Columbus Mom Guide to the Month of December

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This guide is full of December events to choose from! In addition to our daily events, be sure to check out our numerous guides listed below to help you decide which activities to attend. There is something for everyone!

Events in December

Month of DecemberThroughout December

The Month of December: Twinkling lights at Metro Parks: Walk under the twinkling lights at Batelle Darby Creek, Blacklick Woods, Highbanks, Homestead and Inniswood. On Sundays, they will also have hot chocolate and consider donating to the food bank!

Month of December: Barbie at COSI: at COSI | Special event until January 7, 2024.

Month of December: 12 Elves of Dublin: Make your way to 12 Historic Dublin spots to find each elf and get your card signed! When your kiddo finds the elf at each stop, they will get a little prize. Collect them all and return your completed card at any participating business before December 23rd to be entered to win the grand prize basket.

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December (until December 23): Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton: Experience the magic of the season from a horse-drawn carriage throughout Easton’s North District. Rides are $10 per adult and children 15 and under are free with an adult. Begins November 18.

December 1-7

December 1-3: Home for the Holidays: Various showtimes at the Southern Theatre | A holiday musical treat featuring Mammie Paris in 2023.

December 1-23: Mr. Scrooge: The Musical: Showing at the Lincoln Theater | Come out and see this show and tradition!

December 1: Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | The holiday season opens in Ohio with the annual holiday Statehouse event. Attend the Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting to kick off the 2022 holiday season.  Historical characters and modern dignitaries will be on hand to greet guests, including Santa himself.

December 1-3: Columbus Winterfair: 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. | Experience artful shopping at Winterfair! Meet the artists who create unique jewelry, glass, paintings, photographs, ceramics and more.

December 1: Olde Village Holiday Gathering: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Old Pickerington | Free family-friendly event featuring lighting the City tree at the Gazebo at 7:00pm. Horse-drawn wagon rides, circulating hop-on/hop-off trolley, ice carving demonstrations, children’s games and activities, cookie decorating for kids, strolling carolers, live reindeer, complimentary popcorn and hot chocolate, shopping, live nativity, and more.

December 1: Festive Fridays at Columbus Commons: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | To sweeten the deal, Fridays in December will be a little extra festive, with free hot chocolate and carousel rides from 5 pm to 9 pm. Plus, you’ll hear the music of the season with musicians roaming around the park while staring at the beautiful lights!

December 1: Upper Arlington Tree Lighting and Winter Festival: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | It’s an evening of ice sculpting, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa and his reindeer, and UA’s tree lighting ceremony.

December 1: Westerville Tree Lighting: 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. in Uptown Westerville | Enjoy a night of holiday fun in uptown Westerville!

December 1-2: Grove City Mistletoe Market: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at Town Center Park, 3359 Park St. | Find unique, creative, one-of-a-kind gift items, decorations, artwork and delicious treats to enjoy or share with others while strolling through the festive market.

December 1-2: Christmas in the Village: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in downtown Canal | Activities will take place on the sidewalks and streets of downtown Canal Winchester as well as inside several business establishments around the city’s municipal office building at 36 S. High Street. Tree Lighting, visit with Santa, Popcorn stations and so much more!

December 1-3: Holiday Pops with the Columbus Symphony: Various Times at The Ohio Theatre | Holiday magic transforms the historic Ohio Theatre, filling it with beautiful decorations, wonderful music, and seasonal cheer! The Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Chorus present the season’s most-loved holiday songs and carols, and you can sing along! With four concerts offered, there is a time for everyone to join in the fun. Take your picture with Santa after the concerts!

December 1-3: Holiday Open House: in Delaware | The 9th annual Main Street Delaware Holiday Open House features Santa, local shop specials, and much more! Different events all weekend long. Tree Lighting is Friday, shops open Saturday, and Sunday is the parade.

December 1-3: Capital University Christmas Festival: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday | Capital University Conservatory of Music will present its annual Christmas Festival with in-person concerts featuring the Chapel Choir, Choral Union, Cantabile, Consort, and a variety of instrumentalists. This festival is a long-standing holiday tradition enjoyed by the university, its friends, and the greater Columbus community.

December 2: Jingle Bell Run Columbus: 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Genoa Park | Registration is open now!

