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100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio (2024)

Planning a trip to Columbus, Ohio? Or maybe you live here and you just need a push to try something new! Browse this list of 100 things to do in Columbus, Ohio for a little inspiration!

Columbus, Ohio is home to over 800,000 people and the greater metropolitan area is over 2 million people! With a vibrant arts scene, sports teams, theatre, a huge foodie scene and The Ohio State University, you can always find SOMETHING fun to do in Columbus!

I have lived in Columbus since 2008 and I am always finding something new to do! In my experience, the city is always changing and offering new experiences for us to discover! Read on for your own inspiration to explore Columbus, Ohio!

Educational Centers and Museums in Columbus:

Columbus has its fair share of museums and educational centers! If you’re visiting for the first time, and/or with kids, these well known attractions in Columbus are going to be some of your can’t miss stops! 


  • Address: 333 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
Oceans exhibit at COSI in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Center of Science and Industry

The Center Of Science and Industry (COSI) offers tons of hands on science activities for kids (and adults)! In addition to the permanent displays, there are a number of rotating exhibits and IMAX movies each year. Don’t miss the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery inside COSI!

2. Ohio History Center

  • Address: 800 E 17th Ave, Columbus, OH, 43211
  • Website

Learn about the history of Ohio with educational and hands on exhibits at Ohio History Center.  The special events they hold throughout the year (like Night at the Museum) and are super fun for families!

3. Ohio Village

  • Address: 800 E 17th Ave, Columbus, OH, 43211
  • Website
boys at Ohio Village, part of Ohio History Connection in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio Village

Adjacent to Ohio History Center is Ohio Village, open during the summer and featuring what every day life was like in the 1880’s! Special events are held here throughout the year such as Dickens of a Christmas, All Hallow’s Eve and more!

4. Columbus Museum of Art

  • Address: 480 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
The Wonder Room at Columbus Museum of Art.
Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art includes permanent and rotating exhibitions, classes, special events and an area for kids to explore called The Wonder Room, one of the best things to do with kids in Columbus! Visit for free on Sundays!

5. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

  • Address: 4850 Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065
  • Website
polar bears at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Consistently rated as one of the best Zoos in the country and one of the best family-friendly attractions in Columbus, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers the chance to see animals up close and personal! Highlights include The Heart of Africa, the polar bear exhibit, and special seasonal events throughout the year!

6. Franklin Park Conservatory

  • Address: 1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203
  • Website
The Palm House at Franklin Park Conservatory a beautiful place to visit in Columbus.
Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory is home to indoor and outdoor gardens, seasonal displays and events and an amazing outdoor Children’s Garden! Franklin County residents can visit for free on the first Sunday of each month! (See my list of museum discounts in Columbus for more information!)

While there is a cost to visit Franklin Park Conservatory, you can visit the public park (Franklin Park) surrounding the Conservatory for free!

The Children's Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.
Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory

7. Ohio Craft Museum

  • Address: 1665 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
  • Website

Museum featuring handmade items, classes, a cool gift shop and more! This museum in the Grandview Heights neighborhood features permanent and temporary exhibitions.

8. Wexner Center for the Arts

  • Address: 1871 N. High Street Columbus, Ohio 43210
  • Website

Enjoy art, events, films, special exhibitions, a gift shop and more! Admission is free thanks to generous donations of sponsors! See my list of art museums in Columbus for more info!

9. Columbus Museum of Art at The Pizzuti

  • Address: 632 Park St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Visit the Pizzuti Collection, a smaller art collection (part of Columbus Museum of Art) located in the Short North for contemporary art, special programs and rotating exhibits. Free with a CMA membership.

10. Central Ohio Fire Museum

  • Address: 260 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Learn about the history of fire fighting and visit a collection of fire fighting equipment used throughout the years. There is also a play area for children.

11. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

  • Address: 157 Easton Town Ctr, Columbus, OH 43219
  • Website
boy playing at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus. A fun thing to do with kids in Columbus, Ohio.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

Explore everything LEGO at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus with 4D movies, rides, LEGO building areas, workshops, a play area, cafe, gift shop and more!

12. Columbus Metropolitan Library: Main Library

  • Address: 96 S Grant Ave, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

The main branch of The Columbus Metropolitan Library is a sight to behold with it’s beautiful old and modern aspects, a cafe, a gift shop and of course thousands of books and audio visual materials for checking out.

13. National Veteran’s Memorial and Museum

  • Address: 300 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
Inside the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit this museum to honor to our nation’s Veterans throughout all eras. Hear their stories, visit exhibitions, and participate in events held at the museum.

Make sure to check out the rooftop terrace and the Memorial Grove gardens outside.

14. Orton Geological Museum

  • Address: 155 S Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Website
Dinosaur at Orton Geological Museum at Ohio State University.
Orton Geological Museum

Home to Columbus’ own dinosaur, visit this museum on The Ohio State University Campus to see the model Cryolophosaurus found by an Ohio scientist. See other rocks, minerals and fossils from Ohio and beyond! Admission is free!

15. Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

  • Address: 1813 N High St, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Website

This museum, also on the campus of The Ohio State University, is home to the world’s largest collection of cartoon and comic related art, books, materials, newspaper clippings and more! 

16. Kelton House Museum and Garden

  • Address: 586 E Town St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
The outside of the Kelton House Museum & Garden in the Discovery District of Columbus, Ohio.

The Kelton House Museum and Garden is located in the Discovery District of Columbus and was part of the Underground Railroad!

You can visit this house, once owned by the Kelton family and decorated in the Victorian style. Most of the items in the restored house belonged to the Kelton Family. Admission to the museum includes a tour.

Indoor Things to do in Columbus:

17. Otherworld

  • Address: 5819 Chantry Dr, Columbus, OH 43232
  • Website
Brightly lit tree at Otherworld, a fun thing to do in Columbus.

Part art museum, part interactive experience, Otherworld really defies a category! Take a visit to another world where you can have a one of a kind experience! It’s one of the most unique things to do in Columbus! Otherworld is kid-friendly, but you might want to save it for elementary age and up!

18. The Escape Game

  • Address: 3960 Easton Station, Columbus, OH 43219
  • Website
Indoor Fun in Columbus at The Escape Game at Easton Town Center.

If you’re looking for a fun group activity, try The Escape Game at Easton Town Center! Groups of up to 8 can work together to solve a mystery and complete your mission within 60 minutes!

Outdoor Things to do in Columbus:

The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks offer Central Ohio residents many, many opportunities to get outside and explore nature. It’s possible to drive just 20 minutes from downtown and find yourself in the middle of the forest, canoeing on a lake or hiking off trail.

Beyond the Metro Parks there are several other options for outdoor exploring and learning about the animals found in Ohio. There are plenty of fun outdoor activities in Columbus for the whole family!

waterfall at Inniswood Metro Park one of many fun things to do in Columbus, Ohio.
Inniswood Metro Park

19. Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks offer city dwellers the opportunity to step into woods, forests, prairies and swamps. You’ll be amazed at what you can find inside these parks! They also offer amazing opportunities to see fall color in Columbus when the time is right!

Also there are a plethora of events and activities within the Metro Parks that offer kids and adults alike the chance to get out into Nature. Below I will feature a few of the highlights:

20. Scioto Audubon Metro Park

  • Address: 400 W Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Scioto Audubon Metro Park is currently the only Metro Park within downtown Columbus. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center within the park is home to events, an indoor play area and library, bird watching opportunities and more! There is a playground, climbing walls, an outdoor sandbox and much more!

21. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

  • Address: 1775 Darby Creek Dr, Galloway, OH 43119
  • Website

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park has one of the best Nature Centers with a “living stream” inside where you can get up close to, touch and feed the animals and fish in the stream. Bison live within the park and finding them is a highlight of our visits! 

22. Glacier Ridge Metro Park

  • Address: 9801 Hyland-Croy Rd, Plain City, OH 43064
  • Website

Glacier Ridge Metro Park has a unique feature in its new Ninja Course! One of the most unique Metro Park Playgrounds, it’s a highlight for kids of all ages!

23. Inniswood Metro Gardens

  • Address: 940 S Hempstead Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
  • Website

This beautifully curated park has some of themes unique gardens, walking paths and play areas for kids! Inniswood Metro Gardens is a gem with it’s Secret Garden for kids, Herb Garden, Rose Garden and unique water features!

24. Slate Run Living Historical Farm

  • Address: 1375 St. Rte. 674 North, Canal Winchester, OH 43110
  • Website
barn at Slate Run Farm, Slate Run Metro Park in Columbus, Ohio.
Slate Run Farm

Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm is home to a living farm where families can visit, ask questions and participate in chores on the farm! On Saturdays kids can feed the animals and participate in chores!

