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71 Things to Do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus (2023)

Looking for things to do in Columbus, Ohio the week of 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 71 events and things to do Thanksgiving week in Columbus!

If there’s a chance you’ll need to walk (or skate) 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! 🙂

Things to Do Any Time Thanksgiving Week and Weekend in and Near Columbus, Ohio:

Light Tunnel at Conservatory Aglow
Tunnel of Light at Franklin Park Conservatory.

1. Conservatory Aglow is happening at Franklin Park Conservatory! This is a special engagement event and reserving tickets is highly recommended.

2. Wildlights is in full swing all weekend at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! Tickets can be purchased in advance.

3. Visit LEGOLAND Columbus Discovery Center at Easton Town Center. LEGOLAND will be open every day this week except Thanksgiving Day!

Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights, Alum Creek Campground
Drive Through Lights at Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights!

4. Drive through Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights, a holiday light display at Alum Creek Park Campground any night through January 1, 2024.

Light Tunnel at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio in Hebron, Ohio
Drive Through Tunnel at WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio!

5. Drive through WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio at Hartford Fairgrounds to see over 1 million synchronized LED lights! Open every night from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

6. Christmas at the Castle, a Kingdom of Lights! at Landoll’s Mohican Castle features over 150,000 lights, a Christmas tree, holiday music and visits from Santa! This event will be $10.00 per car on Friday & Saturday nights, free Sunday-Thursday nights. This event begins on Friday, November 24, 2023. Advance tickets are available.

7. Take a road trip to visit the PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Included with general admission.

8. For many people this is the week to get their Christmas Tree! Pick a farm or tree lot from this list of Christmas Tree Farms in Columbus and Beyond!

9. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday you can take a Holiday Carriage Ride at Easton Town Center!

10. Clifton Mill Lights opens the day after Thanksgiving! Gates open at 5:00 every night and the display runs through December 30, 2023! (Tip: take cash to get through the gate quicker and avoid a convenience fee.)

11. Take Photos With Santa At Polaris Fashion Place. See link for times and reservations. Walk up visits are available, too!

12. Dazzling Christmas Lights in Westerville begin on November 24!

13. Take a trip to Cleveland for the Wild Winter Lights Drive Through in Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

14. Visit the Lucy Depp Park Light Show in Powell beginning Black Friday!

15. Visit the Holiday Lights at Columbus Commons! They will be lit every night from 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM beginning November 17, 2023 until January 1, 2024.

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16. After you visit Columbus Commons, head over to the Scioto Mile Holiday Lights which will be lit from dusk to dawn each day!

17. See the Holiday Lights at Creekside Gahanna enjoying over 300,000 lights!

18. Do a free family gratitude activity for Thanksgiving weekend! Now is the perfect time to slow down and think about everything we’re grateful for. The Gratitude & Giving guide developed by Seeds of Caring and The Columbus Foundation’s Center for HumanKindness can help with conversation cards, a guided discussion about philanthropy, gratitude list-making, and an optional opportunity to make a monetary donation to a community cause of your choice. This Anywhere Project can be done at home, school, or wherever you are through Dec. 17.

19. Visit the Huntington Holiday Train Display In Downtown Main Columbus Metropolitan Library. November 22nd through January 7th visit the main library in downtown Columbus to see the Huntington Holiday Train Display. This is a must see for all train lovers during the holiday season!

20. Enjoy The Santa Experience At Easton Town Center. Take a photo with your own camera or purchase one on the spot. See link for tickets times and pricing of event. Reservations are encouraged.

21. Kids can do a scavenger hunt all month during November at the Grandview Public Library. Pick up a sheet at the desk and turn your completed hunt in for a prize! November’s theme is Famous Best Friends.

22. Visit Season of Celebrations at COSI. The museum will be transformed into a winter wonderland from November 24, 2023 – January 7, 2024. There will 50 community-focused trees decorated by local organizations, special programming and food options and much more!

Holiday Lights in Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
Holiday Lights in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus Area Events on Monday, November 20, 2023:

23. Families can take a 1.5 mile Turkey Hunt Hike through Blendon Woods Metro Park to look for a Thanksgiving turkey at 10:00 AM!

