Holiday Events in Columbus

 
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holiday events

There are so many events to enjoy the holiday season around Columbus, including family activities, date ideas, tree lightings, and more.  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 cbusonthecheap@gmail.com.  I grouped the events by weeks, with the “week” beginning on Fridays for convenience of weekend planning.

This list will be added to as events are published.  Check back regularly to see the many, many updates coming over the next few weeks.

Don’t miss the other holiday event posts:

Ongoing through the Season:
  • Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: November 17 –  January 1.  Admission $19.99 adult, $14.99 children 2-9 and adults over 60.  Franklin County residents receive a $5 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 $10/car.  November 17 is Member Preview Night from 5 – 9 p.m.  November 18 is Stuff a Truck Food Drive – bring 5 cans of food per guest for free admission and parking.
  • 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.
  • Shadowbox Live: Holiday Hoopla and Holiday Lunchbox:
    Holiday Hoopla: November 17th- December 30: (Slightly) raunchy Christmas Fun and Rock and Roll.  Tickets are $20 and up.
    Holiday Lunchbox: December 1 – December 23 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.
  • Merry and Bright Nights at the Conservatory: November 19 – January 1.  Admission is $7 – $14.  Holiday displays and activities at the Franklin Park Conservatory, including live entertainment, gingerbread contest, and family fun days.  There are events every weekend and select weekdays; click here for the schedules.
  • Holiday Fantasy of Lights: November 18 – January 1. Alum Creek light display and Santa’s House.  $20 per car; free cookies and cocoa at the Santa House.
  • Holiday Wine Tastings at Meza: are every Friday from 6:30 – 10 p.m.; $10 for 5 tastes & tapas.
  • BalletMet’s Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre: December 9 – 24. Purchase tickets at the box office or online with Ticketmaster starting at $29 (plus any fees)
  • Free Admission at Columbus Museum of Art every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 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 5-15
  • Santa Train at Nelsonville Depot: Saturdays and Sunday November 26 – December 17 at 11 a.m. 0r 2 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 25 – 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 Santa at work and then, every 15 minutes or so, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh.
  • Segaway Holiday Lights Tour: December 2 – December 23, beginning at 6 p.m. or 8:15 p.m., take a festive ride on a segway through downtown Columbus and the Scioto Greenway to enjoy seasonal decorations, lights, and holiday music.  Training + tour is about 1.5 hours and costs $49 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.
  • Kingwood Center Holiday Magic: November 26 through December 30, every Thursday through Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Kingwood Center in Mansfield offers a variety of activities such as live music, dozens of uniquely trimmed themed Christmas trees in rooms throughout the hall, a beautifully decorated Greenhouse, and outdoor light displays.  Admission is $5, ages 6 and under free.
  • $5 Holiday Classics Film Series at Marcus Theatres: Holiday classics on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays through December
  • Holiday Classics Film Series December 1 through December 31 at Gateway Film Center.  Miracle on 34th Street, Die Hard, Home Alone, Holiday Inn, A Christmas Carol, Meet Me in St. Louis, Scrooged, Christmas in Connecticut, Its a Wonderful Life, Gremlins, The Bells of St. Mary, White Christmas, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, and The Apartment
  • Grand Illumination at the Scioto Mile: From December 2 through January 8, 2017, downtown Columbus with be lit with more than 200,000 lights for the Holiday Light Display.  This spectacular display will span Columbus Commons, the Lazarus Building and along the Scioto Mile.
  • Christmas Corner Lighting of State Auto Christmas Display and Life-Sized Nativity: Opens on November 30 from 5:30-8 pm.  Choir performances and hot chocolate for sale to benefit Manna Cafe.  Will be lit nightly at State Auto Downtown through the season, with choir performances on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Secret Gift Shoppe at Studio J: Sing Paint Play and Cruz Candy: Check out the giant lollipops in the retro candy store. Spin the giant wheel for free candy kids and grown ups get to taste the locally made Eagles Chocolates. Head upstairs to the art studio and help your child create their shopping list and budget for the secret gift shoppe. Elfs help them shop, paint, and create personalized products like tote bags with their hand-prints, thumbprint ornaments, etc. Prices are from .25 to 10.00.  Call for hours.
  • Christmas in Columbus: A Holiday Adventure: December 8-18 at 8:30 pm, plus Matinees at 3 pm on December 10, 11 and 18th at The Garden Theatre in the Short North.  Don’t miss this original world premiere musical set in our town during the most enchanting time of the year. One of Santa’s elves has missed the Polar Express back to the North Pole and it’s up to some local children to show him all the magic our city has to offer in December.  Tickets $20 for adults, $12 for children.
  • Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival: November 25 – January 2 from 5-10 pm everyday, including holidays, at the Ohio Expo Center. Five week celebration of Chinese culture with exquisite 39 larger-than-life illuminated displays crafted by Chinese artisans, traditional performances, and amazing food!  Tickets are $10-$12; see discounts in the faq’s.
November 25 – December 1:

