What to do in columbus ohio?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 10, 2024

Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, offers a diverse range of activities and attractions that cater to various interests. From art and history to outdoor adventures and culinary delights, Columbus has something for everyone.

Explore the Arts and Culture Scene

Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. The museum boasts a rich collection of American and European modern art, as well as contemporary pieces. Don't miss the special exhibitions and events that frequently take place. The museum also offers interactive experiences that engage visitors of all ages.

Wexner Center for the Arts

Located at The Ohio State University, the Wexner Center for the Arts is a multidisciplinary research laboratory for the arts. It features cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions, film screenings, and performances. The center is known for its innovative approach to presenting art and often hosts thought-provoking discussions and workshops.

Short North Arts District

The Short North Arts District is the cultural heart of Columbus. This vibrant neighborhood is lined with galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. The monthly Gallery Hop event is a highlight, where galleries and shops stay open late to showcase new exhibitions and offer refreshments. Street performers and local artists add to the festive atmosphere.

Delve into History

Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Statehouse is a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture and serves as the seat of government for the state of Ohio. Take a guided tour to learn about the building's history, architecture, and the legislative process. The Statehouse also has a museum and gift shop for visitors.

German Village

German Village is a historic neighborhood known for its charming brick streets and well-preserved 19th-century homes. Stroll through the area to admire the architecture, visit the Book Loft (a 32-room bookstore), and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants offering German cuisine. The annual Haus und Garten Tour is a popular event that allows visitors to explore some of the beautiful homes and gardens in the area.

Outdoor Adventures

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a lush oasis in the heart of Columbus. The conservatory features a diverse collection of plants from around the world, housed in stunning glass greenhouses. The outdoor gardens are equally impressive, with seasonal displays, a community garden, and a children's garden. Special exhibitions, such as the annual Blooms & Butterflies event, attract visitors year-round.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, located in nearby Powell, is one of the top zoos in the country. It is home to over 10,000 animals representing more than 600 species. The zoo is divided into regions that mimic the natural habitats of the animals, such as the African Savanna, Asia Quest, and North America. The attached Zoombezi Bay water park is a fun addition for families during the summer months.

Scioto Mile

The Scioto Mile is a scenic urban park that stretches along the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. It features a network of trails, parks, fountains, and public art installations. The centerpiece of the Scioto Mile is the Bicentennial Park, which hosts concerts, festivals, and other events throughout the year. The interactive fountain is a popular spot for families during the warmer months.

Culinary Experiences

North Market

North Market is a historic public market that has been serving Columbus since 1876. It is home to over 30 vendors offering fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and international cuisine. The market is a great place to sample local flavors and pick up unique gifts. Don't miss the North Market Spices shop for a wide variety of spices, herbs, and seasonings.

Farm-to-Table Dining

Columbus has a thriving farm-to-table dining scene, with many restaurants sourcing ingredients from local farms and producers. Some notable options include The Refectory, known for its French cuisine and extensive wine list, and Alana's Food and Wine, which offers a seasonal menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. The Pearl is another popular choice, offering a modern take on classic American dishes.

Food Trucks and Festivals

Food trucks are a staple of the Columbus culinary scene, offering a wide range of options from tacos to gourmet grilled cheese. The annual Columbus Food Truck Festival is a highlight, featuring dozens of food trucks, live music, and family-friendly activities. Other notable food festivals include the Columbus Greek Festival, the Columbus Italian Festival, and the Columbus Coffee Festival.

Shopping and Entertainment

Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center is a premier shopping destination in Columbus. This open-air shopping center features a mix of high-end retailers, popular brands, and local boutiques. In addition to shopping, Easton offers a variety of dining options, a movie theater, and seasonal events such as outdoor concerts and holiday celebrations.

Polaris Fashion Place

Polaris Fashion Place is another major shopping center in Columbus, offering a wide selection of stores and restaurants. The mall also features an outdoor lifestyle center with additional shops and dining options. Polaris hosts special events throughout the year, including fashion shows, holiday activities, and family-friendly entertainment.

Arena District

The Arena District is a bustling entertainment hub in downtown Columbus. It is home to Nationwide Arena, where you can catch a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game or a concert by top artists. The district also features Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team. With a variety of bars, restaurants, and nightlife options, the Arena District is a great place to spend an evening out.