December 2: Deck the Stalls: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Stockhand Horses for Healing | Sign up for your time slot! Admission is $5 per child, 2 years old and under free! There are four, one hour sessions, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. Photo with Santa are $5 (free to active military families). Pony rides (obstacle course) for children are $5. There will be face painting, Christmas bulb decorating and concessions for sale.

December 2: Holiday Trolley Hop: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Discovery District | Hop on and off the trolley for free as you explore around this part of downtown. You can visit the main library, shop, eat and enjoy activities for kids. New this year is a route to the Santa Extravaganza at the Lazarus Building and Common Thread Shops on Third has been added. The route includes a stop at the Museum of Catholic Art & History, with State Auto’s nativity scene now displayed at St Joseph Cathedral at 212 E. Broad St.

December 2: Downtown Lancaster Winterfest: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Free carriage rides, photos with Santa at the Santa House, visit with the businesses, holiday music, and much more! The downtown tree lighting is this night too! 

December 2-3: Letters to Santa at The Ohio Railway Museum: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Come tour the decorated cars, write a letter to Santa Clause, and visit with Mrs. Clause. Continue into the passenger car where the little ones will enjoy crafts, and take a ride down the line in the trolley. Saturdays 5pm to 9 pm and Sundays noon – 4pm. NEW THIS YEAR SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ! Cost is $10. 

December 2: Granville Candlelight Walking Tour: 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Village of Granville | The day will feature activities, events, and performances to enjoy.

December 2: Main Street Christmas Cookie Walk and Lighted Parade: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Downtown Pataskala | Tickets will be sold online this year on Saturday, November 25. Then you will do a walking tour of more than 50 local businesses collecting a cookie from each stop. There are tons of free activities, and entertainment experiences along the way! Parade at 6:00 p.m.

December 2-January 2: Merry on Main: Skating Rink Grand Opening: 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Partners Park in Marysville | Skating is free to residents and visitors of all ages. Skates are provided for free. The rink is 72′ x 40′ with perimeter fencing and outdoor heaters.

December 2: Dublin Holly Days: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Come to Historic Dublin for free family fun, holiday cheer, and live entertainment. Shop, Dine and Be Merry each Saturday in December!

December 2: Holiday Hop: 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. | Stroll the streets in the Short North and look at the decorated window displays, watch street performers, shop at the businesses that stay open later. FREE

December 2: Christmas on the Square in Sunbury: 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Watch a lighted parade at 5:30, participate in festivities such as craft making, visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and much more!

December 2: Christmas Under the Clock: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Plain City | Tree Lighting Ceremony with entertainment at 5:00 p.m. After the tree lighting, activities include craft vendors, wagon rides to photos with Santa, live music, ice sculpting, drawings and prizes.

December 2-3: Grove City Christmas Celebration: 7:00 p.m. in Grove City | The Grove City community is invited to celebrate Christmas in Grove City. The Grove City Christmas Parade is at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2 and the tree lighting follows promptly after the parade.

December 2 The New Albany Nutcracker: Various showtimes at the McCoy Center in New Albany | Get your tickets today! Also showing December 8-10, 2023.

December 2: Holidays in Powell: in Powell | Sign up to Santa when he makes a stop, tree lighting ceremony, carriage rides and ways to shop local this year!

December 2-3: Dickens of a Christmas: Select your time! | Bring your family to our 19th century holiday celebration and see Charles Dickens’ festive vision of Christmas come to life. Meet and interact with Ohio Village residents to learn how they celebrate the holiday season. Have some chance encounters with holiday characters including Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge, Krampus and others. Enjoy music and dance of the period and partake in various activities in the village buildings, and look for gift ideas in our local artisan market!

December 3: Community Day at Franklin Park Conservatory | Must register! Free with Columbus or Franklin County ID.

December 3-7: Christmas in the park in Upper Arlington: 12:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Must preregister for this amazing personalized visit with Santa!

December 3: Rudolph Run 5k: 2:00 p.m. in Westerville | Family-friendly way to be active together as you run in Uptown Westerville! Kids are encouraged.

December 3: Holiday Hop in Hilliard and Tree Lighting: 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Hilliard | Visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves; holiday train rides, live reindeer, ice carving, petting zoo and so much more! Tree lighting at 6:15 p.m.

tree lightingsDecember 3: German Village Lights: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Visit the historic streets of German Village to discover a world of lights and holiday magic. Follow the luminaries from shop to shop as you begin checking off your holiday gift list!

