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Family hiking on wooded path in the fall

Thanksgiving Activities That Don’t Involve Food

Food-Free Family Fun for Thanksgiving Weekend around Columbus

Thanksgiving Day kicks off four days of family feasting — but not just on food! Load up on family fun all weekend long. Here’s a start on all kinds of activities in Central Ohio over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Fill up on as many as possible!

Lights, Lights, and More Lights

Thanksgiving Weekend kicks off the holiday light season, and there’s a glorious array of colorful displays to take in:

Get a Taste of Culture

More lights, but with a twist! The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival at the Natural Resources Park at the Ohio State Expo Center includes lighted displays created by Chinese artists, handicrafts and nightly performances.

Walk or Run Your Meal Off

Feast on a buffet of fun runs to let everyone get a healthy helping of fitness — before AND after feasting on turkey:

Get Creative

Let your artistic side loose! Make a stop at Open Studio at the Columbus Museum of Art’s JPMorgan Chase Center for Creativity Studio. Dabble in exploring ideas and solving creative challenges with friends and family.

Get Back to Nature

Learn about animals of Ohio at Ohio History Center’s Thanksgiving Family Friday. See birds of prey, snakes and wolves up close and learn about their lives and habitats. Want to scout out some of nature’s best yourself? Take in a morning Bird Walk at Emily Traphagen Park.

Early start on Christmas

  • Ohio Theatre will be having a live performance of “A Christmas Carol” running from Nov 24-26th.
  • Holiday Fun at Kleerview Farm (just south of Mansfield, OH). Bring the kids out to see Santa’s Barnyard express and pick up a Christmas tree for the holiday season!


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