Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio Brings Fine Art to Life

Spread the Love

Topiary Park in downtown Columbus is one of the most unique parks you will ever visit, bringing a famous painting to life in topiary form!

I consider Topiary Park to be one of Columbus’ most precious hidden gems! Unless you hear about it from someone else, you might not even know it exists! But once you find it, you will realize you are seeing a work of art that is a masterpiece!

topiary park in Columbus, Ohio.

What is Topiary Park?

Topiary Park is one of the most unique parks in Columbus. The park is a plant-based recreation of the famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. While the original painting  hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago, you can visit a larger than life creation in downtown Columbus!

a close up view of the topiaries in the park.

Where is Topiary Park in Columbus?

Topiary Park is just east of Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main Library and can be found at the corner of E. Town Street and S. Washington Avenue in the Discovery District of downtown Columbus, Ohio.

The park is adjacent to the library which is a gem in itself! Heading out the back door of the library and into the park is the perfect ending to your visit to the library!

umbrellas on the patio of the Main Library.

Or, if you visit the park first, head inside to the library and grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat at Carnegie Cafe just inside! Besides the tables in the courtyard behind the library, there are benches to sit on throughout the park and picnic tables for having lunch or a snack.

What is there to See And Do in Topiary Park?

Topiary Park (also known as Old Deaf School Park) includes hand sculpted topiaries of people, animals and boats.

Old Deaf School Park sign in Topiary Park.

The area has been a park since the 1800’s but the topiary part of the park was sculpted in 1989 by James and Elaine Mason, Columbus residents.

Topiary animals in the park.

Seeing these topiaries in person is a really cool experience! It’s just one of the most unique things to walk amongst these larger than life-sized creatures!

The topiaries take up just a fraction of the park on the east side. The rest of the park has paved paths for walking and is very stroller friendly. There is a circular path to walk within the park as well as off-shoots of the path that lead out of the park on the west side.

As He Saw It

a metal engraving of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte from the point of view of Seurat.

Don’t miss “As He Saw It” which shows the view of the park from the scene as painted by Seurat. The hills and the pond in the park are meant to resemble the River Seine. It’s fun to match up what you see in the park with the painting!

the pond and hills meant to symbolize the River Seine.

Concerts and Events

The park is home to PB&J Jazz concerts for children which take place in the summer months. Often the park also hosts outdoor movies in the summer and other special events and it is decorated with lights during the holidays!

Tips for Visiting Topiary Park

When is Topiary Park Open?

The park is open from dawn to dusk and is in full bloom from April to November.

Topiary Park in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Where to Enter Topiary Park

There are a couple of entrances to the park with the gatehouse at the southeast corner being the main entrance. I find it easiest to enter through the Main Library but if the library is closed, you can park on the street and enter through the gatehouse on S. Washington Ave. near Franklin Avenue.

Where to Park when Visiting

The easiest access to the park is through Main Library and parking is available in the library parking lot for less than $.50/hour. The parking garage is only available when the library is open. There is also metered parking available on the surrounding streets. The park itself is public and free to visit! 

a Topiary boat in the pond.

More Parks to Visit in Columbus:

You will not regret a visit to Topiary Park, especially during the months when it is in full bloom! If you’re visiting Columbus, check out Over 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio! Enjoy your visit!

two boys walking on the path in Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio.


Exploring Columbus with Your Kids.

Share this post with your friends!

Save this Post on Pinterest!

Topiary Park in Columbus Ohio is a hidden gem.


Spread the Love

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

Spread the Love
  • 257

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
Where: Online activities available!

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: Nightly 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Entrance gate closes 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.

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?

Save this post on Pinterest!


7 Festive Things to Do in Columbus Ohio


Share this post with your friends!

Columbus Christmas Traditions

ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

Spread the Love
  • 257

What Should We Do This Weekend? December 8-11, 2016 Holiday Edition!

Spread the Love
  • 15

Welcome to another MEGA Holiday weekend post! **Please also don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a family play pass to Recreations Outlet by telling me 3 Places You Love to take Your Kids in Columbus ➡️ click HERE to enter! ⬅️ I’m giving away 2 passes each week!**


12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt in Historic Dublin – pick up a 12 Elves Card at a participating location then find all 12 elves. Each time you find an elf you will get a special treat! Turn your card in to enter the Grand Prize drawing!

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – see the amazing light shows, special performances and holiday festivities!

Tribute to the Nutcracker at Grove City City Hall – see the animated window display Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival at Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds – a 5 week celebration of Chinese culture with amazing silk lanterns, traditional performances and food!

Uptown Scrooge – an interactive, walking performance through Uptown Westerville! Appropriate for ages 5 and up!

State Auto Christmas Corner – walk around inside a life-size telling of the Christmas Story and check out their schedule for each weekend’s choir performances!

Merry and Bright – the holiday celebration at Franklin Park Conservatory includes special music, beautiful lights, and a special holiday train!

Christmas Celebration in Grove City – check out the list of ongoing events in Grove City’s Town Center!

Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village – celebrate a Dickens-inspired Christmas at Ohio Village!

