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

Spread the Love
  • 51
    Shares

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 6 things to do around Columbus that are guaranteed to put you in a festive mood!

1. Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

Dates: Now through January 7, 2018
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

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! How to save: Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more, seniors and those with a military ID. Thursdays are College ID night ($3 discount) and on Mondays, you can receive a $2 discount for bringing a canned good donation.

2. Gardens Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Dates: Now through January 3, 2018
Hours: 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

Franklin Park Conservatory does not disappoint when it comes to creating a festive atmosphere! Gardens 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 Central Ohio Youth Ballet’s performance of selections from The Nutcracker, a magician, the Muppet Mayhem Band and more! Also, make sure not to miss the rotating railroad!

3. Wildlights at Columbus Zoo

Dates: Now through January 1, 2018
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

In my opinion, Wildlights gets better every year! 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 this 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!

4. The Nutcracker

Dates: Now through December 24, 2017
Hours: Performances happening Wednesday through Sunday
Where: Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St., Columbus, Oh 43215
Tickets: See ticket info here.

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 this 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!

5. State Auto Christmas Corner  

Dates: Now through January 2, 2018
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.

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. This Friday night 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.

6. Holiday Lights Downtown

Dates: Now through January 2, 2017
Hours: Dusk until 11:00 PM
Where: Columbus Commons, the Lazarus Building and the Scioto Mile
More Info: CDDC Website

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.

Don’t forget to check out 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions for more ideas!

What are you favorite Columbus holiday traditions?

6 of the Most Festive Things You Can Do in Columbus Ohio this Holiday Season!


IMG_8735

Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: 3 Super Simple Parenting Tips That Actually Work


Spread the Love
  • 51
    Shares

10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

Spread the Love
  • 721
    Shares

Every year I feel slightly overwhelmed by all of the Holiday events I really don’t want to miss. A few years ago, I sat down and wrote them out on a calendar. And THAT is pretty much where the idea for this blog began! 😉  Now we’ve come full circle and, though there are probably hundreds of holiday events going on around town, today I am sharing 10 things my family loves doing at Christmastime in Columbus!

1. Village Lights

img_7574

Hands down, this is my favorite Columbus tradition of the entire year. Wow, did I really just say that? I did. I look forward to this probably more than anything else. I honestly don’t know how much my kids like it, but there are teddy bears and free cookies and hot chocolate, so I haven’t heard any complaints! The streets of German Village are lit with luminaries and restaurants, shops, and even a few private homes along the route are open late with special deals, free goodies and live music! Designated parking areas and shuttles are available.

When: December 3, 2017, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: throughout German Village

2. Wildlights

img_7633

You have to see Wildlights! The light shows are spectacular and the zoo becomes an (even more) magical place for about 6 weeks leading up to New Year’s Day! The first time we ever attempted to go to Wildlights, there was so much traffic that by the time we got there it was too late for my 1 yr old and we just drove right on by the entrance and back on home! Weekends are very busy, so if you can, I suggest trying a week day evening and arriving before 5:00 PM! If you’re a member, you can also avoid the crowds by catching the Member Preview on November 16th.

When: November 17, 2017 – January 1, 2018 (Wildlights begins at 5:00 PM)
Where: 4850 Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065

img_7637

3. Gardens Aglow (Formerly Merry and Bright)

img_7824

Gardens 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 beautifully (that goes without saying)! There are lights throughout inside and outside and it’s breathtaking! 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!

When: November 11, 2017 – January 3, 2018: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, December: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203

img_7808

4. Bicentenial Park

img_7680

Throughout the holiday season, the Scioto Mile is awash in light – Christmas lights, that is! What was previously The Grand Illumination will be replaced by WinterFest this year! Taking place on Saturday, December 2, 2017, it will include live performers such as Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons, food trucks like Paddy Wagon and Pitabilities, as well as the opportunity to purchase soup from Milestone 229 in a handmade bowl as part of the Empty Bowls initiative. The park will be full of lights beginning November 17th!

When: November 17, 2017 through Early January 2018
Where: 233 S. Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH 43215

img_7679

5. Columbus Commons and the Lazarus Windows

img_7694

When you’re at Bicentennial Park, make plans to walk a few blocks to Columbus Commons where the park will be filled with holiday displays and lights! Just across the street (at the corner of High and Town) in the old Lazarus building, the windows will be filled with scenes from the 12 Days of Christmas!

When: Late November through early January from dusk until to 11:00 PM
Where: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

6. Huntington Holiday Train

Main Library is home to the Huntington Holiday Train and every year this amazing display is set up during the holiday season! This year, the library will begin set up of the train on November 17, 2017 and is usually up through New Years!

When: November 17, 2017 – Early January, 2017
Where: 96 S. Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215

7. Holiday Train at Ohio History Center

img_7653

If you happen to have kids that like trains, there is a also holiday train set up at the Ohio History Center. Granted, it’s not quite as elaborate as the Huntington Train, but since we’re members at Ohio History Center, this one is still a no-brainer for me and two boys who love trains! We don’t miss it!

When: Late November – Early January
Where: 800 E. 17th. Ave., Columbus OH 43211

img_7655

8. Think Outside the Brick

img_7752

This exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art isn’t even holiday themed, but it arrives in November and says goodbye in March, so in my mind it’s associated with Christmas! If you have kids on Christmas break, this would be a great reason to take them to the Art Museum! The LEGO replica of Columbus is awesome and we love to visit at this time! There are usually blocks for free building in the Big Idea Gallery, too! Admission is free on Sundays and on Thursday nights you “pay what you want” from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM! See more pictures from our visit here!

When: November 10, 2017 – March 2, 2018
Where: 480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

img_7764

9. Easton

img_7584

We always enjoy going to Easton at Christmastime – and not just to do our Christmas shopping! There is a life-sized nativity and a humongous Christmas tree (an all-new, 50 ft tree covered in 28, 680 RGB LED’s arrives in 2017!)! There are carriage rides, live music performances and the lighting ceremony takes place on Friday, November 17, 2017 beginning at 6:00 PM and includes a parade, a fireworks show, a visit from Santa and more!

img_7598

When: beginning November 17, 2017
Where: 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219

10. State Auto Christmas Corner

Christmas Corner is something we love to do close to Christmas Eve! You can walk through a life-sized nativity following the Christmas story! The Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 5:30 PM. There are choirs scheduled on Friday and Saturday evenings through December 23rd and free hot chocolate (donations accepted!) will be available on those evenings!  There are ample parking lots designated for viewing this display!

When: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 through Christmas Day when baby Jesus is placed in the manger.
Where: 518 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

I hope that whatever you chose to do, you have a special season with your family!

IMG_8735

Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: Columbus Tip Sheet: November 2017


Spread the Love
  • 721
    Shares

What Should We Do This Weekend? July 14-16, 2017

Spread the Love

Did you see this week’s post: Summer Nights in Columbus: Something to do Every Night of the Week? Check it out for a list of summer events happening all throughout the week!

1. Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. at the Coffman Park Amphitheater

When: Monday – Friday, July 10-14, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: 5200 Emerald Pkwy., Dublin, OH 43017
Phone: 614-410-4550

Watch this adaptation of Disney’s Little Mermaid in the outdoor Amphitheater! Tickets are $5/person.

2. Steam Threshers Festival in Pastime Park

When: Thursday – Sunday, July 13 – 16, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 344-350 N. Chillicothe St., Plain City, OH 43064
Phone: 614-270-0007

This annual show includes a large tractor and engine display as well as nightly entertainment featuring lawnmower races, horse pulls, truck and tractor pulls and a parade! $5/person. Children 12 and under are free.

3. Picktown Palooza in Olde Pickerington Village

When: Thursday – Sunday, July 13-16, 2017
Time: Thursday: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Friday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Saturday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 100 Lockville Rd., Pickerington, OH 41347
Phone: 614-379-2099

This is a 4 day celebration of community that includes live entertainment, the Freedom 5K and Kids Fun Run, carnival rides, a car and bike show, food vendors and Kids’Corner and more! Tickets can be purchased online.

4. 80th Birthday Celebration at Krispy Kreme

When: Friday, July 14, 2017
Time: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Location: participating Krispy Kreme locations

If you buy one dozen donuts at regular price, Krispy Kreme will sell you a second dozen donuts for $.80 on Friday to celebrate their 80th birthday!

