If you’re looking for budget-friendly dates this summer, you’ll find plenty of inexpensive Summer activities in Columbus for couples. What are some of the top attractions to enjoy with your special someone?
Take in a Museum
You’ll find multiple museums to suit every taste in the Columbus area. The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens offers a variety of exhibits, classes and events where you and your sweetie can learn more about the botanical world.
Exhibitions often are based on art, culture and nature and are designed, installed and maintained by staff members of the conservatory. Current offerings include Blooms and Butterflies, which runs through September and includes a daily butterfly release into the biome by a “trained butterfly ambassador.”
The Center of Science and Industry offers films, panel discussions, lectures and other science-oriented events. Consider the COSI After Dark series with special events and a cash bar for adults over age 21.
Visit the New IKEA Store Together
If shopping is your thing, you should definitely check out Columbus’ new IKEA store. The spacious new store — with 354,000 square feet of shopping area — is the Swedish retailer’s 44th location in the United States and just the second in Ohio.
The new store is located in the Polaris area about 15 miles north of downtown. While you’re there, be sure to grab a snack or meal in the IKEA Restaurant and Cafe, offering delicacies like Swedish waffles and smoked salmon sandwiches.
Enjoy a Picnic
Columbus features a seemingly endless array of beautiful, serene parks where you can enjoy a leisurely picnic with your beloved.
Bicentennial Park is a popular downtown destination with a unique fountain, flower gardens, performance pavilion and restaurant. In the Promenade along Civic Center Drive, you’ll find gardens, water canals and seating where you can enjoy lunch or a game of checkers.
Hayden Falls Park, west of the Scioto River, offers steps to an overlook, a boardwalk and picnic tables on the upper level. The park features an unusual gorge habitat of endangered and unique plants, along with a 35-foot waterfall. It’s gorgeous in summer and winter, so make sure you go back later in the year!
In Frank Fetch Memorial Park — located in German Village and designed to mimic one of Munich’s “social gartens” — you can enjoy picnic tables and benches along with brick walkways, a pergola and floral displays.
Spend the Day at a Festival
You’ll find summer festivals for every taste and preference in the Columbus area. If you love good music, consider the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, held June 16 through 18 in Gahanna.
The three-day festival is an award-winning event featuring the best in blues and jazz from throughout the state and beyond. You also can participate in a bourbon and whiskey tasting and enjoy work from local artists along with a variety of delicious food.
The St. Christopher’s Parish Festival, held June 16 and 17, is a two-day Columbus celebration with live music, arts and crafts, food, games and more.
Also on June 16-17, consider the Grove City Wine and Arts Festival, featuring multiple food trucks, live entertainment, arts vendors and wines from Ohio. This Grove City event, just a short drive from Columbus, also offers a VIP experience including a four-course dinner with wine pairings.
Visit a Farmers’ Market and Cook a Romantic Dinner
If you’re more into a laid-back experience, consider a leisurely stroll through one of Columbus’ farmers’ markets, where you can collect the ingredients for a romantic, home-cooked dinner.
At the North Market, which bills itself as the only remaining “true public market” in Columbus, you can shop with 30 merchants and find an array of authentic, fresh and local foods.
Meanwhile, Pearl Market is open on Tuesdays and Fridays between June and October from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At the market, you’ll find a variety of locally grown produce along with handmade items from local vendors. As you shop, you can chat with the farmers and craftspeople about their wares.
This summer, enjoy the beautiful weather and a bit of romance as you peruse Columbus’ museums, parks, farmers’ markets and more with your sweetheart.
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About the Author
James Owen is a Columbus criminal defense attorney at Koenig & Long, LLC.