Don’t let the darkness get you down this holiday season; once the sun sets the night sky is illuminated by fantastic holiday lightshows taking place all across the city.
Check out our curated list of holiday light displays you can safely enjoy while socially distanced this season, and when you bundle up to head out, don’t forget to don your mask and help keep the community safe. Start making your calendars to ensure you can enjoy everything Columbus has to offer to help end 2020 on a bright note.
Many attractions require timed entry to help with crowd control so please check individual protocols before visiting.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Nov. 14 – Jan. 10 | 5-9 p.m.
The annual Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens features thousands of lights twinkling and glowing in stunning displays, and new this year is a Candyland scene complete with a life-size gingerbread house and the magical train display, Paul Busse Garden Railway. Accompanying the lights are familiar holiday favorites – such as the rainbow tunnel, ornament trees, gingerbread competition and more!
Nov. 20 | 5 p.m.
Shop and stroll the sidewalks of The Strand, grab something festive to drink in the newest district, and begin an enchanted holiday season with the Grand Illumination of more than two million lights that will dazzle Easton at 7 p.m., including the enormous tree in the Central Park Fountain. Carriage rides will be available for a fresh perspective.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Nov. 20 – Jan. 3 (member preview Nov. 19) | 5 p.m. – close
Central Ohio's favorite family holiday tradition is Wildlights! at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Originally just a few strands of lights and a few trays of cookies, the show has grown to millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, reindeer and other holiday festivities, offering a whole new way to experience Jungle Jack Hanna’s home zoo. Don’t miss what MSN calls one of the most magical Christmas light displays in the country.
Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights
Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds
Nov. 20 – Jan. 3
Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights is the perfect COVID-19-cautious event. The three-mile drive-thru experience takes about 30 minutes, featuring twinkling holiday displays and dazzling tunnels, with the perfect holiday music pairing piped through the radio. Plus, Mrs. Claus will be on hand to collect letters to Santa!
Nov. 20 – Jan. 3 | 5-10 p.m.
Check out the more than 400,000 LED lights that dazzle throughout the Columbus Commons in the 10th year of its festive light display. Enjoy the free, self-guided display with family and friends as a way to get in the holiday spirit. With six acres of space, there’s plenty of room for social distancing. Due to COVID-19, no concessions or restrooms will be available and the carousel will be closed this year.
Creekside Holiday Lights
Nov. 22 - Early 2021
The Gahanna Holiday Lights Celebration looks different this year, but will still be merry, bright, and fun for the whole family! The community is invited to watch a Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Gahanna Facebook page on Nov. 22, at 6:30 p.m., featuring enjoyable entertainment and a jolly guest all the way from the North Pole! Creekside Park is beautifully decorated park for the holidays with a light show in the lagoon through the beginning of 2021 that families can enjoy at their leisure.
Light Up Camp
Flying Horse Farms
Weekends Nov. 27 - Dec. 27 | 6:00 p.m.
Don't miss Flying Horse Farms' free seasonal drive-through light display "Light Up Camp." Camp buildings will be transformed into a twinkling, musical wonderland of safe, physically distanced family fun. The display will be open on all major holidays so this is a great option if your traditional family celebrations aren't taking place this year.
Holiday Lights Tour
SegAway Tours of Columbus
Nov. 30 – Dec. 23 | 6 & 8:15 p.m.
Enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of the holiday season as you glide through downtown on a Segway. during this delightful SegAway Holiday Lights Tour. Listen to your favorite holiday music through a wireless sound system while seeing holiday displays through the Scioto Mile, Arena District and Columbus Commons. The beautiful Columbus skyline at night is not to be missed! Tours are 1.5 hours each, including training, and cost $49/person.
Night of Lights
Dec. 3 - Jan. 3
Dublin's Coffman Park is kicking off the holiday season with a new drive-thru experience to take the place of the city's annual tree lighting. A display of 40,000 LED lights will illuminate Coffman Park Drive, and drivers can tune in to their vehicle’s FM radio for music to accompany the spectacular display. Participation in the event is free and residents will be required to stay inside their cars at all times with no walk-up viewing permitted. Along the route, drivers will pass by the Reindeer Corral, the Elves Playground and several additional holiday displays. One opening night, festive live entertainment, including a juggler, fire performer, holiday characters, stilt walkers and dancers will enhance the event. Learn more here.
Holiday Lights Tours
Columbus City Adventures
Dec. 4-19 | Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 5:30 p.m.
Enjoy a 2-hour walking tour of downtown light displays, including the Grand Illumination along the Scioto Mile, the Statehouse in all its holiday glory and the Festival of Lights at the Columbus Commons while your guide recounts the history of Central Ohio’s holiday traditions. Public Holiday Lights Tours with Columbus City Adventures are $25 and depart from Hotel LeVeque. Private tours for up to 9 are also available.