50 Fun Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio with Kids

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For our seniors, it’s always a treat when their family comes to First Community Village for a visit. Our residents cherish the moments they get to spend with their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren – right here in the heart of Columbus, Ohio.

As the capital of the Buckeye State, Columbus is filled with many fulfilling things to do and places to explore when family members are looking for fun activities to fill their day. From parks to sporting events and so much more, there are plenty of things to do with kids in Columbus that the whole family will love.

Active (and Outdoor) Activities 

Looking for kids’ activities in Columbus where you can experience the great outdoors, be active and maybe break a sweat? Use this list as your guide. 

  • Westerville Community Center – This 96,000 square foot community center is family-friendly and encourages exercise for people of all ages with its multiple pools, indoor playground, climbing wall, basketball courts and more.

  • Columbus Art Walks – Pick from self-guided walks all over the city. Download the audio tour to your phone and you can turn a simple walk into an educational experience learning about the local art districts in Columbus, Ohio. Kid-friendly and fun!

  • Four Seasons Golf & Fitness Center– There’s something for everybody here. Take the kids putt-putting, sign up for one of the fitness programs, and much more.

  • The Ohio State University – Walk around OSU’s campus to take in the scenery, learn about the history of the university, people-watch, and more.

  • Walk With a Doc – A fun family attraction for all ages, Walk With a Doc gives families a chance to walk around Columbus with a local doctor who will teach participants about various health topics on their stroll.

  • Pearl Market – This downtown Columbus attraction for families is open every summer and features local vendors selling both food and merchandise.

  • CBUS Bike Tours – Another invigorating, family-friendly activity in Central Ohio is taking a bike tour of the city. Choose from private, guided and custom tours to make your experience the best it can be.

  • Easton Town Center – Outdoor shopping at this location is a fun activity in Columbus because of its stores of every type, premium food court and lively events, such as Superhero Day.

  • Zoombezi Bay – With water slides, a lazy river, wave pool and more attractions, this outdoor water park is a home run for both kids and families trying to soak up some sun.

  • Trapper John’s – Looking for a family activity in central Ohio where you can get outside? Visit Trapper John’s and rent canoes, kayaks and more!

  • Ohio State Fair – Every summer, the Ohio State fair is a popular attraction for kids and families in central Ohio. Wear comfortable shoes to walk around and enjoy rides, shopping, concerts and more.

Delicious Dining

When hunger strikes or a sweet tooth calls, there are plenty of restaurants to visit in Columbus that family members of all ages will love. 

  • North Market – For delicious eats and fun things to do in Columbus with children, the North Market is a perfect bet. Walk around, eat a meal from local vendors, and enjoy a number of seasonal events and festivals.
  • Milestone 229 – Located downtown, this restaurant provides great views of the Columbus skyline as well as a delicious and diverse menu. Milestone 229 is also near the Scioto Mile Fountain, which kids can run around in and burn off energy after your meal.

  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – Jeni’s is a popular ice cream chain founded in Columbus with several locations throughout the city. Children will love the tasty flavors and parents will love the high-quality ingredients.

  • Mozart’s Bakery & Piano Café –Mozart’s is a particularly kid-friendly restaurant in Columbus. The delicious food is complimented with a house pianist, LEGOs, and bookshelves full of literature for children.

  • The Worthington Inn – Looking for family fun in Columbus? Put this restaurant on your list! In addition to using local ingredients, it hosts a variety of events and offers a pet-friendly patio.

  • Graeter’s Ice Cream – As another ice cream chain founded in Ohio, Graeter’s sets itself apart with its handcrafted ice cream in a variety of flavors. A visit to this dessert company is a perfect family activity in Columbus.

  • Local Roots – This restaurant features only local food and drinks on its menu. With an extensive separate menu for kids, the whole family will find something at this delicious central Ohio restaurant.

  • Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace – With a variety of hot dogs (vegan and vegetarian options available), both kids and adults will love this place and its casual atmosphere.

  • Harvest Pizzeria – Everybody loves pizza, and Harvest gets it right with its creative menu. Have picky eaters on hand? Take advantage of their build-your-own options.

  • Cap City Fine Diner and Bar – Another recommended kid-friendly restaurant in Columbus, Ohio is Cap City. Expect the comfort of any other diner and the artsy vibe of a hipster café.

  • Schmidt’s Fudge Haus – For delicious dessert in Columbus, count on Schmidt’s for its slow-cooked Belgian chocolate. Located in German Village.

