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Military Reunions

Columbus has a rich military history, and the various military museums and collections located throughout the city in addition to National Veterans Memorial and Museum make Ohio's capital the perfect place to hold your next military reunion.

Day one

Dinner | Head out for a group dinner at The Boat House at Confluence Park, a waterfront restaurant with an incredible view of the downtown Columbus skyline.

Day two

Morning | Join Columbus City Adventures or Capital City Tours for a step-on guided tour of Columbus. Travel through downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods with the Ohio Statehouse - one of the oldest working statehouses in the country - as the historical centerpiece, and listen to stories of national significance, international intrigue, local history, and lore.

Lunch | Established in 1876, the North Market is the only true public market remaining in Columbus. Nearly 40 merchants offer a wide variety of fresh, local, authentic food, along with several stands offering everything from cookware to flowers. 

Afternoon | Visit Camp Chase Cemetery, a military staging and training camp established in Columbus in 1861 after the start of the Civil War. After the war, the camp was closed and dismantled and has since been redeveloped, except for the Confederate cemetery containing 2,260 graves. The site and the cemetery are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Evening | See Ohio History Center displays featuring military collections from 20th- and 21st-century service members and highlighting stories of the objects and images of the individuals who used them. Then, enjoy their dinner theatre experience, “A Red Herring Mystery.”

Day three

Morning | Visit the incomparable Motts Military Museum, dedicated to preserving the memory of all individuals that served in the United States military through preservation of tangible artifacts and stories.

Lunch | Eat at The 94th Aero Squadron, a themed restaurant full of military memorabilia and aviation relics depicting the times of the WWI and WWII eras. The restaurant, which once was a French Farmhouse, is located between the runways of the John Glenn Columbus International Airport and offers a dramatic view of the arriving and departing traffic.

Afternoon | Take a guided factory tour at American Whistle Corporation, the ONLY manufacturer of metal whistles in the United States, where everyone leaves with a shiny new “American Classic” whistle.

Spend the rest of the day in Old Worthington, a historic neighborhood founded in 1803 by New England settlers. Stroll the sidewalks of Worthington to see many of the original noteworthy buildings and churches still standing. Then, pick from hundreds of fragrances before pouring your own custom-scented candle at The Candle Lab. Or make your own greeting card on an antique printing press at Igloo Letterpress

Seasonal Afternoon/Evening Options | Huntington Park is the perfect place to spend a spring/summer afternoon or evening watching America’s favorite pastime. Home of the Columbus Clippers, Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, and multi-time winner of a “Best of Ballparks”, Huntington Park offers a variety of group seating options and local dining experience, all with great views and vantage points of the game. Visiting in the fall or winter? Head to Nationwide Arena for a Columbus Blue Jackets game, the only National Hockey League franchise in Ohio and named for the blue coats (jackets) manufactured for Union soldiers in Columbus.

Day four

Morning | Herzlich Willkommen! A hearty welcome to German Village, Columbus’ premier downtown neighborhood and one of the most charming and preeminent historic districts in the United States. Stop at the Village’s Meeting Haus for a quick video and to pick up your step-on guide before taking a tour of this beautiful neighborhood.

After touring the area, take a little time to stretch your legs and explore the retail shops. The Book Loft, one of the largest independent bookstores in the country, offers 32 rooms of bargain-priced books. Nearby, Helen Winnemores is the oldest store of its kind in the United States, featuring usable, wearable art handcrafted in America.

Lunch | Located in a historic brick livery stable, Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus has offered award-winning, handcrafted food by five generations of the Schmidt family since 1886. Meet-and-greet service, coach parking, gift shop, on-site restaurant and restrooms are all available for groups. Save room for dessert: the cream puffs are worth the trip itself!

Afternoon | Visit the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM), the only place in the country where the stories of our veterans, their families, and the Fallen are told together. The museum features dynamic exhibits, an outdoor memorial grove and a spiral processional that ascends to a rooftop sanctuary.

Evening | Finish out your reunion with a dinner reception and ceremony at the NVMM, your group-friendly hotel or another event venue in Columbus.

Other areas to explore

  • Gahanna Veterans Memorial, honoring local veterans with 20,000 engraved bricks. 
  • First Responders Park in Westerville where the centerpiece is part World Trade Center steel.
  • Hilliard, home to the second-largest First Responders Park in the country.

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Roger Dudley, CTA

Roger Dudley Director, Community & Customer Engagement