Central Ohio comes alive during the holiday season with special events, activities and shows. Here’s a highlight of what’s happening around Columbus!    


HolidayVille / Clintonville / Dec. 1 / 12-4 p.m.

Clintonville’s 10th annual HolidayVille lets you explore and shop local businesses while enjoying carolers, cookies and sales. Hop on the trolley to ride around the neighborhood and visit more than 25 participating businesses. Stop at Mozart’s Cafe for gluhwein, hot chocolate, cookies and Santa!

Ice sculptor demonstrating for a group of children at Worthington's annual Holiday Open House & Tree LightingHoliday Open House & Tree Lighting / Worthington / Dec. 1 / 12-6 p.m.

Old Worthington’s Holiday Open House includes special sales and activities, Santa, an iceless skating rink, carriage rides, a tiny train and more holiday fun. Shops close up at 5 p.m. and everyone gathers on the Village Green for hot chocolate and caroling, then St. Nick arrives (usually by fire truck!) to help light the big Christmas tree.

Holiday Bazaar & Tree Lighting / Short North Arts District / Dec. 1 / 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Spend the day shopping in the Short North while you enjoy dozens of artists and performers, special food pop-ups, and other sales at the Holiday Bazaar. Gather at Poplar Park at 5 p.m. for the Deck the District tree lighting, too. And make sure to return the next Saturday, Dec. 7 for Holiday Hop!

Columbus Symphony Orchestra during their Home for the Holidays annual concertColumbus Jazz Orchestra / Home for the Holidays / Dec. 4 / 7:30 p.m.

The CJO’s annual Home for the Holidays event sets you swinging into the season. This year’s concert at the Southern Theatre features Columbus’ Z. F. Taylor alongside Australian vocalist and bassist Nicki Parrott.

BalletMet’s The Nutcracker / Dec. 13-28

BalletMet’s signature holiday show brings in families every year to enjoy beautiful dance pieces, spectacular scenery and costumes and plenty of comedic fun. Get your tickets soon for The Nutcracker’s run at the historic Ohio Theatre!

King Arts Complex / Jazz on the Avenue / Dec. 7 / 7 p.m.

Celebrate the season with the King Arts Complex’s annual Jazz on the Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 7. Local jazz vocalists and musicians gather to create a funky and festive sound for the season, complete with traditional tunes and new ones.

Dickens of a Christmas / Ohio Village / Dec. 7-8, 14-15

Ohio Village is transformed into a Victorian storybook scene during the popular annual Dickens of a Christmas, held only two weekends a year. Wander the historic village to enjoy caroling, crafts, games and holiday shopping.

village lights 1Village Lights / German Village / Dec. 8 / 5-9 p.m.

The already-picturesque German Village is made even more magical during the annual Village Lights, when luminaries line the brick streets. Neighborhood businesses are open late offering different specials for your holiday shopping. Visit the StrietzelMarkt on the Platz for additional vendors, mulled wine, ice carving and more holiday fun.

Shadowbox Live / Holiday Hoopla / Through Dec. 28

Shadowbox Live’s popular Holiday Hoopla has been running annually for over two decades. It features the theatre company’s signature blend of rock music and sketch comedy, all with a delightful holiday theme. Don’t forget their family friendly show Cratchit, exploring A Christmas Carol from the perspective of Scrooge’s clerk (running through Dec. 22).

Crowd of people inside Columbus Main Library viewing the Huntington Holiday Train displayHuntington Holiday Train / Columbus Main Library / Through Dec. 30

Visit the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s main branch downtown for the popular Huntington Holiday Train display in the main atrium. Watch the trains rolling down the tracks, spy castles and waterfalls, and spot the myriad details that bring the exhibit to life! Tip: you can get one hour of free parking in the library’s garage.


Looking for even more bright and festive fun? Check out our list of 11 Holiday Light Shows Illuminating Columbus! And while you’re out shopping this season, use our guide to local eats near popular shopping centers!