Things To Do With Kids in Columbus

Looking for things to do with kids in Columbus, Ohio? As the 15th biggest city in the United States, Columbus has plenty of attractions, many of which are perfect for families. So whether you’re looking for tried-and-true things to do with kids’ in Columbus, Ohio, or something a little more off-beat, we’ve got you covered. The best part? We’ll help you save money while strengthening family bonds and making lasting memories.

Spending time with family is important, but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Break out of your ordinary routine, and try something new this weekend. That might be learning a new skill in a class, exploring a renowned museum, bounding through an indoor trampoline park, or catching a live show. Our inventory updates regularly, too, so you’ll always have a plan for your next outing.

Spotlight On: Columbus Saber Academy

Two words: lightsaber school. If your kids have ever wanted to learn the ways of the Force, you’re in luck—if you’re near Columbus, that is. Columbus is the home of Columbus Saber Academy, the only school in Ohio that teaches fencing and modern swordsmanship USING LIGHTSABERS.

Kids, teens, and even adults can learn footwork, tactics and strategies, and full-contact combat at this unique school, which was founded by a lifelong Star Wars fan.

What to Wear: comfy clothes that you can move in

What to Bring: All the equipment is provided. If you want to purchase—or make—your own lightsaber, Columbus Saber Academy will advise you.

How to Keep Little Ones Entertained at a Sporting Event

Let’s face it, little kids aren’t the best at sitting still for hours and calmly watching something. So it can be a bit daunting to take them to a sporting event. To keep them amused while you cheer on your favorite team, try these tips:

  • Place bets on your favorite players. For baseball, for instance, pick a player to get the first hit of the game. For hockey, pick someone to score the first goal. The kid with the winning bet then gets a treat from the concession stand.
  • Hunt for the mascot. Mascots were basically created to entertain kids, so have kids look for them in the crowd when they start to get bored.
  • Try to get on the Jumbotron or TV broadcast. A TV camera loves a cute kid, and cute kids love to see themselves on TV. Up their chances of getting spotted by painting their faces and dressing them in team apparel.


Spotlight On: The Kelton House Museum and Garden

In this preserved 19th-century Columbus home, visitors get a look at Victorian life and the way the Kelton family lived it. Columbus businessman Fernando Cortez Kelton built the house in 1852, and it’s filled with antique possessions that the Kelton family actually used, including woven hair brooches and a grandfather clock built in 1790. What’s more, the house was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

  • Recommended Age: Older children and teens. With all of the historical artifacts, it’s probably best to experience this with older kids.
  • Good to Know: Visitors experience the museum via self-guided audio tour, which is enhanced with a musical score and period-appropriate sound effects, including chiming clocks and ringing bells that would call the family to dinner.
  • Sunday Special: On Sundays, a costumed docent leads tours of the house, teaching visitors about life in early Columbus as experienced by the Kelton family.

Best Deals for Adventurous EatersView All

One of the easiest ways to expose kids to different cultures is to take them to international restaurants and have them try new things. Maybe start with something a little more approachable, such as orange chicken from a Chinese restaurant or chicken teriyaki from a Japanese restaurant.

Try It: Chorizo

According to Vincent Delagrange, the head butcher and sous chef at Urban Farmer Steakhouse in Cleveland, chorizo is a sausage. You may be familiar with Mexican chorizo, but there are actually two types.

“There’s Spanish AND Mexican chorizo—the differences are generally pretty slight in [terms of] flavor,” Vincent says. “Spanish chorizo is a dried sausage … Mexican is the kind you find in the grocery store, refrigerated and raw.”

Read more about chorizo here.

Pro Tip for Picky Eaters

Start introducing new foods at home, a more comfortable environment than a restaurant. Try serving them a small bite on a separate plate. This keeps the unfamiliar food from touching the safe foods. Encourage kids to try the food on their own, but don’t force it. Allow them to spit it out into a napkin if they really hate it. This should help cut down on the stress and pressure.


How to Bowl Better: Bowling Tips for Beginners

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Summer Weekend Trip: Cincinnati

Just two hours away from Columbus, Cincinnati is a great option for parents looking for an easy weekend getaway they can do with the kids. Some of our favorite family-friendly activities include:

  • Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden: home of Fiona, the famous hippo, plus more than 500 animal and 3,000 plant species.
  • Kings Island: The world-renowned amusement park has rides for big and little kids, including the famed wooden roller coaster The Beast. At Dinosaurs Alive!, the animatronic dinosaur park, kids can interact with life-sized dinosaurs.
  • Duke Energy Children's Museum: Kids learn through play at this popular children’s museum, which has such play areas as the science-themed Energy Zone and the miniature neighborhood Kids’ Town.

Find deals on hotels in Cincinnati.

Winter Activities for Kids in Columbus

Winter is usually a time for cozying up in front of the fireplace with a good book and a steaming cup of coffee—but try telling the kids that. It’s easy for kids to go stir-crazy from being cooped up all day in the house. Tucker them out with a few hours of bounce time at an indoor trampoline park, or whisk them around the local ice rink during an open-skate session (followed by cups of hot chocolate, of course). Our favorite thing to do in the winter? Put on a bathing suit and spend the day zooming down slides at an indoor waterpark. It’s particularly great for winter-weary Ohioans who just want to pretend that they live someplace tropical.