There are so many events to enjoy the Christmas and Holiday season in Columbus, including family activities, date ideas, community 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.
This list will be added to throughout the holiday season, so bookmark and check back regularly to see the many, many updates coming over the next few weeks. Please let me know what I’m missing in the comments or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
See our list of roundups for holiday events at the links below!
Check out the ongoing activities, and scroll down for day-to-day holiday fun in Columbus!
Ongoing Holiday events through the Season
November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021 Don’t miss the Columbus Zoo Christmas lights for 2020 featuring Columbus Zoo Christmas lights and festivities featuring displays of millions of LED lights and holiday sights and sounds. Reservations are required; regular admission applies, except for free nights listed below. Members get free admission. Parking is $10/car for non-members.
- November 19 is Member Preview Night from 5 – 9 p.m.
- December 8 is Stuff a Truck Food Drive – bring 6 cans of food per guest for free admission and parking.
- December 26 – December 28: First Responder and Public Safety Appreciation Days
- December 29 – December 31: Educator Appreciation Days at Wildlights
- January 1 – January 3: Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Days
BalletMet won’t be performed at Ohio Theatre in 2020, but fans can explore “A Nutcracker Holiday”, a hub online for all things Nutcracker. While you won’t enjoy BalletMet The Nutcracker in person, there are videos and activities that will bring you the spirit of The Nutcracker, including excerpts from the show, behind the scene looks, and more. This is a great way to experience the story as a family, and get kids interested in the performance for future years.
Dates: December 5-27, 2020
Location: All events are online at balletmet.org
Weekends from November 20 – December 21, 2020 in the evenings at Easton Town Center. Additional carriage rides are Friday, November 20, 6-10 pm & Monday, December 21, 6-10 pm. Admission is $10, children under 15 ride free with paying adult.
Legends From Liverpool
November 5 – December 27. Celebrating the Music of John, Paul, George & Ringo
About the show: “John, Paul, George and Ringo were four British boys that changed rock ‘n’ roll forever. And in this follow-up to the hit musical tribute, Bigger Than Jesus, Shadowbox Live tells the stories of the men behind the music, and how their personal journeys intersected to create one of the greatest bands of all time.”
Tickets run $80-$160 per table of 2 or 4.
November 27 – December 26. (Slightly) raunchy Christmas Fun and Rock and Roll.
Tickets range from $80-$220 per table, depending on table selection and date/time. Tables are selling out FAST, so book yours now!
November 20 – January 3. Huge light display at Alum Creek, plus Santa’s House. $20-$30 per car.
November 14 – January 10. Admission is $12 – $22. Members pay reduced admission. Holiday displays and activities at the Franklin Park Conservatory, including live entertainment, gingerbread contest, and more. There are both in person and virtual events. Reservations are required for all visits, and safety protocols are in place.
Annual Holiday LEGO® Exhibition at Columbus Museum of Art
November 27, 2020 – March 12, 2021. Columbus Museum of Art’s annual holiday celebration of the creative potential of LEGO® bricks returns. Bring your friends and family and celebrate the season by connecting with LEGO® and each other. Think Outside the Brick features an enormous collaboratively-built model of Columbus. Don’t forget – everyone can enjoy FREE ADMISSION at CMA every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and $5 admission on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m.
Ohio-made gifts for sale through December 23, plus virtual workshops and take and make kits.
Sundays through December from 1 pm – 4 pm. Come visit The Hangar to shop the farm products and meet some of the animals, including some of my favorite yoga goats.
Catch your favorite Holiday classics on the big screen at Marcus Theatres from November 20 – December 22, 2020.
December 1 – December 23, 2020. 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. Grand Prize drawing will take place on December 29th
All Season. Columbus LOVES Christmas lights! From free but amazing neighborhood displays, to immersive paid Christmas lights experiences, you’ll find plenty of holiday joy around the city with the best Christmas lights in Columbus.
November 20 – January 3 from dusk to 11 pm. Check out more than 400,000 LED lights dazzle Columbus Commons park, thanks to a generous contribution from American Electric Power.
November 26 – January 1. Glenross subdivision in Delaware and has around 250 houses with light displays choreographed to Christmas music played on 94.1FM. The displays will run from 5-9pm Sunday-Thursday and 5-11pm Friday & Saturday. Check out the website at www.lightsofglenross.com or like Lights of Glenross on facebook for more info.
