Winter in Columbus is a magical time of year – a season filled with fluffy snow, fun holidays and fresh fashion. But unlike summer, where you can simply walk outside your apartment and find an activity to do, winter can seem like an entertainment wasteland.
In reality, there are tons of fun things to do in Columbus during the winter months! To help you beat the winter blues in the Arch City, here are three great suggestions.
1. Attend/Play a Winter Sport in Columbus
What better winter activity to do in Columbus than attend or play a winter sport?! The OhioHealth Ice Haus – practice home of the Columbus Blue Jackets – offers public ice skating daily, as well as adult hockey leagues and figure skating for all skill levels. Don’t know how to ice skate or play hockey? No problem! The Ice Haus features classes for all skill levels, taught by trained experts.
For an authentic winter skating experience, head over to Winter Park – opens for the month of February across the street from Nationwide Arena – and glide on their NHL-sized ice rink. After your skate, warm up with Zoup! or enjoy an array of restaurants and bars the Arena District has to offer.
Since winter is prime time for hockey season, fans of winter sports can also entertain themselves with Columbus Blue Jackets games at Nationwide Arena. Stop at R Bar Arena for some pre-game drinks.
If you enjoy skiing and snowboarding near Columbus, there are several hills and trails for you to visit. Some of the most popular include:
For social ski enthusiasts, consider joining the Columbus Ski Club – a non-profit organization that meets at The Bogey Inn in Dublin, OH the first and third Wednesday of every winter month!
2. Explore Local Columbus Coffee Shops
No matter how you feel about the season, winter in Columbus is so much better with a delicious cup of coffee. In fact, the region is particular famous for its java, and boasts the Columbus Coffee Trail – a collection of high-quality local coffee shops located in and around downtown Columbus. The trail is perfect for those looking for an artfully made latte or unique international blend.
Of course, if all you need is a regular ol’ cup of joe, you can visit any one of the several big-chain coffee shops you know and love in Columbus – including a conveniently located Starbucks in the Arena District.
3. Check Out Local Columbus Events
Columbus offers a surprisingly large and diverse array of events in the winter months – hibernate we do not! From fitness expos, sports tournaments and 5Ks that keep you active, to food conventions, ice musicals and auto shows – here are a few local Columbus events to check out this winter.
Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo (January 20, 2018, Nationwide Arena)
Expect the unexpected when the 2018 Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo National Tour returns to Nationwide Arena. Fan favorites include Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding and Bareback Riding with the top two competing in a thrilling Winner takes all Showdown Round. Stop by Ted’s Montana Grill in the Arena District before or after the show!
Columbus Winter Beerfest (January 19-20, 2018, Columbus Convention Center)
Columbus craft beer lovers, rejoice! The Columbus Winter Beerfest, now in its 8th year, brings together more than 130 breweries – both local and national – for a celebration of craft beer. The event includes hundreds of different craft beers, live music and much more!
AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo (January 19-21, 2018, Columbus Convention Center)
Can’t stand the cold Columbus weather? Maybe it’s time for an escape! The AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo is the perfect opportunity for heat-starved Midwesterners to discover their next big travel destination. The event lets you speak one-on-one with travel experts, features fun, interactive family-friendly activities, offers exclusive vacation packages and discounts to fit your budget.
Disney On Ice (January 24-28, 2018, Nationwide Arena)
If you have any little ones in your life, take them to see Disney on Ice this winter! The star-studded extravaganza features the stars from all the Disney favorites – including Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel and more. After the show stop at Boston’s just a short walk from Nationwide Arena and enjoy some gourmet pizza rounding out a perfect family day! If you are visiting the District, grab parking before you go.
Arnold Sports Festival (March 1-4, 2018, Columbus Convention Center)
A great way for Columbus residents to stay active in the winter months! The Arnold Sports Festival is the world’s largest multi-sport event in the world – with more than 20,000 athletes from 80 nations expected to participate. Founded 30 years ago by actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, this storied Columbus festival is headlined with professional bodybuilding and strongman competitions.
Anyone can register to participate in dozens of different fitness challenges – including a 5K, martial arts, equestrian, cheerleading, dance, archery, baton twirling, a kids/teens sports expo and so much more.
NCAA Women’s Final Four (March 30-April 1, 2018, Nationwide Arena)
The NCAA Women’s Final Four is a weekend celebration that features the national semifinals and championship game of the NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Annual Convention held at the Columbus Convention Center, an NCAA Official Fan Festival called Tourney Town and numerous other community events.
See a Show at EXPRESS LIVE! (Located in the Arena District)
EXPRESS LIVE! – formerly known as the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion – is an indoor/outdoor concert venue perfect for escapes from winter chills. Headliners include some of the most prolific music artists of our time – from Coldplay and The Killers to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hall & Oates. Visit the EXPRESS LIVE! website to see and buy tickets for a show in their 2018 lineup.