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What Should We Do This Weekend? Columbus, Ohio, December 8-10, 2023

Looking for something fun to do this weekend in Columbus? Try out one of these family-friendly Columbus and Ohiobased events and activities!

Plan your holiday fun! Browse these blog posts for the best family-friendly holiday events in Columbus!

Family Friendly Things to do in Columbus, Ohio This Weekend:

1. 12 Elves of Dublin

Hunt for the 12 elves hiding amongst local shops in Historic Dublin. Fill out your elf card and return it to win a grand prize! This event can be done anytime businesses are open through December 23, 2023.

2, Complete the Elf Trail in the Short North

Kids under 12 can look for elves on the shelves of participating businesses and turn their Elf Trail card in to receive a free hot drink at Northstar Cafe or Roaming Goat Coffee. Pick up a card at participating businesses or print one at home! This activity will be available from November 24 – December 31, 2023.

3. The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre

Watch The Nutcracker performed by BalletMet from December 7-23 at Ohio Theatre. There are 5 performances this weekend and seating is limited!

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4. Little Helpers Make a BIG Impact! Care kits with Seeds of Caring

Seeds of Caring knows you’re never too little to make a difference. That’s why our service opportunities are developed with kids in mind. Through Dec. 10, kind kids aged 6-12 will gain empathy for unhoused youth, write notes of caring, and assemble compassion kits for those served by Star House. This Anywhere Project can be done at home, school, or wherever you are!

 5. Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Enjoy holiday light displays, outdoor games, dancing, festive igloos, a life-size gingerbread house, the Paul Busse Garden Railway and more! Conservatory Aglow runs through January 7, 2024. Hours are 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, and until 10:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

6. Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

This event at the Columbus Zoo includes millions of LED lights, musical light shows, Rudloph in 4D, meet and greet with characters, reindeer and more! Hours are Sunday – Thursday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Friday and Saturday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM.

7. Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights

Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights is open nightly through January 1, 2024. This drive-through light show is open every day including holidays. Sunday through Thursday hours are: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM and Friday and Saturday hours are: 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM. Tickets are available online and at the gate.

8. Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art

Visit Think Outside The Brick, the annual LEGO display at Columbus Museum of Art by Ohio LEGO Users’s Group. There will be a museum-wide scavenger hunt, a LEGO brick building zone and more! This exhibit is included in admission. Weekend hours are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sundays are free!

9. The Santa Experience at Easton Town Center

Make a reservation or walk up to visit Santa at Easton’s North District. Reservations are encouraged. Photos will be for sale or you can take your own photo with your own camera. Check the link for times and break times.

10. Mr. Scrooge with Columbus Children’s Theatre

Mr. Scrooge the Musical will take place from December 1-23, 2023! The show is a one-act musical without intermission and it lasts 60 minutes. This is a family-friendly performance that is held at the Riffe Center!

11. Winterlights at Alley Park

For four nights, December 7-10, walk around Alley Park in Lancaster to experience thousands of lights, bonfires, hot chocolate, and more! Hours are 6:00 PM-8:00 PM each night.

12. The Nutcracker presented by New Albany Children’s Ballet Theatre at the McCoy Center

December 8-10 you can see The Nutcracker presented by New Albany Chidren’s Ballet Theatre. There are 4 show times beginning with Friday night at 7:00 PM. There are two shows on Saturday and one show on Sunday. Click the link for tickets and show times.

13. Winter Hike at Blacklick Woods Metro Park

Take a half-mile hike under twinkling lights and enjoy a campfire and hot cocoa at the Blacklick Woods Nature Center on Friday night from 5:00 PM-7:00 PM.

14. Festive Fridays at Columbus Commons

On Friday night at Columbus Commons from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM enjoy free hot chocolate and carousel rides, live music, a roaming Photo Booth, and more!

15. Luminary Hike at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park

Take a 1/2 mile walk through the woods lit by luminaries and enjoy hot chocolate on Friday from 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM.

16. Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center

Holiday Carriage Rides will be available at Easton Town Center on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Rides are $10/person. Cash only. Children under 15 are free if they ride with a paying adult. Check the link for daily times.

17. The Neverending Story at Wexner Center for the Arts

On Friday at 7:00 PM, watch the movie The Neverending Story on the big screen in 35mm. This movie is rated PG. Ticket are $3.

18. WOSU Kids Day

On Saturday from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the WOSU Ross Community Studio, families can meet the Cat in the Hat and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, coloring and other activities. This is a free event but advance registration is required.

19. Holiday Hop at Broad & Westmoor

Shop local vendors, purchase holiday cookies from Slice of Heaven Bakery and enjoy El Catrin Food Truck at this monthly event at the Broad & Westmoor businesses. The Holiday Hop takes place on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.

20. Simply Christmas in Lithopolis

Enjoy holiday festivities in the village of Lithopolis including food trucks, open houses, shopping and more on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

21. Pajama Party with the Grinch at the Canal Winchester Branch of CML

On Saturday from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM there will be a family story time with an appearance from the Grinch, games and crafts!

22. Holiday Family Magic Show – Jim Kleefeld at the Southeast Branch of CML

Enjoy a family-friendly, holiday-themed magic show on Saturday from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Southeast Library.

23. Christmas in the Gardens at Hoover Gardens and Gift Center

Every Saturday and Sunday through December 17th, from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM kids can enjoy ornament painting, visits with The Grinch and writing letters to Santa! There will also be hot chocolate and cookies and discounts on indoor Christmas items!

24. Dinner with the Ice Princess at Texas Roadhouse

Have dinner with the “Ice Queen” at Texas Roadhouse in Newark on Saturday from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM. First come, first served.

25. Country Christmas at 22 Acres Farm

Country Christmas takes place at 22 Acres Farm in Newark from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM on Saturday and features a decorated barn, visits with Santa, hay rides, a Photo Booth and live animals! There will also be local vendors and a beverage trailer! Cost is $5/person and ages 2 and under are free.

26. Highbanks’ Santa’s Workshop

On Saturday from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, stop by Highbanks Nature Center for fun activities like a scavenger hunt, games, hot chocolate, photos with Santa, crafts and more!

27. OFC Gingerbread House Party

Stop by The Hub at Polaris for a gingerbread house party featuring gingerbread house making, cookies and hot chocolate. This is a drop in event between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM on Saturday.

28. MLS Cup on the Lawn at Columbus Commons

Watch the Columbus Crew in the MLS Cup on the outdoor screens at Columbus Commons from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM! This is a free event. Bring your own lawn chairs and an umbrella! Tortilla Street Food will be open and there will be a pop up bar on site.

29. Christmas in the Village of Ostrander

This event takes place on Saturday from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM in downtown Ostrander and includes fun events, Santa, crafts, snacks and more at local businesses. The Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place at 6:30 PM.

30. Elf in Concert

On Saturday at 7:00 PM or Sunday at 2:00 PM watch the movie Elf with the music played live to picture at Palace Theatre! Tickets are available online.

31. Menorah Lighting at Easton

Attend the Menorah Lighting at Easton Town Center on Saturday from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM. There will be a party with sufganiot, dreidels, raffle prizes, music, dancing and refreshments!

32. Breakfast with Santa Benefitting Ronald McDonald House

There are two sessions for this event on Sunday: 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Register online for this breakfast with Santa that includes crafts, activities, a raffle, presents and professional photos! The event takes place at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Proceeds from this event will go to the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio!

33. Community Concert by ProMusica at the Dublin Branch of CML

Enjoy a family-friendly concert and stories at the Dublin Library on Sunday from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. The theme is A Day at the Zoo.

34. Hilliard Sunday Concert Series at the Hilliard Branch of CML

Enjoy holiday favorites by Tony Zilincik from Capital University and eight tubas at the Hilliard Library on Sunday from 3:00 PM – 4:00 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!*