21 Essential Columbus Holiday Events You Should Mark on Your Calendar
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time to break out the holiday decorations and start planning out your itinerary. This time of year, Columbus is bursting with festive events all perfect for getting you and your family into the holiday spirit!
We’ve rounded up 21-holiday events in Columbus that we are most looking forward to this year! From watching breathtaking ballerinas perform to viewing awe-inspiring light displays — we’re sure you’ll find something to be jolly about this holiday season!
Called the “granddaddy of all holiday shows”, this hilarious holiday performance mixes sketch comedy with seasonal music and features the send-up The Santa Babies. This is Shadowbox Live’s longest running show and has been entertaining audiences for a quarter of a century! You don’t want to miss it!
When: November 16 – January 6, Sunday – Thursday 5-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5-10 p.m.
This is an event you won’t want to miss out on! This family tradition is continuing for its 30th year — come out and see beautiful light displays along with your favorite animals. There will also be animated light shows, a visit from Rudolph and his friends, the Polar Bear Express, Camel Rides and more!
Have a unique photo taken in the decorated parlor of the Hanby House! Wear your own festive clothing, or use the Civil War era costumes provided. It will be perfect for your holiday card or just for fun!
The biggest and brightest holiday show at the Franklin Park Conservatory returns again! Artfully placed light installations highlight the lush horticulture displays within the interior biomes and courtyards. The Paul Busse model railway, hand blown glass ornament trees and poinsettia trees provide the perfect backdrop for photo opportunities. They will also be offering adult libations and seasonal food to help get you in the holiday spirit!
This celebrated Charles Jones adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, brought to you by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, features thrilling ensemble music, beautiful new arrangements and moving renditions of holiday songs that people of all ages will enjoy!
When: November 23 – December 31, Everyday 5-9 p.m. Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve 5-8 p.m.
Featured in Midwest Living and Ohio Magazine, The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill is one of the finest light displays in the country! With over 3.5 million lights illuminating the mill, gorge, riverbanks, trees and bridges it truly is a legendary sight! There is even a 100-foot “waterfall” of twinkling lights. Don’t miss this incredible sight!
See the Ohio State Fairgrounds in a whole new light this year! With over 40 larger-than-life handmade lanterns covered with hand painted silk, you’ll be able to witness a light show created by more than 20,000 twinkling LED lights! It’s a display unlike any other!
Enjoy a festive evening with family and friends while shopping and dining in historic Old Worthington! Local retailers will be open late and offering specials on their products. Plan to make this long-standing tradition a part of your 2018 holiday schedule!
A great annual tradition continues as Ronald J. Jenkins leads the Columbus Symphony and Chorus in some of the season’s most-loved holiday songs and carols. Rumor has it that Santa will also be making an appearance!
When: November 30 – December 2, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Get your holiday shopping done early this year! Browse the holiday artists’ market and find unique handcrafted items. Artists from across the nation will be showcasing their traditional and contemporary crafts including ceramics, woods, glass, painting and more!
When: November 30 – December 30, Everyday except for Christmas Eve and Christmas at 5:30 p.m.
This adult holiday event is perfect for those who want to see all of the beautiful Columbus light displays in one night! Start off at Westies Tavern for a check in and enjoy a small appetizer, then get whisked off on a four-hour tour that includes stops like the Columbus Zoo Wildlights, towns such as Dublin and Upper Arlington, a drive through downtown Columbus and more! Tickets are required.
WinterFest is a celebration of giving featuring local and national musical acts, seasonal ales from hometown breweries and favorite dishes from Columbus food trucks! Artist Rayland Baxter will be headlining the event! Volunteers will be selling hand-crafted bowls as part of the Empty Bowls initiative which supports the Mid-Ohio Foodbank!
Learn how to create a festive wreath, perfect for your front door throughout the holiday season. A varied selection of greenery, cones, berries and other plant material will be available for you to make your unique holiday decoration! Registration is required.
Visit the historic streets of German Village to discover a world of lights and holiday magic! Follow luminaries from shop to shop and start checking off your holiday gift list. Businesses will be open late with holiday specials. At StriezelMarkt on the Platz, you’ll find vendors, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, ice carvings, live music and more! Plus, the holiday lights display will be breathtaking!
The Piano Guys became an internet sensation in 2011 by way of their immensely successful series of original music videos, featuring a blend of classical and pop music. On December 6, The Piano Guys will be playing select songs from their 2017 album “Christmas Together” at the Palace Theatre. It’s sure to be a wonderful time for the whole family!
BalletMet’s Nutcracker is the perfect way to take a break from the hectic holiday season. Gorgeous costumes and sets, along with magnificent dancing will make this performance one you won’t soon forget!
Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with Columbus City Aventures, as you take a two-hour bus tour through Columbus to see all of the fantastic light displays! Stops include the Grand Illumination along the Scioto Mile, the Festival Lights at Columbus Commons and a special stop to stroll through Christmas Corner!
This kid-friendly holiday event features a horse-drawn carriage ride, live music, refreshments, beautiful lights and the opportunity to get your photo taken with Santa from the 1800’s! This historical take on Christmas will provide your family with endless fun and memories!
Come out and see John Legend live in concert where he’ll perform classic holiday songs such as “Silver Bells”, “Christmas Time is Here” and “By Christmas Eve” from his new album “A Legendary Christmas”.
Did we miss your favorite Columbus holiday event? Let us know in the comments!