what is there to do in columbus, indiana?
Food & Drink
Lunchtime in downtown Columbus is bustling as employees of nearby businesses enjoy the locally owned eateries, ranging from ethnic food to pub fare. You’ll also find fine dining, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and microbreweries.View Dining Guide
Architecture & Arts
Visitors come to Columbus from all over the world for our architecture tours. In fact, we’ve been ranked 6th in the world for best architecture. In addition to the churches, schools and other buildings designed by world-renowned architects, Columbus is home to many pieces of public art. You’ll also enjoy Exhibit Columbus, where we jury and welcome artists to create temporary outdoor pieces every other summer.BOOK AN ARCHITECTURE TOUR SEE OUR PUBLIC ART GUIDE
You can enjoy the great outdoors even without leaving the city limits. Mill Race Park in downtown Columbus has been ranked in the Top 100 in the nation for design, reputation and accessibility. Its covered bridge is a popular photo setting, and the views from the 84-foot observation tower are definitely worth the climb. The park is home to two lakes and an amphitheater that hosts concerts and performances. You’ll find Columbus to be a bicyclist-friendly town. We have canoe and kayak rentals, a skate park, fishing, a top-ranked public golf course and hiking trails. You’re also just a few miles away from some of the beautiful Indiana State Parks.
Recreation & Shopping
In addition to the outdoor rec mentioned above, you’ll also find a wide variety of things to do indoors in Columbus. Challenge yourself at Columbus Rock Gym, designed for both experienced and beginner climbers. Take in a concert put on by the Columbus Philharmonic, our city’s professional symphony orchestra. You could learn a new craft from a trained professional artist through the Columbus Area Arts Council’s lifelong learning classes. Looking for shopping? We have that covered, too, from our popular Indiana Premium Outlets and local boutiques to the Exit 76 Antique Mall. And don’t worry—Columbus has a Target, too.
Moving to a new community like Columbus is easy because there are so many opportunities to get connected with others outside of work, too. Like these three groups:
- Columbus Young Professionals is affiliated with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and gets together for networking and fun events as well as volunteer activities.
- Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Association (CAMEO) is a welcoming organization that helps everyone in the community recognize and celebrate the traditions of our diverse ethnic cultures.
- Columbus Area Arts Council is here to strengthen the area through arts and culture, and you can get involved with their many programs, from pop-up events to workshops.
Fun for Families
Columbus loves kids and vice versa! For starters, they can climb on one of the most innovative play-spaces in the Midwest—located inside the Commons in downtown Columbus. And they can get flushed down a giant toilet (not really) at our three-story children’s museum, called kidscommons. Everyone’s a kid with a sundae or soda at Zaharakos Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor.CHECK OUT FAMILY FUN
For starters, Columbus has the highest per-capita giving to United Way, so you know that’s a good place to get started if volunteering is your passion. Columbus Pride Festival has all kinds of volunteer opportunities as we celebrate unity and individualism. Our annual Mill Race Marathon takes place each September, and you can imagine how many volunteers are needed to create the big success it is every year. Mill Race Theatre Company needs volunteer actors, directors, set builders and more. Of course, Columbus welcomes thousands of visitors each year for our architecture tours, and that takes a lot of volunteer tour guides.
No matter your faith tradition, you should be able to find a faith home in Columbus. Four of the Columbus churches are included on our architecture tours, but they are also vibrant houses of worship welcoming visitors and new members at all times. And there are many more churches in the area, offering Catholic, Protestant and non-denominational options. The Islamic Center of Columbus, Indiana welcomes Muslims and others who want to learn about their beliefs. Sha’arei Shalom - Reform Jewish Congregation of Columbus, Indiana was founded in the late 1960s and hosts community events. The Hindu Society of Southern Indiana hosts a variety of religious, educational and cultural events throughout the year.