Daily Bulletin: Holiday Happenings

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
The Huntington Holiday Train is on display at Main Library through Jan. 4.

The Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, and the holidays are now in full swing.

Central Ohio has an abundance of seasonal events that’s almost as long as Santa’s naughty-or-nice list. We compiled some of the most notable and recurring happenings—many of them longtime local traditions—in this handy roundup, which also appears in our December print edition.

Find many more holiday events, including numerous park programs and chances to visit with Santa Claus, in the print calendar and online at ColumbusParent.com.

Happy Holidays!


Through Dec. 17

“Uptown Scrooge,” This holiday event returns to Uptown Westerville for a second year. Presented by Good Medicine Productions and the Westerville Uptown Merchants Association, this interactive walking tour performance of “A Christmas Carol” will take audience members on Scrooge’s journey. Suitable for ages 6 and up. Various times Saturdays and Sundays. $10-$22. goodmedicineproductions.org

Through Dec. 23

Gifts of the Craftsmen, The Ohio Craft Museum’s annual holiday sale features more than 100 artists from across the country. Items include jewelry, pottery, wood cutting boards, puppets and animals, ornaments, handmade greeting cards and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Ohio Craft Museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave., Columbus. 614-486-4402. ohiocraft.org

Through Jan. 1

Fantasy of Lights, The 18th annual drive-through display formerly known as the Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights is now Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights. It offers numerous holiday displays as well as a nearby Santa House with free hot chocolate and cookies. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. $20-$30 per car for standard passenger vehicles. Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds, 2911 S. Old State Road, Delaware. butchbandosfantasyoflights.com

Through Jan. 1

Wildlights, This 29th annual holiday event includes millions of LED lights; visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Bumble; holiday shows; and more. 5-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Display and some activities are included with admission. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Road, Powell. columbuszoo.org

Through Jan. 2

FREE! Holiday Lights, John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons will be illuminated with more than 320,000 lights for the holiday season. Dusk to 11 p.m. daily. John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St. (Downtown), Columbus. columbuscommons.org. While you’re in the neighborhood, check out the decorated windows in the old Lazarus Building at High and Town streets.

Through Jan. 3

Gardens Aglow, This annual holiday event at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens includes a 15-foot poinsettia tree, Paul Busse model train, trees of glass-blown ornaments and more. Numerous daytime and evening performances are scheduled in addition to children’s activities. Included with admission; some craft projects have fees.

Through Jan. 4

FREE! Huntington Holiday Train, Columbus Metropolitan Library hosts the 26th installment of the Huntington Holiday Train. Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave. (Downtown). The train is on display during library hours. columbuslibrary.org

Through Jan. 7

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival, This unique event from Tianyu Arts and Culture returns to Columbus for a second run. Visitors can see 35 LED lantern installations and explore Chinese culture, art, dance and food. 5:30-10 p.m. nightly. $10-$15. Ohio Expo Center, Natural Resources Park, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus. ohiolanternfestival.com

Through Jan. 31

FREE! Holiday Lights on the Scioto Mile, More than 250,000 lights will illuminate the Scioto Mile from Bicentennial Park to Broad Street. The display is presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. Dusk to dawn nightly. Bicentennial Park, 233 Civic Center Drive, Columbus. sciotomile.com


Nov. 29

FREE! Holiday Open House, Columbus Metropolitan Library will host a free Holiday Open House for families. The event features the debut of the 26th installment of the Huntington Holiday Train as well as activities, music and refreshments. It coincides with Light the Park, the tree-lighting in the adjacent Topiary Park. Attendees are asked to RSVP at columbuslibrary.org/special-events. 6-8 p.m. Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave. (Downtown). The train will be on display during library hours through Jan. 4. columbuslibrary.org

Dec. 2

FREE!Lazarus Santa’s Workshop, Central Ohio natives still talk wistfully about visiting Santa Claus at Lazarus in Downtown Columbus. This year, parents can relive those memories with their own children. The Columbus Downtown Development Corp. will hold Lazarus Santa’s Workshop, scheduled 2-5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Lazarus Building, 50 W. Town St. Children can meet Santa in the original Lazarus sleigh, decorate crafts, sample refreshments and catch the Orange Line Holiday Train exhibit. Free carousel rides will be offered at the adjacent John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dec. 2-23

Santa House at the Strand Theatre, Bring the family to meet Santa Claus at the historic Strand Theatre in downtown Delaware. 6-8 p.m. Fridays and 1-3 p.m. Saturdays. The Strand Theatre, 28 E. Winter St., Delaware. thestrandtheatre.net

Dec. 5 to Jan. 2

FREE! State Auto’s Christmas Corner, The Columbus-based insurance company again will feature its life-size nativity. A lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 with a Columbus Children’s Choir performance. Choirs will perform Friday and Saturday evenings until Christmas. 6-8 a.m. and 5-11:30 p.m. daily (until 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays), and 3 p.m. Dec. 24 to 8 a.m. Dec. 25. State Auto Insurance Companies, 518 E. Broad St. (Downtown), Columbus. stateauto.com/christmas

Dec. 8-24

BalletMet’s “The Nutcracker,” A Central Ohio tradition since 1974, BalletMet will present “The Nutcracker,” choreographed by former BalletMet Artistic Director Gerard Charles with music from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, performed by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Times vary. $29 to $93. Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St., Columbus. balletmet.org