May 1, 2023 - Things to Do

Get outside: A spring to-do list for Central Ohio

Illustration of a bouquet of tulips with the Axios A on the vase.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Pulling yourself out of hibernation mode is easier said than done, especially when our unpredictable Midwest weather swings 30° from one day to the next.

Why it matters: It's May, and we're all ready to put the cold and rain behind us, right?

  • Thankfully, encouraging signs of spring are popping up around Central Ohio, just like the colorful tulips and daffodils springing up from the ground.

Here are some of the best local springtime traditions to get you out and about:

🧑‍🌾 Browse a Farmers Market

We've got one every day of the week! Markets in Clintonville, Dublin, German Village and Worthington are already open this weekend, with others coming later this month.

😋 Visit the Food Truck Food Court

Starting this week, breakfast food trucks will roll into the Columbus Commons every Wednesday morning. On Thursdays, they offer lunch — and Alissa recommends Cupzilla Korean barbecue.

  • 7:30-10:30am Wednesdays and 11am-2pm Thursdays through October.
  • 160 S. High St. Free!
Guests wait in line at a food truck
One of many food trucks that line the Columbus Commons during Thursday's lunch hour. Photo: Robb McCormick Photography, courtesy of Columbus Downtown Development Corporation

🍿 See a drive-in movie

The classic South Drive-in Theatre shows double features every weekend, one family-friendly and one for adults. Come early and grill out, bring snacks, or buy popcorn ($3-7) or candy ($2.50).

🌸 Get outside

Spring is the perfect time to take in our local Metro Parks. We recommend Inniswood Metro Gardens, a spot with lots of seasonal blooms.

An aerial overview of Inniswood Metro Park's herb garden
An aerial view of Inniswood Metro Park's herb garden. Photo: Andrew Boose, courtesy of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

🍽️ Eat outside

It's patio season! Splurge for a date night with delectable outdoor dining, such as Lindey's (German Village), The Top (Bexley) or Vaso (Dublin).

  • Or take a walking tour with Columbus Food Adventures, which offers its full tour slate this time of year, including one for taco trucks. $62-68.

🍺 Drink outside

It's DORA season, too! While places like Oddfellows and BrewDog are known for their epic drinking patios, many area communities morph into one giant patio this time of year.

🦒 Explore Africa

The Heart of Africa savanna is full of animals again, a sure sign of spring at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Feed giraffes and see zebras, gazelles, ostriches and more in an outdoor exhibit.

  • Bonus: A new baby giraffe!
  • 9am-5pm. $17-30. Kids under 3 free! (Closes at 6pm starting May 27.)
Guests look at giraffes in the Heart of Africa savanna
Guests observe giraffes in the Heart of Africa savanna. Photo: Grahm S. Jones, courtesy of the zoo

⚾ Root for the home team

You don't need to be a baseball fan to enjoy a night at Huntington Park. The Clippers offer loads of promotions like fireworks nights (starting May 27), celebrity appearances and iconic 10-cent hot dogs every Tuesday.

Clippers hats and gloves in a pile
Photo: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

📬 Got other ideas? Email [email protected] and let us know!

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