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Fun Things to do in Columbus


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city guide

Columbus, Ohio is one of those cities that kind of has it all. Midwestern hospitality, affordability, tech jobs, beautyoh, and amazing ice cream. It's a great city to work and live in. Many tech workers are choosing to stay in or move to the city for amazing tech jobs in Columbus


Best time to go

Just as with other cities in the Midwest or the Northeast, conventional wisdom would indicate the best time to visit would be between mid-June to mid-September when, statistically speaking, Columbus enjoys the highest number of temperate days with little rainfall and cloud cover


Fun city facts and activities

    Columbus is the capital of Ohio with an approximate population of 900,000, as of 2015. Its first inhabitants were tribes known as the Mound Builders, who, over a period of 5,000 years, constructed earthen mounds of various styles for religious, ceremonial and burial purposes. The first permanent white settlers moved into the Midwest around the 1700s and elected to name the capital after the famous explorer Christopher Columbus.

    Columbus is famous for rather a lot; firstly for having one of the largest universities and (famous) football schools in North America, as well as being home to one of the countrys top zoos. It is also known for its best municipal park systems in the country, comprising of 16 parks spread over an area of 24,000.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Short North
    Italian Village
    Olde Towne East
    Victorian Village
    Merion Village
    Harrison West

Food Specialties

    Its not too much of stretch to label Columbus as a pretty food-centric city. There are two things we do remarkably well: hate other sports franchises and pack as many calories as humanly possible into one food dish. But there are some foods that pretty much define who we are. More than just well-known dishes, Columbus couldnt be the city it is without them. We put together the nine foods dearest to all of our tiny little beating buckeye hearts.

Columbus Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Check out the Urban Scrawl an annual art festival that features live music, street performance, and visual art.

2. Take a tour of the Columbus Idea Foundry a makerspace that offers classes and workshops in metalworking, woodworking, and more.

3. Explore the citys underground tunnels with the Columbus Underground Tour.

4. Visit the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens a beautiful park with lush gardens and greenhouse.

5. Catch a show at the Wexner Center for the Arts a contemporary art museum and performance space.

6. Experience the Night at the Museum event at the Columbus Museum of Art.

7. Explore the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium one of the countrys largest and most popular zoos.

8. Take a ghost tour of the city with Haunted Columbus.

9. Visit the Book Loft a 32

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1- Franklin Conservatory
Explore the beautiful gardens of Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. These gardens are home to a stunning collection of Chihuly glass found throughout the Conservatory. With a fun childrens garden and plenty of arts on display, this is a place for all ages.

2- The Escape Game
Older kids will love trying to beat the clock to escape one of the fun-themed rooms at the new Escape Game at the Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. Whether it is breaking out of Prison or an undersea laboratory these games will have everyone working as a team in an attempt to escape!

3- Columbus Art Museum
The Columbus Art Museum architecture is intriguing enough to visit; add in the spectacular collection of art to makes this the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Swing by the Wonder Room during your visit. The Wonder Room is an eclectic display of hands-on activities that are bound to spark imaginations.

4- Urban Air
Jump, fly, and soar as this adventure park offers more than trampolines. Ropes courses, sky flyers, climbing walls, and obstacle courses await, giving kids the energy burn they so desperately need. Smaller children will enjoy a play zone, foam pit, trampolines, and more.

5- Magic Mountain
Even if Magic Mountains signature putt-putt course is out of the picture due to inclement weather, step inside to try out the Lazer Maze, The Climbing Playland, and try your hand at a few arcade games. It is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

6- Ohio Railway Museum
While most of the museum is outdoors, I have to include the Ohio Railway Museum on this list because there is the opportunity to venture into exhibits and train rides. As one of the oldest railroad museums in America, this is not to be missed. The museum gives visitors a look at railroadings past through our exhibits, static equipment displays of electric traction and steam. They also offer rides on streetcars and the Pullman passenger car.

7- Legoland Discovery Center
It is easy to spend an entire day at Legoland Discovery Center. Legoland offers guests a wide variety of attractions, from rides to a 4D Cinema. In addition to many different areas for creative building, kids have the opportunity to meet their favorite Lego characters. Dont forget to go on a tour of the Lego Factory to see how these insanely popular bricks are made!