24. Attend a Baby Laptime Storytime at 10:30 AM at Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Library!

25. Attend the Schools Out Skate Party at United Skates of America on Monday from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

26. Stop into Grandview Library for The Monday Mix featuring games, crafts, karaoke, movies and more. Grades 4 and up, from 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM.

Christmas tree made of lights at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio
Lights at WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio!

Columbus Area Events on Tuesday, November 21, 2023:

27. Pick up a dog for a Thanksgiving Holiday Sleepover! at the Franklin County Dog Shelter and offer them a home through the holiday! This is a first come, first served opportunity! Walk-ins only!

28. Hike the Hundred Acre Wood for an off-trail adventure at 3:00 PM. This hike is for kids but it is not stroller friendly!

29. Attend the Schools Out Skate Party at United Skates of America from from 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM.

30. Attend Home Alone – Free Screening at Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts and watch the movie Home Alone at the McCoy Center! This is a free event on Tuesday at 7:00 PM but it is requested that you bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Thanks For Giving 4 Miler.

hanging holiday decor at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio
Holiday Decor at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Columbus Area Events on Wednesday, November 22, 2023: 

31. Get your Christmas Tree at the Saint Mary School Annual Christmas Tree Sale beginning Wednesday until they sell out! They will be closed on Thanksgiving but open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

32. Attend the Schools Out Skate Party at United Skates of America from from 12:00-2:30 PM and 3:00-5:30 PM.

33. Attend a School’s Out! Skate at Skate Zone 71 from 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM.

Blendon Woods Metro Park, Columbus, Ohio
Blendon Woods Metro Park

Columbus Area Events on Thursday, November 23, 2023, THANKSGIVING DAY:

Happy Thanksgiving!

34. Run the Chase Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot!

35. Participate in the Free Family Turkey Trot hosted by Davidson Rd. Primary Care in Hilliard.

36. Experience opening night at the Festival of Lights at Fairfield County Fairgrounds.

37. Enjoy a Thanksgiving Skate at Skate Zone 71 with arcade games, cafe specials, laser tag and more from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

38. Take a break from the kids with a Adult Night Skate at Skate Zone 71 from 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM!

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus Area Events on Friday, November 24, 2023, BLACK FRIDAY:

Black Friday doesn’t have to mean shopping! Check out shopping ideas plus these other fun things to do!

39. Shop BLACK FRIDAY Record Store Day at Used Kids Records.

40. Another chance to shop Black Friday – Record Store Day at Lost Weekend Records

41. Go on a slow-paced Toddler Hike at Scioto Grove Metro Park at 10:00 AM!

42. Shop the Black Christmas Expo at Columbus Airport Marriott on Friday and Saturday. Kids can get pics with “Soulful Santa”!

43. Gobble Hobble at Blacklick Woods Metro Park! This hike is not for the faint of heart – it is a 6 mile hike of all the trails in the park and it begins at 10:00 AM.

44. Learn about Thanksgiving Traditions at Slate Run Farm between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

45. Skate with the Trolls at United Skates of America on Friday from 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM.

46. Attend Holiday Homecoming Storybook Village at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology on Friday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Enjoy a gingerbread extravaganza! There will be crafts, activities, gingerbread decorating and more! You can also check out their Annual Glass Sale when you visit!

47. Attend the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club Open House on Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM to see a model train layout and kids can run a Thomas Train!

48. Head to Blendon Woods Metro Park to Opt Outside and take a hike at 1:00 PM!

49. Take a trip to the 50th Dayton Holiday Festival Grand Illumination & Parade. Starting at 3:00 PM visit Downtown Dayton for their annual holiday festival, grand illumination and parade! So much fun for everyone at this family friendly event! Everything from tree lighting, parade, live entertainment, gingerbread house contest, horse drawn wagon rides, kids holiday village and more!

Schools Out Skate Party at United Skates of America from 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM.

