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Mother and child holding hands and looking at holiday lights

Holiday Fun Around Columbus

Hopefully, you’re close to having your holiday shopping finished up, and you’re looking for fun ways to spend this jolly time with family and friends. We’re here to help! With a  list of family-friendly activities to get out of the house and into the festive spirit around central Ohio.

Wildlights at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Now through January 5

A huge attraction and tradition in Central Ohio is Wildlights at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  Stroll through the zoo and take in millions of lights, visit with Santa and his reindeer, too!

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting

December 5 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Get into the holiday spirit at the annual Ohio Statehouse celebration. In addition to the traditional tree lighting ceremony, attendees can participate in an array of family-friendly activities including photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, live music from local bands and choirs, ornament decorating stations, handprint wreath crafting, food from area restaurants and a pin-the-nose-on-Rudolph game.

Gifts of the Craftsmen Holiday Sale

November 3-December 23

Looking for a one-of-a-kind holiday gift? The Ohio Craft Museum’s annual holiday sale features nearly 100 artists from across the country and handcrafted items such as jewelry, pottery, wood cutting boards, puppets, ornaments, greeting cards and more.


December 6-8

Winterfair is another great way to find handmade art. From paintings and photography to ceramics and jewelry, this event features art from hundreds of local and national artists.

First Night Columbus

December 31 | 5:30 p.m.-12 a.m.

Ring in the new year with family-friendly activities at COSI, including fireworks, face painting, a motion simulator, movies, game room, kid-friendly music, creation stations and a holiday lights show.

Holiday Lights Tour

December 5-27

This two hour tour takes you through downtown Columbus to see all of the lights decorated for the holidays. From the Scioto Mile to the Columbus Commons and Christmas Corner, this tour is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

Conservatory Aglow

Now through January 5

See Franklin Park Conservatory decorated for the season. They have holiday decorations, lights and an interactive exhibit that changes based on your movements.

Village Lights

December 8 | 5-9 p.m.

You won’t want to miss the holiday kickoff in German Village! Everything will be lit up and the businesses are staying open late. If you stick around, you might be able to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus!