What Should We Do This Weekend? Columbus, Ohio, December 14-16, 2018

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Looking for things to do in Columbus, Ohio this weekend? Here are over 90 family-friendly events happening in Columbus, and Central Ohio this weekend!

Family Friendly Events in Columbus Ohio This Weekend:

FRIDAY

9:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – families can decorate a gingerbread house together! Everything you need will be provided in the cost. 

10:00 AM – Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory while it’s decked out for the season! Enjoy special performances and activities and this year the event extends into the Children’s Garden!

10:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – get your family’s picture with Santa between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM (with 2 break periods (see link)). Get a professional 5×7 for $5 or take a photo with your own camera. Reservations are available!

10:00 AM – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Lincoln Theatre – join Columbus Children’s Theatre for this updated musical to find the true meaning of Christmas! 1 Act with no intermission. Recommended for all ages.

10:30 AM – Popsicle Stick Ornaments with FIT4MOM Dublin at Foundations Learning Academy – make an ornament for your tree with FIT4MOM Dublin. This is a free playgroup!

10:30 AM – Eat Well Be Well Help Kids at BIBIBOP Asian Grill – eat at any Columbus area BIBIBOP location and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to help kids fighting cancer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital!

11:00 AM – 12 Days of KidX: Sounds of the Season at Polaris Fashion Place – enjoy music from local choirs, dance and band groups!

12:00 PM – Visit with Santa at The Shops at Worthington Place – get your picture taken with Santa!

5:00 PM – Festive Fridays at Columbus Commons – Friday nights at Columbus Commons include free hot chocolate and carousel rides! There will also be live music! Share your pictures with #CCHolidayLights!

5:00 PM – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – Wildlights is included in your admission (or membership) to the Zoo and features special activities, amazing lights, light shows, Rudolph and friends in Asia Quest, Santa’s Holiday Home in the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, Jingle Ball light display and much more!

5:00 PM – Flourish Family Fun Night at Flourish Chiropractic – enjoy cookie decorating, hot chocolate and a Christmas movie! this is a free event. RSVP through Facebook or calling.

5:30 PM – Dragon Lights Columbus – walk through an amazing display of Chinese lanterns and holiday light sculptures. Special cultural performances, food and shopping will also be available. Save money by purchasing your tickets online. 

5:30 PM – Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground – families can enjoy a 3 mile drive through holiday light show with over 140 LED light displays! $30/car on the weekends.

5:30 PM – Christmas Cardboard Drive In Movie at Prairie Township Community Center – the whole family can build a cardboard car and watch a Christmas movie. Register online.

6:00 PM – Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – carriage rides are available every weekend through December 23 for $10/person. Children under 15 are free with a paying adult. Get on the carriage outside of Zara on Gramercy Street. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Sundays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

6:00 PM – SuperGames Open Play! at SuperGames – purchase tickets the day of for this open play! First come, first served.

6:00 PM – Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides in Main Street Delaware, Inc. – free horse drawn carriage rides will be given around downtown Delaware.

6:30 PM – Kids Night Out! at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – drop your kids off for a hands on cooking experience! For ages 5 and up. 

6:30 PM – Friday! Parents Night Out at Picassos – drop your kids off for a night of making art! Ages 5 and up.

6:30 PM – Family Night Out at Goldfish Swim School – enjoy an open swim in 90 degree water at all Goldfish Swim School locations! Cost for non-members is $5/person or $15/family. First come first served!

7:00 PM – An Ohio Christmas Carol at Columbus Performing Arts Center – this performance is based on Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and is performed by the Grandview Carriage Place Players. Tickets are $5 at the door.

7:00 PM – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Lincoln Theatre – join Columbus Children’s Theatre for this updated musical to find the true meaning of Christmas! 1 Act with no intermission. Recommended for all ages.

7:30 PM – Go Tell It! at Grace Polaris Church – enjoy live retelling of the story of Christmas featuring live music and an orchestra! Reserved seating available.

7:30 PM – The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – enjoy a festive performance of this holiday classic with BalletMet. This is a two act performance with an intermission.

7:30 PM – The Polar Express Movie Weekends at COSI Columbus’ Dynamic Hands-On Science Center! – watch The Polar Express on the Giant Screen Theater and enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and other surprises! The Polar Express Live Science Show will start 30 minutes before each showtime.


Thank you to Goldfish Swim School for partnering with us!

Help Goldfish Swim School Provide Sweet Dreams & Stories December 1-21

This holiday season Goldfish Swim School is encouraging you to help provide Sweet Dreams & Stories for children throughout our community. This month Goldfish Swim School Dublin, Westerville and Lewis Center are partnering together to help provide pajamas and hard cover books to children who may not have access to a literacy rich environment at home.

From December 1 to 21 Goldfish Swim School is accepting donations for two deserving local organizations: Brightside Academy and Run The Race/Brian Muha Memorial Foundation serving at risk children on the near west side and inner-city Columbus.

If you are interested in donating, please bring one or both of the following items to Goldfish Swim School in Dublin, Westerville or Lewis Center.

