Columbus is the largest city and capital of Ohio. Named after the famous explorer, it is rich in culture and heritage, boasts of beautiful architecture, and offers many fun-filled activities and adventures. The city truly represents America’s “melting-pot” culture. Whether you are a foodie, an art aficionado, sports lover, shopping enthusiast, or someone with a deep interest in history, there is something for everyone here. Check out our list of things to do in Columbus with your friends and family.
Visit the Historic North Market
The historic North Market is one of the largest farmers’ markets in Central Ohio. It is more than one hundred and forty years old and should definitely make it to your list of things to do in Columbus. North Market is home to an array of fresh produce by the local growers, who sell fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and more. You can also find impeccable artwork, vintage items, and beautiful jewelry here, making it ideal for family outings. The market also has many restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines to choose from. It is open from June to October.
Address: 59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Tuesday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/North-market-downtown?share | Phone Number: +16144639664
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden is home to exotic plants. It showcases various seasonal art exhibitions and Dale Chihuly glass artworks. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The “Blooms and Butterflies” exhibition is one of the most-awaited and popular exhibitions held here. The conservatory contains more than 400 species of plants. Its landscaped grounds provide a nice stroll for the entire family, especially the kids who will enjoy looking at the butterflies and having fun at the Children’s Garden.
Address: 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203, USA | Timing: Monday and Tuesday: 10:00am to 5:00pm, Wednesday to Sunday: 10:00am to 4:00pm and 5:00pm to 9:00pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/FPConservatory?share | Phone Number: +16147158000
Nationwide Arena is a multi-purpose stadium, which serves as the home ground for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League. The stadium also hosts football games from the Columbus Destroyers.
The stadium is one of the two facilities that hosts various fitness and sports events during the annual Arnold Classic, an event hosted by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The stadium also hosts many musical events and other sports events including, basketball games, Mixed Martial Arts, and Professional wrestling.
The smaller ice rink within the stadium is used for youth hockey games and is also open for public skating. The arena has a capacity of almost twenty thousand.
Address: 200 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Visit https://www.nationwidearena.com/ for more information | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/re7aFPf1Cyqt7JKNA | Phone Number: +16142462000
Known as the “Official Theatre” of the State of Ohio, it showcases various performing arts ranging from classical music to modern dance. This historic theatre survived demolition and has now been restored to its age-old glory with some modernizations.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. You can enjoy live performances through the Broadway Series, ballet and opera performances and also representations of classic movies. If you ever face the question of things to do in Columbus this weekend, you should definitely visit this classic theatre.
Address: 39 East State Street, Columbus, OH 43215, USA| Timing: Visit https://www.capa.com/ for more information | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/c53ry1KctH3wJ43Y7 | Phone Number: +16144690939
The laid-back German Village has charming brick houses and cobblestone streets. You can surely add visiting this area with family and friends to the list of things to do in Columbus. The village offers you a “European” feel, as the Germans have conserved their culture beautifully over the years.
The area is filled with shops selling books, traditional food, and handmade jewelry, along with pubs, breweries, bistros, and art galleries. There are many popular spots here for you to check out, some of them being The Book Loft, Sausage Haus, and Pistacia Vera.
Address: 588 S 3rd St., Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/sJpc9T3eBA1YMuRn6
Hip and culturally rich Short North Arts District
Short North Arts District is a hip and culturally rich neighborhood, which stretches along with the High Street and Ohio State Campus. The area is filled with delightful businesses, art galleries, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and boutiques.
The buildings, dating back to the 20th Century, give the area a vintage feel which is complemented by the various murals drawn across the entire place. It is a perfect blend of antique and modern eras.
Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/baHDJHo5EjzqmqzD7
Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
Being true to its name, COSI provides an ideal environment for kids to develop an interest in science while having fun. It has various interactive exhibits to inspire them and houses a planetarium, a dinosaur gallery, and the Big Science Park.
It hosts temporary exhibitions round the year to keep the imagination and interest of the kids in your family alive. COSI has working labs and plenty of hands-on activities for them to explore and experiment on their own, bringing out their inquisitiveness. If you have kids and are looking for fun things to do in Columbus Ohio, make sure to visit COSI.
Address: 333 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Thursday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/T13CfbvAHdqdDrs8A | Phone Number: +16142282674
Feel the adrenaline rush with ZipZone Outdoor Adventures
Zipzone offers zipline canopy tours, tree-top obstacle course, and a ground-level kids park. The tours are conducted by two guides, who take utmost care of your safety, ensuring you can focus on enjoying the experience.
