Newbie’s Guide to Columbus Ohio Nightlife

Finding yourself in a new city can be tough for a number of reasons, especially when looking for things to do in your spare time. If you don’t have friends who are knowledgeable about the local scene, check out these options for nightlife entertainment.

One of the most popular areas of Columbus’ nightlife scene is the Short North. This refers to an area just north of downtown Columbus populated with bars, art galleries, restaurants, shopping, and more. There are plenty of unique spots to visit, but one local favorite is Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar. They handcraft meads—wine made from honey—using high-quality local ingredients whenever possible. Spend a night trying out their special brews and listening to great local music at the same time.

Another great feature of Columbus’s culture is the local radio station, CD1025. Located a little further south in the heart of the Brewery District, they recently opened a public bar & restaurant called the Big Room Bar. You can find lots of local brews, handcrafted cocktails and excellent music when visiting the station.

If you’re into seeing movies, check out the Gateway Film Center, located in the southern area of Ohio State University’s campus. Every week the theater shows a unique lineup of the world’s best blockbusters, docs, indie, and even local films. The Gateway Film Center truly enjoys films, so be even the most knowledgable buff will find the theater intriguing.

A great way to spend the day is to check out Columbus’ own art museum in the heart of downtown. Free on Sundays, the museum is home to great works of art and they are constantly bringing in new and exciting exhibits throughout the year. Be sure to check out the newly renovated section that opened in 2015.

If you’re looking to experience some live music, there are many local venues to explore. Some of the smaller venues that are fun to frequent are Newport Music Hall and A&R Music Bar. Smaller than big arenas, these venues generally attract indie and less mainstream artists, which can end up being more affordable—and much more intimate.

These are just the beginning—there are many more establishments worth checking out in Columbus’ nightlife—including Arch City Tavern. We’re happy to give recommendations on places to check out if you’re new to the area or just visiting. Stop by for a drink or dinner and get to know your neighborhood!


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