Things to Do in Columbus Ohio: Exploring the Hidden Gems

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio

History Comes Alive

Step into the Ohio Statehouse, and you’ll immerse yourself in a living testament to history:

Discovering the Ohio Statehouse

One of the must-visit attractions in Columbus is the Ohio Statehouse. This magnificent building showcases stunning Greek Revival architecture and serves as the seat of Ohio’s government. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of the Statehouse and explore its impressive interiors.

Exploring the German Village

Step back in time by visiting the charming German Village. This historic neighborhood features brick-lined streets, beautifully restored homes, and quaint shops. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a meal at an authentic German restaurant, and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this vibrant community.

Uncovering the secrets of the Ohio History Center

The Ohio History Center is a treasure trove of knowledge for history enthusiasts. Explore fascinating exhibits that showcase Ohio’s past, from its native peoples and early settlers to its industrial revolution and beyond. Don’t miss the chance to see the famous “Lancaster Eagle” and the beautifully restored 1950s-era Lustron home.

Embracing Nature’s Beauty

Enjoying the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Escape into a world of natural beauty at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This oasis boasts many plant collections, stunning gardens, and captivating exhibitions. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, attend a horticulture class, or marvel at the exquisite glass artworks by Dale Chihuly.

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio

Relaxing at the Scioto Mile

The Scioto Mile is a picturesque riverfront park that offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. Take a walk or bike along the scenic trails, enjoy a picnic by the river, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning views. The park also hosts various events and concerts throughout the year.

Exploring the Hocking Hills State Park

If you’re up for an outdoor adventure, visiting the Hocking Hills State Park is a must. Located just a short drive from Columbus, this natural wonderland features breathtaking waterfalls, stunning rock formations, and miles of scenic hiking trails. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Hocking Hills will leave you awe-inspired.

Experiencing the Arts and Culture

Visiting the Columbus Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts will find solace at the Columbus Museum of Art, which houses an impressive American and European artwork collection. From classical masterpieces to contemporary installations, the museum offers diverse artistic expressions. Attend a guided tour or participate in one of the museum’s engaging workshops or lectures.

Immersing in creativity at the Short North Arts District

The Short North Arts District is a vibrant neighborhood renowned for its artistic energy and eclectic vibe. Explore the numerous galleries, boutiques, and street art installations that line the streets. Be sure to visit during the monthly Gallery Hop, where you can mingle with artists, enjoy live performances, and discover unique works of art.

Attending a performance at the Ohio Theatre

Step into the grandeur of the Ohio Theatre, a historic venue that showcases a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and ballets. Admire exquisite Spanish-Baroque architecture, marvel at the opulent interiors, and immerse yourself in the magic of live entertainment.

Sports and Recreation

Cheering for the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium

Sports fans can’t miss the opportunity to cheer for the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Witness the electric atmosphere as thousands of fans support their beloved team. Whether you’re an avid football fan or someone who appreciates the electrifying atmosphere of live sports, attending an Ohio State game day is an unparalleled experience.

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio

Watching a Columbus Blue Jackets game

If hockey is more your style, catch a Columbus Blue Jackets game at the Nationwide Arena. Join the passionate crowd and cheer on the home team as they battle it out on the ice. The thrilling atmosphere and fast-paced action will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Embracing outdoor activities at the Columbus Metro Parks

Columbus Metro Parks offers various outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. From hiking and biking trails to fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching, these parks provide the perfect escape into nature. Explore the serene landscapes, spot wildlife, and engage in recreational activities that promote health and wellness.

Family-Friendly Fun

Having a blast at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

For a day of family-friendly fun and interactive learning, head to COSI. This science center features engaging exhibits, hands-on activities, and a planetarium that will delight visitors of all ages. Unleash your curiosity, conduct experiments, and embark on an educational journey through the wonders of science.

Exploring the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Home to over 10,000 animals worldwide, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a must-visit destination for animal lovers. Witness captivating animal encounters, explore diverse habitats, and learn about wildlife conservation. Remember to catch a live show at the zoo’s renowned Jack Hanna’s Animal Encounters Village.

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio Exploring the Hidden Gems

Taking a trip to the Columbus Children’s Theatre

Introduce your little ones to the magic of live theater at the Columbus Children’s Theatre. Watch classic stories come to life on stage, and let their imaginations soar. The theater offers a range of productions designed specifically for young audiences, providing an enchanting and unforgettable experience.

