Dazzling lights, festive music, window shopping and more — there’s nothing better than the cheery spirit of the holiday season. That’s why here Downtown — we celebrate BIG!
Read on for the events coming up this holiday season, and keep checking back as new events are added.
Downtown Columbus Holi-DAY
Come Downtown on Saturday, December 2 for a flurry of festive activities to get you in the holiday spirit! With holiday shows, lights, markets and more, mix and match activities for the perfect holiDAY out.
CELEBRATIONS & FESTIVALS
→ FREE Santa Extravaganza
Lazarus Building, Galleria
50 W Town Street
4 pm – 7 pm
The nostalgic family tradition continues! Mr. Claus himself will be at the historic Lazarus Building galleria for photo ops along with a hullabaloo of holiday activities for the whole family including arts and crafts, face painting, letters to Santa, Secret Santa shopping and more. At 7 pm, Santa will lead the group to the Festive Saturday at Columbus Commons.
→ Festive Saturday + Holiday Lights at Columbus Commons
160 S High St
5 pm – 9 pm
With free hot chocolate, live music, a traveling photo booth, carousel rides and a bar offering a hot boozy beverages, enjoy some extra merriment from 5 pm to 9 pm while taking in the 400,000+ holiday lights.
11 am – 4 pm
WinterFest Columbus, presented by Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, is a free annual celebration of the winter season in downtown Columbus. WinterFest features local seasonal craft beer and cocktails, live music, some of Columbus’ best food trucks and lots of outdoor winter fun in a new venue at Dorrian Green!
→ Discovery District Trolley Hop
Starting at Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch and 256 E Neilston St
This Downtown Holiday Trolley Hop offers participants unique holiday shopping options and fun activities for children. The event, in its 10th year, provides the perfect opportunity to champion small businesses and embrace the spirit of local shopping.
This year’s trolley hop promises an array of attractions, including live music, children’s crafts, steaming hot chocolate, scrumptious treats, and appearances by beloved Holiday characters.
New this year! A route to the Santa Extravaganza at the Lazarus Building and Shops at Common Thread on 3rd Street has been added. The route includes a stop at the Museum of Catholic Art & History, with State Auto’s nativity scene now displayed at St Joseph Cathedral at 212 E. Broad St. The hop has been extended to 6 p.m. so that participants have a chance to view the holiday lights display at the Columbus Commons.
→ Good Market – HoliDAY Edition: Downtown Columbus x Good Land Brand
State St Walkway by Columbus Commons
55 State St (park at 191 S Third St)
Good Land Brand and Downtown Columbus are teaming up to bring the hit Good Market to Columbus Commons: HoliDAY edition! This cozy holiday market will be the merriest place to start your holiday shopping, with a variety of hand-crafted, local goods for sale from 20+ Columbus vendors located in the State Street walkway next to the Ohio Theatre, just adjacent to Columbus Commons.
→ Columbus College of Art and Design Art Fair & Marketplace
60 Cleveland Ave
9 am – 2 pm
Looking for unique gifts this holiday season? Look no further than Columbus College of Art & Design’s Art Fair & Marketplace Saturday, Dec. 2.
Whether you’re buying for a family member, a friend, a colleague, or even picking up a little something for yourself, you’ll find it at the Art Fair. Check out one-of-a-kind stationery, winter accessories, décor, and so much more you just won’t find anywhere else. Items are all made by CCAD students and alumni, and all sale proceeds go to the artists and designers themselves.
→ CSO Holiday Pops
The Ohio Theatre
The Columbus Symphony brings holiday magic to the Ohio Theatre, transforming it with beautiful decorations, wonderful music, heavenly voices, and seasonal cheer! The Columbus Symphony Chorus and Columbus Children’s Choir return to the stage to join in presenting the most-loved holiday songs and carols.
→ Columbus Children’s Theatre presents Mr. Scrooge The Musical
Riffe Center Studio 1
Shows at 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm
A tradition returns to CCT this holiday season! An adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this is the story you know and love presented in a family-friendly, hour-long performance. Join Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, and dozens of other colorful characters as we watch Ebenezer Scrooge change his ways when he learns the true meaning of Christmas. Bring your entire family and see how this heart-warming classic fills audiences with joyous holiday spirit!
→ Aethereal Jest Arts Council presents “Little Women of Orchard House”
Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave
Show at 8 pm
Aethereal Jest Arts Council’s production of David Longest’s “Little Women of Orchard House” is a fresh take on a timeless classic. The classic story of family and following your dreams told by the woman who wrote it.
COSI Seasons of Celebrations Exhibit
November 24 – January 7, 2024
Season of Celebrations is a new seasonal exhibit experience, starting on Friday, November 24, 2023, that will transform the museum into a winter wonderland, combining science, education and the festive spirit of the season. With a grand, 40-foot tree in the iconic COSI Atrium serving as the centerpiece, the experience will captivate visitors with enchanting decorations, 50 community-focused trees, 10 Classic COSI exhibit-themed trees along with specialty food & beverage.
Columbus Commons Holiday Lights
Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St.
November 17 – January 1 | 5-9 pm
Take in the magic of 400,000 colorful LED lights illuminating Columbus Commons. Perfect for the whole family or for date night.
State Auto Christmas Corner
518 E Broad St
December 7 – January
A Downtown Columbus tradition since 1931! At State Auto’s Downtown office you can find a life-sized Nativity scene and live choral performances bringing joy to passerby and visitors alike.
The Scioto Mile Holiday Lights
The Scioto Mile, 233 S. Civic Center Dr.
November – January
The Downtown riverfront will be shining bright thanks to dazzling holiday lights. Enjoy a stroll along the river, and pair it with a trip to the Commons for the perfect holiday night out.
Lazarus Window Displays
Along High St. at the Lazarus building, 141 N. High St.
November 18 – January 1
A nod to its history as a shopping center perfect for window shopping, the Lazarus building windows light up with holiday-themed displays, perfect for a nighttime stroll.
Statehouse Choir Performances
Museum gallery at The Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square
Dec 6 through Dec 20 | 12-1 pm
Various musical performers will provide free lunch hour music for the ears of employees, residents and visitors alike. The performances are a perfect occasion to pay a visit to this iconic Ohio landmark.
Huntington Holiday Train at the Main Library
Columbus Metropolitan Library, 96 S Grant Ave
On display through January 8, 2023
A tradition since 1992, the whole family will enjoy this massive train display located in the Main Atrium. Be sure to check out their website for the full list of holiday programming!
Other limited-time events
List coming soon!