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Culture, Gateway, Summer, Travel, Travel Adventures, Vacation,

15 Best things to do in Columbus OHIO (Summer 2024)

Columbus, the capital of the state of  Ohio is the most populous city in Ohio, and 2nd in the Midwest, the 1st being Chicago. Columbus is not just any city, but a hidden gem waiting to be explored in summertime like any other city in the US. Columbus is very lively and there are a lot of things to do. From festivals, sports events, and concerts there are so many fun things to do. Let me take you on an extraordinary tour of Columbus, where every corner tells a story of the best things and experiences that bring a new adventure. Ready? Grab your sunglasses, and sunscreen, and let’s dive into the heart of the Buckeye state. 

Franklin Park Conservatory

Begin your Columbus adventure at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  This great place is not just a garden; it’s beautiful artwork. There is a lot to do at this place surrounded by lush landscapes, with butterflies gardens and exotic plants that look like they’ve stepped out of a fairy tale.  There is also a famous Chihuly exhibition, here you will get an opportunity to enjoy the famous work of Dale Chihuly, an American glass artist, who is well-known in the field of blown glass. The Franklin Park Conservatory is one of the best places to visit in Columbus, it has a lot of things to offer. There is also are different events and activities such as gardening classes, culinary classes, cocktail nights, and many more.

German Village

Visit the cobblestone streets of German Village full of history. This unique neighborhood is like stepping back in time where modern cafes are located within centuries-old buildings. The architecture in this place is amazing if you are into it you can stroll the streets to see some stunning homes. On summer weekends there is  Shakespeare in the Park at Schiller Park.  Take advantage of The Book Loft, a literary labyrinth that promises the perfect find for book lovers, and also its amazing environment. You can hop on German Village Tours where you will get an opportunity to hear the stories behind every door of German Village. There is only one tour company, German Village Tours so it will be good if you plan.

 The Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art is your next stop. It’s a place where creativity knows no bounds and has large collections from classic masterpieces to contemporary wonders. Interactive exhibits invite you to become part of the art, making each visit unique. There are several summer events such as Summer Art Workshop, Summer Camp, and many more. Check out the events calendar here.

COSI

Science doesn’t have to be boring like everybody thinks, COSI (Center of Science and Industry) is a science museum that doesn’t just display things,  it engages and educates with hands-on exhibits that make you feel like a kid again. Whether you’re exploring outer space or the depths of the ocean, it’s a reminder that learning is an adventure.  COSI has many special events happening such as COSI After Dark and also special exhibitions.  Check more here for the events calendar.

Easton Town Center

If retail therapy is on your agenda, Easton Town Center won’t disappoint. This open-air shopping has top-notch dining with entertainment and shopping from around the globe. It’s more than a mall; it’s a day out in itself. Here you can enjoy live music and events that are scheduled to keep the whole family entertained. Easton also has some high-end designer stores and fancy restaurants that you can try. The kids can also enjoy this place by going to the movies, a visit to Legoland  Discovery Center Easton Town Center is usually crowded, especially in the summertime.

The Scioto Mile

Want to be more outdoors? The Scioto Mile offers lush parks and interactive fountains along the Scioto River. It’s the perfect spot for a stroll, a picnic, or just to watch the world go by. There are always different special events during summer that you can check out.  The parks at the Scioto Mile include Battelle Riverfront Park, Bicentennial Park, Genoa Park, North Bank Park, Alexander  Millenium Park.

Short North Arts District

a street sign on a pole on a city street

The Short North Arts District is where culture, cuisine, and creativity come alive. There are a lot of things to do such as visiting art galleries, gourmet restaurants, and boutiques.  There is gallery hop every first Saturday of the month, and different activities such as live music, paint and sip, and many more. The short North Art District is not far from the downtown area, so you can always check out what’s going on there.

Columbus Zoo

polar bear swimming under water in a ocean park

Animal lovers, prepare for a wild ride at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. From the jungles of Asia to the plains of Africa, it’s a global safari in Ohio. The zoo is a testament to conservation and education, all while providing endless fun for visitors of all ages. The zoo is usually so busy during summer you can even tell from the traffic that heading there.  There are different events scheduled during the summer.

Huntington Park

Embrace the spirit of America’s pastime at Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers. There’s something about a baseball game on a summer evening. Enjoying hot dogs and nachos and a side of Perry’s Frozen custard, brownies, or creamsicle float. Even if it’s your first time here, guarantee you will enjoy it because of its good vibe.

 Zoombezi Bay

And because no summer is complete without some water fun, Zoombezi Bay is your go-to for thrills and chills. With water slides and a wave pool, you will have a great time paying a visit to this water park.  It’s a refreshing way to beat the heat and add excitement to your Columbus visit. The water park is usually very busy during summer, so plan your visit.

North Market 

Dive into the heart of local life at the North Market Farmer’s Market. This isn’t just any market; it’s a bustling hub of farmers, bakers, and artisans all sharing their passion and produce with the community. Taste your way through local specialties, from artisan cheeses to freshly baked pastries, and experience the vibrant atmosphere that makes Saturday mornings here a special affair. 

Scioto Audubon Metro Park

For those who love the great outdoors, the Scioto Audubon Metro Park is the best place to be this summer. Offering miles of trails, wall/rock climbing, volleyball, bocce courts, and many more. it’s a place where nature lovers can enjoy the beauty of central Ohio’s landscapes. There are also picnic tables that you set up for your family and friends for a picnic or even a date. 

 

The Columbus Commons

Columbus Commons is a dynamic centerpiece of downtown Columbus, offering over six acres of lush lawns, beautiful gardens, and a carousel that delights both the young and the young at heart. It’s a place where the community comes together for free concerts, live performances, outdoor movies, and yoga in the park.  There are also some food trucks there where you can enjoy different cuisines and pastries.

The Ohio State University Campus

Explore the sprawling campus of The Ohio State University, the best place of education, innovation, and Buckeye pride. Take a guided tour to discover historic buildings, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the spirited atmosphere that defines college life here. Whether or not you’re a fan of college football, a visit to the iconic Ohio Stadium also known as “The Shoe” is the must-visit. The shoe is also the venue for the Buckeye Country Festival.

Bicentennial Park and the Scioto Mile Fountain

Cap off your Columbus journey at Bicentennial Park, particularly around the Scioto Mile Fountain, one of the city’s most picturesque spots. It’s not just a fountain; it’s a summertime playground that invites kids and adults alike to cool off in its refreshing sprays. With the stunning backdrop of the city skyline, it’s the perfect place to relax, enjoy an ice cream, and reflect on your Columbus adventures.

 

Bonus:  Also don’t miss out on a list of summer festival events around town.  These are several famous summer events; the Jazz & Ribs Festival this is July, the Columbus Arts Festival, the Buckeye Country Super Fest in June, the Food Trucks Festival in August, and many more.

 

There you have it—15 incredible spots that make Columbus, Ohio, a place to experience in the summer of 2024. From the amazing botanical gardens to the live energy of downtown streets, Columbus is a city that promises something for everyone. So why wait? Start planning your journey to this amazing city today and prepare to be captivated by its charm, culture, and endless possibilities for adventure.