72 Things to Do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus

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Looking for things to do in Columbus around Thanksgiving? If you have family in town and/or a few days off of work and are looking for something to do, check out this list of 72 events and things to do around Thanksgiving in Columbus!

72 Things to do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus:

If there’s a chance you’ll need to walk off an extra piece of pie (or two) or get bickering family members out of the house….tuck this list away! And have a happy week of thankfulness! (As always, please double check the link for exact details, dates and times!) There will not be an additional What Should We Do This Weekend? post this week. This is the list! 🙂

holiday train and Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Any Time:

1. Conservatory Aglow is happening at Franklin Park Conservatory! While you’re there, check out the Gingerbread Competition.

2. Wildlights is in full swing all weekend at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium!

3. Visit LEGOLAND Columbus Discovery Center at Easton Town Center. LEGOLAND is open 365 days a year. Thanksgiving Hours are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and the last admission is at 3:00 PM.

4. Get your kid’s photo with Santa at Easton Town Center

5. Christmas at the Castle, a Kingdom of Lights! at Landoll’s Mohican Castle features over 100,000 lights, a Christmas tree, holiday music and visits from Santa! This is a free event! This event happens every night starting Friday!

6. Drive through Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights any night through January 1st!

7. Visit the PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

8. Drop a letter in Santa’s Mailbox in Pickerington beginning Wednesday.

9. Check out the Thanksgiving Weekend special at Ten Pin Alley. It includes $3 laser tag missions, a family fun pack special, and more. They are open on Thanksgiving and have specials running the rest of the week!

10. For many people this is the week to get their Christmas Tree! You can Choose & Cut Christmas Trees at Young’s Jersey Dairy or pick another farm or tree lot from this list of Christmas Tree Farms in Columbus and Beyond!

11. Friday through Sunday you can take a Holiday Carriage Ride at Easton Town Center!

12. Sign up for a Family Gingerbread House Decorating class at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna.

13, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is playing this Friday, Saturday and Sunday only at Ohio Theatre!

14. Clifton Mill Lights opens the day after Thanksgiving! Gates open at 5:00 every night and the display runs through New Year’s Eve!

15. See the amazing lanterns, watch cultural performances, shop and eat Chinese and traditional fair food at Dragon Lights Columbus at Ohio Expo Center from November 23-January 6, 2019. Nightly from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM.

16. Ohio History Center is open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with special activities with a Space theme including building your own model parachute, special visitors, rockets and more!

17. Think Outside the Brick is now on display at Columbus Museum of Art! This LEGO set up shouldn’t be missed and would make a great weekend outing! Don’t forget the museum is free on Sundays!

18. Drive through the Fairfield County Festival of Lights. This light display goes on Thanksgiving through Christmas!

19. Winterfest opens at Kings Island on November 23 and operates select nights through December 31. . It includes ice skating, holiday characters, millions of lights, holiday shows, carolers, and the park will included 10 winter wonderlands to visit.


A big Thank You to Miss Em’s for sponsoring this post!

Miss Em’s is a local online boutique featuring great jewelry, scarves, teacher gifts, and accessories. All of their items are at a very reasonable price, and with this 40% off coupon prices will start at just $5! Between 11/21/18 and 11/26/18 What Should We Do Today? readers can get 40% off their entire order on MissEms.com by using the coupon code: TurkeyDay


Monday, November 19, 2018:

20. Story Time in the Park is happening at Deer Haven Park.

21. Participate in a Thanksgiving Art Project and Stuff the Turkey Game! at Olde Gahanna Sanctuary

Franklin Park Conservatory and Columbus Museum of Art

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

22. Have a Mommy & Me breakfast at Sunny Street Café (Polaris) it’s a Thanksgiving Gathering!

23. Have a Pajama Dance Party! at Bexley Public Library

Wednesday, November 21, 2018:

24. Sign your kids up for the Educational Day Camp at Horse-N-Round Fun. This camp takes place on Wednesday and Friday for ages 6 and up and will go over horse care and riding. Lunch will be provided. Register in advance for this one! There’s also a preschool version.

25. No school on Wednesday? Send your kids ages 5-12 to the School’s Out Program at Sunbury Urban Farm. The theme is Give Thanks. Register in advance.

26. Another option for the kids is the Day Before Thanksgiving Camp at Picassos where lots of Thanksgiving Crafts will be made! Register in advance.

27. Take the kids to SuperGames Winter Open Play! at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Arrive early because the play space is first come, first served! Cost is $10 per child.

28. Do a Sweet Turkeys Craft at Franklin Park Conservatory This class involves a cookie craft and does require preregistration and admission to the Conservatory. Cost is $4/cookie.

29. If the adults need a little time to unwind before the big day, head over to the Thanksgiving Eve Beer Tasting at House Wine in Worthington!

30. Visit the 400 West Rich and Chromedge Studios for Welcome Wednesdays! from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM to get a sneak peek at the work of their resident artists! There will be live demos, tours an more!

