If you didn’t know already, Columbus is a great city. Like, a world-class great city. I’d regale you with a bunch of top 10 rankings we’ve been featured in, but you’ll see them soon enough (they tend to go viral every three or four weeks). For now, start here. Make your way through this list and discover why so many of your fellow Buckeyes never leave Columbus after graduation.
1. FIND OUT WHY BEETS MAKE GREAT BURGERS AT NORTHSTAR CAFE
4241 N. High St., Clintonville
Whether or not you’re a vegetarian, you gotta check out the signature Northstar Burger at this hip cafe (also with locations in the Short North and Easton). You’d never guess it’s made with beets, and you’ll never miss the beef.
2. TAKE A CHANCE WITH THEATRE ROULETTE AT MADLAB
227 N. Third St., Downtown
MadLab’s annual Theatre Roulette shorts fest presents rotating multiple shows for several weeks, giving you lots of little tastes of new plays. Tickets are discounted for students, and if you want to try your hand at playwriting, submissions are accepted each year.
3. GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT THE PHOTO BOOTH AT CLUB 185
185 E. Livingston Ave., German Village
This great neighborhood joint in German Village slings sandwiches, burgers and pizza ’til 1 a.m. While you’re there, don’t forget to sit for an old-school strip of portraits in the classic photo booth.
4. GET PUMPED UP AT THE SKULL SESSION ON OSU GAME DAY
St. John Arena, 410 Woody Hayes Dr., Campus
Experience the electric atmosphere of Ohio State football an hour before the game at the Skull Session pep rally. Free to all, you can get into the Buckeye spirit with The Best Damn Band in the Land.
5. DITCH THE TOPPINGS WITH A RHODE ISLAND RED AT YELLOW BRICK PIZZA
892 Oak St., Olde Towne East
This quaint neighborhood hangout serves all kinds of gourmet pies. For something completely different yet shockingly simply, try the Rhode Island Red — lots of hearty sauce and a sprinkling of cheese on Yellow Brick’s great crust.
6. BUY A SUPER-SOFT PIECE OF NOSTALGIA AT HOMAGE
17 Brickel St., Short North
4032 Easton Station Rd., Easton
The motto at this wildly popular T-shirt and accessories store is simple: Pay Homage. Be true to your school, your team, your hometown or your adopted hometown (see the ubiquitous “Columbus ’Til I Die” shirt) with goods from this hip shop. Bonus: You get trading cards from ’80s and ’90s TV shows, sports and more with every purchase.
7. FLOAT DOWN BIG DARBY CREEK
7141 London-Groveport Rd., Grove City
Big Darby is one of the healthiest warm-water ecosystems in the Midwest. Enjoy its beauty from Trapper John’s Canoe Livery, an outfitter offering tube, kayak and canoe trips from May to October.
8. ZIPLINE YOUR WAY TO ECSTASY
7925 N. High St., Worthington
Columbus is full of what we like to call hidden natural awesomeness. Basically, it’s badass outdoorsy stuff you’re shocked to discover exists in a large metropolitan city. For example: zip lines. Take it from us: This is the raddest two hours you’ll spend outdoors in the city.
9. BUY SOMETHING UNIQUE AT CRAFTIN’ OUTLAWS
300 W. Broad St., Downtown
This alternative craft fair is held in October each year. Check out the work of more than 60 vendors selling everything from jewelry and candles to cards and clothing.
10. HIT THE ICE AT NATIONWIDE ARENA
200 W. Nationwide Blvd., Arena District
Strap on those ice skates and channel your inner Kristi Yamaguchi or Rick Nash at Nationwide Arena’s Ice Haus. At public skates, you can hit the same ice where the Columbus Blue Jackets frequently practice.
11. WHIP IT GOOD WITH THE OHIO ROLLER GIRLS
717 E. 17th Ave., East Side
Indie culture and fast-paced action collide (literally) during flat-track roller-derby bouts. Cheer on the hometown Ohio Roller Girls as they battle teams from around the country.
