Spring is in the Air!

March 25th, 2015

Since the weather has turned (a little) warmer and the sun has poked out from behind the clouds, I’ve been spending my after-work hours outdoors along the Olentangy Greenway Trail, watching the ducks on the river and the seasons changing. Along the trail, in my grandma’s garden, and throughout my neighborhood, I’ve been cheering on the early green of crocuses and tulips that are beginning to emerge from the brown earth still soft from our last snow. They are evidence of the coming April, when Columbus celebrates Earth Day for a whole week with a culminating celebration in the Columbus Commons on the same day as the Ohioana Book Festival!

To get into the spirit of the season, here are some books by Ohioana Book Festival authors focused on the outdoors:

  • For those of you itching to be near (or in) the water, Daniel L. Rice and Gary Meszaros published Native Fishes of Ohio in 2014, which features amazing underwater photographs and over 100 pages of information about native fishes.
  • Pick up a copy of Native Fishes of Ohiomaking sure to say hi to the authors, and then spend some time by the water. Besides the Olentangy Greenway Trail, some other great waterside activities in and around Columbus include searching for the Riverboxes™ along the Scioto River, or an afternoon picnic at Griggs Resevoir after the Book Festival.

  • Follow the Blue Blazes, by Connie and Robert J. Pond is a guide to the Buckeye Trail, a 1,444 mile loop around Ohio. The couple cover everything you can think of, including a hiking checklist, a guide to trail markings, and how to be safe and comfortable while hiking. They detail different sections of the trail, including partial hikes, and photographs of the paths.
  • Fortunately Columbus has a wonderful Metroparks system, providing scenic hikes of various lengths and difficulty. Grab a copy of the Ponds’ book to read in one of our beautiful Metroparks while you plan your Buckeye Trail adventure.

  • If your favorite warm weather activity is reading a book in the shade of a tree, be sure to pick up a copy of Scott A. Zannon’s Landscaping with Trees in the Midwest. This is a great guide for those who have always wanted to learn how to identify trees while on a hike, or who want to know more about trees that would be the best for their yards.
  • There are two great arboretums located on University campuses in and around Columbus: Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens at Ohio State University and The Jane Decker Arboretum at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

  • Farmers’ Market Day, illustrated by Jane Dippold, invites children and adults alike to indulge in the sights, scents, and taste of the Farmers’ Market. There is something for everybody at the market, from cherries, to pies, to adoptable kittens.
  • Spring is when the Farmers’ Markets begin to pop up all over Columbus. If you’re in town for the weekend, take some time to visit the North Market with your kids, where they can sample local fare and dishes from as far away as Poland, India, Vietnam and Japan. If you’re looking for an activity to get excited for the Ohioana Book Festival, get up early for breakfast at the opening day of the Clintonville Farmers’ Market.

  • Ian Adams wrote A Photographers Guide to Ohio, Volume 2, which is packed with tips that are helpful to both beginners and seasoned professionals. Adams takes you all around the state, from town to country, showcasing the natural beauty of our state.

    For the photographers attending the Ohioana Book Festival, make sure to pick up a copy of A Photographers Guide to Ohio (both Volumes 1 and 2 will be available for purchase) and learn about the classes offered at Midwest Photo Exchange.

    Be sure to take a look at the Schedule for the 2015 Ohioana Book Festival, where there are many panels about Ohio landmarks, Ohio stories, and the outdoors.

  • 2015 Ohioana Book Festival: Things to Do in Downtown Columbus

    March 16th, 2015


    This year, the Ohioana Book Festival will take place at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square. The Festival is walking distance to many of the best restaurants, museums, parks, and theaters in Columbus.


    In addition to excellent local food trucks that will be serving up their fare during the Festival, there are several restaurants in walking distance.

    The Plaza Restaurant at the Sheraton
    Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace (7 minute walk)
    Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails (6 minute walk)
    Due Amici (6 minute walk)
    Milestone 229 (10 minute walk)
    Ringside Cafe (open 5pm-10pm on Saturday) (6 minute walk)
    El Arepazo Latin Grill (open 11am-4pm on Saturday) (7 minute walk)
    Cafe Napolitana Pizzeria & Bar (7 minute walk)
    The Carvery (7 minute walk)
    Thurber’s Bar at the Westin (9 minute walk)

    See more restaurants:
    Dine Originals Columbus
    Columbus Food Adventures




    Enjoy the spring weather by taking a stroll through a downtown park.

    Columbus Commons (5 minute walk)
    Scioto Mile (10 minute walk)
    The Topiary Park (14 minute walk)


    There is always a show happening in one of our downtown theaters. Visit capa.com to see their schedule.

    The Ohio Theater (1 minute walk)
    Palace Theater (6 minute walk)
    Southern Theater (8 minute walk)
    Capitol Theater and the Studio Theaters at the Riffe Center (3 minute walk)


    For lovers of art, science, and literature!

    Columbus Museum of Art (free on Sundays!) (14 minute walk)
    COSI (12 minute walk)
    Thurber House (20 minute walk) (4 minute drive)

    Catch the CBUS!

    The CBUS is our free downtown circulator, running as far north as Italian Village, and south through the Short North Arts District, German Village, and the Brewery District. The CBUS is an easy and inexpensive way to explore Columbus.


    19 Reasons You Should Attend “Jacques Brel and the Men Who Saved PlayhouseSquare” in Cleveland

    September 3rd, 2013

    Just don’t forget to RSVP by September 6th! (All images from PlayhouseSquare and the Cleveland Memory Project.)


    PlayhouseSquare in 1922 shortly after its opening.

    1. PlayhouseSquare was built in 1921-22 and is the largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York City.

    PlayhouseSquare during the day in 1928.

    PlayhouseSquare during the day in 1928.

    2. PlayhouseSquare originally consisted of five opulent theaters along Euclid Avenue between E. 14th and E. 17th streets.

    Allen Theatre marquee advertising the Budapest Symphony Orchestra in 1971.

    Allen Theatre marquee advertising the Budapest Symphony Orchestra in 1971.

    3. The Allen Theatre.

    Line for "My Fair Lady" tickets out the door at Hanna Theatre.

    Line for "My Fair Lady" tickets out the door at Hanna Theatre.

    4. The Hanna Theatre.

    Ohio Theatre shortly after its opening in February of 1921.

    Ohio Theatre shortly after its opening in February of 1921.

    5. The Ohio Theatre.

    Palace Theatre in 1923

    Palace Theatre in 1923

    6. The Palace Theatre.

    State Theatre Main Lobby in 1931.

    State Theatre Main Lobby in 1931.

    7. The State Theatre.

    Playhouse Square at Night, ca. 1940.

    Playhouse Square at Night, ca. 1940.

    8. The venues presented silent movies, legitimate theater, and vaudeville.

    Fans waiting in line to see Johnnie Ray at the State Theatre.

    Fans waiting in line to see Johnnie Ray at the State Theatre.

    9. Later movies and other types of entertainment were presented at the theaters.

    Ohio Theatre, sitting vacant in 1973

    Ohio Theatre, sitting vacant in 1973

    10. By 1969, four of the five theaters (the Allen, Ohio, State and Palace) had closed due in part to the rise of television and the post-World War II flight to the suburbs. The Hanna remained open, finally closing in 1989.

    Architect John Terence Kelly with Ray Shepardson, founder of Playhouse Square Association.

    Architect John Terence Kelly with Ray Shepardson, founder of Playhouse Square Association.

    11. In July 1970 Shepardson and other civic leaders formed the Playhouse Square Association, now known as the Playhouse Square Foundation, whose goal was the restoration, operation, and management of the theaters.

    Renovation of Ohio Theater.

    Renovation of Ohio Theatre.

    12. Thanks to the efforts of Ray Shepardson, the Ohio Theatre was renovated and reopened in 1982.

    Palace Theatre Grand Re-Opening on April 20, 1988.

    Palace Theatre Grand Re-Opening on April 20, 1988.

    13. The Palace and State Theatres were reopened by the end of the 1980s.

    Woman protesting to "Save the Allen Theatre".

    Woman protesting to "Save the Allen Theater".

    14. The Allen and Hanna Theatres reopened in the late 1990s.

    The 20-foot tall LED “chandelier spectacular” planned for E. 14th Street and Euclid Avenue.

    The 20-foot tall LED “chandelier spectacular” planned for E. 14th Street and Euclid Avenue.

    15. Since then, PlayhouseSquare has grown to include nine performance spaces and they have plans for some dramatic renovations to the whole neighborhood surrounding the Square.

    During the “On the Road” with Ohioana Tour of PlayhouseSquare you will get to:

    Playhouse Square Cleveland: An Entertaining History by Kathleen Kennedy and Jeannie Emser Schultz

    Playhouse Square Cleveland: An Entertaining History by Kathleen Kennedy and Jeannie Emser Schultz

    16. See behind-the-scenes at PlayhouseSquare with author Jeannie Emser Schultz.

    Ray Shepardson in 1976.

    Ray Shepardson in 1976.

    17. Meet celebrity guests Ray Shepardson and Joe Garry, who led the crusade to save and restore these beautiful, historic theatres.

    "Staging Success: The PlayhouseSquare Story"

    "Staging Success: The PlayhouseSquare Story"

    18. And watch a presentation of WVIZ’s acclaimed documentary, Staging Success: The PlayhouseSquare Story at the Cleveland Public Library.

    Make your reservations now!

    Make your reservations now!

    19. Best of all: IT’S FREE – Just make sure you contact Ohioana to reserve your space or reserve your space online by September 6th!

    Youth Writing Competitions and Creative Opportunities

    August 27th, 2013

    School is starting and students are getting back into the swing of things. Lucky for us, organizations around Ohio (and the US) offer many different writing and creative competitions specifically for students. Below are a few offered by some of Ohioana’s partners!

    LAL2014 Letters About Literature: Writing Contest for Young Readers – Sponsored by The Ohio Center for the Book and The Library of Congress Center for the Book, for young readers in 4th – 12th grade. Students choose a fiction or nonfiction book they have read and have strong feelings about and write a persuasive letter to the author explaining their relationship to the book. Prizes are awarded at both the state and national levels. Deadline for entry: December 10, 2013 for Grades 9-12; January 10, 2014 for Grades 4-8. Official Rules.

    Microsoft Word - 2014 Contest ROW Poster.docxRiver of Words: Youth Poetry and Art Contest – Sponsored by The Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary’s College & The Library of Congress Center for the Book for K – 12th grade students anywhere in the world. Students write poetry and/or create artwork inspired by the nature around them. Deadline for Entry: Postmarked by December 1, 2013. Official Rules.

    Thurber2014Flip the Page: Central Ohio’s Teen Literary Journal – Sponsored by Thurber House for any teen writer in Central Ohio. Flip the Page is a literary journal written, staffed, and produced by teens. Any Central Ohio teen is eligible to submit their short stories, humor, essays, poems, songs, and plays for publication. Deadline for Entry: Entries will be accepted starting in December 2013 through the early spring of 2014. Guideline and more information will be available in early December. See last year’s entry information.

    POL2014 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest – Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council for High School students. Students who participate in the contest will memorize and perform classical and contemporary poetry. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level; teachers organize contests with one class or the whole school. Deadline for Entry: State finals will be held in early spring, followed by National finals later in the spring. For more information about organizing a contest in your school, contact Pat Shannon, Poetry Out Loud Coordinator. Official Rules.

    Attention all Ohio Authors

    July 1st, 2013


    The Ohioana Library is currently accepting applications for the 2014 Ohioana Book Festival!


    2013 Ohioana Book Festival Featured Authors. Photograph by Elizabeth Nihiser.

    The Ohioana Book Festival will be held on May 10th, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.

    We accept authors of all genres for participation in the Ohioana Book Festival!

    To qualify authors must: have an Ohio connection (born in Ohio and lived in Ohio for 5+ years); have a recent book (published after January 1, 2013, but before the Festival in May 2014); and the recently published book must be traditionally published.

    Fill out and return the application with two copies of your book! Applications are due to Ohioana by November 30, 2013. Authors will be notified by February 15, 2014.

    We look forward to receiving your application!

    Summer Reading Fun!

    June 27th, 2013

    It is summertime and you know what that means? Summer Reading!

    Libraries all across Ohio offer Summer Reading Programs. You can check out the programs available at Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Cleveland Public Library, there is even a state-wide summer reading program.