5. KidX Club: Backyard Biologist

When: Friday, July 14, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy. , Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-846-1500

Preservation Parks of Delaware County will be at this week’s KidX Club to help kids explore life outdoors! This event takes place at the outdoor fountain area of the mall. Bring a book to donate for the Columbus Metropolitan Library and children will pick out a treat from the treasure chest! Also, kids eat free at the Pub on Fridays!

6. From Book to Film at Gateway Film Center

When: Friday-Thursday, July 14-20, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

GFC has partnered with Columbus Metropolitan Library to bring your family these great films inspired by books! This week’s film is Spy Kids. Daytime admission is free with your library card!

7. Flicks on the Bricks at Hilliard’s Station Park

When: Friday, July 14, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: 4021 Main St., Hilliard, OH 43026

This fun evening at Hilliard’s Station Park has a Christmas theme! There will be live reindeer, santa, a snow machine and live snow globe, snowball game and more! The movie being shown is Christmas Vacation!

8. Movie at the Park at Stradley Park

When: Friday, July 14, 2017
Time: 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Location: 36 S. High St., Canal Winchester, OH 32926

Storks is the free movie being shown in the park on Friday night! Canal Winchester Human Services will be collecting donations of diapers and baby items for the Community Food Pantry. It is suggested you arrive early to get a seat!

9. Westgate Farmer’s Market the West Gate Masonic Lodge

When: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 2925 W Broad St., Columbus, OH 43204

The Westgate Farmers Market happens on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month and includes local vendors, fresh produce, food trucks, kids activities and live music! This week’s food trucks are Explorers Club, Erin’s Lunchbox and Cream & Sugar!

10. 10TV & Metro Parks Outdoor Adventure at Highbanks Metro Park

When: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Big Meadows Picnic Area, 9466 US-23, Lewis Center, OH 43035

This free family celebration of summer includes playing in the creek, rock climbing, sack races, live animals and lots of other outdoor activities! Channel 10 news anchors will be on site all day as well!

11. Franklin County Fair

When: Saturday-Sunday, July 15-22, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM Friday & Saturdays, 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday – Thursday
Location: 5043 Northwest Pkwy., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-876-7235

This is the 100th Anniversary of the Franklin County Fair. Visit the kids tent for activities for games, crafts and other activities!

12. Sensory Friendly Films: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

This special showing is for families and individuals with autism or developmental disabilities. The show will be at a lower volume and brighter atmosphere. This is a free event featuring the movie based on the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

13. The Turtle Lady at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

The Turtle Lady will be on site with her turtles! Kids can make a turtle craft, too! Free with admission.

14. Delaware Family Festival at Andrews House

When: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 39 W. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015

This Block Party style event includes music, food, face painting, free haircuts, caricatures, games, crafts and more! Free lunch from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM!

15. From Book to Film in Topiary Park

When: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: Dusk
Location: ​480 E. Town St., Columbus, OH 43215

Movies at Topiary Park include free popcorn, a food truck and activities. This weekend’s movie is Curious George!

16. National Ice Cream Day Deals around Columbus

When: Sunday, July 16, 2017

Make sure to follow my Facebook Page for a fun giveaway on National Ice Cream Day (Sunday)!

17. West Side Community Baby Shower

When: Sunday, July 16, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 2622 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204

If you live on the West side of Columbus and are pregnant or have a baby under 3 months old, you are invited to the Westside Community Baby Shower! There will be prizes, giveaways, free diapers, food, Community Health Workers and more! You can also donate diapers, food and baby items to this event. See all the info at the link above!

18. Summer Reading Road Trip at Fundamentals Children’s Books, Toys, and Games

When: Sunday, July 16, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 25 W. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-0290

Join in this reading festival hosted by Scholastic and Fundamentals  where there will be giveaways, crafts, games and your favorite Scholastic book characters! There will be 3 author/illustrators in attendance as well! See more about Fundamentals here.


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

IMG_8735

Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: Summer Nights in Columbus: Something to do Every Night of the Week

*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!*


Spread the Love