12. BLIND YOURSELF WITH SCIENCE AT COSI
333 W. Broad St., Downtown
You don’t have to go to school to have fun learning a thing or two at the city’s signature science center. With exhibitions, shows and hands-on activities, COSI is a blast for people of all ages.
13. BUST YOUR GUT FOR BREAKFAST AT JACK & BENNY’S
2563 N. High St., Campus
If you’re looking for hot, greasy breakfast relief, you can’t go wrong at this classic diner. And don’t worry if you can’t pick just one morning favorite: Jack & Benny’s signature Gut Buster piles an egg, bacon, hash browns, potato pancake, sausage, toast and gravy all on one plate.
14. SHOP FOR COOL DECOR YOUR PARENTS WOULD’VE LOVED AT FLOWER CHILD
989 N. High St., Short North
Spruce up your dorm room or apartment with some vintage finds in this Short North shop. Flower Child could almost double as a museum — there are plenty of fun and kitschy collections to browse through from decades past.
15. FLEX YOUR MUSCLES AT THE ARNOLD FITNESS WEEKEND
400 N. High St., Downtown
This annual event takes over the Greater Columbus Convention Center each March. It’s the largest multi-sport fest in the country, with hundreds of exhibits and competitions — including the signature bodybuilding event — and visits from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
16. PICK UP A PAIR OF FRESH NEW KICKS AT SOLE CLASSICS
765 N. High St., Short North
Columbus’ premier sneaker and streetwear boutique is one of the only shops licensed to carry Nike Sportswear and Vans Vault. Stop by to pick up your limited-edition footwear.
17. GET A FRESH PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA SANDWICH AT KREMA NUT COMPANY
1000 W. Goodale Blvd., Grandview
If nostalgia sets in and you’re craving that peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich that Mom used to pack in your lunch, try this fun alternative. Krema makes their own natural peanut butter products, and serves creative and classic sandwiches in their cafe.
18. ENJOY AN ACTUAL MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH FROM GERMAN VILLAGE COFFEE SHOP
193 Thurman Ave., German Village
Serving breakfast and lunch all day, the German Village Coffee Shop’s grub might not be fancy, but it sure is good. Don’t miss the real Monte Cristo sandwich, deep-fried the way nature intended.
19. ROOT FOR YOUR FAVORITE HORSE DURING THE TRIPLE CROWN OF HARNESS RACING
236 Pennsylvania Ave., Delaware
Since 1946, the Little Brown Jug has been one of the country’s premier venues for harness racing, taking over the Delaware County Fairgrounds each year during the middle of September.
20. CELEBRATE THE CITY’S ARTISTIC FREEDOM AT INDEPENDENTS’ DAY
Intersection of Town St. and Lucas St., East Franklinton
There’s a reason Columbus is known as the Indie Arts Capital of the World, and it’s on display in September — now in the city’s newest arts district, Franklinton. The three-day fest features the best in independent music, art, food and more.
21. CHANNEL YOUR INNER TRIVIA MASTER
Pull a few friends together for a night of fine beer and trivia at any number of Columbus bars. Almost any night of the week, dozens of bars host ever-popular trivia nights. Tables can fill up early, so get there early and put your thinking cap on.
22. BUST A MOVE AT LADIES ’80s
1151 N. High St., Short North
It’s a Thursday night staple for the booty-shaking set. Skully’s Music-Diner lets the ladies in free, plays the hits and parties all night long. Don’t miss it.
23. FILL OUT YOUR RETRO VIDEO GAME COLLECTION AT WARP ZONE
4496 Cemetery Rd., Hilliard
This Hilliard hotspot is the headquarters for all retro videogame dreams, featuring everything from old-school Nintendo consoles to three retro arcade consoles with 30 different game boards that you can play in the store.
24. DIP INTO THE SWEET POTATO FRIES AT TIP TOP
73 E. Gay St., Downtown
They’re crave-worthy and amazing. Trade up for the sweet potato fries with your sandwich at Downtown’s Tip Top — and don’t forget to dunk them in the spicy mayo.
