Winter Break in Columbus Part 2: December 30, 2019 -January 5, 2020

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This list of special events and activities will help keep your kiddos entertained during Winter Break in Columbus! This is Part 2 of ideas for things to do with your kids over Winter Break! Click here for Part 1.

If you’re looking for What Should We Do This Weekend? this is the list for this week and weekend! Scroll to the end for events happening during the weekend! Otherwise, this list will help you find something to do every day of this week during Winter Break in Columbus!

holiday train at Main Library Columbus Ohio

Holiday Train at Main Library

Ongoing events in Columbus for every day this week:

Holiday Bricktacular at Legoland Discovery Center Columbus – from December 7 – January 5 when you visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center you can take part in special activities like meeting LEGO Santa, creating holiday builds, special additions to MINILAND and more! All special actives are included in admission. 

Think Outside the Brick is on display through January 17, 2020 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! (Closed 12/24 and 12/15.)

Winter Wonderland Scavenger Hunt at Blendon Woods Metro Park – through January 5th, search for winter creatures hidden around the Nature Center. All ages welcome.

School Days Off at Hilltop YMCA – kids on Winter Break can swim, play games, do crafts and more each day! $30/child if you preregister. $40 day of.

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Wildlights takes place at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from November 15, 2019 – January 5, 2020 from 5:00 PM to close and features millions of LED lights, animated light shows, Rudolph and Friends, Santa, a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 4-D theater short and much more! (Closed 12/24 and 12/15.)

Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory decorated for the holidays! This year is the biggest show yet and extends into the Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway! Visit The Pool in the Grand Mallway for an interactive art display! This nightly event runs from November 15, 2019 to January 5, 2020 from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. There is a special engagement rate for this event and members receive 50% off. Closed on 12/25 and closes at 5:00 PM on 12/24.

WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio at National Trail Raceway – this new event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music! The show happens rain or shine every evening, including holidays, from November 15 to January 5 from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM.

Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds – Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights is celebrating 20 years with 30 new displays this year! This drive through light show is 3 miles long and features 160 light displays! The show runs rain or shine, November 15, 2019 – January 1, 2020 from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM Sunday – Thursday and 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM Friday and Saturday.

Visit the Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library – Main Library downtown!

Kid Friendly Hours at Level One Bar + Arcade – Bring the kids in for free arcade games from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday, December 30, 2019 – January 3, 2020.


Road Trip Ideas for Winter Break:

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 goes on through January 5, 2020.

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.

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

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden features 3 million LED lights, a black-light puppet show, a train ride, Fiona’s Fairyland and more. Closed Christmas Eve evening and Christmas Day. The event runs through January 4, 2020.

Christmas at Kingwood at Kingwood Center Gardens is $5/person. Kids 12 and under are free and it is open on Thursdays through Sundays from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM through January 5, 2020. There will be a Trail of Lights, a Community Tree Walk, a greenhouse display and other festive events. 


Things to do on Winter Break (December 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020):

Think Outside The Brick LEGO display at Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art

Monday, December 30, 2019

4:00 PM – End of the year fun party at Fun Town Play and Learn Café – this end of the year celebration will feature dancing, singing, face painting, a special guest and raffle prizes! All ages welcome.

2:00 PM – Open Play at KSM Sports Facility – kids can run around and get out excess energy with various sports, activities, games, toys and more! $10/person.


KSM Sports Facility

KSM Sports Facility

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 – New Year’s Eve

10:00 AM – Preschoolers: New Year’s Eve Open House Party at Sharon Woods Metro Park – stop by Spring Hollow Lodge any time between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM to partake in games, crafts, activities and a countdown to the New Year every hour on the hour!

10:00 AM – Noon Year’s Eve Day Family Party at Pickaway Place – this event includes games, food crafts, activists and a balloon drop!   Register online.

10:00 AM – Noon Year’s Eve Party at peapod play cafe – enjoy open play and a ball drop at noon!

