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‘Burb Breakdown: 5 Gahanna holiday events that need to be on your list

614now Staff




Covering many vibrant communities across central Ohio, the 614 is so much more than just Columbus. Welcome to the ‘Burb Breakdown, an ongoing series highlighting the unique character of neighborhoods from across this sprawling metro area we call home. This time, we take a look at everything happening in Gahanna for the holidays.

Frankincense, my dear, if you’ve been to one holiday tree lighting or Santa meet-and-greet, you’ve been to them all…right? Not if you haven’t experienced Gahanna’s Holiday Lights Celebration and seasonal festivities. Think camel rides, horse-drawn carriages and even a fireworks display! Visit Gahanna has spent 20 years raising the bar on its annual holiday bash, drawing both locals and visitors for some magical memory making that won’t break the bank.

Located just east of downtown Columbus, Gahanna hauls out the holly the week before Thanksgiving and doesn’t stop celebrating until the New Year. Mark your calendars, then grab your elves, mittens, and camera to head out to these festivities:

1) Holiday Lights Celebration | 3-6:30 pm Sunday, November 24 | Creekside Gahanna/117 Mill St.

Gahanna’s scenic Creekside District gets merry and bright, serving as North Pole Central with more than 100 free family-friendly activities on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Snap a selfie at the reindeer petting zoo, visit a live nativity or play with a giant Light Bright. Then break for some live music, hands-on crafts, and hot chocolate. Food trucks, a life-size Christmas Village, and Santa arriving by a fire truck? Count us in. The finale is a colorful explosion of holiday fireworks over the district. (Did we mention it’s all free?) Presented by Visit Gahanna, check out for more info.

2) Holiday Character Breakfast | 8 am- 12noon Saturday, December 7 | New Life Church, 3690 Stygler Rd

You know you’ve won with your tribe when you see your littles hugging a giant gingerbread man or snowman. Add to the mix a pancake breakfast, make-and-take crafts, face painting, a holiday theatrical performance, and a few minutes with the man in red—and you’ll score big in the “Quality Family Time During the Holidays” category. Visit Gahanna’s Holiday Character Breakfast is a tradition for many Central Ohio families. The three seatings (8:15 am, 9:30 am & 10:45 am) fill up quickly. Reserve your tickets online in advance:

3) Santa Race 5K & Little Reindeer Dash | 9 am Saturday, December 14 | 117 Mill St. Gahanna

There’s nothing quite like a brisk 5K run on a December Saturday, running beside other crazies dressed in Santa hats, T-shirts, and other holiday costumes (beards optional). Or joining Santa for a move-and-groove warm-up jam at Creekside Plaza. Or watching a group of preschoolers run like well, preschoolers…in a “Little Reindeer Dash.” Get the picture? Visit Gahanna’s annual Santa Race 5K & Little Reindeer Dash (presented by Mount Carmel Health) is nothing less than a hilarious, seasonal fitness event wrapped up in fun photo opportunities. Run it or walk it, but don’t miss it. Visit for all the details.

4) Ohio Herb Center Visits with Santa | 9 am-1 pm Saturdays, December 7 & 14 | Ohio Herb Center, 110 Mill St.

When you host a couple of visits from the REAL Santa during December, they will come. The Jolly Old Elf manages to break away from his North Pole agenda for just two Saturday mornings to visit with wee ones at the Ohio Herb Center. While they are waiting to put in their last minute requests and get a photo, kids (and parents) can work on make-it-and-take-it gifts at the DIY Hot Chocolate Bar or shop for treasures in the gift shop. $5 per craft/Santa photo.

5) Botanical Beauty Bar: DIY Holiday Gifts | 7 pm Thursday, December 5 | Ohio Herb Center, 110 Mill St.

Struggling for gift ideas for the female in your life? Join a herbalist from the Ohio Herb Center for a hands-on lesson in healthier skin care. Discover how crafting your own DIY body scrubs can save time, money, and give you the skills to customize products to match your skin type. Learn the secrets to creating a light and fluffy concoction that will nourish your skin all winter long. You’ll leave with the inspiration to create your own gifts for the holidays!

Need more info on these events ? Go to or call 614/418-9114.

