Holiday Events in Columbus

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christmas tree

This list will be added to as events are published.  Check back regularly to see the updates.

There are many events to enjoy the holiday season around Columbus.  Mark you calendars so you don’t miss out.  More details can be found through the links, or on the individual event websites.  Please let me know what I’m missing in the comments or by emailing  I grouped the events by weeks, with the “week” beginning on Fridays for convenience of weekend planning.

  • Columbus Holiday Art and Craft Festivals
  • Shadowbox: Holiday Hoopla and Scrooge and Holiday Lunchbox:
    Holiday Hoopla 25: November 19th – January 3rd: (Slightly) raunchy Christmas Fun and Rock and Roll.
    Scrooge the Muscial: November 29 – December 27. A musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic: A Christmas Carol.  Admission is $20 and up.
    Holiday Lunchbox: December 1 – December 24 at 1 p.m. on select weekdays.  A 45 minute holiday show featuring music and sketch comedy from the Shadowbox holiday archives featuring holiday fun and antics with The Snow Bunnies! Tickets start at $5.
  • Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: November 19, 2015 –  January 3, 2016.  Admission $17.99 adult, $12.99 children 2-9 and adults over 60Franklin County residents receive a $3 discount with valid driver’s license, state-issued ID or a current utility bill to receive the Franklin County pricing.  Purchase tickets online to save $1 (plus save time at the gates – can show admission on your smartphone). Parking is $8/car.  November 19 is Member Preview Night from 5 – 9 p.m.  November 20 is Stuff a Truck Food Drive – bring 5 cans of food per guest for free admission and parking.
  • Merry and Bright Nights at the Conservatory: November 21, 2015 – January 4, 2014.  Admission is $6 – $13.  Holiday displays and activities at the Franklin Park Conservatory, including live entertainment, gingerbread contest, and family fun days.  There are events every weekend; click here for the schedules.
  • Easton Holiday Carriage Rides: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 23 in the evenings at Easton Town Center.  Admission is $10, children under 15 ride free with paying adult.
  • Photos with Santa at Easton: November 21 – December 24, 2014.  Your first 5×7 is just $5, or take a candid pic with your own camera. Monday-Saturdays: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM and Sundays: 11:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Holiday Fantasy of Lights: November 20 – January 3. Alum Creek light display and Santa’s House.  $15 per car; free cookies and cocoa at the Santa House.
  • Holiday Wine Tastings at Meza: are every Friday in December from 6:30 – 10 p.m.; $10 for 5 tastes & tapas.
  • BalletMet’s Nutcracker December 11 – 27, 2015. Purchase tickets at the box office or online with Ticketmaster starting at $32 (plus any fees)
  • The Polar Express (in Independence and Akron): Friday, November 13 – Sunday, December 20.  The trips will depart at 7 pm for a two-hour round trip. While Santa visits each car, elves will lead you and your family in Christmas Carols and spread merriment! As in the story, we encourage everyone to wear their pajamas on this special journey. All passengers will enjoy hot cocoa and a cookie. Matinees departing at 3 pm will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays in December. Standard coach: $45, Deluxe: $65, Executive: $85 – Children under 2 are free, otherwise all ticket prices the same regardless of age.
  • Free Admission at Columbus Museum of Art every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Gifts of the Craftsmen Sale at Ohio Craft Museum – Ohio-made gifts for sale through December 23.
  • Ohio Statehouse Holiday Choir Performances are FREE lunchtime holiday choir performances weekdays from December 4 – 18, 2015
  • Santa Train at Nelsonville Depot: Saturdays and Sunday November 28 – December 19, 2015 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and an evening departure on Saturday December 5th and 12th at 6:00 p.m. Each train departs Nelsonville round trip for about 20 miles and lasts approximately two hours. Reservations are strongly suggested as trains often sell out. Santa visits each child as the train rolls along the valley. Each child also gets to enjoy a candy cane treat after Santa’s visit. Each coach is decorated, heated, and plays Christmas music. Adult: $17, Child: $13, Senior: $15
  • Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill (near Yellow Springs, 40 miles SW of Columbus): Friday, November 27 – December 31 from 5 – 9 p.m. (lights turn on at 6 p.m.)  Cost is $10 ages 7 and older; under 6 are free.  Food and drink for sale.  Enjoy 3.5 million lights, outdoor miniature village, Santa Claus Museum, and nostalgic Toy Collection.  No Santa to visit, but peek into Santa’s Workshop to see a live Santa at work and then, every 15 minutes or so, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh.
  • Holiday Lights Tour: December 4 – December 23, beginning at 6 p.m. or 8:15 p.m., take a festive ride on a segway through downtown Columbus to enjoy seasonal decorations, lights, and holiday music.  Training + tour is about 1.5 hours and costs $47.50 per rider.  Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio.
  • BYOB Holiday Lights Trolley: December 9 – 27 at 5:30 p.m. Tour of Columbus to see seasonal attractions, lighting displays and holiday landmarks on a Holiday Trolley.
November 27 – December 3:

Friday, November 27

  • Franklin Park Conservatory Family Fun Days: November 27 from 11 am–4 pm. Gingerbread Friday
    Take a horse drawn hayride to the new barn for some gingerbread fun. First come, first served while supplies last. Check in at the Visitor Center.  $3 per house with Conservatory admission.
  • Short North Black Friday: November 27. Enjoy sales and specials in the shops in the Short North.  The first 1000 shoppers will receive a canvas messenger bag and discounts through the holiday season.

Saturday, November 28

Sunday, November 29

Monday, November 30

  • Marysville Uptown Christmas Walk: November 30 from 5-8 p.m.  Free, family-friendly festival featuring free pictures with Santa, live reindeer, carriage rides, live nativity, holiday dancers, and the Christmas Tree Lighting at 6 pm at Court House.  Shops will be open and many will be offering refreshments.
  • Ladies Night at Marcus Theatres: White Christmas: November 30 at 7 p.m. for just $5.

Tuesday, December 1

Wednesday, December 2

Thursday, December 3

December 4 – December 10:

Friday, December 4

Saturday, December 5

Sunday, December 6

Tuesday, December 8

  • Dine with Santa at the Columbus Zoo: December 8 from 6 – 8 p.m., December 10 from 6 – 8 p.m., December 12 from 9 – 11 a.m., and December 13 from 9 – 11 a.m  Tickets are $30 for members, and $40 for non-members.  Includes meals, animal encounters, photo with Santa, and Zoo Admission.  Children 2 and under free unless they will have their own seat.
December 11 – December 17:

Saturday, December 12

Sunday, December 13

December 15 and 16

  • Watch Polar Express at the Dublin Rec Center: December 15 and 16 at 6 p.m. in the Abbey Theater. Families hop aboard our holiday trolley and are taken to the train station in time to experience all the excitement. Children are encouraged to come dressed in their pajamas. Cost is $8 per person.  Enroll on website; seating is limited.
December 18 – December 24:

Saturday, December 19

Sunday, December 20

Monday, December 21

  • Franklin Park Conservatory Family Fun Days: December 21 11am–2pm: Honey Hill Farms Petting Zoo
    An exotic indoor petting zoo features chinchillas, guinea pigs, a small kangaroo and more. Free with admission.
  • Holiday Gift-Making Workshops: for kids in grades 1-6 at the Ohio Craft Museum in Grandview Heights on December 21 or  December 22. They will make 2 gifts and wrap them before they leave for $25.

Tuesday, December 22

December 25 – December 31:

Saturday, December 26

Past Events:

November 13 – November 19:

Friday, November 13

Saturday, November 14

Sunday, November 15

Monday, November 16

Thursday, November 19

  • Wildlights Member Preview Night at Columbus Zoo – November 19 from 5 – 9 p.m.  Members will receive a special handout at the front entrance to allow admission after 5 p.m. to preview the Wildlights before they are open to the public.
November 20 – November 26:

Friday, November 20

Saturday, November 21

Sunday, November 22

Wednesday, November 25

Thursday, November 26

  7 Responses to “Holiday Events in Columbus”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jayna Wallace, BLINDACRE. BLINDACRE said: RT @cbuscheap:Holiday Events in Columbus: Ready or not, the holidays are here!There are a lot of holiday events happening […]

  2. I think you should post about the winter jam

  3. Looking for the 2015 calendar of events. Thanks!

  4. I’ll 2015 holiday events posted in November after I verify the information and add new stuff. I apologize for the delay – there was so much stuff for Halloween that I had to do those first, as well as wait for the Christmas info to be published on the individual event sites.

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