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Free December Holiday Events in Columbus

2012 Free Events!


There is no end to holiday events in Columbus in December, whether you are looking for culinary delights, Santa-themed events or religious programming - Columbus has a little something for everyone.

While there are lots of options, Columbus residents are also mindful of their budgets. Luckily there are plenty of free and low-cost events available.

Holiday Open House
November 27 - December 1, 2012
Tuesday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dublin Arts Center
7125 Riverside Dr., Dublin, 43016

From the Website:All merchandise, including uniquely Dublin and Irish-themed artwork from the Gift Shop's Celtic Corner, will be offered at a 30 percent discount. The Dublin Arts Council Gift Shop features handmade items by local artists, holiday ornaments and cards, jewelry, ceramics, host and hostess gifts, and more. All purchases support artists while benefiting Dublin Arts Council programs.

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Columbus Commons Holiday Fair

November 30 - December 1, 2012
Friday-Saturday 4-9 p.m. Fireworks end the nights.
Columbus Commons
160 S. High St., Columbus, 43215

From the Website: Columbus Commons is celebrating the holiday season amidst a wonderland of more than 120,000 holiday lights. Activities include trackless train rides, trolley rides, carousel rides, a petting zoo, and marshmallow roasting. Both evenings will end with a festival fireworks display. A holiday tent will host a Secret Santa Shop, visits with Santa and festive arts and crafts. A Downtown Illumination lighting ceremony will also take place Friday evening.

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Grand Illumination Ceremony

November 30, 2012
Friday 5 p.m.
Bicentennial Park on the Scioto Mile
233 Civic Center Dr., Columbus, 43215
From the Website: This year the Grand Illumination will feature three times the amount of lights as in 2011 including 200,000 LED lights on 150 trees. New in 2012, the ceremony will showcase a stunning light show choreographed to seasonal music and Bicentennial Park will feature dynamic, holiday imagery projected onto the AEP Fountain, creating a one-of-a-kind visual experience. During the ceremony, visitors can enjoy a special video message from the Mayor, traditional carols performed by the Columbus Children's Choir, BalletMet Columbus' Nutcracker and Clara, and an appearance by Santa. In the spirit of giving, attendees can also help support the Mid-Ohio Foodbank by purchasing a piece of handcrafted pottery, created for the Empty Bowls project, and receive a bowl of gourmet mac 'n' cheese compliments of Milestone 229.

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Christmas Candlelighting
December 1-15, 2012
Location: Saturdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Free. Tour is $9.95 for adults and $4.95 for students
Historic Roscoe Village
600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton, 43812
800-877-1830, 740-622-7644

From the Website:Historic Roscoe Village cheers on the holiday season with its Christmas Candlelighting. Share in the evening's tradition of lighting the Christmas tree and your own candle as everyone softly sings "Silent Night". During the day, guests can enjoy art with Santa, strolling carolers, horse drawn surrey rides, complimentary hot-mulled cider and cookies, and many other holiday festivities. "A Roscoe Christmas" tour offers a glimpse into the 1800s holiday season. Guided tours available at various times during the afternoon, or enjoy the same tour after the ceremony by guided candlelight.

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Holiday Tours on Capitol Square
December 1-31, 2012
Tours offered weekdays at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and weekends at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Ohio Statehouse
Broad and High streets, Columbus, 43215

From the Website:Step back in time with a guided tour of the 1861 Statehouse and see holiday decorations as they were in Victorian times.

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Short North Holiday Hop

December 1, 2012
Saturday 4-10 p.m.
Admission: Free
Short North Arts District
Along High Street in the Short North, Columbus, 43201

From the Website:Celebrate the holidays on the first Saturday of December at Holiday Hop along with thousands of visitors who converge on the strip, the epicenter of the High Street Experience. They come to celebrate art and partake in an evening of sights, sounds, food, shopping, and cosmopolitan holiday fun. Though many shops are open earlier, the Gallery Hop officially starts at 4 p.m. and runs to 10 p.m. with restaurants and bars staying open considerably later.

Orange Johnson House Christmas Open House

December 2-16, 2012
Sunday 1-5 p.m.
956 High St., Worthington, 43085

From the WebsiteShare the spirit of the season with family and friends by taking a free tour of the Federal-style house, festive with old-style decorations. Sample holiday treats and listen to traditional holiday music.

Village Lights December 2, 2012
Sunday 6-10 p.m.
Throughout German Village, Columbus, 43206

From the Website: Experience the holiday charm of German Village. Stroll down the luminaria lighted streets and paths of Schiller Park and German Village. Bring the family to enjoy carriage rides and visit with Santa and his reindeers. Lights, music, and excitement reverberate throughout the Village streets and businesses. Visit the Village businesses for holiday treats, specials and live entertainment.

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Open House December 3, 2012
Monday 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Ohio Statehouse
Broad and High streets, Columbus, 43215

From the Website:The holiday season opens in Ohio with the 97th annual holiday Statehouse event. Attend the Statehouse Holiday Open House and Festival to kick off the 2012 holiday season. Holiday activities include: carolers, refreshments, model trains, community mascots and much more. Historical characters and modern dignitaries will be on hand to greet guests, including Santa himself.

Christmas Tree Farms in Columbus

Holiday Choir Performances

December 4-18, 2012
Monday-Friday noon-1 p.m.
Ohio Statehouse
Broad and High streets, Columbus, 43215

From the Website:Musical performances are scheduled each weekday at noon in the Crypt of the Ohio Statehouse. Residents, staff and visitors will be treated to a lunch hour concert as Ohio choirs and musical groups celebrate and sing the songs of the season.
Br> State Auto's Christmas Corner

December 5, 2012 - January 1, 2013
Monday-Sunday 5:30-11 p.m.
State Auto's Christmas Corner
518 E. Broad St., Columbus, 43215
From the Website:A beloved Central Ohio tradition since the 1930s, State Auto's Christmas Corner, featuring a life-size Nativity display. The 75+ human and animal figures of the Nativity, lovingly restored over the past several years, illustrate the Christmas story with amazing richness of detail.

Olde Hilliard Christmas

December 6-23, 2012
Hours: Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m. Sunday 2-5 p.m. Ends at 4 p.m. Dec. 23
Thursday Dec. 6 5-10 p.m
Historical Village at Weaver Park
4100 Columbia St., Hilliard, 43026

From the Website:Enjoy tours of the 1800's historic village (one room school house, log cabin, privy, election house, caboose, granary, barn, Hilliard Station, Covered Bridge, Chapel and museum), live music, skits/plays and more! The Historic Village will be adorned in lights and decorations

Christmas in the Valley
December 7-8, 2012
The King Arts Complex
867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, 43203

From the Website: Alan Barnes has created a winter wonderland display for the Christmas season. Tiny tots with families will watch the trains and trolley car travel through tunnels and over bridges to scenic places in the North Pole. To their amazement appears snow covered mountains, a ski slope and ice skating pond. Scenes with buildings, people and church are nostalgic for childhood images of yesteryear.

Illuminating Shopping
December 7, 2012
Friday 6-9 p.m.
Downtown Worthington
High St., Worthington, 43085

From the Website:Attend a special First Friday with our Illuminating Shopping event. Enjoy wine and cheese, live music, carriage rides and holiday specials while you shop amid glowing luminaries.

Handel's Messiah

December 9, 2012
Hours: Sunday 4-6 p.m.
Broad Street Presbyterian Church
760 E. Broad St., Columbus, 43205

From the Website:The Broad Street Choir and orchestra under the direction of Christopher R. Dent will present Part 1 of Handel's oratorio Messiah, often considered the Christmas portion of Handel's masterwork, and the Christmas Oratorio by French composer Camille Saint-Saens.

Olde Hilliard Christmas

December 15, 2012
Saturday 4-8 p.m.
Historical Village at Weaver Park
4100 Columbia St., Hilliard, 43026

From the Website:Come see all of the activities that the Hilliard Arts Council and Destination Hilliard has sponsered at the Olde Hilliard Christmas. There will be live music inclusing string time band and live christmas carole skits. Don't miss out on the apperance of the Grinch! from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Columbus Kwanzaa Celebration

December 26-27, 2012
Wednesday-Thursday 6 p.m.
The King Arts Complex
867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, 43203

From the Website:Join the King Arts Complex as we celebrate Kwanzaa. In partnership with the Tawi Family village, these community events will express the true meaning of the Kwanzaa holiday. Patrons will be able to learn about the seven principles, enjoy entertainment, see old friends and meet new friends. We will answer habari gani (What's the good news) and cry Harambee (Let's all pull together!) at the end of the evening. Join us for authentic African cuisine, African dance and drumming.

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