Columbus, OH is a lovely city – it’s beautiful, accessible, pleasant, and has countless fun things to do! Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the city offers many great places and activities at affordable prices. With summer approaching, we’re headed towards pleasant weather. What do you get when you combine clear skies, sunny days and a lazy atmosphere? The perfect time for a date!
So here we’ve listed some date ideas in Columbus, Ohio. Whatever your preferences or budget, there’s something for you (and your partner) on this list!
1. Spend an afternoon reading together
Some folks don’t enjoy reading, but for those who do, it never gets old. There are so many wonderful books, so much new content to read! The best thing about it is that you can spend time quietly with your partner and have a day-long date for a very small cost.
You can try three things – you can either head to the library, re-read books you enjoyed, or go to the bookstore to find something new (and then read it through the day).
We recommend the first because libraries are a sadly underutilized resource. Most people haven’t been to the library in years, and libraries have exciting events, makeovers, and they add awesome new books to try and attract more people. It’s super cheap, atmospheric, and you’ll get to go out. Maybe you can dine out on your way back?
There are so many other fun date ideas – Columbus, Ohio has some great bookstores, for example. You can browse through them and take your time choosing a book or two you like. Then head back home, snuggle together (and invite the cat!) with a snack and a glass of wine.
Or, of course, you can re-read your favorite books – whether it’s Harry Potter, Discworld or LOTR. Keep a hanky nearby!
2. Stargazing out in the middle of nowhere
Lying down somewhere in the city outskirts, watching the stars with your partner – it doesn’t get more romantic than that! Stargazing is a great date activity – not only is it budget-friendly and unique, but it also brings you closer to nature and opens your mind to the vastness of space. Experiencing this feeling with your partner creates a very intimate atmosphere. A movie date can’t do that.
So when looking for romantic things to do in Columbus, Ohio, definitely consider stargazing. The best thing is that there are quite a few places around the city where you can go stargazing. While you can pull up in someone’s field and spend a quiet hour watching the sky, for safety reasons we’d recommend going to a designated spot instead.
Perkins Observatory, John Glenn Astronomy Park and AEP Recreational Area are three great spots where you can go. There are usually a few other people around, but you won’t find much of a crowd. You’ll be able to use a telescope and the guides on the site will help you find star clusters, nebulae, planets and constellations. If you like learning astronomy facts, you’ll have a very fun time!
Quick note – Remember to get plenty of rest during the day so you don’t nod off while outside. You need to drive back home!
3. Hiking and adventure sports for thrill-seekers
Do you love a good adrenaline rush? We’ve got you covered. Whether it’s ZipZone Outdoor Adventures (ziplines), Rusty Wallace Racing Experience (your husband will love it!), Vertical Adventures (rock climbing indoors), or Captain Rick’s Diving Adventures (scuba diving, excellent in summer) – Columbus has so much to offer!
If you don’t mind driving a short distance out of town (to Carroll), you can go skydiving at the Ohio Skydiving Center! Or how about something new and interesting? Shooting practice and throwing darts are so yesterday – axe throwing is in right now! Go axe-throwing at Columbus Axe Throwing, Dueling Axes or a number of other places. It’s pretty fun, and there’s a slight learning curve involved so you’ll have reason to come back!
There are so many others – awesome date ideas in Columbus, Ohio that’ll give you an adrenaline rush. You can play paintball, for instance, or go hiking, trekking or climbing. The Mad River Gorge and Nature Preserve (in Springfield) is fantastic for climbing.
The Highbanks Metro Park and the Alum Creek Trail are excellent for hiking. You’ll find dozens others on AllTrails – sorted based on distance, difficulty, trail length, etc. Most of them have bathrooms, parking spots, and other facilities. After a pleasant day out hiking, you can head over to your favorite pizza place and grab an extra cheesy pizza to conclude the day.
4. Getting pampered at a spa + dining out
After a tiring week at work, going on a hike may seem pretty far from romantic. If you want something more relaxed and normal, you can try going to the spa with your partner. Get a nice, deep massage to ease the tension from your body. If the place offers a fish pedicure, do try it out! It feels delightful – albeit in a ticklish way.
Getting a facial is also pretty nice. Look for something nice and cool and soothing. Many facials clean your pores, hydrate your skin, remove dark circles and offer other benefits. Look for something that’s best for you. Groupon has some excellent discounts, so go through them real quick before making an appointment.
After a revitalizing evening at the spa, hop on over to your favorite restaurant for a meal. Whether you like Mexican, Italian or Indian food, Columbus has something for every palate. From The Pearl to the Banana Leaf Restaurant (vegetarian), to Villa Nova – and how could we forget Hounddog’s Pizza? – Columbus is one of the best cities in America for a dinner date.
5. Gardens, parks and picnic spots – the great outdoors
Summer is nearly here, and the outdoors are gorgeous! So why not make the most of it? Head out to a park or garden for a lovely stroll in the sun, observe interesting plants and the many creatures that live around them. You can also go to a picnic spot, where you can stroll, bask, observe and eat all in one place!
This is one of my favorite date ideas, and the Columbus, Ohio area has so many lovely gardens you can visit. The Chadwick Arboretum, Grange Insurance Audubon Center, and the Geroux Herb Garden are a few examples. Schiller Park and Topiary Park are great for picnicking in.
Franklin Park Conservatory has a butterfly garden that’s absolutely stunning. You can watch, learn about, and even release newly-emerged butterflies! Admission is $19 and it’s $5 per butterfly. The place has a lot to see and do, so it’s a day trip all on its own.
During spring and summer, you’ll see lots of beautiful little birds around the place. Birdwatching is a fun experience, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the colors you see and the calls you hear! Some wild birds are rather friendly too, and don’t mind showing off near humans. It can be a lovely experience to enjoy with your spouse. You can go birdwatching at Highbanks Metro Park, Grange Insurance Audubon Center, and Green Lawn Cemetery. Remember to take your binoculars!
So this was a list of five date ideas in Columbus, Ohio. Remember that the goal of a date is to spend time with your partner and make them feel loved, so as long as you’re together and having fun, it’s a good date!