The BIG Cbus Kids Holiday List

Look at you, tossing those molding pumpkins behind the bushes and already thinking about stuffing and twinkle lights. It's time, my friends. I feel like November and December are totally different animals from the rest of Winter, because they are not as depressing as the rest. This is truly the time of year when your child will remember all the special things you did together. So, off you go to some unforgettable holiday adventures...

But first, Give!

There is never a worse time to be in need than at the holidays. Teach your children from a young age about giving to others with a few of these activities:

Donate items to the patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital (here is a handy wish list)
Rhys has been a patient and my mom an employee. What a special and beautiful place!

Donate items to Colony Cats and Dogs (wishlist for the animals)
Our Sebastian came from Colony and the staff is so passionate about their fur babies.

Donate items or serve a meal at the YWCA Family Center (wishlist here)
I have visited before to help with a project. What a great facility for families in need. 

Events Sorted By Date

Harbor Yoga Kids workshops 11/1 and 12/6
Harbor turns the heat off and invites the kids in to center themselves during this hectic time of year. 5-12 year olds can perfect their downward dogs while you grab a coffee at Brueggers or stop in Audacious or Bliss for some gifts.

OSU Campus
With free admission on this day, what a great way to try out the Wex with your kids!  Art will emphasize the work of Pablo Picasso and families will even get to make their own Picasso-inspired art. Run across the street for some treats from The Little Donut Shop while you are down there.

12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt, 11/5-12/5
This sounds like the perfect on-going activity for older children who are crazy about Elf on the Shelf. Start with an Elf card and find the elf in each participating Historic Dublin store, collecting a treat each time. Enter your complete card in a drawing at the end.

Old Town East
Go explore the conservatory and make an autumn wreath at the end.

Old Town East
Enjoy the sights of the Conservatory and finish up with an Indian Corn craft.

PBJ and Jazz, 11/14 and 12/5
Take your little ones out for a morning of jazz in the fancy Lincoln Theater. Performances will be kid-friendly and they will receive a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cookie, and juice.

Model Railroad weekend, 11/18-11/22
The science museum is taken over by model trains! What a fun day for your little train lovers to see COSI and trains at once. 

Parade and Tree Lighting, 11/20
Easton Town Center
This seems SUPER early, but if you want to start the Christmas joy off before Thanksgiving, spend a night out at Easton to watch a parade, see Santa, and the tree lighting.

Franklin Park Conservatory, MANY DATES
Old Town East
I give up...there are just too many fun activities to list on their own. Look at the events link above, buy a membership and spend your chilly days making poinsettias, turkeys, gingerbread crafts, holiday gifts, and join Mrs. Clause in the kitchen and Santa for breakfast.

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo, 11/20-1/3
Millions of lights. Millions. We love the light show by the pond and seeing Santa and the (real!) reindeer.  Choose your nights wisely, as ALL of the city descends upon the zoo if it's a "warm" night. Trust us...layer up and brave the colder nights or you are in for one major traffic situation.

Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights11/20-1/3
This is a fun, warm activity when the kids are big enough to see out the car windows. Nothing better than playing Christmas music and driving through the displays to put you in the holiday mood!  In a separate area, there is Santa House with cookies and hot chocolate. Be ready for backups by packing lots of warm snacks and patience:)

LEGO Creativity Tour, 11/20-11/22
Convention Center
Need a break before diving straight into the tinsel and wrapping paper of the season? Take the kids to the LEGO tour. Check out tickets ASAP because they are already selling out!

Holiday Lights Celebration at Creekside, 11/22
Hot chocolate, reindeer, carolers, shopping, and lots of family activities takes place at an illuminated Creekside.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas musical, 11/24-11/29
Ohio Theatre
See the family favorite book come to life with brand new songs. There are day time and night time shows to enjoy.

Columbus Children's Theater, 11/27-12/20
Bring your 4+ year olds to see the classic Mr. Scrooge and talk about the true meaning of Christmas while you eat at The North Market afterwards.

Holiday Hoot Filmfest, 11/28
Gateway Film Center
Short holiday movies from around the world will be played, along with music and dancing from the Shazzbots and other lobby activities. Admission is free with a canned good.

Oakland Nursery Experience the Season, weekends only 11/28-12/20
Visit Santa and his wonderland at all locations.

