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Central Ohio is the perfect place to enjoy the Christmas season with your family! The chilled air and falling snow will get you in the mood to take in the sights and sounds with your children. Here are 5 free Christmas events near Columbus, Ohio!
Scioto Mile Christmas lights
Bicentennial Park along the Scioto Mile is a great place to chill in the heat of summer, but now you can enjoy it once the holiday season hits. The lights go on November 17th, but the inaugural celebration for 2017 will be a WinterFest event taking place on Saturday, December 2nd. WinterFest includes a free concert of various local and national performers from 11 am- 4 pm. Food trucks and beer vendors will also be present, with a portion of food and beverage sales going to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
If you can’t make it, the lights stay up until January, so swing by after that holiday party or business meeting.
The lights turn on December 7th at the family-friendly Holiday Festival, but there’s a chance to see the Victorian-era decorations the entire month (check website for times). Located in the center of downtown Columbus, you won’t want to miss the beauty and majesty of the Christmas at the Statehouse. A visit is also a great way to sneak some education into a two-week Christmas break.
State Auto’s Nativity Scene
Bob Pein, State Auto’s Founder, began decorating the company’s downtown headquarters building in 1932 as a “Christmas gift to the community.” The present day decor, a life-sized Nativity scene, has become a destination for locals and travelers alike. The display will open Tuesday, December 5th through New Years Day beginning at 5:30 pm each evening with local choirs performing on the weekends. This may just be your new Christmas family tradition- and it’s absolutely FREE. Check their website for special choir performances.
Village Lights in Historic German Village
Bundle up the kids and give them a taste of yesteryear as you begin the holiday season in German Village. German Village is a FREE destination year-round, but when you add luminarias, a Christmas market, and warm beverages, you’ll feel more like you’ve been transported from Columbus, Ohio to Munich, Germany. The Village Lights Festival is December 3rd from 5-9 pm. Not only is the event free, but the parking is free as well, with a free shuttle running from 2 local parking lots. More info HERE.
Granville Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour
A 30-minute drive from downtown Columbus: Granville, Ohio is like stepping foot into a small New England town. Granville’s Christmas Candlelight Tour is completely free, yet you may want to pack a little cash (along with the kids) so you can enjoy a holiday beverage at a restaurant , or take the children on a magical horse-drawn carriage through the small city.
Luminaries and lighted Christmas trees will line the streets making for a Winter Wonderland as you pop in and out of local churches to hear Christmas music. The Granville Candlelight Walking Tour takes place December 2nd from 1-9 pm.