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Christmas in Columbus, Ohio 2023- The Best Christmas Events in Columbus Ohio for Families

Christmas in Columbus, Ohio 2023- The Best Christmas Events in Columbus Ohio for Families

Columbus, conveniently located in central Ohio, is an easy destination for all Ohio residents to visit during the holidays. Christmas in Columbus gives parents and kids an excuse to get out of the house and soak up the spirit of the season.

We have a list of tried and true, kid-approved holiday events like breakfast with Santa that are guaranteed to warm your hearts! Come check out the top Christmas events Columbus, Ohio has to offer the entire family. Updated for 2023!

Christmas Events Columbus, Ohio 2023

WinterFest at Bicentennial Park

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio
Bicentennial Park | Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Kevin Payravi

The Scioto Mile is a network of parks and promenades connecting downtown Columbus to the Scioto River. Each year, it lights up magnificently with thousands of twinkling lights for the entire holiday season.

WinterFest takes place December 2, 2023 in Bicentennial Park along this urban oasis. It’s an annual festival that invites families to come out and celebrate the spirit of giving with live music and local food trucks. A portion of all food and drink sales goes to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

Winterfair, at the Ohio Events Center, takes place December 1-3, 2023 It’s an annual event where shoppers can buy handcrafted items from a large variety of vendors.

German Village

 Christmas in Columbus Ohio includes the popular German Village
German Village by Flickr/Photographer

Follow over 10,000 luminaries that line the historic streets of Columbus’ German Village during Village Lights. Shop to your heart’s content with special deals, discounts, and treats.

Carolers, live music, and an authentic Striezelmarkt are sure to make the evening feel extra special. Don’t forget to bundle up, as most of the fun is outside! This year’s event is December 3, 2023 from 5-9pm.

Explore more of the state. Here are our favorite things to do in Ohio with kids.

Breakfast with Santa

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio include Breakfast with Santa
Breakfast with Santa by Flickr/NEPA Scene

On select weekends in December, Franklin Park Conservatory hosts Breakfast with Santa. At this festive event, families enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast surrounded by poinsettia trees in the Grand Atrium.

Santa stops by each table for a personal visit before making his way to pose for pictures with the kids. After eating, kids can visit the craft table to write letters to Santa.

The Conservatory also hosts various kid-friendly events such as gingerbread house building, cookie decorating, carol performances by local choirs, science demonstrations, and more throughout the month of December.

Here are the 10 best things to do in Columbus, Ohio with kids no matter the season.

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio includes Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo
Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo by Flickr/Sam Howzit

Can you imagine what one million twinkling lights would look like? How about three million? Families can get wild in winter with Columbus Zoo and Aquarium‘s Wildlights! It is one of the most popular Christmas events in Columbus, Ohio. 

A nighttime spectacular filled with three million Christmas lights, the zoo illuminates everything that stands still using energy-saving LED lights. Rudolph, Santa, and several animated light shows will have your wee one’s eyes all aglow.

This year’s event takes place November 16, 2023 through January 7, 2023. It runs from 5pm until closing. In addition to lights, check out attractions like the 12 Days of Wildlights Train Ride, holiday craft beer selection, and musical performances at Lakeside Theater. Tickets can be purchased online.

Check for deals on family-friendly hotels in Columbus. As a affiliate, Trekaroo is thrilled to offer our reader’s the lowest rates.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio
Genoa Park | Photo by Flickr/Andy Karmy

Dress up in as much Christmas garb as you can, tie on a few jingle bells, and help support a great cause while feeling healthier about yourself and your family. Every year, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk at Genoa Park helps support a great cause, The Arthritis Foundation.

Kids and adults can choose whether to walk or run, and children 10 and under can participate in the Kids Snowflake Dash. This year’s event takes place December 2, 2023.

Dickens of a Christmas

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio Village
Ohio Village | Photo by Flickr/OZinOH

Ohio Village turns into an eighteenth-century town filled with shows, activities, and crafts geared toward families and kids of all ages for the holiday season.

From Christmas Carol Puppets in the School House to a visit with St. Nicholas in the Church, Dickens of a Christmas treats families to fun holiday traditions in a festive setting.

In the Farm House, parents and kids can stop in and grab a tasty treat and check out the daily holiday meal.

Meet Santa, say hello to Jacob Marley, and learn how the residents of Ohio Village celebrate Christmas. Make sure to dress warmly as many of the events, including carolers and other actors, are outside.

Pre-registration is required. This event takes place on weekends December 2 – 17, 2023.

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival

Christmas in Columbus Ohio at the Statehouse
Tree Lighting, Photo by Ohio Statehouse Archives

The Ohio Statehouse hosts an annual holiday festival and tree lighting ceremony December 2, 2023. Enjoy carolers, refreshments, and historical figures.

Then throughout the month, free holiday performances by local musical groups give families a great reason to visit midday. Santa and Mrs. Claus have even been known to make an appearance, so keep your eyes peeled for the jolly old elf.

Check for the best hotel prices in Columbus.

Find more Christmas Events Near You! Trekaroo has dozens of guides to the holidays.

Pin this to bookmark all the holiday fun; we update it yearly:

Christmas and holiday fun in Columbus Ohio

Featured photo by: Shutterstock

Tiffany Vaughn