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Where To Have A Perfect Picnic In Columbus

It’s picnic season, my friends!

There’s nothing quite like grabbing a blanket, packing up a bunch of food, picking out the perfect bottle of wine, and snuggling up somewhere pretty for a romantic afternoon! Picnics are a seriously underrated date.

First of all, they’re accommodating. You can make them as cheap or affordable as you’d like. You get to set the mood by bringing your own music, and if you choose the right spot, you’ll get to have a beautiful view.

There are lots of great places around Columbus to sit down and enjoy yourself, but there are some that are so pretty, you’ll never want the picnic to end. Not to be a party pooper, but I do want to remind you that you can’t have alcohol at a lot of parks around Columbus, so be sure to check their individual rules before you plan your picnic and don’t forget to practice social distancing while enjoying the parks.

The Topiary Park

via Facebook

The Topiary Park is such a wonderful place for a picnic, especially in the summer. There are plenty of trees that you can sit in the shade of, plus, the park is gorgeous. It sits right behind the Main Library and is a little oasis in the middle of downtown Columbus.
Address: 480 E Town St, Columbus, OH 43215
Hours: Daily, from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Scioto Grove Metro Park

Scioto Grove Metro Park's river in spring
via Metro Parks

Scioto Grove Metro Park is one of my favorite places around this whole city! It’s got some beautiful views of the river, hiking trails, and plenty of picnic areas if you aren’t feeling like sitting on the ground. I know I’m biased because I got married there, but it really one of the city’s most beautiful parks.
Address: 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City, OH 43123
Hours: Daily, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Columbus Park of Roses (Whetstone Park)

There’s nothing as romantic as the Columbus Park of Roses. If you’re hoping to pull out all the stops for your picnic, this might just be the spot for you. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s something pretty to look at. In fact, you can get a better idea of which blooms will be in season here!
Address: 3901 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Franklin Park

via Facebook

Franklin Park is one of the most iconic parks in Columbus, and it’s a great place for couples and families alike. If you want to make a day of it, you can pop into the Franklin Park Conservatory after your picnic to explore all sorts of environments and plants. Visiting the park is free of charge, but the conservatory will have an additional cost.
Address: 1755 E. Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203

Scioto Audubon Metro Park

via Facebook

Looking for a nice view of Columbus while you snack on some fruit and cheese? Head to Scioto Audubon Metro Park. If a river view is more your vibe, there are plenty of great spots for that as well. There’s also a dog park and a rock climbing area. And did I mention the water tower? It’s great for some sunset selfies. Get those Instagram likes, people!
Address: 400 W Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43215
Hours: Daily, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Schiller Park

Schiller Park is my personal go-to picnic destination. I love to spread out a blanket near the pond and cross my fingers that I’m far enough away from the seemingly ravenous and not-at-all-afraid-of-people ducks. In all seriousness, it’s a great spot for an evening picnic.
Address: 1069 Jaeger St, Columbus, OH 43206
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Goodale Park

via Facebook

Goodale Park was created in 1851 and was the city’s first public park, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that it has seen a fair share of picnics throughout the years. Goodale is also a great spot for people like myself, who enjoy picnics, but who are not good cooks. Take your picnic up a notch by grabbing carryout from any of the nearby restaurants around the Short North, then head to the park for a delicious meal that caused you zero stress to prepare.
Address: 120 W Goodale St, Columbus, OH 43215
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Glen Echo Park

via Facebook

I love Glen Echo Park. It’s such a hidden gem and it has a magical vibe. Although I don’t think it’s really a secret, it is usually pretty quiet and peaceful. You do have to walk down some stairs to get into the park, so if that’s not for you, feel free to take your party somewhere that suits your style! There are some picnic tables available throughout the park, as well as some nice views of an ambling creek.
Address: 510 Cliffside Dr, Columbus, OH 43202
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Hoover Reservoir Park

Want to eat your snacks and possibly see a bald eagle? Head to Hoover Reservoir. The park there is huge, so I can guarantee that somewhere in the 4,700 acres, you’ll be able to find a good spot to settle down. There are tons of water sports available at Hoover Reservoir, so if you want to spend some time out on the water before heading back to dry land for your picnic, you totally can.
Address: 7701 Sunbury Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Taking the whole family with you for a picnic? Please go to Blendon Woods Metro Park. The outdoor natural play area is totally amazing and sometimes I genuinely feel a bit jealous of the kids! There’s also some good bird watching and more than a few beautiful spots for a light sandwich and good fun.
Address: 4265 E Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH
Hours: Daily, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.