Columbus Datebook for December

Columbus Monthly staff
Andrea Bocelli will perform at the Schottenstein Center on Dec. 14.

An Evening With Rick Steves (Dec. 2)

Whether opining on must-see cathedrals in France or the best sights in Prague’s Old Town, Rick Steves has been guiding European travelers for more than 40 years. The author of “Europe Through the Back Door” and host of Rick Steves’ Europe on PBS will discuss “Travel as a Political Act” during his appearance at the Southern Theatre. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and will include a Q&A, book sale and book signing.

“The Nutcracker” (Dec. 13–28)

There’s a reason BalletMet’s “The Nutcracker” has been a Columbus holiday tradition for years—the Tchaikovsky-scored production is an adventure for all. Featuring lush scenery, stunning costumes and more than 100 child and professional dancers, the show is the spectacle of the season. Catch it at the Ohio Theatre, with a special “My First Nutcracker” hourlong performance for children ages 4 and under at 11 a.m. on Dec. 26.

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Andrea Bocelli (Dec. 14)

The master of “popera”—a mix of pop music and opera—will visit the Schottenstein Center in December as part of a 14-city winter tour of the U.S. in support of his latest album, Si Forever: The Diamond Edition, a reworking of a 2018 recording that features six new tracks, including (inexplicably) a duet with actress Jennifer Garner. It’s doubtful Garner will join the blind Italian tenor on stage in Central Ohio, but the Columbus Symphony Orchestra is slated to accompany the Grammy-winning singer.

Breathing While Black (Dec. 17)

The newly created Columbus African Council brings together African immigrants and other African Americans to discuss issues that affect the entire black community. Breathing While Black, at the Downtown library, is the latest in a series that has included discussions of the state of black education, wealth and maternal and mental health. The forum will address ways in which systemic racism can affect daily life for people of African descent.

First Night Columbus (Dec. 31)

You won’t need to worry about getting a sitter—or an Uber, for that matter—on New Year’s Eve if you skip the raucous parties and take the kids to First Night Columbus, an alcohol-free extravaganza that’s appropriate for all ages. Last year the event included shows at the Franklinton Playhouse and Nest Theatre, but this year’s celebration—which begins at 5:30 and includes live music, face painting, magicians and a wide range of performers—will be contained within the walls of COSI, where all exhibits and concessions will be open until the festivities conclude at midnight with fireworks in Genoa Park. Best of all: no hangover.


Rocky’s Olde Fashioned Christmas Party (Dec. 7)

Make a donation or buy a raffle ticket to support mental health services for children through horses at this free family holiday event featuring a photo op with Rocky the Therapy Horse at his Pataskala farm.

Lutheran Social Services

This agency offers ways to help those who lack homes or food security every day in December, including Christmas, from prepping and serving meals at locations throughout Central Ohio to quilting or singing with shelter guests.

Grant a Child’s Holiday Wish

Fulfill a wish for a child or teen who has experienced abuse or neglect by supporting Franklin County Children Services’ Holiday Wish program. Sponsor a child, purchase a gift from an online list or donate a new toy.

See for a full list of things to do this month.