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16 Exciting Holiday Events Around Columbus

The holiday season is popping off.

There are so many unique ways to experience the joy of the season around Columbus. Want to spend the evening admiring millions of lights and some adorable animals? You can do that. Maybe a glamorous night out at the ballet is your style. You can do that too.

Seriously, when it comes to fun holiday activities, Columbus has got it going on. Break out that ever-growing holiday calendar, friends. It’s time to make some plans.

FAMILY: WILDLIGHTS at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium ?

Photo by Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

What: Don’t miss out on one of Central Ohio’s favorite family holiday traditions! The yuletide season comes alive with millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, reindeer, and other holiday festivities that can only be found at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
When: Daily through January 1
Where: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

THEATRE: A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage ?

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What: Adapted from Charles M. Schulz’s timeless story, and featuring the music of Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage is a present that the whole family can enjoy. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as they sing, dance, and learn the true meaning of Christmas.
When: November 27, 7 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre
More info: A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage

THEATRE: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas ?

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What: Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II and with romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge. That lodge just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander and a whole new adventure unfolds.
When: December 1 through January 1
Where: Short North Stage at the Historic Garden Theatre
More info: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

ARTS: Cirque Dreams Holidaze ?‍♀️

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What: Lighting up the 2022 holiday season with its popular and electrifying stage spectacular, the New York Daily News proclaims a “delicious confection of charm, sparkle, and talent.”
When: December 1-2
Where: Palace Theatre
More info: Cirque Dreams Holidaze

FESTIVAL: Winterfest ⛄️

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What: Presented by Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, WinterFest is a celebration of the season featuring local and national musical acts, seasonal craft beer and cocktails along with favorite dishes from Columbus food trucks. Live music kicks off at 11 a.m. on the Bicentennial Stage, along with activities for all ages, including a snow globe photo opportunity and a mechanical reindeer.
When: December 3
Where: Bicentennial Park
More info: Winterfest

FAMILY: Dickens of a Christmas ?

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What: Bring your family to this 19th-century holiday celebration and see Charles Dickens’ festive vision of Christmas come to life. Meet and interact with Ohio Village residents to learn how they celebrate the holiday season. You’ll have the chance to encounter holiday characters including Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge, Krampus, and others. Enjoy music and dance of the period and partake in various activities in the village buildings, and look for gift ideas in our local artisan market.
When: December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18
Where: Ohio History Center
More info: Dickens of a Christmas

CONCERT: Holiday Pops Spectacular with Tony DeSare ?

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What: The Columbus Symphony continues its grand holiday tradition with a spectacular holiday show perfect for the entire family! Tony DeSare joins the Symphony for a jazzy take on some holiday classics making this the must-see show to start your holiday off right.
When: December 2-4
Where: Ohio Theatre
More info: Holiday Pops Spectacular with Tony DeSare

DANCE: The Hip Hop Nutcracker ?

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What: A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season as it returns for another spectacular tour. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, this contemporary dance spectacle is a re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, smashing hip hop dance and Tchaikovsky’s timeless music together into a heart-stirring and inspirational holiday event.
When: December 4 at 7 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre
More info: The Hip Hop Nutcracker

DANCE: The Nutcracker ?

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What: Treat your family to the enchanting confections of costuming, sets, and blissful choreography in Clara’s dreamy journey through BalletMet’s The Nutcracker—absolutely delightful and delectable in every way. Inspired by the sounds of Tchaikovsky, artists deliver a heartwarming classic holiday story that is a feast for the eyes and ears.
When: December 8-24
Where: Palace Theatre
More info: The Nutcracker

CONCERT: Andrea Bocelli accompanied by the Columbus Symphony ?

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What: Andrea Bocelli In Concert will feature performances from Bocelli’s uplifting album Believe, a poignant and personal collection of songs, celebrating the power of music to soothe the soul, as well as a selection of arias, his beloved crossover hits, famed love songs, and music in honor of the Holiday Season.
When: December 8
Where: Nationwide Arena
More info: Andrea Bocelli accompanied by the Columbus Symphony

CONCERT: Straight No Chaser ?

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What: Celebrate the holidays acapella-style. For one night only, Straight No Chaser will be performing some of their greatest hits to celebrate their 25th Anniversary Tour, as well as holiday classics.
When: December 9
Where: Palace Theatre
More info: Straight No Chaser

THEATRE: The Happy Elf ?

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What: The Happy Elf is a new musical comedy by the Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist, Harry Connick, Jr. It features Eubie, the happiest elf at the North Pole, who must spread his Christmas cheer to the residents of Bluesville – where not one person has been nice this year. The jazzy music underscores this festive tale of positivity, friendship, and overcoming adversity in what is sure to be a Holiday hit for families and audiences of all ages.
When: December 10-23
Where: Lincoln Theatre
More info: Columbus Childrens Theatre: The Happy Elf

THEATRE: ELF The Musical ?

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What: ELF The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
When: December 13-18
Where: Palace Theatre
More info: ELF The Musical

HOLIDAY: Menorah Lighting at Easton ?

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What: Join Easton and Chabad of Columbus for a special menorah lighting at the Town Square. It’s a family party with sufganiot, dreidels, raffle prizes, music, dancing and refreshments.
When: December 18
Where: Easton Town Center
More info: Menorah Lighting at Easton (and other Holiday Happenings)

CONCERT: Trans-Siberian Orchestra ?

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What: This night of rock opera will feature TSO classics like “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,” “O’ Come All Ye Faithful,” “Good King Joy,” “Promises To Keep,” and “This Christmas Day.” Additionally, the tour will enjoy a new second set containing some of TSO’s greatest hits and fan-pleasers including “Christmas Canon,” “Wizards In Winter” and many more.
When: December 23
Where: Nationwide Arena
More info: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

SPORTS: Harlem Globetrotters ?

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What: The originators of basketball style, influencers on today’s game, and skilled athletes of the highest order, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 124 countries and territories on six continents since their founding in 1926. Proud inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, their mission to spread game and bring entertainment to the world continues to drive them today.
When: December 28
Where: Value City Arena
More info: Harlem Globetrotters