Things to Do in Columbus Ohio: A Friendly Guide to Exploring the City

Things To Do In Columbus Ohio Featured Image

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. This helps support what we do and in no way costs you a thing.

Looking for an exciting and fun-filled vacation destination? Look no further than Columbus, Ohio! There are so many things to do in Columbus Ohio, from delicious food and drink to world-class museums and attractions.

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo, Columbus offers a variety of activities that will keep you entertained throughout your stay.

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio Cover Image

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, Columbus has plenty of options for you. Take a stroll through one of the city’s many beautiful parks, such as the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, head to the Scioto Mile, a 175-acre park that runs along the Scioto River and offers stunning views of the downtown skyline.

For a more immersive experience, try a guided walking or biking tour of the city, which will take you through some of Columbus’s most historic neighborhoods and landmarks.

If you’re looking for indoor activities, Columbus has you covered as well. Check out the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), a hands-on science center that offers interactive exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages. Or, head to the Columbus Museum of Art, which boasts an impressive collection of American and European art, as well as rotating exhibitions and special events.

No matter what your interests are, Columbus has plenty of things to see and do that will make your trip unforgettable.

Historical Sites

If you’re a history buff, Columbus has plenty of historical sites to explore. Here are a few must-see locations:

Ohio Statehouse

Location: 1 Capitol Sq, Columbus

The Ohio Statehouse is a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture and has been the seat of Ohio’s government since 1857. You can take a guided tour of the Statehouse to learn about Ohio’s political history and see the beautiful artwork and architecture.

The tours are free and offered on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and on the half-hour from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends.

German Village

Location: 588 S 3rd St, Columbus

German Village is a charming historic neighborhood just south of downtown Columbus. The area was settled by German immigrants in the mid-1800s and is now home to beautifully restored brick homes, quaint shops, and delicious restaurants.

Take a stroll down the brick streets and admire the architecture, or stop by the German Village Society for a walking tour.

Kelton House Museum

Location: 586 E Town St, Columbus

The Kelton House Museum & Garden is a beautifully restored Victorian-era home that was built in 1852. The home was once a stop on the Underground Railroad and now serves as a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Kelton family and the Civil War era.

You can take a guided tour of the home and learn about the Kelton family’s involvement in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad. The museum is open for tours on Fridays and Sundays.

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio zoo

Outdoor Activities

If you’re looking for some fun outdoor activities in Columbus, Ohio, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of options to choose from, including visiting parks, gardens, and zoos. Here are a few recommendations for outdoor activities to try during your visit.

Scioto Mile

The Scioto Mile is a beautiful park located in downtown Columbus. It spans over 175 acres and features a stunning fountain, walking trails, and plenty of green space to relax and enjoy the scenery. You can also rent a bike or take a paddleboat ride on the Scioto River. The park hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and outdoor movies.

Franklin Park Conservatory

The Franklin Park Conservatory is a must-see for any nature lover. It features 88 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens, including a butterfly exhibit and a tropical rainforest. You can also take a stroll through the outdoor gardens, which feature a variety of plants and flowers. The conservatory offers various classes and workshops throughout the year, including cooking classes and gardening workshops.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the top-rated zoos in the country. It features over 10,000 animals from around the world, including polar bears, lions, and elephants. You can also take a ride on the zoo’s train or carousel.

The aquarium section of the zoo features various aquatic animals, including sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles. The zoo hosts various events throughout the year, including the popular Wildlights holiday event.

No matter what your interests are, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Columbus, Ohio. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in the park or an exciting adventure at the zoo, you’re sure to find something that suits your style.

people sitting in front of table talking and eating

Food and Drink

If you’re a foodie, Columbus is the perfect destination for you. From local breweries to gourmet restaurants, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to eat and drink in Columbus, Ohio.

North Market

North Market is a must-visit destination for any food lover. This indoor market has been a Columbus institution since 1876 and features over 30 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses.

