Tuesday, June 5, 2018

10 Things To Do in Columbus This Summer

In 2015, Columbus was rated #3 in the Top Cities for Millennials by Time Magazine. In 2016, Columbus was #7 on the Top Cities for Young Professionals list from Forbes. As a young professional AND millennial, these statistics just validate that I made the right decision in moving to Columbus. As summer approaches, so does the season for exploring. 

It is so weird thinking that this will be my second summer in Columbus. Last summer, all I did was work so I didn't really have much time to adventure. This summer, I'm determined to get out of my bubble a little more and check out all of the awesome things Columbus has to offer.

If you're looking for things to do this summer, here are ten ideas to get you started. (All of these events are young adult/millennial-friendly, because to-do lists aren't just for mommy bloggers.)

     Working Downtown
What kind of young adult would I be if I wasn't working? With my new job in full swing, I'll be busy from 8AM to 5PM. While working might not sound like the most fun thing ever, there are perks to working downtown. One of those perks being that I'm already downtown if anything is going on in the evening hours. With the new COTA C-Pass program, I can get anywhere I want via bus. The C-Bus is another free option for anyone between the Short North and German Village.

One of my big "plans" is to take the bus down closer to the river, and sit and read while avoiding rush hour traffic. Sounds like a good idea to me.

There are so many festivals in Columbus (and Ohio in general). Summer just happens to be the season when all my favorite festivals are happening.

Catch me at:
    • Arts Festival (June 8-10)
    • Food and Wine Festival (June 29-30)
    • Jazz and Rib Fest (July 20-22)
    • Food Truck Festival (August 17-18)
    • Fashion Meets Music Festival (August 17-18)
    • Greek Festival (August 31-September 3)

     Free Fitness Classes on the Columbus Commons
Now that I'm downtown, I don't have an excuse to not go to these FREE fitness classes. Classes are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays throughout the summer. The first session of classes is ending on June 9th, but they will be back on July 31 for a second session, which I'll hopefully be more inspired to go to.

For the complete class schedule, click here.

     Exploring the Metro Parks
When people ask me what my hobbies are, "trail walking" is up on that list. I have a habit of finding parks and trails to explore by myself but wishing I had a companion to help me document the journey. Columbus has so many parks and trails, the adventures are endless. I've already checked a couple of these parks off my list, but that doesn't mean I can't go back, and you bet your ass I will.

     Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay
I've already been to the zoo once this summer, but that won't stop me from going back again. I do need to check Zoombeezi Bay off of my "Columbus Bucket List" still, and this summer might be time for it.

     Farmers Markets
Summer is also Farmers Market season. I love supporting local growers and producers and getting fruits and veggies straight from the source. Findlay Market, down in Cincinnati, will always have a special place in my heart, but now that I'm in Columbus, I'd rather stay local. Here are a couple of my favorite market close to me (some of which are just opening for the season), but there are a ton all around the city.

     Outdoor Movies
NightLight 614 has a nice lineup of movies for the summer. These events are 21+ and feature local food trucks, alcohol, and the best view of the city. Sadly, these events are not free, but tickets can be purchased for $9 in advanced and $15 day of. Not a bad price for a date night movie under the stars.

Check out this summer's movie line up here.

     Red, White, and Boom
I've heard so many mixed reviews about Red, White, and Boom. Tons of people, lots of music, a killer firework show, it sounds like the perfect way to spend the night before Independence Day. Critics will say that there are too many people and if you've seen it once, you've seen it a million times. Since the event is a Tuesday night and I'll be downtown, I might as well go. Hoping to see you there.

     Columbus Clippers and Crew Games
I don't know what it is about sports games, but the vibe of the crowd really gets me going. Whether it's minor league baseball and "Dime A Dog" nights or watching major league soccer and screaming my head off, I love watching sports in person so much more than on TV.

Plus, I need to go to more Crew games before they leave Columbus forever.

     Canoeing and Kayaking
Ever since I moved here, kayaking on the Olentangy was something I wanted to do. I didn't get a chance to do it last summer, but this year, I'm determined. I've even been doing some research on different kayak and canoe rental places so that I can do all of the trails and eventually give my own recommendations to other adventure seekers.

Trapper John's was recommended to me by a coworker. It's down on the south side of Columbus, and prices per canoe / kayak range from $18 to $25, which is totally affordable. The trails that they have can take anywhere from 2-4 hours and seem to be very scenic and naturistic.

Paddle In The City is another option I'm looking into. The concept of paddling down the river through the heart of downtown is very appealing. The single kayak is $25 and the double is $40. (I think Alec is going to convince me to do a double kayak, hopefully I don't paddle us off a cliff.)

So many adventures this summer, I can't wait to check things off of this list. Make sure you're following me on Instagram and stay tuned for updates!

Also, shoutout to Molly Meddock Photography for these lovely portraits, taken in Homestead Park, Hilliard.


  1. I love this! I don't live in Ohio but my boyfriend is from there so we're near Columbus a couple times a year! I'll have to keep these in mind for our visit this year. I love a good farmer's market!

  2. I love all of these ideas! I might have to take a road-trip down to Cbus this summer :).

  3. This list is so helpful, I'm actually going to Columbus for this first time this summer for a wedding! Looking forward to exploring your city!
    XO | easilyinspired-blog.com

  4. This makes me want to make a summer trip to Columbus! I've heard such great things about the Columbus Zoo.