Kid-Friendly Entertainment 

When it comes to choosing things to do with kids in Columbus, Ohio, you can never go wrong with entertaining attractions. This extensive list is full of fun suggestions.

  • Center of Science and Industry (COSI) – Kids will love this hands-on science center that provides education in a fun way. Everybody in the family will learn something new!

  • Columbus Museum of Art – With its diverse exhibits, the Museum of Art is a premier family-friendly activity in central Ohio. Be sure to check out their seasonal events and programs.

  • Ohio History Center – Make learning about the history of Ohio fun by visiting this museum. It offers plenty of exhibits, monuments and libraries to keep the kids entertained all day.

  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Opened in 1927, the zoo and aquarium is a Columbus attraction for families that’s been around for decades. Visit and learn about a variety of land and sea animals.

  • Lifestyle Communities (LC) Pavilion – This indoor and outdoor concert venue features a variety of musical acts, including kid-friendly favorites. Get tickets for the family today!

  • Arena District – This downtown district provides fun entertainment in Columbus, Ohio through its restaurants, bars, theatres, concerts and more.

  • Ohio Theatre – Known as the “official theatre of the state of Ohio,” this Columbus performing arts center offers over 100 shows a year in its 2,791-seat arena.

  • Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum – Kids will love this collection of American cars. The staff is knowledgeable and loaded with information about the history of cars.

  • Lincoln Theatre – This gem of a movie theatre has been open since 1915! It shows classical films, plays, concerts and more.

  • Central Ohio Fire Museum – One kid-friendly attraction in central Ohio is the Fire Museum, which takes tours through a fire station and teaches children about fire safety.

  • Polaris Fashion Place – This Columbus, Ohio shopping mall is perfect for a rainy or sunny day because it has stores for every member of the family.

  • Magic Mountain – This fun center is an attraction in Columbus for kids and families to have a blast. With an arcade, mini-golf, go-karts and more, there’s plenty to do all day long.

  • AMF Stardust Lanes – This bowling alley is a popular choice for families looking for entertainment in Columbus. After you bowl, enjoy their arcade and pool tables.

Fun – For Free! 

  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – On a budget? This free attraction in Columbus provides gorgeous scenery and educational lessons at its various nature and art exhibits.

  • Whetstone Park of Roses – This 13-acre park has a garden that offers over 12,000 roses. The park provides a beautiful view year-round and is a great free thing to do with kids in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum – This museum at The Ohio State University is a family-friendly Columbus activity for those of all ages. Expect a variety of exhibits and collections of cartoons.

  • Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens – Within Ohio State’s campus is the Learning Gardens, a hidden gem for those looking for an educational way to spend a sunny day.

  • Columbus Metropolitan Library – Here, kids can let their imaginations run wild through the power of books. With several branches throughout the city, this free Columbus attraction is perfect for those all over central Ohio.

  • Schiller Park – This beautiful park has been open to the public since the 1800s. For fun in Columbus, enjoy features such as its playground, tennis court and softball fields.

  • Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve – This central Ohio attraction provides many hiking trails and swamps that house a variety of wildlife.

  • Bark Park – This dog park is perfect for families in Columbus who have furry friends, and features a dog water fountain to keep pets hydrated.

  • Indian Run Falls – For a unique attraction in central Ohio, visit the Indian Run Falls to view many waterfalls and streams that were once home to Wyandot tribe members.

  • Early Television Foundation and Museum – This fascinating museum features a collection of television equipment and cameras from the 1920s through the 1950s. 

Popular Sporting Events

Looking for family-friendly Columbus sporting events to spectate? Central Ohio is full of options.

  • The Ohio State University Buckeyes – Columbus’ most popular college takes much pride in its athletic teams. Cheer on the Buckeyes’ football team at Ohio Stadium and it’ll be an unforgettable experience.

  • Columbus Crew – Columbus’ professional soccer team is a fun Central Ohio activity for the entire family.

  • Columbus Clippers – For an all-American sporting experience, watch the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A affiliate play some ball today.

  • Columbus Blue Jackets – For a riveting hockey match, watch the Blue Jackets. This is a family-friendly activity the kids won’t forget.

  • Ohio Machine – Take the grandchildren to watch the city’s minor league lacrosse team. This is an entertaining Columbus, Ohio attraction for everyone.

First Community Village – Where Family Comes First

Here at First Community Village, we encourage family members to visit us and spend some quality time with their loved ones both inside our facility and around the vibrant city of Columbus. 

To learn more about our facility or the city of Columbus, be sure to contact us today.