Some of the most popular vendors include Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Hot Chicken Takeover, and Destination Donuts. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a full meal, you’re sure to find something delicious at North Market.

Brewery District

If you’re a beer lover, you won’t want to miss the Brewery District. This historic neighborhood is home to several breweries, including the Columbus Brewing Company and the Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus. Take a brewery tour and sample some of the best craft beer in the city. If you’re hungry, head to the German Village for some traditional German cuisine.

Easton Town Center

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, head to Easton Town Center. This outdoor shopping center features several high-end restaurants, including Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant and Mitchell’s Ocean Club. After your meal, take a stroll around the center and do some shopping at one of the many luxury retailers.

Arts and Culture

If you’re looking for a dose of arts and culture, Columbus has plenty to offer. From museums to performing arts, there’s something for everyone.

Columbus Museum of Art

Location: 480 E Broad St, Columbus

The Columbus Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art lovers. With a collection that spans from the 19th century to contemporary art, there’s plenty to see and explore. The museum also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year, so be sure to check their website for the latest information.

Wexner Center for the Arts

Location: 1871 N High St, Columbus

The Wexner Center for the Arts is a hub for contemporary art and culture in Columbus. The center features a variety of exhibitions, film screenings, performances, and lectures. Be sure to check out their calendar of events to see what’s coming up.

Shadowbox Live

Location: 503 S Front St Ste 260, Columbus

If you’re looking for a unique performing arts experience, look no further than Shadowbox Live. This theater company offers a variety of shows, from original musicals to comedy sketches. With a full bar and restaurant on-site, you can make a night of it and enjoy dinner and a show.

Whether you’re interested in visual art, contemporary culture, or live performances, Columbus has something to offer. Be sure to check out these top destinations for a dose of arts and culture.

person playing ice hockey

Sporting Events

If you’re a sports fan, Columbus has plenty to offer. From professional hockey to college football, there’s always something exciting happening in the city. Here are a few of the top sporting events to check out during your visit.

Ohio Stadium

Location: 410 Woody Hayes Dr, Columbus

Home to the Ohio State Buckeyes, Ohio Stadium is one of the most iconic college football stadiums in the country. With a seating capacity of over 100,000, the stadium is always packed with enthusiastic fans on game day. Be sure to arrive early to tailgate with fellow Buckeyes fans and soak up the atmosphere before the game.

Nationwide Arena

Location: 200 West Nationwide Boulevard Columbus

If hockey is more your thing, head to Nationwide Arena to catch a Columbus Blue Jackets game. The arena also hosts concerts and other events throughout the year, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s happening during your visit.

Huntington Park

Location: 330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus

For a more laid-back sporting experience, head to Huntington Park to catch a Columbus Clippers baseball game. The park features a beautiful view of the downtown skyline and plenty of food and drink options to enjoy while you watch the game. Plus, tickets are affordable, making it a great option for families or budget-conscious travelers.

No matter which sporting event you choose to attend, be sure to wear your team’s colors and get ready to cheer them on with fellow fans.

person holding white and black striped shirt

Shopping Destinations

If you’re looking for a shopping destination in Columbus, you won’t be disappointed. From high-end fashion to locally owned boutiques, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few shopping destinations you won’t want to miss:

Short North Arts District

Location: 714 N High St, Columbus

The Short North Arts District is a vibrant neighborhood filled with art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring. You’ll find everything from vintage clothing to handmade jewelry. Don’t miss out on the boutiques that specialize in locally made goods and products.

Polaris Fashion Place

Location: 1500 Polaris Parkway , Columbus

If you’re looking for high-end fashion, Polaris Fashion Place is the place to be. This shopping center features over 200 stores, including high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. You’ll also find popular department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. When you need a break from shopping, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the food court.

The Book Loft

Location: 631 South Third St. Columbus

Book lovers won’t want to miss The Book Loft. This independent bookstore is located in the German Village neighborhood and features 32 rooms filled with books. You’ll find everything from bestsellers to rare finds. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it the perfect place to spend an afternoon browsing.

