Holiday Season Sparkles in Mansfield, Ohio

Small town offers big holiday events.

A host of memory-making holiday events cascade through Mansfield, OH this season. From holidays around the world to the stunning floor-to-ceiling decorations that blanket a historic mansion, this Ohio town draws visitors from across North America for its one-of-a-kind celebrations. Complete information on Mansfield holiday events — and more — is found at or by calling (800) 642-8282.

Malabar Farm State Park’s “Holidays Around the World and Back Home to Malabar” celebration takes place at the former home of famed Pulitzer-prize winning novelist, conservationist and screenwriter, Louis Bromfield. Malabar Farm was made famous in the 1940s and 50s when Bromfield’s Hollywood celebrity friends would retreat to the farm, including James Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married there in. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, this farm’s festive, multicultural event guides guests through a historical journey. Seasonal traditions from countries around the world, as well as from local icon Malabar Farm, are shared. Every guest receives an international recipe and a hand-made commemorative ornament. This unforgettable event is just $25 per adult, $40 for couples or $20 per person for groups of 10 or more. Reservations are required and can be arranged by calling (419) 892-2929.

Kingwood Center will be decked out from head to toe in its 2013 theme “Symbols of Christmas.” Open Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 29 (closed Dec. 6) from 3-8 p.m., more lights and decor than ever have been added this year. The spectacular 47-acre estate was built in 1926 for millionaire industrialist Charles Kelley King and his wife. After King’s 1952 passing, it was left to a foundation to be opened as a public garden. Visitors can wander the grounds, path, view tens of thousands of holiday lights, warm up by the fire and stop in the Greenhouse for hot chocolate and cookies. A gorgeous Gingerbread House display is found in the Kingwood Hall Assembly Room, with competing gingerbread houses featuring incredible detail.

More than a million lights, animatronics and festive Christmas music create a breathtaking display at the Christmas Wunderland drive-through lighting display held at the Richland County Fairgrounds. Open nightly Dec. 1-25, 5:30-9 p.m., the display is the largest in Ohio and costs just $6 for a carload of holiday revelers.

For more than 50 years and two generations, the Herlihy family has decorated their home with over-the-top decorations and opened their doors to the public in typical Mansfield Midwest friendly fashion. Today, Terri Herlihy continues the legacy her dad started decades ago, decking the halls of the Herlihy Christmas House with their personal collection of more than 25 themed Christmas trees, hundreds of Santas, villages, Disney, trains and more for a homespun family tradition.

More old-fashioned holiday cheer winds through the city’s charming downtown when the Mansfield Holiday Parade which kicks off the season on Nov. 23. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on the corner of 5th and Main Streets and ends with the fanfare of Santa’s arrival. The day also marks the opening of the Tiny Tim Shoppe where kids can shop for the friends and family in secret with the help of the shop’s elves. Designed for children ages 12 and under, all gifts $6 or less and Tiny Tim Shoppe is open Saturdays Nov. 23-Dec. 21, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Fri., Dec. 6, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

A free holiday open house treats Mansfield visitors to complimentary tours of BibleWalk, one of only two Christian wax museums in the U.S. With all of BibleWalk’s four non-denominational museums offering the free tours Dec. 22-28 (except Christmas day), guests can experience 70 different biblical scenes and hundreds of wax figures, in addition to Christian Dinner Theatre (Saturdays only) and the museums’ rare collection of votive folk art, wood carvings and Braille Bibles.

Christmas at Oak Hill Cottage takes place Sundays, Nov. 17-Dec. 29. Visitors can enjoy the historic cottage fully decked for the season with an old-fashioned holiday theme. Tours are $5 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under. This year’s theme is “1915,” commemorating the period when the house was electrified and the “Arts and Crafts” movement began influencing decorating styles.

Enjoy Christmas Time in the City, Friday December 6 from 5:00 – 9:00pm in the historic Carrousel District. Events will include the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, carriage rides, photos with Santa, Christmas caroling, the historic church tour, reindeer petting zoo, the Tiny Tim Shoppe and more! Downtown businesses will be open late and will have special events, entertainment and shopping specials!

Nothing says Christmas like a good snowfall, and regardless of whether Mother Nature Delivers, Mansfield Snow Trails Ski Resort always lets it snow. With top-notch snowmaking equipment, Snow Trails offers a winter wonderland of downhill skiing and the new Tubing Park throughout the holiday season — and beyond.

A destination unlike any other, Mansfield is home to a wealth of unusual travel adventures and experiences, such as visiting the working farm where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married to spending the night in a haunted former state prison where Hollywood blockbuster movies are filmed. Breathtaking scenery, rural and hometown experiences, as well as hiking, biking, golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, bird watching and loads of other outdoor adventures attract families and visitors of all ages. Complete visitor information and a free visitors guide, is available by calling (800) 642-8282 or online at or