Whether you want to have a night out with your love or some friends, a bachelor or bachelorette party group, or birthday celebration in Columbus, there are lots of options for grown-up nights out in Columbus.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out our list of weekend activities that is updated weekly for all of the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday fun.
Happy Hours are always a good way to start off any night out! Enjoy some appetizers and drinks before you continue with the rest of your evening! Or if you’re not a late night person, a happy hour can be your entire night out! We have a huge list of Happy Hours around Columbus so you can find options in every area of the city. (link)
Japanese steak houses are a fun option that’s different than a standard dinner out. The hibachi grill experience is fun with a group, or with just 2 people! These Japanese steak houses come highly recommended.
- House of Japan
- Daruma Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi
- Shi Chi Japanese Restaurant
- Ichiban Japanese Steak House
- Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse
Go on a Columbus Food Adventures Food Tour! They offer various tours each month focused on areas of town – or types of food! Groups of 8 or more can book a private tour, or pick a tour on the schedule for smaller groups.
Take a cooking class!
- Sur La Table: Pick from a wide variety of classes, including girls night out, date nights, Sushi 101, Mexican Street Style Tacos, Summer Entertaining, and more!
- Williams Sonoma: The classes are typically help on the weekend morning, but the also offer some evening classes. Some classes focus more on technique or equipment, so they may be less food sampling than the standard cooking class.
- Local Matters Pay-What-You-Can Cooking Classes: These classes are typically held on Monday and Thursday evenings, and focus on specific cuisine, cooking fundamentals, and gardening. There is no set fee for these classes; you can pay whatever you can.
Dine at a festival. Check out this list of over 325 festivals in and around Columbus! There are plenty of food festivals, but nearly all feature food trucks or concessions – which makes them a great place to grab some food. Stick around for the fun, or head to your next destination. Whether you go for the food, culture, or fun; festivals have it all.
Explore the North Market. This is on nearly every list about Columbus – for good reason! It’s such an amazing place. You’ll find nearly all types of cuisine (good luck making a choice!), shops, events, indoor and outdoor seating, and more.
You can easily spend an hour or two there. They are open until 7 pm from Tuesday-Saturday (5 pm on Sunday and Monday), so make sure you arrive early enough to enjoy. Once you’re done there, head up High Street or down Park Street or the Arena Disctrict to continue your night.
Check out these Fun and Tasty Adventure Trails, including Celtic Cocktail Trail in Dublin, Columbus Coffee Trail, Gahanna’s Herbal Cocktail Trail, Licking County Wine Trail, Route 33 Brew Trail, Columbus Taco Trail, Ohio Buckeye Trail, and more!
Wineries, Breweries and Spirits
Columbus is FULL of amazing wineries, breweries, distilleries, and meaderies. I can’t list them all here, but I’ll list a few in the comments and I’d LOVE to hear your favorites in the comments!
Wineries in Columbus. Visit a winery or wine shop for a tasting, a flight, or your old favorite. Looking for a new winery to try? Check out the stops on the Capital City Wine Trail or the Licking County Wine Trail, or one of these other listed below.
- Powell Village Winery (50 Liberty St, Powell) You’ll feel at home at charming winery in downtown Powell. They host live music, weekly specials, and have a nice patio to hang out on. Flatbreads and snacks are available for purchase. I like Gina Maria for a red, and Big Spender for a white.
- The Wine Bistro (3 locations). Great wine, fantastic menu, and good seating options for groups or couples.
- House Wine (644 High Street in downtown Old Worthington) This wine shop hosts happy hours, Thursday night tastings, and is a great place to pop in with friends before or after dinner. I love the atmosphere of this wine shop – it’s bright, fun, and cheery – just how I like my wine!
- Good Vibes Winery (2 South State Street, Westerville) Try one or 5 of the over twenty hand-crafted wines at this urban winery in Uptown Westerville.
- 10 for $10 Wine Tastings at various locations
Breweries in Columbus. The best way to make sure you hit the best breweries in Columbus is to work your way along the Columbus Ale Trail! The trail will take you to 46 local breweries. Get a stamp at each brewery when you make a purchase, and earn prizes after 4, 23, and all 46 stops! Some of the most recommended options include:
- Land-Grant Brewing (424 W. Town Street). This renovated factory has been transformed into a gorgeous, thriving brewery. Seating for all sizes of groups, including a nice patio area. They host music series and movie series, among many events. Wine and spirits are available, and food trucks are typically on site.
- Wolf’s Ridge Brewing (215 N. 4th Street, Columbus). Taproom and restaurant with a creative menu and weekend brunch.
