What Should We Do This Weekend? December 11-13, 2020

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Looking for something to do with the kids this weekend in Columbus? Try out one of these 17 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. A Nutcracker Holiday with BalletMet

Even though we can’t see The Nutcracker in person, you can have a virtual Nutcracker experience throughout the month of December. Click the link for a scavenger hunt, holiday crafts, seasonal recipes, playlists, coloring pages, and a short ballet performance to watch online. 

2. Uplift Frontline Workers with Seeds of Caring 

This is an activity that can be done from home at anytime before January 31, 2021. Your family can create “cheer cards” and mail them to frontline healthcare workers at Mt. Carmel. This is a free opportunity. When you register you will receive an service project packet that will give you instructions and guided discussion ideas.  

3. Photos with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place

Reservations are strongly encouraged to visit Santa at Polaris Fashion Place. You can also reserve a Digital Santa Experience. Hours are Monday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM with a break from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM with a break from 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM. 

4. Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Enjoy the amazing decorations at Franklin Park Conservatory that extend into the Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway. There is 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. This event takes place each evening from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

5. WILDLIGHTS at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights happens at the Columbus Zoo from November 20, 2020 to January 3, 2021 and includes animated light displays, socially distant visits with Santa, and more! Hours are Sunday-Thursday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Friday and Saturday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Timed tickets are required. Members do not need timed tickets before 3:00 PM.

6. Holiday Lights at Columbus Commons

Visit Columbus Commons for a festive light display. The lights will be lit every night from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM until January 3.

7. Light Displays at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

Blacklick Woods, Highbanks, Homestead and Scioto Grove Metro Parks will have light displays within the parks throughout the month of December. The lights will be turned on between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM each night. Check the individual park Facebook pages for locations at each park. (Click the link above – they are tagged in the post.)

8. WonderLight’s Christmas at National Trail Raceway

This family-friendly event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music! This drive-through Christmas display is open rain or shine every evening beginning at 5:30 PM, including holidays, from November 13 to January 3! The cost of admission is $7 per person and children 3 years old and under are free. A Carload Pass for vehicles with up to seven passengers is available for $30.


A BIG thanks to WonderLight’s Christmas for sponsoring this post!

Santa’s not the only one coming to town!! “WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio”, a drive-through Christmas light show, is back this year at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio! This family-friendly event features 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 crowd favorite) enchanting tunnels of lights 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 dazzling Christmas display is open rain or shine every evening, including holidays, from November 13 to January 3! The cost of admission is super affordable at $7 per person and children 3 years old and under are FREE! OR, you can purchase a Carload Pass for vehicles with up to seven passengers for just $30! Learn more at www.wonderlightschristmas.com!


9. Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek Campground 

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! Hours are Sunday-Thursday 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM. Cost is $20/car during the week and $30/car on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

10. Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center

Carriage rides will take place through Easton Town Center on Saturdays from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Sundays from from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM throughout the season. Rides are $10/person. Cash only. Children under 15 ride free with a paying adult. There will be a virtual line this year. Click the link for all the details. 

11. 12 Days Bubbles the Elf Activities in Grandview, Ohio

Stop by the Grandview Center each day in December for a new surprise. There are daily activity bags for the first 150 people. Pick up times are Monday through Friday: 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM or 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM and Saturday through Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. This is drive through pick up. Check the link for a calendar of activities. 

12. 21 Days of Lights at Pickerington Village

Drive through the Village of Pickerington between December 11-31, 2020 to enjoy the holiday lights and decorations. The center of the Village is at E. Columbus and N. Center St., Pickerington.

13. Winter Wonders Walk at The Dawes Arboretum

Walk through a winter wonderland on a paved trail at Dawes Arboretum. The trail will be filled with illuminated trees. Tickets must be purchased in advance,they will not be available at the gate. Times are available Friday from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM.

14. Santa Visits Green Lawn Abbey

Green Lawn Abbey will be decorated with lights and Santa will be at the entrance to greet and give your Christmas list on Friday night from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM! Entrance fee is $10 or $5 and a non-perishable food item to donate to Gladden House. This is a drive through event.

15. Drive-Thru Live Nativity at Capital City Church

Drive through a Bethlehem and a live nativity with animals and actors. This event is taking place December 11-13 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM nightly. 

16. KidX: Dasher’s Drive Thru at Polaris Fashion Place

Drive through this event for crafts, giveaways and special characters! Decorated cars are encouraged! This is a drive-through event taking place on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM.

17. Santa and Friends Drive Thru at Chick-Fil-A Sawmill

Go through the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A on Sawmill Road on Saturday from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM and see Santa and some of his friends! This is a contactless, drive-through event.

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!*


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