25. Olentangy Caverns

  • Address: 1779 Home Rd, Delaware, OH 43015
  • Website

Visitors can tour underground caverns used by the Wyandotte Indians. Guided and self guided tours are available. Also at Olentangy Caverns you can visit a petting zoo, complete a maze, do gem mining, play yard games and more! 

26. Ohio Wildlife Center

  • Address: 6131 Cook Rd, Powell, OH 43065
  • Website

Ohio Wildlife Center is home to animals who are being rehabilitated or not able to return to life in the wild. The Center is only open a few times a month so make sure to check the website for dates. Nature story times are held as well as regular open houses and guests can tour the grounds and meet some of the resident animals.

27. Stratford Ecological Center

  • Address: 3083 Liberty Rd, Delaware, OH 43015
  • Website

Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware, Ohio is home to animals, gardens, hiking trails, a pond and more! Workshops and classes are held on a regular basis as well as a story time for kids.

28. Alum Creek State Park Beach

  • Address: 3615 S Old State Rd, Delaware, OH 43015
  • Website
Alum Creek State Park Beach near Columbus, Ohio.
Alum Creek State Park Beach

You didn’t think you could go to the beach in Central Ohio? Don’t overlook Alum Creek Beach for a day at the beach! While there are actually many other beaches in Ohio, Alum Creek Beach is the largest inland beach in the Ohio State Park system!

29. Park of Roses

  • Address: 3901 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
  • Website

This garden is one of the largest public rose gardens in the United States and a very popular attraction in Columbus during the summer! The Columbus Park of Roses features paths for walking through, benches and over 12,000 specimens of roses! Roses are at peak bloom in early summer, but the park is open year round!

Downtown Columbus Parks:

The green space in Columbus has improved very much over the past 10 years. This section is focused on the parks and green spaces specifically in Downtown Columbus!

30. Topiary Park 

  • Address: 480 E Town St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
plant sculptures at Topiary Park in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Topiary Park

A can’t miss destination in downtown Columbus, Topiary Park is one of the most unique parks in Columbus! The park is a recreation of Georges Seurat’s painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte. With larger than life size plant sculptures, it’s a sight to behold! Though not the only way into the park, you can visit the park through the Main Library.

31. Columbus Commons

  • Address: 160 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Home of many events in Columbus.
Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons is a great downtown park that offers live concerts, exercise classes, a carousel, two food vendors, festivals, Commons for Kids in the summer, and a beautiful green space in the middle of the city.

32. Bicentennial Park

  • Address: 233 S Civic Center Dr, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Home to fountains for kids to jump in during the summer, a stage for concerts, host of the Columbus Food Truck Festival and a beautiful view of downtown Columbus!

33. Genoa Park

  • Address: 303 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
Genoa Park at Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus.
Genoa Park

This downtown park, part of the Scioto Mile, has an amphitheater, the Columbus Police Memorial, LED lighting, fountains and more! This park is just outside of COSI.

34. The Promenade on Scioto Mile

  • Address: 233 S Civic Center Dr, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Walk a beautiful stretch of the Scioto Mile with views of the Columbus skyline, swinging benches, bridges and more!

Shopping in Columbus:

Columbus is home to many major brands such as The Limited, Bath and Body Works, Abercrombie and Fitch, Big Lots, and the list goes on! If shopping is your jam, you will find nearly every store known to man within the Central Ohio area!

35. Easton Town Center

  • Address: 160 Easton Town Ctr, Columbus, OH 43219
  • Website
frog fountain and stores at Easton Town Center, a Shopping center in Columbus, Ohio.
Easton Town Center

One of the largest shopping centers in the US, Easton is home to nearly 200 stores, 60 restaurants, a movie theater, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus, The Funny Bone (featuring live comedy shows), outdoor fountains, a model train and many special events throughout the year! Check out one of these kid-friendly restaurants at Easton Town Center when you visit!

36. Polaris Fashion Place

  • Address: 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240
  • Website
games at The Yard at Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus, Ohio.
The Yard, Polaris Fashion Place

A large mall with indoor and outdoor areas, events for kids, dining, an outdoor game area called The Yard and a fountain for splashing! Also in the Polaris area are the popular shopping destinations IKEA and Public Lands.