- Seventh Son Brewing (1101 N. 4th Street) Two patios, and an industrial interior, this brewery continues to be a favorite in Columbus. Hang out on the 2,000 square foot rooftop patio space with a retractable glass roof. Dine from one of the food trucks in rotation.
- Zaftig Brewing (7020A Huntley Rd., Worthington) Family and dog friendly. Big screens, board games, and a nice patio. Dine from food trucks when available, or bring your own food/order in.
- Endeavor Brewing (909 W 5th Ave, Columbus). Dog-friendly, hosts weekly events such as Sunday Brewga (yoga in the brewery), hiking club, trivia, and more. Grab food from a food truck, or carry in/order in food.
- Three Tigers Brewing (140 N Prospect Street, Granville). Located in the quaint town of Granville, this brewery features live music, Sunday brunch, ladies night, special food events, kitchen takeovers, and more. In addition to the great craft beer, they also have fun brunch cocktails, like my favorite, a flight of mimosas.
- Don’t forget the OG’s Columbus Brewing Company, Barley’s Brewing Company, and Elevator Brewing Company
Need more craft beer? The Route 33 Brew Trail has 7 stops along Route 33 southeast of Columbus.
Columbus Brew Adventures Brewery tours of downtown Columbus, Grandview, the Brewery District and more.
Pedal Wagon Columbus Pedal your way on your choice of tours through the city. They offer a six seater bike, as well as public and private tours. Hop on a public tour with just a few friends, or book a private tour for a larger group.
Distilleries and Meaderies
- Middle West Spirits (1230 Courtland Avenue, Columbus) Well-loved for its OYO vodka, bourbon and whiskey. Take a tour of the distillery, or drink or dine in the service bar. Buy a bottle to take home and make one of the many recipes they provide on their website.
- Watershed Distillery (1145 Chesapeake Ave, Suite D., Columbus) You’ll find the best gin you’ll find in Columbus (and the only one that doesn’t make me gag), along with vodka and bourbon, and a few other selections. Take a tour and/or enjoy a drink or two in the kitchen and bar in the production facility.
- Brother’s Drake Meadery (26 E 5th Ave, Columbus) You’ve tried this mead, right? If you haven’t – gooooo! Brother’s Drake makes mead from raw Ohio honey and have varieties to suit anyone. Try the popular Apple Pie or the semi-dry Wild Ohio mead, one of the many others. Take a tour, or try the mead or mead cocktails, or Ohio-made beer or liquor at the bar.
Arts and Theatre
Shadowbox Live is such a fun place to go on a night out. It’s like Saturday Night Live – but with music you love – reimagined! Go for just the show, or get drinks or dinner in the Bistro or during the show. Sign up for their mailing list/text notifications and you’ll get offers for free or cheap upcoming shows through the year.
Funny Bone Comedy Club (Easton Town Center) Have some laughs at a great comedy show. If you eat there before the show, you’ll get priority seating for the show. Sign up on the website to win free tickets.
Pour candles at Candle Lab, and then head to a nearby dining establishment for dinner or drinks. They’ll bring the candles to you (if time and location allows), or you can pick up the next day. They also offer fun events such as Lights & Flights, various crafts & candles, cocktails and candles, and yoga and candles events.
Do something weird and fun, by going to see “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Studio 35. On the first Saturday of every month, Studio 35 plays this cult classic starting at 11:30 p.m. Dress up and be ready for audience participation.
Play: Cbus (535 Lakeview Plaza Blvd Worthington) This is SUCH a fun night out for friends, couples, or other groups!
Open Wednesday – Sunday. NEW DISCOUNT! Get 1/2 price admission on Wednesdays from 4-10 pm!
Pins Mechanical (downtown Columbus and Dublin) Duckpin Bowling, Pinball, Ping Pong, Foosball, and more! Great drinks – and tons of fun. This is a top spot right now, so they are definitely crowded on the weekends (but it’s worth the wait). They offer a 15% discount to active and retired military, and all types of first responders with ID. Dine from food trucks when available, or bring in your own food.
16 Bit Bar + Arcade (downtown Columbus and Dublin) Play the old school arcade games and have drinks with friends! Grab a themed cocktail (I’m getting the Hulk Hogan for sure) or a beer from their great selection, and play your heart out! Games are free if you’re drinking (except pinball, which is 50 cents). They offer a 15% discount to active and retired military, and all types of first responders with ID. Dine at one of the amazing places on 4th Street before or after!
Barley’s Brewcadia (467 N High St Columbus) Arcade bar where old school amusement meets downtown culture. Experience the new way to play, no quarters necessary. Drink up or eat & game on for free! Must be 21 or up to enter.
Throw Axes and Stuff!
- Columbus Axe Throwing (moving to downtown Columbus – check back for details once they reopen) Learn to throw axes and then have a blast with your friends.
