be_ixf;ym_202407 d_14; ct_100 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Five free things to do in Columbus

City Year offers its members countless valuable personal and professional opportunities. From developing interpersonal skills to making connections within a large alumni network, City Year allows for growth and new perspectives. For City Year AmeriCorps, life on a stipend fosters a sense of creativity when creating a budget and luckily there are plenty of ways City Year Columbus members can explore the city without spending money. The city of Columbus and its suburbs offer year-round activities, sightseeing, festivals, and more. Below is a list of some of the top free things to do in Columbus:

1. Take a hike

There are thousands of trails and walkways around Columbus. From running, biking, fishing or birdwatching, there’s always something available to those who want to be in nature. Alternatively, the Scioto Mile offers greenery and architectural views along the water right in downtown Columbus.

2. Visit a park

The Franklin Park Conservatory is one of the most popular (and free!) places to visit in Columbus, with its beautiful gardens and featured works by glass artist Dale Chihuly. Another popular park is the Whetstone Park of Roses, which features over 11,000 rose bushes, as well as weekly outdoor concerts.

3. Walk around the North Market

Located in downtown Columbus, this covered market features merchant stands selling delicious food from all over the world, as well as fresh produce, kitchenware, and flowers. It’s a great place to spend a rainy afternoon—and if you are feeling hungry, Hot Chicken Takeover offers great comfort food, and Pistachio Vera has delicious macarons for dessert!

4. Gallery Hop

The Short North Arts District features Gallery Hop on the first Saturday of every month. Already a great place to walk around and window shop, Gallery Hop offers gallery exhibitions, street performers, local and national artists, musicians and much more! It starts on High Street at 4:00 pm and technically ends at 10:00 pm, but bars and restaurants will stay open much later, so you can make a whole night of it.

5. Visit the Columbus Museum of Art

Every Sunday, this museum, located in two locations on Broad Street and in the Short North, offers free general admission. See everything from George Bellows to Picasso to West African sculptures exploring the intersection of gender, power and creativity. Don’t forget to stop by the Wonder Room, where textile-based works cover the room floor to ceiling and guests can take a hands-on approach to discover the art.

No matter what time of day or time of year, there’s always something to do in Columbus. The city has something for everyone, and City Year AmeriCorps members will be happy to find that many of Columbus’s top attractions are free.

Related stories

In the spring of 2019, I was a soon to be graduate of Ohio State University with too much ambition...

Read more about Jordan Kulbarsh, City Year Story of Impact

I’m still determining the exact year I started serving with City Year, but I’m positive that I served for two...

Read more about Derrick L. Coles, City Year Alumni Testimonial

During AmeriCorps celebration, we recognize the commitment of the millions of Americans who have chosen to serve and encourage more...

Read more about Celebrating AmeriCorps week at City Year Columbus

With the support of Columbus City Schools, City Year Columbus has been transitioning back to hybrid service alongside students! Read...

Read more about City Year Columbus: Hybrid service
National Strategic Partners
National Partners