10:30 AM – Countdown to Noon Year’s Eve 2020 at KSM Sports and Fitness Indoor Facility – this event is for the whole family and includes games and sports, crafts, a selfie station, meet and greet with the Snow Queen, food and beverages and a balloon drop at 12:00 noon! Tickets required. No tickets will be sold at the door.

10:30 AM – Noon Year’s Eve Celebration at COSI – this event will feature a countdown to Noon in the COSI Atrium! There will be crafts, science activities, dancing and more! Included in admission or membership.

11:00 AM – Noon Year’s Eve at Main! at Pickerington Public Library – take part in a countdown to noon, crafts, games and a mocktail toast! This event will take place at both Pickerington Library locations.

11:00 AM – Kids Eat Free at Rusty Bucket – kids eat free on New Year’s Eve at Rusty Bucket with the purchase of an adult entree. 

12:00 PM – New Year Celebration Public Event at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus – enjoy Open Play from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM and a ball drop at 1:30 PM. There will also be crafts and light snacks.

4:00 PM – NYE Kids Coutdown at Skate Zone 71 – this event includes admission, skate rental, unlimited cheese pizza and drink, noise makers and an early countdown to 2020. $13/person.

5:00 PM – Family NYE 2020 at Dave & Buster’s Polaris – – this family friendly event will include food, games, face painting, a video ball drop and a performance from Escape Artist and Magician Michael Griffin. 2 package options are available.


child at LEGOLAND Columbus

Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Wednesday, January 1, 2020 – New Year’s Day

What’s Open New Year’s Day in Columbus?

9:00 AM – School’s Out Camps at Sunbury Urban Farm – register for your kids to participate in this day camp while they are out of school! It includes outdoor games, hands on activities, free forest play and more! Financial assistance is available.

10:00 AM – New Year’s Day Hike at Shale Hollow Park – take a hike through the woods and prairies and enjoy a hot beverage and cookies by the fireplace afterwards.

10:30 AM – New Year’s Day Party at Momi Land- Momi Land will host a New Year’s Party from 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM featuring activity stations like face painting, dino dig, and more. There will be a Lion Hunt Expedition an a balloon drop at 12:00 PM. Momi Land will stay open until 7:00 PM for open play today.

12:00 PM – New Years Day Skating at Skate Zone 71 – click the link for details on New Years skating specials!


road in the woods at Blendon Woods Metro Park

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Thursday, January 2, 2020

9:00 AM – School’s Out Camps  at Sunbury Urban Farm – register for your kids to participate in this day camp while they are out of school! It includes outdoor games, hands on activities, free forest play and more! Financial assistance is available.

9:30 AM – Toddlers in Nature: No Two Alike at Blendon Woods Metro Park – make bird feeders to help winter birds keep warm. Ages 1-3. 

10:00 AM – Little Tykes Open Play at KSM Sports Facility –  kids ages 6 months to 5 years old can play in the soft play area, with balls and games and burn off energy running around the large indoor play area. $6/kids, $3 for siblings.

11:00 AM – Toddlers in Nature: No Two Alike at Blendon Woods Metro Park – make bird feeders to help winter birds keep warm. Ages 1-3. 


drive through light display in Hebron, Ohio

WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio

Friday, January 3, 2020

9:00 AM – School’s Out Camps  at Sunbury Urban Farm – register for your kids to participate in this day camp while they are out of school! It includes outdoor games, hands on activities, free forest play and more! Financial assistance is available.

10:00 AM – First Friday Storytime at Blendon Woods Metro Park – enjoy stories about wildlife and nature. Ages 3-7.

10:00 AM – Forest Fridays at Sunbury Urban Farm – enjoy 30 minute nature activity and free play time in the woods. All ages. $5 suggested donation.

10:00 AM – Family Fun: Cabin Fever Reliever at Sharon Woods Metro Park – kids ages 3-12 can take part in winter crafts and activities in the Lodge.

