93 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 93 events and things to do Thanksgiving week in Columbus!

93 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:

Light Tunnel at Conservatory Aglow

Tunnel of Light at Franklin Park Conservatory.

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.

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.

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 1st, 5:30 PM – 9:30, until 10:30 on Friday and Saturday.

7. Take a road trip to 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. Each day beginning Wednesday and running through Sunday there are different deals including $3 laser tag, half off arcade games, kids eat free and more! (Check the link for each day’s deals.)

10. 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!

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!

Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library

Holiday Train at Main Library, Columbus.

14. Visit the Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library – Main Library downtown! Or check out one of these 5 Holiday Trains Around Columbus!

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

Think Outside the Brick LEGO Exhibit at Columbus Museum of Art.

Think Outside the Brick LEGO Exhibit at Columbus Museum of Art.

16. 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!

17. Drive through the Fairfield County Festival of Lights at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. This light display goes on opens Thanksgiving Day and runs through Christmas Day!

18. Winterfest opens at Kings Island on November 22 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.

boy standing in Mall at Tuttle Crossing looking down on Santa.

Santa at his post at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing.

19. Take photos with Santa at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. Check the link for times.

20. Take photos with Santa at Easton Town Center. Check the link for times.

21. Take photos with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place. Check the link for times.

22. Drop a letter to Santa in Grandview Heights and get a letter back!

23. Visit Bubbles the Elf at Grandview Heights Public Library for a free activity each day!

24. Play with Purpose at Tree of Life Play + Cafe: bring in a donation of new hats, gloves or scarves for the Good Tidings Winter Wear store at SON Ministries through December 6 and get 50% off regular priced admission to Tree of Life Play + Cafe.


A BIG thank you to WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio for sponsoring this post!

Santa’s not the only one coming to town!! “WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio”, a drive-through Christmas light show, will be coming to National Trail Raceway in Hebron this holiday season!

This family-friendly event will feature 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 favorite of children of all ages) three enchanting tunnels of light 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 will be offered rain or shine every evening, including holidays, from November 15 to January 5! The cost of admission is affordable at $7 per person and children 3 years old and under are FREE! You can also purchase a “Carload Pass” for vehicles with up to seven passengers for just $30!

Learn more at www.christmasinohio.com!


Holiday Lights in Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio

Holiday Lights in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Monday, November 25, 2019:

25. Play with Purpose at Tree of Life Play + Cafe!

26. Attend a Turkey Handprint Play Date at The Shops at Worthington Place.

27. Spend a Messy Monday Afternoon at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus.

28. Do Thanksgiving Crafts at Highbanks Metro Park.

29. Attend a second Turkey Handprint Play Date at The Shops at Worthington Place.

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

Lights at WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019:

30. Go to Farm & Forest School at Sunbury Urban Farm.

31. Celebrate Taco Tuesday at The Kitchen!

32. Watch Elf (Free Screening) at Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

33. Play Family Fun and Games at Homestead Metro Park.

hanging holiday decor at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio

Holiday Decor at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019: 

34. Go to Farm & Forest School at Sunbury Urban Farm.

35. Skate and Bounce at Skate Zone 71.

36. Play Family Fun and Games at Homestead Metro Park.

37. Take advantage of Cheap Skate Wednesdays at United Skates of America – Refugee Rd.

38. Make Cedar Wood Creations at Creative Art Bar Hilliard.

39. Thanksgiving Eve Glow Skate at Skate Zone 71.

40. Leave the kids at home for Thanksgiving Adult Skates at Skate Zone 71.

Blendon Woods Metro Park, Columbus, Ohio

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Thursday, November 28, 2019, THANKSGIVING DAY:

Happy Thanksgiving! Lots of chances to burn off that extra piece of pie (not that you need to …..)

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

42. Turkey Trot! in Blendon Woods Metro Park.

43. Another chance for Thanksgiving Adult Skates at Skate Zone 71.

44. Family Thanksgiving Skate at United Skates of America – Refugee Rd.

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Friday, November 29, 2019:

