Downtown Concierge

Holiday Displays and Events in Downtown Columbus

Dazzling lights, festive music, window shopping and more — there’s nothing better than the cheery spirit of the holiday season. We’ve rounded up a list of holiday happenings in Downtown Columbus that are guaranteed to get you in the Yuletide mood. 

 

Season-long spectacles 

 

Columbus Commons Holiday Lights  

Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St.
November 18 – January 1 | 5-9pm

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!

 

Limited-time events 

 

Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting 

The Ohio Statehouse Atrium, 1 Capitol Square  
Thursday, December 1 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm

This annual event serves as a kickoff to the holiday season, featuring free treats, crafts, dance performances, pictures with Santa and of course, the lighting of the iconic holiday tree. 

 

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Palace Theatre, 34 W Broad St
Dec 1 + 2 | 6:30-8:30pm + 7:30-9:30pm

Contemporary circus arts abound as holiday characters perform acrobatic on-stage acts. An original music score, live singing, and circus entertainment are sure to be a delight for kids and parents alike.

 

Common Thread Fashion Night Out

Common Thread, 237-275 S Third St
Thursday, December 1 | 6 pm – 9 pm

Shop the night away at Common Thread’s monthly Fashion Night Out event, happening on the first Thursday of every month from 6 – 9 pm. Meet the designers and enjoy the festivities including music and pop-ups. Plus, on December 1, 2022, when you spend  $50 or more at a Common Thread store you’ll receive a $10 gift card to a nearby Downtown Columbus restaurant.

 

Downtown Holiday Wine Tasting

The Hills Market, 95 N Grant Ave
Friday, December 2 | 6 pm – 8 pm

Back after a hiatus, sip on Champagnes and other high-end wines to raise money for Faith Mission. Unlimited samples of wine + charcuterie snacks are all yours.

 

Holiday Pops with the Columbus Symphony 

Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. 
December 2-4

Bring the whole family to this fun holiday show – a Pops tradition featuring modern, jazzy takes on all of the holiday classics! 

 

FREE Santa Extravaganza

Lazarus Building, Galleria, 50 W. Town St 
Saturday, December 3 | 1 pm – 5 pm  

Mr. Claus himself will be making a comeback at the very place many Columbus residents affectionately recall making seasonal expeditions to see him: the Lazarus Building. Festive activities include face painting, crafts, music, a kids’ Secret Santa Shop and more.

 

Jingle Bell Run 

Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St. 
Saturday, December 3 | 8 am

The city skyline provides the perfect backdrop for this festive 5K race benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. 

 

WinterFest 

Scioto Mile, 233 Civic Center Dr.
Saturday, December 3 | 11 am – 4 pm

Presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, WinterFest is a celebration of the season featuring musical acts, seasonal craft beer and cocktails along with favorite dishes from Columbus food trucks. 

 

Cooking With the Kids: Holiday Brunch

CSCC Mitchell Hall, 250 Cleveland Ave
Saturday, December 3 | 11am-1pm

Chef Shawnie Kelley will be guiding a festive, family-friendly culinary journey featuring baked Strata, reindeer pancakes, crepes and more. Complimentary beverages for the adults are included in ticket price. 

 

Discovery District Holiday Trolley Hop

Starts at Columbus Metropolitan Library, 96 S Grant Ave
Saturday, December 3 | 12-4 pm

Bring the whole family to hop on a free trolley and adventure through various stops in the Discovery District with crafts, tours, and shopping.

 

Holiday Happy Hour on the Scioto Mile

Coleman’s Pointe, 67 S Civic Center Drive
Friday, December 9 | 5:30 – 8 pm

Relax and enjoy the Downtown riverfront aglow with holiday light with a festive drink in hand at this outdoor holiday happy hour. Beverages from Wolf’s Ridge Brewing and Accent Wine will be available at happy hour prices, including a seasonal High Bank Distillery hot cocktail to warm you up.

 

Festive Fridays 

Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St.
December 2, 9, 16, 23 | 5 pm – 9 pm 

The park’s 400,000 LED lights provide the perfect setting for this weekly event featuring FREE hot chocolate, carousel rides and live music.  

 

The Nutcracker 

Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St.
December 8-24

A magical holiday classic in a grand setting, perfect for all ages.  

 

ELF The Musical 

Palace Theatre, 34 W. Broad St.
December 13-18

This hilarious, feel-good musical adaptation is sure to bring holiday cheer to the whole family.

 

CD92.9 Holiday Show 

KEMBA Live!, 405 Neil Ave 
Friday, December 9 | 6 pm

Featuring FOALS, Inner Wave, Glove, and Momma, this is a holiday celebration perfect for the modern music fanatic.  

 

Holiday Lights Bike Ride

Meet at Columbus Commons, 160 S High St
Sunday, December 11 | 6:30-9pm

This free 10 mile bike ride will tour a through holiday lights Downtown and neighboring areas. Advanced registration is required. Holiday bike decor is encouraged!

 

Holiday Markets

Huntington Center (2nd floor), 41 S High St
December 14 + 15 | 10am-3pm

Seasonal goods, gifts, and crafts will be available from local artisans at these neighborhood markets happening at the Huntington Center.

 

Jackie O’s on Fourth Holiday Pop Up

Jackie O’s Brewery, 171 N Fourth St
Sunday, December 18 | 1 pm – 6 pm

Hand made gifts? Vinyl records? Sign us up. Enjoy some last-minute holiday shopping and check out the progress Jackie O’s is making on their much-anticipated patio.