10:00 AM – Toddler Open Gym at Thompson Recreation Center – drop in for a free Open Gym time at the rec center!

11:00 AM – KidX: Frozen Fun at Polaris Fashion Place – visit with your favorite snowy movie characters, enjoy crafts, music, giveaways and more.

12:00 PM – Skate and Bounce at Skate Zone 71 – enjoy skating and a bounce house! Sessions are from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM and 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM. 

1:00 PM – Kids Winter Break Pinball Tournament at Level One Bar + Arcade – kids under 18 can enter a free pinball tournament! Everyone wins a prize!

2:00 PM – Open Play at KSM Sports Facility – kids can run around and get out excess energy with various sports, activities, games, toys and more! $10/person.

4:00 PM – Family Night Fridays at Tree of Life Play + Cafe – for $30 enjoy a family pass to the play area and a large 1 tipping pizza and a drink pitcher.

5:30 PM – For Families: Barred Owl Hike at Glacier Ridge Metro Park – take a 1.5 mile hike and try to lure barred owls. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

6:00 PM – Family Friendly First Fridays at The Rambling House – celebrate the new year with kid-friendly music by Chris Shaw!

7:00 PM – Friday Nights Unlimited Pizza Skate at Skate Zone 71 – family skate is available from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM for $10/person. That includes admission, skate rental and unlimited cheese pizza!


Ohio History Center lobby

Ohio History Center

Saturday, January 4, 2020

9:00 AM – Roller Skating Lessons at Skate Zone 71 – walk-in for skating lessons for all skill levels! Fisher Price skates are available for kids. Adults are welcome too!

9:30 AM – Saturday Studio Art Canvas // Polar Bear Collage at Art with Anna – drop in to paint a polar bear collage. $20/student. Ages 4 and up.

10:00 AM – World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour at Ohio Expo Center & State Fair – check out several operating model train layouts, visit model train exhibitors and more! Kids 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Save money by buying a two day pass if you think you might want to return!

10:00 AM – Wild Ohio Weekend at the Ohio History Center – this event offers the opportunity to learn about the plants and animals of Ohio! There will be an ice age themed scavenger hunt, special presentations, bird feedings, hands on activities, a sing a long, crafts and more!

10:00 AM – Woodpecker Hike at Blendon Ravines at Blendon Woods Metro Park – search for 6 species of woodpeckers on a 1.5 mile hike through Blendon Ravines.

10:00 AM – Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s Community Day at Franklin Park Adventure Center – Mayor Gunther’s Community day includes free family-friendly activities, food and music and the official swearing in ceremony. RSVP online.

11:00 AM – Snow Snow Snow!!!!! at Dublin Toy Emporium – make 3D mini snowflakes during this Stay-N-Play event! Reserve your spot by 12/28 for a discount!

11:00 AM – Saturday Stories and Songs at at Sycamore Plaza Library – enjoy stories, songs, finger plays and more! Ages 2-6 years.

12:00 PM – Snapshots of the Family Farm at Gallant Farm – visit Gallant Farm to see a collection of photos from the 1930’s and 40’s. Bring your own pictures of your family farm to add to the collection!

1:00 PM – Star Wars Party at at Delaware County District Library – celebrate Star Wars with snacks, games, LEGO activities, crafts and special guests! All ages welcome!

2:00 PM – Go WILD Kids Club: Off-trail Adventure at Sharon Woods Metro Park – play outside in tree forts, ravines, logs and more! Dress warmly and meet t the Natural Play Area.


tree at Highbanks Metro Park Nature Center

Highbanks Metro Park Nature Center

Sunday, January 5, 2020

10:00 AM – Wild Ohio Weekend at the Ohio History Center – this event offers the opportunity to learn about the plants and animals of Ohio! There will be an ice age themed scavenger hunt, special presentations, bird feedings, hands on activities, a sing a long, crafts and more!

