Finding the good in our communities

State Parks Offer Christmas Holiday Options

Photo courtesy of ODNR

Article Presented By Scioto Valley Dumpsters

(ODNR Release) – The trees are trimmed, and the halls are decked with holiday cheer at the Great Ohio Lodges at Ohio’s state parks.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is excited to help people celebrate with family gatherings, reunions, office parties, or festive getaways throughout the season.

Shawnee State Park Lodge

“Our lodges are beautiful and magical places all year round, but they are especially welcoming this time of year,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said.  “We hope couples, families, and friends will come and feel the warmth of the fire, get into the holiday spirit, and make new memories at one of our cozy state park lodges.”

From Punderson to the brand-new Hocking Hills lodge, the halls are glowing with holiday décor, ready to welcome visitors who want to get away this season.  More than 50,000 lights and 44 fully decorated trees will be on display at the Shawnee State Park lodge.  A full-size nativity scene and an all-natural Noah’s Ark will add to the holiday décor at the lodge. Shawnee also features a best in show tree selected by the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs.

Punderson State Park Lodge

Salt Fork State Park Lodge is also ready for the holidays. Guests can soak in the warmth at three fully decorated fireplaces. And the spirit spreads beyond the lobby.  Holiday touches can be found on all four levels of the lodge.

Hocking Hills State Park Lodge

The Hocking Hills Lodge and Conference Center will celebrate its first holiday season with shining lights and several trees adorned with red and gold decorations. Cozy up by one of the fireplaces draped with garland and plan your next outdoor adventure.

Need a little help kickstarting your holiday spirit? Then look no further than Hueston Woods State Park Lodge where a traditional ribbon tree overlooks the main dining room.  The unique decoration will be complemented by more than 100 other trees adorned to spread holiday cheer.

For the second year in a row, Punderson Manor will have more than 200 nutcrackers on display.  Try to find the new additions within this impressive presentation in the form of nutcrackers representing ODNR’s Natural Resources Officers.  The collection compliments the stunning trees and décor- making a perfect spot for that family holiday photo.

As you make your holiday plans, consider visiting one of our lodges for an overnight stay or for one of our special events.  There will be festive family programming every week of December concluding with New Year’s Eve parties and specials to ring in the New Year.  Below are activities that can still be enjoyed this year (more information is linked within the parks’ names):


December 25
Breakfast with Santa
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

December 31
New Year’s Eve Glow Parties
Kids 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Adults 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
December 16-17
Murder Mystery Dinner
6:00 p.m.
December 25
Christmas Day Buffet
Noon – 4:00 p.m.
December 31
New Year’s Eve Celebration Party for All
8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
December 9, 10
Cookies with Santa
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
December 25
Christmas Day Dinner
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
December 27 – 30
Winter Carnival
10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
December 10, 17, 23
Breakfast with Santa
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
December (Sundays)
Breakfast with Santa
December 11
8:00 a.m. – Noon
December 18
8:00 a.m. – Noon
December 24
Christmas Eve Buffet
4:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
December 25
Christmas Day Buffet
Noon – 5:00 p.m.
December 10, 17
Santa’s North Pole Outpost
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
December 10, 17
Storytime with Mrs. Claus
4:00 p.m.
December 18
Christmas Open House & Buffet
Noon – 6:00 p.m.
December 31
Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration
7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

The lodges will also offer holiday add-on packages.  These will differ from lodge to lodge, but could include hot cocoa, campfire mugs, and other holiday-themed keepsakes.  To include an add-on or to plan your seasonal trip at one of the Great Ohio Lodges, visit the Ohio lodges website or call the reservations team at 1-800-AT-A-PARK.

People looking for another way to celebrate Ohio State Parks this holiday season can shop ODNR’s new online store.  You can give the gift of the great outdoors with the 2022 state parks ornament, park posters, gift cards, or an Ohio State Parks passport.