Holiday Lights and Displays in Central Ohio
DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS
ADDRESS: Ohio Village, 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus 43221
PRICE: $12 ages 13+ ($10 if an Ohio Historical Society member), $9 ages 6-12 ($7 if an OHS member), free for ages 0-5; free parking
DATES/TIMES: 6-9 p.m., Dec. 7-8, 14-15; 12 noon-5 p.m., Dec. 16
DISTANCE: 4 miles north from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: Inspired by Charles Dickens and the Victorian Era, explore Ohio Village, meet Santa and enjoy various crafts and activities.
EASTON TOWN CENTER
ADDRESS: 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus 43219
PRICE: free to see lights; photos with Santa start at $5; carriage rides cost $10 per adult with children under 15 riding free with paying adult
DATES/TIMES: daily through Dec. 31, hours vary, closed Christmas Day
DISTANCE: 10 miles northeast from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: Enjoy the lighted 50-foot tree and lights display in Town Square, plus free entertainment. Visit their website for times and locations.
OLDE HILLIARD CHRISTMAS
ADDRESS: Historical Village at Weaver Park, 4100 Columbia St., Hilliard 43026
DATES/TIMES: The Christmas season opens on Dec. 6 with a tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. The village will be adorned with lights and decorations through Dec. 31. Santa visits on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 2-6 p.m. (bring your own camera)
DISTANCE: 14 miles west from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: The Historical Village in Olde Hilliard’s Weaver Park will be adorned in holiday decorations and lights all month. Each weekend, events like kids’ activities, trolley rides, music and plays will take place. Consult their website for specific times and activities.
STATE AUTO CHRISTMAS DISPLAY
ADDRESS: 518 E. Broad St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215
DATES/TIMES: The lights will be turned on and the display officially opens on Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. The display can be toured any time through Jan. 1. The lights are turned on every day from 6-8 a.m. and 5:30-11:30 p.m. and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The display also will be lit from 6 a.m. on Christmas Eve until 8 a.m. on Christmas Day.
DESCRIPTION: Come and go as you please (and follow their cell-phone-guided tour) for this outdoor display, which features a life-size Nativity scene with more than 75 figures. Enjoy choral performances at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23. Parking available in the State Auto lot at the southeast corner of Broad and Washington streets.
Here’s a recap of the events we highlighted in our November 2012 issue that are continuing through the winter season:
FANTASY OF LIGHTS
ADDRESS: Alum Creek State Park, 2911 S. Old State Road, Delaware 43015
PRICE: starts at $10 per car; varies by date and vehicle size
DATES/TIMES: through Jan. 1; 5:30-9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 5:30-10:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday
GERMAN VILLAGE LIGHTS
ADDRESS: Historic German Village
DATES: throughout the month of December
THE GRAND ILLUMINATION OF DOWNTOWN COLUMBUS
ADDRESS: Bicentennial Park (233 Civic Center Drive), City Hall (90 W. Broad St.) and Columbus Commons (160 S. High St.)
DATES: through Jan. 15
HOLIDAY LIGHTS! AT CREEKSIDE PARK
ADDRESS: Creekside Park & Plaza, 123 Mill St., Gahanna 43230
PRICE: free and open to the public
DATES: daily through Jan. 2; on Dec. 8, visit the Olde Gahanna Sanctuary for children’s activities and a character breakfast.
TIMES: Monday-Sunday, any time
HOLIDAYS AT THE STATEHOUSE
ADDRESS: The Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square (Downtown), Columbus 43215
DATES/TIMES: through Dec. 31; the Statehouse is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, closed on Christmas Day. The Statehouse Museum is open 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 12 noon-4:30 p.m. weekends. From Dec. 3-18, there will be a free holiday musical performance at 12 noon in the Museum Gallery.
MERRY & BRIGHT
ADDRESS: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus 43203
PRICE: regular admission rates ($11 adults to age 59, $9 ages 60+ and college students with ID, $6 ages 3-17, free for ages 0-2)
DATES/TIMES: through Jan. 6, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, and open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays
ADDRESS: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 W. Powell Road, Powell 43065
PRICE: regular admission rates ($14.99 ages 10-59, $9.99 ages 2-9, $10.99 ages 60+, free for ages 0-2); parking is $7 per car; members receive free admission and parking.