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

45. Visit Christmas at the Market at Lynd Fruit Farm.

46. Take a Black Friday Hike at Clear Creek Metro Park (this one is a bit intense).

47. Run around at Toddler Open Gym at Thompson Recreation Center.

48. Go Black Friday Rollerskating at Skate Zone 71. (3 different times today!)

49. Learn about Ohioans in sports at Thanksgiving Family Friday at Ohio History Center.

50. Drop off the kids for Kids Sew, Parents Go! at The Sewing Hive!

51. Opt Outside: Hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

52. Attend Toddler Time with Fine Motor Friday at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus.

53. Enjoy Indoor Amusements at Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm!

54. Find your tree at the Annual Christmas Tree Sale at Saint Mary School German Village.

55. Black Friday Rollerskating again at Skate Zone 71.

56. Check out the Dazzling Christmas Lights First Night in Westerville.

57. See the 71st Annual Lighting of The Licking County Courthouse.

58. Pizza Skate with the Trolls at Skate Zone 71.

59. Watch the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena.

60. See the 2nd Annual LDP Lighting Event! at Lucy Depp Park, a drive through light experience!

61. Tired of turkey? How about Friday Nights Unlimited Pizza Skate at Skate Zone 71?

62. Have Hot Cocoa with Queen Elsa! at Susie’s Bistro & Bakery.

Christmas Trees at HTH Farm Market, Columbus, Ohio

HTH Farm Market

Saturday, November 30, 2019:

63. Take a Fall Bird Walk at Deer Haven Park.

62. Shop Small Business Saturday in Grove City

63. Santa is Coming to Sunny Street Cafe!

64. Run the Columbus Hungry Turkey 5k/10k in Genoa Park.

65. Shop Small Business Saturday at Gramercy Books!

66. Take part in Moonlight Madness at Tanger Outlets.

67. Attend a Sensory Friendly Storytime at Barnes & Noble – Easton.

68. Check out the Annual Christmas Tree Sale at Saint Mary School German Village.

69. Attend Christmas at the Market at Lynd Fruit Farm.

70. Shop Small Business Saturday with Natterdoodle!

71. Attend a Saturday Storytime at Barnes & Noble – Dublin.

72. Get Free MEALS for KIDS! at Hilltop YMCA.

73. Shop the Holiday Bazaar at Vertical Adventures.

74. Do Gingerbread House Decorating with Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies.

75. Enjoy Indoor Amusements at Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm

76. Take part in Family Turkey Talk at Blendon Woods Metro Park

77. Watch Ohio Roller Derby’s Halloween vs. Christmas game: The Skatemare Before Christmas in the Lausche Building!

78. Head south for the Ashville Christmas Parade!

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

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Sunday, December 1, 2019:

79. Take the kids to Toddler Time! at Get Air Pickerington.

80. Relax with Kids Yoga & Storytime – GoYoga + Cover to Cover at Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers

81. Another chance for the Annual Christmas Tree Sale at Saint Mary School German Village.

82. Celebrate Christmas in the Gardens at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center.

83. Shop Christmas at the Market at Lynd Fruit Farm.

84. Shop Moonlight Madness at Tanger Outlets.

85. Attend the Holiday Bazaar & Tree Lighting in the Short North Arts District.

86. Create Holiday Stack-ables at Creative Art Bar Hilliard.

87. Visit the 10th-Annual HolidayVille in Clintonville.

88. Shop the Holiday Artisan Market at 3060 ARTWORKS.

89. Attend the Holiday Open House in Old Worthington!

90. Send Letters to Santa in Hilliard!

91. Visit Seldom Seen Glaciers in Battelle Darby Metro Park (ages 13 and up!).

92. Attend a Disney Junior Holiday Party! at the Palace Theatre.

93. Watch the Hilliard Tree Lighting in Hilliard’s Station Park.


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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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93 Things to do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus, Ohio


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5 on Friday: Columbus Bakeries

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These bakeries are kid-tested and approved! If you’re looking for a new place to get your sweet fix, give one of these local bakeries a try! You won’t be disappointed!

1. The Original Goodie Shop, Upper Arlington

Cookies, cakes, donuts, you name it! It’s all here! Easy parking, and really close to the Upper Arlington Library if you’re looking for a fun outing! We had cut out cookies and an amazing cinnamon stick (pictured below). I have it on good authority that the chocolate donuts are worthy of a fork and knife. #donutgoals

2116 Tremont Center, Upper Arlington, OH 43221

2. Laughlin’s Bakery, Short North

European Pastries in the cutest little shop in the Short North – one of my favorite shops in the area! There are cookies, breads, scones, and gluten free options, too! Head to Rocket Fizz, Big Fun or Italian Village Park for more fun!