25. DIG INTO OHIO FOODS AT THE CLINTONVILLE FARMERS MARKET
3519 N. High St., Clintonville
From May to October, High Street comes alive on Saturday mornings with the Clintonville Farmers Market. It’s a great place to get familiar with the bounty produced by Ohio farmers and growers. Find local honey, have a taste of some local goat cheese, sip on a craft soda or buy a bagful of juicy, late-summer tomatoes.
26. WATCH A BROADWAY MUSICAL IN DOWNTOWN COLUMBUS
39 E. State St., Downtown
You don’t have to go to New York to enjoy the best of the Great White Way. Award-winning plays and musicals hit the Ohio and Palace theaters, with discounted student tickets going on sale two hours before showtime.
27. TAP YOUR TOES TO A COLUMBUS JAZZ ORCHESTRA SHOW AT SOUTHERN THEATRE
21 E. Main St., Downtown
The historic Lincoln Theatre — home to the local jazz scene since 1928, and newly renovated and reopened — is the perfect location to check out the swinging sounds of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.
28. MAKE YOUR OWN CANDLES AT THE CANDLE LAB
751 N. High St., Short North
With more than 120 fragrances to choose from, you’re bound to find one that pleases you (and your roommate!) as you pour your own candle. Selections range from floral to fruity, along with tasty scents like Cookies & Cream and Cake Batter.
29. FLOAT DOWN THE LAZY RIVER AT ZOOMBEZI BAY
4850 W. Powell Rd., Powell
You can pack in plenty of action at the giant water park adjacent to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. By the end of the day, you’ll deserve a gentle trip down Croctail Creek — 850 feet of pure, wet relaxation.
30. WATCH THE COLOR FLUTTER BY AT FRANKLIN PARK CONSERVATORY
1777 E. Broad St., Downtown
Beginning in March and continuing through summer, check out butterflies from around the world dancing among the exotic flora. The colorful creatures are part of the Blooms and Butterflies Exhibition, and students with a valid ID pay only $9.
31. CRANK UP THE METAL AT SEQUOIA PRO BOWL
5501 Sandalwood Blvd., North Side
Heavy-metal legends come alive every weekend during Rockin’ Bowl, when Sequoia blares a collection of vintage videos that showcase the awesome power of Aqua Net. You can bowl unlimited games for $10, but waiting your turn has never been so much fun.
32. FIND OUT WHY TACO TRUCK FARE IS SO DELICIOUSLY AUTHENTIC
Hit the street in search of tasty and authentic eats. Columbus is home to a plethora of taco trucks, where the savory offerings might have you rethinking your next visit to Taco Bell.
33. FIND A DOUBLE RAINBOW OF COLORFUL MACARONS AT PISTACIA VERA
541 S. Third St., German Village
These delicious cookies look so pretty you won’t want to eat them! Besides their signature macarons, Pistacia Vera has cakes, pastries and other sophisticated desserts to satisfy a sweet tooth, and a gluten-free menu is available so those with food allergies can enjoy their offerings.
34. SHOUT OUT THE CHILI CHANT AT NATIONWIDE ARENA
200 W. Nationwide Blvd., Downtown
After using your student ID for a discount, save your Columbus Blue Jackets ticket stub at least until the end of the game. Why? If the CBJ score three goals you get free chili from Bob Evans. Just make sure you shout out the chant with the rest of the crowd.
35. WRAP YOUR HANDS AROUND A THURMAN BURGER
183 Thurman Ave., German Village
You won’t find another one like it in Columbus. Overloaded with two cheeses and a salad bar worth of vegetables, the signature burger at the Thurman Cafe will give you plenty to chew on — if you can fit it in your mouth.
36. SHOW YOUR SUPPORTIVE COLORS AT COLUMBUS PRIDE
Each June, Goodale Park becomes home to one of the biggest pride festivals in the country, complete with a spirited parade down High Street. Show your colors and support — it’s a fun event for everyone.
37. TAKE A CLASS AT WHOLLY CRAFT
3515 N. High St., Clintonville
This cute craft store — the center of Columbus’ DIY scene — offers classes in knitting, sewing, embroidery and more. Wholly Craft also carries a large selection of colorful and creative handmade items, conveniently already made for you.
38. HIT THE SLOPES AT HIGHBANKS METRO PARK
9466 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center
Highbanks is home to the best snow sledding hill in the Metro Parks system — a tall, skinny, exhilarating descent on the east side of the Big Meadows Picnic Area.
39. SIP SOME LATTE ART AT CAFE BRIOSO
14 E. Gay St., Downtown
Don’t get your latte to go or you’ll miss out on the artful milk-foam creation in your mug at Cafe Brioso. Made with coffee roasted in-house, these lattes taste as good as they look.
40. EAT FRIED FOOD AT OHIO STATE FAIR
717 E.17th Ave., North Side
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s a deep-fried delight on a stick awaiting you at the Ohio State Fair. Find everything from deep-fried Pop-Tarts to strawberry shortcake on a stick (the best!) during the fair’s annual August run.
41. GO BOWLING AT 2 A.M. AT COLUMBUS SQUARE BOWLING PALACE
5707 Forest Hills Blvd., North Side
Don’t be ashamed if you still have to use the bumpers. Columbus Square offers ample opportunity to practice your skills since it’s open 24 hours. During weekday early morning hours, unlimited bowling for three hours costs only $6.
42. SEE A CHEAP FLICK AT THE GATEWAY FILM CENTER
1550 N. High St., Campus
Get a group together and visit the Gateway to see both indie flicks and popular new releases at the reduced student price. The movie theater also has a steampunk-themed with not-so-typical concession stand food like pizza and hoagies.
43. SEE HOW PAINTINGS GROW AT DOWNTOWN’S TOPIARY PARK
480 E. Town St., Downtown
Georges Seurat’s famous painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” comes to life in the form of carefully pruned greenery. With people, animals and even boats created from topiary, we guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it.
44. EAT ONE OF THE BEST MEALS IN THE CITY ON THE CHEAP
595 S. Third St., German Village
G. Michael’s Bistro hosts one of the best happy hour deals anywhere. Items on the “small plates” menu (including the famous Shrimp and Grits) are just $6, and happy hour drink specials on martinis and wine are generous. Visit 4:30-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.
45. GET FROZEN CUSTARD FROM WHIT’S
841 N. High St., Short North
Need a sweet treat, but tired of the usual ice cream? Try Whit’s Frozen Custard, which is smooth, creamy and 90-percent fat free. While the original Whit’s is in Granville, locations can be found in the Short North, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Gahanna and other Columbus suburbs.
46. FIND OUT HOW BIG DELI SANDWICHES CAN GET AT KATZINGER’S
475 S. Third St., German Village
This German Village institution is known for its great pickles, sides and oversized sandwiches. Pick one of the dozens of signature creations or get ’em stuffed with your choice of meats and deli fixins.
47. BUY FIVE HOT DOGS WITH 50 PENNIES AT DIME-A-DOG NIGHT
330 Huntington Park Ln., Arena District
The Columbus Clippers’ Dime-A-Dog nights are so popular they’ve even spawned their own T-shirt. Hint: Grab a group of friends and hit beautiful Huntington Park early near the right field stands — there’s a five-dog limit per transaction and the lines are shorter than left field.
48. WATCH THE ZOO LIGHT UP THE HOLIDAY
4850 W. Powell Rd., Powell
Although some of the animals may be hiding from the cold, there’s still plenty to see at the Columbus Zoo over the holidays. Thousands of colorful LED lights bring holiday cheer, and if you’re lucky, you might even sneak a peek at Santa Claus!
49. HUNT FOR BARGAIN PHOTO GEAR AT COLUMBUS CAMERA GROUP
55 E. Blake Ave., Campus
If you’re into photography or just want to document the memories of your college years, this shop can provide you with all of your camera needs. This is the place to go to locate parts and equipment for a wide range of cameras.
