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Five holiday events to get you through finals

Yes, it’s the most dreadful time of the year: finals season. But let’s not let that over shadow the fact that it’s also the most wonderful time of the year.

If you’re like me, you’re desperate for some holiday cheer and an excuse to pause the study sessions. For the next few weeks, Columbus has you covered. Bundle up, devour a candy cane (or 10), and gather your friends; here are a few ways to get in the spirit of the season around the city.

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting

Kick off your holiday season at the annual holiday Statehouse event. Head over to Capitol Square Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and enjoy the lighting of the historically decorated tree, performances by local choirs and dancers, games and activities. Take a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus to commemorate the 2017 holiday season and enjoy refreshments at this free family-friendly event.

Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus: Joy! Make the Yuletide Gay

The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus is here to spread holiday cheer with their holiday concert, Joy! Make the Yuletide Gay at King Avenue United Methodist Church Friday through Sunday. Featuring Christmas classics, sing-alongs, a few twists on some holiday favorites and a couple of surprises, nothing makes the holidays gayer than this group of talented men. Tickets are available on its website for $25.

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

Celebrate Chinese culture this holiday season at the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival, daily from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. until Jan. 7 at the Ohio Expo Center. Experience the 39 illuminated, colorful and enormous lantern displays hand-crafted by Chinese artisans, nightly performances, handicraft demonstrations, lantern lighting and a variety of traditional Chinese cuisines. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for ages 17 and under, and free to children ages two and under.

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Check out the animals under what is arguably the best light display in town at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. With lights running daily from 5 to 9 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas day) until Jan. 1, it’s the ideal destination for friends and family to take in the wonder of the holidays while spending time with your favorite animals. Regular admission rates apply, but it is free to members.

Holiday Classic Series at Gateway

Gateway Film Center is showing its holiday spirit with the return of its Holiday Classic Series, showing through Dec. 31. Titles include: “Little Women,” “Christmas Evil,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas,” “A Christmas Story” and more. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, Gateway invites all to sip on a hot chocolate or a holiday brew from its bar and enjoy these retro throwbacks and holiday thrillers. Ticket prices range from $7.50 to $9 for matinees and $9 to $10.75 for evening shows.

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