Photo courtesy Zoey Duan via the Short North AllianceAffectionately referred to as the "art and soul of Columbus," the Short North Arts District is Columbus' most up-and-coming neighborhood — and a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The area is ripe with galleries, restaurants, bars, boutiques and more, and there are colorful murals splashed across the brick walls that make for fun photo ops. There is so much to experience in the Short North Arts District, in fact, it can be tough to decide what to experience first. Use this handy guide to decide how to spend your day! Though you can reach either end of the city pretty easily by car, we think it's fun to interact with the local culture and explore town via other means of transportation. Columbus has several awesome neighborhoods with high walk scores, which means they are within easy reach of local attractions, restaurants and community gathering places that you can access without getting behind the wheel! Here are the 6 best neighborhoods in Columbus according to walk score.
Photo courtesy of Vital Music USARegardless of the genre you're interested in, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see live music in Columbus! On any given night, our local music venues and bars light up with performances from local and national acts. And some of our local bands have made it big! Here are 12 bands from Columbus you should listen to right now.
Photo courtesy of Artisan DeluxeIf you love expressing yourself through clothing and fashion, you will be thrilled to hear that Columbus ranks number three nationwide for fashion events and fashion designers. You can get a taste of this at Fashion Week Columbus, but it's also apparent in the vibrant and on-trend styles that can be found in our local boutiques!
Columbus is home to Ohio State University, and when football season starts, you'll know it! Tailgating during the fall is something that every local must experience. And chances are, if you live here, you've already received a few invites! Though the Buckeyes definitely get a lot of attention, we also love our other sports teams, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew S.C., and the Columbus Clippers. There's only one rule here: don't cheer for Michigan. Ever.
Photo courtesy of the Troll Hole MuseumAny troll fans in your life? This local treasure boasts more than 20,000 troll items (including a Guinness World Record troll collection). Here, you'll learn everything about trolls, from ancient mythology to the modern dolls we have grown to know and love.
Photo courtesy of Believe in CLEAttention, yogis! You won't want to miss this outdoor yoga festival at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Enjoy a gigantic yoga class that is perfect for all levels and stay for food, beer, a DJ and more until 9:30 p.m. Admission is completely free — all you need to bring is your mat and a few of your favorite people! When: August 31, 7-10 p.m. Where: Toby's Plaza, Cleveland Hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, this event allows you to enjoy a complimentary, three-course meal al fresco with familiar (and not so familiar) faces! The casual networking dinner will take place off-site at Toby's Plaza and will feature food from some of Uptown's best restaurants. When: September 1-3, times vary Where: The Burke Lakefront Airport, Cleveland The Cleveland National Air Show has been a local tradition since 1964. The thrilling show combines educational exhibits with flybys and tactical demonstrations by air teams. There are also plenty of interactive activities on the ground! Bring the whole family to get cockpit photos, meet pilots and enjoy the show. When: August 31-September 3, times vary Where: The Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, Berea
Weiner dog races, beer stein-holding competitions, polka dancing and more await you at Cleveland's Oktoberfest! This annual festival invites you to don silly hats and lederhosen to celebrate German culture and indulge in delicious treats like bratwurst, pierogi, goulash, wienerschnitzel and more. Plus, there will be free-flowing beer at booths around the festival. When: August 31-September 2, times vary Where: Hale Farm & Village, Bath Crafts, music, culinary goods and more await you at this local festival — and it's all made right here in Ohio! Celebrate our local artists and performers over Labor Day weekend and peruse the vendor booths to find something good to take home. When: September 1-2, 3-10 p.m. Where: Silver Springs Park, Stow Featuring fireworks, kids' activities, festival food, refreshing beverages and interactive games, the Summer Sunset Blast is the best way to celebrate the end of the summer if you're in the area. Bring the whole family to climb the rock wall, dance along to live music and play bubble soccer! The fireworks take place on Sunday evening as the grand finale of the event. When: September 1, 2-7 p.m. Where: South Euclid United Church of Christ, South Euclid Award-winning jazz musicians from across Northeast Ohio will perform at this five-hour outdoor concert. Tap along to the beats while you peruse offerings from local food trucks and soak in the sunshine. Proceeds benefit the SEUCC CDF Freedom School, a summer literacy and empowerment program that helps curb summer learning loss and close achievement gaps. When: September 1, 7 p.m. Where: Ely Square, Elyria The Cleveland Pops Orchestra is known for its stellar, jaw-dropping concerts performed on the Fourth of July, Labor Day and several other occasions throughout the year. In honor of Labor Day, come enjoy this free concert in Ely Square, featuring world-class jazz and blues music. When: September 1-3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: 6331 Canton Road, Malvern The Great Trail Festival is a celebration of American Folk Art — both contemporary and traditional. This unique experience invites you to discover local artists and take a step back in time with living history demonstrations. It's guaranteed to be fun for the whole family! When: September 2-3, times vary Where: Downtown Hudson It would be wise to come hungry to this foodie-targeted festival in Hudson! The event over Labor Day weekend is highly anticipated year after year and features more than a dozen local restaurants offering up small bites. While you're tasting the local flavors, make sure to check out the interactive children's area, the wine and beer garden, the live performances, and more than 75 vendor and artist booths!