50. JOIN THE HOOLIGANS IN THE NORDECKE AT A CREW GAME
1 Black & Gold Blvd., North Side
By far the best supporters section in MLS, make your voice heard and cheer with the Nordecke (pro-tip: pronounced Nor-deck-uh) at the next Columbus Crew game. This is where fans get serious and show their love for the Black & Gold.
51. SEE A MOVIE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
1871 N. High St., Campus
Grab a blanket and visit the Wexner Center for the Arts to experience what has become a lost art: the drive-in movie. Best of all, the Wex Drive-In summer series is free.
52. SPICE UP YOUR FRIDAYS AND LEARN TO SALSA
790 N. High St., Short North
La Fogata in the Short North hosts salsa lessons Friday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. Ten bucks gets you a lesson and pays for your cover for the whole night.
53. START YOUR ADVENTURE AT CLINTONVILLE OUTFITTERS
2864 N. High St., Clintonville
Before you hit the great outdoors, Clintonville Outfitters has all the gear you need. Outfit yourself for hiking, camping, climbing and more — and the owners will even teach you how to use it.
54. HAVE A FRIGHTENING AMOUNT OF FUN AT HIGHBALL HALLOWEEN
Experience a Short North Halloween, watch a fashion show, collect treats and take part in costume contests. Get creative and you might even win a prize.
55. NERD OUT IN THE SHORT NORTH
672 N. High St., Short North
1264 N. High St., Short North
It’d be a shame if you think the Short North’s only for bros and hipsters — for dozens of reasons. Two of our favorites, however, are the two nerd-haven bookends, Evil Twin and Big Fun. You’ll find everything from vintage action figures to wet specimens at one of the two shops. As the names suggest, you’ll have a delightfully sinister good time.
56. SAVE ROOM FOR A CREAM PUFF AT SCHMIDT’S SAUSAGE HAUS
240 E. Kossuth St., German Village
Since 1886, Schmidt’s has been providing Columbus German and American fare like brats, kraut and the spicy Bahama Mama. Their famous Cream Puff is half a pound — try it alone or add some ice cream for a super-decadent dessert.
57. GAZE AT THE SKY THROUGH A GIANT TELESCOPE
3199 Columbus Pike, Delaware
Ohio Wesleyan University’s powerful glass and a group of awesome astronomers combine for fun public programs throughout the year at Perkins Observatory. Events fill up quickly, so be sure to grab tickets in advance.
58. PLAY A ROUND OF DISC GOLF ATOP HOOVER DAM
Central College Rd. and Park Dr., Northeast Side
This course is tough — but has plenty of payoffs. After dealing with pine trees and ripping winds, you’ll get to shoot from the top of the dam holding back picturesque Hoover Reservoir.
59. SCREAM AND SHOUT AT POETRY NIGHT AT SHORT NORTH COFFEE HOUSE
1195 N. High St., Short North
Every Thursday evening at enjoy a cappuccino while listening to spoken-word. Or visit on Friday night for Magic the Gathering, 7-10 p.m.
60. ENJOY THE PEACE, LOVE AND GREAT LOCAL MUSIC AT COMFEST
120 W. Goodale St., Short North
Since 1972, ComFest has prided itself in promoting peace and social justice. This free, three-day event at Goodale Park features food, vendors and more local music (on six stages!) than you could ever see in one weekend. But it’s still fun trying.
61. TAKE A TRIP TO THAILAND IN ONE BOWL OF ICE CREAM AT JENI’S
4247 N. High St., Clintonville
It’s cold, spicy and sweet all at the same time. Get a scoop of Queen City Cayenne from Jeni’s (with a handful of locations throughout Columbus) and try out the first flavor founder Jeni Britton-Bauer ever made.
62. LAUGH YOUR BUTT OFF AT SHADOWBOX
503 S. Front St., Suite 260, Brewery District
This local troupe stages hilarious skits, short plays, rock numbers and complete musicals. You can also enjoy dinner or a snack with the laughs, plus students get a reduced rate for show tickets.
63. PUT ON A PINK WIG FOR RACE FOR THE CURE
Support a good cause and take part in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in May. Form a team and fundraise to help fund cancer awareness and research, and show your bright-pink colors with a wig for Heather and Stefanie’s Team.
