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!

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Events in December

December 1-7

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!

The Month of December (and into February): Immersive Van Gogh: See times for ticket availability! The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit strives to highlight the unique architecture of its spaces while integrating influences from its history and community. Get ready to be transported the second you step inside.

Month of December: Marvel at COSI: Showtimes vary at COSI | 300 original artifacts! Life size recreations of charcaters! A sight to see!

Weekends in December: Light Up Camp: Free seasonal drive-thru display! Camp buildings will be transformed into a twinkling, musical wonderland of safe, physically distanced family fun. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 26 through December 26, 2021.

Until December 24: Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt: Tanger Outlets | Find the Magic at Tanger this Holiday Season! From November 8th – December 24th, families can head to Tanger to take part in a Holiday Scavenger Hunt with the Elf on the Shelf, a Christmas Tradition!

December 1: 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 1-5: Home for the Holidays: Various showtimes at the Southern Theatre | A holiday musical treat featuring Nashville-based singer-songwriter Vanessa Campagna.

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December: 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.

December 2: Dublin Tree Lighting: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Dublin | Residents will enjoy seasonal activities and entertainment including writing letters to Santa, crafts, roaming holiday stilt walkers, ice sculpting, rides on the trackless train and character appearances. Food will be available for purchase. In addition, don’t miss Santa’s arrival on a horse-drawn sleigh with Mrs. Claus to light the tree at 6:40 p.m. Santa will be on-hand for pictures after the main event.

December 2: 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 2021 holiday season.  Historical characters and modern dignitaries will be on hand to greet guests, including Santa himself.

December 2-5: 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 3-5: 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 3: 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 3: 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 3: 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 3: Westerville Tree Lighting: 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. in Uptown Westerville | Watch the 2021 Tree Lighting and visit area shops and restaurants for a holiday treat!

December 3-5: 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 3-5: Holiday Open House: in Delaware | 7th 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 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. 3 and the tree lighting follows promptly after the parade.

December 3-4: Holidays in Powell: in Powell | Many local partners have contributed items to the experience packs, including DIY crafts, a letter template to Santa and other goodies for the entire family to enjoy. Register for your activity pack in advance here and select pick up on Friday, Dec. 3 or Saturday, Dec. 4 in the Municipal Building East Room, 47 Hall Street.

December 3-4: 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 3-4: The New Albany Nutcracker: Various showtimes at the McCoy Center in New Albany | Get your tickets today! Also showing December 10-12.

December 3-4: Christmas in the Village: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 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 4,5,11,12,18,19: Dickens of a Christmas : Preregistration is required. Select your time! | Meet and interact with Ohio Village residents to learn how they celebrate the holiday season. Interact with Scrooge, Jacob Marley and other characters from Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”. Enjoy music and dance of the period and partake in various activities in the village buildings.

December 4: Jingle Bell Run Columbus: 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Genoa Park | Hoping to be back in person this year, stay tuned!

December 4: 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 4: Discovery District Holiday Trolley Hop: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Ride the complimentary trolley through the popular Discovery District as it stops for shopping, crafts, tours and activities.

Christmas Trolley
Discovery District Holiday Hop

December 4: 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 at 4:45 p.m.

December 4-5: Letters to Santa at The Ohio Railway Museum: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | See website for event updates!

December 4: 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 4: Main Street Christmas Cookie Walk and Lighted Parade: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Downtown Pataskala | Guests will be asked to make a minimum $10 donation per family, then 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 4: Kids Can Draw: Reindeer from 2-3 pm at Blacklick Woods. Learn fun facts about reindeer and follow along as we draw a reindeer. Materials and instruction provided. Geared towards ages 8-14.

December 4: 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 4: Reynoldsburg Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Parde: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sing carols, drink hot chocolate and watch the tree lighting ceremony at the Reynoldsburg City Hall – FREE.

December 4: 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 4:Lantern Hike at Blacklick Woods from 6-7 pm. Take a 1.5-mile lantern-lit hike. All ages.

December 4: Menorah Lighting at Easton: 7:30 p.m. | Join Easton and Chabad of Columbus for a special menorah lighting at the Town Square. It’s a family party with sufganiot, dreidels, raffle prizes, music, dancing and refreshments!

December 4: Hip Hop Nutcracker: 8:00 p.m. at The Palace Theatre | A holiday mashup for the entire family to enjoy!

December 5: Community Day at Franklin Park Conservatory | Must register! Free with Columbus or Franklin County ID.

December 5: 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 5: Holiday Cards at Inniswood: at 1 pm. from Make cards for your loved ones and some of Inniswood’s elderly and other homebound neighbors.

December 5: 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 5: 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.

December 5: 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.

tree lightingsDecember 5: 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 7: 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 8-15

December 8: Illuminated Shopping in Old Worthington: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Enjoy the start to your holiday shopping in Old Worthington!

