The Best Of Christmas In Columbus

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year.  Fresh snow falls, warm sweaters, the smell of fresh baked goods, and hot chocolate, beautiful light displays, and fun events for the whole family.  Enjoy this guide that I put together for all of us to use as we plan out our holiday schedules.  Make sure you scroll down to the end of the post for a special category of events, that you don't want to miss. BONUS: FREE printable for you so you can easily print this off as your go to resource this holiday season.  

Check back often as I add events as they come up! I will also share on Facebook and Instagram so make sure you're following 614 Mom on social media. 

City Festivals and Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Ohio Statehouse Tree Lighting - Thursday, December 7 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm you can enjoy a holiday festival at the Ohio Statehouse complete with their annual tree lighting as well as carolers, model trains, refreshments, and much more.  We love this event,  it has turned into a family tradition for us. Hope to see you there!

Easton Tree Lighting - On November 17th at 6:30 join Easton Town Center and Santa as they kick off the holiday season.  Of course, there will always be special surprises and you can even receive special offers that evening. 

Hilliard Holiday Hop & Tree Lighting - December 3rd from 5-7:30 you can enjoy some extra holiday cheer at Hilliard’s Station Park.  Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, face painting, hot chocolate, live reindeer, letters to Santa, ice sculpting, horse and carriage rides, and so much more.  

Gahanna Holiday Lights Celebration - November 19th from 2-7.  Enjoy exhibits, food, lights, and more as they count down to the annual lighting of the Gahanna community tree.  

Holidays in Powell - Saturday, December 2nd from 2-5:30 head to downtown Powell as it turns into the North Pole for the day. The day is filled with so much fun including story times, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse drawn carriages and more.  The evening will end when Santa, Mrs. Claus, illuminate the city’s Christmas tree.

Upper Arlington Winter Festival and Tree Lighting - December 1 from 6 pm - 8:30 pm. Fun activities all night including, live reindeer, ice sculpting demonstrations, visits with Santa, bonfire with s’mores and so much more. Located at Mallway Park.  


Light Displays


Gardens Aglow at The Franklin Park Conservatory - Enjoy a beautiful light display, a gingerbread competition, and a Paul Busse model garden railroad as well as an array of family activities and special entertainment. November 18, 2017 - January 3, 2018.

 The Wildlights at The Columbus Zoo - One of the most popular events in Central Ohio returns this year on November 17th and stays until January 1,2017.  Hours are 5-9 Sundays - Thursdays and 5-10 Fridays and Saturdays.  Enjoy a beautiful light display, Holiday Skate Rink, Lil’ Tots Tubing Hill, Santaland Zoo, Christmas Character Show, and so much more! Included with your membership or you can purchase tickets online

Fantasy Of Lights - Stay warm and cozy in your car with your family as you drive through this light show.  Starting November 17, 2017 - January 1, 2018. Sunday - Thursday 5:30 pm-9:30 pm and $20 per car, Fridays and Saturdays 5:30 pm-10:30 pm $30 per car.  Visit Santa’s house on your route, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.  Please note: credit cards make the lines longer so please take cash, also if you have an RV or larger vehicle please check the website for pricing.  Address: 3311 South Old State Road Delaware, OH 43015

Columbus Commons - This light display is sure to be a hit for everyone in your family, with more than 320,000 LED lights displayed in the park, a beautiful Christmas tree, and lots of space for your little ones to run around. This is a favorite in our home and a Christmas day tradition for us.  You can see the lights starting November 17, 2017 until January 2, 2018.  

Grand Illumination at The Scioto Mile - December 2nd from 11 am - 4 pm head down to the Scioto Mile for the Grand Illumination. Special appearances by Santa, and activities provided by The Columbus Blue Jackets, Bob Evans, and more.  Can’t make it on the 2nd? Don’t worry - the lights will be up all season long. 


Theater Events


BalletMet presents the Nutcracker at The Ohio Theatre this year from December 8 -December 24 with a wide variety of show times.  Visit their site  to find showtimes and purchase tickets.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker comes to the Palace Theatre on December 5. I have not attended this in the past but it looks amazing, and the rave reviews make me confident that it's a must see performance. 

A Christmas Carol, will in town at the Ohio Theatre over Thanksgiving day weekend (November 24,25,26) 

The Children's Theatre presents Mr. Scrooge November 24-December 23 with many opportunities to find the perfect time for your family, you will want to make time for this.  The Children's Theatre never disappoints and their holiday shows are always amazing. 



Letters to Santa

Drop off letters to Santa in Santa’s mailbox located at Hilliard Station Park.  Don't forget to include a self addressed and stamped envelope. December 1-15


Photos with Santa

Photos with Santa at Easton,starting November 18-December 24. Your first 5x7 is free and BONUS! you can use your own camera!

Photos with Santa at Tuttle Crossing - starting November 11 until December 24.  You can reserve an appointment with Santa to skip the long lines here

Photos with Santa at Worthington Mall! You guys this is the spot if you want to avoid the crowd. They haven't announced exact dates but I would guess you could expect him the weekend of Thanksgiving until Christmas. Once announced I will post more details. 

Photos with Santa at Polaris Mall - Santa is already at Polaris and has been since November 10! He will be there until Christmas Eve and you can even schedule your visit ahead of time using Santa's Fastpass. 



Special Experiences

Get in the holiday spirit by visiting some homes in the Tartan Field area of Dublin, fully decorated for Christmas! December 2 from 12-5. Buy tickets here.

Discovery District Holiday Trolley Hop is sure to be a great time on December 9 from 1-4. Follow the event here to stay up to date with more information.

PB & Jazz is always a fun event - this winter you can enjoy this fun event inside the Lincoln Theatre on November 18 (10 am & 11:30 am) and December 16, and January 13 from (10 am & 11:30 am). Tickets are $5 per person at the door, max $20 per family. Each child gets a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, juice, and cookie

Grab some hot chocolate and walk around Easton as a family looking at the lights, taking a carriage ride, and some holiday shopping

On December 17th from 11-2 your kiddos can decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus at Franklin Park Conservatory.  There will even be a special appearance from Santa and 2 of his reindeer. Free with admission

Take a ride with Santa thanks to the Hocking Hills Scenic Railroad. It runs on the weekends starting on November 18.

Visit Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village on December 9,10,16 & 17 from 5-9 and December 11-18 from noon to 5 pm.  

Cheer on our local hockey team at Nationwide Arena (Go Blue Jackets)

Ice Skating at The Chiller

Visit the holiday train at the main library

Enjoy some delicious treats at the Ronald McDonald House Bake Sale on November 17- there will be Chili and other lunch items provided by the Madison Township Fire Dept. Pre Order your pumpkin rolls now.  





Eryn Gilson2 Comments