The Christmas season always gives us something to look forward to – shopping, baking, singing holiday carols, viewing holiday decorations and spending time with family. For us, nothing kicks off the holiday season more than the lights going up all over town. From private homes that go all out on decorations to businesses and villages, there are some pretty fantastic Christmas light displays in Ohio. For those of you in Central Ohio, we’ve gathered a list of the best Columbus Ohio Christmas lights displays in 2022 so you can start planning!
Want to view Christmas lights from the comfort of your vehicle? Read Enchanting Drive Through Christmas Lights In Ohio!
The Best Columbus Ohio Christmas Lights Displays
Whether you’re creating new memories or feeling nostalgic, there’s nothing better during the holiday season than admiring Christmas decorations with your loved ones. Here’s our list of the best Columbus, Ohio Christmas lights displays in 2022!
Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Wildlights
For over 30 years, Columbus-area families have been flocking to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for Wildlights. Running nightly from November 18 through January 1, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this is one of the best Christmas light displays in Columbus! More than three million twinkling holiday lights are just the beginning of this fantastic festive event! You’ll also love the coordinated light and sound displays, photos with Santa Claus, carousel rides, camel rides, s’mores, and ice skating!
When: November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023; Sunday – Thursday 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 5-10pm (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Where: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium – 4850 Powell Road, Powell, OH 43065
Admission: $24.99 Ages 10-59; $18.99 Ages 3-9, 60+; Children under 3 are free
Columbus Commons Holiday Lights
This is one of the best free Columbus holiday light displays. Head to the heart of downtown Columbus any night between November 18 and January 1 to see over 400,000 LED lights on display. Visit during Festive Fridays (every Friday night in December) for hot cocoa, carousel rides and holiday music. Spread across six acres and in close proximity to some of the best restaurants in Columbus, this is a great way to kick off a night out on the town, or end a fun day of holiday shopping!
When: November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023; Nightly Dusk to 11pm
Where: Columbus Commons – 160 S High Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Each November, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are transformed into a magical twinkling landscape. In addition to thousands of lights, visitors also have access to Holiday Blooms, a seasonal horticulture display poinsettias, evergreens, and holiday decorations. On select evenings, entertainers and musicians add to the festive feel of the conservatory. December visitors will also get to see dozens of entries in the 16th annual Gingerbread Competition.
When: November 19, 2022 – January 8, 2023; Nightly 5-9pm
Where: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – 1777 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43203
Admission: $25.00 Ages 12-59; $22.00 Ages 60+; $15.00 Ages 3-12; Children under are free
Scioto Mile Holiday Lights
Just steps from Columbus Commons, you’ll find another fun Christmas light display. The Scioto Mile is a highlight of any trip to Columbus any time of year. With 175 acres of riverfront property contain eight individual parks along the route. Each night between November 23 and January 2, the Scioto Mile lights up from dusk to dawn. Don’t miss this free holiday display in downtown Columbus!
When: November 23, 2022 – January 2, 2023; Nightly from Dusk to Dawn
Where: Scioto Mile – 233 S. Civic Center Drive, Columbus, OH 43215
Holiday Lights at Easton Town Center
For a festive holiday light display on the outskirts of Columbus, head straight to Easton Town Center in northeast Columbus. More than just an ordinary shopping center, Easton Town Center is an entertainment destination that includes open-air squares, parks, and fountains. Kicking off November 18 with Easton’s Grand Illumination, the Holiday Lights include two million twinkling lights and a 50-foot Christmas tree in the center of Town Square. Other squares also put up a festive tree, as well as Holiday Carriage Rides and photos with Santa Claus.
When: November 18, 2022 – January 2, 2023; Nightly from Dusk to Dawn
Where: Easton Town Center – 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219
State Auto’s Christmas Corner
This beloved holiday tradition began in 1931 when the founder of State Auto decorated the company’s headquarters building as a “Christmas gift to the community.” While the display has changed over the years, the current display of a life-sized Nativity scene has become recognized around the world for its artistic and historical details. The annual lighting ceremony includes live music with more live musical performances throughout the holiday season.