37. The Mall at Tuttle Crossing

  • Address: 5043 Tuttle Crossing Blvd, Dublin, OH 43016
  • Website

This mall is located in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus and features over 120 stores and a unique STEM-focused play area for kids!

38. Tanger Outlets Columbus

  • Address: 400 S Wilson Rd, Sunbury, OH 43074
  • Website

This outlet mall is 30 minutes north of downtown Columbus and is home to over 75 stores, restaurants and a playground area.

39. Destination Outlets Jeffersonville

  • Address: 8000 Factory Shops Blvd, Jeffersonville, OH 43128
  • Website

About 40 minutes south of Columbus, this outlet mall has over 60 stores and a food court!

40. North Market

  • Address: 59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
flowers at North Market.
North Market

You can’t visit Columbus without visiting the North Market! With over 30 vendors selling hot food, grocery items, flowers, coffee, pastries and more! North Market is of the best downtown Columbus restaurants because there is something for everyone!

41. Saraga International Grocery 

  • Address: Multiple locations
  • Website

If you’re looking for an international ingredient or a multi-cultural shopping experience in Columbus, check out one of the Saraga International Grocery locations for ethnic groceries you can’t find elsewhere, plus small restaurants inside the store!

*For local, small shops I would suggest checking out the recurring events listed below that take place in individual neighborhoods. There are so many unique, locally owned shops in Columbus – too many to list here!

Interesting Tours to Take in Columbus:

We can explore so much on our own, but sometimes you really need a guided tour to give you the inside scoop. This portion of the list includes factories, restaurants and other cultural attractions where you you can take a tour.

42. Ohio Statehouse Tour

  • Address: 1 Capitol Sq, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Daily tours are available of the Ohio Statehouse and take place every hour on the hour.  You can take a guided tour or pick up a map in the gift shop to do a self-guided tour. There is a Museum Education Center, a great Ohio-themed gift shop and a beautiful rotunda!

43. Anthony Thomas Candy Factory

  • Address: 1777 Arlingate Ln, Columbus, OH 43228
  • Website
boy taking candy at Anthony Thomas Candy Factory. Something fun to do in Columbus, Ohio.
Anthony Thomas Candy Factory

Take a tour of this candy factory and watch candy being made. Tours are about an hour long and online reservations are currently required. Tours days change depending on the season so check the link for details.

44. American Whistle Corporation

  • Address: 6540 Huntley Rd # B, Columbus, OH 43229
  • Website

Tour the only manufacturer of metal whistles in the US! The tour takes about 45 minutes and everyone receives a whistle at the end of the tour! Call to make a reservation or book online!

45. Phoenix Bat Factory

  • Address: 7801 Corporate Blvd Suite E, Plain City, OH 43064
  • Website

Learn how a bat is made from start to finish at this factory in Plain City, just outside of Columbus. Tours are about 1 hour long and are available during open tour times or with a reservation. Open tours take place Monday and Friday at 1:30 PM.

46. Columbus Food Adventures

  • Address: various locations
  • Website

Want to experience the amazing food scene in Columbus? Take a Columbus Food Tour. Options include: taco trucks, ethnic food, dessert, breweries, meat lovers, breakfast, coffee, brunch and tours focused on specific neighborhoods!

Trails to Help You Explore Columbus:

Columbus is home to several “trails”: from food to fairies. Grab a passport and make your way through one of these local themed trails!

47. Columbus Coffee Experience

  • Address: Pick up a passport at any of the participating coffee shops
  • Website
girl holding up coffee trail T-shirt at Experience Columbus.
Columbus Coffee Experience T-Shirt

Visit 4 coffee shops on the trail to receive a free t-shirt or visit all of them for a collector’s coffee mug! Pick up your passport at any participating coffee shop! Make sure to check out my list of some of the best coffee shops in Columbus to get started!

coffee cup held up outside Third Way Cafe in Columbus, Ohio.
Third Way Cafe

48. Dublin Cocktail Trail

Pick up a Guidebook or print one online and visit each of the destinations listed. Turn in or mail in your completed Guidebook and receive a koozie or Celtic Cocktail Trail t-shirt! Have fun exploring many of the restaurants and fun things to do in Dublin, Ohio!

49. West Side Ice Cream Trail

Oreo Paleta from Dulce Vida West in Columbus.
Dulce Vida West

Tour the unique ice cream spots located on the West Side of Columbus including several Mexican Ice Cream shops featuring handmade paletas and aguas frescas!