No matter what your shopping style is, Columbus has something for you. From high-end fashion to independent boutiques, you’re sure to find something you love.


Family Friendly Spots

If you are looking for some family-friendly spots in Columbus, Ohio, you are in luck! There are plenty of places to visit with your kids, and you are sure to find something that everyone will enjoy.

Center of Science and Industry

Location: 333 W Broad St, Columbus

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a must-visit destination for families. This hands-on science center is perfect for kids of all ages, and there are plenty of exhibits and activities to keep everyone entertained. You can explore the world of science and technology, learn about outer space, and even ride a unicycle on a high wire.

Magic Mountain Fun Center

Location: 5890 Scarborough Blvd, Columbus

If you are looking for some outdoor fun, head to Magic Mountain Fun Center. This amusement park has something for everyone, including go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, and more. You can spend the day riding rides and playing games, and there are plenty of food options available on-site.

Columbus Children’s Theatre

Location: 177 E Naghten St, Columbus

For some indoor entertainment, check out the Columbus Children’s Theatre. This theatre offers a variety of shows and performances throughout the year, and there is always something new to see. You can introduce your kids to the world of theatre and enjoy a fun night out as a family.

No matter what your interests are, there are plenty of family-friendly spots to visit in Columbus, Ohio. From science centers to amusement parks to theatres, you are sure to find something that everyone will enjoy.

Field of Flowers North Farm
Click on the picture to check it out

Frequently Asked Questions about Things to Do in Columbus Ohio

What are some hidden gems to explore in Columbus, Ohio?

Columbus, Ohio is full of hidden gems waiting to be explored. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, consider visiting the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This beautiful oasis features a wide variety of plant species, as well as rotating exhibits and events.

Another hidden gem is the Book Loft, a cozy bookstore with 32 rooms filled with books of all genres. If you’re a fan of vintage clothing, head to the Grandview Mercantile Company for a wide selection of unique and stylish pieces.

What are some free things to do in Columbus, Ohio?

If you’re on a budget, don’t worry – there are plenty of free things to do in Columbus, Ohio. Take a stroll through the beautiful Topiary Park, which features 54 topiaries depicting scenes from Georges Seurat’s famous painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte”.

The Columbus Museum of Art offers free admission on Sundays, and the Ohio Statehouse offers free tours. You can also explore the Scioto Mile, a 175-acre park with fountains, gardens, and walking trails.

What are some fun activities for couples in Columbus, Ohio?

Couples looking for a romantic getaway will find plenty of options in Columbus, Ohio. Take a stroll through the German Village neighborhood, with its charming brick streets and historic homes.

Wine lovers can visit the Wyandotte Winery for a tasting, or head to the Columbus Ale Trail for a craft beer tour. For a unique experience, book a hot air balloon ride with Ohio Balloon Rides and enjoy stunning views of the city from above.

What is Columbus, Ohio famous for?

Columbus, Ohio is famous for a variety of reasons. It’s the home of The Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in the United States. It’s also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with world-class museums like the Columbus Museum of Art and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Columbus is also the birthplace of Wendy’s, the popular fast food chain.

What are some unique and nerdy things to do in Columbus, Ohio?

If you’re a fan of all things nerdy, Columbus, Ohio has plenty to offer. Visit the Ohio History Center for a look at the state’s rich history, or head to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum to explore the world of comics and cartoons.

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a must-visit for science enthusiasts, with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages. You can also check out the Starry Night Astronomy Program at the Perkins Observatory for a unique stargazing experience.

What are some nighttime activities to enjoy in Columbus, Ohio?

Columbus, Ohio comes alive at night, with plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Take a stroll through the Short North Arts District, with its galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Catch a show at the historic Palace Theatre, or head to the Shadowbox Live for a night of comedy and music. For a unique experience, visit Pins Mechanical Co. for a game of duckpin bowling or ping pong, or head to the rooftop bar at Lincoln Social Rooftop for stunning views of the city.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *