Things to do in Columbus…

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Things to do in ColumbusThere’s so much to do in Columbus that it’s impossible to list all of them.  Here are some fun things to do in this great city!

  1. Festivals, festivals, festivals! Here’s a list of over 300 festivals around Columbus! Overwhelmed by this list? Check out my favorites below this list.
  2. Zoombezi Bay – Water park at the Zoo
  3. Picnic with the Pops Concert Series at the Columbus Commons
  4. Free Outdoor Movies under the Stars – late spring through early fall
  5. Free or Cheap Indoor Summer Movies
  6. Bar Crawl – Make you own path; Grandview, Short North, Arena District, Clintonville
  7. Short North Dessert Crawl – this doesn’t exist, but would be easy and tasty to do on your own!
  8. Movie and Beer Tasting at Studio 35 – various Sundays
  9. Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio 35 – 1st Saturday of every month
  10. Wexner Center – lots of exhibits and events to check out (free on Thursday evenings and the first Sunday of the month)
  11. Columbus Museum of Art – free on Sundays and lots to do for all ages, including the littles!
  12. Topiary Garden
  13. Picnic in Goodale Park w/food from North Market
  14. Columbus Park of Roses
  15. U Pick Berry Farms – let me know your favorites!
  16. Worthington Farmers Market – one of the bigger, more diverse markets that runs all year
  17. Over 30 Farmers Markets during the growing season
  18. Columbus Commons events – concerts, movies, family activities, food trucks, fitness classes and more!
  19. Scioto Mile events – Fountainside, Rhythm on the River, Movies on the Mile, Jazz & Rib Fest, and Grand Illumination
  20. Whole Foods Five after Five – Fridays, both locations: 5 wine and 5 food samples for $5
  21. Market District Giant Eagle Food and Wine Fridays– Fridays: 6 wines and 6 samples for $6
  22. Columbus Zoo – admission is $9.99-$14.99
  23. Columbus Gives Back Events – lots of volunteering opportunities with an equal amount of fun
  24. Gallery Hop – 1st Saturday each month in the Short North
  25. Brothers Drake Mead Tasting – Mead is honey wine = delicious!
  26. Put In Bay – the closest to island life you’ll find near Ohio; hotels are expensive, camping is cheap
  27. House Wine – Thursday Night Tasting ($10) or your own tasting from the ergonomics machine.
  28. Candle Lab – Create your own scent and pour your own candle; group events available and in combination with House Wine in Worthington or Powell Village Winery; shops also located in Grandview.
  29. Canoeing, Kayaking, or Rafting: try Hocking Valley Canoe Livery (Logan) or Trapper John’s (Grove City) – trips start around $14/person for canoe rental.
  30. MetroPark Hikes – organized or non-organized, there is lots of ground to cover
  31. BalletMet – lots of wonderful shows throughout the year
  32. Shadowbox Live – Sketch Comedy – like you’re watching SNL in person, with a kick-ass rock and roll band (and dancers! – I love dancers!).
  33. Columbus Clippers Baseball – Huntington Park is AWESOME, tickets are cheap, lots of promotions
  34. Columbus Crew Soccer – Season starts in March
  35. Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey – People who don’t think they like hockey probably have only tried to watch it on TV.  Much better in person.  Much.
  36. Ohio State Fair – concerts, butter statues, deep-fried everything…and now, Ohio Beer and Wine!!!!
  37. Wyandotte Winery Tasting – 6 great wines for $5, staff is awesome.  Go big and taste all 12! Oh, and taste a piece of Wine Cake!!!
  38. COSI – Take your child or borrow someone else’s (ask first, of course). There are tons of great exhibits and events at the Science Center!
  39. Explore the Book Loft in German Village – This bookstore is as long as a city block – don’t get lost!
  40. Pecha Kucha – speaker present 20 slides and talk about each for 20 seconds each on their topic of choice
  41. Hocking Hills – lots of hiking, waterfalls, and nature; close enough for day trips w/ camping, cabins, and teepee’s available
  42. Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo – the Zoo becomes a Winter Wonderland with millions of twinkling lights: mid-November to early January.

Favorite Festivals Through the Year:

  1. First Night Columbus – Family-friendly NYE celebration in the Arena District/Downtown
  2. Wendy’s Chili Open – Fundraiser at the Zoo in February – food, beverage, music
  3. Arnold Sports Festival – In March, each year. Even if you aren’t into sports/fitness, GREAT people/meathead watching.
  4. Columbus Arts Festival – June
  5. Zoofari – June: Expensive, but fun: fundraiser with over 100 Columbus restaurants, drinks, music and more
  6. COMfest – June if you’ve never gone, you have to try it at least once
  7. Red White and Boom – July – Huge firework show: if you can deal with the crowds, go.  If not, watch from a “safe” distance.
  8. Doo Dah Parade – July 4 – Best and craziest parade every in the Short North.
  9. Dublin Irish Festival – Everything Irish: August
  10. MicroBrew Festival – Craft beer tasting each year at the North Market for $15: September
  11. Circleville Pumpkin Show – October
  12. High Ball Halloween – check out the incredible and crazy costumes in the Short North: October



  9 Responses to “Things to do in Columbus…”

  1. Thanks Steven, you’re right. I created this list before the Scioto Mile had all of these events and I haven’t been good about updating it. I appreciate the reminder!

  2. Missing pretty much everything on the Scioto Mile… Jazz & Rib Fest (largest Columbus festival), Rhythm on the River and FountainSide at Bicentennial Park, Grand Illumination (City’s lighting of Columbus).

  3. Here’s some other ideas for you to try!

    Paddle Boarding at Delaware State Park
    Sky Zone
    Murder Mystery Dinner
    Sky diving
    Funny Bone
    Color Run 5K
    Spartan Race Mud & Obstacle Course
    Paint Nite (Wine & Painting)
    Paint Ball
    Hollywood Casino
    OSU Game
    Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar
    Chamber Escape Room
    Zip Lining
    Jet pack
    Concealed Carry Course
    Rock Climbing
    Open Play Rope Courses
    Indoor Rock Climbing
    Kick Boxing class
    Paint-Your-Own Ceramics
    Scioto Downs
    Dance Classes
    Belly Dancing Class
    Pole Dancing Class
    Olentangy Indian Caverns
    Horseback Riding
    Scioto Audubon Park

    Ohio Renaissance Festival
    Amish Country
    Old Mans Caves

    In Cincinnati

    River Boat Dinner Cruise
    Train dinner Ride
    New Port Aquarium and Levee

  4. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Hi! Thanks for including the Santa Maria. We’re sad to say that the ship is TEMPORARILY CLOSING on Oct. 19, 2013 due to the Greenway Dam removal project. We are scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2016. If you could edit your listing to reflect this, it’d be much appreciated.

  6. […] Things to do in Columbus… […]

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