Things to do…
Dawes Arboretum - Ohio 13, three miles north of I-70.
Winter Solstice Day Camp (6 - 11 years old)- Dec. 21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Kids ages six to eleven are invited to celebrate at The Dawes Arboretum’s daylong kids’ camp. During this fun-filled day explore why the seasons change, observe how the sun affects plants and animals and study patterns that appear in nature. Kids travel the grounds during an energizing hike and create a woven artwork inspired by the sun. Enjoy the warmth of a fire while roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. All campers must bring a lunch and water bottle and have completed one year of kindergarten. General admission $50, members $35, meet at the Visitors Center.
The Visitors Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays and holidays. For more information visit www.dawes arb.org
Granville Winter Farmers Market - Granville. The Granville Farmers Market, a favorite summer event, continues again this year every Saturday (except Dec. 29) with the Winter Farmers Market! Every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, the Winter Farmers Market takes place at the Granville Elementary School. Enter from the Sunrise Street entrance and park in the school parking lot.
BODY WORLDS & The Brain exhibit - Columbus. COSI is showcasing Gunther von Hagen’s incredible BODY WORLDS & The Brain exhibit runs through Jan. 6. Presented for the first time ever in Ohio, the exhibit shows visitors a rare glimpse of how the human body and mind function together internally, offering views of both the body and brain that are not outwardly visible. The exhibit is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission includes general admission to COSI: $24.95 for adults, $23.95 for seniors, $19.95 for children 2-12 and $17 for teachers with valid ID. COSI also offers special hours to view only BODY WORLDS & The Brain for $16: Thursday-Saturday, 5-9 p.m., to Dec. 22.
Wildlights - Columbus Zoo. We have decked the halls, trees, bushes, everything but the animals with eco-friendly LED lights to bring you the brightest Wildlights display ever! Central Ohio’s favorite family holiday tradition is celebrating its 24th year and offers more holiday fun than ever before! Wildlights runs from to Jan. 1. Wildlights activities run from 5 - 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursday and from 5 - 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Regular admission rates apply. For more information, visit www.columbuszoo.org
Statehouse Holiday Tours - Columbus. The holidays are a perfect time for visiting friends and family to take a trip to the People’s House for a holiday tour on Capitol Square. Guests are invited to “step back in time” during a free guided tour of the 1861 Statehouse and see holiday decorations the way they were in Victorian times. Walk-in tours of the Statehouse meet in the Map Room, easily accessible from the Third Street entrance, on the hour on weekdays at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and weekends at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. There will be no noon tour during weekdays due to the free noon holiday performances.
Santa Claus Visit - Buckeye Lake. Join us at the Buckeye Lake Library from 5 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 13, as we welcome Santa Claus. Light refreshments will be provided, and cameras are welcome. This event is free and open to all.
Christmas for the Critters - William C. Kraner Nature Center, Newark. The Ohio Nature Education animals have a holiday wishlist too! Find it at www.ohionature.org and bring out items from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16, to place under the nature center Christmas tree. We’ll have warm drinks and cookies waiting for you and some live animals too!
Astronomy Night: Geminids Meteor Shower - William C. Kraner Nature Center, Newark. Join the members of Central Ohio Astronomical Society from 7 - 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, as they discuss the latest news in astronomy. Then step outside to observe the meteors and other celestial bodies, weather permitting. FREE!
Here comes Santa Claus - Thurston. Santa visits the Thurston-Walnut Township Fire Station from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16. Cookies and refreshments.
End of the World Pub Crawl - Granville. Eight Granville establishments will host the End of the World Pub Crawl starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21. Participating are the Acorn Pub at the Granville Inn, Brew’s, Broadway Pub, DaVinci’s Lounge, Snapshots Lounge, The Beverage Source, Day y Noche, and Taco Dan’s. Several bars will host live music that evening, and a commemorative tee shirt will be available for purchase at the Granville Inn front desk for $15. More information is available on the pub crawl’s Facebook page.
Glass Holiday Ornament Making - Newark. The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology invites the public to create festive glass holiday ornaments from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 22. Select ornament colors then receive personal instruction from a professional glass artist who will help you craft a beautiful holiday keepsake. This glass experience is $25 per ornament and a great way to get hands-on with the art of glassblowing! Preregistration is required to reserve a specified time slot. Visit www.attheworks.org or call 740-349-9277. Payment is required at time of preregistration and non-refundable. After crafting an ornament, it must undergo an overnight cooling and annealing process. Ornaments are ready for pick-up at The Works the following week. Must be 9 years or older to participate.
Brown Bag Book Swap- Newark. Pack your lunch for the Brown Bag Book Swap at Licking County Library’s downtown Newark Library at noon on Wednesday, December 26. Trade in gently used books and find different books to treasure. Bring your lunch and listen to stories before the “shopping” begins. This free program is for ages 3 - 12. For more information, call 349-5550.
Hocking Hills’ Winter Hike - Logan. January 19 is the date for 2013 Annual Winter Hike, which traditionally has offered stunning scenery, as waterfalls freeze to offer unique gorgeous frozen sculptures that highlight the area’s magnificent rock formations. The six-mile trek from Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave draws more than 6,000 hikers each year to experience southeast Ohio’s most spectacular scenery. The hike features continuous starts from 9-11 a.m. Steaming hot bean soup is served midway at Cedar Falls (donations accepted) and a shuttle bus returns hikers from Ash Cave to the parking lot at Old Man’s Cave. Hikers are advised to wear layered clothing and good traction footwear, as snow and ice can make the trail slippery. They’re also encouraged to bring a camera to record the region’s winter beauty.
Community Christmas Variety Show - Thornville. The Third Annual Community Christmas Variety Show has 7:30 p.m. performances on Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15. Shows are in the Sheridan High School cafetorium. The Show features over 30 local vocalists singing Christmas favorites – both sacred and secular, a special children’s choir, soloists and the funny antics of four end-men. Tickets can be purchased in advance from any member of the cast, at all Northern Local schools, or at the door on both evenings for $5 per adult and $3 student. This show was put together with the entire family in mind!!
Heisey Wind Ensemble Christmas Concert - Newark. The Heisey Wind Ensemble presents their annual holiday program at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, at The Reese Center at Ohio State University Newark/ COTC. The 60-member concert band is under the direction of Dr. Russel Mikkelson, Director of Bands at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Tickets are: $15 adults, $10 for seniors (60+) and $5 students.
Ohio Watercolor Society Show - Riffe Gallery, Vern Riffe Center, Columbus. Enjoy watercolors from across the state now through January 13. Gallery hours are: Tuesday 10 - 4, Wednesday and Friday 10 - 5:30, Thursday 10-8 and Saturday and Sunday noon - 4. Free!
Last chance for “Annie Leibovitz” - Columbus. The Wexner Center for the Arts entire gallery space is dedicated to a major presentation of work by photographer Annie Leibovitz through Dec. 30, featuring more than 200 photographs. The bulk of the exhibition comes from “Master Set,” an authoritative edition of 156 of her images. The Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. (at 15th Ave.) is on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Wednesday and Sunday 11 a.m. -6 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; closed Mondays. Admission is $8 for adults (18-64); $6 for senior citizens (65 or older); free to all Thursdays, 4 - 8 p.m. and the first Sunday of the month. Details and tickets at wexarts.org.