Friday, November 25

  • Franklin Park Conservatory Family Fun Days: November 25 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 25. Enjoy sales and specials in the shops in the Short North.  The first 1000 shoppers will receive a limited edition shopping tote.

Saturday, November 26

Sunday, November 27

  • Worthington Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting: November 27. Visit with Santa in front of the Worthington Inn to have your child’s picture taken between 12 – 4 p.m. Enjoy carolers, iceless ice rink, carriage rides, and more
  • Swim with Santa at Westerville Community Center: November 27 from 6-7:15 pm. Get your photo taken with Santa as he swims in the pool with the lifeguard elves! Photo and Santa time is included in this fun annual event for ages 0-11 and parents. Parents with children under 6 years old must be in the water with their children. Please include your email address when registering, all photos will be emailed. Pre-registration required. $7.50 to swim, $5 for residents.

Monday, November 28

  • Reynoldsburg Tree Lighting Ceremony: November 28 at 7 pm. Sing carols, drink hot chocolate and watch the tree lighting ceremony at the Reynoldsburg City Hall.
  • Marysville Uptown Christmas Walk: November 28 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.  Shops will be open and many will be offering refreshment and discounts.
  • Christmas Open House at John & Annie Glenn Museum: November 28 from 5:30-8 pm. Visit on the evening of the New Concord Christmas parade and enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, our Lionel train and our beautiful holiday tree, like the trees that astronaut and Ohio Senator John Glenn likely enjoyed when he was growing up in the village in the 1930s and 1940s. Free.

Tuesday, November 29

Wednesday, November 30

  • Main Library Holiday Open House and Topiary Park Lighting Celebration: November 30 from 6-8 pm, Meet Santa, see the Huntington Train leave the station, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, make crafts, and watch the BIG tree light after a reading of the holiday classic, A Night Before Christmas!  Plus the lighting of Topiary Park
  • Nurtur the Salon Holiday Event: Upper Arlington: November 30-December 2, Grandview: December 7-9,  Brewery District: December 9-11: 20% off Aveda products and services schedule for January and February, plus $20 service credit with $100 purchase of product or gift cards.
  • Christmas Corner Lighting of State Auto Christmas Display and Life-Sized Nativity: Opens on November 30 from 5:30-8 pm.  Choir performances and hot chocolate for sale to benefit Manna Cafe.  Will be lit nightly at State Auto Downtown through the season, with choir performances on Fridays and Saturdays.