10:00 AM – World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour at Ohio Expo Center & State Fair – check out several operating model train layouts, visit model train exhibitors and more! Kids 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Save money by buying a two day pass if you think you might want to return!

1:00 PM – Preparing for Winter Hiking at Highbanks Metro Park – learn about how to prepare for hiking and camping in cold weather! Ages 10 and up.


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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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Winter Break in Columbus Part 1: December 23-29, 2019

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This handy list of special events and activities will help keep your kiddos entertained during Winter Break in Columbus!

If you’re looking for What Should We Do This Weekend? this is the list for this week and weekend! Scroll to the end for events happening during the weekend! Otherwise, this list will help you find something to do every day of this week during Winter Break in Columbus! (See Week 2 here!)

WonderLIght's Christmas in Ohio

WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio

Ongoing events in Columbus for every day this week:

Holiday Bricktacular at Legoland Discovery Center Columbus – from December 7 – January 5 when you visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center you can take part in special activities like meeting LEGO Santa, creating holiday builds, special additions to MINILAND and more! All special actives are included in admission. 

Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art

Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art

Think Outside the Brick is on display through January 17, 2020 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! (Closed 12/24 and 12/15.)

Winter Wonderland Scavenger Hunt at Blendon Woods Metro Park – through January 5th, search for winter creatures hidden around the Nature Center. All ages welcome.

Visit the Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library – Main Library downtown!

School Days Off at Hilltop YMCA – kids on Winter Break can swim, play games, do crafts and more each day! $30/child if you preregister. $40 day of.

Christmas Corner at State Auto – State Auto’s Christmas Corner is lighted each night from 5:00 PM – 11:30 PM and until 12:30 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Each Friday and Saturday night there are live performances from local choirs and musicians. Free hot chocolate is available (donations accepted)!

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Wildlights takes place at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from November 15, 2019 – January 5, 2020 from 5:00 PM to close and features millions of LED lights, animated light shows, Rudolph and Friends, Santa, a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 4-D theater short and much more! (Closed 12/24 and 12/15.)

Display at Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory

Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory decorated for the holidays! This year is the biggest show yet and extends into the Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway! Visit The Pool in the Grand Mallway for an interactive art display! This nightly event runs from November 15, 2019 to January 5, 2020 from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. There is a special engagement rate for this event and members receive 50% off. Closed on 12/25 and closes at 5:00 PM on 12/24.

WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio at National Trail Raceway – this new event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music! The show happens rain or shine every evening, including holidays, from November 15 to January 5 from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM.

Light display at Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds – Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights is celebrating 20 years with 30 new displays this year! This drive through light show is 3 miles long and features 160 light displays! The show runs rain or shine, November 15, 2019 – January 1, 2020 from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM Sunday – Thursday and 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM Friday and Saturday.

Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – take a ride through Town Center in a horse drawn carriage. Cost is $10/person, children under 15 ride for free with a paying adult. Beginning today, these rides will be available Fridays 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Saturdays 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Sundays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Available 12/23, 27, 28 and 29.

The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – watch a traditional performance of The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre through Saturday, December 28, 2019. This performances has two acts with a 20 minute intermission. (No performances Christmas Day.)


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!


Road Trip Ideas for Winter Break:

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 goes on through January 5, 2020.

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.

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

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden features 3 million LED lights, a black-light puppet show, a train ride, Fiona’s Fairyland and more. Closed Christmas Eve evening and Christmas Day. The event runs through January 4, 2020.

Christmas at Kingwood at Kingwood Center Gardens is $5/person. Kids 12 and under are free and it is open on Thursdays through Sundays from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM through January 5, 2020. There will be a Trail of Lights, a Community Tree Walk, a greenhouse display and other festive events. 


Things to do on Winter Break (December 23 – 29, 2019):

holiday train at Main Library

Holiday Train at Main Library

Monday, December 23, 2019

8:00 AM – Mommy and Me – Candyland & Gingerbread Men Christmas Party at Sunny Street Café (Sawmill) – this event features $1 Dino Pancakes and toppings bar, games, crafts and Christmas treats!

