Columbus: the Heart of Ohio

60 Days of Summer Columbus OH Fun Activities To Do

Columbus is a wonderful, livable city right in the heart of Ohio. We are blessed with a wealth of beautiful natural resources, rich in arts and culture, and surrounded by affordable and comfortable communities filled with good neighbors. Friendly people, fun places to visit, and there is so much to do here. We love Columbus, and hope you have enjoyed your summertime adventures in exploring our fine city!

While this summer is ending, many of the places we invited you to visit through our 60 Days of Summer posts are great places to see, play, and enjoy all year round…we hope this list of fun family destinations keeps you and your children busy, happy, and discovering the Central Ohio area for many months to come.

Thank you for taking this voyage of discovery with us!

Sue Lusk-Gleich and The Columbus Team

Check mate! Here’s a strategy to keep the kids busy

60 Days of Summer Columbus OH Fun Activities To Do
Bring your chess set, board game or laptop for a quiet tabletop game on the Promenade of the Scioto Mile after running and playing in the rest of the park.

Bicentennial Park is a downtown park boasting a fountain, park restaurant, and performance pavilion as well as flower gardens and the Promenade.

John W. Galbreath Bicentennial Park by Pina Triplett

The Promenade is a lovely wide paved walking trail that connects Battelle Riverfront Park with Bicentennial Park. There are swings, canals, and tables for board games or chess lining the walkway, and beautiful gardens and trees, too. This is a fantastic place to walk, river gaze, swing, chat and relax on summer days, especially with that cool river breeze blowing the city heat away!

The AEP Foundation Fountain is a stunning interactive fountain, with splash features for children, and lighting and fog effects at night. Fountain shows are actually scheduled throughout the summer. Pets are not permitted, and children under 8 must have an adult with them…and a word to the wise, the water is recycled so it’s not for sipping.

Mile 229 is the Park Restaurant, which offers views of the riverfront and fountain. While pricey, the food is delicious and the excellent staff is very accommodating of well-behaved children. Pets not permitted.

The performance pavilion is host to free music, dance and theatrical performance presented by Columbus Parks and Rec, and is available for rent for events.

This park is another of our summer sweethearts but is worth visiting three seasons a year. Only in the cold winters is it too frigid for real enjoyment.

Bicentennial Park
233 Civic Center Drive
Columbus, OH 43215

Photo Credit: Pina Triplett

Trains, Trains, TRAINS! at the Ohio Railway Museum

60 Days of Summer Columbus OH Fun Activities To Do

For those families with avid trainspotters, railway enthusiasts, and Thomas the Tank Engine’s best friends, this is the afternoon for you! For a small admission, you get to view exhibits on the history of rail travel in Worthington, and Central Ohio, and you can climb aboard the “Big Three”…steam, electric, and diesel trains. For train lovers, this is heaven!

ohio-railway-museum-focht-flickrThe price of admission includes rides on their streetcars and their Pullman passenger cars! Honestly, this is a fun afternoon even for those of us who just count the cars at railroad crossings. Come and explore a whole century of rail travel, and learn.

Open Sundays only from 12-4. Admission is $9.00 for Adults, $7.00 for Seniors and Military with ID, and $8.00 for kids 4 and older. Children under 3 are FREE.

Please check their website or facebook page for up-to-date hours and prices.

Ohio Railway Museum
990 Proprietors Road
Worthington, OH 43017

Photo Credit

Come play in the heart of Columbus!

60 Days of Summer Columbus OH Fun Activities To Do

Columbus Commons is located in the center of Columbus, where City Center Mall used to be. Bounded by State and Rich Streets, and South Third and High Streets, this park is easily accessible to all. The perfect urban park is a great place to bring your family to play any day of the week. There’s so many ways to play in the Commons: Run on the grass, ride the carousel, enjoy bocce ball, pretend Columbus Commons Carouselyou’re in an adventure story on the life-sized chess set, experience the electronic playground called NEOS, and even settle in with a good book in the outdoor reading room (an outdoor free library) for quieter play with your favorite storybook characters!

The Bicentennial Pavilion offers outdoor performance space, the vendor area houses seasonal businesses with something delicious to eat, beautiful gardens are maintained by the Franklin Park Conservatory, events happen almost daily throughout the warmer months, and there is even underground parking! Everything you could ask for in an outdoor play-space in the heart of our fine city.

The Commons is open every day for families to play. Looking for something more structured? Check the website for current events and attend a concert, food truck gathering, or theater presentations.

Stand nose-to-nose with a famous Indian Chief at Scioto Park

60 Days of Summer Columbus OH Fun Activities To Do

leatherlipsThis Dublin City Park features the Leatherlips sculpture, which kids can climb the grassy hill and stand on, while they learn about this great historical leader from Ohio’s past. The rock sculpture of Chief Leatherlips is impressive, and stands next to an outdoor amphitheater that often hosts free concerts, dance, and theatrical performances throughout the summer.

Scioto Park also boasts 3 reservable picnic shelters, restrooms, an outdoor amphitheater, river landing, ADA accessible fishing pier, playground, volleyball, and wooded trail. Leashed pets are welcome. Parking is free and ample, and is close to the ADA accessible playground. Some of the swings and equipment on the playground are accessible for children with a variety of disabilities, and the river landing is also ADA accessible.

The wooded trail is easy and mostly level, although not fully paved. The river landing offers fishing with a valid Ohio fishing license, and interaction with local fish and waterfowl.

Truly a four-season Dublin City Park, this park boasts one of the area’s most popular sledding hills in winter, weather permitting.

Scioto Park
7377 Riverside Drive
Dublin, OH 43217

Photo Credit: Cletch