Creekside Park

Free Gahanna Outdoor Play Seasonal

Simple holiday lights display delights youngsters


Often it’s the simple things that create the most excitement for youngsters.

For my children it was a recent trip to see the holiday lights display at Creekside Park in Gahanna that got them in a merry mood.

The outdoor display is situated alongside the Big Walnut Creek at 123 Mill St., 15 minutes east of Columbus. It’s open from mid-November through early January.

The walkable wonderland is basically a sidewalk that meanders through a wooded area. On both sides are limbs and trunks strung with colorful lights and bright, white snowflakes hung high in treetops.

But what my 2-year-old and 4-year-old liked best on a warm, November afternoon was running to and from the little houses that align the path. The one-sided, wooden facades collectively create a cute village.

There are also a half-dozen structures representing small workshops including a bank, toyshop and a post office with a mailbox for mailing letters to Santa. There’s even a small operating gristmill near a pool of water.

The natural setting makes it especially enjoyable to explore, so much so that we walked the path twice. The second time we noticed climbable boulders, a gurgling waterfall and waddling ducks.

Afterward we walked to the nearby Creekside Plaza on Mill Street to play tag around Gahanna’s towering Christmas tree.

Spending quality time looking at holiday lights without spending a dime proved to be simply delightful.

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Wendy and Mike Pramik

Wendy and Mike Pramik are writers from Columbus, Ohio. Their favorite topic is travel, and they enjoy sharing stories about the many weekend adventures they take with their two children, Rosie and Max.