- The list below includes 122 free or cheap things to do in or near Columbus, Ohio, including 68 different types of inexpensive activities like Neighborhoods, Parks, Family Fun Center and Movie Theaters.
- From Ohio State University to Short North Arts District, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Columbus and in nearby cities within 25 miles like Westerville, Dublin, Hilliard and Powell.
Darree Fields Dog Park is a dog park open to the public to bring pets for exercise and socialization. The park contains separate fenced-in areas for large and small dogs, a water source for hydration, and picnic tables.
In its indoor facility, Recreations Outlet has a variety of wooden play structures and trampolines for children to explore. Visitors can host birthday parties by purchasing a party pass that includes pizza and a 2 hour play session.
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium has been ranked the #1 zoo in the United States multiple times. It houses more than 10,000 animals and over 700 species, including everything from polar bears and bald eagles, to Asian elephants and rhinoceroses.
The moderate-sized Zoombezi Bay is a water park linked to other prominent Columbus attractions. Several thrill-based water rides target older kids and adults while there is a specific area for younger individuals to safely play.
Glick Park & Overlook is a municipal park with overlooks of the O'Shaunessy Dam. With shaded picnic areas, benches, walkways, and access to the lower river for great fishing, this park is a good stop before visiting the zoo.