Make it Merry! Make it Kent!

‘Tis the season to be merry and bright! The Kent community has come together to bring the magic of the holiday season back to Kent, making this year more special than ever. Thanks to the City of Kent, Kent State University, Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Kent Parks and Recreation, Kent State Hotel & Conference Center, and Main Street Kent, you’ll enjoy festive decorations, seasonal activities for all ages, and plenty of holiday spirit in downtown Kent. With the importance of supporting our local businesses top of mind, we invite you and your family to Make it Merry…Make it Kent!

Kent Skates

November 20 – February 28

Bundle up and lace up your skates for an afternoon or evening of fun at KENT SKATES, Kent’s new outdoor ice rink located on Erie St. in downtown Kent! Kent Skates is free and open to the public, so bring your own skates or grab a pair at the rink and enjoy some winter fun. Skating season begins Nov. 20th and extends to Feb. 28th. After skating, warm up with a hot chocolate, good eats, and tasty treats from a variety of downtown restaurants all within walking distance from the rink and peek in the shops along the way for some holiday shopping. For a unique experience in downtown Kent this winter, hit the ice for open skating or rent the rink for a private party!

Story Walk Kent

November 24-December 27, 2021

In partnership with the Rotary Club of Kent and  Talk On Speech-Language Therapy , we are excited to host a festive holiday Story Walk featuring Dav Piley’s Dragon’s Merry Christmas! A Story Walk is a fun activity where children and families can follow a map through downtown Kent, reading a story in the business windows along the way. It’s a fun way of promoting literacy, physical activity, and community! Grab some snacks along the way, shop, or stop for lunch at one of our local restaurants. This is a great opportunity to get some fresh air and support local business. Stop at the Kent Stage on Nov. 27 from 10:30am-1:30pm for a fun kick-off event with story times, free books, bookmarks and treats!

Elf Hits Downtown Kent!

November 26-December 18

Kick off the holiday season with this free, fun activity around downtown Kent! Find the elf in any 10 of the participating businesses for a chance to win a Kent Card! Find ALL 20 for a grand prize entry. Complete an entry in on our online guest book. We’ll have a random drawing of 20 lucky winners and 1 grand prize winner on December 20. Grab a bite to eat, do a little shopping and enjoy visiting our downtown businesses!


Ugly Sweater Tavern Trek

Friday, December 3 | Check in 5-7pm

Grab your ugliest sweater and cheers at 14 downtown bars! All ticket holders will receive a trek “pass,” swag from Great Lakes Brewing Co., and an entry to win the grand prize: a GLBC tailgate package including cooler, camping chairs, and toolbox grill! Bring your friends and enjoy a festive evening in downtown Kent with Great Lakes Christmas Ale and other Great Lakes beers. Stop for some great local food along the way. Take your beverages outdoors with a DORA cup and wristband from a participating bar or restaurant (DORA ends at 11pm; all beverages must remain indoors after that time). Prizes will be awarded randomly throughout the evening for ugliest sweaters. A generous portion of proceeds will benefit Kent Social Services. Sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Festival of Lights

Saturday, December 4 | 6pm

Grab your coats, scarves and mittens and enjoy the magic of the season in downtown Kent at the Festival of Lights, presented by the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce. The festive sounds of the Roosevelt High School ACEs choir will open the festival as the crowd awaits Santa’s arrival. Accompanied by Kent’s Mayor Fiala, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving from the North Pole on the Christmas Train to flip the switch and light up our downtown. Children and families will have the opportunity to snap their holiday selfie with Santa, enjoy cookies, and drop their letters off in the North Pole mailbox. Each family will receive a free children’s book, Walking in a Winter Wonderland (while supplies last), and the Dickens Carolers will be strolling throughout downtown singing our favorite holiday carols.

Festive Photo Ops

Beginning in December

Lights, Camera Phone, Selfie! Uniquely decorated snow people will be on display in downtown Kent this holiday season! Hum a holiday tune as you stroll around town and take a moment to capture a memorable photo amongst the festive lights and window displays dressed in their holiday best. Snow people are sponsored by the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and “adopted” by local business owners and community members.