December 5: Holiday Tree Lighting and Festivities in Grandview: 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Enjoy carol singing sung by the Grandview Heights High School singers, refreshments and annual tree lighting. The iceless ice rink opens at 3:00 p.m.

December 6: Wildlife Story Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | Story time returns! 1st Wednesday of the month. Cost is $5 and preregistration is required.

December 6: Illuminated Shopping in Old Worthington: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Enjoy the start to your holiday shopping in Old Worthington!

December 7: Hip Hop Nutcracker: 8:00 p.m. at The Palace Theatre | A holiday mashup for the entire family to enjoy!

December 7-23: The Nutcracker: Various showtimes at The Ohio Theater | Get your tickets today for this holiday tradition!

December 8-15

December 8: Festive Fridays at Columbus Commons: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | To sweeten the deal, Fridays in December will be a little extra festive, with free hot chocolate and carousel rides from 5 pm to 9 pm. Plus, you’ll hear the music of the season with musicians roaming around the park while staring at the beautiful lights!

December 8: Holiday Party: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at The Worthington Community Center |  Bring your family to the Community Center for a family dance party, crafts, games, and a visit from Santa! See page 31 for details.

December 8: Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Performance: 8:00 p.m. at the Palace Theater | Many special guests!

December 8-9: Winter Wonderland Walks at The Dawes Arboretum: 1-mile walk will highlight all of nature’s splendor this time of year with the bonus of having beautiful lights filling the trees!

December 8-10: The New Albany Nutcracker: Various showtimes at the McCoy Center in New Albany | Get your tickets today!

December 8-10: Every Christmas Story Ever Told at The Wigwam: Put on by Pickerington Community Theater!

December 9: Indoor Worthington Farmers’ Market: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | The outdoor market continues through December!

December 9: Historic Dublin Holly Days: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Groovin’ with the Grinch at Bri-Hi Square – Meet and greet with the Grinch and Cindy Lou and learn some Grinchy dance moves! Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas music, photo ops, and more!

December 9: Swim with Santa: 11:30 a.m. | Take a dip in the pool with Santa in Gahanna!

December 9-10: Letters to Santa at The Ohio Railway Museum: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Come tour the decorated cars, write a letter to Santa Clause, and visit with Mrs. Clause. Continue into the passenger car where the little ones will enjoy crafts, and take a ride down the line in the trolley. Saturdays 5pm to 9 pm and Sundays noon – 4pm. NEW THIS YEAR SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ! Cost is $10.

December 9: Dublin Holly Days: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Come to Historic Dublin for free family fun, holiday cheer, and live entertainment. Shop -Dine and Be Merry each Saturday in December!

December 9: Ugly Sweater Crawl: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Things are about to get ugly at the annual Ugly Sweater Crawl on Saturday, December 10th from 6-9 PM! Throw on a festive sweater, enjoy Santa-approved drink specials, and cozy up at your favorite local bars and restaurants in Bridge Park and Historic Dublin.

December 9-10: Dickens of a Christmas: Select your time! | Bring your family to our 19th century holiday celebration and see Charles Dickens’ festive vision of Christmas come to life. Meet and interact with Ohio Village residents to learn how they celebrate the holiday season. Have some chance encounters with holiday characters including Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge, Krampus and others. Enjoy music and dance of the period and partake in various activities in the village buildings, and look for gift ideas in our local artisan market!

December 9-10: Elf In Concert: 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theater | This holiday season relive this heartwarming holiday classic on a giant screen as every note of John Debney’s wonderful score is played live to picture in: Elf in Concert!

December 9-10: Ebony Nutcracker: Showing at the Lincoln Theater!

December 10: Holiday Market in Dublin: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Shop your favorite local holiday vendors during this festive market.

December 10-11: Luminary Walks at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park: Visit Chestnut Ridge Park for a twinkling night walk! Guided walk starts at 5.

December 11: Hanukkah Celebration: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Franklin Park Conservatory | The evening festivities will include a public lighting of the menorah at 7:00 pm. The rest of the activities will be available during the duration of the event, 5-7pm.

December 14: COSI After Dark: 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at COSI | Grab your friends and start your weekend early with COSI After Dark, an evening event series exclusively for adults ages 21+.Wizard School- Yule Ball!

December 14-23: The Christmas Carol: Get ready for the magic of the holiday season like never before with a unique retelling of the classic holiday tale “A Christmas Carol.” This one-woman show brings the story to life in a virtuosic performance that will leave you spellbound.