- Throw Nation (6649 Dublin Center Drive, Dublin). Throw things – throw axes, smash plates, try football bowling, beersbee (throw a frisbee at beer bottles), pound some nails into a stump, plus other events.
- Dueling Axes (309 S 4th Street, Columbus) This axe throwing lounge is BYOB (beer or wine only) and outside-food friendly, or stop at one of the 4th Street or nearby eateries before or after!
Coliseum X (100 Dillmont Dr. Columbus) Huge laser tag venue with axe throwing, an arcade, a bar and a cafe.
Plan an escape with Breakout games! This fun, fast-paced adventure will have you working together to solve a challenge!
Top Golf (2000 IKEA Way, Columbus) Whether you are a golfer or not, Top Golf is fun! Reserve a bay for your friends, enjoy drinks and a great food menu. There’s even a rooftop terrace with fire pit.
Glow Putt Mini Golf in Gahanna: Indoor glow-in-the-dark putt putt. Pricing is $5 and up.
Columbus Curling Club (2999 Silver Drive, Columbus) Curling season runs from early October thru the end of March. Take a learn to curl clinic and grab a drink in the warm room afterwards.
Unique yoga classes (around Cbus there is yoga with beer, cocktails, axe throwing, cats, goats, paddle boards, etc)
Take a canoe or kayak trip with Trapper John’s Canoe Livery on Big Darby Creek with friends. They offer all lengths of trips and it’s so much fun to do with friends. They have a few moonlight tours in the summer as well.
Head towards Hocking Hills for additional nighttime canoe tours with Hocking Hills Adventures. They offer Romantic Moonlight Tours and Torchlight Tours during the summer.
5.Life Climbing locations. Learn to climb or boulder
Scioto Audubon Metro Park Climbing Wall The climbing wall is open every day from 8am-9pm this time of year (weather permitting). It will also be open until midnight the second and last Friday of every month until September. Climbers must bring their own climbing harness
Start your evening with a social workout! You’ll find plenty of free fitness opportunities in Columbus, no matter what season it is!
Ice Skating: The weather is no concern at these indoor ice skating rinks. Schedules vary throughout the year.
- Chiller Ice Rinks in Easton, Lewis Center, Dublin and Downtown: Check public skate times and pricing for each location.
- The Ohio State University Ice Rink, 390 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus. Phone: (614)292-4154
Public admission is $6, skate rental is $3.
- Lou & Gibb Reese Ice Arena, 936 Sharon Valley Rd, Newark. Phone: (740) 349-6784
Admission $3-$6, skate rental is $3.
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: Select nights are adult skate only
- United Skates of America on Refugee Rd: Select nights are adult skate only
Bowling: Check your local bowling alley for pricing and hours. Here are some fun bowling alley suggestions. Most have bowling and other arcade games too.
- Star Lanes Polaris, 8655 Lyra Drive, Columbus (bowling, large arcade, XD Dark Ride)
- Rule (3), 650 Windmiller Dr., Pickerington (bowling, mini-bowling, arcade, cornhole volleyball)
- Columbus Square Bowling Palace, 5707 Forest Hills Blvd., Columbus
- AMF Sawmill Lanes, 4825 Sawmill Road, Columbus
- Gahanna Bowling and Family Fun Center, 215 W. Johnstown, Gahanna (bowling, mini golf, arcade,
- Ten Pin Alley, 5499 Ten Pin Alley, Hilliard (bowling, bocce, laser tag, arcade)
Discounted and Free Museum Days in Columbus: Check out this whole list of free and check museum days and explore the arts in Columbus!
Otherworld (5819 Chantry Drive Columbus) Check out this 32,000 square foot immersive art installation in Columbus. Mysteries unfold as you explore over 40 rooms filled with large-scale interactive art, mixed reality playgrounds and secret passageways. It’s an all new kind of art experience where visitors are encouraged to freely explore and interact with a surreal world of science fiction and fantasy.
COSI After Dark is the first Thursday evening of the month and is for grown-ups only! These themed events feature COSI exhibits (without all the kids), activities, food, and drink.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus hosts Adult Nights on the 1st Thursday of each month to give LEGO fans ages 18+ a chance to play without kids!
Check out the iconic Book Loft in German Village! It has 32 different rooms – try not to get lost! Make it a game to split up and try to pick out the perfect book for your friend or date. Grab coffee at Stauf’s afterwards, or head into German Village or Brewery District for food or drinks.
Visit the Scioto Mile. There are several festivals held on the riverfront throughout the year such as the Dragon Boat Race, Columbus Arts Festival, Pride Festival, Red, White, and Boom, Jazz & Rib Fest, Festival Latino, and more. If you just want to relax, you can sit and watch the fountains at Bicentennial Park, hang out on the patio at Milestone 229 or just sit on the “porch” swings along the river. Don’t forget to check it out in December when the Mile is all lit up for the holidays!
