10 Fun Things to Do in Columbus, OH: The Ultimate Guide to Fun and Adventure

Updated on June 8th, 2023

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Thinking about moving to Columbus, OH? You’re in luck because there’s no shortage of fun things to do in this vibrant city. Whether you’re just starting your search for apartments for rent in Columbus or you’re lived in the city for a few years, you’ll have no problem finding fun things to do. If you’re not sure where to start, Redfin went ahead and found some fun things to do in Columbus with a little help from the locals.  Let’s get started.

overhead view of columbus ohio at sunset

1. Host an event at The Event Loft Venue & Trap House

The Event Loft Venue & Trap House is a popular event space in Columbus, Ohio. The venue offers a unique and versatile setting for a wide range of events, including weddings, corporate events, and private parties. The space is characterized by its exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and industrial-chic decor. 

With a capacity of up to 300 guests, the Event Loft Venue & Trap House is a spacious and accommodating choice for events of all sizes. In addition to its main event space, the venue also features a fully equipped kitchen, bridal suite, and VIP lounge area. 

2. Check out the Arnold Sports Festival

Todd Johnson of United Strength, a Columbus gym, recommends checking out the Arnold Sports Festival. This annual multi-sport event takes place in Columbus, Ohio and is named after the famous bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

The festival features a wide range of sports and activities, including bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, martial arts, gymnastics, and many others. The festival attracts athletes from all over the world, as well as spectators who come to watch the competitions and enjoy the various exhibits and activities. The Arnold Sports Festival is a celebration of fitness, strength, and athleticism and is a must-see event for anyone interested in sports and fitness.

group posing in front of a helicopter in columbus
Photo by Columbus Helicopter Tours

3. Enjoy an aerial view of Columbus with a helicopter tour

Columbus Helicopter Tours is a premier aviation company based in Columbus, OH, that offers breathtaking aerial tours of the city’s skyline and surrounding areas. With a fleet of modern and well-maintained helicopters and experienced pilots, Columbus Helicopter Tours provides a unique and unforgettable experience for tourists and locals alike. 

Their tours offer a bird’s-eye view of the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Ohio Statehouse, Ohio Stadium, and the Scioto River. Whether it’s a romantic sunset tour or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Columbus Helicopter Tours is a must-try for anyone looking to see Columbus from a new perspective.

4. Shop fresh produce at a local farmer’s market

The Worthington Farmers Market in Columbus, OH, is a beloved community hub for all things fresh and local. Held every Saturday from May to October, the market features a vibrant selection of seasonal produce, artisanal crafts, and homemade goods. 

Locals can expect to find a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and specialty items like artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and handmade soaps. The market also hosts live music and other entertainment, making it a fun and lively destination for families and foodies alike. With its focus on supporting local farmers and small businesses, the Worthington Farmers Market has become a beloved institution in the Columbus community.

“The diversity of vendors makes it so the market has something for everyone,” says Duncan Forbes of Columbus-based North Country Charcuterie.

5. Take a trip through the Short North Art District

“The art and soul of the city, the Short North Arts District, is unique and woven into the culture of Columbus,” says Cam Tirado of Experience Columbus. “Known for being welcoming, inclusive, and vibrant, the Short North was named one of Matador’s nine best gay-friendly cities in the U.S. and the community lives for LGBTQIA+ acceptance and representation.” 

“With its historic lighted arches lining High Street, the Short North got its name back in the day because of its position north of downtown Columbus and short of the University District,” continues Tirado. “Today, it’s home to 300+ businesses, many of which are locally owned or headquartered, like restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, DIY food and fun experiences, rooftop bars, and entertainment options.”

6. Visit the Dublin Irish Festival

The Dublin Irish Festival is one of the highlights of summer in Columbus. The festival takes place annually in the Dublin area and celebrates Irish culture and heritage with various events, performances, and activities. Visitors can enjoy traditional Irish music and dance performances, taste authentic Irish cuisine, and shop for Irish-made crafts and products at the Marketplace. 

“The Dublin Irish Festival is the nation’s largest Irish festival, featuring Irish dance, music, art, and culture from around Columbus, the US, and Ireland,” says Lisa Busch of Prime Tours, a local tour operator.

The festival also features cultural exhibits, storytelling, and workshops that provide insights into Irish history and traditions. Children can participate in a range of kid-friendly activities and games at the Wee Folk Area. 

budd dairy food hall in columbus ohio
Photo by Samantha Curtis

7. Grab a bite at Budd Dairy Food Hall

Budd Dairy Food Hall is a popular culinary destination in the Italian Village neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Housed in a beautifully restored dairy factory, this food hall features ten unique and diverse vendors offering a wide range of delicious food and drinks. 

Budd Dairy Food Hall has something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for Korean-style fried chicken, handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza, or craft cocktails.

According to Samantha Curtis of the Samantha Show, there’s a bar with table games on the second floor and a rooftop bar open 365 days a year on the third.

The industrial-chic interior design and lively atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a night out with friends or a fun family outing. With a rotating selection of events and live music performances, there’s always something new and exciting happening at Budd Dairy Food Hall.

8. Attend the annual Columbus Arts Festival

The Columbus Arts Festival is an annual celebration of art and culture in the heart of downtown Columbus. The three-day festival attracts artists from around the country who display their work in mediums such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, and jewelry. Attendees can purchase original pieces of art, interact with artists, and even watch live demonstrations of their craft. 

In addition to visual art, the festival also features live music performances, dance shows, and other entertainment options. Indulge in a variety of delicious foods from local vendors and participate in family-friendly activities such as face painting and art projects. The festival is held in June and takes place along the scenic riverfront, offering a beautiful backdrop for the vibrant and colorful event.

9. Catch a concert or show at the historic Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre is a historic and beautiful venue located in the heart of the city, Ohio. Built in 1926, this opulent theater is one of the most beautiful places in Columbus and boasts a stunning interior that features intricate plasterwork, murals, and a grand chandelier. The Palace Theatre has hosted a variety of performances throughout the years, from Broadway shows to concerts and comedy acts. 

Locals can attend shows and events throughout the year, and the theater offers a range of seating options from the orchestra level to the balcony. In addition to the main stage, the Palace Theatre also has a lower-level lounge area where guests can relax before or after the show. The Palace Theatre offers a unique and memorable experience that combines history, culture, and entertainment.

10. Cheer on the Ohio State Buckeyes at a football game

Attending an Ohio State football game is a must-do activity for anyone inColumbus, Ohio during the fall season. The excitement and energy surrounding a Buckeyes game is hard to match, with over 100,000 fans filling Ohio Stadium to cheer on their team. 

The atmosphere is electric, with tailgaters lining the streets and campus before the game, and the marching band putting on a thrilling performance during halftime. The Ohio State football team has a rich history of success, with multiple national championships and conference titles under their belt. Even if you’re not a die-hard football fan, attending a Buckeyes game is an unforgettable experience that captures the spirit and passion of the Ohio State community. 

A final word on things to do in Columbus, OH

There are so many reasons Columbus, Ohio is a good place to live, and the increasing number of fun things to do is definitely near the top of the list. From annual festivals and thrilling football games to delicious food options and amazing event spaces, you’re guaranteed to have a great time in Columbus.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Chibuzo Ezeokeke

Chibuzo is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about local insights and home improvement. His dream home is a Mediterranean-style house with a large kitchen and plenty of windows.

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