  • A new pair of pajamas for children ages three months to 12 years
  • A hard cover or chapter book for children ages three months to 10 years

For more information about Goldfish Swim School, please call 614-407-3474 or visit https://dublin.goldfishswimschool.com  https://westerville.goldfishswimschool.comhttps://www.goldfishswimschool.com/lewis-center/


Want to sponsor What Should We Do This Weekend? Click here.

SATURDAY

8:00 AM – 1 Year Anniversary! PARTY TIME! at Third Way Cafe – this full day of celebration includes Explorers Club Food Truck, holiday card making, 30% off all books, $1 of all drinks and more!

8:30 AM – Breakfast with Santa at Prairie Township Community Center – this event has two seatings, 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM and includes breakfast and visits with Santa! Register online.

9:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – families can decorate a gingerbread house together! Everything you need will be provided in the cost. 

9:00 AM – Christmas In The Garden at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center – each weekend in December you can shop for a Christmas tree and other gifts while enjoying cookies and hot chocolate. There will also be ornament painting!

9:00 AM – Visit with Santa at Ohio Herb Education Center – visit with Santa, write a letter to Santa, make and take gifts in Mrs. Claus’ parlor. $5/craft or photo.

9:30 AM – The Polar Express Movie Weekends at COSI Columbus’ Dynamic Hands-On Science Center! – watch The Polar Express on the Giant Screen Theater and enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and other surprises! The Polar Express Live Science Show will start 30 minutes before each showtime.

9:30 AM – Saturday Studio Art: Holiday Card Making at Art with Anna – kids ages 4 and up can make holiday cards! Register online.

10:00 AM – Storytime at Grange Insurance Audubon Center – enjoy a nature themed story time for preschoolers!

10:00 AM – Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory while it’s decked out for the season! Enjoy special performances and activities and this year the event extends into the Children’s Garden!

10:00 AM – WALK IN Wood Slice Ornaments at AR Workshop Grove City – walk in between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM to decorate wood slice ornaments. $5 each! All ages welcome!

10:00 AM – Sensitive Santa at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus – this sensory friendly time includes open play, cookie decorating, ornament making and 1 on 1 time with Santa. $20 for the first child, $35 max. Register in advance.

10:00 AM – All Aboard for Railroad Fun at Sandel Legacy Trail – this is a monthly model railroad open house where you can watch trains and meet model railroaders. This is a free event.

10:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – get your family’s picture with Santa between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM (with 2 break periods (see link)). Get a professional 5×7 for $5 or take a photo with your own camera. Reservations are available!

10:00 AM – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Lincoln Theatre – join Columbus Children’s Theatre for this updated musical to find the true meaning of Christmas! 1 Act with no intermission. Recommended for all ages.

10:00 AM – PBJ & Jazz: Songs of the Season with Dave Powers and Friends at Lincoln Theatre – this event features a kid-friendly jazz concert plus a PB&J sandwich, juice and a cookie for the kids. $5 per person $20 max per family.

11:00 AM – 12 Days of KidX: Sounds of the Season at Polaris Fashion Place – enjoy music from local choirs, dance and band groups!

11:00 AM – All Natural Cookie Decorating at Stratford Ecological Center – learn to decorate cookies with all natural ingredients! $35/pair Register online. For kids 8 and up.

12:00 PM – Merry on Main: Skating Rink Grand Opening at Partners Park – this “iceless” skating rink will be open through January 1, 2019! The grand opening event includes a visit with Santa, a giant snow globe, special performances, carriage rides and more!

12:00 PM – Scarlet and Gray Meet with Ohio State Women’s Gymnastics – enjoy a free gymnastics meet with a meet and greet afterwards. Parking is free, too!

12:00 PM – Meet and Greet Santa at Gordon Food Service of Dublin – meet and greet Santa this weekend only!

12:00 PM – Visit with Santa at The Shops at Worthington Place – get your picture taken with Santa!

1:00 PM – Holiday Weekend at Sticky Fingers Ice Cream Parlor – this celebration includes hot chocolate floats and unique holiday flavors! 

1:00 PM – Family Fun Day in Uptown Westerville – enjoy family friendly events throughout Uptown Westerville.

1:00 PM – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Lincoln Theatre – join Columbus Children’s Theatre for this updated musical to find the true meaning of Christmas! 1 Act with no intermission. Recommended for all ages.

1:00 PM – Santa House at Strand Theatre – visit with Santa and take your own picture!

2:00 PM – The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – enjoy a festive performance of this holiday classic with BalletMet. This is a two act performance with an intermission.

2:00 PM – Cute Christmas T-Shirts at Michaels Stores – buy a T-shirt and Michaels will provide all of the supplies needed to decorate it!

2:30 PM – Go Tell It! at Grace Polaris Church – enjoy live retelling of the story of Christmas featuring live music and an orchestra! Reserved seating available.

3:30 PM – The Polar Express Movie Weekends at COSI Columbus’ Dynamic Hands-On Science Center! – watch The Polar Express on the Giant Screen Theater and enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and other surprises! The Polar Express Live Science Show will start 30 minutes before each showtime.

