A Capitol Idea

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

For a Christmas tree lighting that's fun, educational and family-friendly, mark the calendar for Thursday and head to downtown Columbus.

The Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at 1 Capitol Square. The free indoor event, which will be held in the atrium of the historic building, includes a short program with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the illumination of the tree. Afterward, visitors can have refreshments, do arts and crafts, play games and hear music from local choirs.

Activities include photos with the Clauses, coloring, a selfie booth, a magic show, letters to Santa and the chance to make holiday cards, ID cards, snowflakes, ornaments and origami.

Performances include a magic show, bomb dog demonstration, story time with Columbus Metropolitan Library, local mascots and songs from groups such as the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, Annehurst Elementary School Choir, John Glenn High School Choir and Pickerington North High School Orchestra.

For more information, go to