The arrival of spring brings with it a wealth of opportunities for exploration and fun. After all, Ohio winters can be brutal. If you’ve been cooped up all winter and itching for a chance to get outside, there are a lot of spring things to do in Columbus & Central Ohio.
No matter where you go in the Buckeye State, there’s always plenty of fun to do in Ohio during spring. But, if you’re staying home for spring break or looking for spring activities, you’re sure to have fun in Central Ohio.
Attend a Spring Festival in Columbus & Central Ohio
Ohio is hopping with festivals in springtime, and Central Ohio is no exception. If you’re looking for some festival fun this spring, consider attending these awesome festivals.
This weeklong event has been a regular event in Columbus and at Ohio State University. You can watch cultural awareness programs, poetry and talent showcases, an annual Gospel Fest, and more.
Billed as the nation’s largest multisport festival, it brings together more than 20,000 athletes from 80 nations to compete in 70 sports. Athletes and sports fans can see everything from bodybuilding, boxing, and more.
There’s no better excuse to get outside than this festival at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. You can wander through beautiful collections of tropical plants and see exotic, colorful butterflies by the hundreds.
Fans of beer can enjoy more than 150 beers from 50 breweries at this festival at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI). Admission gets you samples from participating breweries and access to the museum and its exhibits.
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like tacos, and this May festival at Genoa Park brings together tacos, Mexican beer, and tequila in one spot. It’s a taco fanatic’s dream with delicious food, refreshing drinks, and great city views.
Additionally, you can plan your own tour of the best taco shops in Ohio.
Admission to this Chillicothe festival at the end of May is free. The three-day event features Native American music, dancing, exhibits, and more.
The Historic Home & Garden Tour in Champaign County is a great excuse to get outside and see beautiful gardens and lots of fascinating historic homes. There’s also a free shuttle, food and craft sales, and demonstrations.
The Maria Stein Country Fest in May is a great place to take the family for a fun-filled day. There’s free entertainment, competitive events, chain saw carving, an auction, and much more.
Book lovers will rejoice in this festival that highlights writers from the Buckeye State. You get to explore and hear from these writers too.
This festival brings together performing stage acts, visual artists, and lots more throughout Columbus. There are plenty of activities, local beer, and local food trucks.
For fans of pork rinds, the Pork Rind Heritage Festival in June is the place to celebrate your favorite snack. Visitors can see pork rinds being made, enjoy freshly popped pork rinds, and attend a hog roast, among other activities.
Visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium During Spring
One of the best spring things to do in Columbus & Central Ohio, especially with a family, is visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. About two hours from Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, it’s one of the most popular attractions in Central Ohio and is consistently voted one of the best zoos in America.
If you can think of an animal, you’ll probably see it at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The property houses more than 10,000 animals from nearly 600 worldwide species. It really is a great place to see wildlife.
While here, you can see the Heart of Africa, Australia and the Islands, and the Shores & Aquarium. Also, there’s a petting zoo, a kangaroo walkabout, a tide pool, and giraffe feeding.
As if that isn’t enough, lots of fun springtime activities are held at the zoo — such as Workouts or Wildlife, Eggs, Paws and Claws, Mother’s Day at the Zoo, and Wine for Wildlife.
Attend a Spring Sports Event in Columbus & Central Ohio
One of the best things about getting outside when the weather is nice and warm is attending a live sports event. When it comes to sports, Columbus has numerous options, and they’re all great!
Ohio State Football
For fans of Ohio State University football, there’s no better or easier way to get hyped for the upcoming season than by attending the Ohio State Football Spring Game. It’s a great way for fans to experience a football game at Buckeye Stadium, also known as the Horseshoe.
Football die-hards can get a look at new and returning talent and all the pomp and circumstance of a fall game — including Brutus Buckeye, the dance team, and the cheerleaders.
If you love baseball, you can’t go wrong by attending a Columbus Clippers game at Huntington Park. The Clippers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians. It’s an excellent way to see the up-and-coming talent up close, and there’s also a play area for the kids.
Not too many things are better than eating hot dogs and snacks on a nice day at the ballpark, and a Clippers game can make a great family outing.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Few things are more exciting than the speed and skill of a hockey game, and you can catch a Columbus Blue Jackets game. The team offers a great family-friendly experience and offers lots of great ticket packages.