50. Irish Fairy Door Trail

  • Address: 9 S. High St., Dublin, Ohio 43017
  • Website

Visit each of the locations listed on the passport and find the name of each resident fairy. Turn in your passport for a free t-shirt!

51. Twelve Elves of Dublin

  • Address: 9 S. High St., Dublin, Ohio 43017
  • Website

During the holiday season (December), visit 12 participating businesses around Historic Dublin, to find the Twelve Elves of Dublin! Pick up an Elf Card at any of the stops and kids can point out the Elf to the employee and they will receive a small prize and a stamp on their card.

Theatre and Live Performances in Columbus:

Theatres and live performance venues attract many visitors to Columbus each year! If you’re looking for a Broadway show or your favorite band on tour, click the link to see what’s coming to town next!

decorations outside Ohio Theatre in downtown Columbus.
Ohio Theatre

52. CAPA (Columbus Association for the Performing Arts)

  • Address: Various locations
  • Website

CAPA is an organization that has rehabilitated several theatres in downtown Columbus and oversees performances in Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre and Southern Theatre (among others). Watch Broadway performances, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, BalletMet, the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus and more!

Since CAPA encompasses several venues and entities, starting at their website will give you some great date ideas in Columbus, too!

53. PromoWest Live

  • Address: Various locations
  • Website

Featuring indoor and outdoor concerts, check the link for upcoming musical acts at various venues around the city!

54. Schottenstein Center

  • Address: 555 Borror Dr, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Website

Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center is home to live performances, sporting events, concerts and more! Check the link for the upcoming schedule.

55. Nationwide Arena

  • Address: 200 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

One of the largest performance venues in Columbus, Nationwide Arena is home to the Columbus Blue Jackets and draws big name concerts and shows. Check the link for upcoming events.

56. ComedySportz at The Nest Theatre

  • Address: 2643 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
  • Website

ComedySportz is a fun, interactive improv show that takes place on Friday nights. All ages are welcome!

57. Hashtag Comedy

  • Address: Various locations
  • Website

Featuring live shows, improv school for kids and adults and community performances! Click the on the website link for upcoming shows and classes!

58. Shadowbox Live

Shadowbox Live is the largest resident ensemble theater company in the US. The downtown theatre is home to productions all 52 weeks of the year!

59. PBJ & Jazz

  • Address: 769 E. Long St, Columbus, OH 43203 from November through March and 480 E Town St, Columbus, OH 43215 from June through September.
  • Website
kids listening to PBJ & Jazz concert in Topiary Park a free concert in Columbus, Ohio.
PBJ & Jazz Concert

Throughout the year the Jazz Arts Group puts on kid-friendly jazz concerts designed to introduce kids to jazz music at an early age. During the winter, the concerts are held inside and kids get a packed lunch when they attend. Indoor concerts are $5/person or $20 max. During the warmer months, the concerts are held outside in Topiary Park and are free to attend.

60. Columbus Children’s Theatre

  • Address: Most often at Lincoln Theatre, 769 E Long St. Columbus, OH 43204
  • Website

CCT focuses on family-friendly theatre and introducing kids to the arts! With performances, classes and special performances around town, you can introduce your children to theatre at their level!


  • Address: Various locations
  • Website

This local theatre company features performances for all ages, community involvement, summer camps and more!

Live Sports in Columbus:

Columbus, Ohio is a sports town, that’s for sure. Perhaps best known as a college football town, Columbus is also home to other professional and semi-professional sports teams!

62. Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Address: 200 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

Columbus’ very own professional hockey team plays at Nationwide Arena.

63. Columbus Clippers

  • Address: 330 Huntington Park Ln, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

A Triple A baseball team, the Clippers play downtown at Huntington Park in the Arena District. If you’re looking to save some money, standing room only tickets can be purchased and there are lots of benches and picnic tables from which you can enjoy the game.

64. Columbus Crew SC

  • Address: 96 Columbus Crew Way, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

A Crew match is an electric experience! Especially in the new Field in the Arena District! There’s not a bad seat in the house!

65. Ohio Roller Derby

  • Address: 717 E 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211
  • Website

Watching the Ohio Roller Derby is always a fun time. Games take place at the Ohio Expo Center. This is a women’s league featuring two 30 minute periods of full-contact racing on roller skates!

66. Ohio State University Sports

Ohio State University Hockey Game.
Ohio State Hockey

Games played at the Ohio State University are open to the public and while football tickets may be hard to come by, it’s easy to watch hockey, basketball, and much more. Some events are even free for the public to attend!

Ohio State Football Game in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio State Football

67. Skull Session with OSU Marching Band

  • Address: 410 Woody Hayes Dr, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Website
Skull Session with Ohio State University Marching Band, a free thing to do in Columbus, Ohio.
Skull Session

If you don’t have OSU football tickets but you want to get into the spirit of the day, attend a Skull Session which takes place 2 hours and 20 minutes before the start of the game at St. John Arena. It’s a pep rally of sorts where the OSU Marching Band (TBDBITL) plays, the coach speaks and the players attend.

Bookstores in Columbus:

Columbus is home to some pretty amazing book stores! 

68. The Book Loft of German Village

  • Address: 631 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43206
  • Website

This amazing bookstore in German Village has 32 rooms on multiple floors full of new and used books! Give yourself time to get lost! (Then check out Pistacia Vera nearby, one of the best bakeries in Columbus!)

69. Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers

  • Address: 2116 Arlington Ave, Columbus, OH 43221
  • Website
boys reading at Cover to Cover Book Store in Upper Arlington, Ohio.
Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers

This is a magical bookstore in Upper Arlington specifically for kids!

70. Gramercy Books

  • Address: 2424 E Main St, Bexley, OH 43209
  • Website

This is a great bookstore in Columbus with books for kids and adults. Located in Bexley, the shop opens up into Kittie’s Bakery! (Get the Chocolate Chip Face Cookie!)

71. Prologue Bookshop

  • Address: 841 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

This bookstore in the Short North features books, games, book clubs and events!

Things to do in Columbus Neighborhoods:

Like any major city, Columbus is made up of smaller neighborhoods and surrounded by vibrant suburbs. Many of these neighborhoods hold their own regular events such as First Fridays, etc. These events are a great way to get a feel for the neighborhood and explore the local businesses. 

72. Franklinton Fridays

Taking place on the 2nd Friday of each month, the community offers art shows, theater, science exhibits and more!

73. Hilltop Hop

boy looking at art at The Design Refinery, Hilltop Art Hop in Columbus, ohio.
Hilltop Art Hop

This event takes place on the second Saturday morning of each month in the Hilltop neighborhood and features art shows, live music, snacks, local vendors and more!

74. Fourth Fridays in Uptown Westerville

On the fourth Friday of each month, the businesses of Uptown Westerville stay open late for shopping, snacks and more! Check out my list of coffee shops in Westerville for more ideas!

75. Grandview Hop

This event takes place several times throughout the summer and features vendors, food, live music and more on Grandview Avenue!

76. German Village Makers Market

This outdoor artisan market features vendors, food, home goods, personal accessories and more!

77. Short North Gallery Hop

car with toys glued to it in the Short North. Gallery Hop is a fun thing to do in Columbus, Ohio.
Short North

Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District takes place on the first Saturday of each month on High Street. Galleries, shops and restaurants stay open late for shopping and art showings, often there are street performers and special events!

78. Sunday Fundays in Worthington

One Sunday each month, the businesses of Old Worthington host a themed-afternoon with special events, food and activities!

79. Moonlight Market

This nighttime, outdoor market takes place downtown once a month during April through October and features shopping, dining and entertainment.

80. Sunlight Market

This daytime, outdoor market takes place downtown once a month during April through October and features shopping, dining and entertainment.

“Bar-cades” in Columbus:

“Barcades” (Bar + Arcade) are popping up all over Columbus and they offer a great alternative to just going to the bar. Several of them also offer kid-friendly hours so kids can enjoy the games, too! Some of them can even host birthday parties for kids!

81. 16 Bit Bar + Arcade

  • Address: Multiple locations
  • Website

16 Bit Bar + Arcade features craft beer, cocktails and classic arcade games. If you purchase a drink, you can play any of the arcade games for free! Kids are permitted before 8:00 PM. Locations include downtown Columbus and Bridge Park in Dublin.

82. Pins Mechanical Co.

  • Address: Multiple locations
  • Website
boy playing duck pin bowling at Pins Mechanical, Downtown Columbus location.
Pins Mechanical

Pins Mechanical Co. has three Columbus area locations, Bridge Park in Dublin, Easton Town Center and Downtown Columbus. Available activities include pinball, duckpin bowling, ping pong, foosball and more! Kids are allowed until 8:00 PM.

