Columbus is made up with so many amazing communities that have their own traditions and special events for Christmas.
No matter where you live, you’ll get into the holiday spirit at any of these FREE Community Tree Lightings and Holiday Celebrations in Columbus.
Go outside of your own neighborhood and explore and enjoy these fun events. Most of these events include Christmas music, family activities, refreshments, and Santa!
2022 Tree Lightings and Holiday Celebrations in Columbus
All events are subject to change and cancellation. This list is written early in the season, and changes are possible. Please check links to ensure nothing has changed before you attend an event.
Santa arrives at Cabelas Polaris
Sunday, November 5, 2022. Santa arrives at Cabela’s (1650 Gemini Pl) to kick off the holiday season.
Free Photos with Santa: Families who visit Santa receive a free 4×6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free digital download that can be shared on social media. Additional photo packages are also available for purchase and print instantly at the store. November 6 – December 24. Appointments are available online one week (7 days) in advance on a rolling basis. More details here.
Capital University Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 16, 2022 at 5 pm. at the Mount St. Plaza. Enjoy carols, hot cocoa, and more by the fountain to enjoy the season at Capital University.
They are collecting winter hats, coats, gloves, jeans, and hygiene products for The Open Shelter. Plus, 22nd. St. Cookies will be selling cookie dough for purchase; proceeds support their business and the local teens who are employed.
Tanger Outlets Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
Friday, November 18, 2022 from 6 PM – 8 PM.
Join us to “Deck the Halls” at Tanger Outlets Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival in the Center Courtyard! Make your list and check it twice because Santa Claus is coming to town.
Easton Holiday Lighting Grand Illumination
Friday, November 18, 2022. Enjoy seasonal surprises at the Easton Grand Illumination, including millions of twinkling lights. The fun begins at 6PM, with the holiday lights turning on everywhere around Easton at 7PM.
Shop and stroll through the sidewalks of Easton Town Center with the holiday magic all around. Town Square will be illuminated with the 50 foot tree featuring a 5 foot star. You’ll also want to see the Easton Express Railway travel through tunnels and villages before it makes its way to the North Pole.
New Albany Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
Sunday, November 20, 2022 from 2 – 6 pm.
Kick off the holiday season at the annual New Albany community Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at Market Square. Santa arrives at 2 pm!
Free family fun includes pictures with Santa, horse and carriage rides, live entertainment, reindeer corral, and entertainers. Mayor Spalding will lead the countdown to light the holiday tree at sunset (approximately 5:25pm).
Beverages and food available for purchase from Market Square restaurants and food trucks. The New Albany Library is hosting a Holiday Letter Writing Workshop from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Drop your letters to Santa in the red mailbox at the library for special delivery to the North Pole!
Gahanna Holiday Lights Celebration
Sunday, November 20, 2022 from 3 – 6:30 pm
Gahanna’s annual Holiday Lights Celebration promises one magical afternoon of free family fun for all ages! Held in the beautiful Creekside District, the event will feature a Holiday Stage, the Tree Lighting, a parade, AND Santa arriving by Firetruck!
Annual Lighting of the Licking County Courthouse
Friday, November 25, 2022 at 6pm. The beautiful Licking County Courthouse looks AMAZING all lit up, and courthouse square is filled with larger than life Christmas displays. Enjoy a festive holiday evening of entertainment including a variety of musical guests, carols, and Santa Claus!
Come early for the Holiday Bazaar at the Canal Market District from 3 pm – 6:30 pm. Shop with over 40 vendors and pick up some Christmas gifts and amazing baked goods. Food trucks will be on site to dine from before the Courthouse lighting
Worthington Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting
Sunday, November 27, 2022. Enjoy carriage rides, shopping, live music, and Santa in Downtown Worthington. Head to the Village Green for carolers and the annual Worthington tree lighting at dusk. More details here.
Granville Village Tree Lighting and Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour
The Village of Granville is truly a Hallmark Christmas town, so these events will give you all the holiday feels. More details here.
Granville Village Tree Lighting: On Sunday, November 27, 2022, gather together to kick off the holiday season with the official lighting of the Granville Christmas Tree at 5:00 pm. The tree is located at the median on Broadway west of Main. Cookies and hot cocoa will be provided.
Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour: The annual Christmas Candlelight event will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2022. The event plans to feature streets lined with glimmering Christmas tree, Christmas Craft Market, Horse-drawn carriage rides, and more.