ZipZone also offers Night Flight Tours, which give you a chance to zip through the tree-tops in the dark. It also offers Zip Rush Tours designed for those who want a quick zipline tour, but with an exciting ending as it offers an option of freefall or a guided rappel.
The Adventure Park is the largest forest climbing facility in the city, with over 60 challenges. This should surely be one of the Columbus attractions to visit when in the city, especially with friends and family.
Address: 7925 N High St, Columbus, OH 43235, USA | Timing: Visit https://zipzonetours.com/ for more information | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/iUv4pm7Zww2rnBRYA | Phone Number: +16148479477
Easton Town Center
Easton Town Center is an outdoor shopping complex with a difference. The buildings have been constructed to replicate the looks of American cities of the 20th century. The center has become the coolest shopping arena of the Midwest, with tons of restaurants, high-end shopping, comedy club, and movie theatre.
It has cleverly laid out streets, which provide you the ease of access to the shops and also, you wouldn’t mind the walk while enjoying the open-air town squares and fountains. The restaurants also provide a variety of dining options.
The Easton Town Center attracts more than twenty-five million visitors in a year and for good reasons. You should surely add going to the center in your list of stuff to do in Columbus.
Address: 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219, USA | Timing: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/4mmYZbBx33KtCeKL7 | Phone Number: +16143372200
Park of Roses
The Park of Roses is a part of Whetstone Park and is a unique public garden. Spread over 13 acres, it displays over 12,000 roses and showcases over 350 different assortments of this flower.
The roses are in full bloom from mid-June to mid-September, thus making it the best time to visit this place. During these months, roses of every color and variety can be spotted.
There are many trails here for nature lovers and play areas for the kids. It also has a library, recreation center, tennis courts, and fishing areas to spend quality time over the weekends round the year.
Address: 3901 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214, USA| Timing: Monday to Sunday: 7:00 am to 11:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/KtzN2kktG4YrqsHQ8 | Phone Number: +16146453391
Scioto Mile Fountain
The Scioto Mile is located downtown and is a set of parks and trails covering over 145 acres (59 ha). Open from May to September, the Scioto Mile Fountain is one of the major outdoor Columbus attractions and is situated in the Bicentennial Park.
If you are looking to spend a cool day on hot summer afternoons with family, then you must visit this place. The Scioto Mile Fountain is a structure made of five stainless steel jets, which shoot water up to 75 feet (22.86 meter) and has an interactive area for kids and adults to splash around.
It also has unique light and fog effects for a unique viewing experience at night.
Address: Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Sunday to Thursday: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday: 9:00 am to 11:pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/XyK2QuQhDxxww3Rs7
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
If you are looking for things to do in Columbus, visiting this place should surely catch your attention. It is situated to the north of the city and was ranked the number one zoo in America by the USA Travel Guide in 2009.
It has more than 7,000 animals from over 800 species. The animal exhibits are spread region-wise. In addition, it also has an eighteen-hole golf course.
Address: 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065, USA | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm| Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/t32XjLwY3WpTDLyv7 | Phone Number: +16147158000
Beat the heat at the Zoombezi Bay
Zoombezi Bay is located next to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Owned by the zoo, this 22.7-acre facility has a multi-level play structure, an action river, private cabanas, a kiddie pool and many state-of-the-art water slides for people of all ages.
One of the most popular water parks in the Midwest, it receives more than four lakh visitors every year. Many events are organized here from time to time for entertainment. You can plan an entire day of visiting the zoo and aquarium with family and then have fun at the Zoombezi Bay.
Address: 4850 Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065, USA | Timing:Thursday: 6:00pm to 10:00pm, Friday: 6:00pm to 12:00am, Saturday: 6:00pm to 12:00am, Sunday: 6:00pm to 10:00pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/qRjTk93vvfLAitjg9 | Phone Number: +16146453400
Kelton House Museum & Garden
The Kelton House Museum and Garden tour will take you back in time to the Victorian era. It was built by Fernando Cortez Kelton and displays unique architecture. The family was deeply involved in the abolitionist movement, and their home was a refuge site for runaway slaves.
The site also holds importance for its role in the Underground Railroad, the information about which is preserved and available in the basement. The house has now been converted into a museum and is also available for events such as weddings.
