8 Holiday Light Displays to Visit in Columbus this Winter

By Mariah West

It’s that time of year again to bundle up & take in the many dazzling light displays illuminating the city for the holidays. From jumbo dragons & zoo animals to a drive-thru winter wonderland, here are a few of the best twinkling, technicolor attractions you can explore in Columbus this season.


Via picchristmas.com

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Wildlights

By far one of the most spectacular holiday disaplays in the city is the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium’s annual Wildlights event, where guests of all ages can explore the expansive zoo grounds surrounded by millions of vibrant LED lights. This event also includes a musical light show on the pond central to the park, animal exhibits, and a variety of holiday-themed attractions like an ice rink, seasonal treats, train rides, Santa’s workshop, and much more. More info >>


Via  Experience Columbus

Short North Holiday Hop

The year’s largest edition of the monthly Short North Gallery Hop, the Holiday Hop, will return on Saturday, December 2, with hundreds of local boutiques, restaurants, bars, and art galleries taking part. This event makes our list for the elaborately decorated window displays the participating shops prepare, along with the dozens of fully lit and ornament-adorned trees that line High Street. The Holiday Hop will also feature live street performances, entertainment, and a Pop Up Shop craft fair. It’s everything you love about the monthly Gallery Hop with a festive twist. More info >>


Via flaneuryan.com

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

For the second year in a row, the Ohio State Fairgrounds is hosting the Chinese Lantern Festival, an eye-popping light exhibition and cultural celebration in the Natural Resources Park. At this event, guests can walk amongst 39 larger-than-life light-up sculptures, lanterns, and displays built by Chinese artisans, dine on authentic cuisine, shop for handmade treasures, and watch traditional stage performances & entertainment. This festival’s rich cultural theme is a refreshing, enchanting break from what you’d expect from the typical holiday celebration. More info >>



Scioto Mile & Columbus Commons

For those who prefer a more laid-back way to take in the lights, the downtown area is also decked for the holidays and ideal for evening strolling. The Scioto Mile is currently lighting up the riverfront with over 250,000 LED lights in Bicentennial Park, and will also be home to the first ever Winterfest on Saturday, December 2, a celebration with local beer, food, and live music. Just around the corner from the Mile, the Columbus Commons will also be illuminated with over 320,000 vibrant, festive lights through the season. More info >>


Via YouTube

Butch Bando’s Fantasy Lights at Alum Creek

Not into braving the cold weather? Enjoy an epic light show from the heated comfort of your car at Butch Bando’s annual Fantast of Lights at Alum Creek. This drive-thru visual extravaganza will feature dozens of LED light displays spanning 3 miles of the park, plus a Santa’s House attraction at Cross Creek Camping Resort. Here, guests can take photos with the big guy, shop for holiday gifts, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate & treats. More info >>


Via Sand and or Snow

Franklin Park Conservatory Gardens Aglow

The botanical wonderland that is the Franklin Park Conservatory will be decked for the holidays for their event Gardens Aglow through December. During this time, the Conservatory will display festive twinkling lights among its many exhibits, seasonal foliage & poinsettias, and special attractions like a gingerbread contest, a garden railway, and family-friendly activities. Extended evening hours will also be offered during this time, so visitors can see the lights truly shine against the night sky. More info >>


Via Wander & Whine

German Village Lights

The brick-laden streets of historic German Village will be lit up for the holidays for the area’s annual Village Lights, with a special community celebration on Sunday, December 3. During this event, guests can take in the décor while strolling through Schiller Park and visiting local businesses for late-hours shopping & libations. The event will also include an Outdoor Christmas Market, visits from Santa & Mrs. Claus, and live music. More info >>


Via Pinterest

Easton Town Center Holiday

While taking part in the holiday shopping hustle, visitors to the Easton Town Center can take in the many lights that decorate the shopping mecca through the season. In addition to a 56-foot tall digital tree in the Town Square and thousands of lights scattering the grounds, Easton will also be hosting horse-drawn carriage rides, festive live music & entertainment, and photos with Santa through December. More info >>


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