Uptown Marysville Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting
Monday, November 28, 2022 from 5:00pm-8:00pm.
Participating Uptown Marysville businesses will have special extended hours to help you get a start on your holiday shopping. The MORA will be in effect, so grab a drink and mingle!
Visitors enjoy live reindeer, children’s activities, dance troupes, carolers, and musical performers, costumed characters, horse-drawn carriage rides, door prizes, and even photos with Saint Nick himself at Santa’s Village!
The annual tree lighting for the 30 foot Christmas Tree at Partners Park is at 6 pm. Many business will stay open with special activities and sales.
Holiday Tours at the John and Annie Glenn Museum:
November 28, 2022 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Visit John Glenn’s boyhood home during the holiday season.
Come and see what Christmas would have been like for a typical American family in 1962, the year John Glenn orbited Earth. John Glenn’s Lionel train will be running around the tree for all to enjoy and museum volunteers will be serving hot chocolate and cookies on the porch.
Holly Days in Dublin
Come to Historic Dublin for Free Family Fun, Holiday Cheer and Live Entertainment during Holly Days in Dublin.
Shop -Dine and Be Merry in December Every weekend will also feature music, raffle prizes, and more! See details on website.
Thursday, December 1, 3 – 5 p.m.: 12 Elves of Dublin begins!
Saturday, December 3, 3-5 p.m.: Music, Raffles Prizes and more!
Saturday, December 10, 3 – 5 p.m.: Christmas Characters, games and giveaways. Ugly Sweater Crawl from 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, December 17, 3 – 5 p.m.: Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus.
12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt
December 1 – December 23, 2022. Pick up your 12 elves card at one of the participating downtown locations, and then search through the shops of Historic Dublin to find the 12 Elves.
When your kiddo finds the elf at each stop, have the entry card signed. Collect them all and return your completed card to one of the retailers.
City of Dublin Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Thursday, December 1, 2022 at Riverside Crossing Park with Santa, music and more. Details to be released soon.
Ohio Statehouse Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival
Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Free, family-friendly holiday festival at Ohio Statehouse including Santa and Mrs. Claus, the lighting of the Statehouse and trees, and more!
Pickerington Holiday Gathering
Friday, December 2, 2022 from 5 pm – 8 pm. Bring the family to Pickerington village for some holiday fun. Local businesses will offer activities and treats (and a place to warm up).
Activities include carriage and trolley rides, Lighted Holiday Stroll, live nativity, ice carving, photos with Santa, Christmas tree lighting, free treats, and more! More details and full list of activities at this link.
Westerville Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, December 2, 2022 at 5 – 8 pm. Join Uptown Westerville for a Night of Holiday Fun for the holiday tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m., led by the Santa himself!
Guests will enjoy strolling performers, performances of Uptown Scrooge, and more. Santa and his elves will be walking around, handing out goodies. See details here.
Upper Arlington Winter Festival, Tree Lighting, and Parade
Friday, December 2, 2022 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Caroling, carriage rides, bonfire with s’mores, visits with Santa and the tree lighting ceremony. Details here.
Grove City Christmas Celebration, Parade, and Mistletoe Market
Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, 2022. The Christmas celebration in Grove City kicks off on Friday with the Christmas Parade. The Town Center tree lighting with Santa follows immediately after the parade.
The Mistletoe Market is held both days, and there will be reindeer, ice sculpting, food trucks, and more.
Home for the Holidays and Holiday Tree Lighting in Delaware
December 2-4, 2022 The Home for the Holidays event kicks off with the tree lighting in Downtown Delaware on Friday, featuring caroling, carriage rides, the Tree Lighting and more.
Holiday Open House, photos with Santa, and the parade will be happening during the weekend and through the month too! Read more about the holiday season in Delaware.
HolidayVille in Clintonville
December 4, 2022. Hop on the Jolly Trolley to shop sales and specials to support local Clintonville businesses.
Santa Parade and Tree Lighting in Johnstown
Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 5 pm
Join The Johnstown Children’s Conservation League for the Santa Parade, followed by the “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” holiday event and tree lighting.
Santa Parade and I’ll Be Home For Christmas Downtown Celebration. The annual Santa Parade begins at 5pm. Parade route is Right on N Main St. Left on Maple ends at Organ St..
After the Parade join Santa in the town square! He will be in the Santa House that evening until 8pm.