3:30 PM – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Lincoln Theatre – join Columbus Children’s Theatre for this updated musical to find the true meaning of Christmas! 1 Act with no intermission. Recommended for all ages.

5:00 PM – Complimentary Holiday Photos at Easton Town Center – get a complimentary professional photo at the Central Park Fountain.

5:00 PM – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – Wildlights is included in your admission (or membership) to the Zoo and features special activities, amazing lights, light shows, Rudolph and friends in Asia Quest, Santa’s Holiday Home in the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, Jingle Ball light display and much more!

5:30 PM – Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village – enjoy a 19th century holiday celebration in the spirit of Charles Dickens. There will be characters from A Christmas Carol, Santa Claus, holiday crafts, carolers, and more!

5:30 PM – The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – enjoy a festive performance of this holiday classic with BalletMet. This is a two act performance with an intermission.

5:30 PM – Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground – families can enjoy a 3 mile drive through holiday light show with over 140 LED light displays! $30/car on the weekends.

5:30 PM – Dragon Lights Columbus – walk through amazing Chinese light sculptures and interactive light displays, enjoy cultural performances, food and shopping.

6:00 PM – Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – carriage rides are available every weekend through December 23 for $10/person. Children under 15 are free with a paying adult. Get on the carriage outside of Zara on Gramercy Street. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Sundays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

6:00 PM – Cookies with Santa! at Coffee Connections of Hilliard, LLC – decorate a cookie and visit with Santa! $1.50/cookie.

7:00 PM – An Ohio Christmas Carol at Columbus Performing Arts Center – this performance is based on Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and is performed by the Grandview Carriage Place Players. Tickets are $5 at the door.

7:30 PM – Go Tell It! at Grace Polaris Church – enjoy live retelling of the story of Christmas featuring live music and an orchestra! Reserved seating available.

7:30 PM – The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – enjoy a festive performance of this holiday classic with BalletMet. This is a two act performance with an intermission.

SUNDAY

9:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – families can decorate a gingerbread house together! Everything you need will be provided in the cost. 

9:30 AM – The Polar Express Movie Weekends at COSI Columbus’ Dynamic Hands-On Science Center! – watch The Polar Express on the Giant Screen Theater and enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and other surprises! The Polar Express Live Science Show will start 30 minutes before each showtime.

10:00 AM – Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory while it’s decked out for the season! Enjoy special performances and activities and this year the event extends into the Children’s Garden!

10:00 AM – Christmas In The Garden at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center – each weekend in December you can shop for a Christmas tree and other gifts while enjoying cookies and hot chocolate. There will also be ornament painting!

11:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – get your family’s picture with Santa between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM (with 2 break periods (see link)). Get a professional 5×7 for $5 or take a photo with your own camera. Reservations are available!

11:00 AM – Sunday Family Funday at The Draft Room – this event includes free crafts for the kids and drink specials for the adults! Broke Johnny Food Truck will be on site as well!

12:00 PM – Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village – enjoy a 19th century holiday celebration in the spirit of Charles Dickens. There will be characters from A Christmas Carol, Santa Claus, holiday crafts, carolers, and more!

12:00 PM – 1 Year Anniversary Party at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus – celebrate 1 year with We Rock The Spectrum with food, crafts, face painting and open play! $12/child.

12:00 PM – The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – enjoy a festive performance of this holiday classic with BalletMet. This is a two act performance with an intermission.

12:00 PM – Meet and Greet Santa at Gordon Food Service of Dublin – meet and greet Santa this weekend only!

12:00 PM – Visit with Santa at The Shops at Worthington Place – get your picture taken with Santa!

12:00 PM – Santa Stops At Rocket Fizz To Celebrate 4 Years! at Rocket Fizz Columbus, OH – celebrate Rocket Fizz’s 4th birthday with Birthday Cake Soda and Birthday Cake Taffy – AND a visit from Santa!

12:30 PM – Mrs. Claus and her Frozen Friends Princess Camp – meet Mrs. Claus and her Frozen Friends at this event that includes singing, dancing, stories, crafts, dress up and a surprise guest! Purchase tickets online.

1:00 PM – Holiday Weekend at Sticky Fingers Ice Cream Parlor – this celebration includes hot chocolate floats and unique holiday flavors! 

1:00 PM – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Lincoln Theatre – join Columbus Children’s Theatre for this updated musical to find the true meaning of Christmas! 1 Act with no intermission. Recommended for all ages.

2:00 PM – An Ohio Christmas Carol at Columbus Performing Arts Center – this performance is based on Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and is performed by the Grandview Carriage Place Players. Tickets are $5 at the door.

2:00 PM – A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage at Palace Theatre – watch a live adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas on the stage at Palace Theatre! Featuring your favorite Peanuts characters and the classic Vince Guaraldi score.

2:30 PM – Go Tell It! at Grace Polaris Church – enjoy live retelling of the story of Christmas featuring live music and an orchestra! Reserved seating available.

