Free and Inexpensive Christmas Activities in Columbus

As the stress of the holidays begins to weigh down on us, remember to take advantage of all of the wonderful events that happen this season! We’ve made a list of some of our favorite low-cost holiday events to try out this year. Mark your calendars so you don’t miss out!

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: November 18 – January 6.

The Columbus Zoo lights are a can’t miss activity for any Columbus local. The lights are spectacular and are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. Admission is $19.99 for adults, $14 children 2-9 and adults over 60. Franklin County residents are eligible to receive a $5 discount with a valid driver’s license.

Columbus Christmas Lights: All Season.

Take advantage of the beautiful lights in various Columbus neighborhoods. Check out the Christmas Lights Finder website and find lights near you!

Dragon Lights Columbus: November 23 – January 6.

Now this is an event that is unlike anything else in Columbus. Dragon Lights Columbus will light up the Ohio Expo center with spectacular larger-than-life displays crafted by Chinese artisans. In addition to lanterns, performances, and handicrafts, the event also offers food and beverages. Tickets are available online and at the box office at the festival entrance. Adult admission is $17.

Conservatory Aglow: November 17 – January 2.

Conservatory Aglow (formerly Merry and Bright) returns for it’s biggest holiday show in the history of the Franklin Park Conservatory. This event is perfect for family-friendly activities. Activities include live entertainment, gingerbread contest, and family fun days. General admission is $18.

Columbus Commons Holiday Lights: November 21 – January 2.

Stop by the Columbus Commons to enjoy a sea of over 400,000 festive lights in the park for free! To sweeten the deal, on Fridays in December there will be free hot chocolate and carousel rides. Additionally, you’ll be able to walk the park while live musicians play music of the season.

Easton Holiday Carriage Rides: Weekends through December 23.

For just $10 per passenger, horse-drawn carriage rides are offered during the holiday season at Easton Town Center. There is no better way to end a stressful day of holiday shopping than a relaxing and joyful carriage ride. Grab your ride outside of Zara on Gramercy Street! Fridays: 6-10PM, Saturdays 6-10PM, Sundays 3-7PM.

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