Whether you are trying to escape the cold in winter or plan an epic staycation, check out these indoor family fun things to do in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus provides a mecca of indoor entertainment options, from a hotel with a runway view to the acclaimed LEGOLAND and everything in between!
Start planning your next trip by adding in a few of these fun indoor things to do in your Columbus, Ohio itinerary. Please check hours and protocols related to the pandemic for each business as things are continually changing. This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. All opinions are my own based on my personal experience.
Rent A Room With A Runway View At The Residence Inn Columbus Airport
Airport hotels are not just for those flying. On the contrary, it makes the perfect spot for those looking for a unique hotel while visiting Columbus, Ohio, especially if you have airplane fanatics in the family.
The Residence Inn Columbus Airport offers guests a front-row seat to the runway from the comfort of their hotel room without the hassle of going to the airport. Relax in a luxurious suite, complete with a full kitchen, before enjoying the hotel’s outstanding amenities. The suites are a perfect romantic getaway option or ideal for families as the couch folds into a bed. Our recommendation is to bring a bottle of wine and a charcuterie board. It will add a little romance to your evening, with or without kids.
Leaving the suite may prove difficult as kids young and old will be glued to the windows watching the planes arrive and depart. Ensure to ask for a room facing the runway while making your reservation. The noise is not nearly as loud as anticipated. It wasn’t until the morning flight traffic started to pick up that we even took notice.
Relax In Comfort and Style
The Residence Inn at the Columbus Airport is one of the newest hotels in Columbus. During our recent visit, a few of the amenities had yet to open. The beautiful indoor pool, a fully stocked bar, and serving lite fare are all slated to be open for service spring of 2021. In the meantime, enjoy their fully-equipped fitness center or go on a scavenger hunt to find unique artwork from the State Historic Preservation Office highlighting historical moments from the Columbus Airport.
A charming patio area faces the airport runway allowing guests to enjoy dinner or a beverage outside during warmer weather. Don’t forget to grab your breakfast in the morning! Currently, the hotel is offering complimentary to-go breakfast bags until their signature breakfast buffet can be offered again. We would like to thank Residence Inn at Columbus Airport for hosting our stay!
Explore the beautiful gardens of Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. These gardens are home to a stunning collection of Chihuly glass found throughout the Conservatory. With a fun children’s garden and plenty of arts on display, this is a place for all ages.
Columbus Art Museum
The Columbus Art Museum architecture is intriguing enough to visit; add in the spectacular collection of art to makes this the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Swing by the Wonder Room during your visit. The Wonder Room is an eclectic display of hands-on activities that are bound to spark imaginations.
Tip: Visit on Sundays because admission to the museum is free.
Family Fun Things To Do In Columbus Ohio
Jump, fly, and soar as this adventure park offers more than trampolines. Ropes courses, sky flyers, climbing walls, and obstacle courses await, giving kids the energy burn they so desperately need. Smaller children will enjoy a play zone, foam pit, trampolines, and more.
Even if Magic Mountain’s signature putt-putt course is out of the picture due to inclement weather, step inside to try out the Lazer Maze, The Climbing Playland, and try your hand at a few arcade games. It is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Ohio Railway Museum
While most of the museum is outdoors, I have to include the Ohio Railway Museum on this list because there is the opportunity to venture into exhibits and train rides. As one of the oldest railroad museums in America, this is not to be missed. The museum gives visitors a look at railroading’s past through our exhibits, static equipment displays of electric traction and steam. They also offer rides on streetcars and the Pullman passenger car.
Legoland Discovery Center
It is easy to spend an entire day at Legoland Discovery Center. Legoland offers guests a wide variety of attractions, from rides to a 4D Cinema. In addition to many different areas for creative building, kids have the opportunity to meet their favorite Lego characters. Don’t forget to go on a tour of the Lego Factory to see how these insanely popular bricks are made!
A must-stop for any family in Columbus, Ohio, is COSI ( Center of Science and Industry). This incredible hands-on museum has something for all ages, including classic COSI exhibits such as driving a Mars Rover or riding a unicycle through the air two stories up! New displays are always appearing at COSI, making it a great spot to visit again and again.
The Bookloft In The German Village
Deemed as the best book store in Ohio by many Ohioans, the Book Loft of German Village offers an unmatched selection of books. Thirty-two rooms make up this labyrinth bookstore offering more books than a local library. Shoppers love to browse all the rooms looking for the perfect book to take home.
While visiting the Book Loft be sure to swing by to visit Downtown Dublin, Ohio. Dublin is home to the Columbus Zoo, art in public places tour, and the capital of all things Irish in Ohio.
The Ohio History Connection
This signature museum explores all things Ohio! A variety of exhibits, displays, and programs highlight various aspects of Ohio’s history. From ancient Native American artifacts to documenting the industrial process, the museum is full of intriguing facts. Many programs are offered online as well.
Catch A Movie And Go Shopping At Easton Town Center
Easton is one of Ohio’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations with nearly 300 retailers. Easton Town Center is an indoor and outdoor shopping complex that is full of endless opportunities to play. Catch a movie at AMC theaters, laugh out loud during a show at the Funny Bone or bring out your inner child at Legoland.
Unique Things To Do Indoors In Columbus, Ohio
A unique thing to do in Columbus, Ohio, would have to be visiting Otherworld. Envision a haunted house meets art museum. However, no one is popping out to scare you, but there are plenty of bizarre interactive displays.
The place is a feast for the senses as everything seems to grab your attention. Whether it is gazing at a ceiling of eyeballs, stepping inside a monstrous mouth, or pondering if you stepped inside the movie, Stranger Things, this is one museum that will leave you asking more questions than when you arrived.
We did take our three-year-old daughter, with the concern it may be a little scary for her. She enjoyed it. Quite honestly, I think some of the concepts above her head didn’t make it spooky to her. I would say the museum is more eerie than scary, with an alien world theme. She loved the weird interactive displays, especially tapping rocks to make them shatter on the wall.
My advice is that you know your child best. If they get scared very quickly, this might not be the spot for them. Keep in mind kids ages three and up have to pay admission. 2021 Admission is roughly $22 per adult and $18 per child, which can add up fairly quickly for bigger families. I would hate for a family to invest in visiting only to have to leave because of a frightened little one.
Visit the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum
A fun, unique thing to do in Columbus is to visit the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library found on the Ohio State University’s campus. This museum is home to the world’s most extensive collection of materials related to cartoons and comics. It is full of original art, books, magazines, comic books, and more. Best of all, it is completely FREE!
Anthony Thomas Candy Factory
What better way to sweeten up an afternoon than with a tour of the Anthony Thomas Candy Factory? The Anthony Thomas Candy Factory offers a glimpse into the process behind making our favorite treats. Afterward, grab a box of Ohio’s favorite candy, Buckeyes, or stock up on other candy classics.
The tour schedule will vary by season, with tours being offered Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check their calendar for tour times.
Tour A Whistle Factory
Another fun factory tour to take is through the American Whistle Corporation. Learn how they get that tiny ball inside the whistle! Tours are 45 minutes long, taking visitors on throughout the factory, showcasing machinery, and more.
Best of all, everyone leaves with a brand new whistle! Reservations are recommended.