Merry & Bright! 34 Awesome Holiday Events in Columbus!

Santa Claus Reading a List

Updated for the 2015 season

Make 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 Christmas Eve and Dec 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.
      Sun-Thurs 5:30-9:30 $20/car, Fri-Sat 5:30 – 10:30 $20/car
      3615 S. Old State Rd, Delaware 43015
    3. Every Night – for All – Winter Wonderland at Creekside Park.
      Delightful lights and displays
      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 6 & 8:15 pm daily. Tours are 1.5 hours long (with training)
      $47.50 per rider, contact or 614-222-3005
    5. 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
    6. 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, Break: 3-4pm
      Dec 24: 9:00am – 5pm
      5×7 package is $5, other packages also available
    7. 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.
    8. Every Weekday – for All – Holiday tours of the 1861 Ohio Statehouse
      in the Map Room of the Ohio Statehouse. FREE, reservations/info at 614-752-9777
    9. 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.
      Santa Visits at all locations 12 PM to 3PM
    10. 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

December Dates:

  • 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23 – for Adults – A Taste of Dickens at Glenlaurel
    Every Sunday & Wednesday in December.  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 (800) 809-7378
  • 3 – for All – Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Historic Dublin. Includes photos with Santa, live Reindeer, music and dance performances, hot cocoa and more. Free! See here for more Holidays in Dublin events.
  • 3 – for All – City Tree Lighting Ceremony in Hilliard
    6-8pm Historical Village at Weaver Park, 4100 Columbia, in Hilliard. See here for more Holidays in Hilliard events
  • 3– for All – Christmas Open House 
    Historical Village at Weaver Park, 4100 Columbia, Hilliard  5-8:00pm
  • 4 – 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. 6:00-8:30pm Mallway Park, Arlington Avenue, UA
  • 5 – for All – Grove City Mistletoe Market
    German-style festive market at the historic Town Center 10 AM to 8 PM
  • 4 -6 – for All – Holiday Pops Concert by the CSC.
    Friday 8pm, Saturday  3 pm & 8pm, and Sunday 3pm.
    Ohio Theater, 55 East State Street, Columbus OH call theater for tickets or purchase online.
  • 4-6 – for All – Winterfair
    Beautiful hand-crafted items from all over the world for sale.
    10am-7pm Fri & Sat, 11am-4pm Sunday at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 East 17th Ave, Columbus OH
  • 4 – 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
  • 5, 12, 19 – for All – Roscoe Village Christmas Candlelighting & Roscoe Christmas Tours
    Santa, caroling, carriage rides, and a glimpse into the 1800’s holiday.
    Roscoe Christmas Saturday Tour Times: 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, Sunday Tour Times: 1:00pm
    $9.95 for adults, $4.95 for students
    Roscoe Village, Coshocton, OH
  • 5 – for All – Holiday Festival in Powell
    Tree lighting, Santa, trolley rides, and more!
    FREE! 12 – 5:00 at the Village Green Park and Municipal Bdg, Downtown Powell, 47 Hall St., OH See here for more Holidays in Powell events.
  • 5 – for Adults – Jingle Bell Run/Walk
    Raising money for Arthritis Foundation
    To register to run:
  • 5 – for Adults – Holiday Gallery Hop
    Take part in the Gallery Hop experience, holiday style!
    From 4-10pm, in the Short North of Columbus
  • 6, 12, 19 – for All – Holidays at the North Market
    Dec 6 Reindeer Party, 12pm-3pm
    Dec 12 Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
    Dec 19 listen to Central Crossing High School Choir 11am – 12pm
    Samples, shopping, music treats, trees and trimmings, and more.
    8North Market, 59 Spruce Street, Columbus, OH
  • 6 – 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 and at St. John’s Episcopal Church on the date. Call 614-581-8081 for more information. See here for more Holidays in Worthington events.
  • 11-27 – for All – The Nutcraker, by BalletMet.
    Come see the holiday classic!
    Visit their website for the extensive lists of performance dates.
    Ohio Theatre, 39 East State Street, Columbus, Ohio
  • 8 – for All – Holiday Recipe Swap
    Focus is on healthy holiday recipes. Presentation by chef Mark Zedella. 6:30-8pm  Registration required.
    Old Worthington Library Meeting Room 820 High Street Worthington, OH 43085 614-807-2626
    Worthington Park Library 1380 Worthington Centre Dr Worthington 807-2626
    Northwest Library 2280 Hard Road Columbus, OH 43235 614-807-2626
  • 9 – for Teens – Hot Chocolate Taste Test
    Try hot chocolate with a variety of ingredients. Find your perfect blend!  5-6pm
    Worthington Park Library Meeting Room, 1380 Worthington Centre Dr Worthington 807-2626
  • 11-12 – for All – Westerville Christmas Spectacular, Westerville Central High
    Friday 6pm Saturday 11:30, 2:30, and 7pm performances, with music and dancing to get you in the holiday spirit! Call 794-3238 for tickets
  • 11&12, 18&19, – 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 Sold out as of November 23, 2015
  • 11&12, 18&19, 20 – for All – Dickens of a Christmas
    Ohio Village features a victorian Christmas, crafts, and entertainment. 6-9pm, December 20th 12-5pm. 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 or visit the web site
  • 12 – for Kids – The Nutcracker, Columbus City Ballet School
    2pm and 7pm Ohio Wesleyan University Chappelear Drama Center
    Tickets $12-$25 call 614-384-0222 Visit the website.

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