31. See everyone’s favorite puddle jumper in Peppa Pig Live! at Palace Theatre.

Ten Pin Alley and Trees at Franklin Park Conservatory

Thursday, November 22, 2018:

Lots of opportunities for exercise on Thanksgiving Day! Try out one of these:

35. Take a trip to Cleveland for Thanksgiving at the Zoo at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

36. Skate your heart out at the 99 Cents Thanksgiving Skate at Skate Zone 71

37. Have the Easiest Thanksgiving Meal ever at Bob Evans.

Friday, November 23, 2018:

Black Friday offers lots of shopping options such as:

  • 38. Ohio Made Market: Black Friday Edition at Grove City Brewing Company – the Black Friday Market features local makers with gift items for everyone on your list! Free parking and admission.
  • 39. Zassy’s Black Friday Shopping Event! – check out the newly renovated Zassy’s Tap Room and shop from over 30 vendors. There will be raffles, food and drink, and more! (No children after 8:00 PM.)
  • 40. The Holiday Market at Canal Market District takes place on Friday and will local vendors, food trucks, holiday treats, and more. Afterwards stick around for the lighting of the Licking County Courthouse!
  • 41. Black Friday at Ivory Barn – shop from Ohio vendors for holiday decor, gifts and more! This market goes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
  • Related: Tried and True Gift Ideas for Young Boys

42. At the Black Friday Open Gym at Gym Skills kids can get their energy out at this open gym time that includes lots of opportunities for jumping, swinging, balancing and more!

43. Head to Newark for Holiday Homecoming 2017 at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology on Friday to learn about the heritage of the community! Design your own holiday card, build an ornament and more!

44. Drop your kids off at the Board Game Youth Camp at Creative Art Bar Hilliard and they can play games and do crafts including creating their own checker board set! Ages 7 and up. RSVP required.

45. Take a trip to Urbana for the Holiday Horse Parade, a lighted horse parade! Santa will arrive, there will be street carolers, a tree lighting ceremony and more!

46. Take the kids to SuperGames Winter Open Play! at 6:00 PM. Arrive early because the play space is first come, first served! Cost is $10 per child.

47. Drop the kids off at Creative Art Bar Hilliard for an evening of crafting, pizza and other activities while you go shopping or have a date night! RSVP required.

48. Glass Axis is hosting a School’s Out Open House from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM where there will be glass art projects for kids of all ages! There will be free glassblowing demos and 3 art projects for kids to choose from based on age!

49. You can drop your kids off at Young Chefs Academy Gahanna for Kids Night Out! There will be hands on cooking workshops and Chef Wars!

Christmas Trees and Franklin Park Conservatory Train

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Small Business Saturday is a great way to shop local this year! Several special events are going on including:

60. Anyone ages 7 and up can take a Fall Bird Walk at Shale Hollow Park to watch for birds. Binoculars will be available.

61. At the Holiday Open House at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center on Saturday and Sunday, you can pick out your Christmas tree while you enjoy refreshments, a visit from The Grinch, hot cider and a festive atmosphere!

62. Play classic board games at Gallant Farm Park!

63. Game Days at HOMAGE Easton Town Center and HOMAGE Short North includes free donuts from Buckeye Donuts, coffee and special deals on Saturday mornings for each Buckeye game this season!

64. Work off that extra piece of pumpkin pie at Squats & Tots Saturday Classes! at piccadilly

65. Take your preschoolers to a Storytime at Grange Insurance Audubon Center.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

66. The Holiday Open House at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center includes hot apple cider, cookies and the Grinch! You can pick out a Christmas tree here, too!

67. Olde Worthington Holiday Open House is on Sunday from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM and it includes an iceless ice skating rink, horse drawn carriage rides, live music and a visit from Santa! The evening ends with the tree lighting ceremony on the Village Green!

68. Head to Pizzuti Collection Family Day from 12:00 AM – 5:00 PM for free admission, art inspired activity books, crafts and family tours!

69. Have a fun experience with the whole family at Family Fun Day – Get $3 Off on Sunday Bookings at The Escape Room USA in Columbus!

70. For a $25 donation to Stop the Suffering you can have your picture taken with Santa at HTH Farm Market! Families and pets are welcome. There will also be a Bake Sale for $10 for a box of baked goods!

71. There’s another chance for Pet Pics with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place today from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM on the lower level.

72. The Kids Christmas Party at Clay Street Ceramics will include painting ornaments, decorating cookies and working on Christmas crafts. There will be a special visit from Santa between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. $15/child.


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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!*

Christmas in Columbus

ICYMI: 10 of our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

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72 Things to do Thanksgiving Weekend in Columbus, Ohio

 


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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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7 Ways to Give Back in Columbus By Doing Things You Already Do

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Here are 7 ways to give back in Columbus by doing things you’re probably already doing!

