There are so many events to enjoy the Christmas and Holiday season in Columbus, including family activities, date ideas, community tree lightings, and more.
More details can be found through the links, or on the individual event websites. Mark your calendars so you don’t miss out.
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 emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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See our list of roundups for holiday events at the links below!
- Subscribe to Columbus on the Cheap's email list
- Free and cheap events this weekend in Columbus
- Your Guide to Christmas and Holiday Events in Columbus
- Over 40 Holiday Art and Craft Festivals
- Turkey Trots and Holiday Races
- Christmas Tree Farms and Lots in Columbus
- Christmas Theater and Concerts in Columbus
- Photos with Santa
- Locations of Mailboxes for Letters to Santa
- Community Tree Lightings and Holiday Celebrations in Columbus
- Holiday Train Rides in Ohio: Santa Trains and Polar Express
- Free and Cheap Activities for Winter Break in Columbus
- Columbus Happy Hours
Check out the ongoing activities, and scroll down for day-to-day holiday fun in Columbus!
Ongoing Holiday events through the Season
Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023 Don’t miss the Columbus Zoo Christmas lights featuring Columbus Zoo Christmas lights and festivities featuring displays of millions of LED lights and holiday sights and sounds. Regular admission applies, except for free nights listed below. Members get free admission. Parking is $10/car for non-members.
November 17 is Member Preview Night from 5 – 9 p.m.
The crowds are much smaller after Christmas, so it’s a great time to visit!
Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village
Sat., Dec. 3, 10 & 17, 2022 • 5:30–9:30 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 4, 11 & 18, 2022 • 1–5 p.m.
Ohio Village celebrates a Victorian Christmas with Dickens of a Christmas, inspired by the stories of Charles Dickens.
Wander the Village and visit with characters from Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and the residents of Ohio Village. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, hands-on crafts, decorations, caroling, readings by candlelight, and many more Victorian holiday traditions.
Join the villagers in music, dancing, and activities of the era.
Advanced registration required, see more details here.
BalletMet The Nutcracker
BalletMet The Nutcracker is a favorite holiday tradition in Columbus and will be performed at the historic Ohio Theatre from December 8-24, 2022.
Ticket prices range from $38.70 to $112.20 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.) and online at ticketmaster.com.
Easton Holiday Carriage Rides
Weekends from November 19 – December 23, 2022 on select evenings at Easton Town Center. Admission is $10, children under 15 ride free with paying adult.
Shadowbox Live Holiday Season
Shadowbox Live Holiday Hoopla
November 17 – December 23, 2022
(Slightly) raunchy Christmas Fun and Rock and Roll mixes sketch comedy with seasonal music. Shadowbox Live’s® longest running show, Holiday Hoopla has been entertaining audiences for a quarter of a century and has become a Columbus holiday tradition. Tickets for tables range from $45-$270 per table, depending on table selection and date/time. Tables are selling out FAST, so book yours now!
Shadowbox Live Not So Silent Night
November 27 – December 18, 2022
Not So Silent Night follows the story of a DJ taking requests and dedications on Christmas Eve, leading to a sweet, fun and song-filled holiday night. Tickets for tables range from $40-$240
Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights
November 18 – January 1, 2023. Huge light display at Alum Creek, plus Santa’s House. $20-$30 per car. The Drive-Thru Light Show features 3 miles of magical twinkling light displays that will amaze all ages from the comfort of your vehicle.
Military Appreciation Nights: December 26-30, 2022
Active Duty and Spouses – FREE, Veterans – $10. *Please provide proper military ID*
Huntington Holiday Train at the Main Library
November 21 through January 8, 2023 during regular library hours. 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. Free one-hour parking in the library garage.
Check out Christmas Train Rides and Polar Express Rides!
Book your Polar Express, Santa Trains, and Christmas Train Rides in Ohio
Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory
November 19, 2022 – January 8, 2023. Admission is $12 – $25. Members pay reduced admission. Holiday displays and activities at the Franklin Park Conservatory, including live entertainment, gingerbread contest, and more.
Gifts of the Craftsmen Sale at Ohio Craft Museum
Ohio-made gifts for sale through December 23, plus workshops, and take and make kits.
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 for grand prize entry.
