Before talking about the fun things to do in Columbus Ohio, let’s first know what Columbus Ohio is?
Columbus Ohio—A Brief Introduction
Columbus is the largest city in Ohio which is the state capital and also the seat of Franklin county. Columbus is located in the center of the state on the Scioto River. The city has its historic significance from being a major staging area during the American Civil War.
Columbus is known as a center of commercial and cultural activities, caused to mark the steady growth of the city in the early 21st century because of its remarkable diverse economy.
Being the fastest-growing city in Ohio, Columbus is also the most visited city. No wonder! If it stands next to your bucket list. As there are numerous fun things to do in Columbus Ohio, the city is especially known for the beautiful blend of its culinary and cultural qualities.
This American city is complete in itself with the wonderful and exciting nightlife, natural landscapes, and charming art scenes. Columbus is surprisingly good with lots of new experiences and fun things.
How Can You Get to Columbus?
It is easy to reach whether you choose to go by car or plane.
There are two main airports to serve passenger flights: John Glenn Columbus International Airport and Columbus Rickenbacker Airport.
Some of the areas in Downtown Columbus can be visited without having your car and some like Columbus Zoo can be visited by having your vehicle—depending on the ease of the place to reach. Rental options can also be picked and you can also book transport in advance from the airport.
Get Ready to Start
If to date, this has been the most underrated travel destination for you, then it is not going to be so in the future. Be prepared to change it and add it to your list of desirable places to visit. Whether you have your family or friends, there is something for everyone that you will fall in love with.
Here are the 11 fun things to do in Columbus Ohio
1. Columbus Zoo—To Kick Start Your Day
It would be a great start for you to pick up Columbus Zoo as your first place if you want to explore Columbus which is home to more than 7,000 animals of 800 species, all colors, and sizes. Around 2.3 million visitors come to see this annually. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the center of attraction for those who want to have a great time with family and kids.
Located in Delaware County, Ohio, also in the north of Columbus city; the place is known for its diversity which is unique in itself. The zoo was named the number one zoo in the United States by the USA travel guide in 2009. This is not enough! It was also ranked number one in 2012 by Besties Readers Choice.
No wonder the place is called an Ohio tourist attraction because of its diversity and uniqueness. The zoo also owns an 18-hole Golf Course which is known as the Safari Golf Club. Don’t forget to explore the Zoombezi Bay Water Park, it is the best thing to do in the summers. This is one of those fun things to do in Columbus Ohio that you can’t miss.
This zoo is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of its biodiversity as it operates the conservation program, not for only itself but also the outside programs.
During the tenure of Jack Henna from 1978 to 1993, the zoo got remarkable recognition worldwide. His contribution to turning the zoo into a model facility is outstanding.
Before getting to the zoo, you must know something important: The zoo is divided into many regions and each one is representing a theme of a particular area of the world. The newly constructed ones are way better themed than the old regions.
The three modes of transportation are available including train, tram, and boat rides that take visitors to their desired destination. Visiting Columbus is a bundle of surprises that you are going to unfold during your vacation.
2. North Market—A Point of Interest
Among all the fun things to do in Columbus Ohio, you can say that is the best way to satisfy you inside out. The place offers to shop, eat, drink, and enjoy and is a worth watching spot in Downtown Columbus. The market is known as a food hall and a public market which was established in 1876.
The market has been an attraction for many years and is better known to serve quirky and authentic food. This is the largest farmer’s market and can be your daily go-to spot. The market is a point of interest for artisans, entrepreneurs, and foodies. North Market is an ideal place for those who want to buy something special whether it is handcrafted materials or homemade preserves.
North market is the place where the farmers and merchants have served the community and over a million visitors visit this market all over the place.
What are the things, you can do here?
You can get a glimpse of the diverse and vibrant culture of Ohio with the touch of its authentic outline. The best part of the North Market is that the place has it all! You can enjoy your day with lots of entertainment, live music, festivals, and activities that can make some of the most beautiful memories of your life.
And if you are a food lover, and want to try some kind of amazing food, this is the place to try it out. As the North Market features above 30 independently owned shops with a wide variety of prepared meals and specialty food.
3. Columbus Museum of Art—A Treat for Art Lovers
One of the most exciting and fun things to do in Columbus Ohio is to explore the Columbus Museum of art. Of course, for the art lovers who definitely wouldn’t want to miss this out! These places well define the wide culture of the city with the art which is the main reason of attraction for most of the people way back to the time.
The Columbus Museum of art is known for its fascinating and great collection of art that increases the curiosity among the lovers of true art and nourishes the connection with the culture, not only with the people around the area but also with the people from all over the world.
