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What Should We Do This Weekend? Columbus, Ohio, December 31, 2020-January 3, 2021: New Year’s Weekend

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Looking for something to do with the kids New Year’s weekend in Columbus? Try out one of these family-friendly Columbus and Ohiobased events and activities!

This week I’m extending the dates to include New Year’s Eve! Please double check the link and/or call to make sure events are still happening! Lots of things are changing during this time and this information may change after it is published!

New Year’s Eve 2020:

1. Beatles Marathon with Sgt. Peppercorn

Listen at home to Sgt. Peppercorn’s Marathon: an online performance of every song recorded and released by The Beatles! All 214 songs will be preformed in chronological order. The show begins at 11:00 AM on New Year’s Eve and will play until 1:00 AM on New Year’s Day!

2. Zoom into Rock’in Noon Years Eve

Celebrate “Noon Years Eve” with your favorite characters over Zoom featuring singing, dancing and a ball drop at noon. This event takes place on Thursday from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM and is hosted by Paulettes Princess Parties. $25/household. Register in advance.

3. New Year’s Eve at AMF Stardust Lanes

The NYE Family Package includes 2 hours of unlimited bowling, shoes and a special menu. Registration is available online.

4. New Year’s Eve at Ten Pin Alley

New Year’s Eve packages are available for a group that include 1.5 hours of bowling, shoes, a large pizza and a $20 game card or an individual package that includes 1 hour of blowing, shoes and a $10 game card. Check the link for details about reservations.

5. New Year’s Eve Family Skate at United Skates of America

This family skate night includes skate rental, 1 slice of cheese pizza, a small drink and a countdown to the new year!

New Year’s Day 2021:

6. New Year’s Day Skating at United Skates of America:

Spend New Year’s Day at one of these skating events at United Skates of America: Pajama Jam Skate at United Skates of America or New Year’s Day Roller Skating at United Skates of America.

7. New Year’s Day Skating at Skate Zone 71:

Spend New Year’s Day skating at Skate Zone 71 with one of these skating events: Free Lunch Skate at Skate Zone 71, New Years Glow Skate at Skate Zone 71New Year’s Day Pizza Skate at Skate Zone 71.

Any Time:

8. Drive Through International Christmas Art Exhibit at Bethel United Methodist Church

Drive through this exhibit to see 17 paintings representing Christmas around the world! You can drive through day or night, rain or shine through January 3, 2021.

9. Uplift Frontline Workers with Seeds of Caring 

This is an activity that can be done from home at anytime before January 31, 2021. Your family can create “cheer cards” and mail them to frontline healthcare workers at Mt. Carmel. This is a free opportunity. When you register you will receive an service project packet that will give you instructions and guided discussion ideas.

10. Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Enjoy the amazing decorations at Franklin Park Conservatory that extend into the Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway. There is 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. This event takes place each evening from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM though January 10, 2020.

11. WILDLIGHTS at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights happens at the Columbus Zoo from November 20, 2020 to January 3, 2021 and includes animated light displays, socially distant visits with Santa, and more! Hours are Sunday-Thursday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Friday and Saturday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Timed tickets are required. Members do not need timed tickets before 3:00 PM.

12. Holiday Lights at Columbus Commons

Visit Columbus Commons for a festive light display. The lights will be lit every night from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM until January 3.

13. WonderLight’s Christmas at National Trail Raceway

This family-friendly event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music! This drive-through Christmas display is open rain or shine every evening beginning at 5:30 PM, including holidays, from November 13 to January 3! The cost of admission is $7 per person and children 3 years old and under are free. A Carload Pass for vehicles with up to seven passengers is available for $30.


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!


14. Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground

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! Hours nightly 5:30 PM-9:30 PM through January 3, 2020 (entrance gates close at 9:00 PM). Cost is $20/car during the week and $30/car on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Later This Weekend:

15. Winter Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center

Winter Carriage Rides will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays until February 14, 2021. Rides are $10/person (cash only). Children under age 15 ride for free with a paying adult. Hours are Saturday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Sunday: 3:00 PM-7:00 PM.

16. New Year’s Horseback, Sledding and Pony Rides at Horse-N-Round Fun

All ages can participate in horseback rides, pony rides and sledding and sleigh rides if there is snow. This is an outdoor event. There will be a fire ring for warming up, plus a free petting zoo with purchase of a horse ride. This event takes place from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM on Saturday.

17. Snowman Melts at Dublin Toy Emporium

Make a snowman melt for your hot chocolate! Make marshmallows and hot chocolate bombs. Reservations required. Reservations available between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM on Saturday.

18. DIY Hot Chocolate Bomb (Kraft Sessions) at Kreation’s Play Kafé

Create 6 mini hot chocolate bombs or 2 large hot chocolate bombs at Kreation’s Play Kafé. Perfect for ages 4 and up. Text or call to reserve your spot for Saturday between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM.

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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. Inclusion of an event on this list is not considered an endorsement. Please use your best judgement when attending public events and consult your doctor if you have questions regarding the safety level of a public event. Read my disclaimer here. Enjoy what you do today!*


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What Should We Do This Weekend? December 25-27, 2020: Christmas Weekend

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Looking for something to do with the kids Christmas weekend in Columbus? Try out one of these 16 family-friendly Columbus and Ohiobased events and activities!

Please double check the link and/or call to make sure events are still happening! Lots of things are changing during this time and this information may change after it is published!

1. A Nutcracker Holiday with BalletMet

Even though we can’t see The Nutcracker in person, you can have a virtual Nutcracker experience throughout the month of December. Click the link for a scavenger hunt, holiday crafts, seasonal recipes, playlists, coloring pages, and a short ballet performance to watch online. 

