Your family is visiting Columbus and you want to impress them with your city- what do you show them? Rest assured, there is plenty to see. Whether they are a fan of nature, sports, sightseeing, art, or food, your family will definitely know why you chose Columbus as your home. Here are 17 super fun and unique things everyone must do in Columbus.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Discover the Columbus Zoo
The Columbus Zoo is considered one of the best zoos in the country. Here you can observe incredible animals like the red panda, kangaroos, polar bears, bison, and so many others. Going on a slightly rainy day can be a good way to avoid the crowds.
The Columbus Zoo is located at 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065
2. Hop through Gallery Hop
On the first Saturday of every month the galleries in the Short North stay open all evening. This is a great night to browse art, enjoy street musicians, and check out the bars and restaurants in the area.
3. Indulge at the North Market.
The North Market has over 30 distinct vendors, selling foods from all over the world, wines, flowers, ice cream- you name it. The market tends to get a big lunch rush, so be prepared if you’re planning a midday visit.
North Market is located at 59 Spruce St., Columbus, OH 43215
4. Experience the Hoodoo Soul Band at Rumba
The Hoodoo Soul Band lights up the Rumba Cafe with jazz, funk, and blues every Sunday at 10:00 pm. The band was established in 1995, and the Sunday gig has been alive almost as long. The band offers more than just music- it's really a whole experience.
Rumba Cafe is located at 2507 Summit St., Columbus, OH 43202
5. Wander the Franklin Park Conservatory
The Franklin Park Conservatory is a botanical garden and conservatory. It features many different rooms with plants and climates from different parts of the world. Sometimes the unique building also houses art exhibits, setting up the installations in a way that allows them to harmonize with the plants.
The Franklin Park Conservatory is located at 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
6. Relax at Comfest
Comfest, a community festival that happens every June in Goodale Park, has been a staple of Columbus since 1972. This "party with a purpose" offers live music, shops, and foods, raises money for various causes in the city, and celebrates community, diversity, and tolerance.
You'll find Comfest at 120 W Goodale St., Columbus, OH 43215
7. Swing on the Scioto Mile
After a recent facelift, downtown Columbus looks incredible. Make sure you plan an evening stroll along the new Scioto Mile. You will see incredible views and get a chance to enjoy the swings on the promenade.
8. Explore art at 400 Rich Street
What was once an industrial warehouse has become a home to over 140 local Columbus artists. 12 artists opened studios in the building in 2011, and thus, a movement was born. Known simply as 400 West Rich Street, this collaborative art studio is open to visitors every 2nd Friday of the month.
Address: 400 W Rich St., Columbus, OH 43215
9. Test your luck at the Bicentennial Park
Built to celebrate Columbus' 200th birthday, the Bicentennial Park features beautiful contemporary fountains. These fountains can turn on and off unexpectedly as you run through them, giving you a fun adrenaline rush on a summer day.
Bicentennial Park is located at 233 S Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH 43215
10. Cheer for your team at a sports event
If you're a fan of a sport, there is probably a great local team for you to cheer on right here in Columbus. Grab your Bluejackets cap or your Crew scarf and head to the arena.
11. Smell the roses at Whetstone Park
The Whetstone Park of Roses is a must see. Here you will find over 350 varieties of roses spread over a 13-acre rose garden. Plan your visit in May or June for the best experience.
Whetstone Park is located at (3923 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214
12. Browse the Book Loft
The Book Loft in German Village is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country. The Book Loft has 32 rooms of bargain books. You will definitely want to experience the unique vibe of this place for yourself.
The Book Loft is located at 631 S 3rd St., Columbus, OH 43206
13. Indulge in the booming food scene
Without going into details or dropping any names...the food scene in Columbus is incredible. If you like trying new foods and drinks, do some research and hit up some of the fantastic establishments in the city.
14. Awe at Ohio Theatre or the Southern Theatre
These two awe-inspiring historic theatres with jaw-dropping architecture were both saved from demolition by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) in the second half of the 20th century. The theatres are now home to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and many other performers.
Ohio Theatre: 39 E State St., Columbus, OH 43215
Southern Theatre: 21 E Main St., Columbus, OH 43215
15. Wander through the Topiary Park
The Topiary Park is the only topiary replica of a painting in the world. Jump inside George Seurat's famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte," as you wander through this carefully manicured park.
The Topiary Park is located at 480 E Town St., Columbus, OH 43215
16. Zoom through trees at ZipZone Outdoor Adventures
If you're not quite ready for bungee jumping and free falling, you might want to try ziplining. This fun adventure destination is just north of the city and it's fun for the whole family.
ZipZone Outdoor Adventures is located at 7925 N High St., Columbus, OH 43235
17. Celebrate with the Red White and Boom
Every year the city celebrates the 4th of July with a stunning massive fireworks display. The fireworks can be seen from many places around downtown, but the best spots will let you see the blasts over the river. Columbus hosts its fireworks on July third so that people can enjoy the suburban fireworks on the fourth.
Grab this list and get going! Let us know your favorite local activities in the comments below.