If you are thinking of getting out of town for your holiday vacation, Columbus, OH is the ultimate destination.
One of this capital city’s main attractions is Scioto Mile, a string of parks on either side of the Scioto River that features a huge interactive fountain and plenty of walking trails. The COSI science center is a great place to see exhibits and planetarium light shows. Then head downtown to check out the city’s many shops, restaurants and museums.
Columbus is a terrific city to visit and it lights up even brighter at Christmastime. Here are some things you will want to check out.
Christmas Lights in German Village
German Village is known for its charming brick houses built by 19th century immigrants. There are several shops in the area that sell books, traditional fudge and handmade jewelry. There are also plenty of German pubs, artisan coffee shops and restaurants.
During the holiday season, the village lights up with a one-night Christmas Lights event. Shops display luminaries and are open late offering special deals. Free cookies, hot chocolate and other goodies are given out by the businesses participating in the celebration.
Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo lights up for the holidays hosting a Wildlights event. Guests can come to take in the Sparkling Spruce animated light displays. Wildlight Rides like the Polar Bear Express, Camel Rides and the 1914 Mangels-illions Carousel are on hand for children to enjoy. The S’more experience gives families the pleasure of making and eating these gooey sweet treats. The event also features the Santa Experience at the Polar Frontier.
The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens spans 13 acres and is comprised of the gardens, the iconic John F. Wolfe Palm House that dates back to 1895, the Conservatory building, the Scott’s Miracle Gro Foundation Children’s Garden and Grand Mallway.
The Conservatory Aglow event takes place from mid-November to mid-January. Thousands of lights adorn the grounds. Recent additions include the Candyland scene with a life-sized gingerbread house and a magical train display. Other favorites include the rainbow tunnel and decorated trees.
Both the buildings and the gardens are lit up for an outdoor/indoor experience.
Bicentennial Park Lights
Bicentennial Park is a 4.66-acre park in downtown Columbus and part of the Scioto Mile. It features a fountain, a restaurant and a performance stage.
During the holiday season, Bicentennial Park and all of the Scioto Mile becomes illuminated. This is a display that extends through the downtown area to the Columbus Commons. Stroll through to enjoy the festivities and take in everything the neighborhood has to offer.
One sight you won’t want to miss while you are walking is the Lazarus Windows. The Lazarus Building is one of the largest commercial buildings in Columbus and during the holiday season you can find its windows exquisitely decorated to feature scenes from the 12 Days of Christmas. Be sure to check it out.
Huntington Holiday Train
The Huntington Holiday Train is a display at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. It is a 600 square foot train that runs over 280 feet of track. It features 50 pounds of artificial snow and miniature buildings made of materials like bark and pinecones. It also includes a 6-foot-tall cathedral and an 8-foot-tall castle.
The train is set up in mid-November and remains on display until New Year’s. Don’t miss out on stopping by to see this one.
Holidays at the Ohio History Center
The Ohio History Center turns into Christmas central during the holiday season with their Dickens of a Christmas Event. Guests can stop by to see a fully decked out Lustron home, a 1950’s model train display and a holiday themed play.
The facility recreates the city’s 19th century community with Victorian era crafts, decorations, caroling, cooking demonstrations and Dickens inspired traditions. Characters like the Ghost of Christmas Past, Santa and Dickens himself will guide you on this journey back in time.
Think Outside the Brick at the Columbus Museum of Art
The Columbus Museum of Art is located in downtown Columbus and makes for a great way to spend the day. Established in 1878, there’s tons of artwork, exhibits and special events to enjoy.
የእነሱ ከጡብ ውጭ ያስቡ exhibit is not necessarily holiday themed, but it does run through the holiday season (November to February) and it will fill children with the magic of the season. It is meant to show the creative potential of LEGO blocks and features various Columbus landmarks recreated with these tiny pieces. There are new additions each year making it a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.
የምስራቅ ከተማ ማዕከል
Easton is an indoor-outdoor shopping center in Columbus. It is designed to look like a self-contained town in the early to mid-20th መቶ.
The shopping center is a great place to get holiday shopping done, but it’s also a terrific Christmas destination. It is the site of a humungous 56 ft. Christmas tree covered in LED bulbs and a life-sized nativity scene.
Every year, the center hosts a lighting ceremony to kick of the season. It includes live performances and carriage rides which are available throughout December.
State Auto Christmas Corner
State Auto in an insurance company that gives back to the community every season by setting up a Christmas corner. It features a life sized, walk through nativity scene and a tree that is lit during a tree lighting ceremony. Choirs perform every weekend of the holiday season and hot chocolate is served to guests who attend.
Columbus has a quaint feel and a metro vibe that makes it a great city for holiday fun. Which of these activities will you be enjoying while you’re in town?