Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Columbus

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Columbus this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Doo Dah Parade

This longstanding Columbus tradition is back for its 38th year! The Doo Dah Mask’erade Parade celebrates free speech in an over-the-top, satirical way. There will be free live music from noon to 7:30 pm and anyone can march in the parade (for free!). Just follow three simple rules: no nudity, no advertisements, and all politicians must wear silly hats. Line-up begins at noon and the national anthem will be sung at 1 pm. Social distancing will be followed.

Nelson Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Nelson Park, which has picnic areas and grills. There’s also plenty to keep the family occupied during the day, with lots of green space for kids to run around, playgrounds, athletic courts, and trails.

See a Play

The Actor’s Theatre of Columbus is presenting free Shakespeare in Schiller Park (donations are appreciated). They perform on the Amphitheatre Stage at 8 pm, Thursday thru Sunday, weather-permitting. Running over July 4th weekend is The African Company’s rendition of Richard III, an all-Black version of the show that, “understands that “classic” does not always mean white; [that] understands that smart, creative Black people will always overcome when pushed to the brink.”

Go Camping

Summer is the perfect time to embrace the Great Outdoors. Spend the weekend camping at Buckeye Lake KOA campground! If you don’t have a tent or RV, don’t worry, because they also have cabin rentals. And either way, you’ll be spending the weekend in luxury with access to clean restrooms, Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour laundry room. There’s plenty of fun things to do there to get the whole family having fun in the sun, including a pool, basketball hoops, mini-golf, shuffleboard, and a playground! They’ll also be having a celebration over Fourth of July Weekend, which includes a decorated bicycle and golf cart parade, crafts, and more!

Public Pools

Cooling off in a swimming pool is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and Columbus conveniently has eight outdoor public swimming pools where you can easily do that! Normally you need a leisure card to visit the pool, but for summer 2021, admission to all pools will be free! You just need to register for one of the three daily Open Swim time blocks ahead of time (capacity is limited to promote social distancing). If you want to go on July 4th, three of the locations will be open for two time blocks. More information and locations can be found here.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Columbus

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Chadwick Arboretum

152 Howlett Hall 2021, Fyffe Rd, Columbus, OH 43210

Chadwick Arboretum is a 62 acres arboretum on the Agriculture campus of The Ohio State University.  The primary arboretum collection is located just across Lane Avenue from the Schottenstein Center, with its other collections nearby. The arboretum is open daily without charge.

Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum

E Weber Rd, Columbus, OH 43202

An arboretum is a “garden of trees” to study, build a sustainable environment, and enjoy.  Over the last decade, hundreds of native trees and shrubs have been planted on tree lawns throughout the Arboretum area, and select trees are marked along two tree walks.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden and conservatory located in Columbus, Ohio. It is open daily, and an admission fee is charged. Today, it is a horticultural and educational institution showcasing exotic plant collections, special exhibitions, and Dale Chihuly’s artworks.

The Dawes Arboretum

7770 Jacksontown Rd, Newark, OH 43056

The Dawes Arboretum is a nonprofit arboretum located in Newark, Ohio. It includes nearly 2,000 acres of plant collections, gardens, and natural areas. The site consists of approximately 12 miles of hiking trails and roadways for a four-mile driving tour.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Columbus

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Katalina’s

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Columbus, there’s no better place for brunch than Katalina’s. Despite the less-than-chic exterior (it’s located in a 100-year-old gas station!), Katalina’s is a cool and funky café that has been written up in The Wall Street Journal and more. They serve up lots of “local goodness” to make the best breakfast in Columbus. The down-home style food has both Latin and Southern leanings. You have to try their original pancake balls! Other brunch favorites include Mexican French toast, migas (a Tex-Mex egg and tortilla scramble) with avocado toast, and hens-in-a-basket.

The Topiary Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is The Topiary Park. This unique, 9.2-acre public park has been featured in Atlas Obscura for its topiaries that recreate George Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon pointillist painting! After you eat, you can take a stroll through for a closer look at the topiaries.

Franklin Park Conservatory

A lot of people get their moms flowers for Mother’s Day – but how about taking her to see thousands of blooming flowers? The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a lovely place to spend Mother’s Day with your special someone. You can explore a large assortment of gardens, collections, and hothouses in addition to art – there’s currently a Chihuly glass exhibition ongoing at the garden! Make a day of it with lunch at the garden café and a stop at the Botanica Gift Shop. Finally, make sure you don’t leave without paying a visit to the Pacific Island Water Garden, home of the Blooms & Butterflies exhibit, featuring hundreds of butterflies flying free!

Refectory Restaurant

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider The Refectory Restaurant, which has been a staple in the city for over 40 years. The Refectory has earned 4 Diamonds from AAA, among other awards. You’ll dine in an elegant setting (the restaurant is housed in a former church) on classic French and contemporary American cuisine, and have your pick of over 700 selections from their wine cellar. You can either make a reservation for their dining room or order a home dinner for curbside pickup.

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Best Car Washes in Columbus, Ohio

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Columbus, Ohio. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Columbus has to offer.

First, we recommend Clintonville Auto Detailing. This shop is family owned and they’ve been in the detailing business for over forty years. They offer various packages depending on the size of your car. They also service trucks, minivans, full size vans, and SUV’s. Their detailing includes both the exterior and the interior. They also offer an acid wheel cleaning package as well as odor treatments and mold treatments. Depending on how much work your car needs, you might want to give Clintonville Auto Detailing a call.