Visit the local businesses, enjoy food trucks, family games, hot cocoa, Santa secret shops for kids, and the tree lighting ceremony at 8 pm.
Route 42 Holiday Hop and Christmas Under the Clock in Plain City
December 3, 2022
9 am – 11 am: Route 42 Holiday Hop with Santa at Plain City Hardware|
4 pm – 7 pm: Christmas Under the Clock in Plain City at the Clock Tower. Wagon rides, pics with Santa, business open houses, vendors, and more, with the tree lighting ceremony
7 pm: Santa Parade through the Village
See more holiday events in Plain City, including lights at Pastime Park, Santa Pictures, and Santa’s Mailbox.
Winterfest at Bicentennial Park
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 11 am – 4pm The celebration features live music, seasonal beer from local breweries, and Columbus food truck favorites.
All ages will enjoy winter-inspired games and activities for all ages, including a snow globe photo opportunity and mechanical reindeer. Read more here.
Discovery District Trolley Hop
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 12-4 pm.
The Trolley is back in 2022 to take participants on rides to visit various merchants and cultural institutions on the eastern part of Downtown.
The whole family will enjoy the seasonal delights and there will be free trolleys running continuously from 12 – 4 p.m. through the District with fun stops for activities, crafts, tours and shopping to help you stuff stockings.
This year’s hop starts at the Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch at 96 S. Grant Avenue or at Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St. Parking is available at both locations. See more details.
Holidays in Powell and Annual Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 12 pm – 6 pm.
Shop in the boutiques and dine at the local restaurants or from food trucks. Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) is in effect in downtown Powell, so grab a beverage at participating locations as you walk around town and enjoy the experiences.
Downtown Lancaster WinterFest
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 12 pm – 6 pm. Celebrate the holiday season in the heart of Downtown Lancaster with WinterFest and Tree Lighting. Make memories and enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, family activities, a scavenger hunt, holiday music, and much more!
The tree lighting starts at 4:45 p.m. at the bandstand.
Reynoldsburg Christmas on the Town and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 4-6 pm. Enjoy the holiday sights, sounds, and sensations with the holiday parade, caroling, crafts, letters to Santa and the lighting of the City tree at Reynoldsburg Christmas on the Town.
Holiday Hop in the Short North
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 1 – 9 p.m. Enjoy the Holiday version of Gallery Hop in the Short North, with special holiday flair and events. It’ll be a full day of fun of holiday fun, shopping, tastes, sights, and sounds.
Pataskala Main Street Christmas Cookie Walk and Lighted Parade
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 2:30 – 6 pm. Choosing Joy is the theme for the annual Main Street Christmas Christmas Cookie Walk, presented by the Pataskala Lions Club.
Open to the first 400 families, first-come, first-served (the first 200 available for presale for $25 donation). A minimum $10 donation is requested for the Storehouse for Jesus Food Pantry for the first 200 on the day of the event.
Walk the 1/4 mile route around downtown Pataskala, collecting one cookie at each stop. At the end, there will be 6 dozen cookies collected. The completed Boarding Pass can be turned in for a special prize. Families will enjoy character experiences and free activities along the route.
The Pataskala Lions Annual Lighted Christmas Parade follows the Cookie Walk at 6 pm.
Sunbury Christmas on the Square
Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 4 – 8 p.m. Christmas on the Square in Sunbury activities – Shop the Craft & Gift Fair and enjoy holiday activities before the lighted Christmas parade. The tree lighting will be on the Square after the parade, followed by visits and pictures with Santa.
Millersport’s Holiday Chocolate Hop and Tree Lighting
December 4, 2022, from 2-6 pm
Local businesses will be open for holiday shopping and each participating location will be providing a piece of chocolate for all ticket holders of the Holiday Chocolate Hop. The Barr Hopper will be in town to transport shoppers throughout town so everyone can enjoy this special event.
Tickets for this event are $10/person and proceeds benefit Millersport families through the Walnut Township Local Schools and Millersport Lion’s Club White Christmas project.
The Village of Millersport’s annual tree lighting at Miller Park will follow at 6:00 p.m. and a Community Christmas Party at the Lion’s Club will begin at 6:30 p.m. with live music, socializing and beverages.
Bexley Holiday Tree Lighting
Head to the district on Sunday, December 4, 2022 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm for the festive Bexley Christmas Tree Lighting.
