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!
Dates: November 14, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Hours: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, Oh 43203
- Related: 5 Holiday Trains in Columbus
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!
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.
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
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!
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!
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 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!
Dates: Cancelled for 2020
Where: Online activities available!
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
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.
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!
6. Holiday Lights in Downtown Columbus
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
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.
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.
- Related: Two Local Non-Profits Who Offer Respite and Fun for Families of Children with Serious Medical Conditions and Developmental Disabilities
- Don’t forget to check out 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions for more ideas!
What are you favorite Columbus holiday traditions?
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