    Getting kids excited about reading in the summer can sometimes be quite a feat, so we went back fifty-two years to the Fall 1961 Ohioana Quarterly to bring you “Books To Entice Young Readers Of Varied Tastes,” by then-Assistant librarian of Grandview-Arlington Public Libraries, Nancy Young.

    Books to Entice Young Readers-1 Books to Entice Young Readers-2

    Books To Entice Young Readers Of Varied Tastes

    Recent children’s books by Ohio authors illustrate the diversity of book fare for the kindergarten and primary age group. Even at this first stage in reading, boys and girls demonstrate definite tastes and demand books that meet their individual interests. Here are four books to entice a variety of young readers­—one just for girls, a real boy’s story, a first book of nature study, and one for the child who is a dreamer.


    What Will I Wear? by Helen D. Olds, a native of Springfield, is as youthfully feminine as ribbons and ruffles. Little girls who like to dress up in special clothes will sympathize with Pam and her predicament when wearing the wrong dress twice spoils her fun. Pam loved the cowgirl outfit Daddy and Mother sent from out West—the shirt had fringe all around the bottom and there were boots with jewels. She wished that she could wear it all the time. When she was chosen to present flowers to the Governor and his wife, she couldn’t resist putting on the cowgirl costume instead of her best yellow dress that Mother had said she could wear. Her embarrassment that day leads to another comedy of errors in which she wears the party dress to a picnic. Many lively and amusing illustrations by Lisl Weil perfectly complement this gay little story, easy enough for second-graders to read themselves. Young ladies should love it and learn an entertaining lesson about appropriate dress that mothers will also appreciate.


    Boys of six or eight who would scoff at such frivolity in books can thank Marion Renick of Columbus for Boy at Bat. Here is a story for the youngest baseball fan—the pre-Little Leaguer who finds himself left out of the neighborhood games. Mark finds that the gift of his first ball and glove doesn’t turn him into a baseball player in the eyes of the older boys. Typical give and take and jargon of young boys at play give the story a down-to-earth reality. An eventful first game as a substitute base runner includes Mark’s rescue from a tree by the fire department. His first time at bat he hits a long ball that wins him the respect of the boys and the nickname of “Lefty,” and leaves him with dreams of even greater glory. Paul Galdone’s brightly colored illustrations add to the fun for primary readers and will make this a favorite read-aloud story for even younger ball fans.


    Beginning readers who want books with information will find Hummingbirds by Betty John, of Cleveland Heights, just right—a little book, easy to read and beautifully illustrated, which presents facts in a straightforward way. Reading about these fascinating little birds can not fail to arouse a child’s interest in nature study. The different kinds of hummingbirds are described, their nests, eggs, feeding habits, and how they fly. The young birdwatcher is even given tips on how to attract rubythroated hummingbirds. This is a book that is sure to convince children that learning is fun.


    In contrast to the everyday realism of the above books is Nobody’s Birthday by Anne Colver, a Clevelander, with illustrations by Marvin Bileck. This is a delicate confection of a book in which story and finely detailed pictures in sherbet pastels describe such a birthday as might be found in a child’s dream. All the ingredients of a perfect birthday are here—gifts, good things to eat, decorations and favors—with only an owner for the birthday missing. The brief plot describes the children’s search for the owner who must be found before all the wonders can be enjoyed. After much asking, an old man is discovered who has long ago lost his birthday, and all the delights of the wonderful birthday are shared by him and the children. This is a story of more limited appeal, but one that will be enjoyed by the young boy or girl who like to dwell in the world of imagination.

    Unfortunately, all of the above enticing titles are out of print; however, they are available to read in the Ohioana Reading Room, or you can check out some of these newer Ohio juvenile titles:

    Will Princess Isabel Ever Say Please? by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Clermont County artist Amanda Haley. Fractured fairy tales are paired with a lesson in manners in this book about a spunky-but-imperfect princess.

    Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown Smash! Crash! by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Shannon, Hamilton County resident Loren Long, and David Gordon. Jack Truck and Dump Truck Dan are best friends built just for smashing, crashing, and playing all day long!

    The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Seneca County author Sandra Markle. Follow a team of scientists working to save these frogs and protect frog populations worldwide in this real-life science mystery.

