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12 Exciting Shows & Concerts Coming To Columbus This Holiday Season

As a kid, one of the things I remember the most about the holiday season is going to the theater.

Whether it was to see the Nutcracker Ballet or to see A Christmas Carol, there was something about getting dressed up and going downtown that I just loved.

This season, there is no shortage of amazing performances taking place in Columbus. Yes, you can catch those old classics, but there are also new and exciting plays, musicals, concerts, and dance shows happening.

From Christmas traditions like Holiday Pops to modern and exciting performances like Hip Hop Nutcracker, here are the most exciting concerts and shows coming to Columbus this holiday season.

Be sure to check each event’s COVID-19 protocols. Many of these events require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test and nearly all of them require masks.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins


What: Legendary folk hero Hershel of Ostropol saves Hanukkah in this stage adaptation of the award-winning children’s book by Eric Kimmel. During this musical (including puppetry!) Hershel will have to use his wit, wisdom, and humor to outsmart goblins so the villagers can celebrate Hanukkah.
When: November 27-December 12, 2021
Where: Riffe Center

Home for the Holidays ft. Vanessa Campagna

via Jazz Arts Group

What: Join the Columbus Jazz Orchestra for a holiday musical treat featuring Nashville-based singer-songwriter Vanessa Campagna. Tickets range in price from $10 to $68 and you can attend in person or via live stream.
When: December 1-5, 2021
Where: Southern Theatre

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis

via Facebook

What: Mannheim Steamroller wasn’t able to tour last year due to COVID-19, so you can expect the show to be back better than ever. “We couldn’t be more excited to know that we will reunite with our many fans this Christmas,” said Chip. Tickets start at $39.
When: December 3, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre

Holiday Pops

via Facebook

What: A great annual Columbus tradition continues as Stuart Chafetz leads the Columbus Symphony and Chorus in some of the season’s most-loved holiday songs and carols. The performance will also feature a special appearance by Santa Claus!
When: December 3-5, 2021, various times
Where: Ohio Theatre, 55 E State St, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Hip Hop Nutcracker

via Facebook

What:A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a contemporary re-imagining of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist. Ticket prices vary.
When: December 4 at 8 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre, 34 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215


WinterFest 2018, photos courtesy of Columbus Recreation and Parks.

What: WinterFest is back for its 4th year. This celebration features local and national music acts, seasonal craft beer and cocktails, and yummy Columbus food trucks.
When: December 4, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Bicentennial Park

An Acoustic Christmas with Over the Rhine

via Facebook

What: Over the Rhine, the Cincinnati-based, husband-and-wife team of Karin Bergquist (vocals, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar) and Linford Detweiler (vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards), has been a prolific, music-making, folk-pop duo for more than two decades. Enjoy the beautiful harmonies for one evening
When: December 4, 2021 at 8 p.m.
Where: Riffe Center Theatre Complex

A Christmas Story: The Musical by Columbus Children’s Theatre

via Facebook

What: This holiday musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Your favorite parts of the iconic Christmas movie will appear onstage, including the tongue on a lamppost, the Little Orphan Annie Decoder pin, and even the iconic leg lamp.
When: December 10-23, 2021
Where: Lincoln Theatre

A Magical Cirque Christmas

via CAPA

What: Celebrate the magic of Christmas as hostess Lucy Darling takes the audience through an evening of fantastic performances performers and breathtaking cirque artists, all to the tune of your favorite holiday jams.
When: December 10, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre

The Nutcracker

What: BalletMet presents The Nutcracker Ballet. Sparkling snow, charming characters, and wonderful surprises come to life as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince travel through the luminous Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
When: December 10-26, 2021
Where: Ohio Theatre, 39 E State St, Columbus, OH 43215

Santa & the Symphony

via Facebook

What: Join the New Albany Symphony for an afternoon of holiday cheer. These sensory-friendly concerts are designed specifically for those on the autism spectrum, young families, and for people in the dementia/Alzheimer’s communities, but all are welcome to attend.
When: December 18, 2021 at 4 p.m.
Where: McCoy Center for the Arts

Straight No Chaser: Back in the High Life Tour

via Facebook

What: No one embraces holiday spirit like acapella group Straight No Chaser. The evening will include a variety of music, not just holiday tracks! Tickets for the concert start at $34.
When: December 21, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre