Merry & Bright! 34 Awesome Holiday Events in Columbus!

Santa Claus Reading a ListMake your holiday season merry and bright! There are dozens of things to do around Central Ohio in December, and many of them are easy on the budget, or even free. Take a look at some ideas below, and see if any of these events fits your family’s interests and budget. Happy Holidays!


  1. Every Night – for All – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
    They’ve decked the halls, trees, and everything but the animals with gorgeous lights!
    Price of Admission, or free to members: Sun-Thurs 5-9pm and Fri -Sat 5-10pm
    closed Dec 24 & 25
  2. Every Night – for All – Holiday Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park
    1.5 mile drive featuring over 1 million lights and 100 displays. A portion of the proceeds go to a charity called Recreation Unlimited, to support recreation activities for disabled youth and adults.
    Mon-Thurs 5:30-9:30 $10/car, Fri-Sun $15/car Pictures with Santa are $5
    3615 S. Old State Rd, Delaware 43015
  3. Every Night – for All – Winter Wonderland at Creekside Park.
    Delightful lights and displays
    6-11pm Creekside Park and Plaza, 123 Mill Street, Gahanna OH
  4. Every Night – for Teens and Adults – Holiday Segway Tours
    Tour the holiday lights and decorations of
    our beautiful city, and listen to holiday music. At 6pm daily. Tours are 1.5 hours long
    $40 per rider, contact or 614-222-3005
  5. Almost Every Night – for All – Christmas at the Farm
     The Haunted Farm goes from scary to merry!
    Santa, bonfire, hot cocoa, etc. 6-9pm, most evenings, and upon request for groups.
    Tickets $12/adult, $7/kids. Donate 2 canned food items to receive $2 discount.
    5450 Old Millersport Rd NE, Pleasantville, OH call 614-420-6125
    or for more information/reservations
  6. Every Day – for All – Merry & Bright: Holidays at the Franklin Park Conservatory
    Celebrate the holidays, enjoy the scenes and lights, and the gingerbread competition.
    Candlelight nights featuring live music and special programs on Weds evenings.
    Holiday cooking and fine art classes are also available this month. For prices contact 1777 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43203
  7. Every Day – for All – Photos with Santa, at Easton Town Center, Columbus OH
    Mon–Sat: 10:00am – 9pm, Breaks: 1– 1:45pm and 4:45 – 5:30pm Sun: 11am – 7pm, Breaks: 1– 1:30pm and 4:30 – 5:30pm

    Dec 24: 9:00am – 5pm (No breaks 12/20/11 – 12/24/11)
    5×7 package is $5, other packages also available
  8. Every Weekday – for All – FREE Holiday choir performances at the Ohio Statehouse
    from 12-1pm in the Museum Gallery of the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse.
  9. Every Weekday – for All – Holiday tours of the 1861 Ohio Statehouse
    from 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm in the Map Room of the Ohio
    Statehouse. FREE, reservation required at 614-752-9777
  10. Every Weekend – for All – See Santa and enjoy a unique Santa Wonderland 2pm-4pm
    FREE – Oakland Nurseries; Columbus, Delaware, Dublin and New Albany locations
    1156 Oakland Park Ave Columbus– carriage rides, music, and other special events
    25 Kilbourne Rd Delaware – free snacks, music, and workshops on Saturdays at 10am
    4261 W. Dublin-Granville Rd Dublin – carriage rides, cookies & cocoa, photos w/Fido
    5211 Johnstown Rd New Albany – free snacks, concessions, etc.
  11. Every Weekend Night – for All – Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center.
    From 6-10 Friday and Saturday, and 3-7pm on Sundays. Admission is $10, and children under 15 ride free with paying adult! 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH
  12. December Dates:

