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Top 5 Summer Activities in Columbus, OH [2024]

Summertime in Columbus, OH

The readers of Forbes and Afar are discovering what Columbus residents have always known: The Capital City is an amazing place to be in the summer. From world-class arts and entertainment to award-winning restaurants, Columbus truly has something for everyone. Let’s look at some of the amazing summer activities in Columbus, Ohio and where you can stay while enjoying them.

A Starting Spot for Enjoying Summer Activities in Columbus, Ohio

The historic Hotel LeVeque is an ideal place to call home while you are enjoying many of the fun activities in Columbus, Ohio. There are spacious rooms, plenty of amenities, a knowledgeable staff, and a popular on-site restaurant. Plus it’s conveniently located in the center of the city making all of the summer fun easily accessible.

Whether you are traveling with family or friends, there are a variety of rooms and suites for your summer fun.

Enjoy the Stars Under the Stars

A classic summer experience is going to the drive-in. Nightlight 614 twists that experience by letting you enjoy the stars under the stars spread out on a blanket in the grass. Just a short walk from the front door of Hotel LeVeque is Genoa Park where you can engage in one of the newest fun activities in Columbus, Ohio: social cinema. 

A Nightlight experience includes:

  • Food trucks
  • Curated drinks
  • A DJ to set the scene
  • A different curated movie at each event

This 21+ evening is a great way to experience Columbus nightlife with old friends or to meet your new besties.

Music for Every Mood

The summer heart of Columbus just might be the Columbus Commons. A spacious green space located right in the center of downtown. The Commons is host to a variety of summer activities in Columbus, Ohio. One of the most popular is the “Picnic with the Pops” series.

Picnic with the Pops brings together the renowned Columbus Symphony Orchestra with an eclectic mix of musicians across genres. This makes each concert totally different than the one before it.

On any given night you could experience the orchestra backing the musical stylings of:

  • Generation Radio (with the lead singers of Chicago and Rascal Flatts)
  • The Violent Femmes
  • American Idol finalist Cody Fry
  • Nas
  • THE Ohio State Marching Band

Spend a Night in a Palace

Starting in 1926, people have been flocking to the Palace Theatre to be entertained. This 2,600+ seat theater was designed to replicate the majesty and splendor of the Palais de Versailles. 

While audiences have been enamored of the entertainment on the stage, it’s hard not to be captivated by the beauty around it. Keep an eye open when you walk in and you might see:

  • Chandeliers
  • The autograph wall
  • Balconies and boxes
  • A grand staircase
  • Even a fountain!

Today you can find singers, comedians, lecturers, touring broadway shows and more. This entertainment is easily accessible for summer visitors as the Palace is located adjacent to Hotel LeVeque.

A Walk in the Park

“Riverfront” is not the first thing you think of when talking about Columbus. Yet, just a short walk from Hotel LeVeque, visitors will find a vibrant, and growing riverfront park system.

At the center of that system is the 4.66 acre Bicentennial Park. It’s a top destination for people looking for fun activities in Columbus, Ohio. That’s because of the diversity of things you can do there;

  • Let the kids cool off in the Scioto Mile Fountain
  • Enjoy local talent on the performing arts stage
  • Grab a bite to eat in the all-glass Milestone 229
  • Connect with nature on the Greenway Trail

Take a Trip Through Time

Just north of downtown and easily accessible from I-71, The Ohio History Center allows you to experience the past in new and exciting ways. This 250,000 sq. ft. building, with its unique Brutalist cantilevered design, is more than a museum. It’s a time machine that takes you through the history, heritage and culture of the Buckeye State.

Some of the “Can’t Miss” moments include:

  • A “visit” with Conway the Ice Age mastodon
  • Walking through the fully furnished 1950’s Lustron home
  • Marveling at the Indigenous Wonders of our World-The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks exhibit

The Ohio History Center is also home to one of the most popular things to do in Columbus, Ohio for families: The Ohio Village. It’s a “working” 19th century village where you’ll get a hands-on experience of life in the Victorian era.

The Perfect Start (or End) to the Day

The Keep is one of the premiere restaurants in Columbus. It is conveniently located inside Hotel LeVeque in the heart of the city. Start your Capital City adventure off by grabbing breakfast (they start serving at 7:00 am) in the comfortable main dining space. Popular options include:

  • Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
  • Scratch Biscuits & Gravy
  • The Classic American Morning
  • Salmon Avocado Toast

After a day enjoying the summer activities, you can settle back into The Keep and relive the day’s adventures over a drink and dinner. Some of the menu items waiting to be enjoyed include:

  • The Keep Burger
  • Linguine Dolote
  • Short Rib
  • Crispy Calamari

A Home Away from Home

Whether you’re traveling with family members, a partner or are off on an adventure on your own, you are certain to enjoy the summer activities in Columbus, Ohio. That’s especially true when you’re staying at the centrally-located historic Hotel LeVeque. 

The spacious guest rooms at Hotel LeVeque offer a perfect place to spread out in style. Each room features an oversized bath, dazzling decor details and amazing views. The hotel also offers a number of on-site and in-room amenities and a fitness center to help with all of your travel needs.

Make this a summer to remember with a visit to Columbus and a night (or two) at Hotel LeVeque.