East-central Ohio’s Licking County is just packed with quaint towns, early Ohio history, cutting-edge art, outdoor pursuits, unique dining and plenty of exceptional places to raise a glass.
So don’t let the colder weather shut you in. Explore why Licking County is such a hot destination.
Here are just a few ideas for the winter months ahead.
Canal Market District Christmas Market and Newark Courthouse Lighting
The Friday after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to visit Newark. Stroll through the Canal Market District Christmas Market and visit the local artisans to find the ideal gift for your friends and family. Stay for the evening to make sure you catch the Newark courthouse lighting which brings thousands of visitors into Newark.
Granville Candlelight Walking Tour
Get into the holiday spirit in the quaint Village of Granville for the Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour on Saturday, Dec. 7. The event is one of the most treasured holiday traditions in this charming New England-style village. The day will feature more than 70 activities, events and performances. Visitors can stroll down Broadway among the glow of twinkling Christmas lights. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, holiday music at area churches or visit one of the local museums and businesses that host special events.
Winter Wonders Walk at The Dawes Arboretum
Join The Dawes Arboretum for the Winter Wonders Walk, Dec. 13-14. Explore the luminary-lined Parkwoods Trail lined with illuminated trees. Stop at stations along the trail to hear about notable trees and plants. Guests can walk through the historic Daweswood House Museum to learn about the Dawes family legacy and arboretum history. The walk ends in the Learning Garden with an array of decorated trees. Arboretum members can attend a members-only Winter Wonders Walk on Dec. 12. Visit dawesarb.org for registration, additional information and directions.
Christmas Tree Farms
Licking County boasts more Christmas tree farms per capita than anywhere else in the state. In fact, when attending the Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour, almost everyone has a tree tied to the top of their car. Guests can even cut down their tree at places like Hickory Ridge Tree Farm, Walsh Tree Farm, Legend Hills Orchard and Timbuk Farms – plenty of options to find the perfect tree to celebrate the season.
Throughout the year, Licking County is a mecca for outdoor adventures, including fishing, kayaking and hiking. Visitors can hike and explore Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve or rent a cabin at Lazy River At Granville. Hiking enthusiasts also might want to check out the Denison Biological Reserve – 350 acres of forest, orchards, old plantations, ponds and former agriculture fields.
Cherry Valley Hotel Grand Opening Celebration
This event will formally celebrate the opening of Cherry Valley Hotel with the Licking County community. It will be open to the public and features tours of the property. On this night, Cherry Valley will be offering complimentary shuttles to downtown Granville for the Candlelight Walking Tour. Additional information about Cherry Valley is included below.
The Midland Theater
The historic Midland Theater offers plenty of holiday shows the whole family will love, including “The Nutcracker” and A Very Merry Holiday Pops concert. “The Nutcracker” is put on by the Central Ohio Youth Ballet, part of The Midland’s Family Series which offers performance opportunities for young dancers in the community. The show runs Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Tickets are $14-$24. The theater also hosts the Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra along with choirs from Newark and Granville high schools for a holiday pops concert. Santa will even visit! The show is Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.
While the playhouse always has a holiday show, this is the first year they will be doing “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” This exciting event is one not to miss and perfect for the entire family to enjoy. The show runs Dec. 19-29. http://weathervaneplayhouse.org/
Thirty One West NYE
This New Year’s Eve celebration is getting bigger every year, and this coming holiday Thirty One West will be hosting a tribute band honoring the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Tickets are $12-$32. Thirty One West encompasses nearly a block of art galleries, restaurants and bars. The music venue, one of Newark’s original ballrooms, features local, regional and national talent.
Cherry Valley Reopening
Cherry Valley Hotel & Event Center is a rustic-chic resort located in Newark. The hotel, originally called Cherry Valley Lodge, was built in 1993 and expanded in 1996. The original hotel had numerous event spaces, guest rooms and an indoor waterpark.
Widewaters, a property management company, acquired the hotel and started a $13 million renovation in January 2019. The hotel will reopen in phases between September 2019 and March 2020. The 16-acre property will feature 200 updated hotel rooms, as well as a full-service spa, multiple on-site bars, a restaurant, taphouse, coffee shop, swimming pool, jacuzzi and a variety of event spaces. Cherry Valley also is the only hotel in the United States that has its own arboretum.
Once renovated, Cherry Valley will be perfect for weekend getaways, conferences, weddings, events or to unwind after a long day. Learn more about Cherry Valley by visiting www.cherryvalleyhotel.com.
Sept. 6, 2019:
• First guest rooms
• Ballroom and meeting spaces in the main hotel
Sept. 10, 2019:
• Craftsman Kitchen & Terrace
• The Lobby Bar
Sept. 16, 2019:
• Granville Pantry
Oct. 1, 2019:
• Remaining guest rooms
• Deacon Rose Room
• The Ohio Event Center
• O&E Taphouse
Mar. 1, 2020:
• The Spa at Cherry Valley