Culinary Delights

Savoring the flavors of the North Market

Foodies will rejoice at the North Market, a culinary hub that combines diverse flavors and cuisines. Explore the market’s vibrant stalls and indulge in gourmet treats, fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and international delicacies. From savory to sweet, the North Market is a haven for gastronomic adventures.

Indulging in local cuisine at the German Village

Experience the tastes of the German Village by dining at one of its many charming restaurants. From hearty bratwurst and schnitzel to mouthwatering pastries and craft beers, the culinary offerings here will transport you to the heart of Germany. Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality and rich flavors of this historic neighborhood.

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio

Discovering diverse dining options in the Short North

The Short North boasts a vibrant food scene with various dining options to suit every palate. This neighborhood is a haven for food lovers, from trendy cafes and upscale bistros to international cuisine and farm-to-table delights. Explore the culinary landscape, savor delectable dishes, and embark on a culinary journey of flavors.

Shopping Spree

Exploring the Easton Town Center

Indulge in a shopping spree at the Easton Town Center, a premier retail destination in Columbus. This open-air mall features a blend of high-end boutiques, popular brands, specialty stores, and entertainment options. Whether you’re searching for fashion, home decor, or unique gifts, Easton Town Center offers a diverse shopping experience.

Browsing unique boutiques in the Short North

For a more eclectic and artsy shopping experience, wander through the boutiques and galleries of the Short North. Discover one-of-a-kind treasures, handmade crafts, and unique fashion finds. Support local artisans and immerse yourself in the creative spirit that defines this vibrant neighborhood.

Hunting for bargains at the Tanger Outlets Columbus

If you’re searching for great deals and discounts, head to the Tanger Outlets Columbus. This outlet mall features a wide range of brand-name stores offering discounted clothing, accessories, home goods, and more prices. Shop till you drop and score some fantastic bargains.

Festivals and Events

Celebrating creativity at the Columbus Arts Festival

The Columbus Arts Festival celebrates creativity, showcasing the works of talented artists nationwide. Explore the outdoor art galleries, watch live demonstrations, and purchase unique artwork to add to your collection. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and be inspired by the artistic expressions on display.

Things to Do in Columbus Ohio

Enjoying live music at the Jazz & Rib Fest

The Jazz & Rib Fest is a not-to-be-missed event for music enthusiasts and barbecue lovers. Indulge in mouthwatering ribs from some of the best BBQ vendors while enjoying live jazz performances from renowned musicians. The festival offers a perfect blend of savory flavors and soulful tunes.

Experiencing the Ohio State Fair

End your summer with a visit to the Ohio State Fair, a special annual event showcasing Ohio’s best. Enjoy thrilling rides, enjoy fair food favorites, watch exciting performances, and explore exhibits and competitions. The fair offers fun and entertainment for the whole family.


Columbus, Ohio, is a city with its rich history, diverse culture, and abundance of attractions. From exploring its historic landmarks and immersing in the arts to embracing nature’s beauty and embracing the city’s vibrant culinary scene, Columbus, Ohio, offers a wealth of experiences for visitors and residents alike. 


What are some unique hidden gems in Columbus, Ohio?

Columbus is home to several hidden gems worth exploring. Some of the unique hidden gems include the Book Loft, a charming bookstore with 32 rooms of literary treasures, and the Topiary Park, which features stunning topiary sculptures recreating Georges Seurat’s famous painting “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”

Are there any outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts in Columbus?

Absolutely! Columbus offers a range of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. You can go kayaking or paddleboarding on the Scioto River, zip-lining through the treetops at ZipZone Canopy Tours, or try your hand at rock climbing at Vertical Adventures.

What are some family-friendly attractions in Columbus, Ohio?

Columbus has plenty of family-friendly attractions to enjoy. COSI, the Center of Science and Industry, offers interactive exhibits and educational experiences for kids of all ages. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is another popular destination, where families can get up close to a wide variety of animals.

Where can I find the best shopping in Columbus, Ohio?

For a premier shopping experience, visit Easton Town Center, which boasts a wide range of stores, from high-end boutiques to popular brands. If you’re looking for bargains, check out the Tanger Outlets Columbus, where you can find discounted prices on various items.

What is the best time to visit Columbus, Ohio?

The best time to visit Columbus is during the summer months when the weather is warm and many outdoor festivals and events take place. However, each season has its charm, and Columbus offers activities and attractions throughout the year, so it ultimately depends on your personal preferences.



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