9:00 AM – Photos with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place – get your photo taken with Santa during mall hours.

9:30 AM – Our Village: Polar Express Themed Class & PJ Party at Amelita Mirolo Barn – join FIT4MOM UA for a special Polar Express themed class and PJ party! Kids will watch the movie while the moms work out! Afterwards there will be holiday crafts, “hot” chocolate milk and other holiday goodies. Your first class is free!

10:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – this is one of your last chances to get a family photo with Santa for $5 or take your own photo! Reservations are full but you can still wait in line for your turn!

10:00 AM – Family Gingerbread House Decorating at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – build a gingerbread house together! All supplies will be included. Reservations are required.

11:00 AM – Messy Monday Afternoon at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus – messy, sensory play will be available in the party room for kids to explore! This is included in the cost of open play! 

2:00 PM – Author Visit: Heather Shumaker at Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers – this award-winning author will visit Cover to Cover Bookstore to read from her book “The Griffins of Castle Cary” – a book for kids ages 8-12. 

2:00 PM – Open Play at KSM Sports Facility – kids can run around and get out excess energy with various sports, activities, games, toys and more! $10/person.


Christmas Corner in Columbus Ohio

State Auto’s Christmas Corner

Tuesday, December 24, 2019, Christmas Eve

6:00 AM – $5 Tuesdays at Marcus Theatres – every Tuesday (including Christmas Eve) movies are just $5 and if you’re a Magical Rewards member you can get a free complimentary-size popcorn.

8:00 AM – Mommy and Me – Candyland & Gingerbread Men Christmas Party at Sunny Street Café (Polaris) – this event features $1 Dino Pancakes and toppings bar, games, crafts and Christmas treats!

10:00 AM – Santa Photos at Easton Town Center – get a family photo with Santa for $5 or take your own photo!

9:00 AM – Photos with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place – get your photo taken with Santa during mall hours.

3:00 PM – Christmas Eve Ceremony at Christmas Corner – the Christmas Eve ceremony includes a live performance by Alan Tyson and placing baby Jesus into the life-sized nativity.


lighted tree at Christmas in Ohio

WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio

Wednesday, December 25, 2019, Christmas Day 

10:00 AM – Holiday Bricktacular at Legoland Discovery Center Columbus – from December 7 – January 5 when you visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center you can take part in special activities like meeting LEGO Santa, creating holiday builds, special additions to MINILAND and more! All special actives are included in admission. 

5:30 PM – WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio at National Trail Raceway – this new event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music! The show happens rain or shine every evening, including holidays, from November 15 to January 5 from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM.

5:30 PM – Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds – Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights is celebrating 20 years with 30 new displays this year! This drive through light show is 3 miles long and features 160 light displays! The show runs rain or shine, November 15, 2019 – January 1, 2020 from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM Sunday – Thursday and 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM Friday and Saturday.


Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Theatre

Thursday, December 26, 2019

10:00 AM – Little Tykes Open Play at KSM Sports Facility –  kids ages 6 months to 5 years old can play in the soft play area, with balls and games and burn off energy running around the large indoor play area. $6/kids, $3 for siblings.

11:00 AM – My First Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre – this is a kid-friendly, general admission event that will be performed with the lights dimmed and last for one hour. This is perfect for younger kids and kids who would prefer a sensory-friendly environment! There will be crafts in the lobby area and a quiet area on the second floor. 


lights at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Friday, December 27, 2019

9:00 AM – Our Village: Stroller Strides Pajama Party! at Polaris Fashion Place – join FIT4MOM Columbus North for a pajama party workout and coffee date at Starbucks afterwards! Kids are welcome and your first class is free! 

10:00 AM – Toddler Open Gym at Thompson Recreation Center – drop in for a free Open Gym time at the rec center!