Thursday, December 1

December 2 – December 8:

Friday, December 2

  • Downtown Grand Illumination Celebration: December 2; Enjoy strolling performers, traditional carols and a special appearance by Santa, beginning at 5 p.m.  The Grand Illumination Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m.
  • Old Pickerington Village Holiday: December 2 from 5:30-8 pm. Strolling carolers, cookie decorating, storytelling, crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, indoor Holiday gift market, hop on/off trolley, Gingerbread House contest, visit with Santa, lighting of the pantry lights at 6:00 pm and lighting of Pickerington’s Christmas Tree at 7:00 pm.
  • German Village Garten Club Tree Lighting: December 2. The traditional lighting of the trees in Frank Fetch Park complete with Santa and hot chocolate.
  • Upper Arlington Winter Festival and Tree Lighting: December 2 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Caroling, carriage rides, bonfire with s’mores, visits with Santa and the tree lighting ceremony. 
  • First Friday and Holiday Tree Lighting in Delaware: December 2 from 6 – 9 p.m., featuring caroling, Santa’s House, carriage rides, and more
  • Westerville Tree Lighting Ceremony: December 2 from 7-8 pm with live holiday music, a candle lighting celebration and much more in the heart of Uptown Westerville. Attendees can stay warm with hot chocolate provided by the Westerville Noon Rotary Club and enjoy musical performances from Paige’s Playhouse and the Westerville Community Band.  Santa Claus will also be available for photos after the official ceremony outside the Westerville Division of Police.
  • Yuletide Festival at Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center: December 2 and 3.  The inaugural Yuletide Festival is slated for first weekend of December including performances by local studios, pop up art, crafts and performances of “A Christmas Carol” on Friday, December 2nd at 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 3rd at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. This event is presented by Hilliard Arts Council.
  • Holiday Pops with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing holiday favorite and carols at the Ohio Theatre Dec. 2-4; tickets from $31.50
  • Winterfair: December 2-4 at the Ohio Expo Center.  With over 400 artisans will be selling their wares – you’ll be able to cross some names off of your holiday list.  Admission is $7; children under 12 free.
  • Winter Wonderland and Secret Santa Shopping: Thomas Elementary (Dublin); Friday, December 2 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. This is a fun event to allow children to secretly shop for reasonably priced gifts for their family, listen to holiday music, make holiday crafts, and get pictures with Santa.  Free to attend.
  • SantaCon Arena District: December 2 at 6 p.m. Bar hop with hundreds of Santas, Reindeer, and Elves, and enjoy jolly drink specials.
  • Sip & Shop at Camelot Cellars: December 2 from 6-8 pm. Find a unique gift from Thread at Camelot while you enjoy some wine. Thread reflects both the heart and mission of THREAD: to build community through the shared love of and mutual interest in fashion, while remaining accessible and accommodating.

Saturday, December 3 (it’s a big day, so I broke the listing into categories)

Dine with Santa on Saturday, December 3

  • Franklin Park Conservatory Breakfast with Santa: December 3 and 10 from 8:30–10am: Breakfast and photos with Santa. $30 adults; $25 member adults, $15 children ages 4–10; $12 member children
  • KidX Club Breakfast with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place: Saturday, December 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
    Families are invited to spend the morning with Santa as part of the coveted annual Breakfast with Santa event. Guests will enjoy a breakfast buffet, holiday treats and cookie decorating, plus a visit with St. Nick! The breakfast will take place at California Pizza Kitchen. Cost: $7 per person. Reservations are required and must be made in person at Guest Reception by November 28 with cash or check to reserve your space.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Pickerington Senior Center: Saturday, December 3 from 8 am- 12:00 pm. $6 a person and 2 and under free. Music, craft table for children, a Secret Santa shop, a bake sale, and interaction with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Tickets must be pre-ordered.
  • Dublin Community Church Breakfast with Santa and Celtic Christmas: (81 West Bridge Street Dublin, Ohio 43017)
    Saturday, December 3, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  RSVP for one of three seatings at 9:30, 10:30 or 11:30 for Breakfast with Santa, $5 per person.  Call 889-1026 for more information.  Fill out attached form to RSVP.  After breakfast, take your kids to the Secret Santa Shop where they can buy a gift for mom or dad all on their own (prices are 50 cents – $5). Listen to live music and kick up your heels with the Shamrockers. Take a family photo with Santa that afternoon from 1-3 p.m. There will also be shopping available with small businesses through the day.
  • Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church:  December 3 from 8 – 11:30 a.m.  Contact to RSVP: 614-263-8824 Prices for 2015: Breakfast is $5 per person, and photos with Santa are $2 – $5 per photo or digital file.
  • Brunch with Santa in Upper Arlington: (FULL) Saturday, December 3 at 9-10:15 a.m., 10:15-11:30 a.m., or 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.  Join Santa for a brunch buffet. Register online. Cost: $16.50 per adult, $9.50 per child, free for children under two years.
  • Story Time and Cookies with Santa at Tuttle Mall:  December 3 at 8:00am – 10:00am. You can RSVP as space is limitied at 614.798.3023 or email shifaa.harb@simon.com.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Capital City Church: (1290 Old Henderson Road) Saturday, December 3 from 9 am. Come enjoy breakfast with Santa! Crafts, storytime and pictures with Mr. Claus for all the kids. Adults $7, Kids $5 (cap of $25 per family) Tickets will be sold in person on Sunday mornings and online. Link for online sales coming soon.
  • Dine with Santa at the Columbus Zoo: December 3-4 (various seatings) 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.

Other Santa Sightings on Saturday, December 3

  • Grove City Christmas Celebration and Mistletoe Market – December 3 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; This family-friendly festival features photos with Santa, live reindeer, Mistletoe Market and Secret Santa shop, carols, an ice sculpture at work, a parade, Grove City tree lighting and more.
  • Santa and the Nutcracker at the North Market: December 3 from 1:30 – 3 p.m. (also December 10 and 17)
  • Holidays in Powell: December 3, from 2 – 6 p.m. at the Village Green Park; carriage rides, crafts, Santa, and more
  • Christmas Under the Clock in Plain City: December 3 from 5-8 p.m. At the Clock Tower.  Wagon rides, pics with Santa, business open houses, gingerbread house decorating, ice sculpting, craft vendors, etc.  Free.
  • Downtown Lancaster Winter Carnival: December 3 from 12-5 pm. Free horse-drawn wagon rides, a picture opportunity with Santa at the Santa House, kids crafts in the businesses, gingerbread person scavenger hunt, Carillon provided by Chimemaster, holiday music, and much more!  The tree lighting is at 4:45 pm.
  • Holly Days in Dublin: December 3 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. in Historic Dublin. Family activities including Irish elf pictures, Irish holiday momentos, a Holiday photobooth, an adult Christmas activity and Irish Christmas in Dublin at Ha’Penny Bridge Imports of Ireland. 12 Elves of Dublin Hunt, Touch-a-Truck, Photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Our Cupcakery, Free Hot Chocolate from Starbucks, and more.
  • Holiday Open House in Delaware: December 3 from 12 – 4 p.m.  Downtown businesses will offer treats and treasures, and Santa’s House is open from 1-3 for photos with Santa
  • Granville Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour: Saturday, December 3 from 1 – 9 p.m.  All day activities, plus Santa
  • Winter Wonderland and Secret Santa Shopping: Thomas Elementary (Dublin); Friday, December 2 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. This is a fun event to allow children to secretly shop for reasonably priced gifts for their family, listen to holiday music, make holiday crafts, and get pictures with Santa.  Free to attend.
  • Holiday Hop in the Short North: December 3 from 12 – 10 p.m. Enjoy the Holiday version of Gallery Hop in the Short North
  • Santa Parade in Johnstown: December 3 at 10 am starting at the high school heading towards square.

