57 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 57 events and things to do Thanksgiving week in Columbus!

Disclaimer: Franklin County is currently under a Stay At Home Advisory. Many events are being cancelled or going virtual. Please check links before making your plans and use your best judgement when deciding to attend an in-person event. Stay safe, Columbus!

57 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 is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday this year. Purchase tickets online.

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 in Hebron, Ohio 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 27th.

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 3, 2020. 5:30 PM – 9:30. Ticket booth closes at 9:00 PM.

7. Take a road trip to visit the PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Reservations required.

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 Saturday and Sunday you can take a Holiday Carriage Ride at Easton Town Center!

10. Pick up 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 New Year’s Eve!

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

13. Run the Chase Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot when it’s convenient for you! – use the code “esff” for $6 off your registration!

14. Drive through Light Up Camp at Flying Horse Farms beginning November 27.

15. Dazzling Christmas Lights in Westerville begin on November 27!

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

17. Visit the Lucy Depp Park Light Show in Powell beginning November 27!

18. Visit the Holiday Lights at Columbus Commons! They will be lit every night from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM until January 3.


A BIG thanks to WonderLight’s Christmas for sponsoring this post!

Santa’s not the only one coming to town!! “WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio”, a drive-through Christmas light show, is back this year at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio! This family-friendly event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music!

Giant Christmas trees, floating snowflakes, shooting stars, dancing candy canes, and (a crowd favorite) enchanting tunnels of lights will illuminate the night! Guests will be able to watch the lights dance around them to traditional and newer, rocking Christmas music from the warmth of their own vehicle.

This dazzling Christmas display is open rain or shine every evening, including holidays, from November 13 to January 3! The cost of admission is super affordable at $7 per person and children 3 years old and under are FREE! OR, you can purchase a Carload Pass for vehicles with up to seven passengers for just $30! Learn more at www.wonderlightschristmas.com!


Holiday Lights in Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio

Holiday Lights in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Monday, November 23, 2020:

19. Register for and attend Friendsgiving Open Play at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus

20. Watch Songs for the Community, a free virtual concert presented by The Columbus Foundation by Talisha Holmes. 

Christmas tree made of lights at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio

Lights at WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020:

21. Attend the North Market Tuesday Before Thanksgiving Market for all your Thanksgiving needs!

22. Pick up a Weekly Take & Make Craft at Grandview Heights Public Library.

23. Pick up some food from SmokeOut BBQ & Catering in Whitehall Community Park during Heartland Bank Food Truck Days.

24. Pick up a free from Works@Home STEM Mini-Kit Giveaway at Mary E Babcock Library from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM. First come, first served.

hanging holiday decor at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio

Holiday Decor at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020: 

25. Go skating during Schools Out Skate at Skate Zone 71.

26. Attend Songs for the Community, a free virtual concert presented by The Columbus Foundation by Popgun.

27. Skate for $5 at the Thanksgiving Eve Glow Skate at Skate Zone 71.

28. Skate for $5 at the Thanksgiving Eve Family Skate at United Skates of America.

Blendon Woods Metro Park, Columbus, Ohio

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Thursday, November 26, 2020, THANKSGIVING DAY:

Happy Thanksgiving!

29. Enjoy a Thanksgiving Skate at Skate Zone 71.

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Friday, November 27, 2020:

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. Play Grandview Heights-OPOLY by visiting stores and shops in Grandview Heights.

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

34. Pick up a Take & Make Kit: Leaf Garland at either branch of Southwest Public Libraries!

35. Shop Black Friday Weekend at Discount Fashion Warehouse.

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

37. Attend the BLACK FRIDAY MOMS RETREAT at AR Workshop Grove City for lunch, snacks, prizes, drinks and more while you complete a regular sign of your choice, 8 Christmas ornaments and a mini tray.

38. Get your skates on for Black Friday Roller Skating at Skate Zone 

39. Sign up for the Hootie Christmas Family Friendly Paint Class at Pinot’s Palette.

40. Shop Holidaze 2020 in the barn at Blystone Farm LLC.

41. Eat and skate at the FREE Dinner Skate at Skate Zone 71!

42. Join Poppy, Branch & DJ Suk at Troll Pizza Skate at Skate Zone 71!

43. Take a break from the kids and skate at Thanksgiving Break Adult Night at United Skates of America!

Christmas Trees at HTH Farm Market, Columbus, Ohio

HTH Farm Market

Saturday, November 28, 2020:

44. Shop in your jammies during the NYMCM + BrewDog Holiday Virtual Craft Market!

45. Pick up a Take & Make Kit: Comfort Me with Coloring Pages at either branch of Southwest Public Libraries!

46. Shop for fresh produce at the Franklinton Farm Stand.

47. Get out your skates for $5.00 Skating at Skate Zone 71.

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

49. Start your holiday shopping at the Handmade Market in Powell at Nocterra Brewing Co.

50. Attend a Bird of Prey Presentation at Mohican State Park Lodge.

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

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Sunday, November 29, 2020:

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

52. Sing, Dance and More at Mommy, Me and Mrs Claus with Paulettes Princess Parties.

53. Shop and visit with Santa at the New Albany Oakland Nursery Holiday Event with Cousins Maine Lobster.

54. Attend the Holiday Open House in Worthington which includes horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, photos with Santa and a tree lighting each half hour beginning at 6:00 PM. 

55. Sign up for Mr. & Mrs. Claus Zoom Visits on Sunday!

56. Attend the Granville Village Tree Lighting.

57. Adults only can skate at Skate Zone 71 Sundays!

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!*

 


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Summer Reading Clubs are Launching Now at Columbus and Central Ohio Libraries!

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Summer Reading Clubs can keep kids entertained and motivated over the summer! Check out this list of Columbus and Central Ohio Summer Reading Programs hosted by local libraries!

As an adult winner of a Summer Reading Challenge prize a few years ago, I can personally say that these Summer Reading Programs are for all ages! And what else do we have to do during the Summer of 2020 than to read?!

Check out one (or more) of these Central Ohio Summer Reading Programs to keep your kids focused on the goal! There are prizes involved and some of them are pretty cool! 

library books on the shelf at a Columbus Library

Columbus Metropolitan Library

Theme: Summer Reading Challenge
Dates: May 30 – August 4, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Log in to the website or download the new Reading Challenge App. Enter your reading minutes on to your Game Board and compete your Reading Activity Bingo in order to be entered into raffles for prizes like gift cards, free food, books, a bike and more!

A sign that says Ready for Kindergarten at a columbus metropolitan library

Worthington Libraries

Theme: Magic Unbound: A Summer Reading Quest
Dates: May 20 – July 20, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Receive prizes by filling in the amount of time you’ve read on your Reading Record. You can also DIY activities at home to make progress toward your prizes. You can print your Reading Record from the library website.

Westerville Public Library

Theme: Read & Imagine
Dates: May 22 – August 2, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Set your own reading goal and once you reach your goal, stop by the library to pick up your prize!

library books on a shelf

Grandview Heights Public Library

Theme: Summer Reading Club
Dates: June 1 – August 1, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Use the App to track your reading online and win prizes from the library!

grove city library

Southwest Public Libraries

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: May 30 – July 25, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Register online to read, watch online programs and do online activities in order to earn raffle entries and prizes! The program includes special online performances!

Bexley Public Library

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 1
Ages: All ages
How it works: Track your reading online or by printing out a paper version. Highlights include virtual programming, a coloring page to hang in your window, a bookmark contest and more! 

Upper Arlington Public Library

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 1 – July 31, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Register online and download the reading log and mark each day you read. If you read for 15 days or more, you earn a free book! 

Delaware County District Library

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 1 – August 21, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Read for 12 hours throughout the summer and collect prizes at the 6 and 12 hour benchmarks. Download the reading log to keep track of your reading. Most programs and events will be virtual. 