    For older readers try:

    Found: The Missing Book 1 by Columbus author Margaret Peterson Haddix. “In a tantalizing opener to a new series, Haddix taps into a common childhood fantasy–that you are really the offspring of royalty or famous people, and were somehow adopted by an ordinary family–and one-ups it by adding in time travel…Readers will be hard-pressed to wait for the next installment.” — Publisher’s Weekly

    Erec Rex: The Dragon’s Eye by Cleveland author Kaza Kingsley. “This is an action packed fantasy filled with rich characters kids will really relate to. Erec Rex is poised to take over Harry Potter’s long reign.” — Maria Schneider, Senior Editor, Writers Digest Magazine

    Outreach Programs of the 2013 Ohioana Book Festival

    April 25th, 2013

    Can’t wait for the 2013 Ohioana Book Festival? We’ve got you covered.

    Some of the Book Festival authors will be participating in community outreach programming BEFORE the actual Festival – and you can attend their programs!

    Thursday May 9

    Teen author Rae Carson will be reading and answering questions at the Westland Area Library (located at 4740 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228) starting at 5:00 p.m.

    Novelist Carla Buckley attend a meet and greet book reading at the McConnell Arts Center (located at 777 Evening Street Worthington, OH 43085) starting at 7:00 p.m.

    Journalists Sharon Short and Bob Hunter will be meeting fans at the Barnes & Noble at Lennox Town Center (located at 1739 Olentangy River Road Columbus, OH 43212) beginning at 7:00 p.m.

    Friday May 10

    Novelist Emilie Richards will present at the Martin De Porres Center (located at 2330 Airport Drive Columbus, OH, 43219) from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

    Novelist Ellis Avery will talk with readers at Stonewall Columbus (located at 1160 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201)from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.


    Wednesday May 8

    Novelists Carla Buckley and Raul Ramos y Sanchez will chat on VOICECorps’ “The Morning Exchange” from 11:00 a.m. – 12 noon.

    Not all of the outreach programming Ohioana arranges for the Book Festival is open to the public. We would like to thank Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus School for Girls, and Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center for hosting author programs for their students and patients.

    Spend the Weekend in Columbus: What to do?

    April 17th, 2013

    There are quite a few must-see places in Columbus. And if you will be in Columbus for the Book Festival, why not check them out?

    Must See Museums

    COSI COSI: The Center of Science and Industry is one of the most respected science centers in the nation, serving more than 20 million visitors since 1964. At COSI you will find endless opportunities to explore real science and discover real possibilities for yourself and the world around you. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday noon-6pm. Cost: Adults $16.95, Children $11.95, Seniors $15.95. 333 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

    CMA Columbus Museum of Art: Great experiences with great art for everyone! We believe that art speaks to each and every one of us in different ways. Art inspires. Art challenges. Art thinks. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5:30pm; Thursdays 10am-8:30pm. Cost: Adults $12, Students $5, Seniors $8, Free on Sundays. 480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

    Santa Maria The Santa Maria: The Santa Maria is a full-size historical preservation of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, serving as a history museum. Hours: Wednesday-Friday 10am-3pm; Saturday-Sunday noon-5pm. Cost: Adults $4.50, Children $3.50, Seniors $4.00. Ship located at the corner of Marconi & West Broad Street, at Batelle Riverfront Park.

    ohio history center Ohio Historical Society: Visit the headquarters of the Ohio Historical Society and a museum showcasing Ohio’s history from the ice age to today. Exhibits feature a variety of topics including the Civil War, natural history, glass, pottery and interactive children activities. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday noon-5pm. Cost: Adults $10.00, Children $5.00, Seniors $9.00. 800 E. 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43211.

    Must See Literary Sites

    thurber Thurber House: Thurber House is the former home of American humorist James Thurber, who lived in the house with his family during his college years at the Ohio State University. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Thurber House is a literary center, book store, and museum of Thurber materials. Thurber House’s programs include writing classes for children, author readings for adults, Thurber celebrations, events for children, and gallery exhibitions. Hours: 1pm-4pm daily. Cost: Self-guided tours, free; Guided tours available on Sunday, Adults $4, Students and Seniors $2. 77 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus OH 43215.