When: Annual Lighting Ceremony is Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 5:30pm. The Christmas Corner will be lit from 5:00-11:30pm nightly and on display from December 7, 2022 – January 3, 2023.
Where: 518 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215
German Village Lights
As one of my favorite neighborhoods in Columbus, German Village is lovely to visit all year long. During the Christmas season, this quaint late 1800’s neighborhood transforms into a magical village. The holiday kickoff event is Village Lights with luminaries on display at local shops, holiday lights and decor throughout the neighborhood and a Christmas Market. The Village Lights event is Sunday, December 4 from 5-9pm, but holiday lights and decorations can be seen throughout the season.
When: Village Lights is December 4, 2022 from 5-9pm, holiday lights and decorations on display throughout the season
Where: German Village Neighborhood Columbus, OH 43206
Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights
For the best drive-through Columbus Ohio Christmas lights, head to Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights in Delaware, Ohio. Just 20 miles from downtown Columbus, this 23 year tradition transforms the Alum Creek State Park Campground into a drive-through fairytale of twinkling lights. With three miles of lights, you can enjoy the festive holiday atmosphere from the warmth of your car. Just down the road, check out Santa’s House at Cross Creek Campgrounds. Get your holiday photos with Santa, plus holiday gifts, toys, and treats!
When: November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023; Sunday – Thursday 5:30-9:00pm, Friday & Saturday 5:30-10:00pm
Where: Alum Creek State Park Campground – 3311 South Old State Road, Delaware, OH 43015
Admission: $20 per vehicle Monday-Thursday; $30 per vehicle Friday-Sunday
WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio
Another amazing drive through Christmas lights display near Columbus is the WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio at the Hartford Fairgrounds. Located 30 miles northeast of Columbus, this drive-through event features over one million LED lights synchronized to contemporary and classic Christmas tunes along a two-mile track. Due to the popularity of these festive lights, reservations are recommended to secure a two-hour window to drive through.
When: November 11, 2022 – January 1, 2023; Nightly 5:30-10:00pm
Where: Hartford County Fairgrounds – 14028 Fairgrounds Road, Hartford, OH 43013
Admission: $30 per vehicle, online reservations strongly recommended
Magic of Lights at Historic Crew Stadium
This new drive-thru Christmas lights display in Ohio features more than two million magical lights. Magic of Lights is a national event, with locations around the country – the newest in Columbus at Historic Crew Stadium. You can drive through a light tunnel and past dozens of LED displays depicting your favorite Christmas characters including the 12 Days of Christmas, Toyland, Big Foot Monster Trucks and a 32-foot tall Barbie display! Gas up the car, crank up the Christmas tunes, and head out to Historic Crew Stadium for this fun drive through light display!
When: November 23, 2022 – January 1, 2023; Nightly 5:30-10:00pm (Closed December 2)
Where: Historic Crew Stadium – 717 East 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43211
Admission: $25 per vehicle Monday -Thursday, $30 per vehicle Friday -Sunday: purchase tickets in advance online for discounted rates
Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks
For a more low-key Christmas light experience in and around Columbus, head to one of several Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks to explore the holiday lights. Various hiking trails and public areas are lit up with twinkling lights, allowing visitors to enjoy the parks after dark and get into the holiday spirit. Several of the parks also participate in the Metro Parks Winter Hike Series. Some of the participating parks include Blacklick Woods Metro Park, Highbanks Metro Park, Homestead Metro Park, and Scioto Grove Metro Park. No matter which part of Columbus you’re in, there’s sure to be a park near you that’s lit up for the holidays!
When: Nightly December 2022
Where: Blacklick Woods Metro Park, Highbanks Metro Park, Homestead Metro Park, and Scioto Grove Metro Park
Looking for the best places to visit for Christmas in Ohio? Read Magical Christmas Towns in Ohio.