Thanksgiving through December. Display features 100,000 Christmas Lights that dance to music. The show is every night (weather permitting) from 6:00pm – 10:00pm Sunday thru Thursday and 6:00pm – 11:00pm Friday and Saturday. Check Facebook to see the coordinating radio station and details for 2020. Address: 649 Old Coach Rd. Westerville Ohio 43081.
This drive-thru Christmas light experience features 6 houses over 7.5 acres. The show runs from Black Friday to the first week of January, dusk until 10pm Sun-Thurs and until 11 on Friday and Saturday. In order to manage traffic, there is a loop to drive. You enter at Frabell Dr and exit on Springdale Dr. Make sure you read about the history of Lucy Depp Park – it’s fascinating! Address: Frabell Dr. Powell, OH 43065
There is a donation box located at the entrance to the show for Peace for Paws Ohio, an amazing non-profit dog rescue organization. Please consider making a donation!
From November 25 through January 3, 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.
November 30 – December 23, 2020, 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, 50 E. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, OH 43215.
November 29 – December 30. Tour of Columbus to see seasonal attractions, lighting displays and holiday landmarks on a Holiday Trolley. All tours are private tours, so gather your family or friends and book now!
Late November through January 4, 2021. This stunning long-standing holiday tradition will be lit nightly at State Auto Downtown through the season. The nativity scene and story of Christmas is a tradition that is loved by many. No lighting ceremony or choir performances will be held for 2020; masks and distancing are required.
Open through Thanksgiving break, the holidays, and Christmas break. Tons of skate parties with character visits, theme parties, discount days, young teen nights, and adult nights. Schedule has not posted for December; check link for updates. *Required by the State of Ohio – Masks must be worn while in building at all times. 4900 Evanswood Dr, Columbus, 43229
Open through Thanksgiving break, the holidays, and Christmas break. Tons of skate parties with character visits, theme parties, discount days, young teen nights, and adult nights. Schedule has not posted for December; check link for updates. *Required by the State of Ohio – Masks must be worn while in building at all times. 3362 Refugee Rd, Columbus, 43232
Skate sessions are available Friday – Sunday, and you can rent the rink for 1.5 hours for up to 15 people for a safe, fun event. 4357 Broadway, Grove City
Take a drive for these out-of-town Christmas Experiences!
November 13, 2020 – January 3, 2021 from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Open rain, shine, or snow. National Trail Raceway, 2650 National Road SW, Hebron, OH 43025
See over 1 million LED lights synchronized to traditional and newer Christmas music played through your own car stereo. Pack your vehicle full of friends and family to enjoy the show. Tickets are $7.00 per person. Children Age 3 & Under: FREE! Or get a Carload Special for up to 7 passengers for only $30.
December 4, 5, 11, 12, and 13. The covered wagon tour is a 45 minute production that includes five mini dramas depicting events recorded in the Bible about the birth of Christ. Warm up afterwards with cookies and hot chocolate as you enjoy live music and activities. Children will also enjoy petting animals and pony rides. Christmas tree farm is also open for tree purchases.
Tours begin at 6:30pm on Fridays and 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and they leave every 15 minutes. Walk-ins will be accommodated if there are openings on scheduled tours. To guarantee your spot, please call ahead to reserve tickets. $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
Friday, November 20 through December 23, open every day except Thanksgiving. Located about an hour and fifteen minutes SW of Columbus, the Christmas Ranch features a Christmas Village with a combination drive-thru/walk-thru experience for 2020, featuring approximately 1 Million LED lights which dance with the music. Drive through to see the lights and park to visit areas of Christmas Ranch. Shop in 6 Christmas shops, grab a treat at Santa’s Bakery or the Elves food truck (walk-up window and outdoor seating), and visit with Santa. See details for all changes for 2020 here. Admission is $15 per car.
November 27 – December 30, 2020 from 5 – 9 p.m. (lights turn on at 6 p.m.) On Christmas Eve, Christmas they close at 8 pm; closed NYE. Cost is $10 ages 7 and older; under 3 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. near Yellow Springs, 40 miles SW of Columbus
November 28 through January 3, every Tuesday through Sunday starting at 4 pm. 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. Reservations must be made in advance due to capacity limited. Walkup available only if space permits. Admission is $5, ages 12 and under free.
Christmas at the Castle, a Kingdom of Lights at Landoll’s Mohican Castle
November 27 – December 31, 2020. Visit the castle this holiday season for the annual Kingdom of Lights! Stroll the property after dusk, see the castle decked out with over 100,000 lights, take pictures with the outdoor Christmas trees, listen to Holiday music playing throughout the property, have dinner in the restaurant. Santa will visiting on Friday and Saturday nights 6pm-8pm. Admission is $8.00 per car on Friday & Saturday nights, FREE Sunday-Thursday nights. Buy your car pass in advance. This is a walking event, ends at 10 pm. Free hot cocoa every Friday & Saturday night.
Landoll’s Mohican Castle, 561 Township Road 3352, Loudonville, Ohio 44842
Day by Day Christmas events in Columbus Ohio!
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Events cancelled for 2020
Fairfield County Festival of Lights: Cancelled for 2020. Drive-through Holiday Light Display at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. Admission: $5 per Car/Mini Van $10 per Shuttle Bus/Passenger Van. Every Friday and Saturday night see Santa & Mrs. Claus. Sunday – Thursday 5:30pm to 9pm and Friday & Saturday 5:30pm to 10pm. Fairfield County Fairgrounds, 157 E. Fair Avenue, Lancaster, Ohio. See updates on Facebook.
Kings Island Winterfest: Cancelled for 2020 Kings Island Winterfest features all of the sounds, traditions, and activities of the Christmas season, plus the fun of Kinds Island.
Lights at the Brickyard: Cancelled for 2020 Feature dozens of colorful displays totaling more than three million bright lights on a 2-mile course through the IMS infield and historic oval, including the front stretch and world-famous “Yard of Bricks” start-finish line. The standard lane entrance is Gate 2, off of 16th St. $25 Mon.-Wed., $30 Thurs.-Sun., or purchase a Speedy Pass for quickest access to the course to skip the longer lines and arrive through a special entry near the IMS golf course. Speedy Pass for 1-15 passengers are $40 online or $50-$60 at the gate.
Holiday Train Display + 1950s House Decorated for the Holidays at Ohio History Center: tba for 2020
It’s Christmas, 1950s-style, in the real, fully furnished Lustron home! Drop by the exhibit 1950s: Building the American Dream November 20 through January 5 to see how Dotty and Bob have decorated, and check out what Santa’s brought Jimmy: an operating 1950s-style model train table, courtesy of Central Ohio Model Railroad Club!
Enjoy special holiday hours for School’s Out, Museum’s Open! Thurs., Dec. 26, 2019–Sun., Jan. 5, 2020, when the Ohio History Center is open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Regular admission applies.
Old Time Christmas at the Orange Johnson House: tba for 2020 from 2-5 pm. Enjoy federal-style tradition, light refreshments, and musical performances in the sitting room. Free admission with food donation to the Worthington Resource Pantry
tba for 2020, Noon to 6 pm. A self-driving tour along the Capital City Wine Trail in Central Ohio.At each participating winery, you will receive complimentary appetizers and samples of wines. At a designated winery you will receive a Christmas stocking cork cage to stuff with wine corks. You have 6 days (Fridays and Saturdays) to visit all the participating wineries. Tickets are limited and $50 per couple. Pick a location to start at, and stop at the wineries on the trail anytime during the designated weekends.
Elf on the Shelf with Prairie Township Community Center: cancelled 2020. Find Elf on the Shelf dolls at local business and receive a signature for finding them. Once completed, turn in sheets to the Community Center for a chance to win a new bicycle.
Echoes in Time Theatre: Twas the Night Before Christmas at Ohio History Center: tba for 2020. Learn more about the famous poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, from his inspirations to the world in which the poem was written. On Dec. 7, listen in as the author himself, portrayed by Ron St. Pierre, tells us more about this classic holiday poem. Echoes in Time Theatre lasts about 30-45 minutes and includes a post-performance Q&A.
Ohio Statehouse Holiday Choir Performances are cancelled for 2020
Huntington Holiday Train at the Main Library: TBA for 2020. This fixture of the downtown holiday scene has delighted people of all ages since 1992 with its trains, tracks, tunnels, bridges and replicas of historic German homes and castles. See the Huntington Holiday Train display Nov. 18 through Jan. 2 during Main Library’s regular hours. Free one-hour parking in the library garage. Check hours and holiday closures here.
Santa Train at Nelsonville Depot: Cancelled for 2020 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: $18, Child: $14, Senior: $16. Check out other Christmas Train Rides and Polar Express Rides!
Holiday Tours at the John and Annie Glenn Museum: Closed for 2020. 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.