Curated by Thom Mariner
After you overindulge tomorrow, do yourself a huge favor and skip the shopping until some saner, later date in the coming weeks. Instead, treat you and yours to some outstanding experiences throughout the weekend and beyond.
For a list of more than 20 hand-picked happenings for the holidays, read our holiday event guide. Plus, there are 200 more upcoming events from which to choose in our A/C List and Datebook, which you can always find on our website, too.
Here are a few choice opportunities specifically for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend…
Cincideutsch | Fountain Square
- Friday, Nov. 24-Dec. 9. “Christkindelmarkt,” authentic German Christmas market
The Fountain Square tree-lighting ceremony is on Friday this week, officially kicking off the holiday season in Cincinnati, and the “Christkindelmarkt” also opens that day, offering a large selection of German items and clothing, with music and food, in honor of our German heritage.
Nov. 24: “Light Up the Square” Event Schedule
- 9 a.m. Rink opens
Noon Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt opens
6 p.m. 2nd Wind Band performs
7 p.m. Live Broadcast with WLWT Channel 5
7:25 p.m. Official Tree Lighting Ceremony
7:30 p.m. Fireworks show
7:40 p.m. 2nd Wind Band performs
10 p.m. Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt closes
11 p.m. Rink & Concessions close
The season of singing begins with two contrasting events showcasing the sacred and the secular…
Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas | St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Terrace Park. 513-831-2052
- Sunday, Nov. 26, 5 p.m. Bach Vespers for Advent
Cincinnati’s fine Bach Ensemble, led by Carlton Monroe, presents a monthly evensong service featuring a cantata by Bach, who wrote more than 200! Here they celebrate Advent with more Bach: Cantata 139, “Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott,” composed in 1724.
Cincinnati Arts Association | Aronoff Center, downtown. 513-621-2787
- Saturday, Nov. 25, 8 p.m. Straight No Chaser “The Speakeasy Tour”
The Straight No Chaser show is nearly sold out, so grab your tickets ASAP. Originally, a product of the Indiana University School of Music, this 10-member vocal band is extremely talented, with complex, lush harmonies and lots of vocal and body percussion to complete the experience.
Cincinnati Symphony | Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-3300
- Friday-Saturday, Nov. 24-25, 8 p.m. “One City, One Symphony,” Louis Langrée, conductor. Truls Mørk, cello
Emily Cooley: “Abound”
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”
This is the CSO’s annual deep dive into one work and its associated themes, in this case honoring musical visionaries who use music to “Speak Truth.” The centerpiece is the valedictory Sixth Symphony (“Pathetique”) by Tchaikovsky, premiered just days before his mysterious death, which some now attribute to suicide. The composer led a tortured existence fueled by creative insecurities and suppressed homosexuality, and this final symphony is perhaps his most passionate work.
Shostakovich dealt with external demons throughout his compositional life, mostly those in service to Stalin and the oppressive communist regime. His dramatic, turbulent concerto will feature the outstanding Norwegian cellist, Truls Mørk.
The third work on the program is a world premiere by Emily Cooley. The new 10-minute work strives to push back against perceived limits. “I think of power and oppression as limiting forces,” Cooley says, “and abundance can exist as a counter to that. I think of abundance as a sense of uncontrollable growth, a thriving that can’t be tamed.”
Create a new family Thanksgiving tradition and experience the CSO in the spectacular new Music Hall.
Linton Chamber Music | 513-381-6868
- Sunday, Nov. 26, 4 p.m. “Treasured Trios with Truls Mørk” (at First Unitarian Church, Mt. Auburn)
- Monday, Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m. Encore of previous (at Congregation Beth Adam, Loveland)
Cellist Mørk sticks around for two more days to join esteemed violinist Cho-Liang Lin and CSO pianist extraordinaire Michael Chertock in well-known trios by Beethoven, Dvorak and Prokofiev. These are two warm, intimate settings, allowing you to truly feel this outstanding music. A very special opportunity.
Know Theatre | 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-300-5669
- Saturday, Nov. 25-Dec. 17. Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”
Know typically treads the alternative track, and this “holiday” offering is no exception. Based on the well-known novel by Neil Gaiman, “Neverwhere” (Nov. 25-Dec. 17) is a dark urban fantasy that explores London Below – “a world of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists in a labyrinth beneath our feet.” No mention of Santa that I’m aware of, so here’s a chance for date night!
There are several opportunities to support area visual artists this weekend, and accomplish some of your holiday shopping goals at the same time. Final Friday at The Pendleton features eight floors of open studios and a fascinating array of attendees, as well (great people watching). The lesser-known 1305 Gallery (1305 Main Street in Over-the-Rhine), opens its holiday show that evening, as well. And on Saturday, 1-6 p.m., The Carnegie, just across the river, offers an artisan market suitable for the whole family.
And speaking of family outings, your area museums all have compelling shows in place. Go out and experience the richness your region has to offer.
- Holiday trains and more at Behringer-Crawford in Devou Park
- Artful fashions by Iris van Herpen and Reformation art by Albrecht Dürer at the Cincinnati Art Museum, plus adult socializing at Art After Dark, 5-9 p.m. today
- “Brickopolis,” fun LEGO landscapes at the Museum Center, and more…
- Spectacular street art by Swoon and sculptures by Glenn Kaino at the Contemporary Arts Center
- The moving and meaningful Kinsey Collection of African-American art and artifacts at the Freedom Center
- The charmingly nostalgic “Antique Christmas” at the Taft Museum