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‘Burb Breakdown: Gahanna gifts for the top 5 hard-to-shop-for types

614now Staff




Covering many vibrant communities across central Ohio, the 614 is so much more than just Columbus. Welcome to the ‘Burb Breakdown, an ongoing series highlighting the unique character of neighborhoods from across this sprawling metro area we call home. This time, we take a look at five unique holiday gifts you'll find in Gahanna for those hard-to-shop-for loved ones.

Time is running short on finding that perfect holiday gift for the “hard-to-buy-for” person in your life. And facing the shopping chaos at a mall this time of year has about as much appeal as facing those loooonnnng post-holiday return lines. Gahanna offers some unique businesses with gifts to help you avoid the shopping masses, while surprising and delighting the giftee. See if your finicky gift recipient falls into one of these 5 hard-to-buy-for types:

1) The foodie
To the foodie, eating is a spiritual (and physical) experience that involves all the senses. Gahanna is a mini-culinary Mecca—and a gift card to one of the city’s signature dining experiences is certain to please. Consider Barrel & Boar Creekside for the barbecue lover, The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek for the steak lover or 101 Beer Kitchen Gahanna for the epicurean who loves freshly made fare (with a craft beer). If your foodie has a sweet tooth, don’t miss Smallcakes Cupcakery & Creamery or Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies. Pam’s Market Popcorn offers gourmet popcorn flavors in small bags or large tins (great for a hostess gift or party). Buckeye Candy Company is Santa’s #1 pick for stocking stuffers (and retro sweet treats).

2) The Spirits Connoisseur
Gahanna has this category in the (gift) bag. Treat your craft beer lover to a growler from Nostalgia Brewing or a gift card to Kindred. Wyandotte Winery, Central Ohio’s OLDEST winery, makes its home in Gahanna—and offers a wide variety of delicious wines at reasonable prices. Treat the cocktail lover in your life to a combination tour of Noble Cut Distillery and Simple Times Mixers —where you can enjoy tastes and tips on crafting the perfect custom cocktails. As the “Herb Capital of Ohio,” Gahanna is home to the Herbal Cocktail Trail—which showcases seasonal cocktails at 7 different local establishments. Pick up an Herbal Cocktail Trail passport from Visit Gahanna and craft a gift basket around the experience!

3) The Gardener/Nature Lover or Minimalist
Need a present for the person who dreams of green year-round? How about the no-boxes-ribbons-and-bows minimalist? The Ohio Herb Center offers year-round classes on all-things-herbal, as well as a bespoke gift shop with treasures for the body, mind and soul. Treat your nature lover to a gift card good for a Botanical Beauty Bar Class, an Herb Walk or a Spice Blending workshop. Or shop for all natural soy candles, herbal honey, gardening books and herbal blend teas. Visit Expressions Floral Designs and build a beautiful bouquet from their high quality roses and fresh flowers, or choose from among the beautiful plants and home décor items.

4) The One Who Deserves Nurturing
Give the gift of nurturing to the person who gives unselfishly of his/her time and energy. Thrive Massage & Wellness in Gahanna is Central Ohio’s first spa with infrared light therapy (promoting weight loss, detox, pain relief, heart health, skin purification and relaxation). Additionally, Thrive offers
Therapeutic Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Body Wraps—options made possible through the giving of a gift card. The Mug & Brush Barber Shop offers professional haircuts, shaves, beard services and more—with outstanding old school customer service and careful attention to detail. If bling is the thing, then your gift search should start and end at Be_Social Dress Boutique. From breathtaking evening gowns to glamorous jewelry, this shop’s styles will shock and awe (without breaking the bank).

5) The Creative
The creative is hard to fit into a box…so maybe their gift should follow suit. Start with a gift card that inspires the heart and mind with hands-on classes at Gahanna’s own Art Garden Studios, Kym’s Kanvas or Ohio Herb Center. Or gift a collectible piece of art from Griffin Gallery at Creekside—currently featuring an exhibit of pieces by Emerson Burkhart, one of Columbus' best known artists. If your creative is dreaming of renovating a room or home, a gift certificate to Nth Degree can provide professional interior design services or a unique décor find from the elegant showroom.

For more information about Gahanna shopping, dining, attractions and more, go to

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