    CML Columbus Metropolitan Library: Originally built through a gift from Andrew Carnegie and opened in 1907, the Main Library is home to an extensive genealogy collection, business and technology classes, fun programming for kids, not to mention a fabulous collection of books and resources. You can also see spectacular art from renowned artists Aminah Robinson and Todd Slaughter and visit year-round art exhibits featuring local artists. Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm. 96 S. Grant Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215.

    cartoon library Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum: The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum was established in 1977 in two converted classrooms in the Journalism Building at OSU with the founding gift of artwork and papers of alumnus Milton Caniff. Its collections of original art and manuscripts have been built primarily through gifts-in-kind. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is now the largest and most comprehensive academic research facility documenting printed cartoon art. Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. 27 West 17th Avenue Mall, Columbus, OH 43210.

    book loft The Book Loft: One of the nation’s largest independent book stores, he Book Loft of German Village, is located just a few blocks South of the state capitol building. The pre-Civil War era buildings that once were general stores, a saloon and a nickelodeon cinema, now are home to 32 rooms of Bargain Books. Hours: 10am-11pm daily. 631 South Third Street, Columbus, OH 43206.

    acorn Acorn Bookstore: Called “the literary equivalent of Cheers” by Columbus Monthly, Acron is a 20-year-old brick-and-mortar secondhand/antiquarian bookshop. They have everything from inexpensive paperbacks to soak up suntan lotion on the beach to collectible books worth thousands of dollars. With about 50,000 books in a two-floor store, including DVDs and CDs, you will find something you like when you visit! Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday 11am-6pm. 1464 West 5th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43212.

    Must See Parks

    Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens offers art and nature-based exhibitions, botanical collections, gardens as well as 83,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses. The Conservatory is situated in the 88-acre Franklin Park, which features botanical gardens, art sculptures and a one-mile walking loop. Hours: 10am-5pm daily, Wednesday 10am-8pm. Cost: Adults $11, Children $6, Seniors $9. 1777 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43203.

    Roses Columbus Park of Roses: The 13 acre Park of Roses is nestled within the larger Whetstone Park. It contains three unique rose gardens as well as herb and perennial gardens, annual display beds and a restored Ohio prairie. Wide, smooth walkways and numerous benches make it easy to enjoy the sights and smells of 11,500 roses with more than 400 varieties. Hours: open sunup till sundown daily. 3901 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43214.

    audubon Grange Insurance Audubon Center: Less than a 10-minute walk from downtown Columbus, on a half-forgotten bend in the Scioto River, lies a fragile green oasis, a tiny jewel, a hidden haven for wildlife and birds set amid an industrial landscape now in transformation. At the heart of this transformation is the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, one of the first such centers in Audubon’s storied history to bring hands-on conservation and nature-based learning this close to the core of a major American city. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center in the Scioto Audubon Metro Park is located in an Important Bird Area (IBA) where thousands of birds migrating from Central and South America use this spot along the Scioto River as a stopover during their long journeys. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am-3pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.  505 W. Whittier Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

    scioto Scioto Mile: Located in the heart of downtown Columbus, the Scioto Mile is an urban oasis comprised of more than 145 acres of lush parkland. Stretching along the riverfront from the vibrant Arena District to the natural beauty of the Whittier Peninsula, the Scioto Mile reconnects downtown to the Scioto River through an integrated system of parks, boulevards, bikeways and pedestrian paths. Fostering some of our City’s most celebrated features: a stunning 15,000 square-foot interactive fountain, the country’s largest free outdoor climbing wall and the world’s most authentic replica of the Santa Maria — the Scioto Mile has something for everyone.

    topiary The Columbus Topiary Park: A seven-acre park in downtown Columbus, Ohio; The Topiary Park is most famous for its topiary interpretation of Georges Seurat’s famous Post-Impressionist painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte. Visitors come from around the world to enjoy the unique experience of walking into and through a work of art. In addition to the topiary attraction, visitors will find beautifully landscaped walks, benches, picnic tables and a Visitors’ Center. Admission is free, and the park is wheelchair accessible. Hours: open sunup till sundown daily. 480 E. Town Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

    goodale Goodale Park: Goodale Park is surrounded by Victorian Village, a cluster of homes with charming architectural features. It is the oldest park in Columbus and among the oldest in the United States. Although Goodale Park contains an expansive playground and tennis courts, the park’s main attraction is its view of the Columbus skyline and the serenity offered alongside a scenic pond and the charm of the gazebo and of its historic park shelter. A walk through Goodale Park is a refreshing experience. 120 West Goodale Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

