Each year our family looks forward to the tradition of seeing as many Christmas lights as we can. We kick off the season with Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies, stroll through the businesses and communities that are decked out for the season and drive through neighborhoods to see the impressive displays. Here’s a list of Holiday Light Displays Around Columbus (and beyond) that you don’t want to miss!
Holiday Light Displays Around Columbus
Fantasy of Lights: Alum Creek (Butch Bando’s)
Dates: November 17, 2017 – January 1, 2018
Location: Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds (2911 S. Old State Rd., Delaware, Ohio 43015) and Santa House with free hot chocolate and cookies- located at Cross Creek Camping Resort (3190 South Old State Rd. Delaware, OH 43015)
Details: Stay warm and toasty in your car as you travel through this drive-thru light show spectacular.
Website: Fantasy of Lights
Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Dates: Thursday, November 16 (Member Preview Night)- January 1, 2017 (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas)
Location: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Details: Millions of lights illuminate the zoo. Watch an animated light show, see Santa and experience special festivities.
Website: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival
Dates: November 17, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Location: Ohio Expo Center & Ohio State Fairgrounds (The event is held outdoors)
Details: The festival will return this year with brand new light sculptures, more exciting performances, and lots more fun and cultural experience! There will be 39 lantern displays including a tulip-lined walkway and 200-foot illuminated dragon. There will be a variety of performances and artists showcasing traditional Chinese crafts.
Website: Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival
Holiday Lights at the Columbus Commons
Dates: November 23, 2017- January 2, 2018
Location: Columbus Commons
Details: From dusk until 11 pm you can stroll through Columbus Commons and enjoy the lights.
Website: Columbus Commons
Dates: Beginning November 17
Location: Scioto Mile
Details: Walk along the Scioto Mile and view the lights on 150 trees.
Website: Scioto Mile
Easton Town Center
Dates: November 17, 2017 is the tree lighting kickoff but lights remain throughout the holiday season.
Location: Easton Town Center
Details: There are lights decorating the streets, a 50-ft Christmas tree, outdoor train display, carriage rides (for a fee), photos with Santa (for a fee) and live musical groups offering entertainment on select evenings.
Website: Easton Town Center
Gardens Aglow at the Franklin Park Conservatory
Date: November 18, 2017- January 3, 2018
Location: Franklin Park Conservatory
Details: Franklin Park Conservatory gets decked out for the holidays. View elegant displays of poinsettias, seasonal foliage and twinkling lights enhanced by sleek and bold mid-century modern design elements. Enjoy delightful entries in the annual gingerbread competition, a Paul Busse model garden railway and an array of family activities and special entertainment. Be sure to check the website for dates and times of the various events.
Website: Gardens Aglow
State Auto’s Christmas Corner
Dates: The display is lighted daily from December 5, 2017 until January 2, 2018.
Location: 518 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Details: A life Sized Nativity Scene can be found at State Auto Headquarters. Through December 17th, local choirs will offer free performances on the weekends.
Website: State Auto’s Christmas Corner
Segaway Holiday Lights Tour
Dates: December 1, 2017 – December 23, 2017 (6:00 & 8:15 pm)
Location: Begin at The Greater Columbus Convention Center (400 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215)
Details: Listen to holiday music and look at the lights as you glide around Columbus on a segway.
Website: Segaway Tours of Columbus
Winter Wonderland at Creekside Park
Dates: Begins mid-November through the end of December
Location: 117 Mill Street Gahanna Ohio
Details: A beautiful light display!
Website: Gahanna Creekside
Collison’s Festival of Lights (New location)
- For the past 19 years, people have loved visiting the Collison’s Festival of Lights. The owners have sold their home, but a new owner has decided to continue the tradition at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. Read more about it here: Festival of Lights 2017
Dates: November 24-December 25, 2017
Location: Fairfield County Fairgrounds
Details: Drive through the fairgrounds and enjoy the lights. There is a $5 fee.
Facebook Page: Collison’s Festival of Lights
Christmas Lights: Locations Outside of Columbus….
The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill
- This is a bit farther away, but so worth the drive!
Dates: Starts the day after Thanksgiving and continues through December 31. (Closes at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.)
Location: Clifton Mill (75 Water Street, Clifton, Ohio)
Details: You will be in awe as you watch the musical twinkling light show along the gorge. There’s also a miniature village for model trains, a Santa Claus Museum with a wide variety of trinkets dating back to the 1800’s and a restaurant.
- Nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award 2014 travel award contest!
Website: Clifton Mill
The Christmas Ranch
- Located North of Cincinnati
Dates: November 17, 2017 – December 23, 2017 (Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas)
Location: The Christmas Ranch (3205 S. Waynesville Road in Morrow, Ohio 45152)
Details: 1 million lights are set to synchronized holiday music. Besides the lights, you’ll find a bakery, 6 shops, pictures with Santa, and train & wagon rides (be sure to check the website for dates and times of these.)
- Seen on HGTV, Good Morning America, Extreme Home Makeover, Country Living, Ohio magazine and more!
Website: The Christmas Ranch
Winterfest at Kings Island
- Located North of Cincinnati
Dates: Select nights through December 30, 2017
Location: Kings Island (6300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Island, OH 45034)
Details: The park has been transformed into 9 different winter wonderlands with more than 5 million lights on display. Up to 17 rides will be open, strolling performers, holiday shows and more.
Website: Winterfest at Kings Island
- Located in Coshocton
Date: December 2 and December 9
Location: Roscoe Village (600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton, OH 43812)
Details: Daytime activities include strolling carolers, Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides and other festivities. In the evening, there’s the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Website: Roscoe Village
Christmas at Kingwood
- Located in Mansfield, Ohio
Dates: November 25 – December 30 (Thursdays- Sunday) 2:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Location: Kingwood Center Gardens (50 N. Trimble Rd. • Mansfield, Ohio 44906)
Details: The rooms of Kingwood Hall are decorated to depict various Christmas carols. Outside you’ll find thousands of lights.
Website: Kingwood Center Gardens
Dickens Victorian Village: Courthouse Light Show
- Located in Cambridge, Ohio
Dates: November 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018
Location: Guernsey County Courthouse lawn, Wheeling Avenue
Details: The historic courthouse comes alive with an interactive light and sound show. Cambridge is such a charming city. After, take a stroll and see various life-size, hand-crafted mannequins that are arranged along Wheeling Avenue. Read more here about Dickens Victorian Village.
Website: Dickens Victorian Village
Oglebay: Winter Festival of Lights
- Located in West Virginia (120 miles from Columbus)
Dates: November 10, 2017- January 1, 2018
Location: 465 Lodge Drive Wheeling, West Virginia
Details: This annual holiday light show is one of the nation’s largest, covering more than 300 acres over a 6 mile drive throughout Oglebay! The Winter Festival of Lights is view-able Sunday through Thursday until 10:00 pm and on Friday and Saturday until 11:00 pm. A per car donation is requested and is valid for the entire festival season. Trolley tours are offered several times each night beginning at Wilson Lodge. Saturdays are very popular nights to visit. Long lines and wait times should be expected. Please visit us Sunday through Friday to avoid extended wait times.
Website: Oglebay Festival of Lights