Your Guide to Christmas Events in Columbus

by Hometeam Properties on December 1, 2017

Wow, it's December already? 2017 has flown by and the holiday season is in full swing. Get your full dose of all that Columbus has to offer for the holidays by using this guide to find all of the best Christmas events in Columbus.

1. WinterFest

WinterFest takes place on December 2nd at Bicentennial Park and is a new event for Columbus. This festival will feature local and national musical acts, seasonal brews from local breweries, and plenty of things to eat from local food trucks.

Enjoy seasonal beers from:
Columbus Brewing Company – Citra Noel, Red Ale
Four String Brewing Co. – Vanilla Porter, Seasonal Porter and Hilltop Lager
Seventh Son Brewing – Rime, Holiday IPA
Great Lakes Brewing Company – Christmas Ale, Winter Warmer

Food trucks include Paddy WagonCheesy TruckTortillaMixing BowlPitabilitiesBuckeye DonutsLos Potosinos and Rolling Soul.

This event isn't just for fun and food though, a portion of the food truck and beer sales will be donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s food truck will also be on hand selling hand-crafted bowls and a signature soup from Milestone 229 as part of the Empty Bowls initiative which supports the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

For entertainment, RJD2 will be the headliner at the Bicentennial Stage. There will be additional performances by Doc Robinson and Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons.

Don't miss out on this (hopefully) annual event, and be sure to check out the lights along the Scioto Mile while you're there.

2. Deck The Halls With Ugly Sweaters

There's no doubt that the ugly Christmas sweater trend has taken off in recent years, with many contests and themed parties being hosted to see just who can find (or make) the ugliest sweater.

christmas events in columbus

From bar crawls to concerts, grab your best ugly sweater, or your glue gun and some creative Christmas accessories, and head to some of these popular ugly sweater parties around town.

3. Catch a Christmas Movie

Sure, you can sit at home and binge-watch Christmas movies until Santa shimmies down the chimney, but nothing beats catching one of the classics in the historical Drexel or the all-in Gateway Film Center. If you’re looking for a way to see your favorite films on the big screen, look no further. Here are the best holiday movie events going on!

Gateway Film Center will feature cult-classics like A Christmas Story, Love Actually, and Scrooged. The independent film center will also screen It's A Wonderful Life and White Christmas in 35mm film. Last but not least, it's not Christmas without Lethal Weapon (it IS a Christmas movie), so be sure to add that to your list of reasons to visit Gateway Film Center.

If you're looking for a more interactive experience, the Drexel Theater in Bexley has a few options for you.

Head to the Drexel for a PJ party and free hot cocoa before you board The Polar Express. Guests are invited to wear pj’s, bring blankets, and enjoy free hot chocolate from the Lucky’s Market Columbus Hot Cocoa Bar!

If comedy's are more your style, you can skip your train ride and opt for a PJ party and cereal bar while you watch Will Ferrel as Buddy the Elf. You can find more information and purchase ticket here.


Still shopping? Check out these holiday gifts for college students for last minute ideas.


4. See Rudolph On Stage

The beloved TV classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season.

christmas events in columbus

See all of your favorite characters like Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life. 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical will have four performances at the Palace Theatre on December 16 and 17. Get your tickets at the CAPA Ticket Center, all Ticketmaster outlets, and online.

5. Light Up The Night

Love holiday lights but don't want to break a leg climbing up onto your own roof to put them up? Head around town and see some of the best holiday light displays, all from the safety of ground level.

Not only are there plenty of lights to see by simply driving around the different neighborhoods in Columbus, but there are a lot of communities and businesses that get involved as well.

Some unique, but classic, light displays include the Zoo Lights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Ohio State Fairgrounds and Expo Center.

Another can't miss display is when the Ohio State House adorns their tree with hundred of lights. The official holiday festival and tree lighting is on December 7th.

There You Have It

The city has a lot to offer for holiday fun and Christmas events in Columbus. There's nothing quite like seeing the twinkling of lights from the State House tree, or grabbing free hot cocoa while you watch Polar Express at the Drexel.

We hope you enjoy these holiday events as much as we do!