64. ENJOY THE BARD UNDER THE STARS IN SCHILLER PARK
1069 Jaeger St., German Village
Pack up a picnic and impress your significant other with free Shakespeare in Schiller Park. Located in the heart of German Village, Actors’ Theatre performs the Bard (and other plays) Thursdays through Sundays from Memorial to Labor Day.
65. ROCK THE LATEST LABEL FROM MILK BAR
765-A N. High St., Short North
Stocked with the latest labels for men and women, Milk Bar in the Short North carries clothes for the fashion-forward and the comfort-loving. Drop by any of their events around town as well.
66. HIT HIGH STREET TO LOOK AT THE ART (AND PEOPLE) AT GALLERY HOP
If you haven’t checked out Gallery Hop, you’re missing out. Held the first Saturday of the month, it’s a great chance to hang out in the arts district, enjoy some street performances, browse the galleries and visit the fun shops and restaurants.
67. GET LOST IN THE STACKS AT THE BOOK LOFT
631 S. Third St., German Village
It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon in this quirky neighborhood institution — the maze-like store boasts 32 rooms of books. Heck, you might have to spend the whole day there if you can’t find your way out.
68. GET YOUR MOVIES AND MUSIC FOR FREE AT THE COUNTRY’S BEST LIBRARY
96 S. Grant Ave., Downtown
Libraries aren’t just home to books to help flesh out your 20-page research paper. Sign up for a free Columbus Metropolitan Library card to check out DVDs, CDs, books and more.
69. TELL A FUNNY STORY AT SPEAK EASY
2491 Summit St., Campus
It’s simple. An audience + an open mic = hilarious. Wild Goose Creative hosts the live storytelling event Speak Easy the first Thursday of every month. Bring your own tales and be prepared to commiserate.
70. TAKE A LATE-NIGHT RIDE ON COTA’S NIGHT OWL BUS
This late-night ride is perfect for students exploring High Street on Friday and Saturday evenings. The No. 21 bus runs from 8 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. between Clintonville and the Brewery District.
71. SOAK UP THE SOUND AT THE FAMED NEWPORT MUSIC HALL
1722 N. High St., Campus
One of the most legendary rock clubs, the Newport also holds the distinction of being the longest continually running rock club in the country. Catch a national act or a big local show, and it usually won’t set you back more than $20.
72. KICK BACK WITH A SHRUB AT TILL DYNAMIC FARE
247 King Ave.. Victorian Village
The inventive food and drinks at Till are unlike any other in Columbus. We’re especially fond of the fruit- and herb-spiked shrubs, vinegar-based nonalcoholic beverages that date back to colonial days. Tempered with a little sweetness, these are the perfect refreshers on a hot day.
73. FIND OUT HOW WAFFLES WERE MEANT TO BE AT TASTE OF BELGIUM
59 Spruce St., North Market
Travel halfway around the world without leaving Columbus by indulging in a Taste of Belgium waffle. Complete with sweet whipped cream and fruit topping, the dorm’s cafeteria waffles will never taste the same.
74. GO ROCK CLIMBING WITHOUT LEAVING DOWNTOWN
505 W. Whittier St., Brewery District
One of the largest outdoor climbing walls in Ohio awaits urban ascenders at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in the city’s newest Metro Park. It’s quality rock, just be sure to bring your own ropes and harnesses.
75. FIDDLE AROUND WITH BLUEGRASS NIGHT AT DICK’S DEN
2417 N. High St., Campus
Just blocks away from the Blue Danube, Dick’s Den fulfills that dive bar aesthetic just as well. Every Tuesday the bar is booming with live, local bluegrass music and a food truck is usually standing right outside when you get tuckered out.
76. SALUTE THE DUDE AT STUDIO 35
3055 Indianola Ave., Clintonville
A charming neighborhood movie house, Studio 35 mixes first-run and indie flicks with cult favorites and other fun events. Each year in January they salute the hero of “The Big Lebowski” with a three-day Dude-a-Thon. Brush up on your bowling and enter the big-screen Wii tourney.
