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10 Drive Through Christmas Lights Displays Near Columbus, Ohio

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Drive-through is all the rage in 2020 and these drive-through holiday light displays near Columbus, Ohio will keep your family safe and in the Christmas spirit this season!

2020 has been the year of the drive-in movie, the drive-through window, and the drive-up shopping experience! This holiday season, continue the tradition with these drive-through holiday light displays taking place in and near Columbus, Ohio!

I’m really happy these options exist to keep families safe this year but also allow us to get out of the house and enjoy many of the sights and sounds we look forward to at the holidays! Some of the events on this list are new for this year and some have always been drive-through experiences!

Take a look at this list and make your plans for a festive outing with the family!

1. Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights in Delaware, Ohio

light tunnel at Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights in Delaware Ohio

Dates: November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM, Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds, 3311 South Old State Rd., Delaware, OH 43015

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights is an annual holiday 3 mile drive thru light show, with over 140 LED brilliant light displays you can see in the comfort of your own car!

Pricing is as follows:

  • Cars/Minivans/SUVs: Monday-Thursday (weekday discount): $20, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: $30
  • Limos, Motorhomes and Motor Coaches up to 30 people: $60
  • Buses and Large Motor Coaches: $100 

2. WonderLight’s Christmas in Hebron, Ohio

drive-through holiday light tunnel at WonderLight's Christmas in Hebron, Ohio

Dates: November 13, 2020 – January 3, 2020
Hours: 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: 2650 National Road SW, Hebron, OH 43025
More Info: WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio Opens This Weekend!

“WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio”, a drive-through Christmas light show, is housed at 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!

Pricing is as follows:

  • $7 per person
  • 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!

3. Light Up Camp at Flying Horse Farms in Mt. Gilead, Ohio

Dates: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 27 through December 27
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Sundays: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: 5260 State Route 95, Mt. Gilead, OH 43338

This holiday season, Flying Horse Farms is going to “Light Up Camp” with a free seasonal drive-through light display. Camp buildings will be transformed into a twinkling, musical wonderland of safe, physically distanced family fun.

Gates open at 6:00 PM every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 27 through December 27. Fridays and Saturdays hours are 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM and the last car is admitted at 9:30 PM Sundays hours are 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM and the last car is admitted at 8:00 PM The show is open on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.

Cost is free.

4. Dazzling Christmas Lights in Westerville, Ohio

Dates: Nightly, November 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Hours: 6:00pm – 10:00pm Sunday thru Thursday and 6:00pm – 11:00pm Friday and Saturday
Where: 649 Old Coach Rd Westerville, OH 43081

The Dazzling Christmas Light display is a synchronized Christmas Lights show that takes place every night in a Westerville neighborhood. There are 90,000 Christmas Lights that dance to music.

The show is every night (weather permitting) from 6:00pm – 10:00pm Sunday thru Thursday and 6:00pm – 11:00pm Friday and Saturday. Tune your car radio to 90.1 FM to hear the music!

Cost is free!

5. Wild Winter Lights Drive Through in Cleveland, Ohio

Dates: Tuesdays and Wednesdays November 17, 2020 through December 16, 2020 and Saturday and Sunday, January 2 & 3, 2021.
Hours: 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM 
Where: 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109 

Drive through more than one million individual lights at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo! There will be themed areas like Candyland, Enchanted Forest, Santa’s Workshop and more! You can experience this in the comfort of your own vehicle.

Tickets are limited and online reservations are encouraged. A walk-through experience is also available on Thursdays and the weekend nights.

Pricing is as follows:

  • $54/car for members
  • $60/car for non-members

6. Lucy Depp Park Light Show in Powell, Ohio

Dates: nightly beginning Black Friday through the first week of January, 2021
Hours: Begins at Dusk, open until 10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and until 11:00 PM on Friday and Saturday
Where: 9360 Frabell Dr Powell OH 43065

This 7 acre drive through display is put together by a group of neighbors on private property in Powell, Ohio! The show covers 1/2 mile, 6 houses and features over 60,000 lights. Tune to 87.9 FM to “hear” the lights!  

The drive through is one way. Enter on Frabell Dr. and loop around to Springdale. Weekends can get busy so it is suggested that you come on a weeknight if possible! You can drive through as many times as you like as time and traffic allows!