2. Uplift Frontline Workers with Seeds of Caring 

This is an activity that can be done from home at anytime before January 31, 2021. Your family can create “cheer cards” and mail them to frontline healthcare workers at Mt. Carmel. This is a free opportunity. When you register you will receive an service project packet that will give you instructions and guided discussion ideas.

3. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with Columbus Children’s Theatre

Even though we can’t have in-person performances this year, we can still enjoy a virtual performance from Columbus Children’s Theatre featuring ’Twas the Night Before Christmas! This performance can be purchased as a single day streaming pass (through December 27), an unlimited pass or a DVD package among other options!

4. Busy Book from the Beehive Alliance

Looking for some activities to entertain your little ones at home throughout this week (or this Winter)? Check out the Winter Busy Book and Activities which includes printable activities for kids ages 2-6 with a winter theme. Think counting and matching and sorting! Proceeds from your purchase of this downloadable activity book benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion. There is also a Christmas or Hanukkah ad on option!

5. Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Enjoy the amazing decorations at Franklin Park Conservatory that extend into the Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway. There is 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. This event takes place each evening from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

6. WILDLIGHTS at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights happens at the Columbus Zoo from November 20, 2020 to January 3, 2021 and includes animated light displays, socially distant visits with Santa, and more! Hours are Sunday-Thursday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Friday and Saturday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Timed tickets are required. Members do not need timed tickets before 3:00 PM.

7. Holiday Lights at Columbus Commons

Visit Columbus Commons for a festive light display. The lights will be lit every night from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM until January 3.

8. Light Displays at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

Blacklick Woods, Highbanks, Homestead and Scioto Grove Metro Parks will have light displays within the parks throughout the month of December. The lights will be turned on between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM each night. Check the individual park Facebook pages for locations at each park. (Click the link above – they are tagged in the post.)

9. WonderLight’s Christmas at National Trail Raceway

This family-friendly event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music! This drive-through Christmas display is open rain or shine every evening beginning at 5:30 PM, including holidays, from November 13 to January 3! The cost of admission is $7 per person and children 3 years old and under are free. A Carload Pass for vehicles with up to seven passengers is available for $30.


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!


10. Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground 

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! Hours nightly 5:30 PM-9:30 PM, (entrance gates close at 9:00 PM). Cost is $20/car during the week and $30/car on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

11. Silent Night Holy Lights Show in Gahanna

See a holiday light show synced to music at a private home in Gahanna from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM during the week and until 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday. 

12. Christmas Day Skate at Skate Zone 71

Christmas Day Annual Glow Skate takes place on Friday from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Skate Zone 71.

13. Christmas Day Family Skating at United Skates of America

Family Skate on Christmas night at United Skates of America from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. 

14. 21 Days of Lights at Pickerington Village

Drive through the Village of Pickerington between December 11-31, 2020 to enjoy the holiday lights and decorations. The center of the Village is at E. Columbus and N. Center St., Pickerington.

15. Mario & Sonic Skate at Skate Zone 71

Skate with Mario and Sonic on Saturday from 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM at Skate Zone 71. 

16. DIY Hot Chocolate Bomb (Kraft Sessions) at Kreation’s Play Kafé

Create 6 mini hot chocolate bombs or 2 large hot chocolate bombs at Kreation’s Play Kafé. Perfect for ages 4 and up. Text or call to reserve your spot for Saturday between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM. 

things to do this weekend 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. Inclusion of an event on this list is not considered an endorsement. Please use your best judgement when attending public events and consult your doctor if you have questions regarding the safety level of a public event. Read my disclaimer here. Enjoy what you do today!*


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12 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: Nightly 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Entrance gates close at 9:00 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!

Lines for this show have been super long on weekends and occasionally the gates have to be closed in order to control the high volume of traffic. If possible, plan your visit for a week day for shorter lines AND cheaper admission!

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!

WEEKEND UPDATE: Due to long lines and wait times on the weekends, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, timed tickets will be available for purchase online. Entry is not guaranteed for cars who have not pre-purchased tickets. Also on weekends, in order to streamline the process at the entry gate, only the $30 carload pass and group rates will apply.

Pricing is as follows:

  • $7 per person during the weekdays, $30/car on the weekends
  • 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. 

11. Lights of Glenross in Delaware, Ohio

Lights of Glenross Christmas Light Drive Through in Delaware Ohio

Dates: November 26, 2020 – ?
Hours: 5:00 PM-9:00 PM Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 PM-11:00 PM Friday and Saturday 
Where: Glenross, Glenross North, and Braumiller subdivisions, located between US 23 and South Old State Rd., Delaware, OH (See directions.)

This show includes over 250 houses decorated with lights and choreographed to Christmas music which you can access through your radio on 94.1 FM. There are 3 neighborhood subdivisions included in the show! The show is free to drive through but they suggest donating to People in Need, Inc of Delaware County and there is a link on their website to donate. 

For extra fun, check out the scavenger hunt they have developed so you can look for 20 different items as you drive through!

12. ParkLights at Caesar Ford Park in Xenia, Ohio

Dates: December 1-31, 2020
Hours: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, nightly 
Where: 520 S. Stringtown Rd. Xenia, OH 45385

This is a free event that features a winter wonderland with over 110 LED light displays on a 1 mile driving path in Caesar Ford Park. Enjoy this entire experience from the comfort and safety of your own car.

They suggest turning into 106.5 to enjoy holiday music during your drive.

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