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What Should We Do This Weekend? Columbus, Ohio, December 17-19, 2021

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend in Columbus? Try out one of these 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. Photos with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place

Get your kids photo with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place. The visit is free, there is a charge if you want to purchase photos. You can also schedule a time in advance. Visit times will be available November 12 – December 23, 2021.

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

2. Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights runs from November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022 and begins at 5:00 PM. 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! This event is included in regular admission and free for members!

3. Sponsor a Child Entering Foster Care with Seeds of Caring

Families and groups, we need your help assembling first-night care bags for toddlers that are entering foster care, giving them something to call their own! Their partner, My Comfy Kits, works with local agencies to help ease kids’ pain of transition during the first hours in an unfamiliar place. Holiday breaks are coming soon, providing lots of time for this Anywhere project. They are collecting bags through 1/4/22!

4. Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

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. The show runs November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022. Hours are Sunday – Thursday: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM, Friday and Saturday: 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Read More: 13 Drive Through Christmas Light Displays Near Columbus

5. WonderLight’s Christmas at Hartford Fairgrounds

This holiday lights drive through features over 1 million LED lights synchronized to Christmas music. The show runs November 12, 2021 – January 9, 2022 and is open every night of the week beginning at 5:30 PM. Reservations required.

Related: WonderLight’s Christmas Glows with Over One Million LED Lights!

6. The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre

See this holiday classic performed by BalletMet at Ohio Theatre December 10-26, 2021. Several performance times are available each week.

I’m excited to share an exclusive discount code for 2021 with my readers! This discount is for $7 off each ticket! To purchase tickets, go to https://secure.balletmet.org/nutcracker2021, and enter the promo code SNOW in the box at the top right to see available tickets with your discount. Discount is good for all performances. Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in conjunction with other offers. Taxes and fees still apply.

7. The 12 Elves of Dublin

From December 1-23, 2021 you can visit participating businesses in Historic Dublin to look for 12 hidden elves! When you find an elf, have your card signed and return it for a chance to win a Grand Prize Basket!

8. Twinkling Lights at Select Columbus Metro Parks

In December there will be twinkling lights lit each night at Battelle Darby Creek, Blacklick Woods, Highbanks, Homestead and Inniswood Metro Parks when it gets dark. On Sundays from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at these parks there will be hot chocolate served.

9. Photos with Santa at Easton Town Center

Photos with Santa will take place on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday in Easton’s North District. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Take your own photo or purchase a 5×7 for $5.

10. Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center

Holiday carriage rides at Easton begin on November 20 and will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 19th. Rides are $10/person. Children under 15 ride for free with a paying adult. Cash only.

11. Night@The Museum at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology

The Works will stay open late quarterly for Family Night beginning this Friday from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Enjoy hands on activities, a special SciDome show, moon cookies and more!

12. Festive Fridays at Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons is lit with Holiday Lights every day from dusk until 11:00 PM. On Fridays in December (3, 10 and 17) there will be free hot chocolate and carousel rides from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM as well as roaming musicians.

13. Riverside Crossing Park Ice Rink Opens in Dublin

A brand-new, temporary ice rink will open at Riverside Crossing Park on Friday at 5:00 PM! Admission is $10 per person and includes skate rental. Check the link for special holiday hours through January 1, 2022.

14. Songs on Sullivant: An Evening of Caroling & Community

Enjoy a traveling band that will carol throughout the Hilltop and Franklinton on Friday night beginning at 5:30 PM! This free event will include (while supplies last) a gift from Santa, ornament making, a winter coat distribution, hot cocoa and cookies and more!

15. Winter Wonder Walks at The Dawes Arboretum

Winter Wonder Walks take place on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM and include illuminated trees, live music, decorated trees and the BH Coffee Trailer! The trail is 1 mile long. Register in advance. Tickets will not be sold at the gate.

 16. State Auto’s Christmas Corner Live Performances

Three live performances will happen on Friday night at the Nativity at State Auto, the first beginning at 6:00 PM.

Related: 10 of our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

17. Pizza Skate with THE GRINCH at Skate Zone 71

Skate with the Grinch! Friday night from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Games and prizes will be awarded for the best grinch!

18. Secret Santa: Kids Only Maker Night at Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio

Drop off your kids ages 5-13 to make a personalized, custom gift! Sign up in advance for this special Santa’s Workshop event on Friday from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM.

19. A Christmas Story: The Musical! at Lincoln Theatre

The Christmas Story Musical will be presented by Columbus Children’s Theatre December 10-23 at Lincoln Theatre. Suggested for audiences age 8 and up. Tickets are available online.

20. The Land of Forgotten Toys at Abbey Theater of Dublin

The Abbey Theater of Dublin presents The Land of Forgotten Toys December 16-18, 2021. There are 3 performances each day. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Tickets are available online.

21. Breakfast with Santa at Scene75 Columbus

Breakfast with Santa takes place on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM and includes a hot breakfast and a visit from Santa! Tickets are available online.

22. Holiday Market at North Market Bridge Park

This holiday market on Saturday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM will include additional vendors, a DJ, free hot chocolate and merchant specials!

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

Each weekend in December on Saturday and Sunday through the 19th there will be children’s activities, hot chocolate and cookies, ornament painting and visiting with the Grinch! Hours are 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

24. Meet and Greet with Author Erin M. Burchwell at AHA! Children’s Museum

Meet author/illustrator Erin M. Burchwell as she does a brief reading, explains how books are made and talks about some of the historical places in her book Pip’s Path through Lancaster, Ohio! This event takes place from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Saturday.

25. Merry on Main – Ice Skating at Partners Park

Head to Marysville for iceless ice skating December 11-January 2. Hours are 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM this weekend. This is a free activity. Rink capacity is 80 skaters at a time.

26. Historic Dublin “HOLLY DAYS”

This year, Dublin Holly Days will take place each Saturday in Historic Dublin with different, family friendly events each week. Hours are 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

27. Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village

This event features roaming Dickens characters, food trucks, and music, dance and activities from the 19th century! Preregistration is required for times on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon.

28. Model Railroaders Open House at Sandel Legacy Trail

Visit the model railroads at the Sandel Legacy Trail on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

29. Santa and Mrs. Claus in Uptown Westerville

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be roaming through Uptown Westerville on Saturday from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM! Find them to get a candy cane and take a picture! There will also be ice sculptures out throughout Uptown.

30. Christmas on the Farm

Christmas on the Farm takes place December 18th and 19th from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM. The event includes Santa, the Grinch, a petting zoo and farm animals, pony and reindeer rides, carriage rides and more!

31. Cookie Decorating Day at Sticky Fingers Ice Cream Parlor

On Saturday get 1 free cookie to decorate with the purchase of a scoop of ice cream! The cookie decorating table will be available from 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM

32. Swim With Santa at Gahanna/John E. Bickley YMCA

Swim with Santa on Saturday from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM. There will also be activities like ornament making, photo booth, hot chocolate bar and a visit with a therapy dog. Register in advance.

33. Santa in the Park at Bridge Park

Santa will be at Bridge Park on Saturday from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM to say hello and take pictures!

34. Family Canvas Class: Reindeer with Lights at Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio

Paint a reindeer with lights in this step by step class on Sunday from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM. Tickets available online.

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!*