Downtown Concierge

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Downtown Columbus

Spend a few hours (or a day) at COSI.

Discover the wonderful world of science here in Downtown Columbus like thousands of others. From gadgets to electricity to the world’s only high-wire unicycle, COSI is the place to see, explore and discover the world. With 300+ regular and limited-engagement exhibits it’s no wonder COSI is one of the top science centers in the country.

Hang out at John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons.

Play, picnic, catch a flick, attend a concert or take a fitness class. There’s always something to do, see or experience at the Commons. Fridays from June to August, Commons for Kids has extra-special things for the littles: free bounce-houses, inflatable water slide, carousel, activities and entertainment.

Do the Scioto Mile.

Take in the natural beauty, lush parklands and vibrant Downtown districts as you walk, bike, trike, stroll or wagon-wheel any (or all!) of this urban riverfront walkway. Park benches and free Wi-Fi are a nice respite after playing in the 15,000 square-foot interactive fountain. Adventurous types can hop on a CoGo to Scioto Audubon Metro Park and tackle the nation’s largest free outdoor climbing wall. A camera is a must.

Stuff your face at Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Place.

Have lunch, dinner or a snack at this eclectic wiener bar that national restaurant reviewer Zagat calls a “cheery spot supplying creative hot dogs.” Choose your dog, your bun, your toppings. Vegan and vegetarian options available, plus new twists on classic combos and, of course, kid faves like tots, corn dogs and mac & cheese.

Wander into the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Pop into the flagship branch of Columbus’ public library system (it’s a Carnegie Library) if only to see renowned Columbus artist Aminah Robinson’s “Life in the Blackberry Patch” mural adorning the central atrium staircase. And if the 300,000 items available for borrowing aren’t enough to thrill, then check out the Beaux-Arts architecture, space-age LED lights, panoramic views of the Old Deaf School Park and its Topiary Garden, not to mention special events like author talks, art exhibits and the popular, everyone’s-welcome Story Circle.