Pickerington Public Library 

Theme: Imagine Your Story
Dates: June 8 – August 8, 2020
Ages: All ages
How it works: Track your reading on the READsquared app and earn toys, coupons and raffle tickets for grand prizes! There is also a technology-free option! You can register for an one on one zoom story time with a library staff person and there will also be live zoom events throughout the summer! 

I will continue to add more as they are announced! In the meantime if you’re missing library story times, check out this list of  17 Columbus Based Virtual Story Times for Kids!

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Summer Reading Programs in Columbus Ohio


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17 Columbus Based Virtual Story Times for Kids

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When you can’t go to the library for a traditional story time, watch one of these virtual story times for kids provided by Columbus area businesses and libraries!

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure

With library programs on pause, we miss our local story times! If your voice is getting hoarse from reading the same book over and over to your kids, let one of these local businesses and libraries take over for a little bit! This list includes options for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary aged kids!

So many local organizations (and of course Columbus area libraries) have been providing online story times for kids over the past few months! I’ve compiled an example for each and also a link to where you can find more stories from each organization! 

Virtual Story Times for Kids from Columbus Libraries and Other Local Organizations: 

I’m going to start out this list with our traditional library story times and then end it with story times that are being offered by other local organizations that are not libraries!

1. Columbus Metropolitan Library

Virtual story times from Columbus Metropolitan Library can be found on their YouTube Channel and the story featured below is The Widemouthed Frog, a cute pop up book!

2. Grandview Heights Public Library

Online story times from Grandview Library can be found on their YouTube page! The Story below features the book Go Away, Big Green Monster!

 

3. Worthington Libraries

Worthington Libraries has a whole list of online story times available on their YouTube Page. The story below is one of the beloved Elephant and Piggie Books: Should I Share My Ice Cream?

 

4. Bexley Library

Bexley Library has rhymes, stories and other activities on their YouTube page. The story below is for elementary ages: I am Jane Goodall.

 

5. Southwest Public Libraries

Southwest Public Libraries is offering stories and songs on their YouTube Channel. The story below is the colorful book Elmer.

 

6. Upper Arlington Public Library

The UA Public Library has a collection of videos for kids including story times songs and crafts. The video below features Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow.

Visit their YouTube page for more story times!

7. Delaware County District Library

The Delaware County District Library has family friendly videos on their Facebook page including craft time, story times, a kids cookbook club and crafts. The video below features the book Not Quite Snow White.

 

8. Westerville Public Library

Westerville Public Library has family storytimes, baby story times, toddler story times, and more on their YouTube page! There are stories, songs, activities and more!

 

9. The Underground Railroad Museum

The Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, Ohio is doing a weekly story time. This one features the book Frederick Douglass.

 

10. Paulette’s Princess Parties

Paulette’s Princess Parties has done several online story times featuring various princesses and super heroes! On their Facebook page, you can view the story times, dances, songs and more!

 

11. CATCO is Kids

CATCO is Kids offers CATCO is Storytime, Playwriting lessons and artist spotlights! The video below features the classic Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham!

 

12. Spanish for Niños

Spanish for Ninos has an online story time available in Spanish! They are also offering online Spanish classes! This story time video features the book Hormigas En Mis Pantalones / Ants in My Pants!

Visit their Facebook page for more videos!

 

13. Columbus Police Department

The Columbus Police Department offers Books and Badges via Facebook video! In the video below, the officer reads from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein and has a visit from his dog!

 

14. Little Bottoms Free Store

Little Bottoms Free Store has been providing story times via Facebook Live. This video features the book How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?.

 

15. The Shazzbots!

Captain Captain from The Shazzbots! has been doing daily songs and stories via Facebook Live! If you visit their Facebook page, there are months worth of videos to watch! 

 

16. Piccadilly Play Cafe

Piccadilly Play Cafe has a YouTube channel with stories and online art camp classes. Below, a staff member reads the book The Big Hungry Bear!

17. Storytime at Grange Insurance Audubon Center

Grange Insurance Audubon Center has several online videos that feature story times, singalongs, science experiments and more! The video below features the book Say Hello Like This!.

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online story times for kids a stack of books and an iPad


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