December 9: Santa’s Stories: 6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. at Polaris Fashion Place | Bring the kids to a special story time with Santa’s friends! Listen to a classic holiday story, enjoy a tasty snack and create a holiday craft. Plus, each child can take home a free holiday book!

December 9: 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!

December 9: 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+.

December 10: 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 10: Family Night at The Hofbrahaus: 6:00 p.m. | Bring the little ones for entertainment including face painting, balloon animals, stilt walkers and more. Kids eat free! Special visit from Santa too!

December 10-26: The Nutcracker: Various showtimes at The Ohio Theater | Get your tickets today for this holiday tradition!

December 10: 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! Must preregister.

December 10-12: The New Albany Nutcracker: Various showtimes at the McCoy Center in New Albany | Get your tickets today!

December 11: Outdoor Worthington Farmers’ Market: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | The outdoor market continues through December!

December 11-12 and December 18-19: Letters to Santa at The Ohio Railway Museum: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | See website for event updates!

December 11-January 2: Merry on Main: Skating Rink Grand Opening: 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 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. Rink capacity is 80 skaters.

December 11: Dublin Holly Days: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Visit Historic Dublin for a day full of fun. The Grinch and his friends will be there from 3:00-5:00 pm to entertain and take pictures. Find the Grinch at Extravagifts and enter to win a $25.00 gift card! Pick a Christmas Duck at Dublin Toy Emporium for a chance to win the Grinch goodie Filled Stocking.

December 11: For Families: Holiday Painting at 4 pm. Paint something festive for the holidays. Materials and instruction provided.

December 11: Late Night in the Winter Forest at Blendon Woods: at 7 pm. Enjoy the Winter Wonderland Forest after dark on this one special evening. Lantern lit trail, hot cocoa.

December 14: Cookies and Claus: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. |  Pick a cookie and create your own holiday design with icing sprinkles and more! Then, visit with Santa and enjoy your tasty treat!

December 14: Fiddler on the Roof: 7:30 at The Palace Theater | Get your tickets for this award winning show!

December 16-23

December 16: Winter Forest Winter Wonderland Adventure: at Blendon Woods | Discover the magic of the season as you immerse yourself in a special winter-themed exhibit at the Nature Center! Open Daily 9am-6pm. Exhibit runs through January 2nd.

December 17: 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 18: Outdoor Worthington Farmers’ Market: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | The outdoor market continues through December!

December 18: 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. Find the Santa at Extravagifts and enter to win a $25.00 gift card! Pick a Christmas Duck at Dublin Toy Emporium for a chance to win the Holiday goodie Filled Stocking. Guess the number of peppermints at Boho 72 Boutique for a chance to win a cute stuffed Prancer the Reindeer!

December 18-19: 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 21/22: Half Price Admission Play Cbus | Each Tuesday and Wednesday enjoy half priced admission at Play Cbus!

December 20-22: KIdX Holiday Krafts: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Polaris Fashion Place | Join them for a KidsX® Club Holiday Krafts Event. Each day, kids will enjoy making a different holiday craft that they can use to decorate at home or give as a gift!

December 22: Toddler Time at Airhouse Adventure Park in Polaris: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Toddlers time to jump!

December 24-31

December 24: Track Santa Live Bed Time Story: 6:30 p.m. | Join in on Christmas Eve and you’ll see exactly whereabouts Santa Claus is on his Christmas Eve journey! They will be doing some shout outs, having some laughs and then they’ll settle down ready for bed with a reading of T’was the Night Before Christmas.

December 26: Celebrate Kwanzaa: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Tony West and the Imani dancers will celebrate the first day and principal of Kwanzaa: Umoja, meaning unity. Their performance will feature the vibrant style of West African drumming and dance.

December 26: Trans- Siberian Orchestra: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at Nationwide Arena| A Holiday classic!

December 27: Fantastical Hedgehog Magic Show: 11:00 a.m. at Franklin Park Conservatory | Children’s entertainer, Erica Carlson, brings comedy, magic, and her famous hedgehog “Hedgie” together in this performance that’s fun for all ages.

December 28: Comedy Juggler at Franklin Park Conservatory: 11:00 and 2:00 p.m. | This international gold medalist juggler will thrill and captivate the audience with his one-man variety show of juggling, stunts, acrobatics and comedy.

December 29: Bugman at Franklin Park Conservatory: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m|  Columbus favorite, Mark Berman, shares his love of all things creepy and crawly. This is an interactive, walk-up event and not a sit-down performance.

December 29: Harlem Globetrotters: 2:00 p.m. at The Schottenstein Center | Get your tickets today!

December 30: Realm of the Reptiles: 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. | Marissa Dubina shares the riveting world of reptiles during this memorable experience. The shows includes appearances by a tortoise, lizard, and snakes!

December 31: Countdown to 12..noon that is!: Noon at Franklin Park Conservatory | Goodbye 2021, hello 2022! Craft a party hat and do some dancing as we count down to noon with a one-of-a-kind bubble stomp.

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 Festival of Lights!

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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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