Let there be light: 7 of our favorite illumination spectaculars

Everyone is always gushing over the “Golden Hour” (the sliver of time just after sunrise or just before sunset), but we think the glow from holiday lights displays is much more flattering.

Here are seven of our favorite outdoor holiday extravaganzas around central Ohio!

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Wildlights

When: Now- January 6, 2019  

Where: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Rated one of the 10 most spectacular light shows across America by MSN, the Zoo truly transforms into a holiday wonderland for all ages.

More info

Gardens Aglow

When: Now- January 2, 2019

Where: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

The flowers get some shine, as well as the multiple gingerbread homes on display.

More info

Columbus Commons Holiday Lights

When: Now- January 2, 2019

Where: Columbus Commons

Enjoy more than 400,000 festive lights at Columbus Commons every day from dusk until to 11 pm.

To sweeten the deal, Fridays in December (12/07, 12/14, 12/21) will be a little extra festive, with free hot chocolate, carousel rides, and music of the season.

More info


Chinese Lantern Festival

When: Now- January 6, 2019

Where: Expo Center

DRAGON LIGHTS COLUMBUS is at the Natural Resources Park in Ohio Expo Center with brand new light sculptures, exciting performances, fun and cultural experience!

More info

Holiday Hop and Tree Lighting

When: December 1 from noon- 9pm

Where: Short North

Holiday Hop is a celebrated tradition, featuring street performers, decorated retail windows, lights, and of course, holiday cheer. See the District Tree Lighting in Poplar Park at 6:00pm with hosts Nina West and NBC4’s Monica Day, a performance by the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, get cookies from C. Kreuger’s, take a photo with Santa, and so much more!


When: December 2 from 12- 4pm

Where: Clintonville

The neighborhood-wide holiday shopping event features carolers, cookies, and shopping.

Hop aboard the Jolley Trolley—your personal chauffeur for the day!

Learn more

Village Lights 2018

When: December 2 from 5- 9pm

Where: German Village

Visit the historic streets of German Village to discover a world of lights and holiday magic.

Follow the luminaries from shop to shop (special extended hours) as you begin checking off your holiday gift list and swing through StrietzelMarkt on the Platz for Mr. & Mrs. Claus, ice carving, live music, mulled wine and more.

Learn more


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