Looking for something fun to do this weekend in Columbus? Try out one of these family-friendly Columbus and Ohio–based 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. 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
4. 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!
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Holiday Ornament Making Party at Prairie Township Community Center
Make 5 different ornaments and enjoy Christmas cookies! Ages 3-12 with parent participation. Register online.
9. ’Tis the Season to be Welcoming!
We can always count on you, our Seeds of Caring families, to be a welcoming force of kindness for those who are new to our community. This holiday season, help welcome New Americans served by Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS). Together, we will provide cold weather gear and activities to help them stay warm and smiling all winter long. Winter Welcome Kit collection goes through December 19, so sign up today!
10. Maker X
Maker X takes place in person and online in Columbus and Cleveland with activities focused on making with technology, robotics, 3D printing, digital art and much more!
11. Twinkling Lights at Select Columbus Metro Parks
In December there will be twinkling lights at Battelle Darby Creek, Blacklick Woods, Highbanks, Homestead and Inniswood Metro Parks. On Sundays from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at these parks there will be hot chocolate served.
12. 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!
13. Holiday Gathering in Pickerington
Activities will take place all around Pickerington including a Lighted Holiday Stroll, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice carving demonstrations, crafts, face painting, model trains, Santa and more! Event takes place Friday from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM.
14. A Night of Holiday Fun in Uptown Westerville
Friday night from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM there will be holiday shopping, dining and entertainment! The tree will be lit at 5:00 PM and there will be characters, carolers and live music.
15. Christmas at the Comple – A Charles Dickens Christmas at Canal Winchester Area Historical Society Inc.
December 3 and 4th there will be a Christmas in the Village and A Storybook Christmas event at the Historical Society!
16. 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.
17. Upper Arlington Winter Festival
This event includes ice sculpting, horse drown carriage rides, caroling, visits with santa and a tree lighting ceremony at 7:30 PM. The event beings at 6:00 PM on Friday.
18. 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
19. Grove City Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting
The Grove City Community parade begins at 7:00 PM on Friday and winds through downtown. There will be a tree lighting and Santa will be there.
20. Holiday Pops at Ohio Theatre
There are several times this weekend to see Holiday Pops at Ohio Theatre! There will be a show of lights, holiday carols and a visit from Santa!
21. PCT Presents: The Magic Tree House A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens at The Wigwam
There are performances of this local theatre production December 3-5 at Wigwam Theatre in Pickerington.
22. Holiday Market at North Market Downtown
Shop the holiday market at North Market downtown on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM featuring holiday music, a roaming Santa, free hot chocolate and vendors.
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!
24. Holiday Happiness at Upper Arlington Public Library
This annual holiday celebration includes crafts, a visit from Santa, a harpist and games! Events is from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday.
25. Model Trains on Display at Westerville Public Library
Model trains will be on display December 4-12 at Westerville Public Library! 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily.
26. Holiday Breakfast Express at Westgate United Methodist Church
Kids can make a craft and take out a breakfast of pancakes and sausage. Saturday 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM.
27. WinterFest at The Scioto Mile
Saturday from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, WinterFest will be held at the Scioto Mile and will feature live music, seasonal craft beers, food trucks and more!
28. Christmas on the Town in Reynoldsburg
Enjoy activities throughout Reynoldsburg including a Treasure Hunt! Event takes place Saturday from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
29. Gingerbread House Party! at CLC Christian Life Church
Drop in between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM to decorate a gingerbread house, all supplies provided. There will be hot chocolate, cookies and a photo booth.
30. Sgt. Peppercorn’s Marathon at The Athenaeum Theatre
Ringo Starr sends Columbus his signature “peace and love” in a new video for the talented Sgt. Peppercorn’s Marathon band as it prepares for Saturday’s 12th annual “Beatles Marathon” – an only-in-Ohio ultimate tribute to the Fab Four with this one group playing more than 200 of The Beatles’ songs … non-stop! Kids get in FREE, so “all you need is love” to enjoy this all-day, in-person event which kicks off Dec. 4th at 11:30am downtown at The Athenaeum! Your kids might even “Help!” you score a $25 ticket through the #beatlesmarathoncolor contest featuring art by www.nicholasnocera.com
31. Discovery District: 2021 Holiday Trolley Hop
Take free trolley rides to various downtown merchants and cultural institutions in the Discovery District of Columbus! There will be activities for kids along the way! Event takes place Saturday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.
32. Holidays in Powell
On Saturday from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM you can shop a Holiday Market, enjoy the tree lighting ceremony, send a letter to Santa and more. Some events have limited registration.
33. Santa Saturday at Pickerington Public Library
This event on Saturday at 1:00 PM features music, crafts and a visit from Santa.
34. 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.
35. Sunset Walk at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
Take a 2 mile walk while enjoying the sunset at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park!
36. Holiday Complimentary Photos at Easton Town Center
Free photos will be taken in the Central Park Fountain area at Easton on December 4 and 11th.
37. Menorah Lighting at Easton Town Center
Watch the menorah lighting at the Town Square at Easton on Saturday at 7:30 PM. There will be prizes, music, dancing and more!
38. Westerville Children’s Christmas Parade
Westerville’s Christmas Parade takes place on Sunday. Step off is 3:00 PM.
39. Village Lights 2021 in German Village
Head to German Village where luminaries will light the streets. Visit local businesses for holiday specials, shop the StrietzelMarkt, see Santa on the Schiller Amphitheater stage and more!
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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!*