Enjoy performances by Jeffrey Mansion Preschool, Bexley Middle School Choir, and the High School Vocal Ensemble Choir, along with hot chocolate, cookies, and candy canes. Mayor Kessler lights the tree with Santa Claus. Santa will be staying after the tree is lit for kids to meet with him!
It’s a Wonderful Life in Thornville
Sunday, December 4, 2022. Thornville celebrates the holiday season with Secret Santa at Thornville UMC from 2pm – 4:30pm. The Holiday Parade at 5pm. Enjoy hot chocolate & cookies at Grace Lutheran Church.
The Tree Lighting is at 5:30 pm at The Masonic Lodge, and there is a Live Nativity at Trinity United Church of Christ at 6:30 pm. Details here.
Old Time Christmas at the Orange Johnson House
Sundays, December 4, 11, and 18, 2022, 1 pm – 4 pm. Enjoy federal-style tradition, light refreshments, and musical performances in the sitting room decorated for the Christmas season at the Orange Johnson House.
Free admission with food donation to the Worthington Resource Pantry.
Annual Westerville Children’s Christmas Parade and Rudolph 5k Run/Walk
Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. The Rudolph 5k begins and ends on State St (State Route 3) just south of County Line Rd near St. Paul Catholic Church in Westerville.
The Westerville Lions Rudolph Run/Walk 5K is a family-encouraged 5K event which will kick off the Westerville Lions Children’s Christmas Parade (taking place directly after the race). Costumes encouraged.
The parade route runs from Westerville South High School, up State St, to St. Paul Church. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance in the parade as well. The parade steps off as the last participants finish the Rudolph Run.
Holiday Hop and Hilliard Tree Lighting
Sunday, December 4, 2022 from 4-6:30 p.m. Lighting of the tree in Hilliard’s Station Park with holiday music, visit by Santa and the elves, ice sculpting demonstrations, reindeer, cookie decorating, food trucks, face painting, holiday train and carriage rides and hot chocolate!
There are activities in the park, along Main Street, and Historical Village. The event is walkable, but a trolley will also be available from the Chase Bank parking lot to the Historical Village.
Mrs. Claus and elves will be in the schoolhouse with children writing letters to Santa and many other activities including village tours, balloon twister, face painting, holiday music and more. FREE admission (donations welcome)
Village Lights in German Village
Sunday, December 4, 2022 from 5-9 p.m. Lots of holiday spirit out and about in German Village, including shopping, food, decorations, and luminaries to lead you through the Village. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there.
Grandview Heights Holiday Tree Lighting
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 3 – 8 p.m. Live performances, refreshments, crafts, and the Grandview Heights tree lighting. Iceless ice rink starts at 3 pm, Santa is available for visits starting at 5:30, and the tree will be lit up around 7:15 pm.
Christmas Open House at Hanby House in Westerville
During the holiday season, tour the home of Benjamin Hanby, composer of the Christmas carol “Up on the Housetop”. Enjoy continuous live music in the parlor, hot cider and cookies.
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 7 pm – 9 pm
Thursday, December 8, 2022 from 7 pm – 9 pm
Saturday, December 10, 2022 10 am – 2 pm
Admission: Adult: $3, Senior: $2.50, Child (5-17): $1, Ohio History Connection Member: Free
Christmas Corner Lighting of State Auto Christmas Display and Life-Sized Nativity
Opening night of Christmas Corner at the State Auto Christmas display is December 7, 2022 from 5:30-8 pm, with a performance by the Columbus Children’s Choir.
Will be lit nightly at State Auto Downtown through the season, with choir performances on Fridays and Saturdays. The display is lighted daily through January 2.
Christmas Kickoff in Obetz
The season kicks off in Obetz on Friday, December 9, 2022 in Lancaster Park with the Tree lighting ceremony at 6:00 pm. Santa will be there for photos, and there will be hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy. Ice skating may be available; weather depending.
There will be lots of holiday lights throughout Obetz for the season, including downtown Obetz, Lancaster Park and Veterans Park, and Historic Church.
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Past events from 2021
Holiday Bazaar and Deck the District Tree Lighting in the Short North: TBA for 2021. At the Holiday Bazaar, you can shop, eat, and explore pop-ups while enjoying holiday performers all along High Street, then end the day at the annual Deck the District Tree Lighting from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.