25 Free Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio this Winter

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This list of free things to do in Columbus, Ohio will keep you and the kids busy and cabin-fever free this Winter!

Winter is tough with kids. I’m sure some of you die hards will disagree, but for me it takes so much more effort to get out of the house: coats, gloves, hats, taking off coats for carseats, defrosting the car. And the list goes on. But I’ve put together a list of free kid-friendly things to do around Columbus that will make all the effort worth it! Good luck! 🙂

25 Free Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio this Winter:

1. Watch planes take off at Ohio State University Airport

boys watching planes take off at Ohio State University Airport

2. Tour Anthony Thomas Chocolate Factory. Tours take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the winter. (I consider this free because at the end you get to use your admission price ($2 for adults and $1 for kids) towards a purchase of candy in the gift shop! 😉 ).

kid getting buckeye candy at Anthony Thomas Candy Factory in Columbus, OH

3. Play at The Naz indoor play area in Grove City. This one’s open until 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM on weekdays!

4. See the Living Stream at Battelle Darby Metro Park.

5. Look for the bison at Battelle Darby Metro Park. (A brisk .5 mile walk from the Nature Center!)

6. Attend a story time at Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Afterwards play in the free indoor play area!

7. Take a ride on the Smart Circuit. There’s a stop just outside COSI!

kid waiting at a stop for the Smart Circuit in Columbus, Ohio

8. Go to Columbus Museum of Art on a Sunday. Admission is free from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

9. Visit Franklin Park Conservatory on Community Days (the first Sunday of each month).

10. Get a free cup of coffee or glass of milk when you buy a cookie at Sassafras Bakery during Milk and Cookie Happy Hour.

cookie and cup of coffee at Sassafras Bakery

11. Play in the kids area at Coffee Connections in Hilliard. (After you buy a cup of coffee, of course!)

12. Visit the totally cute Story Garden at Northwest Library in Worthington.

Story Garden in Worthington Library

13. Play in Småland, the awesome indoor childcare area for free for one hour at IKEA. IKEA Family Members (rewards card holders) get an extra half hour (and free coffee)!

14. Watch for birds at the Blacklick Woods Metro Park Nature Center.

15. Play at Central Park at Westerville Christian Church. Check the link for hours because they are very specific!

play area at Westerville Christian Church

16. Attend KidX at Polaris Fashion Place! This monthly event features free activities for kids!

17. Participate in the Winter Reading Challenge at Columbus Library. Kids get a pencil and book mark just for signing up!

18. Look for fairies on the Dublin Irish Fairy Door Trail.

19. Enjoy music, activities and movies at Hoot Family Film Series! This activity is free with a non-perishable donation to the Open Shelter.

20. Look at art on Pizzuti Collection Family Day – Family Day (one special Sunday each month) offers free admission, special activities and a family centered tour! 

pizzuti collection free sundays columbus ohio

21. Attend one of these story times. The Cheryl’s Cookies story time includes a free mini cookie!

22. Read 5 books and get a free kid’s meal at Rusty Bucket. (Check the link for a whole list of Kids Eat Free options!)

23. Go on a Winter Hike with Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. Hot drinks and food provided afterwards!

24. Visit the dinosaur at Orton Hall.

dinosaur bones at Orton Hall

25. Visit the fish (and other interesting sea creatures) at Aquarium Adventure in Hilliard!

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25 Free Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio this Winter


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*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

ICYMI: Story Times for Kids in Columbus, Ohio

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