Fun, unique attractions in Central Ohio?

Anybody know any fun things to do in the Columbus Ohio area besides COSI, the Zoo, ect..? I'm looking for a cool date idea.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Depending upon your date's interests (barn dancing, hiking, sledding, cross-country skiing, ice skating alone on a farm pond, fall hay rides, etc.), get a copy of "To Have and Have Not (1944), then take off the next day on a surprise trip to Malabar Farm, which you will have researched and planned in advance. Top it off with a visit to the Richland Carousel. This literally is the stuff of Hollywood romance.

    For movie history fans, one of the most captivating locations in the nation is Malabar Farm just east of Mansfield. Here you can visit one of the celebrity get-away locations prior to the jet age (Mansfield was located on a main rail line linking Los Angeles and New York). It was built by one of the period's great authors and screen writers, and stepping through its doors is like stepping back into Hollywood's Golden Age:

    <<Writer and conservationist, Louis Bromfield’s novels were on par with those of other authors of his time such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, but what separated Broomfield’s works from those of his contemporaries was his strong love of nature and respect for America’s agricultural heritage....

    Louis Bromfield, aside from being a famous author, was also a socialite and was intimate friends with many of the big names in Hollywood at the time. Celebrities were known to frequent the “Big House” year-round and stay for weeks on end to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the home. Malabar Farm is most renowned for a celebrity wedding—Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married there in May 1945 in front of a host of other famous actors, socialites, and authors....

    For $5 a hay-bedded wagon will take you and your family or significant other around the grounds of the farm as well as along little-traveled country roads surrounding the Big House. These tours are offered starting in May and continuing until October 1st. While summer tours are always great, especially with the land in full flower around you, I most recommend taking a wagon tour at the end of September when the leaves are starting turn. It is simply the most gorgeous experience, with millions of red, orange, and yellow leaves falling around you and crunching under your feet. During weekends in the winter (they’re only open on weekends after October 1) the when snow is on the ground, Malabar Farm has some of the very best cross-country skiing in the state. For those without their own skis, there are rentals available and for those who have their own and just want to get moving through the chill, plentiful parking is available. There are literally, miles upon miles of trails, and the area is so vast that you are likely not to run across but a few other skiers during your entire day. The best part of the cross-country ski experience at Malabar Farm is the sudden hills you encounter on the trails—you’ll be pumping along, concentrating on your stride, and look up to see you’ve got a steep downhill slop in front of you to help you on your way. Malabar Farm is also a very popular winter destination for sledding and ice-skating. With its plethora of shallow safe ponds, there are ice-skating opportunities at any number of the small water locales throughout the park, all them free. While you make have to hike a bit to find one, if you get there early enough in the day you’re sure to find a quiet spot with no other skaters (if you’re... ahem…looking for some privacy). Also, due to all the steep hills, Malabar Farm is the top destination for sledders—as long as you don’t mind trudging up the hills over and over again. There are several trails, both for horsemen as well as walkers, all of which are open to all year. While technically, the park is only open on the weekends during the winter months, there are still many people who tend to go for walks around the area since the park isn’t locked. The only problem with going on a weekday during the off-season is that you won’t be able to find anything open and if you need help, there aren’t many Park Rangers around and the town is a good fifteen minutes away. >>

    Malabar barn dances:

    Maple syrup season:

    I personally was surprised to see Grandma Moses paintings and the boxer doors at the "Big House." These seemed to say so much about perhaps Ohio's premier Renaissance Man:

    "The Man Who Had Everything:"

    "To Have and Have Not:"

    One of the great movie kisses, especially as the movie legends were falling in love and soon were married:



    Most women of all ages love carousels, and one of the best in the country is in Mansfield:


    Also very near Malabar Farm is Mohican State Park, another winter fun destination very near Columbus, and good place to stay if desiring more upscale facilities during a visit to Malabar Farm. During the winter, the park lodge offers an indoor swimming pool and snowmobiling. During the summer, a very manageable and fun canoeing experience is available. Buy/rent a tent, camp out, and canoe the next day (don't forget the bug spray). You'll never forget the experience.


    Also very near Malabar is the Ski Clear Fork area (is Clear Fork still in business?; it's website was down when I posted this answer). Snow Trails also is near Mansfield:


    Be certain to visit the Cliffton Mill during its famed Christmas Lighting display:


    South and southeast of Columbus are many fun opportunities, from horseriding to snorkeling:

    If you like hiking, one of the most beautiful areas in Ohio is Hocking Hills IMO, southeast of Columbus. I've never been there in winter, but I suspect it would be a very enjoyable weekend.

    In non-winter months, nearby Adena offers one of the most beautiful views in Ohio, as depicted on the state's great seal:

    The Tecumseh outdoor drama also is unique, fun and an unforgettable story:


    If you like hiking, the Great Seal State Park south of Columbus, would make a great day trip, especially during the Leaf Turn, which currently is peaking:


    Also, have you considered dinner in German Village, with a walk before or after. This could be very enjoyable especially around Halloween, but don't try it during a football weekend.


    Combine dinner with a movie at one of the Drexel Theaters.


    With a little imagination, many memorable date opportunities exist in the Columbus area:


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Take an hour trip up I-71 to Mansfield (exit 176), go west about four or five miles, then get off at SR545 and go to the Haunted Prison. It's the same prison where Shawshank Redemption, Tango & Cash, as well as scenes from Air Force One was filmed...

  • 1 decade ago

    The Arena District is nice if you want to bar hop or go to a nice dinner.

  • 1 decade ago

    Also, check out the mansfield reformatory. Freaking awesome visit there!

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  • 1 decade ago

    tour the budwieser plant... go to a blue jackets game...

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure.

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