December 14: Elf Trail in the Short North: Kids 12 and under can look for elves on the shelves of participating businesses. Then they can turn their Elf Trail card in to receive a free hot drink at Northstar Cafe or Roaming Goat Coffee. Through December 31.

December 15: Think Outside the Brick: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Come to the Columbus Museum of Art to participate in a museum wide scavenger hunt, a LEGO brick building zone and more!

December 15: Hot Cocoa and Twinkling Lights at Highbanks Nature Center: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Visit the nature center at Highbanks Metro Park for hot cocoa, activities, and  holiday themed scavenger hunt. Take a 1/4 mile hike through the twinkling lights around the nature center.

December 15: Campfire and Hot Cocoa at Blacklick Woods: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Take a half mile hike on the buttonbush Trail under twinkling lights! Stop by for hot cocoa and campfire too!

December 15: Uptown Westerville Ice Sculpture Tour: Visit Uptown Westerville to see over 30 holiday themed ice sculptures at 5:00 p.m. until they melt!

December 15: Dinner with Santa at Chik Fila: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | DInner with Santa in Hilliard!

December 15: Festive Fridays at Columbus Commons: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | To sweeten the deal, Fridays in December will be a little extra festive, with free hot chocolate and carousel rides from 5 pm to 9 pm. Plus, you’ll hear the music of the season with musicians roaming around the park while staring at the beautiful lights!

December 15: An Evening at the North Pole: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at The Westerville Community Center | Santa’s elves will serve a light meal with a special dessert and beverages. Santa will share great stories from the North Pole! Holiday crafts and a sing-a-long will get everyone in the holiday spirit! See page 31 for details.

December 15: Grinch and Friends SKate Party at SKate Zone 71: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Skate with the Grinch and his freinds! Wear your holiday gear for a free glow stick!

December 15: Jim Brickman: A Joyful Christmas: 7:30 p.m. at The Southern Theater | A heartwarming evening of music and laughter fill the air with the sounds of yuletide carols, holiday classics and all of Brickman’s biggest hits.

December 16-23

December 16: Indoor Worthington Farmers’ Market: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | The market heads back to the Shops at Worthington Mall.

December 16: Santa Parade in Minvera Park: 9:00 a.m. | Enjoy a Santa Pararde through neighorhoods of Clinton Township.

December 16-17: Dickens of a Christmas: Select your time! | Bring your family to our 19th century holiday celebration and see Charles Dickens’ festive vision of Christmas come to life. Meet and interact with Ohio Village residents to learn how they celebrate the holiday season. Have some chance encounters with holiday characters including Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge, Krampus and others. Enjoy music and dance of the period and partake in various activities in the village buildings, and look for gift ideas in our local artisan market!

December 16: Holiday Celebration at North Market Downtown: 11:00 .m. – 2:00 p.m. | DJ, face painting, selfies with Santa, and of course shopping and food!

December 16-17 : Letters to Santa at The Ohio Railway Museum: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Come tour the decorated cars, write a letter to Santa Clause, and visit with Mrs. Clause. Continue into the passenger car where the little ones will enjoy crafts, and take a ride down the line in the trolley. Saturdays 5pm to 9 pm and Sundays noon – 4pm. NEW THIS YEAR SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ! Cost is $10.

December 16-17: Christmas on the Farm: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Prices vary based on activities. Options include: visit with Santa, pony rides, petting zoo, carriage ride and more.

December 16: Magic of the Holiday at Northside Library: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Magic show by Erica Carlson and Sedgie the Hedge!

December 16: Country Christmas: 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at 22 Acres Farm | Decorated barn, visits with Santa, hay rides, photo booth and live animals! Cost is $5 per person.

December 16: Saturday Morning Cartoons Holiday Edition: Come to the Gateway Film Center and see holiday cartoons! Admission is $5.

December 16: Santa and the Symphony: 3:00 p.m | The magic of the season comes alive on stage at the McCoy with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a holiday show that will have you singing until the New Year! Join NASO musicians and a special visitor from the North Pole for the sensory-friendly version of our always sold-out Holiday Spectacular concert!

December 16: Miracles and the Magic: 7:00 p.m. at Lincoln Theater | Get your tickets today!

December 17: Holiday Spectacular: 3:00 p.m. at McCoy Center in New Albany | Celebrate the season with music that awakens memories of childhood and family traditions. Let the magic of the holidays come to life on stage at the McCoy with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra and Chorus this December! Don’t forget to arrive early for the Gift Basket Fundraiser!

