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Zanesville Ohio’s Story Book Christmas

The Grinch and Santa square off in Zanesville

Celebrate the Holidays in Zanesville as Your Favorite Storybook Characters Come to Life.

Enjoy the magic of Christmas as your favorite storybook characters come to life. Charlie Brown and Frosty the Snowman are just a couple of the delightful personalities on hand to celebrate the season. through window decorations, lights, and outdoor displays. The Storybook Christmas theme takes place in over 100 businesses throughout Zanesville, New Concord, and Dresden, Ohio.

“We invite you to experience all Muskingum County has to offer during the magical holiday season,” stated Kelly Ashby, Visit Zanesville’s Director.

A horse and carriage in downtown Zanesville during christmas

This magical event kicks off on November 30 at 6:30 p.m. downtown Zanesville with the Storybook Christmas Parade. After the parade, wander down the enchanting streets displaying their holiday splendor.

Stop in a local shop to select a perfect and unique Christmas gift from pottery, baskets, art, and specialty boutiques. Visit the White Pillars Christmas House decked out in all the holiday musts from Santa Clauses to ornaments and garlands. Muskingum County has something for everyone on your holiday list.

Be sure to stop and admire the 28-foot patriotic Christmas tree resembling a flag. The bottom half is lit with twinkling red and white lights, while the top half is sparkling blue with white stars. Zanesville also has Ohio’s one and only 28-foot LED ornament tree. Both of these magnificent trees make the perfect opportunity to snap a picture with your loved ones to remember the magic.

Little ones will enjoy stopping by the Santa House to see Santa and tell him all their wishes. They can even write a letter and drop it off at a Santa Mailbox at select locations around Muskingum County. You can assure your little ones that Muskingum County has an express link to the North Pole and their wishes will reach Santa in time.

Meet other Christmas Storybook characters like the Grinch, Elf, and Frosty. There are plenty of “selfie” moments to capture and enjoy the memories for years to come. Stop by and enter the teddy bear coloring contest, scavenger hunt, church tours, and much more.

As you stroll through the streets, enjoy the carolers, and horse-drawn carriage rides, and be sure to go through Zane’s Landing Park to view a holiday display of lights. Complete your evening with the courthouse music and light display.

“Storybook Christmas in downtown Zanesville brings the excitement of the season alive. With many storefronts decorated, the courthouse holiday decorations, and a musical light show to the Zane Landing’s drive-through light display, we enjoyed it all. We ended the night with a horse-drawn carriage ride and a visit to Santa at his house at Secrest Auditorium. This is a must-do for our family every holiday season!” -Jennifer Martin, community member.

The Storybook Christmas event began in 2014 after deciding to add a musical light show to the courthouse. It has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception, filled with carriage rides, a parade, a Santa House, a 5k run/1 Mile Walk and so much more.

After you soak in all the magic Zanesville and Muskingum County has to offer this holiday season, be sure to curl up at home with your favorite Christmas Storybook and maybe some hot chocolate and a candy cane.

Main event schedule for Storybook Christmas:

  • A Storybook Christmas Parade: November 30 at 6:30 p.m.
  • A Storybook Christmas 5K Run/1-Mile Walk: December 3 at 5 p.m. downtown Zanesville
  • Carriage Rides throughout downtown Zanesville: Friday, December 9 and December 16 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (reservations are required)
  • A Seussified Christmas Carol: December 10 at the Secrest Auditorium
  • Santa Train Rides: December 10 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at Perry Scenic Train
  • National Wreaths Across America: December 17 at Greenwood Cemetery
  • Courthouse Light Display: November 30–January 1
  • Holiday Trail of Lights: November 30–January 1 at Zane Landing Park
  • The Nutcracker & Handbell Festival: TBA (check the website for updates)

Chandlersville and Muskingum County

When visiting Muskingum County, leave room for a visit to Chandlersville for the Bethlehem Walk in your holiday sightseeing. Walk the journey of the live outdoor recreation of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Experience firsthand the Shepherds, Roman Soldiers, and tax collectors through the town and to the stable where a tiny manager lay for Jesus to be born. Allow yourself an hour to walk (handicap/stroller accessible). This free experience starts at the Chandlersville United Methodist Church.

New Concord and Dresden towns have their own special parade to kick off the holiday season and is a must-see to shop, dine and enjoy the magic of the holiday.

For more information and to get a copy of this year’s 2022 Storybook Christmas Booklet listing all the participating locations, dates, and times go to or call the Zanesville-Muskingum County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 740-455-8282.

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