Crafts and Other Events on December 3

Run/Walk on December 3:

Sunday, December 4

Tuesday, December 6

Wednesday, December 7

  • Nurtur the Salon Holiday Event: Upper Arlington: November 30-December 2, Grandview: December 7-9,  Brewery District: December 9-11: 20% off Aveda products and services schedule for January and February, plus $20 service credit with $100 purchase of product or gift cards.
  • Washington Township Meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus: Wednesday, December 7 from 6 – 8 p.m.  Sit in a 1937 REO Speedwagon Fire Truck, make a craft, and chat with Santa over some tasty refreshments. Bring your own camera. Accepting new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations to benefit the Firefighters for Kids Toy Drive.  6200 Eiterman Road

Thursday, December 8

  • Nurtur the Salon Holiday Event: Upper Arlington: November 30-December 2, Grandview: December 7-9,  Brewery District: December 9-11: 20% off Aveda products and services schedule for January and February, plus $20 service credit with $100 purchase of product or gift cards.
  • Holiday Classics at Drexel-Elf: December 8 (6 p.m.), December 10 (10 a.m.), and December 11 (2 p.m.). $3 for adults, $2 for kids (2-12), Free for under 2 and Drexel members. There is a $10 family cap.
  • Ugly Sweater Party at Camelot Cellars: December 8 from 7-9 pm. Tasty cookies and seasonal hot mulled spiced wine, plus a prize for the ugliest sweater! 901 Oak Street, Columbus, OH 43205
December 9 – December 15:

