Perhaps the best holiday tradition is the extensive Christmas light displays we can find. Local parks, marinas, neighborhoods, and yes, the Columbus Zoo all join in the festivities of keeping the growing darkness away by lighting up the night sky. Even better for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, many of the holiday light displays will begin within the next few days, giving us ample opportunity to enjoy them all.
Below are five of the Columbus area’s best bets for holiday light shows:
Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Music & Light Show (Nov 12 – Jan 10; 5:30-9:00) As part of the Dicken’s Victorian Village experience put on in Cambridge each year, the county courthouse will come alive with four exciting and beautiful light shows. This computer-controlled show uses more than 25,000 lights, and a new show begins every 20 minutes throughout the evening. One of these light shows features favorite Christmas characters like Frosty and Rudolph. Visitors are encouraged to use appropriate parking lots and congregate on the courthouse lawn to enjoy the show.
Winter Wonderland (Nov 13 – Jan 4) The 5-acre Creekside Park in Gahanna will be decked out in lights and holiday decorations for the enjoyment of those who want to stroll along the Big Walnut Creek. This will also be the site of the Holiday Lights Parade on November 28.
Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo (Nov 20 – Jan 3; 5-9 Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 Friday-Saturday) Each year it seems that Wildlights gets better and better. This year, the Columbus Zoo has completed its transformation and is using 100% LED lights for the holiday display. In addition to the fun light show, there will be a 9-minute light show in the Animal Encounters area (showtimes are every half-hour, starting at 5:15), a new holiday-themed version of the zoo’s Animals on Safari show, and the Magical Timbernacle Forest Chorus. Regular admission rates apply.
Fantasy of Lights (Nov 20 – Dec 30; 5:30-9:30 Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10:30 Friday-Saturday) This annual event is a 2-mile driving tour that takes visitors past 125 different lighting displays, many of which feature animation. The tour begins at the Alum Creek Marina (3615 S. Old State Rd.) in Delaware, which will also host a holiday gift shop and visits with Santa through the season. Admission for the event ranges from $10 to $15.
Candlelight Nights (Wednesdays, Nov 25 and Dec 2, 9, 16, 23; 5-8) This display, hosted by the Franklin Park Conservatory, is not your usual holiday light show. Live music will play while visitors enjoy the sights of hundreds of votives lighting up the glass art of Dale Chihuly. There will also be glassblowing demonstrations and family activities. Regular admission rates apply.
In all, these holiday light displays will make Columbus a great destination for the Christmas season.