6 ideas for your best spring yet in Columbus
Being outdoors in spring is in our city's DNA — from hanging out at one of the area's many open container districts to exploring one of our picturesque metro parks.
- Here are six ideas to make the most of spring in Columbus and celebrate the end of another frigid winter.
1. Grab dinner and drinks al fresco.
Thanks to Ohio's DORAs — short for Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas — we can take full advantage of the warmer days ahead and stroll local neighborhoods with a drink in hand.
- Or grab a seat at a local patio and stay a while.
Our favorite DORAs:
- If you like nature ... head to Gahanna's CORA for a pint from Nostalgia Brewing as you walk along the scenic Walnut Creek.
- If you can't decide what's for dinner ... check out the Center Street Market in Old Hilliard. You won't leave hungry.
- If you're catching a game ... you should check out the Arena District, which is only available during home games for the Blue Jackets, Clippers and Crew, and select special events.
- See a full list and map of Columbus-area DORAs.
More cool patios to check out:
- Nada in the Arena District is busy before games but worth the wait. Alissa recommends the street corn and a spicy chile-mango margarita.
- For rooftop bars, choose one of these hip spots: Lincoln Social or Budd Dairy Food Hall.
- Try Pins Mechanical in Easton Town Center for the largest selection of games.
What we're watching: Keep an eye out for new patios emerging as the weather improves, especially in the Short North. Columbus' sidewalk dining program that started during the pandemic is now permanent.
2. Root for the home team.
The Clippers are back at Huntington Park starting April 12, and we're here to tell you everything you need to know — namely when Dime-A-Dog nights are. You know, the important stuff.
Details: There are 72 home games from April through September, plenty of opportunities to cheer on the Clippers.
- Here's a printable schedule of the season, including dates for fireworks shows.
🌭 Save these dates: These are the home games this spring where hot dogs are on sale for just 10 cents.
- April: 12, 26.
- May: 10, 24.
- June: 14.
Tickets cost as little as $8 for single games to $50 for a bundle of six games to over $1,000 for the nicest of season tickets.
And don't forget the Crew or Blue Jackets, too.
- The Crew head into spring with a 2-0-2 record. They face Nashville at home next on April 2. Schedule.
- Our Blue Jackets' season is winding down, with seven home games remaining: on March 29 against the New York Islanders and six dates in April. Schedule.
3. Save the date for these big events.
🌕 Moonlight Market returns April 9 and continues the second Saturday every month through October. Shop local vendors from 6-11pm on Gay Street.
🌮 Taco Fest: Tacos, tequila and music in Genoa Park on May 14 and 15.
🎨 Columbus Arts Festival takes over the downtown riverfront June 10-12.
🏳️🌈 Stonewall Columbus Pride is back for the first time since 2019 so expect huge crowds. Events run throughout June, but the parade is June 18.
4. Do a weekend away.
Whether you're looking for a secluded cabin or a romantic stay on a winery, we rounded up four beautiful Airbnb escapes all under four hours driving distance from Columbus.
Our favorite: A loft at Le Petit Chevalier Vineyards and Farm Winery about an hour and 15 minutes southeast of Columbus. It starts at $145+ per night.
5. Plant a pollinator garden.
April is Native Plant Month in Ohio. Here are a few flowers native to the Buckeye State that aren't only beautiful and low maintenance, but will also provide food and shelter to birds, bees and butterflies:
6. Check out Blooms & Butterflies.
A can't-miss tradition is Blooms & Butterflies at the Franklin Park Conservatory, offering up-close encounters with butterflies in a picturesque indoor water garden.
- Through May 30, 10am-5pm. $15-22. Kids under 2 free.
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