Editors' picks for the best of Columbus this month

1. Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival, Nov. 17–Jan. 7

Last year's inaugural Chinese Lantern Festival was so popular that organizers extended this year's run by two weeks, to early January. The Ohio Expo Center show features 35 installations that merge traditional lantern-making methods with more than 15,000 LED lights; don't miss the 200-foot-long, 21-foot-high, glowing yellow dragon (as if you could). ohiolanternfestival.com

2. Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples, Nov. 5

Anyone who watched the recent Ken Burns documentary series, The Vietnam War, or actually lived through those turbulent times, knows that the music of the era gave voice to the angst and anguish of a generation. Two of the era's most significant voices are coming to Columbus. Mavis Staples was the powerful lead of the gospel-inspired Staple Singers, whose songs were the harmony and soul of the civil rights movement, while Bob Dylan defined the decade with his words and music. Dylan reportedly proposed to Mavis in 1963. She turned him down, but their friendship never died. See them together again when they unite on the Palace Theatre stage. capa.com

3. Craftin' Outlaws Holiday Show, Nov. 11–12

Head to the Greater Columbus Convention Center for all the craft shopping, workshops and make-and-take projects you can handle. With art, jewelry, apparel, ceramics, paper goods and more, you're sure to find something for everyone on your holiday list. The event is free, or purchase an early bird shopping pass for $25 to get into the show at 11 a.m., an hour before the general public.


4. Jen Kirkman, Nov. 17

What makes Comedy Central's Drunk History such a blast isn't just the voyeuristic pleasure of watching tipsy cutups embarrass themselves on screen (though there's plenty of that). The best episodes also feature enthusiastic and surprisingly knowledgeable storytellers who refuse to let inebriation stop them from sharing their nerdy love of history. Comic Jen Kirkman, the former Chelsea Lately regular, set the template for the show, appearing five times to talk about everything from the friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to the life of Quaker folk hero Mary Dyer. Enjoy a drink with Kirkman this month at Woodland's Tavern, the final stop on her fall North American tour. woodlandstavern.com

5. Wildlights, Nov. 17–Jan. 1

A perennial holiday favorite returns to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium this winter. Starting at 5 p.m. daily (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas), zoo visitors can enjoy the festive display featuring millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa and his reindeer and much more. columbuszoo.org