Winter may not be everyone’s favorite time of year, but you can still find plenty to do to keep you busy. Whether you love holiday lights displays, fantastic art, stand-up comedy, music, or even beer, Columbus, Ohio has got you covered.
While the winter weather isn’t always awesome, there are plenty of things to do to keep you warm and toasty all season long. These great winter activities in Columbus, Ohio will be sure to make your season joyful and full of fun.
The Best Winter Activities in Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is growing like crazy and is actually the 14th largest city in the United States! While the city’s midwestern location might not be what you’re after for a winter vacation, it shouldn’t be overlooked. I promise…winter in Columbus, Ohio can be fun!
Franklin Park Conservatory
Franklin Park Conservatory is a great place to visit during the winter. You’ll find lots to see from gorgeous flower displays to Chihuly glass to lights displays.
Conservatory Aglow at the Franklin Park Conservatory is a fantastic light display in Columbus. From November to January, you can check out an exhibition by Dale Chihuly and an interactive light sculpture by Jen Lewin plus holiday favorites like the poinsettia trees, rainbow tunnel, and the gingerbread competition. This year, you’ll also find a Candyland display with a life-sized gingerbread house plus a fantastic train display.
Here’s some of what’s happening at Franklin Park Conservatory this winter:
- Holiday Blooms: November 19, 2022 – January 8, 2023
- Paul Busse Garden Railway: June 4, 2022 – January 8, 2023
- Conservatory Aglow: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m daily through January 8, 2023
- Holiday Ornament Pop-Up Shop: December 2-4, 2022
- Breakfast with Santa: December 3-4, 2022 and December 10-11, 2022
- Hanukkah Celebration: December 19, 2022
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
There’s lots to do at the Columbus Zoo in winter! Check out these wintertime activities to stay warm all season long.
- Wildlights 2022: Daily through January 1, 2023
- Sensory Friendly Lights Stroll and Santa Experience: November 15, 2022
- Sensory Friendly Santa Experience: December 11, 2022
Wildlights is one of my favorite winter activities in Columbus, Ohio! Every evening (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day), the zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Bundle up and grab a hot chocolate and explore the zoo under the glow of millions of lights!
Segway Holiday Lights Tour
For a fun evening activity, why not take a segway tour that explores the beautiful holiday lights displays around downtown Columbus? You’ll even get to listen to holiday music during your tour. Tickets are available here.
Location: 400 North High Street, Columbus
Dates: December 1-23, 2022
Dine In An Igloo at VASO
Since it’s cold in Columbus in winter, you might as well embrace it by dining in an igloo! Yes, that’s right, you can enjoy tapas and cocktails from a heated igloo at VASO, a trendy rooftop bar in the trendy Bridge Park section of Dublin. Each igloo comes with fur-covered seats and blankets to make your experience cozy and fantastic.
Special Event – December 19-23, 2022: A Pop-Up Interactive Holiday Igloo Experience at VASO
This fun special event features a holiday cocktail menu, music, and holiday decor. Purchase tickets here.
Columbus Museum of Art
If you’re looking for something to do on a cold Columbus winter afternoon, check out the fantastic Columbus Museum of Art. The museum features permanent collections and special exhibitions plus lots of special events and programs throughout the year.
Check out these special events and exhibitions this winter in Columbus:
- I Hear America Singing – Contemporary Photography: Now through January 22, 2023
- L.A. Woman: The Photographs of Kali: September 10, 2022, to March 12, 2023
- Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak: October 21, 2022, to March 5, 2023
- Gina Osterloh: Mirror Shadow Shape: December 16, 2022, to April 23, 2023
Short North Gallery Hop
On the first Saturday of every month, you’ll find the Short North Gallery Hop. This Columbus tradition includes gallery exhibitions, performers, music, food, and drink. Don’t miss this year’s Holiday Hop which takes place on December 3, 2022. This holiday-themed Gallery Hop is the biggest Hop of the year!
If you’ve got kids, COSI is a no-brainer in the winter. It’s a great place to spend the day exploring all of the cool exhibits, taking in a movie in the Giant Screen Theater, or checking out the Planetarium.
Check out some of the current and limited-time exhibits:
- Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes
- Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs
- Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit: October 1, 2022, to January 3, 2022
Funny Bone Comedy Club
Take a break from the cold and head over to the Funny Bone Comedy Club located at Easton Town Center to have some fun. You’ll find great stand-up comedy and a full-service restaurant, making it a great stop for date night.
Here’s just some of what’s coming up this winter at the Funny Bone:
- Emma Willmann: December 1, 2022
- Jay Pharoah: December 2-3, 2022
- John Morgan: December 9-11, 2022
- Greg Warren: December 16-18, 2022
- Matt Rife: December 22, 2022
- Anthony Rodia: February 10-11, 2023
Read More: If you’re looking to get away for a day or 2, check out these awesome day trips that are all within a 2-hour drive of Columbus.
2022 Winter Events in Columbus
Ohio Made Holiday Market
This fun holiday shopping event features over 80 independent makers and businesses that are all based in Ohio! You’ll find home decor, clothing, crafts, and gifts. Tickets are available online or at the door.
Location: Hollywood Casino, 200 Georgesville Road
Dates: November 18-19, 2022
Winterfair! is an event featuring artists from all over the country where you can shop for jewelry, crafts, art, food, gifts, and more.
When: December 2-4, 2022
Where: Multipurpose Building | Ohio State Fairgrounds
Short North Holiday Hop
The Short North Holiday Hop is a holiday-themed gallery hop featuring exhibitions, performers, music, food, and drink!
When: December 3, 2022
Where: Short North Arts District
Columbus Chocolate Wine and Whiskey Festival
The Columbus Chocolate Wine and Whiskey Festival is a kicked-up chocolate festival that includes tons of tasty treats but also whiskey and wine!
When: January 28, 2023
Where: COSI | 333 W. Broad St.
Columbus Dispatch Spring Home and Garden Show
This Home and Garden Show is a week-long event featuring indoor gardens, home renovation vendors, demonstrations, and more.
When: February 18-26, 2023
Where: Ohio Expo Center
Visiting Columbus during a different time of year? Check out these guides to Columbus in every season:
- Things to do in Columbus, Ohio in the Summer
- Things to do in Columbus, Ohio in the Fall
- Things to do in Columbus, Ohio in the Spring
Save This on Pinterest