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 emailing email@example.com.
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 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022 Don’t miss the Columbus Zoo Christmas lights for 2021 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 18 is Member Preview Night from 5 – 9 p.m.
- December 3 is Stuff a Truck Food Drive – bring 6 cans of food per guest for free admission and parking
- December 26 – January 2: First Responder and Public Safety Appreciation Days and Healthcare Professionals Appreciation Days
The crowds are much smaller after Christmas, so it’s a great time to visit!
Saturdays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 & 18, 2021 • 5:30-9 p.m.
Sundays, Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12 &19 , 2021 • Noon-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 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 10-16, 2021
Location: All events are online at balletmet.org
Weekends from November 20 – December 19, 2021 in the evenings at Easton Town Center. Admission is $10, children under 15 ride free with paying adult.
Shadowbox Live Holiday Hoopla
November 18 – December 23, 2021
(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 28 – December 19, 2021
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
November 19 – January 2, 2022. 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.
November 22 through January 8, 2022 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.
November 20, 2021 – January 9, 2022. Admission is $12 – $22. Members pay reduced admission. Holiday displays and activities at the Franklin Park Conservatory, including live entertainment, gingerbread contest, and more.
Ohio-made gifts for sale through December 23, plus 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 December 3-16, 2021.
December 1 – December 23, 2021. 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.
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 6-21, 2021.
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 19 – January 2 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 25 – 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.
Day after 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.
Flying Horse Farms in Mt. Gilead will “flip the switch” on “Light Up Camp” on Thanksgiving, November 25, and will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening through Sunday, December 26, including Christmas Eve and Christmas. 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
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 24 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.
December 1 – December 23, 2021, 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.
December 1 through January 2, 2022. 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.
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
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
Take a drive for these out-of-town Christmas Experiences!
November 12, 2021 – January 9, 2021 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 $7.00 per person. Children age 3 & under are FREE! Get a Carload Special for up to 7 passengers for only $30. Weekend pricing, $30 per car (up to 7 passengers).
November 15, 2021 to January 9, 2022 Let the Magical Lights of Winter take you on a dazzling drive-thru Christmas Lights show. The new show will feature over 2 miles of synchronized Christmas lights dancing to music for everyone to enjoy.
Purchase tickets online in advance. $20 per car Monday – Thursdays and non peak nights. $30 per car Friday – Sunday and peak nights.
December 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12. 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. $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Starts November 25, 2021. Drive-through Holiday Light Display at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. Admission: $10 per Car/Mini Van $15 per Shuttle Bus/Passenger Van. Every Friday and Saturday night see Santa & Mrs. Claus. Sunday – Thursday 5pm to 9pm and Friday & Saturday 5pm to 10pm. Fairfield County Fairgrounds, 157 E. Fair Avenue, Lancaster, Ohio. See updates on Facebook.
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.
November 26 – December 30, 2021 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.
Cost is $10 ages 4 and older; under 3 are 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.
November 26, 2021 through January 2, 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. Admission is $5, ages 12 and under free.
Christmas at the Castle, a Kingdom of Lights at Landoll’s Mohican Castle
November 26 – December 31, 2021. 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
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday from November 26-December 12, and daily from December 17-31, 2021 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!
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