Photo courtesy of the Columbus Greek FestivalCelebrate everything you love about Greek culture at this colorful festival! Featuring Greek song and dance, cathedral tours, traditional costumes, and delicious food and drink, the festival truly provides an opportunity to experience Greek culture without the expensive plane ticket. Bring the whole family to explore the shops, dance to live music and enjoy a unique Greek tasting experience that whisks you away to another time and place. When: August 31-September 3, game times vary. Columbus Clippers Schedule Where: Huntington Park, Columbus With the end of summer comes the end of baseball season, but there are still several opportunities to cheer on the Columbus Clippers! Watch the ball game over Labor Day weekend as the Clippers face off against the Toledo Mud Hens. When: August 31-September 2, times vary Where: Fortress Obetz, Obetz This free, family-friendly festival will take place at Fortress Obetz and is designed to celebrate everything about zucchini. Come find out who can grow the biggest zucchini, who makes the best zucchini bread, and who can present the best-dressed zucchini (yes, it's a thing). There will also be live performances from Gretchen Wilson, Bret Michaels and more, a pageant, local vendors, a grand parade, and a car show. Don't miss it! When: September 1-3, times vary Where: East Waterloo Street and North High Street, Canal Winchester Make the short trek to Canal Winchester to engage in a little old-fashioned family fun! The Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival will include a Disney-themed parade, a beer garden, a car show, canal boat races, interactive games, live music, food, drinks and so much more. When: September 1, 8 p.m. Where: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus Soccer games are always eventful because the action never stops! Our local soccer club, Columbus Crew S.C., competes in Major League Soccer and has been around since 1994. Come down to MAPFRE Stadium to cheer them on in their game against New York City F.C. When: September 1, 4-10 p.m. Where: Short North Neighborhood, Columbus If you haven't experienced the Short North Gallery Hop yet, now is your chance. This legendary Columbus tradition draws thousands of visitors on the first Saturday of every month to view new gallery exhibitions, discover street performers, engage in special events, and enjoy food and drinks throughout the neighborhood. While you're exploring, make sure to check out this guide to Short North for ideas on what to do! When: September 1, noon Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus It's time to don your grey and scarlet and dig your foam finger out of the closet — football season is back. Head down to Ohio Stadium to join in the celebrations and cheer on the Buckeyes — and don't forget to stop by a tailgate or two on your way. Here is our complete guide to tailgating for OSU games! When: September 2, 6-10:30 p.m. Where: Columbus Commons, Columbus Shadowbox Live, Columbus' beloved local performance troupe, will bring two musical legends to life on stage as they explore the lives of David Bowie and Prince. These two revolutionized music, fashion and pop culture, and the show is expected to be unlike anything you've ever seen before! Bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the free show at Columbus Commons. When: September 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Northam Park, Upper Arlington
Photo courtesy of the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts FestivalThis annual Labor Day arts festival draws more than 25,000 visitors each year and is considered the city's signature event! It takes place in the idyllic Northam Park and showcases the works of local, regional and national artists working a variety of media. Additionally, there will be live performances, a family-friendly activities area, and a variety of food and beverage booths.