Friday, December 9

Saturday, December 10

  • Eastland Mall Breakfast with Santa: December 10 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Includes breakfast, holiday craft, entertainment, and a special visit from Santa Claus. FREE for the first 50 children to sign up, and is $5 per child after 50 registrants. 
  • Franklin Park Conservatory Breakfast with Santa: December 10 from 8:30–10am: Breakfast and photos with Santa. $30 adults; $25 member adults, $15 children ages 4–10; $12 member children
  • Hilliard YMCA Breakfast with Santa: Saturday, December 10 from 9 – 11 a.m. at Hilliard United Methodist Church, 5445 Scioto Darby Rd.  Enjoy a warm tasty breakfast and make some fun Christmas crafts. Kids will have the chance to meet and have their picture taken with Santa. Breakfast will include pancakes, eggs, sausage, toast, milk and juice.  YMCA Members: $3/child, $4/adult, $15 max/family.  Non-members: $4/child, $5/adult, $20 max/family.  Register here.
  • Grove City YMCA Breakfast with Santa: Saturday, December 10 from 9 – 12 p.m. at the Grove City YMCA.  Enjoy a hot breakfast and make some fun Christmas crafts. Kids will have the chance to meet and have their picture taken with Santa – bring your own camera. Choose 9 am or 10:30 seating.  $5 per person attending the breakfast
    (Children 6 months and under free)
    .  Register at 614.871.9622 or sarah.radke@ymcacolumbus.org
  • Franklin Park Conservatory Breakfast with Santa: December 10 from 8:30–10am: Breakfast and photos with Santa. $30 adults; $25 member adults, $15 children ages 4–10; $12 member children
  • Breakfast with Santa at Chick-fil-A on Sawmill: December 10 at 9 a.m. Holiday spirit and crafts, along with breakfast.  The only cost is the price of breakfast. RSVP will be available here soon
  • Breakfast with Santa at Dublin Scioto High School: Saturday, Dec 10 from 8:30-11:30.  $5 for adults and $7 for kids, which includes breakfast, picture with Santa and crafts
  • Holiday Character Breakfast at CenterPoint Church Gahanna on Saturday, December 10 from 8 am-12 noon.  Holiday characters, crafts and a pancake breakfast. Tickets are limited. Advance-purchase tickets are $10/child (ages 3 and up) and $12 for adults. Children under 2 years old are free. Buy tickets online.
  • Santa’s Workshop at Northwest UMC: December 10 from 9 a.m – 11 a.m. Enjoy breakfast and pictures with Santa (bring your camera). Children up through grade 6 will be invited to enter Santa’s Workshop to make surprise gifts for their parents and/or siblings. Event is free; donations appreciated.  There will be a chance to write Christmas cards for people in local nursing homes and to make blankets for those in need.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Rusty Bucket: Saturday, December 10 from 8 – 10 a.m.  All area locations.  $5 per person. Call for reservations and details.
  • St. Brigid of Kildare Women’s Club Cookies with Santa: Saturday, December 10 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the St. Brigid School cafeteria and Enke Hall. $8 per child includes photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus, cookie to decorate, gift from Santa, crafts and refreshments. Reservations required by Dec. 2.  Details and registration on page 8 of this bulletin.
  • Craftin’ Outlaws: Holiday Alternative Craft Fair – December 10 from 12 p.m – 5 p.m. at the Columbus Convention Center
  • Santa at Grandview Heights Library: December 10 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Photos with Santa and holiday activities.
  • Make It Merry Gift Tag Event at Michaels: Saturday, December 10 from 1-3 pm:  Come learn and enjoy how easy it is to create that extra personalized touch to your gift tags this holiday season! Buy the gift tags and the rest of supplies are free.
  • Free crafts for kids at Lakeshore Learning: December 10 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Make a Top Hat Treat Holder
  • Kids Craft Events at Michaels: December 10 from 10 a.m. – noon. Make a Clay Pot Elf, $2
  • Franklin Park Conservatory Family Fun Days: December 10 from 11am–2pm: Holiday Gift Making
    Children create and make their own gifts. $2 per gift, with Conservatory admission.
  • Santa at the North Market: December 10 from 1:30 – 3 p.m. (also December 17)
  • Holiday Classics at Drexel-Elf: December 10 (10 a.m.), and December 11 (2 p.m.). $3 for adults, $2 for kids (2-12), Free for under 2 and Drexel members. There is a $10 family cap.
  • Polar Express at COSI: December 9-11 (Friday 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am and 4 pm). Pre-show fun and treats start 1 hour before showtime.  Tickets are $10 for non-members.
  • Dickens of Christmas at Ohio Village celebrates a Victorian Christmas  inspired by the stories of Charles Dickens.  The village will come to life on December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 with the Victorian-era holiday spirit.
  • Pajama Jam! 90s Slumber Party: December 10 from 9 pm – 2 am at Little Rock Bar.   ‘Tis the season to don your festive PJs at PAJAMA JAM! Hosts Jessica Wabbit and Natalia Rivs will keep you dancing waaaaaay past your bedtime to the best 90’s music. Steam Kitchen is open ’til 1am and you can chow down by the projector as we show holiday classics like Home Alone, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Jingle All the Way.  No cover!
  • Festivus at 400 West Rich St: December 9-11. Huge holiday art show with entertainment.
  • Free Zoo Admission with gift for Jack Hanna’s Home for the Holidays: December 10 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Bring an animal enrichment toy from the approved list and get free admission to the Columbus Zoo for Jack Hanna’s Home for the Holidays, featuring Santa Paws.  Free admission valid for December 10 only; one free admission per item.
  • Short North Pole Shop Night: December 10 from 5 pm – 10 pm. Select businesses will offer extended hours, and festive performers will roam High Street. Shop between 7:00pm and 9:00pm to be rewarded with a limited edition holiday giveaway – a Short North Pole ornament at select retailers while supplies last.
  • Photos with Santa at Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop: December 10 from 12:00pm – 4:00pm.  Take your own photos and post to Instagram for the #shortnorthpole contest.  Stick around for holiday shopping and entertainment with the new Short North Pole Shop Night
  • Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum: December 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2016 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Santa letters in the Post Office car, Christmas ornaments and crafts, train rides on the Interurban car, and photos with Mrs. Claus
  • Discovery District Holiday Trolley Hop: December 10 from 1 – 5 p.m. with shopping, festive lights, live performances, treats, Santa, historic sites, with a closing celebration at Topiary Park.
  • Holiday Family Fun at the OhioHealth Chiller Ice Rinks: The first 3 Saturdays and Sundays in December from 1:30-5 pm. Appearances by Hockey Santa the first three Saturdays and Sundays in December during the 1:30pm public skating sessions. Free skating instruction the first three Saturdays in December from 1:30-2:30pm, free Cookie Decorating. Session and skate rental fees apply; $4-$8.
  • Christmas Vacation Beer Tasting at Grandview Theatre: Saturday, December 10 at 2 pm. Taste 10 Christmas beers from some of the best breweries in the world and keep the limited edition pint glass. There will be raffle prizes and fun on the big screen before the movie.

