November Holiday Events

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

'Tis the season to start the holiday engines! We've compiled some family-friendly events that are sure to put you in the spirit of the season.

FANTASY OF LIGHTS

ADDRESS: Alum Creek State Park, 2911 S. Old State Road, Delaware 43015

PHONE: 740-369-2900

WEB: alumcreek.com

PRICE: Starts at $15 per car; varies by vehicle size

DATES: Nov.22-Jan. 5

TIMES: 5:30-9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 5:30-10:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday

DESCRIPTION: Alum Creek offers a great drive-thru holiday lights experience. And after, you can enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies at Santa's House (located down the road at Cross Creek Camping Resort, 3190 S. Old State Road), and have photos taken with Santa. Santa's House also has gift items available for purchase.

MERRY & BRIGHT

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

PHONE: 614-715-8000

WEB: fpconservatory.org

PRICE: regular admission rates ($12 adults to age 59, $9 ages 60+ and college students with ID, $6 ages 3-17, free for ages 0-2); additional fee for the Bruce Munro: Light exhibit ($15 adults, $12 seniors and college students, $6 ages 3-17; half-price for members)

DATES: Nov. 23-Jan. 5, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

TIMES: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, and open until 11 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and select Saturdays

DESCRIPTION: Visit the Conservatory for holiday lights, trains, gingerbread houses and more! This year, you have the spectacular Bruce Munro: Light display to enjoy as well, plus a Peanuts display from the Charles M. Schulz Museum. And don't forget to enter the gingerbread house competition by Dec. 1. Details on their website.

OHIO STATEHOUSE TREE LIGHTING AND HOLIDAY FESTIVAL

ADDRESS: The Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square (Downtown), Columbus 43215

PHONE: 888-OHIO-123

WEB: ohiostatehouse.org

PRICE: free

DATE: Tuesday, Dec. 3

TIME: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

DESCRIPTION: For nearly 100 years, Columbus residents have been gathering at the Statehouse for the tree lighting. The holiday festival that night also has plenty of family-friendly activities including refreshments, historical characters and singing with carolers. This event begins a month-long holiday celebration at Capitol Square with holiday tours, choir performances and more.

VILLAGE LIGHTS IN GERMAN VILLAGE

ADDRESS: Historic German Village

PHONE: 614-221-8888

WEB: germanvillage.com, germanvillagegartenclub.com

PRICE: free

DATES/TIMES: 6-10 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1 for the Village Lights event; 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6 for the Holiday Tree Lighting; enjoy the seasonal decorations throughout the month

DESCRIPTION: The downtown community lights up with luminaries on Dec. 1 with the annual Village Lights. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and more (just be sure to park outside the village and walk in). And return on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. for the Holiday Tree Lighting in Frank Fetch Park.

WILDLIGHTS

ADDRESS: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 W. Powell Road, Powell 43065

PHONE: 614-645-3550

WEB: columbuszoo.org

PRICE: regular admission rates ($14.99 ages 10-59, $9.99 ages 2-9, $10.99 ages 60+, free for ages 0-2); parking $8 per car; members receive free admission and parking; half-price admission Jan. 2-Feb. 28

DATES: Nov. 22-Jan. 5, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, Christmas Eve

TIMES: 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

DESCRIPTION: If you've never been to our nationally renowned zoo (it's pretty much a Columbus crime if you haven't!), then the Wildlights are the perfect time to go and make some family memories. The 2+ million lights will amaze, and kids will love seeing the animals and visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS! AT CREEKSIDE PARK

ADDRESS: Creekside Park & Plaza, 123 Mill St., Gahanna 43230

PHONE: 614-418-9114

WEB: visitgahanna.com

PRICE: free and open to the public

DATES: Nov. 16-Jan. 1

TIME: Daily, any time

DESCRIPTION: This season-long lights display begins with a holiday tree lighting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, including a ceremony with the mayor. And enter your gingerbread house in the city's contest by Nov. 8 (winners to be announced at the Holiday Character Breakfast on Dec. 14). Then, on the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 29), take part in a Healthy Holiday 5K at 9:30 a.m. and catch the Holiday Lights! parade at 6 p.m. that evening. Go to visitgahanna.gov for more information.