Are you planning a trip to Columbus with your family and feel overwhelmed? We’ve made it easy for you by sharing fun things to do in Columbus Ohio with kids which include some of our favorite spots.
Things to do with the Family in Columbus
1. The Topiary Park
We discovered this gem quite a few years ago and it’s become a fun stop to visit annually. Step inside this green masterpiece to become part of A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte, a painting by George Seurat. This free location is a great green space in downtown Columbus to relax for a few minutes and people watch.
Address: 480 E Town St, Columbus
Phone Number: 614-645-0197
Hours: Daily 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The World’s Largest Gavel is nearby at the Ohio Supreme Court Building which offers tours that share the judicial process of Ohio while highlighting the art and architectural features of the building.
2. The Field of Corn
Not technically located inside the city limits, you’ll find this public art display in Dublin, a nearby suburb. A great location to stop and shoot a few photos, or a fun stop on a road trip to stretch your legs, you won’t want to miss this cornfield in the middle of an urban sprawl. Find more things to do in Dublin here——> Explore Historic Dublin: From Fairy Doors to Irish Lore and More
Address: 4995 Rings Rd, Dublin
Phone Number: 614-410-4550
Hours: Open 24 Hours
3. The Book Loft of the German Village
Readers and book lovers will enjoy this stop in this historic neighborhood. The Book Loft, housed in a Victorian-style building, features 32 rooms full of books. A word of caution- this is not the location to turn your kids loose. If you want to find them again, that is. This bookstore is huge and is easy to get turned around in. Grab a map when you enter the store and prepare to spend some time navigating the aisles in search of the perfect read.
Address: 631 S 3rd St, Columbus
Phone Number: 614-464-1774
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Cost: Free to enter
Tip: The German Village is a destination in itself. Take time to wander the brick-lined streets, stroll through Schiller Park (which offers free plays in the park during the summer) and grab a coffee and pastry at Pistacia Vera or enjoy lunch at Katzinger’s Delicatessen (you’ll find parking behind the deli).
4. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
This large attraction guarantees a fun-filled day for the family and offers plenty to do. The complex features a new water park, Zoombezi Bay, in addition to the zoo and aquarium. Highlights for my family include feeding the stingray, watching the manatee and walking along a kangaroo strewn path. The zoo also features additional programming throughout the year like Boo at the Zoo and Wildlights.
Address: 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell
Phone Number: 614-645-3400
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (summer hours)
Cost: See website for current pricing and options
5. The Ohio History Center and Ohio Village
History lovers can spend a couple hours touring the museum exploring exhibits pertaining to Ohio history before traveling back in time to the 1860’s in the Ohio Village (during the summer and special events). Don’t miss your chance to walk through a Lustron home which was manufactured in Columbus in the 1950’s.
Address: 800 E. 17th Ave, Columbus
Phone Number: 614-97-2300
Hours: Wednesday -Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Cost: $12/Adults; $10/Seniors; $10/College Student (with ID); $6/Youth (4-12); Free for Ohio History Connection Members and Child (3 & under)
Tip: The Ohio History Center is part of the Ohio History Connection which includes nearly 60 historic attractions throughout the state of Ohio. Pick up a FREE passport and collect stamps and learn fun trivia at each location.
Interactive exhibits, a planetarium and live shows, COSI or Center of Science and Technology provides families an opportunity to learn about science in a fun way. Favorites of the museum include the Ocean where you can meet Poseidon and climb in a mini-sub and Progress where you learn how much can change in the world in a span of 64 years. New to 2018 is the Dinosaur Gallery, a partnership with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Address: 333 W Broad St, Columbus
Phone Number: 614-228-2674
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults (ages 13+); $25, Youth (2-12); $20
7. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden
Travel around the world and through several continents and biomes from the Himalayas to the desert without leaving the city. You’ll see over 400 species of plants displayed indoors. Other features of the property include the Palm House, built in 1895 and art installations by Dale Chihuly.
Address: 1777 E Broad St, Columbus
Phone Number: 614-715-8000
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults (13-59); $18, Seniors (60+); $15, Children (2-12); $11
8. Columbus Art Museum
With a large collection of 19th and 20th-century American modern art, guests can use their cell phones to learn more about the exhibits and art pieces for a special guided tour of the museum. The museum recently underwent a large expansion and added a new wing.
Address: 480 E Broad St, Columbus
Phone Number: 614- 221-6801
Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday and Friday- Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Adults; $14, Seniors (60+) and Students (18)+; $8, Students (6-17); $5, Children 5 and under; FREE
Tip: Save money on your stop when you visit Thursday evening between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m to pay only $5 or visit on the weekend to maximize your savings when the museum is FREE to everyone.
9. The Ohio Statehouse
Ohio residents and visitors to the state will enjoy touring the elaborate Ohio Statehouse. Free guided tours are available of the interior of the Ohio Statehouse and cell phone tours are available of the monuments on the grounds.
Address: 1 Capitol Square, Columbus
Phone Number: 614-752-9777
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
10. Buca di Beppo
Buca di Beppo offers authentic Italian cuisine in an eclectic, vintage setting. With locations on North Front Street and East Wilson Bridge in Columbus, Buca provides the perfect spot to relax after a day of exploration in Ohio’s Capital. Buca’s family-style dishes are perfect for celebrations and groups of all sizes.
Address: 343 N Front St, Columbus
Phone Number: 614-621-3287
Hours: Monday- Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tip: Sign up for the Buca di Beppo newsletter a few days before you plan to visit and you can receive a free pasta.
What suggestions would you add to my list of things to do in Columbus with kids?
More Tips for things to do in Columbus and the surrounding area:
This post was updated on 7/17/2018.
© 2018, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.