The Cincinnati arts scene thrives during the cold winter months. Put a new spin on an tradition and base your office get-togethers around a beloved festival. Or, if you're stumped about what to get your employees or co-workers, consider giving tickets to one of these shows:
The Cincinnati Zo'™s Festival of Lights features 2.5 million Christmas lights as well as carolers and light sculptures. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale. 5 to 9 p.m. daily, mid-November through December. $12.95 adults, $10.95 senior citizens and $7.95 children ages 2 to 12. 513/475-6124 or www.cincinnatizoo.org. The annual Holiday Fest features carriage and pony rides, outdoor ice skating, the Cool Runnings Toboggan Slide, and more. The Beach Waterpark, 2590 Waterpark Dr., Mason. 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 3 to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, mid-November through early January. $10, children 5-12 and military $7.50. 513/398-SWIM or www.HolidayFestAtTheBeach.com.

Holiday Junction chugs back into town inside the city's Amtrak terminal. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays), late November through January. $7.25, seniors $6.25, children ages 3-12 $5.25. 513/287-7000 or www.cincymuseum.com.

The Ensemble troupe stages the world premiere musical Ugly Duck. Ensemble Theatre, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, Nov. 29 through Dec. 31. $32 adults, $29 full-time students (with I.D.) and seniors (65 plus), and $16 for children 12 and under. 513/421-3555 or www.cincyetc.com.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens' familiar holiday chestnut, is a ghost story with heart. The Playhouse in the Park, Mt. Adams. 7 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, Dec. 2 through Dec. 30. $41.50 to $54.50 for adults, $15 to $20 for children 5 to 12 (children under 5 not admitted). 513/421-3888 or www.cincyplay.com.

The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati opens The Adventures of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Taft Theatre, Fifth and Sycamore Sts., downtown. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 9 and 10. $7 to $18. 513/569-8080 or www.thechildrenstheatre.com.

The Winter Wonderland poinsettia display includes a nativity scene (with live animals), a frozen pond and train display of Cincinnati landmarks. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Dr., Mt. Adams. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m daily, December through early January. Free. 513/421-4086.

They call it the "Miracle on Fourth Street." The Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival is celebrating 67 years of Medieval pageantry and the Nativity story. Christ Church Cathedral, 4th and Sycamore Sts., downtown. 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30 and 31. Free tickets are available by calling ahead, then seating is first come, first served (traditionally, the pageant has never turned anyone away, even if there is standing room only).
513/621-2627.