3:00 PM – Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – carriage rides are available every weekend through December 23 for $10/person. Children under 15 are free with a paying adult. Get on the carriage outside of Zara on Gramercy Street. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Sundays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

3:30 PM – The Polar Express Movie Weekends at COSI Columbus’ Dynamic Hands-On Science Center! – watch The Polar Express on the Giant Screen Theater and enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and other surprises! The Polar Express Live Science Show will start 30 minutes before each showtime.

3:30 PM – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Lincoln Theatre – join Columbus Children’s Theatre for this updated musical to find the true meaning of Christmas! 1 Act with no intermission. Recommended for all ages.

5:00 PM – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – Wildlights is included in your admission (or membership) to the Zoo and features special activities, amazing lights, light shows, Rudolph and friends in Asia Quest, Santa’s Holiday Home in the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, Jingle Ball light display and much more!

5:00 PM – A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage at Palace Theatre  – watch a live adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas on the stage at Palace Theatre! Featuring your favorite Peanuts characters and the classic Vince Guaraldi score. 

5:30 PM – Dragon Lights Columbus – walk through amazing Chinese light sculptures and interactive light displays, enjoy cultural performances, food and shopping.

5:30 PM – The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – enjoy a festive performance of this holiday classic with BalletMet. This is a two act performance with an intermission.

5:30 PM – Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground – families can enjoy a 3 mile drive through holiday light show with over 140 LED light displays! $30/car on the weekends.


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*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

 

ICYMI: 7 of the Most Festive Things You Can Do in Columbus This Holiday Season


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What Should We Do This Weekend? Columbus, Ohio, November 30 – December 2, 2018

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Looking for things to do in Columbus, Ohio this weekend? Here are over 80 family-friendly events happening in Columbus, and Central Ohio this weekend!

Family Friendly Events in Columbus Ohio This Weekend:

FRIDAY

9:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – families can decorate a gingerbread house together! Everything you need will be provided in the cost. 

10:00 AM – Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory while it’s decked out for the season! Enjoy special performances and activities and this year the event extends into the Children’s Garden!

10:00 AM – Snow Day – Theatre for the Very Young at Columbus Children’s Theatre – this is a one act musical play about a young girl’s first snow day recommended for ages 2-6 performed at Park Street Theatre. 

10:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – get your family’s picture with Santa between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM (with 2 break periods (see link)). Get a professional 5×7 for $5 or take a photo with your own camera. Reservations are available!

11:30 AM – Snow Day – Theatre for the Very Young at Columbus Children’s Theatre – this is a one act musical play about a young girl’s first snow day recommended for ages 2-6 performed at Park Street Theatre. 

5:00 PM – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – Wildlights is included in your admission (or membership) to the Zoo and features special activities, amazing lights, light shows, Rudolph and friends in Asia Quest, Santa’s Holiday Home in the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, Jingle Ball light display and much more!

5:30 PM – Parents Night Out at Tree of Life Play + Cafe Drop the kids off for open play and dinner! Open to kids who are potty trained up through age 12. Register online.

5:30 PM – Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground – families can enjoy a 3 mile drive through holiday light show with over 140 LED light displays! $30/car on the weekends.

5:30 PM – Dragon Lights Columbus – walk through an amazing display of Chinese lanterns and holiday light sculptures. Special cultural performances, food and shopping will also be available. Save money by purchasing your tickets online. 

6:00 PM – Parents’ Night Out at Code Ninjas (Hilliard, OH) – Drop your kids off for a night of Code Ninja games, building robots and more! Pizza and drinks will be provided. Register online.

6:00 PM – Winter Festival in Upper Arlington This holiday event includes ice sculpting, horse drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa and his reindeer and the tree lighting ceremony! Plus caroling, a giant human snow globe, s’mores and more!

6:00 PM – Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – carriage rides are available every weekend through December 23 for $10/person. Children under 15 are free with a paying adult. Get on the carriage outside of Zara on Gramercy Street. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Sundays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

6:00 PM – Home for the Holidays Weekend in Downtown Delaware – this is a weekend long celebration featuring a tree lighting, Santa, reindeer, horse drawn carriage rides, a scavenger hunt for Dasher, special holiday deals and a parade on Sunday at 3:00 PM.

6:00 PM – November Parents Night Out at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus Parents night out at We Rock The Spectrum is for kids 3 years and older and includes pizza, snacks, open play, crafts and more! Register online. 

6:30 PM – Family Night Out at Goldfish Swim School – enjoy an open swim in 90 degree water at all Goldfish Swim School locations! Cost for non-members is $5/person or $15/family. First come first served!

6:30 PM – A Heritage Holiday at Heritage Park Groveport Ohio – this event includes music from the Groveport Madison High School Band, crafts for kids, carriage rides, ice carving, refreshments, and Santa arrives by fire truck at 6:30!

7:00 PM – Westerville Tree Lighting Ceremony – this tree lighting ceremony includes live music, a candle lighting celebration, cookies, and visits with Santa!


A BIG Thank You to Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights for sponsoring this post!