8-The Bookloft In The German Village
Deemed as the best book store in Ohio by many Ohioans, the Book Loft of German Village offers an unmatched selection of books. Thirty-two rooms make up this labyrinth bookstore offering more books than a local library. Shoppers love to browse all the rooms looking for the perfect book to take home.

9- The Ohio History Connection
This signature museum explores all things Ohio! A variety of exhibits, displays, and programs highlight various aspects of Ohios history. From ancient Native American artifacts to documenting the industrial process, the museum is full of intriguing facts. Many programs are offered online as well.

10- Experience Otherworld
A unique thing to do in Columbus, Ohio, would have to be visiting Otherworld. Envision a haunted house meets art museum. However, no one is popping out to scare you, but there are plenty of bizarre interactive displays.

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City data and FAQ 

Is Columbos worth visiting?
Yes. I lived in Columbus twice. If it were not for family matters, I would live there still. Columbus has all the attractions of a big city_ opera, symphony, theater, big name entertainment, and more. The pride and joy of Columbus is The Ohio State University. The location of Columbus is its central location_ one can be in anywhere in the state in 3 to 4 hours. The Ohio State Fair is a big attraction.
Margaret Hall DuPrey - Lives in Northeastern Ohio

Yes. I lived in Columbus twice. If it were not for family matters, I would live there still. Columbus has all the attractions of a big city_ opera, symphony, theater, big name entertainment, and more. The pride and joy of Columbus is The Ohio State University. The location of Columbus is its central location_ one can be in anywhere in the state in 3 to 4 hours. The Ohio State Fair is a big attraction.

Margaret Hall DuPey - Lives in Northeastern, OH (2019 Present)

What is Columbus known for?

The Ohio State University and Ohio State football are probably among the top. I've been in sports bars when I was in Phoenix Arizona where they were playing Ohio State Buckeyes games on TVs.
Dave L Lives in Columbus, OH (1992 Present)

Are two days enough to visit Columbus?

It depends upon the reason for the visit. Contrary to popular belief theres a lot to check out in Columbus including The Scioto Mile (riverfront walk); COSI; National Veterans Memorial and Museum; Columbus Museum of Art; The Ohio State Capitol and Supreme Court buildings; German Village, Italian Village and the Short North; The Ohio State University main campus; In season, professional soccer, baseball and hockey; The Columbus Zoo. Just to name a few. Its also worth at least a half day trip to the magnificent Hocking Hills.
PK Powell Lives in Ohio

Your call. It depends on why youre coming. While there are a lot of good things to see and do here, there isnt much you cant find in other cities of comparable size. The Scioto Mile and German Village are nice, but its not Venice. The state Capitol is pretty but its not really that unique. The Ohio History Center is a frequently underrated museum, IMHO. The art museum is okay but its not as good as the museums in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, or Toledo.
Robert Hill Lives in Columbus, OH

Not really, but it might be worth a try. Honestly, you have the state government buildings (which are really nice and rather magnificent the last time I saw them), the Ohio State University-Columbus campus, the shopping malls, the parks, the zoo, and a few dozen more things to visit and see. You cant do all those in 2 days, but you can stop and have a good time for a couple of days. That alone will be worth the effort.
Greg Ellis - Lives in Bristow/Tulsa, OK
Do you need a car to visit Columbus?

A car will make things somewhat easier, but Columbus has a great taxi service, good bus service, and good roads to get around on. The city takes steps to insure that the streets are in good shape, the police and people are good and happy to meet you and will deal fairly with you, the services are kept up in good repair, and there are good things to be seen and done everywhere in the city (for the most part). Columbus really is a nice city to visit and the people are good so long as you dont go there and act like a half-assed jerk. Expect to be treated fairly so long as you treat everyone you meet fairly.
Greg Ellis - Lives in Bristow/Tulsa, OK

You can easily amuse yourself for a day or two on High Street between downtown and the university. Its walkable and has good bus service for $2. You can get almost anywhere in town on the bus but it might take a while. If youre not renting a car Id budget for few rides on a ride share service.
Robert Hill Lives in Columbus, OH

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