Cost is free! Donations to Peace for Paws are accepted at a donation box at the entrance of the show.

7. Festival of Lights in Springfield, Ohio

Dates: December 16th-27, 2020
Hours: Nightly from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: 1918 Mechanicsburg Rd, Springfield, OH 45503

Drive through the campus of Oesterlen Services For Youth, Inc. for a festive light display hoping to boost morale this time of year! There will be a beautiful festival of lights and they will be on display each night through the time period listed above. Cost is free. Read about our trip to Springfield here.

8. Lights on Milton in Grand Rapids, Ohio

Dates: late November to Early January (dates unconfirmed for 2020)
Hours: Nightly from 5:30 PM TO 10:30PM
Where: 15251 Milton Rd Grand Rapids, OH 43522

This private drive-through light display has over 20,000 lights, synchronized to music you can hear from your car! Tune your radio to FM 98.7 to hear the music. The display is located on the corner of Milton and Route 6.

9. Journey BOREALIS in Hamilton, Ohio

Dates: late November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 6:00 PM-9:00 PM, Friday-Sunday: 6:00 PM-10:00 PM
Where: 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton, OH 45013

This is a 2.5 mile drive-through light display featuring story-telling through light and sound! Cost is $20/carload on weekdays and $25/carload on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pyramid Hill Members are $15/carload. Read more about our visit to Pyramid Hill here.

10. Land of Illusion Christmas Glow in Middletown Ohio

Dates: November 25-December 30, 6-10 pm. Closed November 30th, December 1st, December 2nd and Christmas Day
Hours: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown, OH 45042

This is a 2 mile long drive through featuring “Christmas Around the World”. You can visit Santa, too! ring a canned good for $2 off admission. Cost is $7/person. Kids 3 and under are free. Tickets are available online. 

 

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7 of the Most Festive Things You Can Do in Columbus This Holiday Season

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We’re never at a loss for things to do around here and the Holiday events in Columbus do not disappoint!

If you’re looking for a few ideas to fill Winter Break or if you’re in need of a healthy dose of festivity to get into the Holiday Spirit, here are 7 holiday and Christmas events around Columbus that are guaranteed to put you in a festive mood!

All info has been updated as available for the 2020 holiday season!

1. Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Lights at Franklin Park Conservatory, Conservatory Aglow, Columbus, Ohio

Dates: November 14, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Hours: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, Oh 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Rotating Railroad at Franklin Park Conservatory, Conservatory Aglow

Franklin Park Conservatory does not disappoint when it comes to creating a festive atmosphere! Conservatory Aglow offers special holiday decorations, performances and evening hours at Franklin Park Conservatory. Throughout the season live music and special events are scheduled and the Conservatory is decorated for the holidays. Also, make sure not to miss the gingerbread competition and rotating railroad!

Stockings hung at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio

This year the show extends into the Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway and there will be a special Candy Land exhibit with a life-sized gingerbread house! There is a special engagement rate for this event and members receive 50% off. You must have a pre-purchased ticket for this event.

Trees at Franklin Park Conservatory, Conservatory Aglow


2. Wildlights at Columbus Zoo

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

family at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Dates: November 10, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Hours: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Sundays – Thursdays, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM Fridays and Saturdays (Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Where: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3400

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

In my opinion, Wildlights gets better every year! This is one of our favorite holiday events in Columbus! Each year there are more lights than ever and the season includes special visitors and performances. Walk through the zoo and enjoy millions of LED lights, animated light shows, Rudolph and Friends, Santa, a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 4-D theater short and much more!

Reservations are required for this event. No walk up options are available. Members will need reservations beginning at 3:00 PM. If there is any way you can do this on a weeknight, I highly recommend doing so, as traffic on the weekends can be a nightmare! 

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, tree


3. WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio

car driving through a lit tunnel at WonderLights Christmas in Ohio

Dates: November 13, 2020 – January 3, 2020
Hours: 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: 2650 National Road SW, Hebron, OH 43025
More Info: WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio Opens This Weekend!

“WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio”, a drive-through Christmas light show, is housed at National Trail Raceway in Hebron this holiday season!

kids in car at WonderLights Christmas in Ohio

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!

cars in line at WonderLights Christmas in Ohio

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.

snowflakes in a field at WonderLights Christmas in Ohio

This event happens rain or shine every evening, including holidays! The cost of admission is $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!