2:00 PM – For Families: Backyard Birds at Homestead Metro Park – make a bird feeder to take home and learn how to attract birds to your own backyard.

2:00 PM – Open Play at KSM Sports Facility – kids can run around and get out excess energy with various sports, activities, games, toys and more! $10/person.

4:00 PM – Family Night Fridays at Tree of Life Play + Cafe – for $30 enjoy a family pass to the play area and a large 1 tipping pizza and a drink pitcher.

6:00 PM – Night at the Nature Center at Battelle Darby Nature Center – come to the Nature center to see what animals awaken after dark in the living stream!

7:00 PM – Friday Nights Unlimited Pizza Skate at Skate Zone 71 – family skate is available from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM for $10/person. That includes admission, skate rental and unlimited cheese pizza!


lights at Franklin Park Conservatory's Conservatory Aglow

Conservatory Aglow – Franklin Park Conservatory

Saturday, December 28, 2019

9:00 AM – Inclusion Saturdays! at Get Air Pickerington – private hours are available on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month for children with special needs to play!

9:30 AM – Sensory Friendly Storytime at Barnes & Noble Easton – come before the store opens for a sensory activity geared towards kids on the autism spectrum or who needs a less overwhelming story time. An RSVP on Facebook is preferred.

11:00 AM – Disney Movie Saturday at Westland Area Library – watch the movie Tangled and get a free treat. Kids 12 and under welcome.

11:30 AM – Free MEALS for KIDS! at Hilltop YMCA – free meals will be available for kids until 12:30 PM.

1:00 PM – LEGO Design Challenge Day at Columbus Museum of Art – compete in fast-paced challenges using LEGO bricks! There will be prizes for each winning team! Included in general admission!

2:00 PM – Snow Day! (Kraft-n-Play/Stay-N-Play/Drop-n-Go) at Dublin Toy Emporium – there are several crafting options at this special event with varying levels of parent involvement, including drop off opportunities. Free hot chocolate and prizes! See link for pricing.


holiday lights at Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons

Sunday, December 29, 2019

9:00 AM – Toddler Time! at Get Air Pickerington – kids under 46 inches are welcome to jump during these special hours (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM).

11:00 AM – Baby & Me Storytime at Barnes & Noble Dublin – this story time is perfect for kids ages 0-2 and their care giver. There will be a story and sensory activities. Adults will receive a coupon for the cafe!

1:00 PM – Harlem Globetrotters at The Schottenstein Center – watch the original Harlem Globetrotters at The Schottenstein Center.

4:30 PM – Families in the Kitchen at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna – kids and adults can create recipes together. All ages welcome. $25/person. Register in advance.


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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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Christmas Staycation: 50 Things to do Over Winter Break in Columbus

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If you’ve got kids off school or family in town and you’re enjoying a Columbus staycation over Winter Break, you’re probably going to need to get out of the house! I’ve got some ideas for you! 

Note: there will be no regular What Should We Do This Weekend? post for December 28-30, 2018. This will substitute for that post!

Here is a list of family-friendly winter break ideas for your Columbus Christmas Staycation:

Activities You Can Do Anytime over Winter Break:

1. See the Huntington Train at Columbus Library, Main Library! This model railroad is a holiday classic! Stop in and see it before it’s gone on January 2!

huntington train at Main Library, Columbus, Ohio

2. See Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory – visit the Conservatory while it’s decked out for the season! Enjoy special performances and activities and this year the event extends into the Children’s Garden!

outdoor lights at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio

3. Visit the Think Outside the Brick display at Columbus Museum of Art – this LEGO exhibit will be on display until February 22, 2018! There’s an amazing model to see and a section where kids can build with LEGOs themselves!

Think Outside the Brick Exhibit at Columbus Museum of Art

4. Join Ohio History Center for their extended hours during Winter Break! The museum will be open daily: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 – Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On Friday, January 4th they will be open until 9:00 PM with a showing of Bedknobs and Broomsticks at 7:00 PM.

