If you’ve ever planned a reunion before, you understand the difficulties associated with coordinating schedules, picking dates and a location, securing accommodations and finding activities for everyone. It’s a lot to put together, and, unfortunately, there’s no magic button that instantaneously plans your family reunion. One element that makes it a little easier is finding a destination that provides you with all the amenities you need to satisfy everyone in your family. Columbus, Ohio is that destination.
Planning a family reunion in Columbus is relatively simple thanks to its convenient location and great attractions. The city boasts a range of accommodations to fit your budget, as well as a variety of restaurants to pick from for your dining pleasure. There’s so much to do and see in Columbus, your family will find something for everyone, no matter their age or interests.
What Can Reunions Do in Columbus?
The real question is, what can’t reunions do in Columbus? There’s a lot to pick from, so it can be hard to decide what to put on your itinerary. Luckily, Experience Columbus is there to help with a few suggestions.
Looking for something educational for the young ones? Head to COSI (Center of Science and Industry) for some interactive entertainment. This museum features over 300 exhibits for all ages, including the Science of Big Machines, Energy Explorers and Meet the Innovators. But this place isn’t just for kids. Adults can visit the Columbus Historical Society exhibit to learn more about the city’s past through stories and artifacts.
Another fun attraction for the whole family is the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which showcases animals from all over the world. Your family can take a camel ride in Heart of Africa, wander the misty jungle trails in Congo Expedition, or come face to face with manatees at Shores & Aquariums.
For something a little more active—and pretty different—check out Scioto Audubon Metro Park. The 120-acre park used to be a field of industrial structure but has been transformed into an oasis filled with tons of wildlife and exciting activities. The park is located next to the Scioto River, where you can take the family out on a boat, kayak or canoe. Or you can stay on the banks and enjoy some fishing or picnicking. Put your family to the test at the Columbus Rotary Obstacle Course, which offers a quarter-mile running track, a tire run and flip, tunnel crawl, monkey bars and more. Your family can test their climbing skills on the three towers and two arches of the climbing wall, which reaches 35 feet and extends 6,100 square feet (climbers must be 13 years of age or older).
Take a stroll down the Scioto Mile, an urban trail that consists of more than 175 acres of park along the riverfront. While there, be sure to stop at the stunning 15,000-square-foot interactive fountain. Over at the Columbus Commons, families can enjoy a ride on the carousel, take part in “Fundays” or listen to live music out on the greens. It’s perfect for the whole family.
For families that love sport, make a trip to Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers, Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Catch a game there during the season, and enjoy special games, promotions, songs and mascots through every inning. Find some different sports action at Game of Western Columbus, which features bowling, laser tag, video games and pool. Plus, you can enjoy some snacks or a full meal at the restaurant and bar. There are multiple locations around Columbus, making it easy to find one near your hotel or wherever you find yourself during the day.
If you want something totally unique for your Columbus reunion, you have to try Kickmaster Footgolf. This is a brand new sport, and it’s exactly like it sounds: Golf played with your feet. This facility isn’t just limited to Footgolf—you can also try soccer darts, soccer pool and soccer tennis, among other activities.
Family reunions visiting Columbus in the summer, particularly during the Independence Day holiday, should definitely catch Red White & BOOM!, the largest fireworks show in the Midwest. The Ohio State Fair, usually held at the end of July, features rides, attractions, concerts, games and shopping. There’s enough to keep your family entertained for days.
Where Can We wine and Dine in Columbus?
With all the activities your family will experience in Columbus, it’s inevitable that they will build up an appetite. There are many wonderful places to grab a bite.
Dine Originals Restaurants operates over 30 eateries around the city. Enjoy plates of pasta and authentic Italian cuisine at Trattoria Roma, share some tapas at Barcelona Restaurant & Bar or travel back in time at local favorite Old Mohawk Restaurant. These are such a few options to pick from—you’re sure to have a memorable dining experience at any of Dine Originals’ fine establishments.
To get a little taste of everything, try Columbus Food Adventures, which takes you and your family on fun tours through Columbus’ food scene. The offerings—samples included—range from walking tours of the Short North Arts District, German Village or Old Worthington to visits to the best taco food trucks.
Jazz & Rib Fest is an annual event held in July. It features local, regional and international jazz artists performing on three stages during the three-day festival. As you sway to the tunes, your taste buds will savor the delicious racks of ribs cooked up by award-winning barbecue teams from all over the country.
Where to Rest Our Heads in Columbus?
Bellies full and legs tired, it’s time to call it a night…at least until the next adventure. There are a number of great accommodations in Columbus, all located within a few minutes of most major attractions. The Worthington neighborhood is easily accessed from most major highways that run through Columbus, and is located close to the airport and downtown. Hotels and rental homes in this area are perfect if you want to be within minutes of all the excitement. University District is another centrally located region with group-friendly hotel rates, making it simple to find housing within your budget.
Despite all these amenities, there’s still a great deal of planning that goes into organizing a family reunion, and it can’t all happen overnight. With the help of Experience Columbus, your reunion in Columbus will become a little more manageable. They are there to help by providing referrals, answering questions and putting together itineraries. Start planning your Columbus reunion today.
How to Get to Columbus
Thanks to its central location, Columbus is easy to reach from nearly anywhere in the country. Located 15 minutes from downtown, John Glenn Columbus International Airport is served by most major airlines. If you’re coming by road, you can take Interstate 70 from the east and west, and Interstate 71 from the north and south. Columbus is only a short distance from many other major cities, including Cincinnati (1.5 hours), Cleveland (2.5 hours) and Indianapolis and Pittsburgh (3 hours).