This post is written by Sandi Combs, Marketing Coordinator for Experience Columbus. You can follow Sandi on Twitter @Sandi_ExpCols .

Part of what makes the holidays so magical to me is that the whole city seems to be shining with glittering decorations and twinkling lights. There’s just something about all of the glitz and sparkle that puts me in a good mood. So, it’s no surprise that one of my favorite things to do at this time of year is pick up some hot cocoa and head out to see holiday lights. Here are just a few of the best in Columbus:

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo

1. Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Nearly everything (except the animals) is decked out for the season during Wildlights, a favorite event of locals and visitors alike. You can check out the all new animated light show, take a ride on the Polar Bear Express or see Santa’s reindeer. I even hear Santa himself may make an appearance or two… A full schedule of activities and events is here .

2. The Holiday Lights! at Olde Gahanna and Creekside – ‘Tis the season in Gahanna! From one of the most dazzling holiday evening parades to photo opportunities with favorite holiday characters, there’s no shortage of things to do during this event. See the calendar here .

3. Ohio Statehouse Tree Lighting & Holiday Festival – Now in its 96th year, the Ohio Statehouse Tree Lighting & Holiday Festival is a family-friendly, one-night-only event taking place Weds., Nov. 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Entertainment includes carolers, refreshments, model trains and, of course, the lighting of the Statehouse’s two magnificent holiday trees.

Need more ideas for places to enjoy the season? Check out: Merry & Bright: Holidays at the Conservatory or Holiday Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park .

What do you think? What other must-see places are your favorite spots to see holiday lights?