The Best Dates We've Been on in Ohio (Fun Things to Do in or Near Columbus, Ohio) | Enduring All Things

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Best Dates We've Been on in Ohio (Fun Things to Do in or Near Columbus, Ohio)

You guys. In basically 2 short months, Pearson and I will be leaving Ohio and this part of our life in the dust. If this is a surprise to you, read this post. We're moving across the country to Portland, Oregon and will not look back!

While I am so very excited to move out there and start a new, exciting chapter in our lives, there will be some things about Ohio that I miss. Mainly the people, of course. But we also had some good times!

So I thought I'd get nostalgic today and share some of our favorite dates we've been on in Ohio! Oh and there are a few more things we want to do before we move so I will update this post after we experience those things.
Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio.

Dates Local to Columbus or only a Day Trip Away:


FESTIVALS

Guys Ohio has some of the best festivals! And what's the best of all? The Dublin Irish Festival, o' course! We've gone twice and it's always a great time! The festival has lots of fun Irish music, dancing, vendors, food, drinks, and even cultural education classes! Pearson always loves learning about Irish instruments, and this year we met some Irish miniature horses!
Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Dublin Irish Festival Pony Show
We went to the Columbus Food Truck Festival for the first time this year and had a blast! You guys, Columbus has so many food trucks! I had no idea! In fact, according to the website, it's the largest food truck festival in the mid-west. This year the festival was held at Bicentennial Park and The Scioto mile and consisted of 54 food trucks, 20 bands playing through the festival, and 25 non-food vendors! Pearson and I went for lunch on Saturday and then went back for dinner Saturday night. I suggest going around lunch time either day because it's a LOT less crowded. The lines on Saturday night were crazy long! The trade off is that the better bands play in the evenings.

This year we also went to Kent, Ohio's second annual Harry Potter Festival! The hosts of Kent Potterfest, Main Street Kent, didn't leave out any details! We got to see the Hogwarts Express, Gringotts bank, Diagon Alley, the Forbidden Forest, the Room of Requirement, and the Hogwarts Library.  There were lots of great (mostly free) activities too: a 5K in the morning, costume contests, scavenger hunts, potions classes, owl shows, lots of vendors and photo booths!

To be honest, we were a little disappointed with the Kent Potterfest. They advertised really well this year on Facebook, which is why we knew about it, but it was packed. Kent is not a very big place and we could hardly maneuver our way around the town square for all the Potterheads everywhere. We didn't wait in line for any photo ops or henna tattoos, etc. And the owl show had such limited space that you had to have a (free) ticket to get in and by the time we got there (less than an hour after the festival started) both shows were sold out! We only stayed there about an hour and a half even though it was an two hour drive each way. We also didn't stick around for any of the open-air shows because there was no seating left. It also got really hot. Basically, I don't think they expected this much interest. I really hope that they extended it for at least a couple weekends next year and that they maybe even push it back further into the fall when the weather might be nicer. It was still pretty fun and definitely worth mentioning as one of my favorite dates, but it could have been so much better!
Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Kent Potterfest Harry Potter Festival Flowers

SPORTS

While we don't have professional baseball, basketball, or football teams here in Columbus, there are some fun sports teams to support and watch. This year we finally went to a Columbus Clippers (Minor League Baseball) game for the first time. I know. If you know how crazy my family is about baseball, that's probably surprising to you. There are several reasons we never made it to one before this that I won't get into but it was a lot of fun! We actually purchased tickets with seats but we spent most of the game standing in the standing room only section which is very affordable and fun! I highly recommend it!
Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Columbus Clippers Baseball Game
We've also been to one Columbus Crew SC (Major League Soccer Club) match. This was also a lot of fun! I've never been into soccer and it still baffles me that the fans cheer when they almost score and you can play 90 minutes with no score (though Baseball could be like that too), but I have to admit it was a lot of fun! Unfortunately, the Crew might be moving to Austin, TX in 2019.

We've been to a couple Columbus Bluejackets (Major League Hockey) games and let me just tell you, they are a blast! However, we got pretty special treatment both times. For the first game we went to, our party got box seats because one girl's company let us use their box. It was awesome! For the second game, another friend of ours work had their office party in the party lounge and they invited us. But hockey games are a lot of fun anyway! Especially when they fight a lot!

Then there's Ohio State Football (and other sports). Of course, Ohio State football games are a blast. All the love and tradition and excitement is contagious. Even though we aren't big OSU fans, which is a story for another time, we certainly enjoy going to games!

Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Ohio State Football Game

LIVE THEATRE

Columbus has some awesome live theatre! We have PNC's Broadway in Columbus, and lots of other live professional entertainment through CAPA Columbus. Pearson and I have seen both Wicked and Jerry Seinfeld at the Ohio Theatre together. I think those are the only professional CAPA events we've been to together, but I've seen a LOT of other Broadway in Columbus shows with girlfriends.

Columbus also has a great community theatre scene! Of course, I'm partial to Worthington Community Theatre because I've done two shows with them (The Music Man and A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol) and my best friend was on the board for a while. Anyway, Pearson and I have enjoyed many community theatre shows on date night! We always go see all WCT shows that I'm not a part of. We like all the Shakespeare in the Park productions that Actors Theatre puts on in the summer. And we really enjoyed MadLab's The Works of Shakespeare Abridged a couple years ago. A friend I met through WCT was in it and it was hilarious!

LYND'S FRUIT FARM

You guys, we go to Lynd's every fall. Literally, we have gone there to pick apples every year in October and we went twice the first couple years we lived here! Seriously, the have the best u-pick apples. Actually, I guess I can't say that since this is the only place I've ever picked apples. But it's pretty great. They have a schedule on their website letting you know which kind of apples are available on which weekends so if you know what kind of apples you want, you can be prepared. They also have pumpkin picking straight off the vine! It's so cool. And the little market is so cute and just full of fall treats, fresh produce, and pumpkins and apples in case you don't want to pick your own. It's such a fun date for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in the fall!

CEDAR POINT

I'm sure you've heard of Cedar Point. At least, you should have if you like amusement parks.Throughout the years, Cedar Point has broken dozens of roller coaster records with each new ride they build. And they aren't slowing down! The park is located in Sandusky, Ohio, roughly a 2.5 hour drive from Columbus. Pearson and I have been twice since we moved here. Both times were day trips and both times we went with friends as either a double or group date type thing. Personally, I think Cedar Point is a blast. But I LOVE roller coasters and thrills. Pearson has to warm up to thrill rides and even then doesn't see the point in "Top Thrill Dragster" or "Millennium Force," but I think he enjoyed himself pretty well. You could totally stay overnight and make Cedar Point a two-day event. There is certainly plenty to do and it makes the 2.5 hour drive (each way) a little more worthwhile.
Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Cedar Point

COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM

Of course, one of my favorite dates to do in Columbus is the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! It's only the number one zoo in America (named by USA Travel Guide in 2009 and Skyscanner in 2014)! And you know, we have none other than Jack Hanna himself as director emeritus, so don't even argue that your zoo is better. You'll lose! Anyway, we've been to the zoo here probably 4 or 5 times and love it every single time! The manatees and tigers are my favorite animals. And the shows they do at Christmas for Wildlights at the zoo are the best! Oh and in case you're wondering, the zoo only keeps injured manatees who can't survive on their own. And they have a Mexican Wolf breeding program through which they're trying to repopulate their native region. And they take conservation very seriously.

Related: The Columbus Zoo
Also related: Christmas Season Date Ideas (Wildlights at the Zoo)
Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Tiger at the Columbus Zoo

OHIO STATE FAIR

Ohio has a fantastic State Fair. And it's located right here in Columbus at the Ohio Expo CenterAccording to Wikipedia, it's one of the largest State Fairs in the country. We've visited the Fair twice while living here and had a blast! While we're not much for cheap (possibly dangerous) rides, the food, shows, and animals more than make up for it! The Ohio State Fair attracts top performers every year, awesome local vendors, and lots of local and exotic wildlife!

THE SOUTH DRIVE-IN

The drive in movie theater has quickly become one of our favorite dates! South Drive-In shows a mix of current and classic films. They have two screens, each screen shows two or three movies per night. You can't switch screens between movies but you do get to watch both movies on one screen for one price. South Drive-In also hosts a flea market every Wednesday and Saturday and a giant yard sale. We love bringing our own food, sitting in the comfort of our own car and watching two or three movies for a cheaper price than one usually costs in a regular theater.

Related: 7 Tips for the Perfect Date at the Drive-In

HALF-PRICE BOOK STORE

Half-Price Books is one of my favorite stores here in Columbus! Now HPB isn't an Ohio-only store. In fact, it started in Dallas, Texas. But according to their website, they only have locations in 17 states and they have 13 stored in Ohio which is the second most with only Texas having more. There are two stores in Georgia but they weren't very close to me and I never knew about them. Anyway, it's a great second hand book store that carries all kinds of media. We've bought video games, comic books and even vinyl records there. We've also sold a lot of stuff to them. They're great to work with and for some reason, I love perusing bookstores with Pearson. One of my favorite dates was when we had a scavenger hunt at HPB.


THE MURDER MYSTERY CO.

Shortly after we first moved here, I found a groupon for tickets to a murder mystery dinner show with The Murder Mystery Co. in Dublin pretty close to our apartment. I didn't find out until much later that this company is pretty much nationwide. Well, at least they have shows in 25 of our 50 states. But again, I hadn't heard of them until we came here. Anyway it was a wonderful evening. We had a blast dressing up and trying to figure out the murderer. Oh! And we won BEST DRESSED!

Related: Fall Festivals
Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Murder Mystery Co.

OTHER FAVORITE DATES IN COLUMBUS

  • The North Market - A food court full of authentic ethnic foods. A butcher, bakery, florist and more. Basically, Central Ohio's authentic public market. On Saturdays they even add an outdoor farmer's market. Oh and you have to try Hot Chicken Takeover at least once.
  • COSI - Center of Science and Industry! It's basically a children's science museum but it also has some pretty cool exhibits and events for adults. In fact, all "COSI after dark" events are adult only!
  • Highbanks Metro Park - A large park not too far from the city. It has plenty of walking and biking trails as well as picnic areas and nature centers. Most of the park is pet friendly.
  • Scioto Mile - A beautiful riverside park in the middle of the city! The park hosts tons of entertainments events every year from festivals to outdoor concerts. Plus it's a great place to relax in the middle of God's creation and a beautiful skyline.
  • Easton Town Center - A mostly outdoor shopping mall complete with high-end brands (Coach, Tiffany's etc) to typical department stores (Macy's, Nordstrom etc) to boutiques (Chico's, Francesca's etc). They also have an AMC Dine-In theater! Make sure to go around the holidays for the amazing Christmas lights, Santa Claus, and carolers walking around!
  • German Village - A gorgeous little area of Columbus where German culture has been preserved. From brick streets to old houses, it's a little villiage where I could spend hours. We especially love seeing "Shakespeare in the Park" here as I mentioned above in the "Theatre" section.
  • Columbus Park of Roses - One of the largest public rose gardens in America, right here in Columbus! Seriously, gorgeous roses for days! I want to go back before we leave so I can get better pictures (I used an old point-and-shoot last time), but at this point it will be mostly fall leaves. Which isn't bad, of course! Just not roses.

Overnight Trips from Columbus


HOCKING HILLS

We have stayed in a cabin in Hocking Hills now on four different occasions. It's probably my favorite getaway ever! The hiking trails are gorgeous. The cabins are homey and inviting. We've been three times with a group of friends and once by ourselves. Go in October when the leaves are pretty and the weather is perfect! I promise you won't regret it! Bring food to cook in your cabin and snuggle up with games or movies in the evening after a long day of hiking in God's beautiful creation. It's basically heaven! Oh and you could totally make a day trip out of this from Columbus. It's only about an hour to an hour and a half away. But I highly suggest staying in a cabin to get the full experience.

Activities to do in Ohio. Mainly Columbus, Ohio but also surrounding areas as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Dayton. Date night. Ohio Adventures. Local dates. Activities. Central Ohio. Hocking Hills Cedar Falls

AMISH COUNTRY

Ohio is home to a large Amish population. Just drive a couple hours east from Columbus and you'll find quaint little towns full of delicious food, fun traditions, and lots of Swiss culture! Pearson and I spent a weekend in Sugarcreek in the middle of Dutch Valley one time to celebrate Valentine's Day and his birthday. We stayed at Carlisle Inn and had a great time! I do suggest going in the fall to get the full experience with fall festivals and everything because a lot of the stores were closed and we almost got snowed in. Or don't go during the busy season if you want a relaxing weekend with fewer tourists! We still got to eat some great food and go shopping in some precious little stores!


Dates We Want to do Before We Leave (I will update this post as we do these)

What are some of your favorite local dates in your area?
Ohio people: Did I miss any you would add to the list?
Thanks for reading!


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