The gardens are another beautiful aspect of the site. They are meticulously maintained and have many interesting plants and lattice works.
Address: 586 E Town St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Thursday to Saturday: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/9TbmguSzUZ7Heh7L9 | Phone Number: +16144642022
Columbus Museum of Art
This is the first art museum to get its charter registered with the state of Ohio. It has something to spike the interest of each age group in your family and showcases a vast collection from both local artists and around the world.
The facility has The Center for Creativity, which includes a Creativity Lounge, The Wonder Room, and The Big Gallery, where the kids can find various activities to keep them busy. Various workshops, family events, and guided tours are organized from time to time. It also offers a unique venue for weddings, providing bridal suites and reception halls.
Address: 480 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Wednesday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Thursday: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/1da8PCH7nBiBpFhJ7 | Phone Number: +16142216801
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum is named after the famous American cartoonist Billy Ireland. The library is affiliated with the Ohio State University and houses the world’s largest collection of materials related to comics and cartoons.
The venue has almost 450,000 original cartoons along with 45,000 books. Visiting it will give you a glimpse of the hard work put into creating the cartoon characters and will help the kids develop and believe in the power of creativity.
It also provides inspiration to future cartoonists and illustrators. The Library promotes the study and appreciation of cartoons by sponsoring various seminars, panel discussions, conferences, and workshops.
Address: 1813 N High St, Columbus, OH 43210, USA | Timing: Tuesday to Sunday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/2dmUG7MsX6JPeGhh8 | Phone Number: +16142920538
Take a tour to Anthony Thomas Chocolates Factory
The Anthony Thomas Candy Company is a family-owned business, which is almost 67 years old. The state-of-the-art factory is built on an area of about 152,000 square feet (14121 square meters), where you can explore candy making, from copper kettle to final packaging, by walking on the glass-enclosed suspended “Cat-Walk”.
The entire guided tour ends at the retail shop where you can enjoy free samples and buy some for your family, especially kids.
Address: 1777 Arlingate Ln, Columbus, OH 43228, USA | Timing: Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/v1DXFvCYD7XLkGD9A | Phone Number: +18772263921
Visit the artistic Topiary Park
Topiary Park is a plant-based recreation of Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte”, and is a one-of-its-kind public attraction. The lifelike sculptures will leave every visitor in awe. Apart from animals, it has human figurines, too.
Besides such a fine topiary display, it also has a variety of trees and flowers. Various events and musical shows, too, are held on the premises. This is also one of the top Columbus attractions, especially among families.
Address: 480 E Town St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 7:00 am to 11:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/mwPzJykDzj5QMY52A | Phone Number: +16146450197
Olentangy Indian Caverns
The Olentangy Indian Caverns were formed millions of years ago by an underground river cutting through limestone rock and has a series of caves, rooms, openings, and passages which you can explore. Treasure hunt games are often organized here for visitors.
The property also has a petting zoo, gem mine, and a mini-golf course, apart from a gift shop for mementos. A museum housing the artifacts found in the caverns is situated nearby. A covered picnic area can be rented out for birthday parties and various events—an ideal place for family outings.
Address: 1779 Home Rd, Delaware, OH 43015, USA | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/YQBv3nBcF69GZdpEA | Phone Number: +17405487917
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Wondering what to do in Columbus? Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is known for its unique flavor options and use of superlative ingredients sourced locally. This makes the ice creams a bit expensive, but the owners believe it sets them apart.
Today, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has stores in twelve states and has more than forty branded “scoop shops” nationally. The ice-cream pints are also distributed in a number of high-end groceries.
However, they are headquartered in Columbus, and getting a taste of these ice creams is one of the best things to do while visiting the city.
Address: 401 N Front St Ste 300 Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Visit https://jenis.com/ for more information | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/vqj59jXZzoFLHPdP8 | Phone Number: +16144883224
Schiller Park, named after the German Poet Friedrich von Schiller, is the heart of the German Village. It is the second oldest park in the city. Spread over 23.5 acres, it has playgrounds, well-paved walking trails, a fishing pond, and an outdoor theatre.
The Huntington Garden Promenade is situated at the center of the Park and is meticulously maintained by volunteers. Along the pathways, you will find quotes from well-known authors and the German poet Schiller himself.
It is also home to a recreation center, which offers various classes, hosts events, and has a fitness center, basketball courts, tennis courts, and softball courts.
Address: 1069 Jaeger St, Columbus, OH 43206, USA | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 7:00 am to 11:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/vBt3wNvnmF9Fa8mM8 | Phone Number: +16146453156
Take a food tour
The best way to explore a city is by enjoying its cuisine. There are many food tours available, including the Columbus Food Adventures. It offers a variety of exciting itineraries with the option of a group tour or a private tour. Some of the tours are conducted in vans, while others require walking around.
Themed tours include an all-dessert tour, taking you to the sweetest places in town, breakfast tour, meat lover’s tour, colorful taco truck tours, and more. It even offers an ethnic food tour to hone your appetite. Tourists and even locals sign up to expand their knowledge about the various cuisines available within the city.
Address: 201 W. Hubbard Ave. Columbus, OH 43215, USA| Timing: Monday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/columbusfoodadventures?share| Phone Number: +16144403177
Hayden Falls Park
Hayden Falls Park is situated within the Griggs Nature Preserve and is just 100 yards to the West of the Scioto River. It has 35-feet beautiful waterfall, which is a calming sight.
A boardwalk, an overlook, and steps have been constructed to reach the waterfall. There are a few picnic tables, too, at the upper level for a fun day. This place is home to many endangered and rare plants.
Address: 4326 Hayden Run Rd, Dublin, OH 43017, USA | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/SXmjoXFTEf2muDUs9 | Phone Number: +16146453300
Glass Axis is a studio with 100 dedicated members who want to spread the knowledge and art of glass blowing. The studio offers first experience classes for first-timers and kids, which gives you a hands-on opportunity to play with fire and create something from hot, warm, or cold glass.
Competent and patient instructors show you the magic of creating pieces of art while maintaining everyone’s safety. The studio keeps organizing various classes, exhibits, and demos throughout the year.
You can also purchase custom glass jewelry or sculptures from the gift shop. It is located close to many bars and restaurants.
Address: 610 W Town St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Tuesday to Thursday: 11:00am to 6:00pm, Friday: 11:00am to 7:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am to 4:00pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/fSkCrXT616hCoRaKA | Phone Number: +16142914250
Columbus Architectural Salvage
Serving and saving the planet by reusing materials and practising sustainable living is the need of the hour, not just in America, but across the world. This is why a visit to Columbus Architectural Salvage is a must for every person visiting the city.
It will not only open your eyes and mind to the possibilities of reuse in today’s decoration, construction, and renovation projects but is also a good place to teach your kids about the importance of preservation and conservation.
A treasure trove of antique artifacts, this store, spread over 10,000 sq. ft, is a shopper’s paradise.
Address: 1580 Clara St, Columbus, OH 43211, USA | Timing: Monday to Friday: 9 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/ColumbusArchitecturalSalvage?share | Phone Number: +16142996627
The Ohio Statehouse is the seat of Ohio’s government. It has Greek Revival architecture and is made of limestone. This prominent architecture is among American National Historic Landmarks. There are guided tours here, which include the viewing of the House and Senate Chambers, which are otherwise kept locked.
It also offers Haunted Tours near the Halloween season. The building has about 500,000 visitors every year. The gift shop here also showcases unique artworks by local artists, which are very popular.
Address: 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215, USA | Timing: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/PMpKSLRpApW7oheT7 | Phone Number: +16147529777
Pick fruits at Lynd Fruit Farm
Apple picking at the Lynd’s Fruit Farm is one of the most enjoyable events during the autumn season. In addition to apples, you can also pick berries, pumpkins, and peaches. The farm also has a market where you get homegrown produce and local vegetables and jams, salsas, sauces, ketchup, salad dressings, flavored ciders, and fruit butter.
The bakery at the farm is famous for its fresh fruit pies and Amish fry pies. The Farm is available for personal events and parties apart from organizing various events itself. The Corn Maze is another popular event of the Farm.
It is also Ohio’s largest sunflower planting, with over 30 varieties of sunflowers blooming from summer to fall.
Address: 9399 Morse Rd SW, Pataskala, OH 43062, USA | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/lyndfruitfarm?share | Phone Number: +17409278559
A visit to the famous places at Columbus will leave you awe-struck and with deep appreciation and respect for arts, culture, and history. Not only will the tour be interesting, but you will also end up having loads of fun. Whether you plan to come alone or with your spouse or family and friends, be assured that everyone will find something awesome and will have a gala time.