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights is an annual holiday 3 mile drive thru light show, with over 140 LED brilliant light displays during the 25 minute drive, admired in the comfort of your own car. Butch’s children honor his legacy through this annual tradition that has been around for decades, giving thousands of other families the opportunity to create traditions of their own.

From their family to thousands of others, they want to provide a chance for people to take time to make memories during the drive thru the light show. The Fantasy of Lights benefits many local charities such as Recreation Unlimited, A Kid Again, Autism Speaks, among others, and honors current and former military through specialized evenings. This show truly brings light to this world, giving moments that will create memories that will last in families forever.

Located at the Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds at 3311 South Old State Rd., Delaware, OH 43015

Hours are Sunday-Thursday 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM | Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM


 Want to sponsor What Should We Do This Weekend? Click here.

SATURDAY

9:00 AM – Kids Clay Saturdays – Coil Winter Holiday Trees at Picktown Arts with Ellie Mescher-Miller – kids can learn how to make a holiday tree out of clay! Recommended for ages 4 and up. Register online.

9:00 AM – Breakfast with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place – meet and greet Santa while having a breakfast catered by California Pizza Kitchen. Purchase tickets ($8/person) at the Mall Management Office.

9:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – families can decorate a gingerbread house together! Everything you need will be provided in the cost. 

9:00 AM – Christmas In The Garden at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center – each weekend in December you can shop for a Christmas tree and other gifts while enjoying cookies and hot chocolate. There will also be ornament painting!

9:00 AM – Christmas Prelude, Breakfast with Santa and Craft Fair at THE GRAND of Dublin – this event includes breakfast with Santa ($3/person), silent auction, bake sale, craft vendors, live entertainment and more. Breakfast tickets are first come first served and purchased at the door.

9:30 AM – Squats & Tots Saturday Classes! at piccadilly – exercise WITH your kids at this class designed just for parents and their kids – crawlers through preschoolers.

10:00 AM – Holiday Hoot at Gateway Film Center – watch family friendly short films on the big screen and enjoy live music from The Shazzbots! There are also activities in the lobby before the show! This is a free event when you bring a canned good to donate to The Open Shelter.

10:00 AM – Home for the Holidays Weekend in Downtown Delaware – this is a weekend long celebration featuring a tree lighting, Santa, reindeer, horse drawn carriage rides, a scavenger hunt for Dasher, special holiday deals and a parade on Sunday at 3:00 PM.

10:00 AM – Holiday Toy Drive 2018 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital – drop off toys and books for patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at this annual Toy Drive. Staff can take your donation from your car. Check the link for Wish List of ideas.

10:00 AM – Christmas on the Towne in Downtown Reynoldsburg – this event includes a visit with Santa, a Secret Santa Shop, carriage rides, and specials available at the local merchants.

10:00 AM – Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory while it’s decked out for the season! Enjoy special performances and activities and this year the event extends into the Children’s Garden!

10:00 AM – Snow Day – Theatre for the Very Young at Columbus Children’s Theatre – this is a one act musical play about a young girl’s first snow day recommended for ages 2-6 performed at Park Street Theatre. 

10:00 AM – Free Pictures With Santa at Antry/Isaacs Team at Saxton Real Estate – free pictures with Santa with a donation of an unwrapped toy for families in need!

10:00 AM – 2018 Grove City Christmas Celebration – this event in Grove City Town Center includes visits with Santa, live entertainment, shopping, a parade, the Heart of Grove City Mistletoe Market and the tree lighting.

10:00 AM – Sensitive Santa at Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities – get your picture with Santa in a sensory friendly environment, enjoy treats and a take home craft. This is a free event but they are accepting donations of a new hat or pari of gloves to the Common Grounds Free Store. RSVP online.

10:00 AM – Holiday Happiness at Upper Arlington Public Library – this event includes crafts for kids, live music, a gingerbread display, refreshments, a visit from Santa, face painting and more! See the complete schedule at the link.

10:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – get your family’s picture with Santa between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM (with 2 break periods (see link)). Get a professional 5×7 for $5 or take a photo with your own camera. Reservations are available!

10:00 AM – Cheryl’s 2018 Annual Holiday Party at Cheryl’s Cookies and Brownies – shop at the Secret Santa Shop, enjoy cookie deals, frost a cookie with Mrs. Claus and visit with Santa!

11:00 AM – WinterFest at Bicentennial Park Scioto Mile – WinterFest includes live music, food trucks, seasonal ales and the opportunity to purchase a hand-crafted bowl to support the Empty Bowls initiative.

11:00 AM – Sensory Storytime at Pickerington Public Library – this is a story time just for kids with special needs including sensory activities, dim lights, quieter music and more sensory friendly accommodations. Families can use the library before it opens! Registration is required.

11:00 AM – Meet Santa at Transcend Coffee + Roastery, USA – meet Santa and enjoy free coffee and hot chocolate. This is a free event but donations are being accepted for A Kid Again.

11:00 AM – Free Lazarus Santa’s Workshop at the Lazarus Building – visit with Santa at The Lazarus Building! Take your own photos with Santa, enjoy crafts, a Holiday Train display, and wander around Columbus Commons enjoying the holiday lights and free carousel rides, face painting and hot chocolate! Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Firefighters 4 Kids.

11:00 AM – Holiday Photos at HOOT Studio – register for a 20 minute portrait time and receive an hour of play time, a treat and your choice of prints from professional photographer Aaron Taylor. This is especially perfect for families of children with special needs. Email to RSVP for a time.

11:30 AM  – Snow Day – Theatre for the Very Young at Columbus Children’s Theatre – this is a one act musical play about a young girl’s first snow day recommended for ages 2-6 performed at Park Street Theatre. 

12:00 PM – A Heritage Holiday at Heritage Park Groveport Ohio – this event includes crafts for kids, carriage rides, ice carving, refreshments, and visits with Santa, reindeer and other farm animals!

12:00 PM – WinterFest in Downtown Lancaster – WinterFest includes horse drawn wagon rides, Santa, cookies, live entertainment and special activities at participating business.

12:00 PM – Toys For Tots DRIVE THRU Toy Drive at Late Night Slice Short North – drive thru to drop off a toy donation and receive a coupon from Mikey’s Late Night Slice!

12:00 PM – Kids Christmas at the Market at Lynd Fruit Farm – meet Santa, do a take home craft, enjoy food trucks and lots of Christmas goodies to purchase in the shop.

1:00 PM – Holly Days in Historic Dublin – Holly Days in Dublin includes activities at various participating businesses in downtown Dublin such as visits with Santa, carolers, sending letters to Santa, the 12 Elves of Dublin Hunt, crafts for kids, story time and more!

1:00 PM  – Snow Day – Theatre for the Very Young at Columbus Children’s Theatre – this is a one act musical play about a young girl’s first snow day recommended for ages 2-6 performed at Park Street Theatre. 

1:00 PM – Holiday Cookie Decorating Event at C. Krueger’s – visit the new C. Krueger’s store in the Short North for a cookie decorating event for kids!

2:00 PM – Holidays in Powell – this event includes crafts, activities, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the lighting of the city’s Christmas Tree.

3:00 PM – Winter Evening on the Farm at Gallant Farm Park – enjoy seasonal activities on the farm including live music, roasting chestnuts, cookies and family friendly activities.

3:00 PM – 2018 Cookie Walk in Downtown Pataskala – this event is open to the first 400 families and includes a walking tour of 50 local businesses collecting a cookie from each one! Minimum donation of $10 is requested.

5:00 PM – Christmas Under the Clock in Uptown Plain City – Plain City’s holiday event includes a free lighting, live entertainment, a visit from Santa, and open houses at the local businesses.

5:00 PM – Christmas on the Square in Sunbury – Sunbury’s holiday event includes holiday open houses at local businesses, a craft and gift fair, a lighted Christmas Parade, a Chrismas Tree sale, model train display and visit from Santa and much more! Click the link for all the details.

5:00 PM – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – Wildlights is included in your admission (or membership) to the Zoo and features special activities, amazing lights, light shows, Rudolph and friends in Asia Quest, Santa’s Holiday Home in the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, Jingle Ball light display and much more!

5:30 PM – Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground – families can enjoy a 3 mile drive through holiday light show with over 140 LED light displays! $30/car on the weekends.

5:30 PM – Dragon Lights Columbus – walk through an amazing display of Chinese lanterns and holiday light sculptures. Special cultural performances, food and shopping will also be available. Save money by purchasing your tickets online. 

6:00 PM- Hilltop Art Hop – explore the most artsy block of the Hilltop including artists in residence at 3060 Artworks, classes at Clay Street Ceramics, a Holiday Artisan Market, live music, a book signing at Third Way Cafe and live music and refreshments at The Design Refinery. There will also be a food truck, Curbside Dish, from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

6:00 PM – Grand Opening! at The Design Refinery – my husband and I invite you to the Grand Opening of our design studio and event space! This space will be available to rent for parties, showers, pop up shops, meetings and other events! We will have live music, refreshments and raffle prizes from Third Way Cafe, Clay Street Ceramics, Sarah Harste Weavings and The Design Refinery! 

6:00 PM – Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – carriage rides are available every weekend through December 23 for $10/person. Children under 15 are free with a paying adult. Get on the carriage outside of Zara on Gramercy Street. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Sundays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

SUNDAY

9:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – families can decorate a gingerbread house together! Everything you need will be provided in the cost. 

9:00 AM – Sensitive Santa at Polaris Fashion Place – enjoy a sensory friendly visit with Santa with a calm environment and special activities. Registration is recommended but not required.

10:00 AM – Christmas In The Garden at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center – each weekend in December you can shop for a Christmas tree and other gifts while enjoying cookies and hot chocolate. There will also be ornament painting!

10:00 AM – Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory while it’s decked out for the season! Enjoy special performances and activities and this year the event extends into the Children’s Garden! Don’t forget that on the first Sunday of each month, the Conservatory is free for residents of Franklin County and the City of Columbus (with valid ID)!

11:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – get your family’s picture with Santa between 10:00 AM and 9:00 PM (with 2 break periods (see link)). Get a professional 5×7 for $5 or take a photo with your own camera. Reservations are available!

11:00 AM – Santa Visits Cub Shrub – visit with Santa at the Short North location of Cub Shrub! Register online.

12:00 PM – HolidayVille 2018 in Clintonville – explore Clintonville with free Jolly Trolley rides through the neighborhood! There will be activities at neighboring businesses including make and take ornaments, s’mores, samples and more!

12:00 PM – Free Princess Meet and Greet at Montrose Elementary School – meet your favorite princesses during the Bexley Holiday Hop. This is free but check the times for each individual princess’ appearance. 

12:00 PM – Holiday Enchantment at Land-Grant Brewing Company – this festive event includes a visit from Santa, wreath making workshops, activities for kids, live music cocktails and treats, caroling and more!

12:00 PM – Holiday Hop 2018 in Bexley – Bexley’s Holiday Hop includes special events at local stores, prizes, giveaways, treats, visits from Santa and more!

 1:00 PM  – Snow Day – Theatre for the Very Young at Columbus Children’s Theatre – this is a one act musical play about a young girl’s first snow day recommended for ages 2-6 performed at Park Street Theatre. 

1:00 PM – Kid’s Gift Making Workshop at Sunbury Urban Farm – kids can make up to 5 of their own holiday gifts for friends and family. Recommended for ages 5-12 an cost is $20. Register in advance.

1:00 PM – Cram The Cruiser Toy Drive at Grove City UMC – drop off a new, unwrapped toy, visit with Santa and enjoy festive goodies.

2:30 PM  – Snow Day – Theatre for the Very Young at Columbus Children’s Theatre – this is a one act musical play about a young girl’s first snow day recommended for ages 2-6 performed at Park Street Theatre. 

3:00 PM – Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – carriage rides are available every weekend through December 23 for $10/person. Children under 15 are free with a paying adult. Get on the carriage outside of Zara on Gramercy Street. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Sundays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

3:00 PM – Home for the Holidays Weekend in Downtown Delaware – this is a weekend long celebration featuring a tree lighting, Santa, reindeer, horse drawn carriage rides, a scavenger hunt for Dasher, special holiday deals and a parade on Sunday at 3:00 PM.

4:00 PM – Tree Lighting at Prairie Township Community Center – countdown to the lighting of the tree, visit with Santa and enjoy a musical program.

4:00 PM – Menorah Lighting at Polaris Fashion Place – enjoy doughnuts, cider and family activities at the Menorah lighting on the lower level near Saks Fifth Ave.

4:00 PM – Holiday Hop & 29th Annual Tree Lighting in Hilliard – Hilliard’s holiday celebration includes fun events at several locations around town. There will be live music, food trucks, horse and carriage rides, hot chocolate and live reindeer, balloon twisting, face painting, visits with Santa and much more! See the link for all the details.

4:30 PM – Gingerbread House Decorating at The Morgan House – families can decorate a gingerbread house! $40. Call to register.

5:00 PM – Village Lights 2018 in German Village – stroll around German Village following the path lit with lanterns, visiting local businesses, enjoying live music and lots of goodies from local businesses. Also this year you can visit the German Village Makers Market and Not Your Mama’s Craft Market during the event!

5:00 PM – Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – Wildlights is included in your admission (or membership) to the Zoo and features special activities, amazing lights, light shows, Rudolph and friends in Asia Quest, Santa’s Holiday Home in the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, Jingle Ball light display and much more!

5:30 PM – Dragon Lights Columbus – walk through an amazing display of Chinese lanterns and holiday light sculptures. Special cultural performances, food and shopping will also be available. Save money by purchasing your tickets online. 

5:30 PM – Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground – families can enjoy a 3 mile drive through holiday light show with over 140 LED light displays! $30/car on the weekends.

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*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

ICYMI: 10 of our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions


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7 of the Most Festive Things You Can Do in Columbus This Holiday Season

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We’re never at a loss for things to do around here and the Holiday events in Columbus do not disappoint!

If you’re looking for a few ideas to fill Winter Break or if you’re in need of a healthy dose of festivity to get into the Christmas spirit, here are 7 holiday events around Columbus that are guaranteed to put you in a festive mood!

Here are 7 of the Most Festive Holiday Events in Columbus Ohio:

1. Dragon Lights Chinese Lantern Festival

Chinese Lantern Festival, Columbus, Ohio

Dragon Chinese Lantern Festival, Columbus, Ohio

Dates: November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019 (Closed Mondays)
Hours: 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: Ohio Expo Center & State Fair Grounds – 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: 888-484-2698

Dragon Chinese Lantern Festival, Columbus, Ohio

Bundle up and walk through some incredible light sculptures, enjoy cultural performances and eat Chinese and traditional fair food. The light displays are really something to see! There are traditional Chinese sculptures and also American Christmas sights like Santa and Mrs. Claus. I was invited to the VIP night and I attended with my 3 year old. I couldn’t talk him into sitting for the performances, but I have heard they are very good!