77. RIDE THE PADDLE BOATS AT CREEKSIDE GAHANNA
124 Creekside Plaza, Gahanna
During the summer months, rent a paddleboat at the Creekside Park Paddleboat Marina and take a leisurely cruise on the Big Walnut. boats are available Tuesday through Friday afternoons and weekends during the day, and run $5 for half an hour,.
78. PLAY PINBALL AT SPOONFUL RECORDS
116 E. Long St., Downtown
Spoonful Records not only boasts a great selection of vinyl, but also some kick-ass vintage pinball machines. If you’re lucky, you can even catch some live music in-store as you play.
79. SEE A CONCERT ON THE STATEHOUSE LAWN
1 Capitol Sq., Downtown
The opportunity to listen to free music is hard to pass up, especially on a nice afternoon in a scenic Downtown setting. On Fridays during the summer, head to the Statehouse lawn to hear a different musical act each week at noon.
80. GO TOE-TO-TOE WITH A HEAVYWEIGHT BURGER AT RINGSIDE CAFE
19 N. Pearl St., Downtown
Get three-quarters of a pound worth of angus at Ringside Cafe, a Downtown staple tucked into quirky Pearl Alley. Whether you’re an “Ali” or an “Oscar de la Hoya” there’s a beefy burger to satisfy your angus craving.
81. WATCH A MOVIE WITH YOUR MIDNIGHT SNACK AT LATE NIGHT SLICE
1030 N. High St., Short North
This Short North pizza truck slings hot and gooey slices and pies ’til the wee hours. Grab a table while you eat and you can watch a flick or some kitschy TV show projected on the parking lot’s brick wall.
82. SEE MUSIC ON THE CHEAP AT THE BASEMENT
391 Neil Ave., Arena District
This intimate, underground venue in the Arena District (next to the spacious LC Pavilion) is the place to see up-and coming touring bands, usually for a ticket price that can’t be beat.
83. STOP AND SMELL 11,000 ROSES
3923 N. High St., Clintonville
With various rose gardens and gorgeous landscaping spanning 13 acres, strolling through the Park of Roses is a delightfully fragrant way to enjoy the great outdoors.
84. GET A TASTY REMINDER OF MOM’S KITCHEN AT NANCY’S HOME COOKING
3133 N. High St., Clintonville
Have a hankering for chicken and noodles, Garbage Omelets and meatloaf? Head to everyone’s favorite Clintonville diner for some homemade favorites that would make your mom proud.
85. GET MAC AND CHEESE WITH GREAT ATMOSPHERE ON THE SIDE AT BLUE DANUBE
2439 N. High St., Campus
The Dube is a tradition and an essential college experience. Stop by for late night eats after a show at the Newport and get side of super-indulgent mac and cheese.
86. GO CRATE-DIGGING FOR VINYL AT MAGNOLIA THUNDERPUSSY
1155 N. High St., Short North
Listen up, music lovers: Magnolia Thunderpussy has a wide selection of new and used CDs, DVDs, posters and even records. It’s a great place to dig in and search for the real deal on vinyl.
87. STAND UP FOR LOCAL LAUGHS AT THE FUNNY BONE
145 Easton Town Ctr., Easton
On Tuesday nights, support local laugh-makers at the Funny Bone’s Columbus Comedian Showcase for just $5. Want to earn a laugh yourself? Sign up to showcase your own talent.
88. DON A JAUNTY HAT AT TIGERTREE
787 N. High St., Short North
This Short North boutique features men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry and fun gifts (including stylish chapeaus).
89. KICK IT UP WITH HOUNDDOGS’ SPICY PIE AT 3 A.M.
2657 N. High St., Campus
An all-night campus haunt, Hounddogs Three Degree Pizza is one of the best places in Columbus to refuel when everyone else is sleeping. Don’t miss the spicy sauce and the garlicky Smokin’ Joe’s crust.
