Calendar of events: “Authors, Animals & Art” feature “A Very Fiona Christmas”

Press Staff Writer

Calendar of events
       “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas! Only a hippopotamus will do!”
         If this rings true to you and your children, join the Toledo Zoo and the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum for the second installment of Authors, Animals and Art, highlighting the Christmas adventures of Fiona, the world-famous hippo from Ohio.
        The second event of this meet-the-creative series will feature Richard Cowdrey, illustrator of “A Very Fiona Christmas” on Sunday, Dec. 15 from noon-2 p.m. in The Great Hall of the ProMedica Museum of Natural History at the Toledo Zoo.
        The afternoon will begin with a short multimedia presentation from the illustrator, followed by Cowdrey reading the book aloud and conclude with a book signing. Copies of “A Very Fiona Christmas” will be available for purchase at the event.
        “A Very Fiona Christmas” is a children’s book created for ages 4-8, authored by Zondervan and illustrated by Cowdrey. It tells the story of Fiona, the hippo and her quest to find out what exactly Christmas is. The 32-page book was released on Oct. 1 as a follow-up to the award-winning “Fiona the Hippo” picture book and has garnered rave reviews.
        Authors, Animals and Art is open to all ages and free with Zoo admission. Guests are encouraged to come early and explore the new Museum, including the Mazza Gallery on the second floor. No pre-registration is required.
        For more information, please visit
        Other events, sure to make it a December to remember include:
Through Feb. 23, 2020: “Everything Is Rhythm: Mid-Century Art & Music, Toledo Museum of Art. A multi-sensory exhibit featuring a selection of 20th-century abstract paintings, each paired with carefully curated musical compositions. Free admission.
Through March 8, 2020: “Global Conversation: Art in Dialogue,” Toledo Museum of Art. Dozens of contemporary works of art, many from the Museum’s permanent collection and many newly acquired, that encompass a broad range of media and geographic regions are featured. Free admission.
Through March 29, 2020: “Women of Spiegel Grove” – a special exhibit at Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Fremont. In honor of the centennial of women’s suffrage, the exhibit showcases the lives of the many women who played important roles at Spiegel Grove and tells the national story of women in America, from the suffrage movement to the pursuit for social and workplace equality to the #MeToo movement. Exhibit included with HPLM admission. 419-332-2081,
Through Dec. 31: Lights Before Christmas presented by KeyBank, Toledo Zoo. Over a million sparkling lights, animated displays, an Ice Slide, visits with Santa and more. More information including hours and pricing can be found at Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 3-8 p.m.
Through Jan. 4, 2020: Model Train Display, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Fremont. This operating model train display runs through an intricate Victorian holiday scene. Interactive buttons allow visitors to control aspects of the trains’ movements along the winding, multitiered, 12x24-foot layout. Access to the Hayes Train Special is included with regular admission.
Through Jan. 4: Hensville Lights, Washington and St. Clair streets, downtown, 5 p.m.-midnight. More than 200,000 holiday lights decorate the buildings along St. Clair Street with a special dancing light show in Hensville Park synced to music. In addition, the Hensville Park Christmas tree stands 45 feet tall and is on display along the Monroe Street side of the park.
Through Jan. 5: One SeaSkate Ice Skating, 550 N. Summit St., Toledo. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 5-8 p.m.; Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday 4-10 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Skate rental available.
Dec. 1: Arts & Crafts Festival, Schedel Arboretum & Gardens, Elmore, 1-4 p.m. Free. Art and crafts vendors, unique gift items, food vendors, ornament-making station for kids, visits with Santa (2-4 p.m.).
Dec. 1: Holiday Craft Market, Maumee Bay State Park Lodge, Oregon, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Handmade crafts, gifts and more.
Dec. 1: Ballet Theatre of Toledo’s “The Nutcracker,” Valentine Theatre, downtown Toledo, 2 p.m. For tickets call: 419-861-0895 or The Valentine at 419-242-2787.
Dec. 4: “Finding Her Voice” Book Club – “Jane Eyre,” by Charlotte Bronte, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Fremont, noon-2 p.m. 419-332-2081,
Dec. 4: Toledo Walleye vs. Adirondack Thunder, Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 10:35 a.m. 419-725-WALL,
Dec. 5: Beer & Wine Tasting, Schedel Arboretum & Gardens, Elmore, 6:30 p.m. Join personal chef Jennifer Schuerman for a beer and wine tasting with themed foods. $30.90. Registration required.
Dec. 5: Five Finger Death Punch, Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 6:30 p.m. Five Finger Death Punch with multi-platinum Three Days Grace, global rock sensation Bad Wolves and newcomers Fire From The Gods.
Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26: Ice Carvings at Lights Before Christmas, Toledo Zoo. Watch ice masterpieces take shape right before your eyes in the Zoo’s Main Plaza beginning at 6 p.m.
Dec. 6: Toledo Walleye vs. Bramptom Beast, Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 7:15 p.m. 419-725-WALL,
Dec. 6: Latin artist AJ Castillo, Stranahan Theater & Great Hall, Toledo, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 6-8: “A Christmas Carol,” Valentine Theatre, downtown Toledo. A Toledo rep tradition tells the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge as he is transformed by the spirts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. 419-242-2787,
Dec. 6, 14, 20 and 21: Lights Before Christmas Overnights, Toledo Zoo. Enjoy the Zoo for Lights --- then spend the night. This overnight experience features up-close encounters with animals, special talks by Zoo staff, evening cookies and hot cocoa and a continental breakfast. 
Dec. 6-23: Children’s Wonderland, Sylvania’s Tam-O-Shanter. For decades, families from throughout the region have been visiting Children’s Wonderland, which includes dozens of classic exhibits, train rides and opportunities to take photos with Santa.
Dec. 7: Olde Fashioned Christmas, downtown Oak Harbor. Santa arrives at Adolphus Kraemer Park to light the village Christmas tree and kick off the holiday season. Visit him and enjoy a cookie and hot chocolate at the Portage District Fire Station. Shop in Santa's Secret Shop.
Dec. 7: Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run & Walk, Gibsonburg, 9 a.m. Entry fee is a new and unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item. Awards given to adult male and female and boy and girl with the ugliest sweater. 419-637-2634,
Dec. 7: Winter Sisters Meet & Greet, Imagination Station, downtown Toledo, noon-3 p.m. Welcome the arrival of cold and snowy weather with Elsa and Anna. At 3:30 p.m., sing along with them as they perform songs from “Frozen 2.”
Dec. 7: A Lakeside Christmas, various locations, Lakeside, 12-10 p.m. This annual holiday event features children's holiday crafts and storytime, a family-friendly concert, Community Christmas dinner, holiday movies, shopping, dining, and much more.
Dec. 7: Holiday Craft Show for Make-A-Wish, Lucas County Rec Center, Maumee. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 100 premiere crafters and vendors. Free admission and parking.
Dec. 7: Toledo Walleye vs. Cincinnati Cyclones, Huntington Center, Toledo, 7:15 p.m. 419-725-WALL,
Dec. 7: Lindsey Stirling – Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour, Huntington Center, Toledo, 8 p.m.
Dec. 7-8: Fremont Flea Market, Sandusky County Fairgrounds, Fremont. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
Dec. 7-8: Dinosaur Adventure, SeaGate Convention Centre, Toledo, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. An exhibit featuring realistic, life-sized dinosaurs that come alive with their life-like movement and roars.
Dec. 7-15: Holidays in the Manor House, Wildwood Preserve Metropark, Toledo. The grand mansion is decorated top to bottom for the holiday season and is ready for tours from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. each day. Other activities include s’mores-making, carriage rides and more.
Dec. 8: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Holiday Open House, Ottawa NWR, Oak Harbor, 12-4 p.m. Free admission. The Visitor Center will host crafts, refreshments and local vendors selling conservation-minded holiday gifts. 419-898-0014.
Dec. 8: Black Swamp Bird Observatory Holiday Open House, Oak Harbor, noon-4 p.m. Free admission. Refreshments, kids’ activities, discounts on select merchandise and more. 419-898-4070.
Dec. 8: Holiday Open House, Fort Meigs Memorial, Perrysburg, 1-4 p.m. War of 1812 soldiers and civilians will be on hand to provide demonstrations and answer questions about the war and camp life. Holiday music, hot cider and cookies, and hands-on activities.
Dec. 8: Painting with Donna, “The Grinch,” Schedel Arboretum & Gardens, Elmore, 12:30-2 p.m. Create a Christmas Classic of “The Grinch” on canvas with hands-on instruction by artist Donna Ebert. All materials included plus a complimentary mimosa. Fee is $41.20.
Dec. 8: Santa Hustle, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky. Half-marathon at 9 a.m.; 5K at 9:15 a.m.; Kids’ Dash at 8:30 a.m.
Dec. 12: Gaither Christmas Homecoming, Huntington Center, 7 p.m.
Dec. 12, 15, 19 & 22: Drive Thru Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Display, Sandusky County Fairgrounds, Fremont. Cost: one perishable food item or $1.
Dec. 13: Toledo Walleye vs. Indy Fuel, Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 7:15 p.m. 419-725-WALL,
Dec. 13, 14, 20 & 21: Walk Thru Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Display, Sandusky County Fairgrounds, Fremont. Cost: one perishable food item or $1.