Sunday, December 11

  • Cram the Cruiser Toy Drive: Sunday, December 11, 1-4 pm at Grove City United Methodist Church, 2684 Columbus Street. Drive through or stop by to drop off a new, unwrapped toy and to visit with Santa and get a photo or enjoy festive goodies.
  • OHS Breakfast with Santa: Sunday, December 11 from 9:00 – 11:30 am Santa, pictures, coloring, practice slap shot with hockey team, cookie decorating and breakfast. $8 adults, $5 ages 3-12 (under 3 free), $10.00 includes (1) 4×6 Photo with Santa and (1) raffle drawing entry, $12 for printed photo.  Reserve online or pay an extra $3 at the door.
  • Santa in the Caboose: December 11 from 3-6 pm. Get your photo taken with 1800s Santa in red caboose, free hot chocolate and doughnuts, wagon rides, petting zoo, tours of the historic village, live entertainment and more at Historical Village at Weaver Park
  • Golden Spike Open House Christmas Celebration at The Depot: December 11 from 4-7 pm. Train tours, rides, Christmas movies, cookies and cocoa, and more.
  • Holiday Classics at Drexel-Elf: December 8 (6 p.m.), December 10 (10 a.m.), and December 11 (2 p.m.). $3 for adults, $2 for kids (2-12), Free for under 2 and Drexel members. There is a $10 family cap.
  • Polar Express at COSI: December 9-11 (Friday 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am and 4 pm). Pre-show fun and treats start 1 hour before showtime.  Tickets are $10 for non-members.
  • Dickens of Christmas at Ohio Village celebrates a Victorian Christmas  inspired by the stories of Charles Dickens.  The village will come to life on December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 with the Victorian-era holiday spirit.
  • Festivus at 400 West Rich St: December 9-11. Huge holiday art show with entertainment.
  • Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum: December 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2016 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Santa letters in the Post Office car, Christmas ornaments and crafts, train rides on the Interurban car, and photos with Mrs. Claus
  • Holiday Family Fun at the OhioHealth Chiller Ice Rinks: The first 3 Saturdays and Sundays in December from 1:30-5 pm. Appearances by Hockey Santa the first three Saturdays and Sundays in December during the 1:30pm public skating sessions. Free skating instruction the first three Saturdays in December from 1:30-2:30pm, free Cookie Decorating. Session and skate rental fees apply; $4-$8.
December 16 – December 22:

Thursday, December 15

Friday, December 16

  • Polar Express Family Overnight: Bring the whole family for our first ever Pajama Party Overnight and watch The Polar Express on COSI’s Giant Screen while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies. Have fun with winter-themed activities and then camp out at COSI! $40 per person, rsvp as soon as possible.
  • Dickens of Christmas at Ohio Village celebrates a Victorian Christmas  inspired by the stories of Charles Dickens.  The village will come to life on December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 with the Victorian-era holiday spirit.
  • Free Shipping Day: December 16.  Thousands of retailers offer free shipping guaranteed in time for Christmas.