Downtown Columbus Holiday Lights Photo Contest – share your pictures on Instagram or post to their Facebook page with the hashtag #DowntownColumbus to enter the contest for a $20 gift card to a downtown restaurant!

Hockey Santa at The Chiller Ice Rinks – skate with Santa with free skating instruction and cookie decoration!

Live Music and Santa at the North Market – check the link for the special holiday activities throughout December!

Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds – take an in-car tour of this light show!

For more ongoing ideas like the Huntington Holiday Train, Think Outside the Brick Lego Exhibit, and more, click here for 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

6:00 PM – Elf PJ Party & Lucky’s Market Hot Cocoa Bar  at Drexel Theater – the movie will be shown all weekend, but Thursday is the only night for the hot chocolate bar!

Friday, December 9, 2016

11:00 AM – Family Fun Day in Uptown Westerville – lots of fun going on at the shops in Uptown including a scavenger hunt, making an ornament, writing letters to Santa, cookie decorating and more!

6:30 PM – Mama + Me Make Your Own Winter Hat with Mini Market at Grandview Grind – decorate pre-made hats with bows, ears, poms and more!

6:30 PM – Snow “Ball” at Worthington Community Center – this family dance includes arts and crafts, a photo booth, pictures with Santa, ice carving and more!

7:00 PM – Progressive Christmas Concert at Uptown Westerville Churches – follow guides to 3 Westerville churches to enjoy concerts at each location!

7:00 – Polar Express Weekend at COSI – watch the movie on the big screen this weekend – multiple showing available including some sensory-friendly times!

7:00 PM – Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball at Barnes and Noble – inspired by the Yule Ball, this event will be filled with crafts, wizarding games, music and more!

7:30 PM – A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol at Worthington Community Center – the famous story of A Christmas Carol is getting redone with your favorite Fairy Tale characters!

7:30 PM – ProMusica’s Messiah Sing Along at Southern Theatre – sing along with ProMusica musicians!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

8:00 AM – Meijer Holiday Character Breakfast at CenterPoint Church Gahanna – this special event includes breakfast with holiday characters, a performance by Columbus Children’s Theatre, crafts, face painting and more!  (Pre-event ticket pricing through Friday.)

9:00 AM – Breakfast with Santa at Grove City YMCA – have breakfast, do crafts and take your own picture with Santa!

10:00 AM – Jack Hanna’s Home for the Holidays at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – bring an enrichment toy for the animals and you can get in free to Wildlights this night only!

10:00 AM – Clay Pot Elf Craft at Michaels Stores – kids 3 and up can drop in to make a holiday craft for $2!

11:00 AM – Family Fun Day  continues in Uptown Westerville – lots of fun going on at the shops in Uptown including a scavenger hunt, making an ornament, writing letters to Santa, cookie decorating and more!

11:00 AM – Holiday Open House in downtown Delaware – local businesses are offering specials and special events and there will be a visit from Santa!

11:00 AM – Top Hat Treat Holder Craft at Lakeshore Learning – make a treat holder at this drop in event!

12:00 PM – Short North Pole Shop Night in the Short North Arts District – many business are staying open late to offer extra hours to shop, special deals and fun activities!

12:00 PM – Santa Claus at Rocket Fizz – Santa will be on hand for pictures and to hand out treats!

12:00 PM – Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum – at this event you can write a letter to Santa, make Christmas crafts, ride on a train, and visit with Mrs. Claus!

1:00 PM – Christmas Open House at the Hanby House – tour this 1850’s home to listen to live music, partake in refreshments and enjoy holiday decorations!

1:00 PM – Holiday Trolley Hop in the Discovery District – hop on a trolley to visit downtown sites like the State Auto Nativity, Main Library, Topiary Park, Thurber House, local churches and more! There will be fun activities for the entire family!

2:00 PM & 7:30 PM – A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol at Worthington Community Center – the famous story of A Christmas Carol is getting redone with your favorite Fairy Tale characters!

7:00 PM – Family Night with Columbus Blue Jackets – this special night features interactive stations, a family photo station, balloon artist, face painters and more!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

8:00 AM – Paws with Claus at Polaris Fashion Place – get your pet’s picture with Santa before the mall opens!

11;30 AM – PJ Library Hanukkah Rock and Hop – a family-friendly concert by musician Sheldon Low!

1:00 PM – Christmas Open House continues at the Hanby House – tour this 1850’s home to listen to live music, partake in refreshments and enjoy holiday decorations!

2:00 PM – A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol at Worthington Community Center – the famous story of A Christmas Carol is getting redone with your favorite Fairy Tale characters!

2:00 PM – Family Holiday Show at Big Bang Columbus – kids crafts, dueling pianos, a sing-a-long and a visit from Santa are at this event benefitting Nationwide Children’s Hospital!

4:00 PM – Golden Spike Open House Christmas Celebration at The Depot – watch a holiday movie, eat refreshments, do crafts, ride the Scioto Valley Railway and more!

5:00 PM – Westerville Symphony: Sounds of the Season at Fritche Theatre at Cowan Hall – lots of holiday favorites including sing-a-longs at this festive concert!


Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: 2 Columbus Christmas Tree Farms + Family Photos

*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!*

Spread the Love
  • 15