in downtown Cincinnati. Heck, it HAS been looking a lot like Christmas in downtown Cincinnati. Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to get invited by Downtown Cincinnati, Inc., to check out all that the downtown area has to offer during the holiday season.

I jumped at the chance to go, because I’m not from Cincinnati originally, and am always curious what a “big city” has to offer in terms of entertaiment and enrichment ANY time during the year, but especially so during the holidays. (Also, quick background: I grew up in a town that was approximately 1 square mile, I graduated with about 60 other kids–59 of which I had known since kindergarden. I lived for things like this when I was young, and dreaming my way out of my small town.)

Anyway, Cincinnati sure doesn’t disappoint when it comes to activites during the holidays. Eee-gads! I knew about the Duke Energy train display from a friend and checked that out last year. And of course, who could NOT hear about the Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights? (This year they I hear they have Rappin’ Elves.)

But the list of what I didn’t know about goes on and on and on and on and on. And most a lot of the fun is free (what this financially strapped working mama loves best!) such the Holly Jolly Trolley rides courtesy of P&G (my child–like so many others–LOVES public transportation), horse-drawn carriage rides from Macy’s (another from of public transportation, this time with large horses–double whammy win for O!), a gingerbread display at the Hyatt (and while I enjoyed this one, I have to say O was more into the escalators. And I was OK with that–the further he stays away from the delicate gingerbread masterpieces, the better.)

This weekend, we’re headed back downtown for more fun and adventure. O really wants to ice skate (please help me) and every Saturday night there is a Santa who rappels down the 525 Vine Building complete with an accompanying fireworks display. After seeing how excited he got when Santa made a surprise call to him and AmyinOhio’s P on Tuesday during the ride home from the Cheryl & Co event, I can’t wait for him to see that.

We’re also planning to catch a show Holiday Follies at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, which I’m sure O will adore, and do some shopping. I really love the downtown TJ Maxx–I always find a good deal on something.

So we’ll be down there more this season, and if you’re looking for some free holiday fun, I suggest you check it out, too.