Columbus Museum was established in 1878, better known as the first art museum in Columbus, Ohio. The museum is celebrating a long history of outstanding artistic works. It would be great to make it at the top of the list of your fun things to do in Columbus Ohio.
One thing that you must know before getting there is, the tickets to be taken to visit this amazing place. If you are planning for a Sunday visit, you are going to be lucky because it is free of cost entering into the museum, and on Thursday, you can get discounted entry in the evening. This is an ideal destination if you are looking for fun things to do in Columbus Ohio.
The large community hub gives a chance to every individual to connect with the creative discussion of their experiences with art. The Columbus Museum of art houses a collection of modern American and European works of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The interesting fact about it is that many of the works within the gallery can be discovered by members of the community as this art museum is denoted and created for the community and by the community.
4. Explore Scioto Mile
Scioto Mile is an urban oasis which is located in the heart of Downtown Columbus. The place consists of more than 175 acres of lush parkland that stretches from the Arena District to the Whittier Peninsula along the waterfront which connects the city to the Scioto River by the amazing integrated system of parks and bikeways. Strolling at Scioto Mile is one of the most popular fun things to do in Columbus Ohio.
The popular riverwalk and fun activities make the place one of the major attractions to explore Downtown Columbus. Scioto Mile is a much-loved place with amazing monuments, sculptures, beautiful waterways, and fountains, especially in summer.
Things to do at Scioto Mile
If you are looking for wonderful outdoor activities, this is the place where you should not hesitate to come to. The free concerts, which are hosted by Bicentennial park are the first thing you can start with. This tourist attraction allows its visitors, pedestrians, and locals to enjoy it thoroughly. The pedestrian paths are perfect to walk in the afternoon or jog in the morning.
Scioto Mile has something for everyone that boasts some of the most famous features of the city. The incredible 15,000-sq-foot interactive fountain, Jazz and Rib Festival, River Music Festival, and beautifully maintained trails are some of the major attractions for visitors throughout the year that no one should miss doing.
Some other things like greenways, beautiful skyline, and city parks make Scioto Mile the most amazing place to visit and one of the most popular fun things to do in Columbus Ohio.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags to explore this wonderful, all-in-one, ideal destination with your family and friends.
5. German Village—A Historic neighborhood
German Village is renowned for charming and attractive brick-housed streets with tree-lined lanes. This is truly a picturesque site that welcomes its visitors to explore the true beauty and makes it one of the best fun things to do in Columbus Ohio.
This is an ideal place if you are curious and want to learn about the rich German heritage. The reason behind the naming of German Village is that the area was settled by German immigrants who flourished with their style and crafts for many years. But German villages also had to face the periods, caused to the decay.
But the great thing is that the houses were restored after these were saved. The district boasts a large collection of historic homes with amazing long-running restaurants. The history of the German Village is preserved for its visitors who can be a witness the aura of the early 18th century historic sites.
6. Things to do at German Village
Visiting a German village is among the most fascinating fun things to do in Columbus Ohio which is full of phenomenal houses and great places to eat with the touch of beautiful tradition and culture of a German Village, also a great way to practice your conservation skills.
Taking a stroll along with the magnificent architectural buildings and streets is the highly recommended thing to do here as I mentioned also before.
7. Ohio Stadium—Indeed the Most Iconic one
One of the most exciting and fun things to do in Columbus Ohio is to visit the splendid Ohio Stadium which can be said a visual treat for the lovers of football. Ohio Stadium was opened in 1992 for 1.3 million dollars approximately.
The earlier construction of the stadium was of concrete causing it to become a center of attraction for the people as many of them thought that it would not be long-lasting.
The shape of the stadium is also fascinating that can remind you of a horseshoe as it was nicknamed “the horseshoe” or “the Shoe” by the fans. This is a home ground for the football team of the Ohio State University campus in Columbus Ohio.
There is no doubt saying that the Ohio Stadium is the most iconic college stadium in America- no matter if you are a college student or just a football fan as it is the most loved sport for all.
This is so exciting to watch Ohio state buckeyes in action at the stadium (Ohio is nicknamed a “Buckeye state” because of the abundance of buckeye trees on the hills and plains of Ohio).
The capacity of holding more than 100,000 people makes it one of the top three biggest stadiums in America and the fifth-largest stadium in the world. This is one of the first and foremost fun things to do in Columbus Ohio for a football lover to be a witness to such a great experience and the gala atmosphere that makes it a major attraction not only in Ohio but also in America.