More College Sports
If you’re a fan of college sports, there are numerous schools in and around Columbus, including:
- Ohio Wesleyan University
- Otterbein University
- Ohio Dominican University
- Capital University
- Denison University
Spend Time Outside During Spring in Columbus & Central Ohio
Spring is a wonderful time to get outside in Central Ohio. With the grass growing, the flowers blooming, and the sun shining, there’s more than enough to do outside and make the most of the nice weather.
Columbus Metro Parks
One of the quickest ways to enjoy the outdoors is to visit one of the many Columbus Metro Parks. There are 19 parks to choose from across more than 28,000 acres of land and more than 200 miles of trails in seven counties in Central Ohio.
You might wonder what you can do at the metro parks, but the real question is what can’t you do? Combined, the 19 parks offer ample opportunities for:
- Disc golf
- Canoeing and kayaking
- Rock climbing
- Play areas
Additionally, many events take place throughout the spring — such as a sunrise hike, a morning coffee and wildlife watch, an off-trail photography hike, and a spring scavenger hunt.
Tour a Cave
The Ohio Caverns in West Liberty are a must-see for cave enthusiasts. In fact, they’ve been featured in Parade Magazine and deemed “America’s Most Colorful Caverns.”
Tours are given from May through September quite frequently every day. The tours are about an hour long and feature awe-inspiring stalagmite and stalactite formations that make great photo ops.
Have a Drink on an Irish Pub Crawl in Spring
One of the most fun spring things to do in Columbus & Central Ohio has to be the Celtic Cocktail Trail in Dublin. Irish is an attitude in Dublin, and this event showcases the best bars and restaurants the city has to offer.
Along with enjoying a beverage at a dozen stops on the tour, prizes are offered depending on the number of stops you complete. Six stops on the trail will earn you a commemorative koozie, while 12 stops will earn you an exclusive Celtic Cocktail T-shirt.
Passes for the event are mobile-exclusive and offer a customized menu that tells you exactly what’s being served at all the stops on the crawl. Also, plenty of ride-share options are available, so you can have fun and be safe. If you want a fun way to explore a city, this is a tasty way to do it!
You can experience many other things to do in Dublin Ohio too!
Explore a New World in Otherworld
Otherworld on the east side of Columbus offers visitors a new kind of adventure. While it’s technically a museum, it’s more than that. It’s a 32,000-square-foot immersive art installation that allows you to explore more than 40 scenes in a mix of reality playgrounds and large-scale art.
Otherworld encourages exploration, letting you interact with a world of fantasy and science fiction. Reservations are required, and online timed ticketing is used so that you have enough time to explore the space.
Tour the Ohio State Reformatory During Spring in Central Ohio
In Mansfield, you can tour the Ohio State Reformatory, which was featured in “The Shawshank Redemption.” A variety of tours are offered, including one with locations from the movie. The museum even offers ghost hunts with professional ghost hunters.
Plot a Spring Escape From an Escape Room in Columbus
In the last decade, escape rooms have become a fun activity for those who want something involving puzzles, critical thinking, teamwork, and excitement. Several Columbus locations offer just that with a variety of escape rooms.
Generally, guests have one hour to find clues and solve puzzles to escape the room, and different places have various room themes. For a unique experience, Breakout Games offers both in-person and virtual experiences, so you can still have the excitement of an escape room without actually being inside one.
Have a Blast at Coliseum X in Columbus During Spring
Whether you go alone or take the whole family, Coliseum X is the ultimate place to have indoor fun in the spring. The only question you’ll have is, “What do I do first?”
If you love video games, Coliseum X offers an exciting mix of classic and popular arcade games. It’s also the perfect venue for a party.
If you want something more outdoorsy, try axe throwing. This activity is quickly becoming one of the biggest entertainment attractions everywhere. Think darts but more extreme.
Extreme Laser Tag
Speaking of extreme, lose yourself in a game of extreme laser tag, which combines all the best elements of laser tag, paintball, and video games. It has three arenas, metal weapons that feel real, 10 lives instead of unlimited, and nearly two dozen mission scenarios, among other features.
If laser tag isn’t your thing, try Nerf Wars, which are held as private events with multiple scenarios and multiple battles.
Discover All the Spring Things to Do in Columbus & Central Ohio
Columbus and Central Ohio could be your ultimate wonderland this spring. Take as many chances as you can to get outside and enjoy nature, attend a ballgame, grab a brew and a burger at a local restaurant, or feed your inner child with a trip to an indoor entertainment center.
There are a wealth of opportunities waiting for you, so soak up all the spring things to do in Columbus & Central Ohio when you can.