Family-Friendly Activities

COSI (Center of Science and Industry)

COSI is a top-rated science museum that offers interactive exhibits and hands-on learning experiences for visitors of all ages. Highlights include the Planetarium, the Dinosaur Gallery, and the Ocean exhibit. COSI also hosts traveling exhibitions and special events, making it a fun and educational destination for families.

Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons is a vibrant urban park in the heart of downtown Columbus. The park features a carousel, a playground, and open green spaces for picnics and recreation. Columbus Commons hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including outdoor concerts, fitness classes, and family-friendly activities such as the annual Columbus Commons Family Fun Day.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Located at Easton Town Center, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a paradise for LEGO enthusiasts. The center features interactive exhibits, building workshops, and rides. Kids can explore themed areas, such as the LEGO Ninjago Training Camp and the LEGO Friends Heartlake City. The MINILAND exhibit showcases iconic Columbus landmarks built entirely out of LEGO bricks.

Nature and Parks

Highbanks Metro Park

Highbanks Metro Park is a beautiful natural area located just north of Columbus. The park offers a variety of trails for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. The Overlook Trail provides stunning views of the Olentangy River and the surrounding landscape. Highbanks is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and over 100 species of birds.

Goodale Park

Goodale Park is one of the oldest parks in Columbus, located in the Victorian Village neighborhood. The park features a picturesque pond, walking paths, and beautiful gardens. It is a popular spot for picnics, outdoor activities, and community events. The annual ComFest (Community Festival) is held at Goodale Park and draws large crowds with its live music, arts and crafts vendors, and food stalls.

Olentangy Trail

The Olentangy Trail is a multi-use trail that runs for over 22 miles along the Olentangy River, connecting several parks and neighborhoods in Columbus. The trail is popular with cyclists, runners, and walkers, offering scenic views of the river and the surrounding natural areas. Along the way, you'll find access points to parks, playgrounds, and picnic areas, making it a great option for a leisurely day outdoors.

Unique Experiences


Otherworld is an immersive art installation that transports visitors to a surreal and fantastical world. The 32,000-square-foot space features over 40 rooms filled with interactive art, puzzles, and digital projections. Each room offers a unique experience, encouraging visitors to explore and engage with the environment. Otherworld is a must-see for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Topiary Park

Topiary Park is a unique and whimsical park located in downtown Columbus. The park features topiary sculptures that recreate Georges Seurat's famous painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." The life-sized sculptures are made from meticulously trimmed shrubs and trees, creating a living version of the iconic artwork. The park also offers walking paths, a pond, and beautiful garden areas for visitors to enjoy.

Shadowbox Live

Shadowbox Live is a performance troupe that offers a variety of shows, including sketch comedy, rock 'n' roll musicals, and dramatic plays. The troupe is known for its high-energy performances and original productions. Shadowbox Live's eclectic lineup ensures there's something for everyone, making it a great option for a night of entertainment in Columbus.

Ultimately, Columbus is a city that continuously surprises with its blend of culture, history, nature, and unique attractions. The diverse offerings ensure that every visitor finds something that resonates with them, crafting their own unforgettable memories in Ohio's capital.

Related Questions

What county is columbus ohio in?

Columbus, Ohio, is primarily located in Franklin County. As the state capital and the largest city in Ohio, Columbus plays a significant role in the political, cultural, and economic activities of the state. Franklin County, established on April 30, 1803, is named after Benjamin Franklin and serves as a major hub for the surrounding regions.

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What is ohio known for?

Ohio, often referred to as the "Buckeye State," is known for a diverse range of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. From its rich industrial history to its vibrant sports culture, Ohio stands out in many fields. Let's delve into what makes Ohio unique.

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Where is ohio?

Ohio is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the south, Indiana to the west, and Michigan to the northwest. To the north, Ohio has a shoreline along Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes of North America.

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What time zone is ohio?

When it comes to time zones in the United States, each state falls within specific parameters that affect everything from daily schedules to business operations. Ohio is no exception. This article dives deep into the details of Ohio's time zone, offering a comprehensive understanding of how timekeeping operates within the state.

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