The Commissary: The Howdy Ice cream social, 11/29
This is an ice cream social designed for kids with flavors made BY kids. All proceeds ($5 per person) go toward a charity the kids choose. Kids will also get in on some mural painting action (inside), so come dressed for a good (aka: messy) time.

Holiday Open House and tree lighting, 11/29
Olde Worthington

Dublin Tree Lighting, 12/3
Indian Run Elementary/Dublin Library
Choirs, live reindeer, and dance performances all lead up to the big countdown and then Santa greeting at the library.

Grandview Tree Lighting, 12/3
The Grandview Center

Hilliard Tree Lighting, 12/3
Hilliard Station Park
Hot chocolate, ice sculptures, choirs, and meeting Santa, balloon animals and face painting. Fun!

Grand Illumination, 12/4
The Scioto Mile
Be there as downtown lights up for the holidays with thousands of lights.

Upper Arlington Winter Festival and Tree Lighting, 12/4
Mallway Park
Carriage rides, s'mores, bonfires, and real reindeer at this annual event that sounds so cozy.

Brunch with Santa, 12/5
Amelita Mirolo Barn at Sunny 95 Park, Upper Arlington
Reservations are required to join this buffet brunch with the man in red.

Zoom Film Series Cereal and Pajamas Party, 12/5
Wenxner Center, OSU
Come in your PJs for free cereal, hands-on activities, and a movie screening of an international children's movie. The day continues on with an ice cream social catered by Jeni's and fort-building!

The Nutcracker, 12/5
Abbey Theater of Dublin
Dublin Dance performs the magical ballet for an impressive $5 admission. This would be the perfect time to take your little dancer to a childhood favorite without the large ticket price.

Christmas Under the Clock, 12/5
Plain City
This sounds like the opening scene of A Christmas Story. Gather in uptown Plain City for music, a Santa appearance, silent auction, tree lighting, business open houses, craft vendors, and wagon rides.

Clintonville Holidayville, 12/6
Start your day of local shopping fun at Mozart's, where you can meet Santa. Hop on and off the trolley that will run up and down High street, allowing families to go in and out of 25 different stores and restaurants (who will be offering all kinds of deals and special events!)

Village Lights, 12/6
German Village
Follow beautiful luminaries from store to store in German Village, experiencing carolers, horse-drawn carriages, and discounts/holiday treats at each store. If you aren't up for taking the kids out at night for this, it would make the perfect date night without them!

Family Gingerbread Houses, 12/6
Our Cupcakery, Dublin
Build a gingerbread house together and donate 4 cans of food to the local food pantry after using them to support your house construction. Note: Ideal for ages 8 and up.

Santa's Coming to Town, 12/7
Grandview Library
Meet Santa and get pictures taken without all the lines and hassle. Make time to pick out some great holiday books from the shelves, too!

Dine with Santa at the Zoo, several dates starting on 12/8
Columbus Zoo
Check the zoo site for all the available dates have dinner with Santa and special up-close encounters with animals. Of course, there are all the Wildlights to view at that time as well!

City of Gahanna Holiday Character Breakfast, 12/12
North Point Church
There are four seating of this popular event, including a Rapunzel performance, All you can Catch Pancake breakfast, crafts, storytelling, and holiday characters. You must pre-register for this event.

Christmas at Ash Cave, 12/12
Hocking Hills 
OK, it is a little outside of Columbus, but sounds amazing! Ash Cave is definitely the most kid-friendly of the caves down there, and Santa will be waiting with carolers and activities. You can even decorate a Christmas tree for the animals.

Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum, 12/12, 13, 19, 20
Come to mail your letters in the postal car, make some crafts, see Mrs. Clause, and ride an actual interurban car into Colonial Hills (we've done it is fun!) Scroll to the bottom of their page for info.

Santa and Mrs. Clause visit Treehive cafe, 12/18
More details to come on Santa, but keep Treehive in mind any time for drop-offs if you want to squeeze in some shopping or dinner while they are supervised for 3 hours ($39).

The Golden Spike at The Depot,  2015 date TBA
Upper Arlington
Tour historic rail cars decorated for the holidays, meet Santa, have refreshments and even ride the North Pole Express if weather permits. Best part? Admission is FREE with a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

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