Dec. 14-15: Toledo Symphony: Toledo Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” Stranahan Theater, Toledo.
Dec. 14: Winter Brewfest, Fifth Third Field, downtown Toledo, 5-9 p.m. Beer beginners and enthusiasts are invited to sample liquid offerings from the more than 250 craft beers and ciders. Rounding out the experience is music, food and a souvenir sample cup.
Dec. 14: Kids Days @ Hayes, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Fremont, 1-2 p.m. Kids can create Victorian Christmas crafts, meet Santa and learn about how the holidays were celebrated in President Hayes’ era. $3 for non-members (no cost for accompanying adults). 419-332-2081,
Dec. 14: Winter Sports Science, Imagination Station Toledo, downtown Toledo. Learn the unique sport of ice boating with Toledo Yacht Club and discover the science in a variety of winter sports.
Dec. 14-15, 21-22 and 26-29: Model Train Days, Imagination Station Toledo, downtown Toledo. Marvel at a model train display decorated with miniature villages, cities and rural areas courtesy of BOo and COo Trains.
Dec. 14-15: Fremont Flea Market, Sandusky County Fairgrounds, Fremont. Hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Free admission and parking. Inside and outside vendors.
Dec. 14-15: Christmas Lantern Tours, Historic Lyme Village, Bellevue.
Dec. 15: Medical Mutual Polar Paws & Santa Claws 5K, Toledo Zoo. A new event for the whole family offering a race, walk and Kids Club Run. Participants are encouraged to wear holiday-themed attire and light-up accessories.
Dec. 19: Art Loop: Holiday Loop-Light Up Toledo! in downtown Toledo, 5:30-9 p.m. Explore the downtown creative community through self-guided tours of the art, artists, and spaces that inspire a vibrant Toledo.
Dec. 19-22, 26-30: Laser-Cut Gifts and Garb, Imagination Station Toledo, downtown Toledo. Get creative with the laser cutter to make and decorate a holiday ornament (Dec. 19-22) and glasses (Dec. 26-30).
Dec. 19-22: Disney on Ice presents “Dream Big,” Huntington Center, downtown Toledo.
Dec. 20: Jerry Seinfeld, Stranahan Theater, Toledo, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.,
Dec. 21: “Elf on the Shelf,” Stranahan Theater, Toledo, 7:30 p.m. The beloved tradition that continues to capture the hearts of children comes to the life on stage for the first time in this all-new musical and premiere stage production.
Dec. 26-29, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1: The Great Art Escape, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring family and friends to celebrate the season with a diverse array of events and regional performance groups from Toledo that fill the galleries, Glass Pavilion, and Peristyle.
Dec. 26-31: Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides in Spiegel Grove, Hayes Presidential Center & Museums, Fremont, 1-4 p.m.
Dec. 27: Toledo Walleye vs. Wheeling Nailers, Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 7:15 p.m. 419-725-WALL,
Dec. 28: Jeff Dunham brings his show “Seriously?” tour to the Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 5-8 p.m. Doors open at 4 p.m.
Dec. 29: Toledo Walleye vs. Cincinnati Cyclones, Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 7:15 p.m. 419-725-HENS,
Dec. 30: New Year’s Eve Celebration & Bouncy Ball Drop, Imagination Station Toledo, downtown Toledo. A one-of-a-kind party on the day before New Year’s Eve. Bounce from activity to activity and countdown to 2:20 p.m. when 20,000 bouncy balls drop from the ceiling.
Dec. 30: Harlem Globetrotters, Huntington Center, downtown Toledo, 2 p.m.
Dec. 30 and 31: Winter Camps, Toledo Zoo. Drop off children ages 5-12 at the Zoo from 9 a.m-3 p.m. for a winter adventure that promises exhibit tours, animal visitors, cool crafts and goofy games. Separate fee.
Dec. 31: Noon Year’s Eve, Toledo Zoo. Ring in the new year at the stroke of…noon. Kids and families can start their New Year’s a little early by building party hats and noise makers, choosing a reZOOlution, and gathering for the big countdown at noon.
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Walleye Drop, Downtown Port Clinton, 4-12 p.m. Port Clinton is the "Walleye Capital of the World," so what else would be dropped on New Year's Eve but the brand new, LED-lit, 20-foot, 600-pound walleye, named Wylie Jr., from the sky at the stroke of midnight with a spectacular fireworks show to follow.
Dec. 31: Splash, Splatter and Spray, Imagination Station Toledo, downtown Toledo. Science center mess experts are pulling out all the stops and bringing out the biggest mess-making experiments. Come dressed for the mess.
For more events, be sure to visit,, or Submit event information to


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