Holiday activities in Athens for every wannabe Elf

Experience the most wonderful time of the year in the most wonderful town!

Athens transforms into a winter wonderland every holiday season. From festive fun for the whole family to a perfect date night, holiday activities in Athens fit the interests of any resident or visitor wishing to be a Christmas elf. Here’s a list of can’t miss activities this Christmas season:


Gingerbread Houses

Head uptown and check out the Southeast Ohio History Center and the window displays of local businesses to see enchanting recreations of notable Athens-area architecture and other creations from the Athens Gingerbread Competition. Get inspired and create one of your own! Add your own flare to some Athens inspired gingerbread houses.


Visit with Santa

Bring the family to see Santa. On December 1, 8, and 15, he makes an appearance to hear everyone’s’ holiday wishes. Santa welcomes everyone on the first floor lobby at the 5 on Court Building from 6-8 p.m. Make a night of the activity and grab a bite to eat at one of the 30 Mile Meal restaurants in Athens.


Shop Local

Avoid the busy shopping malls and hectic crowds by heading uptown to fulfill your Christmas shopping lists. Beard oil, Jackie O’s, Herbal Sage Tea, Donkey Coffee… take all the Athens classics home for the holidays. Utilize the 25 Gifts of Athens for some gift inspiration. Make sure to visit the new Shop Athens Ohio store located in The Plains.


Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides

Athens becomes a holiday wonderland each December. Horse-drawn wagon rides allow residents to enjoy that festive atmosphere. Christmas lights and music add to the holiday cheer. Wagon rides are every Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon in December. After the wagon ride, warm up with a hot drink from one of the many coffee shops uptown.


Athena Holiday Movies

accvb_xmas_29-copy-smallThe winter season means chillier temperatures. Make the most of the cold days and head to the movies! The Athena Cinema holds its annual holiday film series; fun for the whole family. Bring a non-perishable food item or a cash donation for admission and receive a complementary sugar cookie. The Athens County Food Bank benefits from all donations.


Whatever holiday activity you choose to do with your loved ones, be sure to share your photos on social media and use the hashtags #AthensOhio and #UptownForTheHolidays!