Summer in the City: Columbus Edition

Columbus Commons! Photo from Instagram.

Columbus Commons! Photo from Instagram.

Happy Friday friends! Part 2 of our summer event exploration takes us to the capital city of Columbus where festivals, concerts, and food events are plentiful! While downtown Columbus doesn't have quite the same historic charm as Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood or the same expansive riverfront park system (the Scioto River pales in scale to the Ohio River,) we do have tons of awesome events coming to the city this summer, many of which are free! Mark your calendars now for a fun-filled summer in the city!

Reoccurring events:

Similar to Cincinnati’s Washington Park, Columbus’s inner city park- the Columbus Commons- hosts a wide variety of concerts, movie nights, festivals, and exercise classes throughout the summer months, most of which are free. The Columbus Symphony Orchestra also performs here throughout the summer- check out the full Picnic with the Pops schedule here.

Ditch your late night online shopping habit (is that just me?) and check out the Moonlight Market downtown. Starting at 6 p.m. every second Saturday of the summer months, dozens of local vendors come together for an evening of shopping on Gay Street between High and Third Streets.

About 40 minutes outside of Columbus in Springfield you will find one of the country’s best antique shows and flea markets. Located right off of I-70W on S. Charleston Pike this flea is a must see for anyone in the area. Check out their website for the monthly show dates and be sure to catch their next Extravaganza event on September 18-20!

While Columbus doesn’t have a major league baseball team we do have the Columbus Clippers, the AAA team for the Cleveland Indians, who play in the wonderfully designed Huntington Park stadium. Baseball fan or not, I guarantee you’ll have a fun time at this inviting yet intimate ballpark. Even better, every Friday and Saturday home game features a Party-at-the-Park pre-game event with live music and food and drink specials plus fireworks on most Saturday night games!

For even more sports action this summer catch a Columbus Crew soccer match at MAPFRE Stadium. Just make sure if you go to either park very close to an exit road or prepare a post-game cooler ahead of time because getting out of the parking lot here is quite the ordeal!

The local food scene in Columbus continues to grow, and the quality and diversity of choices in town is almost overwhelming. Enter in the Columbus Food Adventures tours, created to showcase the best restaurants and food trucks the city has to offer. The tours run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout most of the year and sell out fast so plan ahead and prepare to eat!

I captured this view last year at a Columbus Clippers game! I love how the stadium is nestled right into the heart of the city!

I captured this view last year at a Columbus Clippers game! I love how the stadium is nestled right into the heart of the city!

Notable events:

This weekend:

  • June 12: Springfield Arts Festival presents Kavan- the World’s #1 Rock’n’Roll Elvis at Veterans Park in Springfield, OH. This weekend kicks of Springfield’s 2015 Summer Arts Festival, which features a month long line-up of live music and theater performances. Before seeing the Elvis tribute go to the Foodie Fest to sample all the best local foods. After the show stay the night in Springfield at the Buck Creek State Park campgrounds. Bring your bikes and spend the next day biking around the park and swimming in the reservoir! 
  • June 12-14: Columbus Arts Festival at the Scioto Mile Riverfront. Check out over 300 nationally acclaimed artists at this weekend long festival which also includes fantastic gourmet fare from local restaurants, live concerts, dance and theatre performances, film screenings, and craft activities for all ages!
  • June 12-13: Park Street Festival in the Arena District. Want even more arts and crafts, food, and live entertainment? Head a few blocks north from the Scioto Mile to Park Street for the Park Street Summer festival
  • June 13: Grandview Digfest. 4- 10:30 p.m. at the Grandview Yard. This festival celebrates local craft brewers, distilleries and Ohio wines and liqueurs with food, crafts and live music thrown in for good measure.
  • June 13: World Naked Bike Ride starting at 400 W. Rich St. at 10:30. Not sure whether to tell you to avoid the area (bike seats and private parts don’t work well together) or go check it out! The event is held to raise awareness of cyclists on the road, protest car culture, and celebrate the beauty of all bodies- all noble goals. Ride if you dare!
Red White and Boom in Downtown Columbus. Photo from Flickr.

Red White and Boom in Downtown Columbus. Photo from Flickr.

This Summer:

  • July 3: Red White & Boom in Downtown Columbus. Noon to 11 p.m. Celebrate the 4th of July this year downtown with the largest fireworks display in Ohio. Before the fireworks show enjoy an afternoon filled with live music, tasty fare from Columbus’ top restaurants, a parade, and plenty of family-fun activities.
  • July 10-12: Ohio Food & Wine Festival at North Market. The biggest names in Ohio wine come together at the Market for a weekend of wine tastings, live music, and cooking demonstrations. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
  • July 17-19: Jazz and Rib Fest Downtown in the Arena District and along the Riverfront. Enjoy the finest selections in jazz music and barbecue at this fun downtown event. The Color Run is also this same weekend! After being splashed with color on July 18th stay in the area and load up on ribs, pulled pork, and a beer or two!
  • August 6, 8, & 9: 8 p.m. ProMusica Chamber Orchestra at the Franklin Park Conservatory. Enjoy an evening of live music out on the beautiful gardens of the Conservatory. Free admission!
  • August 14- 16 Food Truck Festival at the Columbus Commons. This food-lovers fest includes over 70 of the best food trucks in Ohio plus live entertainment and arts and crafts vendors. The variety of food options is almost overwhelming but everything is incredibly delicious. Bring blankets, chairs, friends and a big appetite for this fun event!

Have a fantastic weekend!!


- a & c.