Even if you don’t love football, you are going to have such an unforgettable experience of your life. Although, holding its ticket is also not a cakewalk. For the general public, it is $702 per person with the Buckeye Club membership worth $1.500 per seat.
8. Ohio Theater—A National Historic Landmark
Watching a show at the Ohio theater must be included in your list of fun things to do in Columbus Ohio. This “official theater of the state of Ohio” was originally a movie theater that was built in 1928. There are 2700 plus seats and boasts stunning and extraordinary Spanish-Baroque architecture which makes it a historic landmark in Downtown Columbus but also the whole country.
Have you ever seen an architectural wonderland? If not- Ohio Theater must be your stop to have a great time of your life. This can be one of the most exciting and fun things to do in Columbus Ohio because you can enjoy the performances with the lush architecture, classic films, live music orchestra, ballet, and performances from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
The more I write about it, the less it is! You can simply check the website to see what is happening in Ohio Theater.
9. Easton Town Center—One of the coolest places
Do you wanna explore an all-in-one place with your family? Since 1999, Easton Town Center has been one of those coolest places which you won’t want to miss at all.
This is the place that brings families together. The numerous options for shopping, dining, recreational activities, and entertainment with more than 300 shops, bars, and restaurants are available here.
Easton Town Center is especially famous for the diverse collection of its food courts and restaurants. The events like the famous fair and live comedy show are hosted by Easton Town Center where the visitors have fun doing shopping with the nostalgic experience. This is the urban retailer center with outstanding top brands, major retailers, and wonderful shops.
The community events are also hosted by Easton Town Center such as summer movies, outdoor activities like fitness classes, and free concerts. There are so many fun things to do in Columbus Ohio but this is something different that you can’t ignore.
This is one of the nation’s finest surviving theaters which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Capitol Square in Downtown Columbus has the beautiful identity of having Easton Town Center. This is one of the major attractions of Capitol Square in Downtown Columbus.
10. Franklin Park Conservatory—Relaxing Outdoor Oasis
This is a top attraction and one of the most popular fun things to do in Columbus Ohio that you will fall for. The open-air space gives you a reason to enjoy and relax with the fascinating plants and stunning artwork. Franklin park conservatory is a botanical landmark with 88 acres of the area from two-miles east of Downtown Columbus.
Franklin park conservatory is a must-see place with a beautiful green space and enchanting atmosphere. There are a lot of things to do for the visitors as they can take part in educational, cultural, and social events in addition to the amazing horticulture or simply enjoy the exceptional beauty of the botanical gardens and natural exhibits.
Franklin park conservatory is one of the best fun things to do in Columbus Ohio for sure as it offers a sprawling space with interactive workshops and activities.
11. Columbus Park of Roses—A Most Beautiful Spot
Columbus park of roses is a famous public park with over 350 types of roses (around 12000 in total). Sounds interesting? This is among the most exciting fun things to do in Columbus Ohio that hosts superb and picturesque wildlife. This is every horticulturist’s dream with 13 acres of paved pathways, teak benches, and beautiful surroundings.
The thousands of beautiful, blooming, colorful flowers are seen every year from May to September. The park is free to visit for visitors and strollers from 7 am to 11 pm. This is absolutely a must-see and an ideal place for visitors who love to be in the surroundings of nature. And who wouldn’t want to do it?
The Annual Spring Rose Show is held in May and is probably one of the most esteemed and fascinating rose shows in Ohio ever. It is okay not to be a flower obsessive because you don’t need to be. The true beauty of nature will make you visit this place by itself. Such a wonderful experience you are going to have here!
Due to the time crunch, I haven’t mentioned all the things as there are a lot of fun things to do in Columbus Ohio. If we talk about the Columbus food culture, it is just out of the world. As you can visit the topmost restaurants; Schmidt’s Sausage Haus, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, RH Rooftop restaurant, Speck Italian Eatery, Northstar cafe, and Wycliff’s Kitchen are some the famous restaurants.
There are over 40 breweries which is also an important fun thing to do for adults as Columbus is also known for the great craft beer culture. And the best place to stay in Ohio must be the Downtown Columbus which will make it easy to reach all the attractions and sights of the city.
Columbus is a beautiful city with amazing wildlife biodiversity and picturesque tourist attractions. It is also called the mecca for food, art, and culture. The city is full of surprises where you can have the best of it.
It is a time to add it to your bucket list to have such a wonderful experience. Columbus is an ideal place whether you want to visit with your family, kids, or friends. If you are in the search of an ideal destination for kids, New York has it all and Columbus too.
Columbus has something for everyone!