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47 Things to Do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus 2021

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 47 events and things to do Thanksgiving week in Columbus!

Please Note: this post is updated for 2021. Please continue to check back for updated events!

47 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:

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

1. Conservatory Aglow is happening at Franklin Park Conservatory! Tickets must be purchased in advance.

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

3. Visit LEGOLAND Columbus Discovery Center at Easton Town Center. LEGOLAND will be open all week except Thanksgiving!

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

4. 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.

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 event will be $8.00 per car on Friday & Saturday nights, free Sunday-Thursday nights. This event begins on Friday, November 26th.

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

6. Drive through Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights, a holiday light display at Alum Creek Park Campground any night through January 2, 2022.

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. Order a Family Gingerbread House Decorating kit from Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna.

11. Clifton Mill Lights opens the day after Thanksgiving! Gates open at 5:00 every night and the display runs through December 30, 2021!

12. Take photos with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place. Check the link for times. Reservations encouraged.

13. Drive through Light Up Camp at Flying Horse Farms beginning November 25, 2021.

Related: 13 Drive Through Christmas Light Displays Near Columbus

14. Dazzling Christmas Lights in Westerville begin on November 26!

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

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

17. Visit the Holiday Lights at the Scioto Mile and Columbus Commons! They will be lit every night from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM beginning November 24 until January 3.

18. Help kids in our community be seen with Seeds of Caring – Through 12/13 Seeds of Caring is collecting “Brown Like Me” holiday gift bags for our partner, Moms2B. Join us for this Anywhere project to make sure kids in our community see themselves represented in the books they read and the toys they play with. Let’s flex our empathy and kindness muscles and make a difference toward a more equitable world. Sign up today!

19. Enter the Virtual Gingerbread Contest at Worthington Library. Create a gingerbread house based on a Storybook Creation and enter to win in your category!

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

Monday, November 22, 2021:

20. Join FIT4MOM Columbus North for Our Village: Thanksgiving Keepsake Craft and make a handprint turkey craft after their 9:30 AM workout! You do not need to be a member to participate in the craft! Your first workout is free!

21. Get your ticket for Fall Painting Series -“Give Thanks” at Libby Lou’s Fun Factory a paint night at 7:00 PM in the store! Snacks will be provided. Kids over 8 years old can be dropped off for the event. Kids under 8 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

22. Join FIT4MOM Columbus North for Our Village: Thanksgiving Keepsake Craft and make a handprint turkey craft after their 6:00 PM workout! You do not need to be a member to participate in the craft! Your first workout is free!

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2021:

23. Pick up a dog for a Thanksgiving Holiday Sleepover! at the Franklin County Dog Shelter and offer them a home through the holiday! Sign up in advance!

24. Attend National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Free Screening at Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts and watch the movie Christmas Vacation 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. Reserve your spot online.

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2021: 

25. Go on A Quest in the North Market Bridge Park. Pick up a Quest map at any location in the North Market at Bridge Park and go on a scavenger hunt to find all of the items. This event is going on through the whole month of November. Turn in your map to win a prize!

26. Attend a family-friendly Thanksgiving Eve Skate at Skate Zone 71 from 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

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

Thursday, November 25, 2021, THANKSGIVING DAY:

Happy Thanksgiving!

27. Run the Chase Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot! – use the code “esff” for $6 off your registration!

28. Skate your Turkey Off at Skate Zone 71 from 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM.

29. Take a break from the kids with a Thanksgiving Adult Skate at Skate Zone 71 from 9:30 PM to 1:00 AM! ID required to enter.

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

Friday, November 26, 2021:

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

30. Shop Black Friday Record Store Day at Spoonful Records.

31. Attend BLACK FRIDAY Record Store Day 2020 at Used Kids Records.

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

33. Shop Black Friday Weekend at Discount Fashion Warehouse.

34. Support Black owned businesses at Black Out Weekend at The Filipinos Centre.

35. Celebrate Christmas on the Farm at Van Buren Acres featuring local vendors from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM and visits from Santa between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Friday and Saturday.

36. Attend Holiday Homecoming 2021 at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology on Friday from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Activities include a scavenger hunt, apple cider press, themed photos, ornament making, basket weaving, glass demo, planetarium shows and more! This event is included in admission or membership.

37. Go Black Friday Skating at Skate Zone 71. Several times are available with various themes including Bounce & Skate, Friday Night Pizza Skate and more!

38. Attend the Holiday Horse Parade in the Monument Square District in Urbana. This parade includes horses, buggies and carts decorated with lights! All entries include horses! The parade takes place at 6:30 PM on Friday night.

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

Saturday, November 27, 2021:

39. Run the Columbus Hungry Turkey 5k/10k!

40. Shop at Holiday Gathering – a Vintage & Made Market featuring over 75 vendors of vintage and handmade items! It takes place from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at Franklin County Fairgrounds. Tickets are available online.

41. 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!

42. Go on a Dino & Dragon Stroll at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. This walk-thru exhibit allows you to get up close to life-size, moving dinosaurs and dragons! It takes place on Saturday and Sunday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Tickets are required for ages 2 and up.

43. Attend Christmas on the Farm! This event takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM and includes Santa, the Grinch, a petting zoo, farm animals, pony rides, horse drawn carriage rides and more!

44. Go on a Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt at Glacier Ridge Metro Park. Meet at the Shelter House at Glacier Ridge Metro Park for a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt with a naturalist on Saturday at 4:00 PM.

45. Head to Blendon Woods Metro Park for a Winter Wonderland Forest featuring an interactive learning experience inside the Nature Center beginning November 27 from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM and running through January 2. 2022

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

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Sunday, November 28, 2021:

46. Attend the Old Worthington Holiday Open House on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This event includes horse-drawn carriage rides, live music and photos with Santa! There will be special promotions at the local businesses.

47. Come Meet Santa at HTH Farm Market on Sunday from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Bring your own camera for photos!

Need more ideas? Try 100 Fun Things to do 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!*


Tuesday 21st of November 2017

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


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!!


Monday 20th of November 2017

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


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!