Top 20 Holiday Events in Columbus

The "Don't Miss" events and activities of the holiday 2013 season.

Columbus Zoo wildlights
••• Discover Ohio Travel/Flickr/CC
Holiday time in Columbus Ohio is a busy time indeed. The city becomes lit from within with goodwill, good food and a few million Christmas lights! Every resident has their favorite yearly events the following list are a few that either draw a loyal following each year or look to be a break-out event this year. The events are listed in no particular order.
  • 01 of 20
    December 1, 2013
    Throughout German Village
    Sunday 6-10 p.m.
  • 02 of 20
    Holiday Tours on Capitol Square
    ••• Courtesy of
    December 3 - 31, 2013; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Ohio Statehouse
    Broad and High streets, Columbus

    From the website:Step back in time with a guided tour of the 1861 Statehouse and see holiday decorations as they were in Victorian times. Visiting relatives and friends will enjoy a trip to the People's House during their holiday visit in Columbus. Walk-in tours of the Statehouse meet in the Map Room easily accessible from the Third Street entrance.

  • 03 of 20

    Olde Hilliard Christmas

    December 7, 2013
    Saturday 5-9 p.m.
    Admission: Free
    Historical Village at Weaver Park
    4100 Columbia St.
    Hilliard, 43026
    From the website: Tour the Historic Village at Weaver Park adorned in lights and period decorations including one room school, caboose, election wagon, train station, chapel, granary, covered bridge, barn and new exhibits in the museum. Enjoy live entertainment, kids activities, and more!
  • 04 of 20

    December 4, 2013
    Wed., 6-9 p.m.
    Admission: $6-$12

    Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
    1777 E. Broad St.
    Columbus, 43203

    From the Website: Decorate cookies at Mrs. Claus' Kitchen on the ScottsMiracle-Gro Community Garden Campus, warm up by the fire and enjoy hot beverages ($1). Santa and two of his live reindeer make a special appearance. At 7 p.m., The Worthington Chorus performs selections from their holiday program in the Grand Atrium.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Sweet Honey in the Rock: CELEBRATING THE HOLY DAYS

    December 5, 2013

    Thursday 8 p.m.
    Admission: $20-$50
    Capitol Theatre
    77 S. High St.
    Columbus, 43215
    From the website: Internationally renowned acapella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock celebrates music from many faiths around the globe with this one-of-a-kind seasonal concert. This program honors the holiday spirit from Christmas to Kwanzaa with traditional holiday standards such as "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "This Little Light of Mine" blended with new holiday favorites.

  • 06 of 20
    December 7, 2013
    Saturday 9-11 a.m.
    Admission: $15.95. Kids ages 5-12 $9.95. Kids 4 and under free.
    Longaberger Golf Club
    One Long Dr.
    Nashport, 43830
  • 07 of 20

    Columbus Gay Men's Chorus: Joy! Home with the Family

    December 6-7, 2013
    Friday 8-10 p.m. Saturday 2-4 p.m. and 8-10 p.m.
    Admission: $20-$25
    King Avenue UMC
    299 King Ave.
    Columbus, 43201

    From the website: The Holidays are a great time for family and friends to get together. Join CGMC as we remember the sights, sounds, and songs that make the holidays such a special time of year with songs ranging from classical favorites to songs from children we all remember and can still sing by heart.

  • 08 of 20
    December 7-8, 2013
    Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday noon-5 p.m.
    North Market
    59 Spruce St.
    Columbus, 43215

    From the site: There's no place like the North Market to get you into the holiday spirit. From the friendly salutations of the merchants to the array of delectable cuisine, the bustle of market commerce on a winter weekend is sure to warm your heart and have you humming holiday tunes! Join us for the most splendid of seasonal weekends at the North Market for the Holiday Open House & Craft Extravaganza!

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    December 6-8, 2013
    Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday noon-5 p.m.
    Admission: Adults $7. Children 12 and under free.
    Ohio Expo Center
    717 E. 17th Ave.
    Columbus, 43211

    From the website: A holiday artists' market where fairgoers will find unique and beautiful handcrafted articles for the home, office or gift giving. Artists from across the nation will be showcasing their traditional and contemporary crafts, including ceramics, wood, glass, painting, metal, jewelry, photography, sculpture and more.

  • 10 of 20
    December 5, 2011 - January 1, 2012
    State Auto Insurance Companies
    Monday-Sunday 8 a.m.-noon
    518 E. Broad St., Columbus

    The State Auto Insurance Companies life-sized Nativity scene located at 518 East Broad Street, next to the Museum of Art in downtown Columbus.

