a digital version of the season brochure online, or pick up a copy at the Fitton Center.

The Motortown All-Stars

This Motown supergroup consists of former members of The Temptations, The Capitals, and the Miracles. They will perform not only the hits from their own catalogues but that of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, and the Jackson 5. See them at the Sorg Opera House, 57 S. Main St., Middletown, on Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$30. For more information, visit sorgoperahouse.org.

Magical Cirque Christmas

Lucy Darling, acclaimed international magician, will host this holiday show where cirque acrobats will perform to a holiday music soundtrack. See it at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39-$91. For more information, call (513) 621-2787 or visit www.cincinnatiarts.org.

Winter in the Wald and Joy to the Wald

Highlights of Winter in the Wald will include shopping and crafts from local merchants and vendors, a DJ and live music, a 2K Caroling LindenWalk, a tree lighting, ornament-making for children and a red balloon release following the walk that will honor Nolen Scott Jones. Winter in the Wald will kick off at the Markets at Pleasant Treasures, 4020 Pleasant Ave., from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 10 and the event will continue on Sat., Dec. 11 at the Schuler and Benninghofen Woolen Mill property from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Hopefully, it will bring what I consider to be two distinct business areas of Lindenwald together, which is great. Local events like these are another way we can continue to build the community,” said Frank Downie, chair of Lindenwald’s neighborhood association, PROTOCOL.

The 2K Caroling LindenWalk will begin around 4 p.m. and the walk will proceed down Pleasant Avenue and conclude at the Markets at Pleasant Treasures, followed by a tree lighting between 6 and 7 p.m. Free. Items are available for purchase. Winter in the Wald will be held in conjunction with Joy to the Wald. Joy to the Wald, Christmas with Santa will be held on Sat., Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heaven Sent at 2269 Pleasant Avenue in Hamilton. Children who attend will receive a gift, get their picture taken with Santa. Cookies and hot chocolate will also be served. No advance registration required. The event is free and open to all.

The Butterfingers Angel, Mary & Joseph, Herod The Nut and the slaughter of 12 hit Carols in a Pare Tree

That is the full title of this show at Middletown Lyric Theatre taking place Dec. 11-12. Show times are Fri. at 8 p.m.; with two shows at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and one at 2 p.m. Sunday. The production deals with the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus from a fresh and creative point of view. The author combines traditional Christmas music, and often antic characterizations. Following the Biblical recounting, the story is enhanced by a tree, a sheep and a donkey, who talk. All seats are $20. Advance ticket purchase is required. Middletown Lyric Theatre is located at 1530 Central Ave., in Middletown. For more info., or to purchase tickets, go to middletownlyric.org.

Merry Christmas Market

This annual Christmas market at Niederman Farm will feature a dozen craft vendors selling unique holiday gifts. You can also visit Santa in his workshop on Dec. 12 from 2:45-5:45 p.m. Santa’s workshop is perfect for youngsters who don’t do well in lines, allowing them to converse with Santa at their leisure. Photo-ops will be available. Check it out at Niederman Family Farm, 4972 LaSourdesville-West Chester Road, Liberty Township, on Dec. 11-12. Hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission cost for the Christmas market. Tickets for the Santa Experience are $25. For more information, call (513) 887-0725 or visit niedermanfamilyfarm.com

Evanescence + Halestorm

This double bill features Evanescence, one of the most iconic hard rock bands of the 2000s, and Halestorm, who came on strong late in that decade just when everyone thought hard rock was dead. See them at the Heritage Bank Center, 100 Broadway St., Cincinnati, on Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.50-$79.50. For more information, call (513) 421-4111 or visit usbankarena.com.

Journey Borealis: A Journey to the North Pole

Featuring local artists Brave Berlin and Sam Dorgan, the holiday light display at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton is now open and will run through Sun., Jan 2. “This is a longstanding tradition that many families look forward to every year, and we continue to try to make it bigger and better, and make a stronger connection to our community,” said Bryan Knicely, executive director at Pyramid Hill. In partnership with the City of Hamilton again this year, residents of Hamilton can enjoy Journey Borealis for free on Tuesday evenings during the month of December. Proof of residency is required to qualify for free admission, including a valid driver’s license or a recent utility bill with the address displayed. Journey Borealis (journeyborealis.com) is an artful adventure that invites visitors on a magical journey to the North Pole as they drive-through the 2-5-mile attraction with more than a million lights. Journey Borealis will run through Sun., Jan. 2. “We’ve taken the show to another level this year, and I’m excited for people to experience it. So, visitors will get to see more themed areas within the park, and they are going to love the soundtrack,” added Jessica Lehmann, Journey Borealis project manager at Pyramid Hill.

Light Up Middletown

With more than 1 million sparkling lights, many area families continue to make Light Up Middletown a part of their annual holiday tradition. Middletown’s popular drive-through light display offers themed displays, such as a floating Sea Serpent in the reflecting lake, Whales giving Santa’s Reindeer a ride, Santa’s Workshop, an American Flag, a Penguin Village and more. Open Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, including holidays and regardless of the weather. Admission by donation. Light Up Middletown is located at Smith Park, 500 Tytus Avenue in Middletown. More info. at lightupmiddletown.org. Also in Middletown, families can join Santa at the Sorg Opera House Theatre for an evening of stories as he reads “The Polar Express” and “The Night Before Christmas” on Thurs., Dec. 23 at 6:30 p.m. This free event will be fun for small children. The event runs about an hour. All are welcome, but reservations are required, and seating is limited. Email lynnelakeman@gmail.com with the number of children attending and the total number in your party.

Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction

Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction will offer a magical experience now through Jan. 2, 2022. Visitors will enjoy 80,000 square feet of holiday fun, all under one roof, all in a climate-controlled environment. This includes the world’s largest indoor G-Scale model train display, the imaginative Journey to the North Pole where guests can see the reindeer stables, an elves’ workshop, visit Mrs. Claus in her kitchen and visit Santa in his study – Guests can choose either an in-person visit or a video chat with Santa this year. Plus, all the other EnterTRAINment Junction attractions are part of the holiday-time experience, including the popular, hand-built 1,000-sq. ft. replica of the historic Coney Island Amusement Park, the weird-and-wacky A-Maze-N FunHouse, one of the world’s largest and most complete marble displays, a giant kids’ interactive play area and the American Railroading Museum. Hours are Mon. through Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. There will be extended hours until 8 p.m. on December 10, 17, 19 thru 23 and 26 thru 30. EnterTRAINment Junction will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and will close at 4 p.m. on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Various admission packages start as low as $9.95. Free parking. EnterTRAINment Junction is located at 7379 Squire Court, off Interstate 75 at the Tylersville Rd. exit #22. Visit entertrainmentjunction.com for more details.