Looking for something fun to do this weekend in Columbus? Try out one of these family-friendly Columbus and Ohio–based events and activities!
Plan your holiday fun! Browse these blog posts for the best family-friendly holiday events in Columbus!
- 7 of the Most Festive Things You Can Do in Columbus This Holiday Season
- 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions
- 15 Drive Through Christmas Lights Displays Near Columbus, Ohio
- 5 Best Membership Gifts for Columbus Kids
- Christmas Tree Farms in Columbus and Beyond
- 5 Holiday Trains in Columbus, Ohio
1. Holiday Lights At Columbus Commons
November 18th through January 1st visit Columbus Commons from 5pm-11pm for Holiday Lights! This dazzling display of holiday lights is a must see for the season! See link for special events at Columbus Commons during the holiday season.
2. The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre
Watch The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre December 8-24. Multiple performance times are available throughout the weekend. See link for tickets (and coloring pages!).
3. Butch Bando’s Fantasy Of Lights
November 18th through January 1st take a ride through Butch Bando’s Fantasy Of Lights! This locally owned and family operated drive through light show has it all! Beautiful lights, radio station to tune into while enjoying the lights and the comfort of your vehicle while enjoying the display. Perfect for those cold winter days! See link for tickets and pricing!
4. WonderLight’s Christmas In Ohio At Hartford Fairgrounds
November 11th through January 1st load up the car and head out for a majestic ride through WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio! 1 million LED lights synchronized to Christmas music and open every night including holidays! See link for tickets and pricing!
5. Wildlights At Columbus Zoo And Aquarium
November 18th through January 1st visit Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for one of Central Ohio’s favorite holiday traditions. Millions of lights, holiday music and some of your favorite holiday characters are all here! See link for tickets, times and pricing.
6. Photos With Santa At Easton Town Center
November 19th through December 24th visit with Santa at Easton Town Center. Take a photo with your own camera or purchase one on the spot. See link for tickets times and pricing of event.
7. Holiday Carriage Rides At Easton Town Center
Beginning November 19th through December 23rd visit Easton Town Center for holiday carriage rides Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the season. See link for times and pricing.
8. Photos With Santa 2022 At Polaris Fashion Place
November 11th through December 23rd visit with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place. Take your own photo or purchase an optional photo. See link for times and reservations.
9. Scioto Mile Holiday Lights
November 23rd through January 2nd take in the festive lights and holiday merriment at Scioto Mile Holiday Lights. The lights will be on from dusk to dawn each day!
10. Huntington Holiday Train Display In Downtown Main Columbus Metropolitan Library
November 21st through January 8th visit the main library in downtown Columbus to see the Huntington Holiday Train Display. This is a must see for all train lovers during the holiday season!
11. State Auto’s Christmas Corner
Visit this larger than life nativity scene on E. Broad St. The scene will be lit December 7 through January 3 from 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM – 11:30 PM and until 12:30 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Check the link for live performance times on Fridays and Saturdays.
12. Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory
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 beginning December 1 and the Paul Busse Garden Railway! Hours are 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM each night and advanced reservations are recommended.
13. The Nutcracker at New Albany Ballet Company
Watch this classic holiday ballet by local performers at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts on December 9, 10 and 11. See link for times and tickets!
14. Dickens Of A Christmas At Ohio Village
Starting Saturday December 3rd visit Ohio Village for Dickens Of A Christmas! This event features a Charles Dickens vision of Christmas coming to life! There will be 19th century celebrations and activities. Meet characters from this time period too! See link for tickets, times and pricing.
15. Winter Wonder Walks At The Dawes Arboretum
On December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 from 6 – 9pm, The Dawes Arboretum will open its doors to the public for Winter Wonder Walks! This 1-mile walk will highlight all of nature’s splendor this time of year with the bonus of having beautiful lights filling the trees. This event requires pre registration. See link for tickets, times and pricing.
16. Luminary Walks At Chestnut Ridge Metro Park
Friday December 9th and Sunday December 10th visit Chestnut Ridge park for a twinkling night walk! These guided walks start at 5pm.
17. Hot Cocoa And Twinkling Lights At Highbanks Metro Park
Friday December 9th and Saturday December 10th visit Highbanks Metro Park for an evening of twinkling lights and hot coco. ¼ mile hike on the trail and fun kids activities in the nature center. These events start at 5pm.
18. PCT Presents: Disney Frozen Jr. At The Wigwam
Friday December 9th, Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th Pickerington Community Theatre will be performing Disney Frozen Jr. See link for tickets, various times and pricing.
19. GCHS Choir & Orchestra Holiday Concert At Grove City Church Of The Nazarene
See this festive holiday performance at Grove City Church Of The Nazarene at 7pm on Friday December 9th. See link for tickets and pricing.
20. The Happy Elf At The Lincoln Theatre
Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th head over to the Lincoln Theatre to see The Happy Elf! The musical comedy will be sure to delight all ages! See link for tickets, times and pricing.