5. Walk through Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – Wildlights is included in your admission (or membership) to the Zoo and features special activities, amazing lights, light shows, Rudolph and friends in Asia Quest, Santa’s Holiday Home in the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, Jingle Ball light display and much more!

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo

6. Drive through Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground – families can enjoy a 3 mile drive through holiday light show with over 140 LED light displays! $30/car on the weekends, $20 Monday through Thursday. This display will be open through January 1!

drive thru at Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights

 7. Walk through an amazing display of Chinese lanterns and holiday light sculptures at Dragon Lights Columbus. Special cultural performances, food and shopping will also be available. Save money by purchasing your tickets online. 

Dragon sculpture at Dragon Lights Columbus

8. Visit COSI for their extended Winter Break Hours! COSI will have extended hours from December 26-30th and January 1-5. They will be open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. On Friday, December 28th, COSI will stay open until 9:00 PM for Family Friday Night and admission will be reduced.

boy outside COSI

9. Ride the Smart Circuit to view the holiday lights around The Scioto Mile! Take this 1.5 mile loop on a self-driving shuttle for the warmest way to see the lights on the Scioto Mile and Bicentennial Park!

Holiday lights on the Scioto Mile

10. Take your kids to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus for lots of LEGO fun including Holiday Bricktacular during the weekends in December or visit during the week for fewer crowds! LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus is open 365 days a year!

boy playing at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

11. Visit State Auto’s Christmas Corner to see a life sized nativity and listen to live choir music! There is hot chocolate available for a donation and on Christmas Eve, Baby Jesus will be placed in the manger at 3:00 PM.

Life Sized Nativity at State Auto Christmas Corner

12. Go on a Winter Break Scavenger Hunt at Blendon Woods Metro Park. From 12/22/18 – 1/2/19 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM kids can stop by the Nature Center to search for hidden creatures!

13. Participate in the Winter Reading Challenge at Columbus Library – join CML’s Winter Reading Challenge to earn a book kids can keep and a pair of ear buds. Kids get a pencil and book mark just for signing up!

14. APPS Program Winter Break – Columbus Recreation and Parks is offering free programs for kids and young adults ages 14-23 with sports tournaments, cooking classes, free pizza and more! December 26 – January 5, 2019

One Time Events Happening Over Winter Break:

December 26: Celebrate with the Critters at Ohio Wildlife Center – celebrate with the resident Animal Ambassadors, make and take winter crafts and make bird feeders for wild birds! $5/person. Children under 5 are free. 

December 27 & 28: Winter Warm Up Days at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center – from 10:00 – 5:00 PM enjoy crafts, games, stories, movies and songs by the fire. No registration required.

Indoor play area at the Audubon Center

December 28: Super Games Open Play – come in for free play at SuperGames! $10/child.

December 28: Family Friday Night at COSI – admission is reduced from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM!

December 28: KidX: Frozen Fun at Polaris Fashion Place – visit with your favorite movie characters at the Santa Set at Polaris Fashion Place!

December 29: The Big Explore – on December 29th, The Columbus Foundation celebrates it’s 75th anniversary by offering free admission to Columbus Museum of Art, COSI, Franklin Park Conservatory, National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Ohio History Center and Wexner Center for the Arts! Rides on COTA will be free and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will be offering $.75 scoops! 

two scoops of ice cream at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

December 29: LEGO Design Challenge Day at Columbus Museum of Art – compete in creative challenges using LEGO bricks between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM! Included in admission to the museum (which happens to be free that day thanks to The Big Explore!)

December 29: HOOT Family Film Series at Gateway Film Center – enjoy family friendly short films and live music from The Shazzbots! This is a free event with a donation of a non perishable food item for the Open Shelter.

HOOT Family Film Series

December 30: Pizzuti Collection Family Day – Family Day offers free admission and will include a mini chair building workshop, story time and a family centered tour! 