83. Level One Bar + Arcade

  • Address: 130 Hutchinson Ave. Columbus, OH 43235
  • Website
boy playing arcade games at Level One Bar and Arcade in Worthington, Ohio.
Level One Bar and Arcade

This is another spot where if you buy a drink, playing arcade games is free! Level One has an 80’s theme and features some of your favorite arcade games from that era. Kids and people under age 21 are allowed into the bar from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

84. Thunderwing Brewing

  • Address: 2419 Scioto Harper Dr, Columbus, OH 43204
  • Website

Thunderwing brewing features craft beer, pinball games, darts, board games and more! There is a patio and you can bring your own food or order in. Kids are welcome.

85. Old North Arcade

  • Address: 2591 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
  • Website

Old North Arcade features a great selection of games that you can play for free when you purchase a drink. Activities include arcade games, pinball, air hockey, skee-ball and more! Children are allowed before 8:00 PM. There is a patio and Square Slice Pizzeria is attached for food!

Independent Movie Theatres in Columbus:

86. Gateway Film Center

  • Address: 1550 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
  • Website

Gateway Film Center is a non-profit, independent theater that offers a variety of films, documentaries and special events including free and sensory friendly movie showings for families!

87. Drexel Theatre

  • Address: 2254 E Main St, Bexley, OH 43209
  • Website

The Drexel Theatre is a local theatre that provides unique cinematic experiences, family-friendly events and lots more! 

Seasonal Events in and around Columbus:

Seasonal events and festivals are some of the most fun things to do in Columbus! They only come around once a year so you must plan accordingly! These are some of the most popular festivals and events that take place in Columbus each year!

88. Columbus Arts Festival

boys doing art projects at Columbus Arts Festival
Columbus Arts Festival

The Columbus Arts Festival is a 3 day festival featuring local artists, vendors, activities for kids, live performances and more!

89. Red White and Boom

  • Location: downtown Columbus
  • Website

Columbus’ 4th of July celebration includes live music, vendors and a large fireworks display!

90. ComFest

Columbus’ Community Festival features local bands, food, performances and more with a focus on grassroots community partners!

91. Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival

A celebration of Columbus’ LGBTQ community and allies. Takes place in June each year and features a parade, special events, live music and more.

92. Summer Jam

boys looking at a decorated car at Summer Jam West Festival in Westgate Park
Summer Jam West

This festival in Westgate Park celebrates local artists, local bands and supports the curation of a mural on the west side of Columbus each summer.

93. Jazz and Ribs Fest

Featuring 3 days of live jazz performances and the best rib connoisseurs along the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus.

94. Ohio State Fair

  • Address: 717 East 17th Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43211
  • Website
view of downtown Columbus from the ferris wheel at Ohio State Fair
Ohio State Fair

The Ohio State Fair is a highlight of summer in Columbus with live entertainment, competitions, special events, rides, concessions, games, Ohio foods and so much more! 

95. Asian Festival

The Asian Festival showcases the cultural heritage of the Asian people and provides an educational experience for all ages!

96. Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

  • Address: 3311 South Old State Rd, Delaware, OH 43015
  • Website

This annual drive through holiday light show is a tradition for many in the Central Ohio area! The show has been taking place for over 20 years and it also supports local charities and organizations!

97. Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

  • Address: 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065
  • Website
lit up trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo
Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

A favorite Columbus Christmas tradition, each holiday season the Columbus Zoo comes alive with LED lights, special performances and shows.

98. Hilltop Bean Dinner

The Hilltop Bean Dinner is a family friendly festival that remembers the role of Westgate Park in the Civil War. The park was the site of a prison camp, Camp Chase, and the festival offers some traditional food (like beans) but much more: food vendors, craft vendors, music and more!

99. The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre

Every year many people in Ohio look forward to BalletMet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker in the beautiful Ohio Theatre!

100. Columbus Food Truck Festival

  • Location: Franklin County Fairgrounds
  • Website

Check out the city’s best food trucks! This festival lasts 2 days and features food trucks and live music!

Buildings in Downtown Columbus, OH.
Downtown Columbus, Ohio

Whether your planning a trip or want to explore more of your hometown, tuck this list in your back pocket for the ultimate Columbus Bucket List!

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100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio
fun things to do in Columbus Ohio

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