10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

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These are 10 Holiday and Christmas events we make sure not to miss every year! If you’re looking to start some family-friendly Christmas traditions around Columbus, start here!

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!

Here are 10 of our favorite family-friendly Christmas Events in Columbus!

1. Village Lights

Village Lights, German Village, Columbus, Ohio

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 2, 2018, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: throughout German Village

2. Wildlights

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 16 , 2018 – January 6, 2019 (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) (Wildlights begins at 5:00 PM)
Where: 4850 Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065

3. Conservatory Aglow (Formerly Merry and Bright)

Franklin Park Conservatory holiday decorations and lights

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 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! (A membership to Franklin Park Conservatory is one of my 5 Best Gift Memberships for Columbus Kids!)

When: November 17, 2018 – January 2, 2019: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, December: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203

Rotating railroad at Franklin Park Conservatory

4. Bicentennial Park

Christmas lights on the Scioto Mile

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 1, 2018, it will include live performances and food trucks, as well as the opportunity to participate in the Empty Bowls initiative. The park will be full of lights beginning November 21st!

When: November 21, 2018 through Early January 2019
Where: 233 S. Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH 43215

Christmas lights at Bicentennial Park on the Scioto Mile

5. Columbus Commons and the Lazarus Windows

Christmas Lights at Columbus Commons

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

Holiday Train at Main Library, Columbus Ohio

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 in mid November and is usually up through New Years!

When: Mid November, 2018 – Early January, 2019
Where: 96 S. Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215

Holiday Train at Main Library in Columbus, Ohio

7. Holiday Train at Ohio History Center

holiday train at Ohio History Center

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! (A membership to Ohio History Center is one of my

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

Holiday Train at Ohio History Center

8. Think Outside the Brick

Think Outside the Brick LEGO display at Columbus Museum of Art

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!

When: November 10, 2018 – February 22, 2019
Where: 480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art

9. Easton

Christmas Tree at Easton Town Center

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 arrived in 2017!)! There are carriage rides, live music performances and the lighting ceremony takes place on Friday, November 16, 2018 beginning at 6:30 PM and includes a parade, a fireworks show, a visit from Santa and more!

Nativity at Easton Town Center

When: beginning November 16, 2018
Where: 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219

10. State Auto Christmas Corner

Nativity Scene at State Auto Nativity

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. (2018 dates TBD)
Where: 518 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

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10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

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

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Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio

ICYMI: Top 10 Things to do with Your Kids in Columbus, Ohio


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The Ultimate Guide to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

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Wondering what to expect at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus? Our sneak peek will tell you all you need to know about the new LEGOLAND at Easton Town Center!

This post was written in partnership with LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus opened to annual pass holders and media on September 21, 2018! My family got a sneak peak at all there is to do at this incredible indoor LEGO® heaven! The Grand Opening Ceremony and first day open to the public is September 28, 2018.

LEGOLAND Columbus Front Entrance

If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram Stories for any amount of time, you already know that my boys LOVE LEGOS! I mean LOVE them. Like, eat, breathe and sleep with LEGOS. 😉 I was so excited to be able to take them to this special opening day that I picked my son up early from school to surprise him! And after spending several hours there, neither of my kids wanted to leave!

What is there to do at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus?

This space is guaranteed to provide hours of fun for the LEGO lovers in the family! It doesn’t matter how old you are – even my husband didn’t want to leave! 😉 (Seriously, once a month they are even having an Adult Night – no kids allowed!)

LEGOLAND Columbus entrance

Here are 15 things you can do at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus!

1. LEGO® Factory Tour

LEGOLAND Columbus Factory Tour

When you first enter, you’re taken behind the scenes into the LEGO Factory! There’s a little bit of info about how LEGO bricks are made and then the doors open into The Ultimate Indoor LEGO Playground!