December 30: – Harlem Globetrotters at The Schottenstein Center – see the Harlem Globetrotters in action! There are two game times on Sunday!

January 2: Winter Wonderland Carnival Skate at Skate Zone 71 – in addition to roller skating, this event features a bounce house, face painting, balloon twisting and more!

January 3: $2.00 Roller Skating! at Skate Zone 71 – enjoy $2 admission at all 3 skating sessions!

Winter Break Camp Options:

Click each link for dates and availability.

Winter Camps at Code Ninja Hilliard

Winter Brain Camp at Learning Rx

Winter Break Camp at We Rock the Spectrum

Mary Poppins Returns Camp with Paulette’s Princesses

Winter Break Camp at Vertical Adventures

Mini Art Camps at Art with Anna

Winter Break Youth DIY Camp at AR Workshop Pickerington

Family Friendly New Years Events in Columbus:

Family Fun: New Years Open House Party at Sharon Woods Metro Park – this party takes place on December 30th and includes activities for kids ages 3-8 such as games, activities and crafts! There will be a countdown for a ball drop on every hour!

Countdown to Noon Year’s Eve at KSM Sports and Fitness Indoor Facility – there will be a countdown to Noon Year’s Eve, coffee, snacks, pictures with the Snow Queen, sports, nerf wars and more!

New Year’s Eve at Ten Pin Alley – Ten Pin Alley will be family friendly all day and evening with bowling, $3 laser tag missions, arcade games and the restaurant! Walk in or call ahead to reserve a package!

bowling at Ten Pin Alley

Happy “Noon” Year Celebration! at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus – celebrate “Noon” Year with crafts, snacks and a balloon drop during open play time! No registration required.

Noon Years’ Eve! at Sycamore Plaza Library – this event includes a noontime balloon drop, crafts, games and “mocktail” toast! 

Noon Year’s Eve at Marysville Public Library – this celebration includes crafts and a countdown to noon!

NYE Kids Countdown! at Skate Zone 71 – this event takes place from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM and will include an early countdown to 2019! $12 per person includes admission, skate rental, unlimited cheese pizza and drink.

First Night Columbus at COSI – this huge New Year’s Eve event includes live music appropriate for all ages, a magician, creation stations, special movies, holiday lights, a story time, an animal show, fireworks and more! Tickets are $10 before 12/30 and $15 the day of the event. 

New Years Eve Family Skate Celebration at Skate Zone 71 – ring in 2019 on skates with unlimited cheese pizza and drink, noisemakers and a countdown!

New Year’s Day Hike at Deer Haven Park – celebrate the New Year with a healthy hike through the woods and prairies and enjoy a hot drink and cookies by the fire place afterwards!

Visit COSI on New Year’s Day – COSI will be open on New Year’s Day from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM!

Ohio Road Trip Ideas for Winter Break:

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden – enjoy a “Wild Wonderland” at the Cincinnati Zoo through December 31. This includes 3 million LED lights, a black-light puppet show, a ride on the BB&T Toyland Express and more!

Christmas at the Castle in Loudonville – see the castle decorated with over 100,000 lights and listen to holiday music! Kids eat free at the Copper Mug Bar and Grille with the purchase of an adult entree. Through January 6.

Holiday Celebration at EnterTRAINment Junction – the holidays at EnterTRAINment junction include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a Winter Wonderland and Elf Workshop. Santa does not appear after Christmas but special activities continue until January 2.

Train Track at EnterTRAINment Junction

Christmas at Kingwood – visit Kingwood Gardens to see the Tree Walk, a special Greenhouse display, live music and an outdoor Trail of Lights! Through December 30.

Christmas Lights at Clifton Mills – the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill are on display each evening through New Years Eve and feature over 4 million lights including a 100 foot “waterfall” of lights! There is also a Santa Claus Museum, a toy collection, a synchronized light show and more! Children 6 and under are free. 

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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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Columbus Christmas Staycation

 


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