  • 11 of 20
    December 8, 2012
    Saturday 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
    Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
    1777 E. Broad St., Columbus
    614-645-1756, 614-645-8733
  • 12 of 20

    December 19, 2013
    Location: Ohio History Center/Ohio Village
    Hours: Thursday 7-9:30 p.m.
    Admission: $60
    800 E. 17th Ave.
    Columbus, 43211

    From the website: Tonight's honoree is a grumpy old curmudgeon known for his miserly ways. While partaking in a festive meal, join your host, Jacob Marley, as he introduces people from the good, the bad and the ugly of Ebenezer Scrooge's life.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Christmas Candlelighting

    December 7-21, 2013
    Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
    Admission: Free
    Historic Roscoe Village
    600 N. Whitewoman St.
    Coshocton, 43812

    From the website: Historic Roscoe Village cheers on the holiday season with its Christmas Candlelighting. Share in the evening's tradition of lighting the Christmas tree and your own candle as everyone softly sings "Silent Night". During the day, guests can enjoy art with Santa, strolling carolers, horse drawn surrey rides, complimentary hot-mulled cider and cookies, and many other holiday festivities. "A Roscoe Christmas" tour offers a glimpse into the 1800s holiday season. Beginning at 11 a.m. there will be Art with Santa, strolling carolers, Christmas crafts at the Visitor Center, and free hot mulled cider and cookies for everyone! The Christmas Candlelighting Ceremony will take place at the main stage at 6 p.m.

  • 14 of 20
    December 5-19, 2012
    Wednesday 6-8 p.m.
    Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
    1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, 43203
    614-645-1756, 614-645-8733

    From the Site:Enjoy an exceptional candlelit dinner in the warm and exotic surroundings of the John F. Wolfe Palm House decorated for the holidays. A perfect evening out for couples or small groups, these more formal dinners feature a delicious menu made in house by Conservatory Catering.

  • 15 of 20

    New Albany Symphony: Holiday Spectacular

    December 22, 2013
    Sunday 3-5 p.m.
    Admission: $11-$20
    Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts
    100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.
    New Albany, 43054

    From the website: Celebrate the holidays at home in New Albany featuring the heartwarming songs and traditions that make this the Most Wonderful Time of the Year including our fabulous Gift Box Fundraiser!

  • 16 of 20

    Columbus Children's Theatre: Junie B. in Jingle Bells Batman Smells

    November 21 - December 22, 2013
    Thursday-Friday 7:30 p.m. Saturday 1-2:30 p.m., 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m.
    Admission: $11-$22
    Columbus Children's Theatre
    512 Park St.
    Columbus, 43215

    From the website: It's holiday time in Room One and that means drama! Tattletale May keeps picking on Junie B. Jones, and things get even worse when Junie B. draws May's name for Secret Santa. She hatches a plan to give May a lump of coal, while getting an awesome Squeeze-A-Burp for herself. Will Junie B. have a last-minute change of heart and show her true holiday spirit? Just like its heroine, the show has laughs, verve and energy to spare!

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    December 31, 2012
    Throughout Downtown

    5 p.m. - midnight

    From the Site: First Night Columbus, Central Ohio's award-winning New Year's Eve celebration is a community-oriented, family-friendly, alcohol-free event. There is something for everyone with more than 40 live performances including jazz, funk, ragtime, storytelling and magic, hands-on activities and a children's festival.

  • 18 of 20

    Shadowbox Live: Holiday Hoopla

    November 21 - December 28, 2013
    Tuesday-Thursday 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. No shows Nov. 26-28 & Dec. 25
    Admission: Adults $30. Seniors, students and military $20.
    Shadowbox Live
    503 S. Front St.
    Columbus, 43215

    From the website: Now in its 22nd iteration, Holiday Hoopla XXII has become a central Ohio Christmas tradition. Full of sketch comedy that pokes fun at our desire to make the holidays perfect, rockin' seasonal tunes from house band BillWho?, and the hilarious musical send-up The Santa Babies, Hoopla never disappoints.

  • 19 of 20

    Ballet Met Nutcracker

    Performance Dates and Times at the Ohio Theater

    Friday, 12/7, 7:30pm
    Dec. 12-15: Thursday-Friday 7:30 p.m.

    Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

    Dec. 18-22: Wednesday-Friday 7:30 p.m.

    Saturday 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

    Dec. 23-24: Monday 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday noon.

    It's the Nutcracker! How can you miss the Nutcracker? No other words needed.

    Admission: $25-$80

  • 20 of 20
    Columbus Wildlights Columbus Zoo
    ••• Discover Ohio Travel/Flickr/CC
    November 22, 2013 to January 05, 2014
    Sunday-Thursday 5-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.
    Adults $14.99 Seniors $10.99 Children 2-9 $9.99
    Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
    4850 W. Powell Rd., Powell
    614-645-3550, 800-666-5397 More about the Columbus Zoo