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Free Things To Do in Columbus

One of the many things that makes Columbus such a great place to visit is the value it offers to travelers. Affordable prices and ample free activities abound in Ohio’s capital!

Take a walk through the beautiful campus of The Ohio State University and be sure to pop into any number of cultural institutions on site. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of comic and cartoon related materials in the world, while the nearby Wexner Center for the Arts welcomes college students and guests under 18 for free to enjoy its world-renowned exhibitions. Don’t miss the larger-than-life dinosaur skeletons at the Orton Geological Museum.

Downtown offers numerous free arts and cultural experiences, starting with the Ohio Statehouse at the heart of the city. Nearby, the Thurber House, former home of famed author, humorist, and cartoonist for the New Yorker is open for exploration. The Columbus Museum of Art is free on Sundays, but you can explore free art any day of the week at the Riffe Gallery, Columbus Public Library, Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Arts and Design, King Arts Complex Elijah Pierce Gallery, the halls of the Greater Columbus Convention Center or any of the Short North Arts District galleries. Those looking for a self-guided experience can take on the Short North Arts District Art Trail or Columbus Art Walks.

This urban destination still offers abundant green oases, all of which are free for visitors. Stop and smell the roses at Columbus Park of Roses or enjoy a topiary recreation of George Seurat's “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” at Topiary Park, the world’s only topiary recreation of a painting. Columbus Metro Parks boats 19 distinct spaces, including the Scioto Audubon Metro Park which offers the world’s largest free outdoor climbing wall. If the kids are too hot, let them run through the fountains at Bicentennial Park along the Scioto Mile, where families can take in free performances in the summer.

If you get tired of walking, even transportation is free throughout downtown on COTA’s CBUS