  13. 1 – for All – Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Historic Dublin. Includes photos with Santa, live Reindeer, music and dance performances, hot cocoa and more. Free!
  14. 1 – for All – City Tree Lighting Ceremony in Hilliard
    6-8pm Historical Village at Weaver Park, 4100 Columbia, in Hilliard
  15. 2 – for All – Winter Festival and Tree Lighting, Upper Arlington
    Free, some activities have small fee. Holiday music, caroling, ice sculpture, reindeer, carriage rides, bonfire, and cocoa. 6:30-9:30pm Mallway Park, Arlington Avenue, UA
  16. 2 – for All – Grove City Winter Lights Celebration
    Carriage rides, carols, Santa, and ice sculpture
    Admission is free, but canned food donation or money donation is requested for the Grove City food pantry. 6-8pm
  17. 2-4 – for All – Holiday Pops Concert by the CSC. 
    Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, and Sunday 3pm.
    Ohio Theater, 55 East State Street, Columbus OH call theater for tickets.
  18. 2-4 – for All – Winterfair
    Beautiful hand-crafted items from all over the world for sale.
    10am-8pm Fri & Sat, noon-5pm Sunday at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 East 17th Ave, Columbus OH
  19. 2&3, 9&10– for All – Olde Hilliard Christmas with lights, activities for tot-teens, and music
    Free – Historical Village at Weaver Park, 4100 Columbia, Hilliard
    5-8:30pm (2&3) 6:30-8:30pm (9&10)
  20. 3, 10, or 13 – for Teens – Make origami ornaments and deck your halls!
    Dec 3 Free: Old Worthington Library 820 High Street Worthington, OH 43085 614-807-2626
    Dec 10 Free: Worthington Park Library 1380 Worthington Centre Dr Worthington 807-2626
    Dec 13 Free: Northwest Library 2280 Hard Road Columbus, OH 43235 614-807-2626
  21. 3 – for All – Westerville Christmas Spectacular, Westerville Central High
    11:30, 2:00, and 7pm performances, with music and dancing to get you in the holiday spirit! Call 794-3238 for tickets
  22. 3 – for All – Roscoe Village Christmas Candlelighting: Santa, caroling, carriage rides, and a glimpse
    into the 1800’s holiday. 12-8:30pm Roscoe Village, Coshocton, OH
  23. 3 – for All – North Market Holiday Open House and Craft Extravaganza
    Samples, shopping, music treats, trees and trimmings, and more.
    8am-5pm, North Market, 59 Spruce Street, Columbus, OH
  24. 3 – for All – Holiday Festival in Powell
    Tree lighting, Santa, trolley rides, and more!
    FREE! 12 – 5:30 at the Village Green Park and Municipal Bdg, Downtown Powell, OH
  25. 3 – for Kids – Breakfast with Santa, at Bon Vie Bistro, Easton Town Center 4089 The Strand East,
    from 8:30-10am Tickets $11 adults, $6 children
  26. 3 – for Adults – Jingle Bell Run/Walk 2011
    Raising money for Arthritis Foundation
    To register to run:
  27. 3 – for Adults – Holiday Gallery Hop
    Take part in the Gallery Hop experience, holiday style!
    From 4-10pm, in the Short North of Columbus
  28. 3 – for All – Grand Illumination in Downtown Columbus.
    From 5pm to 10pm. Events at City Hall,
    Columbus Commons, Scioto Mile Promenade, Bicentennial Park, etc. Walking Tour.
    Free. Parking in the Front street and Rich street parking garages, or surface lot & meter
  29. 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21 – for Adults – A Taste of Dickens at Glenlaurel 
    A special package of luxury accommodations and a 6-course traditional Victorian Christmas Dinner with readings from “A Christmas Carol” and other notable Christmas stories. Dinner is $49 per person, and if you stay over, there is a 50% off your lodging with the dinner! Please make reservations at 877-913-0896
  30. 4- for Adults – Musical Tour of Homes, in Worthington.
    The tour features young chamber music groups playing beautiful music at each of the 10 homes to be toured. Cocoa and cookies will be served at the church.
    Tour is 1-5pm Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at, many Olde Worthington Shops, and at St. John’s Episcopal Church on the date.
    Call 614-581-8081 for more information
  31. 9-24 – for All – The Nutcraker, by BalletMet.
    Come see the holiday classic!
    Dates: Dec 9 – 7:30 – 9:30PM; Dec 10 – 1-3PM and 7:30-9:30PM; Dec 11 – 2-4PM; Dec 15 and 16 – 7:30 – 9:30PM;
    Dec17 – 2-4PM and 7:30-9:30PM; Dec 18 – 1-3PM and 5:30-7:30PM;
    Dec 20, 21, and 22 – 7:30-9:30PM; Dec 23 – 2-4PM and 7:30-9:30PM;
    Dec 24 – 1-3PM

    Ohio Theatre, 39 East State Street, Columbus, Ohio
  32. 9&10, 16&17 – for All – Dickens of a Dinner
    American House Hotel features a victorian dinner, and entertainment. 6pm-7:30pm. Reservations required.
    Tickets $60/adult and $50/OHS member call 800-686-1541
  33. 9&10, 16&17 – for All – Dickens of a Christmas
    Ohio Village features a victorian Christmas, crafts, and entertainment. 6-9pm. Tickets required.
    Tickets $12/adult and $10/OHS member, $9/youth and $7/OHS youth member and FREE for the 5 and under tots call 800-686-1541
  34. 10 – for Kids – The Nutcracker, Columbus City Ballet School
    2pm and 7pm Ohio Wesleyan University Chappelear Drama Center
    Tickets $15, 16, 20, call 614-384-0222
  35. 16-18 – for All – Nia Performing Arts Presents Black Nativity 2011
    he powerful gospel play written by Langston Hughes.
    The King Arts Complex, 867 Mt Vernon Ave, Columbus, OH
    Times: Friday 7pm, Saturday 2:30 and 7pm, and Sunday 5pm
    Tickets are $10 and $15 in advance, and $3 more at the door
    Call 614-848-3550 for more information and to purchase tickets

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