A Must-Have Guide To Columbus For The Intern Under 21

Whether you’re under 21, or you just don’t fancy the bar and club scene, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your (sober) time in the city. Columbus offers great art, culture, and retail and has grown into a hotspot for millennials.  Here are 10 booze-free ways to balance work with play:

Spend an afternoon in the Short North and stroll down High Street

via Wikimedia Commons

The Short North Arts District has earned its reputation as the city’s epicenter for arts and culture. In fact, USA Today just named High Street one of the “10 great American shopping streets.” You can check out the galleries or prowl through a variety retailers, from big names like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters to smaller boutiques like Ladybird or Clothe Ohio. Refuel at one of the several restaurants and coffee shops in the area. If you have a special furry friend in your life, spoil them with Three Dogs Bakery and Emi Pet Salon & Boutique. Seriously, they’ll wiggle their butts off.

…or German Village

Travel writers from a variety of publications have tried to capture the village’s historic charm, but you have the benefit of being a short drive away. The village has resisted modernization by preserving its architecture and brick-lined streets. Definitely put the Book Loft on your itinerary — according to the German Village Society, it’s one of the largest independent bookstores in the nation. Hit up Winans Chocolates and Coffees or Stauf’s Coffee for a pick-me-up. Wind down by strolling through Schiller Park, and don’t forget to snap a few pictures for Instagram. Pics or it didn’t happen.

See the Columbus Clippers

via Facebook

This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a beloved American pastime: baseball and greasy food. Gorge on stadium food and watch the Columbus team step up to the plate. The Columbus Clippers have games scheduled all summer, with plenty of home games to choose from. If you go on College ID Nights, you can get a ticket and $5 in Clippers Cash for $10 if you bring your college ID.

Shop ‘til you drop at Easton Town Center

via Wikimedia Commons

You’re bound to find some good stuff on sale at one of the many stores at Easton. You don’t have to go on a full-blown shopping spree to enjoy your time there. You can wander a bit and soak up some sun while you shop, take a break for a coffee at Starbucks, and top your shopping trip off by sitting down for some food. Nevertheless, I’ll pray for your wallet. If you like comedy, see show at the Funny Bone and go for some pre-show dinner.

Freeload on fitness classes

via Wikimedia Commons

Doing the same old workout can be a snooze, so try out some classes to add some variety to your routine. Easton Town Center offers free Fitness Yoga on the Square with instructors from Life Time Fitness and CorePower Yoga. Columbus Commons offers free fitness classes for cardio, yoga, kickboxing, bootcamp, hip hop, and Zumba in two summer sessions: the first session begins in May and goes through mid-June, and the second session lasts through August and September. The specific dates vary depending on the class.

Hit the North Market

via North Market Facebook

The market is open seven days a week, but it hosts a farmer’s market on Saturdays where you can buy fresh produce from local farms. You can shop the “Peddler’s Picnic” on Sundays for vintage and homemade items such as jewelry and art. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have more jewelry than you can wear by the end of the summer.

Visit the Columbus Museum of Art

Get cultured and view some quality art. General admissions tickets for adults are $14, but Sundays are free. Special exhibition tickets cost just a few bucks more. You’re allowed to take pictures, but ditch the flash, tripod, and selfie stick. If you think you’ll need some help, you can plan a tour. Stop at the museum store on your way out to pick up a memento or two — that’s obviously the best part.

Check out the Arena District’s music venues

Get into the groove with shows and concerts at Nationwide Arena, Express LIVE!, A&R Music Bar, and The Basement. See big acts or lesser-known artists — there’s an option for any tolerance level you happen to have for people on a given day. And you don’t have to break the bank for good live entertainment.

Gallery Hop

via Short North Arts District Facebook

Gallery Hop happens the first Saturday of every month. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out the art on display, enjoy the street performers, and chow down on some delicious food and drink. Save the Netflix marathon for another Saturday.

Rediscover your inner child at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

via Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Facebook

Just look at that face. Unfortunately, you won’t get to snuggle any baby animals, but you can fawn over them and snap some pictures. The admission rate is $14.99 for guests from Franklin County and $19.99 for guests from outside the county. Since you’re living in Columbus for the summer, you can get the lower rate if you bring a utility bill with you.

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