In this age of social media and instant news, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to help when there are so many important causes, major issues and people in our own community who need help! Here are 7 ways you can help others in Columbus by doing things you’re already doing!

1. Light a Candle

Burning Candle from Eleventh Candle Co

Everyone likes their home to smell good, right? We’re already buying candles, diffusing oils and boiling cinnamon sticks on the stove, so put your money towards a good smelling candle or room spray that provides jobs for women who are at risk of or survivors of human trafficking right here in Columbus! The factory that makes the candles employs these women in Columbus and the profits from the company then go on to support an orphanage and at risk women in Ethiopia. Shop here (referral link): Eleventh Candle Co. Use my referral code “todaycolumbus” to get 10% off your purchase! They will also soon have a retail space at The Madery in Worthington!

2-4. Go Out for Coffee

Well, this is a no-brainer! If you’re planning a coffee date with your BFF, choose one of these 3 coffee shops where a portion of the profits are being given to a good cause:

Third Way Cafe

coffee mug at Third Way Cafe

Third Way Cafe is a venture of CleanTurn Enterprises whose mission is to “strengthen communities with an empowered workforce by creating profitable social enterprises.”

The cafe hosts a variety of community meetings, classes and informational sessions! Examples include: Entrepreneurship 101, Homework Clubs for neighborhood kids and meetings for parents of addicts. Join them for an open mic night, brunch pop up, card making class and more! Or just stop in for a bottomless cup of coffee for just $2 and browse their large book collection! Follow Third Way Cafe on Facebook to stay in the loop about all of their upcoming events.

Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op

Outside of Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op

Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op is on a mission to reduce infant mortality in Columbus! The coffee shop is also part co-working space and you can rent a work space in the form of a desk or an office on a monthly basis. A portion of the proceeds are given to local non-profits that are working to reduce infant mortality.

Bottoms Up is actively involved in the Franklinton neighborhood and the coffee shop offers coffee, speciality drinks (my favorite is the Canary Island) and baked goods. Read more about them in 5 on Friday: Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops.

Roosevelt Cafe

Coffee mug at The Roosevelt Coffee House

The Roosevelt Coffeehouse is a coffee shop with a mission. Proceeds from the coffee shop support efforts in the areas of clean water, hunger and human trafficking. The coffeehouse partners with local and international organizations who are making a difference in these three areas.

Examples of local organizations the coffee shop supports are: Faith Mission, She Has a Name Cleaning Services (also part of CleanTurn Enterprises), Gracehaven, The Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition and the Salvation Army. Read more about the causes and organizations your coffee dollars support here.

5. Bring a Snack to Share

Plate of brownies from Fourteen Twenty Nine

Next time you have to take a birthday treat to school, bring dessert to a potluck or just want to surprise a friend or family member with a special treat, consider ordering your baked goods from Fourteen Twenty Nine. Owner Amanda’s goal is to open a bakery that will support, train and hire women who are survivors of human trafficking and who don’t have easy  access to traditional avenues of employment.

Order your brownies here! All proceeds from the sale of brownies will go towards procuring a commercial kitchen space where Amanda can bake her brownies and begin to accept women who want to volunteer to learn baking skills. As the business grows, Fourteen Twenty Nine will be able to hire women to work in the kitchen space! Read more about Amanda and Fourteen Twenty Nine at Fight Human Trafficking in Columbus One Delicious Brownie at a Time!

6. Have a Family Night Out

Bowling Alley at Ten Pin Alley, Hilliard, Ohio

Ten Pin Alley has recently been remodeled and provides tons of family-friendly fun! There’s bowling, an arcade, laser tag, bocce ball and a full kitchen! (See New and Improved Ten Pin Alley Provides Family Friendly Fun in Hilliard!) But a night out can be more than just that. Ten Pin Alley has instituted Heart & Bowl, a way to give back to local non-profit organizations! For all of 2018, 2% of all sales will be given to Hilliard Food Pantry, Action for Children and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio! You can see all of the information about Heart & Bowl here.

7. Take your Kids to the Library

baked goods at Freedom a la Cart

You’re already taking your kids to the library to pick out books and I’m guessing you’re swinging through the Starbucks drive-thru on the way for your coffee fix. (Why do I assume that? Because I do it ALL. THE. TIME. 😉 ) Next time, save yourself the drive thru wait and check out Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Northside Branch. This newly rebuilt library has a fun and bright children’s area AND it’s home to Annie Maude’s Café, named after Annie Maude Battelle, the first woman to serve on the Columbus Public Library Trustee Board, and run by Freedom a la Cart.

Freedom a la Cart employs survivors of human trafficking here in Columbus and by doing so gives them job skills and a safe place to learn, grow and heal. The cafe serves One Line Coffee drinks, snacks, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats. Read more about Freedom a la Cart here!

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downtown Columbus, Ohio

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ICYMI:  Everything You Need to Know about the Butler County Donut Trail

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