21. Santa Photos & Ornament Build At Dayton Brick Shop
Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th visit the Dayton Brick Shop for a free photo with Santa and ornament build. This event is intended for kids ages 14 and under. See link for times and details.
22. Christmas Celebration With Santa At Coffee Connections Of Hilliard
Saturday December 10th at 9am visit Coffee Connections Of Hilliard for a morning of meeting Santa and Christmas fun! There will be crafts, music, selfies with Santa and more!
23. Broad & Westmoor Holiday Hop
Saturday December 10th starting at 10am visit Broad & Westmoor for a day filled with all kinds of festive fun! This event features pictures with Santa, card making, cookie decorating, food trucks, sustainable shopping at Koko, painting at Clay Street Ceramics, local makers and artisans at both Third Way Cafe and The Design Refinery.
24. Storytime With Author Marcy Campbell At Cover To Cover Books For Young Readers
Saturday December 10th at 10am visit Cover To Cover Books For Young Readers for a storytime with Author Marcy Campbell as she features her book The More You Give.
25. Christmas On The Farm At Carriage Hill MetroPark
Saturday December 10th at 10am visit Carriage Hill MetroPark as a festive Victorian era Christmas unfolds. This free event is for all ages and registration is not required.
26. Rockin’ & Poppin’ Holiday Open House At Pam’s Popcorn
Saturday December 10th at 10:30am visit Pam’s Popcorn for a morning filled with pictures with Santa, holiday samples and more!
27. Santa And Mrs. Claus In Uptown Westerville
Saturday December 10th at 11am visit Uptown Westerville for a day of strolling the stores and seeing the sights of Uptown Westerville. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be strolling the stores so feel free to stop them for a picture and let them know what is on your Christmas list.
28. Swim With Santa At Gahanna John E. Bickley YMCA
Saturday December 10th at 11:30am visit with Santa as he takes a dip in the pool! All registrants will take a 45 minute swim with Santa, make some crafts and enjoy some activities poolside. See link for tickets, times and pricing.
29. Holiday Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club
Each Saturday and Sunday in December from 12:00-4:00 PM The COMRC will open for visitors to view the model train displays. There are holiday trains and a Thomas train that kids can operate!
30. Jingle Mingle At The Shops On Lane Avenue
Saturday December 10th at Noon visit The Shops On Lane Avenue for festive music, Santa & his elves, crafts, storytime and more! Book donations to The Ronald McDonald House are also happening at this event, so feel free to bring a donation of a book!
31. Blystone’s Farm 1st Annual Night Of The Reindeer At The Barn At Blystone Farm
Saturday December 10th at 3pm visit Blystone Farm for an event all about reindeer! There will be reindeer face painting, reindeer crafts, reindeer cookies and of course live reindeer. Santa will be on site for pictures too! See link for tickets, times and pricing.
32. Live Nativity And Children’s Activities At New Zion Church
Saturday December 10th at 5pm visit New Zion Church for a live Nativity, kids crafts, cookies and $1 secret santa gift shop.
33. Christmas In The Park At Bellbrock Park
Saturday December 10th at 5pm visit Bellbrock Park for Christmas In The Park! This event features a visit from Santa, illumination of the park, ornament decorating, music, hot chocolate and more!
34. Christmas In Ash Cave At Hocking Hills State Park
Saturday December 10th at 5pm take a candlelit stroll to Ash Cave where you will be met with refreshments, crafts and a visit from Santa himself!
35. Westerville Winterfest & Carnival At Clements Recreation Center
Sunday December 11th at Noon visit Clements Recreation Center for lots of holiday fun as Westerville Winterfest & Carnival takes place! A visit from Santa, a sleigh ride, carnival food, music and more! See link for complete list of attractions, times and pricing of event.
36. Santa In The Depot At Weaver Park
Sunday December 11th at 2pm visit Weaver Park for Santa In The Depot. Stop at the historical village train station for a visit with Santa, music in the chapel, horse drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate and donuts! This event is free but donations are appreciated.
37. Catch The Grinch In The Act!!! Save Christmas! In Downtown Lancaster
Sunday December 11th at 2pm visit Downtown Lancaster for an afternoon of visiting with the Grinch, hot chocolate, cookies, face painting and plenty of fun!
38. Winter Light Hike At Alley Park
Sunday December 11th at 6pm visit Alley Park for the final evening of their lights on display. Concessions and bonfires will be available to snack and keep warm.
39. Spread Joy with Gently Used or New Toys, Dec. 17
Make this holiday season very merry when you join our Seeds of Caring drive-thru Toy Drive Parade! Families will collect 5+ gently used or new toys and make cheer cards for children of families served by The Open Shelter and Columbus Recreation & Parks. Bring them to our office in Worthington 12/17 for a fun parade, where you’ll be greeted with holiday signs, cheer, and a special holiday gift for you!
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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!*