90. PUT OUT THE FIRE ON THE RHINE ... IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT
248 S. Fourth St., Downtown
Like your dogs hot and spicy? Head to the fun Downtown hangout Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace. Among all the crazy combos is the kicked-up Fire on the Rhine dog. If you can’t handle it, cool off with one of their signature slushies.
91. EXPLORE FRANKLINTON
The city’s newest arts destination lies just west of Downtown. While still a work-in-progress, Franklinton is already booming with awesome. Stop by Strongwater for a pint from a local brewery and glorified pub grub like jackfruit tacos and vegan reubens in one of the city’s most picturesque bars. In the same building, you’ll find one of the city’s biggest artist collectives at 400 West Rich. Coming soon is Land-Grant Brewing Co., while already hopping is Rehab Tavern. Ever wanted to learn the timeless skill of lockpicking or escape a room inhabited by a zombie? You can do that at the maker-haven Columbus Idea Foundry.
92. STROLL THROUGH THE COLUMBUS MUSEUM OF ART FOR FREE ON SUNDAYS
480 E. Broad St., Downtown
Lose track of time in the quiet halls of the Columbus Museum of Art. The museum has a little something for every art interest, from painting to sculpture to contemporary multimedia pieces.
93. JUST TRY TO PICK THESE EARS OF CORN
4995 Rings Rd., Dublin
Who knew that included in the 109 individual concrete sculptures were three different types of corn? Since its creation in 1994, the “Field of Corn” has provided people of all ages with a fun photo opportunity.
94. FIND OUT WHY “THE ROOM” IS SO AWESOME/AWFUL AT THE DREXEL
2254 E. Main St., Bexley
Love awesomely awful movies? See “The Room” the only way that you should — in a crowd full of fans who appreciate bad flicks. The Drexel arthouse theater features the cult classic every second weekend of the month, along with much more worthwhile fare the rest of the time.
95. GRAB A CUP OF HIGHLANDER GROG AT STAUF’S
1277 Grandview Ave., Grandview
The people-watching on Grandview Ave. is almost as good as the coffee. Pick up a cup of Highlander Grog, roasted on site, for one of the best cups of joe in Columbus.
96. SHOOT DOWN A WATERSLIDE IN FEBRUARY
4560 Hilton Corporate Dr., East Side
Outdoor waterslide season in Central Ohio is maddeningly short, but you can enjoy slipping, dipping and shooting through tubes year-round at Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort, a 60,000-square-foot playground on the East Side.
97. FIND OUT WHY S. FOURTH ST. IS THE COOLEST STREET
248 S. Fourth St., Downtown
254 S. Fourth St., Downtown
240 S. Fourth St., Downtown
238 S. Fourth St., Downtown
You might not immediately think of Downtown when planning a night out, but it’s a scientifically proven fact that the hippest one-block bar crawl can be found there. Throw down cheap tequila shots and listen to vintage records spin on the turntable at the California taco dive bar El Camino, munch on Little Palace’s famous cheese curds while sipping a cheap and delicious cocktail, then hit up Dirty Frank’s for affordably loaded wieners. Finish off the evening getting retro with (free!) vintage arcade games. Then try to tell us how hard your night didn’t rock. You can’t. Science.
98. LEND A HAND DURING THE LARGEST EARTH DAY FEST IN THE COUNTRY
Whether you plant a tree, clean up trash or simply recycle those old class notes you don’t need anymore, do your part to help keep Columbus and the Earth a more sustainable place during this annual event in April. You can volunteer to join the country’s largest Earth Day effort.
99. RIDE THE RIVERFRONT WITHOUT GETTING WET
Worthington to the Brewery District
The Olentangy River is dressed with an emerald necklace of city parks, and the paved multi-use Olentangy Greenway Trail is the best way to discover them. Bikers, joggers and rollerbladers are welcome.
100. FIND YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME AT RAG-O-RAMA
3301 N. High St., Clintonville
You’re bound to find something new each time you enter this sprawling resale shop. Rag-O-Rama offers everything from vintage clothing to updated styles, and customers can buy what is in stock or sell and trade what they already own. Plus, a huge selection of crazy costumes hit the racks just in time for your favorite holiday.