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The 2024 summer bucket list for Columbus

Make the most of summer in Columbus, OH by trying these seasonal events, outdoor shows, and local parks from May-August.

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Find walking paths, climbing walls, and one day a brewery at this downtown oasis. | Photo via @cbusmetroparks

Table of Contents

Summer is almost here, and Columbus is so ready. From live music and Memorial Day celebrations to hiking and festivals, summer is when CBUS comes alive.

Get ready to get outside with this guide featuring summer happenings — including ideas for the Fourth of July — between May and August.

The great outdoors

When the weather is above 60° in CBUS, we want to be outside as much as possible. That’s why we are resharing these handy guides to make sure you spend your summer just like us — outside.

  • Make the most of the good weather with 25 local restaurants offering outdoor dining.
  • Looking to get more fit this summer? So is City Editor Mitch, and that’s why he’ll be using these outdoor trails for running, hiking, and walking.
  • Start your days at these local farmers markets for fresh produce like tomatoes, corn, and peaches.
  • Enjoy all the various local parks Columbus has to offer, including options that are dog-friendly, family-friendly, and nature-focused.
  • Whether you’re looking to practice your putting, or crack a few long shots at the driving range, we’ve got plenty of options with these local golf courses.

Bonus: Stay tuned for outdoor movie announcements from heavy hitters like NightLight 614, Easton Town Center, and the South Drive-in Theatre.

Memorial Day in CBUS

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Explore different exhibits to honor local veterans from various wars. | Photos via National Veterans Memorial and Museum

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum is the place to be for all things Memorial Day weekend. They will begin their commemorations and celebrations on Saturday, May 25 and finish on Monday, May 27.

  • Opening Night: Ghost Army | Thursday, May 24 | 7 p.m. | Listen to the story of a top secret unit that specialized in deceiving the German troops during World War II.
  • Memorial Day Motorcycle Ride | Saturday, May 25 | 11 a.m. | Register to ride alongside other veterans in the city + learn about the meaning of the holiday prior to the ride.
  • Gold Star Family Candlelight Vigil | Sunday, May 26 | 7 p.m. | Light candles and stand in remembrance of loved ones lost on the battlefield.
  • Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony | Monday, May 27 | 10 a.m. | Honor the men and women that died due to war as well as the families they left behind.

There are plenty of other ways to make your long weekend extra local.

  • Scioto Mile Fountain Reopening | Friday, May 24 | 12 p.m. | Genoa Park | Free | After closing for a year, community leaders will host a ribbon cutting.
  • Fountain Fest | Friday, May 24-Saturday, May 25 | 12-7 p.m. | Genoa Park | Free | Directly after the ribbon cutting, there will be live music, food trucks, drinks, and plenty of time for kids to play in the new splash pad.
  • Family Fun Day | Saturday, May 25 | 4-8 p.m. | Columbus Commons | Free | Bring the kids for face paintings, arts + crafts, carousel rides, and live music + grab a meal from a food truck.
  • “Moana” | Saturday, May 25 | 8 p.m. | Columbus Commons | Family Fun Day will become Family Fun Night when the Commons presents its free screening of this beloved Disney film.
  • Jeni’s Strawberry Jam | Saturday, May 25-Sunday, May 26 | 11-10 p.m. | Land-Grant Brewing Co. | Free | Sip craft beer and devour ice cream, all themed around strawberries to celebrate the seasonal harvest.

Independence Day ideas

CBUStoday Red White and BOOM

Did you know Red, White & BOOM has been a tradition for 41 years? | Photo via Canva

Local organizations will be hosting celebrations throughout the week ahead of Thursday, July 4.

  • Red, White and BOOM! | Wednesday, July 3 | Downtown Columbus | Prepare for an all day event with parades, kid activities, and street markets. Plus, it’s all capped off with the largest firework show in the Midwest.
  • Doo Dah Parade and Music Festival | Thursday, July 4 | Goodale Park + Short North | The parade showcases the truly strange side of Columbus as no registration or theme is required to join the march, and it’s one of City Editor Mitch’s favorite events to attend each year.
  • Fourth of July Parade and Party in the Park | Thursday, July 4 | Upper Arlington | This is one of the most popular neighborhood parades in the city and folks save their seat earlier and earlier each year, so plan accordingly.

Plus, many other suburbs are known to host firework shows in the evening of this week. Be sure to check out websites such as Bexley, Dublin, Gahanna, Westerville, and Worthington for updates on their plans for 2024. If you prefer smaller crowds, these neighborhood shows are your go-to.

Save the dates

CBUStoday Columbus Crew

Check out the Crew’s full roster before heading to a game so you can root for your favorite player. | Photo via @columbuscrew

From concerts to festivals, there’s no shortage of fun in Columbus.

  • Keep up to date with all the best fests in CBUS with our guide.
  • Never miss a concert date thanks to this resource.
  • Cheer on the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field with local vendors like Condado. The Crew’s home stadium will also host the 2024 MLS All-Star game where the top talent from the MLS + La Liga will compete in CBUS.
  • Minor League Baseball is back with the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park. There are plenty of packages, themes, and discounts offered during home games, including Dime-A-Dog night on Tuesdays.

Don’t worry; we’ve made these guides easy to access too. Follow CBUStoday on Instagram so you can quickly find more concerts and festivals this year.

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