Scroll Down to Content Button

8 Fun Things to Do in Columbus

Columbus isn’t just for Buckeyes. Though alums of The Ohio State University are welcome to relive their glory days, Columbus newcomers will find plenty to love about this midwestern town. From the historic campus just north of Graduate Columbus to the bustling Short North Arts District that surrounds it, finding things to do in Columbus is as easy as walking out our front door.

See Columbus from a new point of view by way of our eight favorite things to do, see, and eat, all just steps from Graduate Columbus.


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Since 2007, Columbus locals and visitors alike have flocked to the Short North Arts District for a scoop of Jeni’s sweet treats. This hugely popular ice cream shop serves up scoops, sundaes, and more. Though there’s almost always a line, Jeni’s is never busier than during Columbus’s Gallery Hop nights. 

Savor flavors like Chocolate Blackout Cake with extra bitter fudge and rich pieces of cake, or opt for something lighter like Skillet Cinnamon Roll, which is packed with dark caramel, cream cheese, pastry pieces, and cinnamon.

Insider Tip

Add a scoop of “Coffee with Cream & Sugar” to your coffee for a fun twist on your morning cup of joe. 

View Flavors - Opens in new tab

Watershed Distillery

If you’re in search of world-class spirits, look no further than Watershed Distillery. Founded in 2010 to celebrate “watershed moments” both big and small, the distillery crafts award-winning gin and bourbon. 

Come immerse yourself in distillery culture, swing by for a tour to see where the magic happens, or make a reservation at their Kitchen & Bar. Sip cocktails created using their spirits alongside an authentic Midwestern meal.

Insider Tip

The bottle shop is always stocked with our year-round spirits, but stay tuned to their Facebook and Instagram for special releases only available at the distillery.

Explore the Distillery - Opens in new tab

The Lox Bagel Shop

Start your day with a bagel that’ll transport you to the streets of New York City—with a twist. Lox Bagel Shop prides itself on their oversized Montreal-style bagels with the softness of a bagel you’ll find in NYC. Though the bagels themselves are swoon-worthy, don’t miss piling it high with toppings. 

As the name suggests, you’ll love their lox. But you can also choose from bagel-based creations like the Southwest, topped with eggs, cheese, salsa, and avocado.

Insider Tip

They’re famous for their lox, but try the pastrami, egg & cheese on a sea salt & herb bagel. You won’t regret it!

View Menu - Opens in new tab

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum

There’s only one museum in the United States that honors all veterans. That museum is right here in Columbus. The National Veterans Memorial and Museum pays homage to all veterans from all branches, both during war and peacetime. Their inclusive representation of veterans creates a unique experience through which to learn about U.S. military history. 

Step back in time through letters, photos, and personal effects that all depict stories of the U.S.’s many veterans. 

Insider Tip

Admission is FREE for U.S. military Veterans, active-duty military members and Gold Star families.

Visit the Museum - Opens in new tab

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Over 400 species of plants from around the world grow within the conservatory’s biomes, but you’ll find more than plants here. 

Meander the glass greenhouses, take in Chihuly’s breathtaking glasswork, or stroll the seasonal splendor of the botanical gardens within Franklin Park.

Insider Tip

The Hot Shop features daily demonstrations (April-December) by local, professional gaffers (master glassblowers) as they gather molten glass and transform it into a finished piece of blown-glass artwork.

Explore the Gardens - Opens in new tab


Unique vintage apparel is the name of the game at HOMAGE. Their colorful graphic tees and shorts celebrate special moments in sports, politics, music, and more. Rep your favorite band, support your favorite sports teams, or simply pick up a shirt with a design that matches your mood. 

If you’re not quite in the mood for a graphic tee, check out HOMAGE’s Go-To collection. The Go-To are HOMAGE’s softest shirts, shorts, tees, and tanks, all graphic free, so you can keep things neutral while still enjoying that vintage tee feel.

Insider Tip

Check out the Vault: Limited re-releases of some of our bestselling favorites are being unlocked – check ‘em out, and let us know which ones you miss the most. We may just bring it out of the Vault.

Shop HOMAGE - Opens in new tab


Rowe brings a whole lot of style to Columbus’s Short North Arts District. This women’s clothing and accessory boutique is the perfect place to revive your wardrobe. Shop bold dresses, cozy sweaters, jackets, jeans, rompers, and more, then pair your new outfit with the boutique’s timeless jewelry. 

Don’t miss their collection of beauty products, each of which are carefully-curated to help you look and feel your best. Perfect your pout with a colorful lipstick or brighten your complexion with a lip and cheek tint.

Insider Tip

Founder Maren Roth also operates a non-profit, The Jack Roth Fund, started in 2006 in her father’s loving memory. The Jack Roth Fund was created to promote the vital research and treatment necessary to combat lung cancer, through the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, and to support Jack Roth Camp Netaim, a program in Israel for children with special needs.

Shop Rowe - Opens in new tab
clothes on hanger

North Market

For 145 years, Ohio’s best independent makers, merchants, and farmers have set up shop at the North Market. Join Columbus locals on their weekly shop as you meander stalls stocked with everything from fresh produce to artisan goods. 

Pick up a bouquet or dig into prepared foods at the market’s original location in downtown, or head up to the market in Bridge Park, now open seven days a week.

Insider Tip

Stop by on the third Friday of every month (June-October) for Night Market!

Shop the Market - Opens in new tab