November Holiday Events
'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
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
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
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
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.
ADDRESS: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 W. Powell Road, Powell 43065
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
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.