Dating in Columbus doesn’t have to be expensive. Plan a cheap date or fun with friends with these great options for free and cheap dates Columbus. These dates may be cheap, but the quality is high and you’ll get bonus points for being creative and exploring the city.
Find fun and cheap events around the city on our calendar pages
Cheap Dates in Columbus: Attractions and Museums
- Stroll through the Columbus Zoo! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers 1/2 priced admission through February 28, plus free and discounted days through the year, like President’s Day and other free days that will be announced through the year.
- Wexner Center for the Arts offers FREE admission for exhibitions for everyone on Thursdays from 4 -8 p.m., as well as on the first Sunday of every month.
- Columbus Museum of Art offers free admission on Sunday and pay-what-you-want on Thursdays frm 5-9 pm.
- Catch a butterfly release at Franklin Park Conservatory or explore the other amazing exhibits
- Everyone gets free Sunday admission at Columbus Museum of Art
- Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State has exhibits and programming that comic book and cartoon fans will love. It’s always free!
- Bank of America customers get a Free Museum Pass on the first weekend of each month
- Columbus Metropolitan Main Library is an attraction you could get lost in. Explore the building, check out the amazing views of Topiary Park from the reading room and the views of Downtown Columbus, or grab a coffee or bite to eat at the Cafe. If the weather is good, sit in the outside “Reading Room” and take a stroll through Topiary Park.
- Check out these other Cheap or Free Museum options in Columbus.
Cheap Dates in Columbus: Food and Drink
- Happy Hours are the ultimate cheap restaurant experience! Dine early on tasty appetizers, have a drink or two, and head home to catch a movie on the couch! This happy hour list around Columbus is constantly being added to, and you can try a new place each week!
- Tour the Butler County Donut Trail at your leisure and earn a tshirt if you complete all of the stops – attempt it in a day (start early!) or head out over a period of weekends or months.
- Columbus Ale Trail: Travel the Ale Trail through Central Ohio and find a new favorite craft beer.
- Wyandotte Winery hosts Happy Hour Hump Day on Wednesdays and Fabulous Fridays to celebrate the weekend!
- Find new favorite wines or beer varieties at the Hill’s Market 10 for $10 Wine Tastings on the first Saturday evening of the month.
- Explore Whole Foods while you enjoy 5 after 5 Wine Tastings with wine (or beer) samples and small plates. Pick up something from the prepared food section and head home early for an evening cuddling on the couch.
- Meza Wine Shop in Westerville hosts inexpensive wine tastings and other events each week.
- House Wine Thursday Night Tastings are just $15, including flatbreads and cheese, and will get you ready for the weekend.
- Kingsdale Market District Food and Wine Fridays feature 6 wines and paired samples for just $8 from 5:30-8 pm.
- Make a date Sunday – Thursdays for CBC Pizza and Pint Night, or catch their happy hour!
- The North Market is an amazing place to spend a day or evening exploring. There are so many great food options, you can grab a drink at The Barrel and Bottle. Pick a few food items from various merchants and share in the upstairs seating area or on one of the patios.
- Food and Drink specials in Columbus
- Take a cooking class! Local Matters offers Pay-What-You-Can Cooking classes, and Williams-Sonoma hosts Free Technique Classes.
Cheap Dates in Columbus: Movies and Music
- Drexel Theatre hosts Free Screenings of America’s Greatest Films on the first Tuesday of each month
- AMC CLASSIC Grove City 14 has movie tickets starting at $4.49 before 4pm, and just $6.49 after 4 pm.
- 8 ways to save at Regal Cinemas
- Stream free movies using Kanopy with your library card
- Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio 35 – 1st Saturday of every month
- Saturday Cinema Classics at Studio 35 for just $5 through March 3.
Cheap Dates in Columbus: Fitness and Fun
It’s said that couples who sweat together, stay together. Get physical with these free and cheap fitness date options.
- Ice skating is great exercise! There are several options for Indoor and Outdoor Ice Skating in Columbus
- Columbus Blue Jackets Winter Park Ice Rink is open from February 2-25
- Hike at any of the Columbus Metro Parks or Delaware Preservation Parks. Or just go on a walk anywhere and hold hands.
- Columbus Metro Parks Winter Hike Series: Take guided hikes of 1-7 miles in different Metro parks each weekend in January and February.
- Yoga on High Karma Yoga Donation Classes: Every Friday from 3 – 4 p.m. they offer a community yoga class that includes stretching, breath awareness, yoga postures and relaxation. Donations accepted.
- Yoga in the Park at Battelle Darby Creek: Every second Saturday of the month at 11:30 a.m. at Battelle Darby Creek in the Cedar Ridge Lodge.
- lululemon at Easton and Polaris: Join them every Sunday from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. for an hour long sweat-fest! Check out the calendar for details.
- Free Fitness Classes at Athleta Easton: Athleta offers free fitness classes and events throughout the month; check calendar for details.
- Go on a bike ride! You can rent bikes by the hour in Downtown Columbus with COGO Bike Share and hop on the Olentangy Bike Trail or other trails in the area. Or take your own bikes to any park or trail and cruise around for a bit.
- Roller Skating: You probably did a lot of roller skating while you were a kid – and for good reason…it’s tons of fun!
- Skate America in Grove City: Great pricing and plenty of discounts through the year
- Skate Zone 71 near Morse Rd: Tons of skate parties with character visits. Little kids skate is on Saturday mornings. There are also discounted days, young teen nights, and adult nights. Teachers and a guest skate free in December and January with I.D.
- United Skates of America on Refugee Rd: Lots of family skate and discount days.
- Go swimming no matter the weather at these indoor community center pools. Some feature hot tubs, lazy rivers, and other fun features that are just for kids!
- Dublin Community Recreation Center ($3-$8 for daily admission) 5600 Post Road, Dublin. Lazy river, hot tub, waterslides, and more. Check link for leisure pool hours.
- Worthington Community Center ($5-$8, free under 3) 345 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington, OH 43085, Ph: (614) 436-2743. Lazy river and vortex and larger slides. Check link for leisure pool hours.
- Westerville Community Center ($4.50-$7.50) Westerville Community Center also has a climbing wall (fees required), and a great, free indoor playground for kids off of the lobby. 350 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43082, Phone: (614) 901-6500. Pool features shallow area, lazy river, fountains, slides, and more. Check link for leisure pool hours.
Cheap Dates in Columbus: Other activities
- Indoor Farmer’s Markets are a great play to wander, find some local goodies, and listen to music or check out other entertainment.
- Short North Gallery Hop celebrates art, local shops, good food, and great people watching on the 1st Saturday of each month!
- Check out this revitalized neighborhood during Franklinton Fridays on the 2nd Friday of each month
- Check out the Book Loft in German Village! It has 32 different rooms; you’ll love getting lost together while you explore
- Plan an escape with Breakout games! This fun, fast-paced adventure will have you working together to solve a challenge! Check Groupon for
Going out for a birthday? Check out over 160 Birthday freebies and discounts in Columbus. Many require advanced signup for email clubs, so consider that in advance.
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