As the capital of the state of Ohio, you can imagine there is plenty to do in the city of Columbus. Danny and I chose Columbus as our Christmas destination 2017. We made this decision because of its close proximity to where we are living and all of the fun things that seemed to be going on! Keep in mind, this Christmas season was unseasonably chilly, so we didn’t get to do a lot of the outdoor things that were happening around town. It says a lot that we were still able to fill our time with fun things to do so don’t count Columbus out for your next road trip or adventure.
Below you will find photos from our time there and my reviews of the things we did, ate and experienced.
We stayed in an Airbnb with Danny’s parents in the Brewery District of Columbus. You might think that this means there are breweries on every corner, but you will be disappointed. There are pubs in the area, but no real breweries. We were kind of sad about that, but it was a very central location while also being quiet. We really enjoyed the space and the yard was fenced in which was great for our dogs.
The Book Loft of German Village
If you know me at all, you know I love to read. We had to check out this book store that is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country! When I say this place is huge, I really mean it. There are 30+ rooms filled with books. The rooms are kind of cramped and its pretty easy to get lost. Apparently they also have dining and drink options, but I guess we didn’t wander that far! I appreciated that they had the rooms sorted by genre and topic. The outside of the building is very fun, and German Village seems to be a very hip and historic part of town. I would recommend checking it out if you like quirky things!
Easton Town Center
Easton is a huge shopping complex just outside of downtown Columbus. They have an indoor mall as well as an outdoor center. There are lots of restaurants and shops. We only visited to go see Star Wars at their movie theater which has dine-in options. The entire plaza was lit up with Christmas lights and it was snowing. The theater was very large. This was the first time I had been to a dine-in theater so I had a great time sipping my beer while watching the movie. If you enjoy shopping, put Easton at the top of your list.
Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival
This festival is held at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The festival starts in November, is open both on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day from 5 until 10 PM and it extends into the New Year as well. This is definitely a must see! You can walk the grounds and tour all of the lanterns at your own pace. They are so intricate and beautiful! There are a couple of show times throughout the evening that you will want to be sure to watch. They have spiked apple cider available as well, which I would highly recommend.
Danny and I dropped into a fundamentals yoga course at Balanced Yoga's new location in the German Village. The space is beautiful and well worth a visit. They have yoga mats for rent or you can bring your own. They have a locker area to place your belongings into. The staff is super friendly. I wish I could remember the name of the instructor that we had, but she was awesome and really took the time to make sure we were moving our bodies in a safe way. I always love having instructors that help you find your form.
We explored the North Market the day after Christmas, and since these are small business owners, most of them took the day off to enjoy time with their families. Thankfully for us, Destination Donuts was open. They carry two trays of vegan donut options daily. Honestly these are some of the best, most fluffy donuts I have ever had the pleasure of eating. We got the vanilla, chocolate sprinkle and their version of the cinnamon roll. My personal favorite was the vanilla followed closely by the cinnamon roll. You really cannot go wrong, though.
Columbus Museum of Art
Quite possibly one of the best museums I have ever been to. They have a newer building that they have named The Center for Creativity which is a huge space for galleries and more hands-on activities. While we were there, they had a huge LEGO display which Danny really enjoyed. Each step of the museum was an opportunity to stop and write, draw, explore, create. You don’t come here just to stare at a painting. Even in their classic galleries, they have tables with puzzles and options to connect on a deeper level with the art. Whoever has curated this museum has done a beautiful job. I feel like I could spend an entire day here, and would really recommend that you check it out at least for a few hours. They have student and teacher discounts available as well as free entry on Sundays.
Melt Bar and Grilled
Did someone say gourmet grilled cheese? I have been to the Melt in Columbus once before and have also visited their location in Cleveland. They have a multitude of vegan options from different cheese to different meat substitutes. I got the Parma, Italy with the tofu. All of their vegan-friendly options are clearly marked. They have vegan soup and salad options as well, and you can opt for a half serving of any sandwich as well. The staff is very accommodating if you have any questions or concerns on preparation! Delicious and fun.
This may be my favorite bar find of all time. The walls are lined with old school arcade games. The best part? As long as you are drinking you can play for FREE. Yep, that’s right. They have pinball in the back corner that is a little extra. They have drink specials every night. We were there on a Tuesday and it wasn’t too full but was definitely busy.