15 E. 2nd Ave, Columbus OH 43201

3. Kittie’s, Bexley

This is the cookie that started my salted-chocolate chip obsession. Get it! You will NOT be disappointed. The boys and I shared this cookie – next time I’m going back for the whole thing! Plus, this location of Kittie’s is attached to Gramercy Books – a newly opened, independent bookstore! What a great combo!

2424 E Main St., Bexley, OH 43209

4. Sassafras Bakery, Worthington

Milk and Cookie Happy Hour (W-F, 3:00-5:00 PM) at Sassafras Bakery means a free glass of milk or cup of coffee with each cookie purchased. They make this sound like it’s for the kids . . . but it’s really just an excuse for the adults to eat more cookies! 😉 Ummm…I also got the salted-chocolate chip cookie here, too. It was the container with the least amount of cookies in it, so that was my first clue it should be my choice! I chose wisely! (Oh yeah, the kids loved it, too!)

657 High St., Worthington, OH 43085

5. Dough Mama, Clintonville

Dough Mama is the home of my 3rd salted-chocolate chip cookie. Once you go salted, you never go back! This bakery has a lot of space for kids and is really close to Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers! A great combo you can read about here!

3335 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43214

The research for this post was painful, as you can imagine. 😉 What bakery should be next on our list?

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ICYMI: What Should We Do This Weekend? February 3-5, 2017


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What Should We Do This Weekend? January 6-8, 2017

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Life is back to normal, so it seems! Back to work, back to school, snow in the forecast. We’re headed into the long stretch of winter that I tend to dread! Sigh. But hey, this week is also the last giveaway for a play pass to Recreations Outlet! Now there’s something fun to do inside on a cold day! You can enter by telling me 3 places you love to take your kids in Columbus! Click here to enter! Thank you to all those who have! I will be using those suggestions in future posts! 🙂 Have a happy weekend!

1. Grand Opening at Duck Donuts

When: Thursday – Sunday, January 5-8, 2017
Time: 6:00 AM Thursday – 9:00 PM Sunday
Location: 825 Polaris Parkway, Westerville, OH 43082
Phone: 614-896-6450

Duck Donuts at Polaris celebrates its grand opening this weekend with a coupon for a free donut for the first 100 customers on Thursday and Friday beginning at 6:00 AM and free coffee all weekend (through Sunday)! There will be activities for kids and giveaways all weekend!

2. Toddler/Preschool Enrichment at Studio J: Sing Paint Play

When: Friday, January 6, 2017
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Location: 27 S. Liberty St., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-563-4807

This class is appropriate for ages 1-5 and will feature a story, fingerplay, songs, an art project and more!

3. Winter Sale and Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District

When: Friday, January 6-29, 2017
Location: Various stores throughout the Short North

Many stores throughout the Short North are offering sale prices on their items! Combine this shopping opportunity with Gallery Hop on Saturday from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM for extra fun!

4. Fitness Resolution Solution at Glenwood Recreation Center

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1888 Fairmont Ave., Columbus, OH 43223

The whole family is invited to learn about the ways Columbus Recreation and Parks can help them stay healthy this year! There will be activities and prizes! (Also, registration opened earlier this week for the next session at Columbus Rec and Parks, search for available classes here.)

5. Opening Day of Orchids at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

This weekend marks the opening of the Orchids exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory as well as the exhibition Nightime Tropicals. On Saturday, families are invited to make paper flower collages from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. This craft is free with membership or admission.

6. Story Time with Belle at Barnes and Noble Pickerington

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: 1738 North Hill Rd., Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 614-751-0927

Come meet Princess Belle at this free event!

7. Indoor Binocular Hunt at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 1415 Darby Creek Dr., Galloway, OH 43119
Phone: 614-508-8111

Do an indoor hunt for animals inside the Nature Center! Free! All ages welcome!

8. Tinker Lab at Grove City Library

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-875-6716

Kids in grades 4-7 are welcome to come to the library to create, use team work and learn about how things work!

9. Dream Catcher Class at Sew to Speak

When: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 752 High St. Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-547-7380

Kids 8 and up, accompanied by a parent are welcome to this beginner level class where they can learn to make a traditional dream catcher with a modern twist! Cost is $40.

10. Family Treasure Hunt at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Meet at the Nature Center to take part in a treasure hunt!

11. January Family Paint Class at Art With Anna

When: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Time: 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Location: 420 N Cassady Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43209
Phone: 614-252-1881

Each member of your family can paint a small canvas that can be hung together to create a larger mural! This event is appropriate for ages 6 and up and costs $15 per artist!

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ICYMI: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Columbus Parents

*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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