DATES/TIMES: through Jan. 1, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, Christmas Eve; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Holiday Lights and Displays Outside Central Ohio
CHRISTMAS AT HISTORIC ROSCOE VILLAGE
ADDRESS: 600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton 43812PHONE: 740-622-9310 for general information; 740-622-7644, ext. 12 for tour reservations
PRICE: free for admission and parking, tours are $9.95 for adults and $4.95 for children
DATES/TIMES: Guided Tours: 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8, 15, and at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Dec. 2, 9, 16; Christmas Candlelightings: 6 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8, 15
DISTANCE: 77 miles northeast from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: Take a weekend journey to Coshocton to experience Christmas during the 1800s. Guided tours will teach you and your family about traditions from holiday seasons of old, and the Christmas Candlelighting Ceremonies bring another tradition to life as you sing “Silent Night” while walking through the streets during a candlelit night.
A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE AND MUSEUM
ADDRESS: 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland 44109PHONE: 216-298-4919
PRICE: $10 ages 13-59, $8 ages 60+, $6 ages 7-12, free for ages 0-6; on-street parking is free
DATES/TIMES: open all year but in December, dates and times vary. It’s closed Mondays-Wednesdays, and on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Check the website for times on specific dates.
DISTANCE: 141 miles northeast from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: You’ve probably seen “A Christmas Story” more times than you can count. But did you know there’s an entire museum dedicated to the classic film, right in Cleveland? See props and costumes from the movie, peruse the gift shop and take a tour of the house.
DICKENS VICTORIAN VILLAGE
ADDRESS: Wheeling Avenue between 6th and 11th streets, Cambridge 43725
DATES: Through Jan. 6
TIMES: any time; a light show synchronized to holiday music takes place every night at the Guernsey County Courthouse from 5:30-9 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on Dec. 24-26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1
DISTANCE: 80 miles east from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: Travel back to the time of Charles Dickens when you visit this Victorian Village. Throughout the holiday season, there’s a plethora of activities: Performances of “White Christmas,” a Holiday Tour of Homes, Christmas Movie Nights and a light show that takes place at the Courthouse every evening. There’s also a life-size display featuring holiday scenes, including from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
HOCKING HILLS SCENIC RAILWAY HOLIDAY TRAINS
ADDRESS: Nelsonville Depot, 33 E. Canal St., Nelsonville 45764
PHONE: 800-967-7834 (messages only), 740-753-9531 (11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays)
PRICE: Santa Train: $17 ages 13-59; $15 ages 60+; $13 ages 3-12; free for ages 0-2; New Year’s Eve Celebration Train: $30 ages 13-59, $25 ages 60+, $20 ages 3-12, free for ages 0-2 (this is for the train cars where pizza and pop — and no alcohol — are served)
DATES/TIMES: Santa Train: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 — ride lasts about 2 hours, 6 p.m. rides on Dec. 8, 15; New Year’s Eve Celebration Train: 10:30 p.m., Dec. 31
DISTANCE: Approximately 60 miles south from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: Kids will love a visit with Santa Claus while riding on a train! Children have the chance to tell the jolly Santa what they’d like for Christmas, and will enjoy a little treat. After the ride, visit the Train Shop to browse for souvenirs. Make sure to purchase tickets in advance, as they often sell out.
LEBANON MASON & MONROE RAILROAD NORTH POLE EXPRESS
ADDRESS: 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon 45036
PRICE: $20.50 ages 17-61, $15.50 ages 5-16 and 62+, $8.50 ages 2-4, free for ages 0-1
DATES/TIMES: 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. on Dec.8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23; also 7 p.m. on Dec. 8, 15, 22, 23
DISTANCE: 79 miles southwest from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: The first stop once you board the North Pole Express (which is heated!) is to the Lebanon Mason & Monroe Junction, where you’ll meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There, kids can also color pictures and enjoy hot chocolate and a treat before heading back to Lebanon Station.
THE LEGENDARY LIGHTS AT CLIFTON MILL
ADDRESS: Clifton Mill, 75 Water St., Clifton 45316
PRICE: $10 ages 7+, free for ages 0-6; free parking
DATES: Through Jan. 1
TIME: Gates are open from 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; lights are on from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; closes at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.
DISTANCE: 40 miles southwest from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: Prepare to be dazzled: This holiday lights display feature more than 3.5 million lights. Don’t miss the covered bridge and miniature village, and you’ll even get to see Santa’s workshop. Plus, there’s a Santa Claus Museum and a gift shop.
MARMON VALLEY FARM: A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS
ADDRESS: 7754 State Route 292, Zanesfield 43360 (use directions on their website, not GPS)
PRICE: $5 children and $6 adults if ordered by phone before noon of the event day; $7 children, $8 adults if ordered after noon
DATES/TIMES: wagon-ride tours run every 15 minutes beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 and at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8
DISTANCE: 50 miles northwest from downtown Columbus
DESCRIPTION: An outdoor, evening tour of Bible-focused displays. Also includes petting zoo, pony rides, crafts, refreshments and Christmas tree sales.