4. The Nutcracker

Ohio Theatre, The Nutcracker, Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Theatre, The Nutcracker, Columbus, Ohio

Dates: Cancelled for 2020
Hours: 
Where: Online activities available!
Tickets: 

Ohio Theatre, Columbus, Ohio, The Nutcracker

Sadly, for the first time since 1974, The Nutcracker will not be performed live this year. But that doesn’t mean you have to totally miss out on this festive tradition.

“A Nutcracker Holiday,” a free online microsite will be available from December 5-27, 2020 and will include all things Nutcracker:

  • Special videos created specifically for “A Nutcracker Holiday” including “Clara’s Nutcracker Prince” and “Dancing With the Nutcracker” geared to younger children.
  • The re-release of “Finding Clara” – a behind the scenes movie following the young dancers cast as Clara.
  • A scavenger hunt with raffle prizes
  • Coloring sheets
  • Holiday recipes
  • Holiday music

Orchestra Pit at Ohio Theatre, The Nutcracker


5. State Auto Christmas Corner

Nativity scene, Bethlehem, State Auto, Columbus, Ohio  Nativity Scene, 3 wisemen, State Auto, Columbus, Ohio

Dates: Early December, 2020 – January 1, 2021
Hours: 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM, 5:30 AM – 11:30 PM and until 12:30 AM on Fridays and Saturdays
Where: 518 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
More Info: Visit their Facebook Page for more info.

Nativity Scene, Mary and Joseph, at State Auto, Columbus, Ohio

Take a walk through this downtown nativity for a life-sized retelling of the story of Mary and Joseph’s trek to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. This year there will not be any special performances or ceremonies but guests are welcome to visit with face coverings to view this special display.

My family does this each year as close to Christmas Eve as we can. On Christmas Eve, baby Jesus is placed in the manger!

Nativity Scene at State Auto, Columbus, Ohio


6. Holiday Lights in Downtown Columbus

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons

Dates: Mid November 2020 through early January 2021
Hours: Dusk until 11:00 PM
Where: Columbus Commons, the Lazarus Building and the Scioto Mile
More Info: CDDC Website

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons

A good plan to see the lights downtown is to park in the Columbus Commons parking garage, walk around Columbus Commons for holiday lights and decorations, then head over to the Lazarus building to see the decorations in the windows and the huge tree in the Galleria, then head to Bicentennial Park and the Scioto Mile to see the lights that deck the entire area from Bicentennial Park to Broad Street.

Christmas lights at Columbus Commons


7. Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Dates: November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds, 3311 South Old State Rd., Delaware, OH 43015

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights is an annual holiday 3 mile drive thru light show, with over 140 LED brilliant light displays you can see in the comfort of your own car.

Pricing is as follows:

  • Cars/Minivans/SUVs: Monday-Thursday (weekday discount): $20, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: $30
  • Limos, Motorhomes and Motor Coaches up to 30 people: $60
  • Buses and Large Motor Coaches: $100 

You can also buy a season pass for $60 which is good for any time the show is open during the season.

The Fantasy of Lights benefits many local charities such as Recreation Unlimited, A Kid Again, Autism Speaks, among others, and honors current and former military through specialized evenings.


What are you favorite Columbus holiday traditions?

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7 Festive Things to Do in Columbus Ohio


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Columbus Christmas Traditions

ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions


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Two Local Non-Profits Who Offer Respite and Fun for Families of Children with Serious Medical Conditions and Developmental Disabilities

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Children with serious medical conditions and developmental disabilities deserve the chance to “just be a kid” every now and then. These two organizations offer kids that chance while also giving families respite, community and fun!

Thanks to Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights for partnering with me on this post.

You might think Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights is just a really cool drive through light display that pops up during the holidays and then goes into hibernation for the other 10 months out of the year. But you would be incorrect. I’ve had the chance to spend a little extra time outside of the drive thru with the family and employees behind the light show and what really shines is their desire to make a difference in the community around them. 