Cost: Adults $19, Children 5-16 $14, Kids under 5 are free. Discounts with Military ID and for those over 65. Family 4 pack is $55. Save $2-$5 by buying online. Purchase tickets before November 23rd for a $3 discount using the code “ZAONIAO” (early bird in Chinese Pinyin).

Dragon Chinese Lantern Festival, Columbus, Ohio


2. Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Lights at Franklin Park Conservatory, Conservatory Aglow, Columbus, Ohio

Dates: November 17, 2018 – January 2, 2019
Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM in November, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM in December, until 5:00 PM in January
Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, Oh 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Rotating Railroad at Franklin Park Conservatory, Conservatory Aglow

Stockings hung at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio

Franklin Park Conservatory does not disappoint when it comes to creating a festive atmosphere! Conservatory Aglow offers special holiday decorations, performances and evening hours at Franklin Park Conservatory. Throughout the season live music and special events are scheduled and the Conservatory is decorated for the holidays. From December 1-31 (except for the 24th and 25th) they are open until 9:00 PM.

There will be special family-friendly activities happening all through the season such as Cookies with Santa, live musical performances, a magic show, and more! Also, make sure not to miss the gingerbread competition and rotating railroad! This year the celebration even extends to the Children’s Garden!

Trees at Franklin Park Conservatory, Conservatory Aglow


3. Wildlights at Columbus Zoo

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

family at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Dates: November 16, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Hours: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Sundays – Thursdays, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM Fridays and Saturdays (Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Where: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3400

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

In my opinion, Wildlights gets better every year! This is one of our favorite holiday events in Columbus! This year there are more lights than ever and the season includes special visitors and performances. This year make sure to make it to the Polar Frontier for the LED tree and Santa! Do it for me! It changed locations and we didn’t make it to that end and I missed the tree last year! The tree is a definite highlight!

If there is any way you can do this on a weeknight, I highly recommend doing so, as traffic on the weekends can be a nightmare!

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, tree


4. The Nutcracker

Ohio Theatre, The Nutcracker, Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Theatre, The Nutcracker, Columbus, Ohio

Dates: December 7-23, 2018
Hours: Performances happening Wednesday through Sunday
Where: Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St., Columbus, Oh 43215
Tickets: See ticket info here.

Ohio Theatre, Columbus, Ohio, The Nutcracker

It’s hard to find a more beautiful spot than Ohio Theatre and when it’s decked out for the holidays? Amazing! Seeing The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre was incredible last year (disclaimer, I was given free tickets for helping promote the event – and our seats were AMAZING!) My boys were mesmerized through the whole thing and were still talking about it a week later! It is so full of the Christmas spirit, it’s hard not to leave happy! I dare you!

Orchestra Pit at Ohio Theatre, The Nutcracker


5. State Auto Christmas Corner

Nativity scene, Bethlehem, State Auto, Columbus, Ohio  Nativity Scene, 3 wisemen, State Auto, Columbus, Ohio

Dates: December 4, 2018 – January 2, 2019
Hours: 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM, 5:30 AM – 11:30 PM and until 12:30 AM on Fridays and Saturdays
Where: 518 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
More Info: Visit their Facebook Page for more info.

Nativity Scene, Mary and Joseph, at State Auto, Columbus, Ohio

Take a walk through this downtown nativity for a life-sized retelling of the story of Mary and Joseph’s trek to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. Official Lighting is Tuesday December 4 including a performance by the Columbus Children’s Choir. On Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 6:00 PM, choirs will perform and hot chocolate will be available!

My family does this each year as close to Christmas Eve as we can. On Christmas Eve, baby Jesus is placed in the manger at their Christmas Eve ceremony taking place at 3:00 PM.

Nativity Scene at State Auto, Columbus, Ohio


6. Holiday Lights in Downtown Columbus

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons

Dates: November 21, 2018 through early January 2019
Hours: Dusk until 11:00 PM
Where: Columbus Commons, the Lazarus Building and the Scioto Mile
More Info: CDDC Website

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons

A good plan to see the lights downtown is to park in the Columbus Commons parking garage, walk around Columbus Commons for holiday lights and decorations, then head over to the Lazarus building to see the decorations in the windows and the huge tree in the Galleria, then head to Bicentennial Park and the Scioto Mile to see the lights that deck the entire area from Bicentennial Park to Broad Street.

Winterfest takes place this year at Bicentennial Park on Saturday, December 1, 2018.

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons


7. Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Dates: November 16, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds, 3311 South Old State Rd., Delaware, OH 43015

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights is an annual holiday 3 mile drive thru light show, with over 140 LED brilliant light displays you can see in the comfort of your own car.

The Fantasy of Lights benefits many local charities such as Recreation Unlimited, A Kid Again, Autism Speaks, among others, and honors current and former military through specialized evenings.


What are you favorite Columbus holiday traditions?

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7 Festive Things to Do in Columbus Ohio


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Columbus Christmas Traditions

ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions


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