Columbus is definitely a college town, but it can start to look like a ghost town during the summer when everyone rushes from the dorms and apartments back home. If campus was an old-time western movie, there’d probably be tumbleweeds rolling across High St.
Keeping entertained in a massive city like Columbus seems like it would be easy, but in reality, it’s kind of overwhelming. I mean, do you venture into the Short North? Downtown? German Village? So instead of pounding our heads against the wall looking for entertainment, we talked to some alumni from Ohio State who’ve hung around near campus to see what they do in the summer to stay entertained in Columbus. After all, who would know the campus area better than some former students still stickin’ around?
Ashley Roudebush • 2018 graduate
“There are festivals that I never would have discovered before I graduated and worked downtown, like Rhythm on the River and the Jazz and Ribs Festival. It’s a great way to spend a summer day and you can get a group of friends together and make a day of it.”
When you’re a student you can get stuck to just campus and the Short North but there is a whole new world in Downtown Columbus that sometimes seems too far away to enjoy but there’s a ton of stuff to do. There are farmers markets and events happening frequently down on the Scioto Mile. Big summer festivals come through the city like the Columbus Arts Festival on June 8 through 10 and Rhythm on the River, which happens on select summer Friday nights, brings musicians downtown for a fun atmosphere. Other non-festival events include 5Ks like the Jack Roth 5K Rock & Run/Walk on June 10 or the Hilltop USA 5K on July 7. No matter your taste for entertainment, this city will always keep you moving.
Daniel Lahue • 2017 graduate
“I’m a big fan of Fourth Street which has karaoke every week and it’s an excuse to get everyone together.”
WEEKLY BAR EVENTS
Bars on and near campus can feel deserted when so many people have left for the summer for a lot of bars have organized events that bring a crowd to ensure a fun atmosphere. Fourth Street Bar and Grill has karaoke that pulls people from all over for cheap drinks, some fun music and probably a few laughs when your friends try to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” in front of the crowd. Popular bars around campus like Ethyl and Tank and World of Beer have trivia every week with prizes up to $40 so you can keep drinking after trivia ends. And if you’re just trying to catch a show or laugh a little, open mic nights at Barrel goes down on Wednesdays while Shrunken Head has their open mic nights on Mondays. Usually these events happen during happy hour so there’s even more reasons to grab a drink during the week.
Sam Hollingshead • 2016 graduate
“When I got my own place in Columbus I noticed there was a new brewery opening, along with the new ones like BrewDog and I started to navigate towards those areas.”
COLUMBUS IS A CRAFT BEER TOWN
The Brewery District is a bit far from campus but worth the hike if you’re looking for the best beer the city has to offer. Along with the beer there’s all different kinds of food that are hidden gems in the city, with spanish tapas and czech pastries it’s an all-around good time. There are also new breweries popping up in the Short North like Brewdog which opened its doors in April as well as opening another location in Franklinton and other staples of the city like Land-Grant which is typically accompanied by Ray-Ray’s Hog Pit. Other breweries have been set up on High St. and if your feeling for adventure needs quenched, the Columbus Ale Trail is a great way to do so while you also catch a buzz.
Ashley Nelson • 2018 graduate
My favorite: HIT THE CONCERT SCENE
Columbus’ music scene continues to grow and more artists are putting Columbus on their tour route. Just this summer Columbus will see Migos, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift and Pink! My advice is to branch out and go see a show at Rumba Cafe or The Basement and see a band you maybe haven’t heard before. For smaller venues tickets can be as cheap as $20 and if you use certain ticket apps like SeatGeek, you can use promo codes and get tickets even cheaper. The venues in Columbus are countless and places like Express Live are incredibly fun especially when it’s a nice summer night where you can hang out on the lawn with a beer.