Christmas around Columbus is such a magical time of year and you can find something festive to do on almost any given day! I thought I’d compile a list of our bucket list favorites that we try to do every year and provide a fun place to visit that is about an hour away from Columbus. The best part, some of the events start in November!
November 15- January 1, 2020 Butch Bandos Fantasy of Lights: Drive Thru Light Display
This beautiful drive thru list display runs nightly. Ticket price is by the car and tickets benefit A Kid Again and Recreation Unlimited. The displays are breath taking and some of the neatest and most creative displays we have seen. We love to take the boys in their pjams and stop for hot chocolate on the way. That way they are all cozy and ready to see the lights!
November 20, 2019 Main Library Holiday Open House 6:00-8:00 pm
The Main Library at 96 S. Grant Ave will kick off the holiday season with sing-along carols, the Huntington Holiday Train, live reindeer in Topiary Park, a visit from a very special guest, and live music and refreshments. The fun is free for the whole family and a must see. We had a blast last year and the boys are looking forward to going back. Their favorite was seeing the train display and live reindeer.
November 22, 2019 Easton Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Santa’s Arrival
Starting at 6:30 pm Pre-Parade entertainment starts followed by a festive parade. The parade is full of characters, giant balloons, and completed with the arrival of Santa. Upon completion of the parade Santa and his helpers light up Easton into a magical and beautiful Christmas wonderland. The night also kicks off photos with Santa and carriage rides around Easton. You can also enjoy special discounts from restaurants and retailers as well as listen to carolers and musicians throughout. The Holiday Lighting Ceremony is our families way of officially starting the Christmas season as a family.
November 22- December 24, 2019 Easton Photos With Santa
The best Santa around can be found at Easton. This Santa was the first one that my boys were not scared to visit and always enjoy paying him a visit. He is kind, caring, and really takes his time with the kids. The set up for Santa at Easton is beautiful and cozy. It provides a space where the children do not feel overwhelmed. An added bonus is you can reserve your spot online to take photos with him, and you are allowed to use your own camera! No more waiting in long lines with wiggly children. Schedule your time and check in upon arrival. You can make your Santa reservation here.
November 30, 2019 9:00-12:00 Home Depot Kids Workshop Stocking Ornament
The Home Depot Kids Workshop is a monthly workshop that offers a free hands on build for kids. My boys look forward to this each month and especially enjoy making the Christmas builds. To sign up for a build close to you and to see when other builds take place head here.
December 7, 2019 Gahanna Holiday Character Breakfast
A fun and delicious all you can eat pancake breakfast, hands on crafts, holiday characters, stories with the Gahanna branch of the Columbus Metropolitan library, and a live performance by Gahanna Lincoln High School Performing Arts Department. Plus a visit with Santa! The event is $12-$15 for adults, $10-$12 for ages 4-11, and $5 for under 4 when purchased in advance.
December 7, 2019 Pataskala Main Street Cookie Walk and Parade
At 3:00 grab your bag with a $10.00 donation and walk around Pataskala filling up your bag with cookies. After your bag is full find a spot for the evening holiday lighted parade. It’s a perfect family day and it really feels like you are in a Hallmark Christmas Movie!
Christmas Outside of Columbus: The Christmas Ranch
About an hours drive from Columbus a magical place full of Christmas cheer is located. The Christmas Ranch is a walk through light display for the whole family. Santa and Mrs. Claus can be visited, a gift shop, a snack shop, train or wagon rides through even more lights, and a huge bonfire are few of the magical activities for the whole family. The cost is $20 for a carload and tickets for the train ride or snacks can be purchased for a minimal cost. It is a fantastic place to take your family and takes place daily (closed Thanksgiving) until Christmas.
Ongoing Christmas Events:
Every year we bundle up and head to the Columbus Zoo to see the beautiful lights strung throughout the zoo. A favorite of the boys is the light show that takes place on the pond at the entrance to the zoo. There is always something new to see at Wildlights every year and we try to attend a couple of times.
From November 22- January 5, 2020 Columbus Commons will be light up with more than 400,000 lights! Friday December 6, 13, 20, 2019 experience the lights with a little extra holiday cheer. Enjoy free hot chocolate and carousel rides and listen to roaming musicians playing holiday music as you take in all the lights.
The Family Gingerbread House Decorating Session is a 45 minute session complete with all of the fixings and holiday cheer. You are provided a pre-built house, royal frosting, unlimited visits to the candy station, holiday music and cheer, base for the house, hot chocolate, and a box to safely bring your house home. You can read all about our family’s experience and how to register here.
For even more ideas of Christmas in Columbus activities visit these sites below!