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights isn’t just a holiday display, it’s a vehicle for good. Through donations, special nights at the show and involvement throughout the entire calendar year, Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights has been able to invest in several non-profit organizations that are making a difference in our community and they’ve asked me to share with you about two of those organizations that offer so much to Central Ohio families!

I was privileged to spend a couple of hours with each of these organizations, seeing first hand what they do and learning how others can benefit, volunteer and give! And now, I am honored to share with you what I have seen and learned!

Two Local Non-Profits Who Offer Respite and Fun for Families of Children with Serious Medical Conditions and Developmental Disabilities:

1. Recreation Unlimited

In May, I drove out to Ashley, Ohio to tour and learn about Recreation Unlimited. I came away completely impressed by the organization and its mission. Open since 1989, Recreation Unlimited is a 195 acre campus that provides camps for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.

Recreation Unlimited offers camping, canoeing, climbing and sports opportunities for kids and adults who might not otherwise be able to do these kinds of activities. Meanwhile, while the camper is at camp, parents and caregivers can have a time of respite. The organization provides summer and winter residential camps (one week long), summer day camps and year round respite weekend camps. 

When visiting the campus, it was hard to ignore the quality and high standards that were maintained. Major renovations have taken place over the past 10 years to continue to offer campers the highest quality experience thanks to generous donors. Meanwhile the organization  has remained debt free.

How to Participate:

Camps are available for kids and adults who are 5 years old and over with disabilities and/or health concerns. If you have a child (including adults) who could benefit from one of the camps at Recreation Unlimited, click this link to read a description of the camps offered and to complete a camper application online.

How to Volunteer:

This amazing camp experience is made possible through generous donors and volunteers. Volunteers are needed to help with camps, maintain landscaping and maintenance, and to participate in special events. Local businesses can also get involved as a group to work on specific projects or events that benefit Recreation Unlimited. You can call or email Recreation Unlimited to find out how to volunteer!

How to Give:

Campers are not turned away because of inability to pay! Your donations to Recreation Unlimited directly help campers and their caregivers have this unique experience. You can contribute to a scholarship fund or create your own camper scholarship fund to provide scholarships for campers. You can also click here to donate to the Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights Recreation Unlimited Camper Scholarship Fund!


2. A Kid Again

A Kid Again offers the opportunity for kids with serious medical conditions (and their families) the opportunity to be just that – “a kid again”. For kids and their families who have to spend so much of their time wrapped up in doctors appointments, medical tests, specialists, appointments and traveling to and from said visits, A Kid Again is a chance to get away from all of that for a few hours and spend time together as a family doing something really fun and special.

Once a month, the Central Ohio Chapter of A Kid Again plans an “adventure” for families. These adventures give families something to look forward to, a bright spot of hope and excitement in each month. Adventures include The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Kings Island, Zoombezi Bay, and a night just for them at Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights!

I was privileged to join A Kid Again for their adventure to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in June. The Columbus Zoo shut down early and was staffed by volunteer employees who gave their time to work the event. Families got admission and the opportunity to participate in everything the zoo has to offer at no cost to them. They could watch shows, ride the train and carousel, feed the giraffes, ride camels and anything else the zoo has to offer!

Kids got to be kids and families got to join right in!

How to Participate:

Participation in A Kid Again is open to children under 20 years old who have been qualified by a medical physician as having a life-threatening illness or condition. Children and their families can participate until the qualifying child is 20 years old. Families who want to participate must fill out the enrollment form and mail it to their local A Kid Again chapter. (A Kid Again was founded in Columbus and has three chapters in Ohio and one in Indiana.) There is no income requirement or cost to participate. A Kid Again is open to all who qualify.

How to Volunteer:

Volunteers are needed to support A Kid Again adventures! You might be able to provide administrative help, be a mentor, make hospital visits or be a hands-on volunteer at one of their events! Click the link to learn more and to fill out a volunteer application.

How to Give:

Participation in A Kid Again is FREE for all families therefore the success of each adventure depends on donations from our community! One adventure costs an average of $35 per child (or family member). You can give to A Kid Again by sponsoring a child, a family or an event. You can also take part in peer to peer fundraising, inviting your friends and family to join in with you by donating your birthday, running a race or hosting a special event to raise money for A Kid Again! Learn more about how how to give here.


Please share this information with families who might be in need of these services but do not know about them!

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