Second, we suggest Buckeye Auto Spa . They wash your car by hand with a soft-cloth car wash. This shop has several different detailing packages including both interior and exterior details. They service cars and coupes, midsize SUV’s, and large vehicles such as trucks and vans as well. If you need deeper detail work to remove tree sap or heavy pet hair, these services are assessed and priced upon inspection of the car. Appointments are needed for service, so make sure you call first or go online to book your appointment today.

Finally, Universal Detailing might be the detailer you need. They service all kinds of vehicles from large SUV’s to luxury vehicles. Not only do they wash and detail the interior and exterior of your car, they also offer window tinting, hand waxing, headlight restoration, or their specialty hand buffing. They pride themselves on their white glove service and their quick yet thorough eye to detail. They even offer to pick up your vehicle and also drop it off when it’s finished as a convenience to you. You might also consider their engine cleaning package or their whole car sanitization package.

If you’d like to save a little money and be done in five minutes or less, you can visit some local drive through car washes as well, such as McClaskie’s Drive Thru and Car Wash on S. High St., Anchor Car Wash Systems on N. Wilson Rd., or DIY Car Wash on Lockbourne Rd. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Columbus, Ohio, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Columbus

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Columbus and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Columbus that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than Le Méridien Columbus. This trendy, boutique hotel in the Short North Arts District is near lots of restaurants, shops, and galleries. The artsy theme of the neighborhood echoes inside the hotel with eclectic décor, 500 pieces of art on display, a curated café bar and lounge, and more. Your room features Columbus-made artwork, locally made Amish furniture, and modern amenities. We recommend getting pampered during your stay by visiting a spa suite with personal, private spa treatments and a stone and marble bathroom with a rainfall shower! Their generous pet policy is fee-free and allows up to two pets per room.

Graduate Columbus

For a casual and youthful hotel experience, try The Graduate, where pets of any size are welcomed for $25 per night. This hotel employs a laid-back vibe and college-themed décor scheme! You won’t feel like you’re staying in a dorm, though. This 4-star hotel includes free Wi-Fi, plenty of meeting space, bikes for borrow, and rooms with large flat-screen TVs. Make sure to start your day with a breakfast pizza from Poindexter Coffee in the lobby before heading out into the heart of the vibrant Short North Arts District, near Ohio State University’s campus.

Airbnb – Entire House

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this house near downtown, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes free parking, Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and essentials. The Airbnb has been renovated and is decorated in a clean, cozy, and modern style and there’s also a fenced-in yard that’s perfect for pets. The house has two bedrooms, so it’s also a good pick if you’re bringing kids or traveling with friends. During your stay, you’ll be located near downtown in the Franklinton neighborhood, which is a mix of quiet residential streets and revitalized industrial spaces that now hold galleries and artists’ studios. The host, Daniel, has earned an impressive 5-star rating for the property due to his excellent communication, thoughtful touches, and cozy feel.

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near CMH

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Columbus Public Health

240 Parsons Avenue

Columbus, OH 43215

614.645.7417

Hours:  Monday – Friday 730am to 430pm

Several Columbus retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         Kroger Pharmacy

·         CVS

·         Giant Eagle Pharmacy

There are also two mass vaccination sites available to the public – a long-term and a pop-up clinic.  It is suggested that contact the event handlers ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         Long-term – Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair

·         Pop-up clinic – St. John Arena at Ohio State University

There is also the choice of being vaccinated at one of the participating hospitals.  Again, contact the hospital ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         Lower Lights Christian Health Center

·         Nationwide Children’s Hospital

·         OhioHealth David P. Blom Administrative Campus

·         OhioHealth Wellness on Wheels – Hilltop YMCA

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Great Places to Stay Traveling to Columbus

Columbus Airport Parking, onairparking.com for the best rates!

Do you have travel to Columbus coming up soon? Whether you’ve been to the city before or it’s your very first time, if you don’t have relatives or friends to stay with, you’re going to be looking for a quality place to rest your head.

Finding the very best place can be overwhelming when you have to consider all the factors, like price, comfort, service, health & safety, location, and more! To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Columbus. All are very different -from quirky to traditional- but highly rated. Read on to see why these are your best options, and then choose the one that best serves your needs!

Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a relaxing place to stay where everything is taken care of for you, book a room at

Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph. This comfortable oasis is located in the Short North Arts District, near restaurants, shops, and galleries, but offers plenty of relaxing entertainment options onsite, as well. For instance, there are 500 pieces of art on display around the hotel, spa suites, a curated café bar and lounge, and more.

Glamping Tent

When you’re traveling, it can be nice to stay somewhere that’s a bit of an adventure so that the stay itself feels just as exciting as your excursions. That’s where this Romantic Glamping Tent comes in. Located just outside of the city, this charming tent lets you stay on a farm with chickens and goats, a garden, fire pit, and hammocks! Don’t think the rustic surroundings mean you’ll be sacrificing comfort though; you’ll sleep on a queen bed under a down comforter, have access to a bathroom, and get your own private solar-powered shower. You’ll be situated on the grounds of an inn where there’s locally-sourced breakfast, a complimentary coffee and snack bar, and nightly wine and cheese!

Marriott Columbus University Area

Have some junior explorers tagging along with you on your trip? A fun place for families to stay is the Marriott Columbus University Area. This hotel has kid-friendly breakfast options at their morning buffet, kids meals on the room service menu, and amenities the whole family will enjoy, like a pool, terrace, patio, and outdoor fireplace. A stay here will be very comfortable for adults in your party, too, due to its well-equipped fitness center and onsite bar.

Hilton Garden Inn Columbus Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at Hilton Garden Inn, which is only a mile away from the airport. To make things even more convenient, the hotel provides a quick shuttle service to take you to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, a pool, and a hotel restaurant.

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