50. Shop the Holiday Bazaar at Canal Market District in downtown Newark, Ohio on Friday from 3:00 PM – 6:30 PM. Afterwards you can attend the Licking County Courthouse lighting!

51. Attend the Dayton Holiday Festival on Friday from 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM featuring live entertainment, a parade reindeer, a street fair, horse-drawn wagon rides, a tree lighting and more!

52. Attend the Holiday Horse Parade In Monument Square District Urbana. This event starts at 4:00 PM and includes a tree lighting, carriage rides, lighted horse parade, food trucks and more!

53. Attend Holiday In The City:Grand Illumination In Downtown Springfield. At 5:00 pm visit Downtown Springfield for Holiday In The City: Grand Illumination. Santa will be there to light up the city, live music, ice skating and more! 

54. Watch A Christmas Carol performed live at Ohio Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Performances are at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday and at 2:00 PM on Sunday.

Christmas Trees at HTH Farm Market, Columbus, Ohio
HTH Farm Market

Columbus Area Events on Saturday, November 25, 2023:

55. Participate in the Columbus Hungry Turkey Trot on Saturday for a 5K, 10K, 1/3 marathon and kids dash to benefit the Delaware County Humane Society.

56. Attend the Christmas Open House at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center which takes place on Saturday and Sunday and includes visits from the Grinch, ornament painting, cookies, hot chocolate and Christmas Tree sales!

57. Shop Uptown Marysville and pick up a Passport at the tent for a chance to win prizes!

58. Join Happy Tails-N-Trails At Sharon Woods Metro Park with your canine companion at Sharon Woods Metro Park for a 2-mile hike through the woods beginning at 10:00 AM.

59. Attend the Open Studio at Columbus Museum of Art and explore shapes! Drop in between 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM. Open Studio is included in admission.

60. Shop the Black Christmas Expo at Columbus Airport Marriott on Friday and Saturday. Kids can get pics with “Soulful Santa”!

61. Attend the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club Open House on Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM to see a model train layout and kids can run a Thomas Train!

62. Look for Treetop Turkeys at Blendon Woods Metro Park at 1:15 PM.

63. Watch A Christmas Carol performed live at Ohio Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Performances are at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday and at 2:00 PM on Sunday.

The word "Rejoice" in lights at Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights in Columbus, Ohio

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Columbus Area Events on Sunday, November 26, 2023:

64. Take a shelter dog for a walk during the Thanksgiving Walk It Off event at Franklin County Dog Shelter on Sunday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. No registration required!

65. Attend the Christmas Open House at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center which takes place on Saturday and Sunday and includes visits from the Grinch, ornament painting, cookies, hot chocolate and Christmas Tree sales!

66. Attend the Old Worthington Holiday Open House from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This event includes horse-drawn carriage rides, train rides, live music and photos with Santa! There will be special promotions and sidewalk sales at the local businesses. Stick around for the Worthington Tree Illumination that takes place at 5:30 pm.

67. Shop Not Your Mama’s Holiday Market at BrewDog on Sunday from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM or at The Kee from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

68. Attend the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club Open House on Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM to see a model train layout and kids can run a Thomas Train!

69. Meet the Grinch on Sunday from 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM at United Skates of America.

70. Watch A Christmas Carol performed live at Ohio Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Performances are at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday and at 2:00 PM on Sunday.

71. Go on an Owl Prowl at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park to look for and learn about owls at 5:00 PM.

Need more ideas? Try 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio


things to do this weekend in columbus ohio

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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!*

Kim

Tuesday 21st of November 2017

So many fun things! Makes me wish we weren't out of town this week!

Shannon

Tuesday 21st of November 2017

Holy cow! You’ve been busy. This is the most impressive list!

Mary from Mission to Save

Monday 20th of November 2017

WOW, wow, wow! What a list! And some things I have never heard of before, so thank you!!

Lindsay

Monday 20th of November 2017

Wow!! This is perfect. We have lots of free time this weekend.

Malini

Monday 20th of November 2017

What an amazing list, Julie!!!!!!! I can't remember what I did before you started providing us these awesome round up lists!