Saturday, December 17

Sunday, December 18

  • Dickens of Christmas at Ohio Village celebrates a Victorian Christmas  inspired by the stories of Charles Dickens.  The village will come to life on December 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 with the Victorian-era holiday spirit.
  • Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum: December 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2016 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Santa letters in the Post Office car, Christmas ornaments and crafts, train rides on the Interurban car, and photos with Mrs. Claus
  • Holiday Classics at Drexel: The Polar Express: December 15 (6 pm), December 17 (10 am), and December 18 (2 pm)
  • Holiday Family Fun at the OhioHealth Chiller Ice Rinks: The first 3 Saturdays and Sundays in December from 1:30-5 pm. Appearances by Hockey Santa the first three Saturdays and Sundays in December during the 1:30pm public skating sessions. Free skating instruction the first three Saturdays in December from 1:30-2:30pm, free Cookie Decorating. Session and skate rental fees apply; $4-$8.

Monday, December 19

  • Holiday Gift-Making Workshops: Drop off kids in grades 1-6 at the Ohio Craft Museum in Grandview Heights on December 19 or  December 20. They will make 2 gifts and wrap them before they leave for $25.
  • Merry TubaChristmas: December 19 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Capital University, Mees Auditorium.  TubaChristmas is a festive one-hour blowout of carols and other holiday tunes by hundreds of tuba and euphonium players – complete with decorated tubas.  Participants welcome to register to play for $10.  Free for audience, but they are collecting canned goods for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Tuesday, December 20

  • Holiday Gift-Making Workshops: Drop off kids in grades 1-6 at the Ohio Craft Museum in Grandview Heights on December 19 or  December 20. They will make 2 gifts and wrap them before they leave for $25.

Thursday, December 22

  • Franklin Park Conservatory The Elves and the Shoemaker: Thursday, December 22, 11am & 2pm Dramatic Impact presents The Elves and the Shoemaker: Join theater instructor Candace Mazur Darman for an interactive performance of this classic fairy tale. Children’s participation will be encouraged!  Free with admission
December 23 – December 29:

Friday, December 23

  • Franklin Park Conservatory Family Fun: December 23, 11am & 2pm The Shazzbots: Dance and sing along to an out-of-this-world concert by Central Ohio’s favorite kid’s rock band. Free with admission

Past events from this season

November 11 – November 17:

Friday, November 11

Saturday, November 12

Sunday, November 13

  • Holiday Cheer Kickoff Event at Polaris Fashion Place: November 13 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Various performances throughout the mall during the day; parade at 12 pm with high school band leading Santa in for the season.  “Magical offers” at stores throughout the mall.

Thursday, November 17

  • Wildlights Member Preview Night at Columbus Zoo – November 17 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 18 – November 24:

Friday, November 18

Saturday, November 19

Sunday, November 20

Monday, November 21

Wednesday, November 23

Thursday, November 24

  12 Responses to “Holiday Events in Columbus”

  1. COLUMBUS OHIO SANTA IS NOW BOOKING FOR 2016

    SANTA WILL VISIT HOMES, BUSINESSES, FAMILY GET TOGETHER S, CRAFT SHOWS, SPECIAL EVENTS,AND MORE….
    SPACES ALREADY BOOKING QUICKLY…

    https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusOhioSanta/?fref=ts

  2. Feel free to call the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. As stated, many more events are being added daily – there are many major events already listed and I will get to the others as soon as possible.

  3. When do the following places have their light up night? Topiary Garden Bicentennial Park Downtown Columbus State Auto Nativity scene.
    This site left out all the major events in the city for somebody that would not be from Columbus they would miss the spectacular this place right here in the city because they’re not mentioned. Probably best to call the Columbus Chamber of Commerce

  4. Capital City Cakes is hosting Christmas cookie decorating classes, as well as Mommy & Me cupcake classes and Christmas cake decorating classes on Saturday, Dec. 5th. from 10am – 3pm. Multiple times available. Must pre-register.

    http://capitalcitycakesoh.com/classes

  5. Grove City’s Mistletoe Market this Saturday, Dec. 5th from 10am to 8pm with Christmas Parade, Santa visit and tree lighting…

    https://www.grovecitytowncenter.org/mistletoe-market/

  6. 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.

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

  8. I think you should post about the winter jam
    http://2015.jamtour.com

  9. […] 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 http://ht.ly/3csIA […]

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