2. Kingdom Quest

LEGOLAND Columbus Kingdom Quest Ride

The first attraction you come to is the Kingdom Quest ride. Take a ride in a chariot to help rescue the princess by zapping spiders, trolls and other obstacles in your way. You must be able to sit upright to ride this ride. Kids under 4’3” must be accompanied by someone over that height. Disclaimer, you’re not allowed to take pictures while on the ride but I didn’t see that sign until my second time riding it, so I got a picture of the “bad guy”! 😉

3. MINILAND®

LEGOLAND Columbus MINLAND

One of the highlights of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus is MINILAND! It’s a LEGO-sized replica of many of your favorite Columbus spots including COSI, North Market, the State House, and more! Plus there are smaller areas featuring Cincinnati and Cleveland. The lights fade on and off so you can see the cities in the night and daytime. There are many moveable features that are fun to watch!

4. Creative Workshop

LEGOLAND Columbus Creative Workshop

Throughout the day special workshops are scheduled where kids can learn how to build anything! Check the sign for the times for each day.

5. LEGO® Friends

LEGOLAND Columbus Friend area

It was really hard to get my boys to leave the LEGO Friends area. If your kids are in MINILAND and wish they could play in the city, this is their chance! A lot of the buildings and fixtures are glued together here, but there are also bricks for building and mini figures for playing in the houses and buildings. My kids loved playing in the town – even though they really wanted to take the buildings apart! 😉

6. DUPLO® Farm and DUPLO® Village

LEGOLAND Columbus Duplo area

The DUPLO area is very bright and fun for the younger kids! There’s a farm, slide, large animals, plus extra big, soft DUPLO Blocks and regular size DUPLO Blocks for building.

7. LEGO® Racers: Build & Test

LEGOLAND Columbus Build and Test area

In this area, kids can build cars and race them down various roads and hills. Lots of fun for vehicle lovers in this area!

8. Earthquake Tables

LEGOLAND Columbus earthquake table
The Earthquake Table is right next to the LEGO Racers area. Kids can build a building as tall as they can and then see if it will withstand various degrees of earthquake tremors! The plates on the table literally shake as you turn up the intensity!

9. LEGO® 4D Cinema

LEGOLAND Columbus Discovery Center 4D Cinema

Three different LEGO Movies are being shown throughout the day in 4D – this means not only is the movie 3D but your seats will move and you may get wet!

10. LEGO® City Play Area

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Indoor Play area

This area includes a climbing area, slides, a construction site and fire and police themed areas. It’s for running, climbing and jumping! Socks are required to play here.

My kids’ favorite LEGO sets are the LEGO City sets – especially fire and police! I thought they would eat this area up, but they didn’t stay long because they really wanted to play with actual LEGOS!

11. Merlin’s Apprentice Ride

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Merlin Ride

This ride is something you would find at an amusement park! I couldn’t get my kids to ride it but I will be back! 😉 You must be 3 feet tall to ride this ride and if you are under 4 feet tall, you must be accompanied by someone over 4 feet tall.

12. Eat at the Coffee Shop

LEGOLAND Columbus Cafe

The cafe in LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus offers coffee (Starbucks!), snacks and meals. The Kids Meal Deal is $8 and includes a sandwich, a snack, a drink and for $4 more you can add a LEGO Lunchbox. Adult Meals are $11 and include a sandwich or salad, snack and drink. Of course you can buy items individually as well. There is a decent sized seating area inside the restaurant.

13. Have a Birthday Party

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

Kids can have a birthday party at LEGOLAND! There are 3 levels of birthday parties available and parties can be booked online!

14. Shop at the Store

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

The store attached to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus is larger than the regular LEGO Store at Easton! I mean it is HUGE! Almost any current set you can imagine is there along with lots of other special things you don’t usually see at the LEGO Store like costumes, unique extra pieces and lots of fun gifts. I will never be able to walk my kids through Easton Station without stopping here!

15. Complete an Adventure Pack

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

Last but not least, you should know that at the Entrance you will be offered the chance to buy an Activity Pack. This is a packet of several pages about each section of LEGOLAND Columbus. Using a stamp machine located in each area, you can mark in your Activity Pack when you have completed each area. There are also stickers and activities inside. I don’t think this is something you need to buy more than once but it’s kind of fun for the first time. Activity Packs are $5 each.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

That’s the round up! These are the main activity areas but there is so much more than what is pictured here! I hope you get a chance to take your kids – we’re so lucky to have this in Columbus! What do you think your kids will enjoy the most?