    schiller Schiller Park: Schiller Park is the second oldest park in the City of Columbus. Originally called Stewart’s Grove by the early settlers, the city bought these 23.5 acres in 1867 and Stewart’s Grove became City Park. In 1891, it was renamed Schiller park after the famous German poet, Friedrich von Schiller. An impressive statue of Schiller decorates the center of the park. The park is now a well-kept central location of German Village life. The recreation center, picnic areas, softball diamonds, fishing pond and stage for the Actor’s Summer Theater, not to mention the beautifully landscaped gardens, make Schiller Park the jewel of German Village. Hours: open sunup till sundown daily. 1069 Jaeger Street, Columbus, OH 43206.

    olentangybridge Olentangy Bike Path: One of the most popular greenways in Ohio, this trail offers a seamless 13.75 mile route from Worthington Hills to downtown.  The bikeway winds through several neighborhoods along the Olentangy River, with trailheads at several major city parks, including Antrim Park and Whetstone Park.  The path also travels through the heart of the Ohio State University campus.

    While this list of must see things in Columbus is long, it is by no means inclusive of everything Columbus has to offer. For more to do in Columbus, check out Experience Columbus, Columbus Neighborhoods, or the Columbus Underground.

    Spend the Weekend in Columbus: Where to Eat?!

    April 15th, 2013

    While you are on Fort Hayes Campus at the 2013 Ohioana Book Festival, you will be able to enjoy some of the amazing cuisine from several award-winning Columbus food trucks. From Korean street food at Ajumama and pizza by the slice at Mikey’s Late Night to the unique flavors of the Green Meanie and steamed bagel sandwiches at Short North Bagel Deli to everyone’s favorite ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams; you will not go hungry at the Festival.

    But, what about after you leave the Festival? Carrying all those signed books can make a person hungry!

    Columbus is making a name for itself as a food mecca, and not without reason! There are hundreds of restaurants within a stone’s throw of the Ohioana Book Festival site. Experience Columbus has put together a list of 85 amazing downtown Columbus restaurants, check out the list here, or use their online restaurant finder.

    experience columbus restaurant finder

    Experience Columbus Restaurant Finder

    Columbus loves its restaurants so much, we even have a magazine dedicated to eating out! Crave, the Columbus Dining Magazine, contains reviews of local restaurants, articles about food trends, and their website lists restaurants by both neighborhood and by cuisine.


    Crave lists restaurants by neighborhood and cuisine

    Ohio Magazine’s website has a restaurant finder where you can find “unique and memorable meals” in Columbus and all over the state!

    ohio mag restaurant finder

    Ohio Magazine's Restaurant Finder lists restaurants by Ohio region

    You will certainly find that Columbus has something wonderful for every palette!

    Don’t forget that you can make reservations at many Columbus restaurant via Open Table, which also has a smart phone app.

    Spend the weekend in Columbus: Find a Hotel!

    April 12th, 2013

    This year, why not plan a whole weekend in Columbus around attending the Ohioana Book Festival?

    First things first, if you aren’t from Central Ohio, you’ll need to find a place to stay. Check out this great guide to hotels near downtown Columbus provided by Experience Columbus (click the map for downloadable pdf): Hotel addresses

    1. Arena District Hyatt Regency, 350 N. High St.
    2. Comfort Inn & Suites Columbus Downtown, 650 S. High St.
    3. Courtyard by Marriott, 35 W. Spring St.
    4. Crowne Plaza, 33 E. Nationwide Blvd.
    5. DoubleTree Guest Suites, 50 S. Front St.
    6. Drury Inn & Suites Convention Center, 88 E. Nationwide Blvd.
    7. German Village Inn, 920 S. High St.
    8. Hampton Inn & Suites, 501 N. High St.
    9. Hilton Columbus Downtown, 401 N. High St.
    10. Holiday Inn Columbus Downtown Capitol Square, 175 E. Town St.
    11. Red Roof Inn, 111 Nationwide Blvd.
    12. Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, 50 N. Third St.
    13. Residence Inn by Marriott, 36 E. Gay St.
    14. Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square, 75 E. State St.
    15. The Westin Columbus, 310 S. High St.