Passionate About Columbus
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The Ultimate Guide to Summer in Columbus

Ultimate Guide to Summer

Summer has arrived and this is your Ultimate Guide to Summer fun in the Columbus. You’ll find where to go and what to do to enjoy the summer days in and around Columbus.  

* This guide will be updated throughout the summer, so be sure to pin it and check back often.

How to use this guide:

Each image leads to either a full guide and list of local spots you’ll want to hit, or to an article with details on a summer outing or activity for you or your kids. Click on each image to find more info. Happy Summer!

There are lots of fun ways to stay cool in the summer heat. We have a list of FREE splash pads in the area.

Splash Pads

These local pools offer affordable daily admission prices. It’s fun to branch out and try somewhere new!


10 of the BEST parks to check out in Columbus!


The parks on this list involve some combination of nature and opportunities for creative/dramatic play. In short, these parks all spark imagination in ways that are slightly different from your typical playground. 

Central Ohio Parks That Spark Imagination

Rain can often leave playgrounds muddy. These 6 parks all offer an alternative surface besides mulch to keep everyone as clean as possible.

Emerald Fields

These outdoor spots in Delaware County are a perfect way to spend the day!


Put a new spin on a normal hike by searching for treasures!

Explore the Metro Parks with geocaching!

This list is packed with free and cheap activities to do this summer in Columbus!!! There are so many options that it will be hard to decide what to do each day!

Columbus Free Activities

Back by popular demand is the 2017 list of FREE concerts, festivals, movies, events and more!


Watching a movie outdoors under the stars is a perfect way to spend a summer evening. This list is packed with movie nights from June into September.

movies by moonlight

Information about the Kids Bowl Free Program and a list of places in Columbus that are participating. 

Free Summer Activities

Here are 5 things you can do indoors with the kids in Columbus!


There are a whole lot of camp options to pick from!

Columbus Summer Camp

A list of 20 family activities to give back to the community.


These theme ideas for the day of the week are lots of fun! (Think…Make it Monday, Wet and Wild Wednesday, etc.)

summer schedule

Grandview Heights has so much to offer for families and we wanted to fill you in on some secret spots too!

Wendy's Gymnastics

If you are looking for some new ideas in Worthington, look no further!

5 Mommy and Me Toddler Dates in Worthington

This zoo scavenger hunt will add a whole new layer of fun to a typical zoo trip.

zoo scavenger

This advice is best for those with a membership or tagging along on someone else’s. Why? You won’t see the whole zoo with this plan.


This is an epic list for animal lovers filled with farms, sanctuaries, parks and animal encounters in Ohio.

Animals in Ohio

Here’s one mom’s 5 favorite things to do in Ohio that will get you out of Columbus and into far reaching corners of our amazing state. 

A comprehensive guide to Farmers’ Markets in the Columbus area!

local produce

 A handful of local farms with U-Pick strawberry patches.

U-Pick Strawberry Farms

These busy bag ideas are geared towards the younger crowd and are the perfect entertainment for those times you need to keep your kiddos occupied indoors.  

Busy Bag Ideas for Indoor Play

If you are stuck inside and can’t find something to keep your toddler or preschooler occupied besides Paw Patrol, here are a few ideas that don’t require a lot of money or creativity.


This list of homemade fun ideas includes a recipe for playdough, finger paint, edible slime and more!


Next time you have a precious date night on the horizon, consider changing it up with one of these options.


To save you a few extra minutes, we’ve put together a list of some of the best restaurants for a date night that is quick and won’t break the bank.

Columbus Restaurants

We’ve got a list of places all around Columbus that make for a fun night. Hopefully, this will inspire our Columbus Moms to take a night off and enjoy some much-needed bonding with their mom pals!


A list of places in Powell that offer Happy Hour specials.

Powell Happy Hours

From tree houses to yurts, below is a list of the top glampgrounds in Ohio if you want to give the trend a try this summer. Here are some cool adults-only and fun kid-friendly options for the kids and for the kids-at-heart.


Eating out with kids doesn’t have to be expensive. With this comprehensive list of Kids Eat Free Nights you’ll find deals for every day of the week!

Kids Eat Free Nights

Ice cream + summer = happiness. Here are a few favorite local shops that you must try before the end of the season!

Iocal ice cream shops

There are lots of wonderful donut shops in Cbus. National Donut Day is June 3rd too, so plan your route!

sprinkle donut

One way moms keep going is by drinking coffee.  Hear are some great coffee shops to try.

Columbus Coffee

Want to know a little trick that can be use to avoid cooking during the summer? Voila- it’s Freezer to Grill Recipes!


Check out our August Events Guide for what’s happening this month and stay tuned for the September Guide.

Guide to the month of August

Did you enjoy this post? We have over 20 writers on our contributor team so we share a wide variety of real, honest, sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartwarming stories about parenting. We have lots of resources on Columbus happenings, events and how to connect with other parents in the Central Ohio area. Be sure follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay up to date!

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4 Responses to The Ultimate Guide to Summer in Columbus

  1. allison gonzalez May 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

    when I click on the images it doesn’t do anything

    • Amy Onifer
      Amy Onifer May 31, 2017 at 10:14 am #

      Sorry- a few of the picture links weren’t working but they have been updated. Thank you.

  2. Lauren Pitts June 25, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

    I love the Columbus Mom’s blog and have told many of my momma friends about it! I especially love the blogs about fun things to do around Columbus. I’ve tried out many of the ideas, and it’s been so helpful. So thank you!

    • Amy Onifer
      Amy Onifer June 27, 2017 at 3:12 pm #

      Thanks for the great feedback! We are so happy to hear that it has been a helpful resource and that you have shared about it with your friends. Hope you are having a fun summer!