What To Expect at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus:

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus is located in Easton Town Center at 165 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219

  • Tickets range in price from $20 – $34 per person depending on your level of flexibility and whether or not you buy online or in person.
  • An annual pass can be purchased for $65 for an individual or $60/person for families of 3 or more and include express entry and discounts in the coffee shop and LEGO store.
  • Children 2 and under are free.
  • Adults MUST be accompanied by a child to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus.
  • LEGOLAND is open 365 days a year beginning at 10:00 AM and closing at 7:00 PM except on Saturday when it is open until 8:00 PM.
  • The last admission is two hours before closing.
  • There is a limited number of guests allowed inside at a time so there will be a “Timed Tickets” line you will enter. If you purchase on line, you may be able to choose your ideal time to enter.
  • There is no limit to how long you can stay.

Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio

Visiting Columbus? Check out: Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio!

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4 Amazing New Exhibits for Columbus Kids!

4 Amazing New Exhibits for Kids in Columbus

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Something new is always popping up for kids to do in Columbus! It’s one of the amazing things about Columbus – we never lack for something to do! It’s at least a part time job keeping up with it – I can testify to that personally! 😉

Two of these exhibits are permanent and two are temporary, so mark your calendars so you don’t miss these fun, family-friendly exhibits!

1. American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery

The new Dinosaur Gallery at COSI is a permanent exhibit that is included with admission or membership! If you have dinosaur lovers, they will be enraptured! The exhibit includes a full-size cast of Tyrannosaurs Rex, dinosaur bones, a model of an Oviraptor nest kids can actually climb on, dinosaur prints and many, many more educational displays, interactive exhibits and models! COSI is open every day, May through August, and Wednesday through Sunday beginning late September through April.

2. The Wonder Room at Columbus Museum of Art

In late October, Columbus Museum of Art unveiled a newly remodeled Wonder Room! The room was created to feel like kids are entering a large “blanket fort” in which to play and imagine! Like the previous design, there are several stations with hands-on activities for kids, but the new theme leans towards textiles, fabrics and tactile experiences. There’s felt, fashion design and weaving. You can also create spiders out of craft materials, draw, and hide out under the stars. Visiting this exhibit is included in your admission or membership to CMA.

  

3. Wizard of Oz Educational Exhibit at Easton Town Center

This temporary collaboration between Easton and Miami Children’s Museum, presented by Warner Bros. is the first licensed traveling exhibit based on the movie The Wizard of Oz. It will be housed on the 2nd floor of the Easton Station Building until March 25, 2018. Kids can create a tornado in Dorothy’s house, make their own scarecrow, see scenes from the movie, pick vegetables on the farm, try out optical illusions, climb through the the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West and take part in daily scheduled activities and crafts! Space inside the exhibit is limited so anticipate a short wait in line to get in. There are no flying monkeys or wicked witch, in case you’re concerned about scaring the kids, but there is a Wizard who lights up with a glowing red fire. This is a free exhibit!

 4. Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art

While you’re visiting the Wonder Room at Columbus Museum of Art, be sure to check out Think Outside the Brick, a temporary, but annual, collaboration with Ohio LEGO User’s Group! This exhibit, entirely made of LEGOs includes a large display of the city of Columbus, as well as other scenes like pirates, zombies, airplanes, a park and more! On the wall of the room there is a list of items for kids to search for within the scene! Also on the first floor, check out the area for kids to make their own creations out of white LEGOs to display on shelves against a black wall. This exhibit is included with admission or membership and will be on display through March 2, 2018! The Columbus Museum of Art is free on Sundays!


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ICYMI: Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus Ohio

4 Amazing New Exhibits for Columbus Kids! Don't miss these amazing exhibits in Columbus Ohio! Some are temporary!

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