Central Ohio is the perfect place to enjoy the Christmas season with your family! The cool air and possible snowflakes will get you in the mood to view Christmas lights and take in the sights and sounds with your children. Here are 5 free things to do with the kids this December:
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 December 4th with a kick-off known as the Grand Illumination which will include photos with Rudolph, a North Pole Tinkershop, and holiday music. It’s sure to be a delightful event for the entire family. If you can’t make it, the lights stay up until January 20th, so swing by after that holiday party or business meeting.
The lights turn on December 1st at the family-friendly Holiday Festival, but there’s a chance to see the Victorian-era decorations the entire month (check the 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 be open December 2nd 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.
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 6th 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 is like stepping foot into a small New England town. Their 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 like Brews, 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 Festival takes place December 5th from 1-9 pm.