December 17: Holly Days in Historic Dublin: There’s a different theme each week! Santa and his friends will be there from 3:00-5:00pm to entertain and take pictures.

December 20-21: My First Nutcracker: 11:00 a.m. | This 11 am performance is the perfect choice for our youngest fans and any child who may prefer a shorter, less crowded, and more casual environment. Please note that everyone attending the show will need a ticket, no matter the age.

December 22-23 Cirque De ChristmasShowing at the Palace Theater | Come out and see this electrifying show!

December 22: Festive Fridays at Columbus Commons: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | To sweeten the deal, Fridays in December will be a little extra festive, with free hot chocolate and carousel rides from 5 pm to 9 pm. Plus, you’ll hear the music of the season with musicians roaming around the park while staring at the beautiful lights!

December 24-31

December 27: Realm of the Reptile at Franklin Park Conservatory: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m| Marissa Hall shares the captivating world of reptiles in this memorable experience. Get an up-close look at some reptile friends and learn more about what makes reptiles so great

December 27: Harlem Globetrotters: 2:00 p.m. at The Schottenstein Center | Get your tickets today!

December 28: Magic Comedy with the Great Dean-O | 11:00 a.m. at Franklin Park Conservatory | Performances will occur at 11 am and 2 pm and are included in admission. No registration is required.

December 29: Wonderful World of Bubbles Franklin Park Conservatory: 11:00 and 2:00 p.m. | Sue the Bubble Lady transports guests to a wonderful world of bubbles. See bubbles that change shape, turn square, walk a tightrope and more!

December 30: Comedy Juggler: 11:00 a.m. at Franklin Park Conservatory | This international gold medalist juggler will thrill and captivate the audience with his one-man variety show of juggling, stunts, acrobatics, and comedy.

December 30: Trans- Siberian Orchestra: 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Nationwide Arena| A Holiday classic!

December 31: Countdown to 12..noon: Noon at Franklin Park Conservatory | Goodbye 2022, hello 2023! Make a party hat, play some games and get ready to dance as we do a celebratory countdown with a one-of-a-kind bubble stomp. So everyone can celebrate, we’ll do it all again with a countdown to 1 pm.

Remember many of the light displays stay up past Christmas. Check out the list: Holiday Light Displays.

Need other ideas on how to keep the kids entertained over break. Here are lots of suggestions: 75+ Free Winter Break Activities.

Wow! So much to do this holiday season! Be sure to check back often as we will continue to add events!

Don’t forget about The Columbus Zoo Lights, The Conservatory Aglow, and Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights!

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Maureen Ingham
Maureen Ingham has enjoyed living in the great city of Columbus for nearly 13 years! Originally from Canton, Ohio, Maureen attended Ohio University and will always be a bobcat at heart! After completing her education degree in Athens, she made her way to The Ohio State University to obtain a Masters degree in Special Education. She fell in love with Columbus then and convinced her now husband to join her in this awesome city! She taught 5th grade for 6 years, before deciding to stay home to raise two beautiful girls. Their family has recently moved to Worthington with their two girls and are excited to plant their roots here! Their first daughter, Maeve is 6 and her sister, Reese will soon be 5 years old. They welcomed a son, Miles in March 2020. Maureen has been with The Columbus Moms Blog since the beginning and now enjoys working on editing and events for the blog. She also works as a Postpartum Doula with her sister at a company called Together Wee Grow. They provide night nursing services, as well as daytime support to local families and babies in Columbus. It is a wonderful job to work along her sister and help families with their precious little ones in a vulnerable time period. In between the night shifts, sweeping up crumbs, exploring Columbus, and getting kids to where they need to be, Maureen enjoys working out, trying new recipes and restaurants, traveling, spending time with family, being crafty and trying to help others whenever she can! Maureen has many Columbus favorites. Her go-to restaurant is Third and Hollywood, she enjoys a sweet treat at Sassafrass Bakery or Fox in the Snow, a slice of pizza at Dewey's Pizza and a warm cup of joe at Highline Coffee. A perfect Saturday involves an outdoor activity with her family and trying a new restaurant when they can! She is excited to be a part of an excellent team here at Columbus Moms blog and hopes to be able to inspire mothers that small acts of kindness go a long way in raising their kids and the city they live in!

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