Ohio Statehouse Holiday Choir Performances
Get into the holiday spirit with FREE lunchtime holiday choir performances on weekdays by Ohio musical groups in the Museum Gallery at the Ohio Statehouse. The concerts are open to the public and will begin at noon on weekdays, from December 6-20, 2022.
Columbus Christmas Lights
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.
Columbus Commons Holiday Lights
November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023 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.
Flying Horse Farms “Light Up Camp” drive-through event
Flying Horse Farms in Mt. Gilead will “flip the switch” on “Light Up Camp” on November 25, and will be open every Friday and Saturday through December 23. The half-mile drive through the property will feature festively decorated camp buildings and showcase a 12-minute animated light show at the center of camp. All visitors must remain in their cars for the entire event.
The light display will include more than 8,000 individual bulbs and more than 3 miles of lights. The event is free, but donations are highly appreciated and suggested. Donations are used for camps and programming to allow children with severe medical conditions to enjoy a camp experience. 5260 OH-95, Mt Gilead, OH 43338
The Lucy Depp Park Light Show
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!
Lights at the Scioto Mile
From November 23 through January 2, 2023, 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.
Segaway Holiday Lights Tour
December 1 – December 24, 2022, 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.
State Auto Christmas Display and Life-Sized Nativity
December 7 through January 1, 2023. 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.
Out-of-town Christmas Experiences!
WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio at Hartford Fairgrounds
November 11, 2022 – January 1, 2023 from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm (11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays). Open rain, shine, or snow. Hartford Fairgrounds, 14028 Fairgrounds Road, Hartford, OH 43013
Come 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. Admission is $30/vehicle up to 7 passengers. Children age 3 & under are FREE! Larger vehicle options available as well.
Marmon Valley Farm Country Christmas
December 2, 3, 9, 10, and 11, 2022. 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. $13 in advance, $16 at the door.
Christmas Ranch in Morrow, Ohio
Friday, November 19 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 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.
Admission is $20 per carload or $30 per oversized van (10+ visitors) Free parking! Tickets must be purchased online at thechristmasranch.com for a date and an approximate time frame for your arrival. All purchases at the attraction must be made via credit card.
Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill
November 25 – December 30, 2022 from 5 – 9 p.m. (lights turn on at 6 p.m.) On Christmas Eve and Christmas they close at 8 pm. Enjoy 4 million lights, outdoor miniature village, Santa Claus Museum, and nostalgic Toy Collection.
You can’t visit Santa, but you can peek into Santa’s Workshop to see Santa at work until December 23. Every 15 minutes or so, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh. Food is available for purchase except on Christmas.
Monday through Wednesday admission is $10 per person for everyone age 4 and older. Thursday through Sunday admission is $15. Children 3 and under always get in free!
Food and drink for sale. Saturday is the most crowded night; the attraction is less crowded on weekdays. Located near Yellow Springs, 40 miles SW of Columbus.
Christmas at Kingwood Center
November 26, 2022 through December 30, 2022, 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 limits. Walkup available only if space permits. $8 Non Member, Free for 12 & under, Free for Kingwood Members
Christmas at the Castle, a Kingdom of Lights at Landoll’s Mohican Castle
November 25 – December 24, 2022. 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.
Landoll’s Mohican Castle, 561 Township Road 3352, Loudonville, Ohio 44842
Kings Island Winterfest
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday from November 25-December 12, and daily from December 17-31, 2022 Kings Island Winterfest features all of the sounds, traditions, and activities of the Christmas season, plus the fun of Kings Island.
Need to shop? Our gift guides are here to help!
- Holiday Gift Card Bonus Offers
- Buy Local: Columbus Gift Guide
- Kitchen Gift Guide
- White Elephant Gift ideas
- Stocking Stuffer ideas
- Gifts for mail carrier and delivery drivers
- Teacher Gift and Hostess Gift Ideas
Day-by-Day Christmas events in Columbus Ohio!
Check back – the list below will updates each day through the season!
Friday, March 31, 2023
$5 Holiday Classics Film Series at Marcus Theatres
Catch your favorite Holiday classics on the big screen at Marcus Theatres TBA for 2022
Skate Zone 71
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. 4900 Evanswood Dr, Columbus, 43229
United Skates of America
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. 3362 Refugee Rd, Columbus, 43232