• Joey Amato

Pride Journey Holiday Spotlight: Columbus, Ohio



Recently named one of the top 10 LGBTQ+-friendly cities for millennials by Money: Under 30, Columbus offers ample opportunities to make the holiday season magical. Check out the recommendations below and learn more at experiencecolumbus.com/holidays.


Shop ‘til You Drop

Whether it’s big name brands or boutique experiences you seek, look no further than Columbus for all your holiday shopping this year.

With more than 240 best-in-class businesses that call it home, Easton is one of the city’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destinations. Easton’s unique village-like setting offers a broad assortment of big-name retailers like Apple, Nordstrom and American Girl that are a fashion guru’s dream. Over the last year, Easton has added 16 acres of new mixed-use development that includes the state’s first RH Gallery from Restoration Hardware. COVID-19 hasn’t slowed this lifestyle center down, and it’s easy to see why Chain Store Age Magazine named Easton the best retail experience center in the country in 2019.

USA Today named High Street in the Short North Arts District among “10 great American shopping streets” stating, “There’s nothing else like it in the United States.” Filled with one-of-a-kind shops, from homegrown stores that have gained national recognition – like Homage – to specialty outlets favored by locals, there’s something for everyone in the Short North.

Known as one of the most atmospheric neighborhoods in the country, the already-idyllic German Village is even more charming at the holidays. Paper lanterns and strings of lights line the streets and lead the way to a variety of shops, including one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores – The Book Loft – with 32 rooms of books for every reader on your list.

If you’re not sure where to start with such an abundance of options, the Columbus Gift Guide is for you. Local tastemakers have come together to curate their top picks for the holidays for friends and family of all ages. View the gift guide at experiencecolumbus.com/giftguide.

Need more ideas? The Made in Cbus Trail features more than 20 local businesses, including top-rated distilleries, independently designed clothing, handcrafted accessories, home goods and more. After making purchases at four stops on the trail, you can earn a free canvas tote bag as a memento of your experience!


You can also find more shopping inspiration in their LGBTQ Guide!


Light up the Night

The city’s top attractions feature glowing light displays across the city brighten the skies nightly throughout the holiday season.


Central Ohio's favorite family holiday tradition, Wildlights! at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, takes place Nov. 20, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021 from 5 – 9 p.m. Originally just a few strands of lights and a few trays of cookies, the show has grown to millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, reindeer and other holiday festivities, offering a whole new way to experience Jack Hanna’s home zoo. Don’t miss what PopSugar calls one of the country’s 10 most spectacular holiday light displays.


The annual Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will illuminate winter nights from Nov. 14, 2020 – Jan. 10, 2021. Thousands of lights will be twinkling and glowing in stunning displays, and new this year is a Candyland scene complete with a life-size gingerbread house and the magical train display, Paul Busse Garden Railway. Accompanying the lights are familiar holiday favorites – such as the rainbow tunnel, ornament trees, gingerbread competition and more!


Or, check out the light displays and holiday scenes that pepper downtown on a guided tour with Columbus City Adventures. See how holiday displays come to life on the Scioto Mile, Columbus Commons and various businesses around the city.

Columbus’ Commitment to Safety

When shopping or staying in Columbus, know that you can feel safe doing so thanks to the Live Forward Pledge taken by hundreds of businesses in the community. Look for the orange window decal on your visit for a visual representation of which businesses have put the health and safety of their patrons at the forefront of operating amidst the coronavirus pandemic and learn more at experiencecolumbus.com/liveforwardpledge.

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