Editors' picks for things to do and ways to help this month

Holidays in Columbus (Online, Dec. 3)
Take your mind off canceled parties and family gatherings by joining this nostalgic tour of Columbus’ Christmas traditions of years gone by with local historians Doreen Uhas Sauer and Tom Betti. Columbus Metropolitan Library will host this virtual history panel where you can reminisce about the enormous Statehouse holiday tree, ice skating at the Centrum and Lazarus’ Christmas parade, elaborate window displays and famous Talking Tree, seen above in a photo from the early 1980s. columbuslibrary.org

A Nutcracker Holiday (Online, Dec. 5–27)
BalletMet won’t be performing the holiday classic this year, but to keep the joy alive, the company has created a free online hub for all things Nutcracker. A Nutcracker Holiday will include two new videos—one for teens and another for younger children—performed by BalletMet dancers; the rerelease of “Finding Clara,” last year’s behind-the-scenes movie about the making of the show; and an app-based, Nutcracker-themed Downtown scavenger hunt. You’ll also find recipes, games, coloring sheets and more for the many children and adults for whom the holiday season won’t seem right without a visit from a dancing nutcracker, Mother Ginger, a Sugar Plum Fairy and a little girl whose broken nutcracker doll becomes a handsome prince. balletmet.org 

Maccabee Landing (Bevelhymer Park, Dec. 13)
What’s better than a helicopter dropping thousands of (lightweight) dreidels? Why, a caped “Chanukah hero” (above)—one of the Maccabees, who defeated the Greeks—stepping from a helicopter in Westerville to light a giant menorah. Chabad Columbus will host this drive-up answer to last year’s dreidel drop. The group will also hold a drive-thru Winter Wonderland Chanukah Carnival on Dec. 10. chabadcolumbus.com 

“Quarantine with the Clauses” (Online, Dec. 10–27)
Don’t judge Santa and Mrs. Claus for imbibing a few too many quarantinis—even a live TV broadcast from the North Pole is a bit of a comedown from Santa’s usual ’round-the-world gift-delivery voyage. But their predicament is sure to bring laughs to viewers of this new musical, commissioned, performed and presented online by the Short North Stage. shortnorthstage.org

Expanded Dimensions: The Quilt & Surface Design Symposium (Online, through Jan. 9) 
The annual gathering of fiber artists at CCAD in June was canceled, but its director, Tracy Krieger, has curated an exhibition of stunning textile and fiber works that transcend the boundaries of quilting. View the pieces, as well as Krieger’s gallery talk, on the Riffe Gallery website. On Dec. 5, artist Sue Cavanaugh (seen above: Cavanaugh’s “Kitchen Prayer Flag,” 2019, made with cotton, acrylic paint, mustard, ketchup, jelly and balsamic dressing) will host a family-friendly online workshop. oac.ohio.gov 

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Charity Newsies Virtual Gala (Online, Dec. 3)
The annual auction and gala supporting Charity Newsies, which provides new outerwear and other clothing to outfit thousands of children in need each year, will be held as an online event. charitynewsies.org

Lifetown Holiday Store (Dec. 14)
Join with other volunteers from Besa in support of Lifetown’s annual holiday store for families of children with special needs to help with shopping, gift wrapping and stocking shelves. Ages 18-plus; masks required. givebesa.org 

“Comfort & Joy at Home Live” (Online, Dec. 23)
Cleveland native and multimillion-record-selling pianist and songwriter Jim Brickman is raising funds for the Southern Theatre through this livestreamed holiday concert with VIP Zoom room options, part of a series that will benefit local theaters nationwide. jimbrickman.com