The Scioto Mile is within walking distance to so many great restaurants downtown along Gay Street, Columbus Commons area, and 4th Street.
Go stargazing! There are lots of planetariums, observatories, astronomy parks to find the best places to see the stars in Ohio.
Short North Arts District Art Trail: Enjoying arts and culture in the Short North Arts District is easy and rewarding with the Short North Arts District Art Trail. Navigate the trail and gain access to a series of exciting offers and deals from businesses in the Short North area! From iconic permanent murals to colorful Short North Arches and the Six in the Short North temporary mural series, the streets in the District are filled with enlightening and oft-unexpected works of art. Access the trail app at arttrail.shortnorth.org.
Columbus is home to two Major League teams with the Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey and the Columbus Crew SC, plus the Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team. Add in Ohio State University and other college athletics, and there are plenty of great sporting events to attend all year. Ticket prices vary, but there are cheap seats to be had at all, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
The Columbus Clippers baseball games are an especially amazing value with tickets starting at just $6, and the stadium has an energetic atmosphere even if the game is just 1-1 by the seventh inning stretch.
Watch Ohio Roller Derby battle it out from March – June. Each bout is a double header, and The Expo Center sells standard fairground fare and beverages, including beer. You can even stick around for the after-party!
Various communities and suburbs have special events each month to celebrate what the area has to offer. You’ll find entertainment, vendors, sales at local shops, and great eats. It’s a great chance to explore new areas!
All of these suburbs have great art galleries to check out, so it’s always fun to walk around and explore Here’s a whole list of neighborhood hops and walks, along with the featured ones below.
- Short North Gallery Hop: The 1st Saturday of every month, people flock to the Short North Arts District Gallery Hop where stores and galleries stay open late, entertainment and street vendors are spread throughout the district, and food and drink is plentiful at the amazing bars and restaurants in the areas.
- Franklinton Fridays: 2nd Friday of each month is Franklinton Fridays and the 400 Market. The galleries, businesses, and institutions of East Franklinton will host an art crawl for the public, and new places will be opening regularly with the revitalization of this neighborhood.
- Sunlight Market at Gay Street: On select Sundays between April and October from 11am to 3pm, Sunlight Market offers brunch, shops, and over 50 sidewalk street markets with artisan goods and products.
- Columbus Moonlight Market on Gay Street: Every second Saturday from April through October during Moonlight Market, businesses will feature late hours at the regular businesses along the street, entertainment, and sidewalk vendors with everything from clothing to baked goods, and indy retailers.
- Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays in Uptown Westerville: On the 4th Friday of each month, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Fridays offers fun for everyone with live entertainment, kids’ activities, food carts, and 100-plus street vendors from April through September from 6-9 pm. Uptown shops will stay open late, so you’ll get to explore the wide variety of shops in Uptown.
- The Grandview Hop: Spend the evening in Grandview on the last Saturday of every month in June-September from 5 – 9 p.m., to celebrate the best of Grandview. The monthly Grandview Hop will feature food, drinks, shopping, music, art, and more along Grandview Avenue between 1st and 5th Avenues.
These options are perfect nights out for Summer evenings – and many are free!
Most outdoor movies will attract lots of kids (which is fine, if you don’t mind), but the Nightlight 614 outdoor movie series is for grown-ups only! Only $6 in advance. Shows will sell out, so purchase passes for your favorites now!
Outdoor Movies under the Stars: There’s an outdoor movie playing under the stars nearly every night of the summer in Columbus
There’s something charming about watching old movies in a beautiful old theatre for the CAPA Summer Movies Series. Tickets are cheap and the movies are fantastic!
Head to Schiller Park for live plays with The Actors’ Theatre, Thursdays through Sundays. Enjoy some the theatre under the stars and a picnic dinner, or grab food or drink in German Village.
Tickets for Picnic with the Pops Concert Series at Columbus Commons are $30-35, but you can bring your food and drink (alcohol included) and enjoy a picnic while listening to national acts performing with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. There are other concerts throughout the season at Columbus Commons as well, both free and ticketed.
Pack a picnic and enjoy some tunes at parks all over the city with Outdoor Concert Series nearly every night of the week!
Columbus Commons: From concerts, plays, happy hours, and fitness, there’s something going on at the Commons through much of the summer.
Ride the COTA ZooBus to the Zoo and get $3 tickets to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and $10 off tickets to Zoombezi Bay, plus you’ll avoid the $10 parking fee! The ZooBus runs through Labor Day weekend.
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