Coming up with a list of my 10 favorite holiday events is no easy task. Even though I’ve lived here since 2005, there are hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of wonderful holiday related events happening in Columbus. But here’s my best shot at coming up with a top 10 list. Most are focused in the mid-town region because that’s where I live and spend most of my time. But if you search online you’ll find fabulous holiday events all throughout Columbus. In no particular order, they are…
VILLAGE LIGHTS (throughout German Village) Sunday, December 8, 5pm-9pm
Visit the historic streets of German Village to discover a world of lights and holiday magic. Thousands of luminaries light the sidewalks of the Village and Schiller Park. Strolling musicians and horsedrawn carriages add to the holiday-in-Barvaria feel. Businesses are open late with holiday specials and you’ll find festive surprises around every corner. Kick off your shopping at StrietzelMarkt on the German Village Society Meeting Haus Platz. You’ll also find vendors, ice carving, music, mulled wine and more.
Come early for “Not Your Mama’s Craft Market” at the Schiller Park Recreation Center. From 2pm – 8pm, explore this showcase of beautiful handmade craft items, a perfect place to start your holiday shopping.
CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Ohio Theater) Friday, November 29 – Sunday, December 1
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of this beloved annual tradition in Columbus, the Nebraska Theatre Caravan returns over Thanksgiving weekend with its stunning production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his search for the true spirit of Christmas captures every detail of the classic holiday story, from the spine-chilling ghosts to the gorgeous renditions of traditional British carols. Crotchety Scrooge, lovable Tiny Tim, and all the fascinating characters that audiences have come to love, make it a treasured kick-off to the holiday season. CAPA featured organist Clark Wilson performs at the keys of the Ohio’s prized “Mighty Morton” theatre organ prior to each performance and during intermission, performing seasonal favorites and holiday hits. Visit Capa.com for tickets and showtimes
HARMONY PROJECT CONCERT FOR US (Nationwide Arena) Friday, November 29 – Sunday, December 1
10,000 people will come together for an evening of celebration and community. For the third year, Harmony Project presents The Concert for US at Nationwide Arena, featuring 1,000 voices, the 30-piece Harmony Band and Orchestra, and guest performers from TransitArts and We Amplify Voices. Visit harmonyproject.com for tickets.
BALLET MET’S THE NUTCRACKER (Ohio Theater) Friday, November 29 – Sunday, December 1
Witness magic in the making at The Nutcracker, a beloved holiday tradition that has stood the test of time. Co-created by Gerard Charles and Robert Post, this spellbinding production invites you inside the earnest and imaginative dreams of young Clara as she journeys with her Nutcracker Prince to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy. Set to Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement, The Nutcracker is an adventure for all who believe in holiday enchantment. Visit Capa.com for tickets and showtimes.
SGT PEPPERCORN’ BEATLES MARATHON (The Bluestone) Saturday, December 21, noon – midnight
Not exactly a holiday-oriented event, it’s still a magical experience like no other. Sgt. Peppercorn’s Lonely Hearts Club Band performs every Beatles song in chronological order. 215 songs, 1 day, 12+ hours. For the tenth consecutive year, Columbus musicians will play all officially released Beatles songs along with solo material and rarities in a single performance. Beginning with the album, Please Please Me at 12:30 PM and ending with Abbey Road sometime after midnight, the Beatles Marathon is currently the only show nationwide performing every Beatles song start to finish. Come sing out loud with all your Beatle-loving friends. Tickets are available at the door or liveatthebluestone.com.
WINTERFEST (Bicentennial Park) Saturday, December 7, 2019, 11am – 4pm
Enjoy live music from The Vindys, Ben Miller Band, and more tba. The celebration also features seasonal beer from local breweries and many of Columbus’ favorite food trucks. After the events, stick around Downtown and enjoy the thousands of lights of Bicentennial Park, Scioto Mile, Lazarus Building and Columbus Commons.
AN ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS WITH OVER THE RHINE (Lincoln Theater) Wednesday, December 4, 8pm
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. For their 2019 tour, they will perform as a trio, leaning into three-part harmonies and making an intimate and holy ruckus of Christmas music and tunes from their many records along the way.Visit Capa.com for tickets.
WINTERFAIR (Ohio Expo Center) Friday, December 6 – Sunday, December 8, 10am – 4pm
Give the gift of something unique and handmade this holiday season. Winterfair welcomes hundreds of artists from across the country to this annual fine art and fine craft fair. Featuring ceramics, glass, wearable art, jewelry, sculpture, painting and photography, Winterfair is an artists’ market where discerning shoppers will find everything from a handmade mug to a beautiful watercolor painting.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS (Columbus Commons) Nightly through January 6, dusk – 11pm
See more than 400,000 LED lights dazzle the park. To sweeten the deal, Fridays in December will be extra festive, with free hot chocolate and carousel rides. Plus, you’ll hear the music of the season with musicians roaming around the park.
SHORT NORTH HOLIDAY HOP Saturday, December 7, Noon – 9:00pm
Celebrate the art + soul of the holiday season during the biggest Gallery Hop of the year at Holiday Hop! Visit your favorite Short North Arts District stores and galleries, enjoy special holiday performances, vote for your favorite holiday decorations in the window display contest, and shop from local artisans at the Pop-Up Shop presented by Graduate Columbus! Grab a drink or a bite to eat at your favorite place, or try one of the many new ones!
Well, I hope this list helps get you started in your holiday explorations. I love this time of year in Columbus and especially in German Village and can’t wait to get out and about.