Gallipolis in Lights

gallipolis in lights

It’s that time of year again and there’s so much to explore in Ohio during the holiday season. Each year we try to explore something new and this year we headed south to check out Gallipolis in Lights on the banks of the Ohio River.

Christmas lights at Gallipolis in Lights at the city park in Gallipolis, Ohio near the Ohio River.
Gallipolis City Park is lit up for the holidays.

Gallipolis is a small river city just across the Ohio River from West Virginia. It’s just under two hours south of Columbus and about two and a half hours from Cincinnati. It’s a bit of a drive, but we were looking for adventure.

Gallilpolis in Lights at the City Park

Gallipolis City Park is located in the middle of the city. It’s surrounded by businesses on three sides, with one side open to the river. Many of the surrounding business get into the spirit and feature lights or window displays as well.

In the foreground a red and white house for Santa Claus has a sign that says Stop Drop Letters to Santa Here. In the backgroud Christmas lights.
There’s a mailbox for letters to Santa at Gallipolis in Lights.

On-street parking is available at no charge and it is free to walk through the light display. If you’re brining little ones, be sure to have them write their letters to Santa ahead of time. This way they can drop them in the mailbox at Santa’s house.

Our expectations were fairly low because we went on a Thursday night. But all of the lights were on and we even spotted Santa himself out making his rounds.

On the left a city park lit up with Christmas lights and on the right a young woman stands next to Santa Claus.
The fountain of lights was my favorite, but it looks like Natalie enjoyed her visit with Santa Claus.

Santa does have hours in his house if your child would like to visit. Check through Santa’s Schedule on Gallia County’s tourism page.

Getting a Bite to Eat in Gallipolis

While in town, we at at El Torro, a local Mexican restaurant. The service was good and the food was delicious. Marina had a margarita and said it was just okay. But the food was hot and tasty. I highly recommend the street tacos. You get three and they allow you to mix and match.

Three different types of tacos on a wooden board at El Torro in Gallipolis, Ohio.
Street tacos at El Torro. They are all delicious, but the fish tacos are my favorite

If you aren’t partial to Mexican food, we’ve had good luck with Tuscany, the Italian restaurant in town. My husband and Amanda love China One, it’s a Chinese buffet. Or if you prefer your dinner “down on the farm,” the original Bob Evans Farm homestead and restaurant are located and nearby Rio Grande.

Christmas in Ohio

Is Gallipolis too much of a drive but you’re looking for other Ohio holiday experiences? Consider visiting Clifton Mill near Yellow Springs or Conservatory Aglow at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. Looking for free displays? Check out Columbus Commons and the State Auto Christmas Corner in Columbus or drive through a land of giant inflatables at the nearby Groveport Municipal Golf Course.

A sign says Merry Christmas from Gallipolis in Lights. It is flanked by two elves and there are Christmas lights in the background.
Natalie decided to be an elf!


What are your favorite Ohio holiday traditions? Check back frequently as we’re publishing new Ohio adventures regularly. Thanks for joining us in FindingOhio and as always, we appreciate you sharing our content to your social media.