Central Ohio activities and attractions


Central Ohio has plenty of great festivals and activities this summer:

Utica Sertoma Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival: May 25-27; Velvet Ice Cream is featured along with car and motorcycle shows, magic performances and a grand parade at 11 a.m. May 25.; Velvet Ice Cream Ye Olde Mill, Utica (Licking County), $5 per car, www.uticaoldfashionedicecreamfestival.com

Newark Strawberry Festival: May 31-June 2; The theme “Strawberries on the Square” is celebrated with rides, food, games, crafts and, of course, strawberry shortcake; Newark Courthouse Square (Licking County); free, 740-345-6910, www.newarkstrawberryfestival.com

London Strawberry Festival: June 20-22; Strawberry foods are featured, including delicious ice cream, plus rides, games, contests, live music, arts and crafts; historic downtown London (Madison County); free, 740-857-1417, www.londonstrawberryfestival.com

Ashville 4th of July Festival: June 30-July 4; This street festival is so big one day couldn’t hold it. Famous fish sandwiches, entertainment on two stages and a grand parade at 11 a.m. July 4 are featured; Ashville Park, Ashville (Pickaway County); free, 740-207-1865.

Pickerington Violet Festival: July 24-27; This family festival features rides, musical entertainment with big-name acts, a 5-kilometer fun run, a parade on July 26, a car and bike show and a beer garden with domestic and imported libations; Victory Park, Pickerington (Fairfield County); $3-$5 (free for children 12 and younger); 614-524-4758, www.violetfestival.org

Obetz Zucchinifest: Aug. 22-25; Everything zucchini stars, including zucchini bread, fudge, ice cream, plus entertainment, rides, games pagents and more; Memorial Park, Obetz (Franklin County); free, 614-491-1080, www.obetzzucchihifest.com

West Jefferson Ox Roast: Aug. 31-Sept. 2; Traditional end-of-summer fun includes watermelon-eating contests, bike tour, queen and baby contests, and 5,500 pounds of pit-roasted beef sandwiches available Labor Day; Garrette Park, West Jefferson (Madison County); free, 614-879-9287, www.westjeffoxroast.com

Lithopolis Honeyfest: Sept. 6-7; Sweet natural honey treats include baked items, ice cream and mead. Other fun includes the Honey Brown Beer Garden, honey bake-off sale, live music on two stages and a kids’ craft “beehive; central Lithopolis along Columbus and Market streets (Fairfield County); free; 614-837-2031, www.lithopolishoneyfest.com



Description: A 50,000-square-foot water park including an interactive-adventure area for young children, body slides, an activity pool with water basketball and a fast-paced tube ride

Location: Cherry Valley Lodge, 2299 Cherry Valley Rd., Newark (Licking County)

Open: operating hours vary, check website for details

Admission: varies, check website for details

Parking: free

Least-busy day: Wednesdays

Tickets/information: 1-800-788-8008, 740-788-1200 or www.cherryvalleylodge.com


Description: A 60,000-square-foot park, including an area with two small slides for young children; a 40-foot-tall interactive-play area with a water cannon, four slides and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket; and an activity pool with basketball hoops

Location: 4560 Hilton Corporate Dr., Columbus (Franklin County)

Open: daily June 1 to July 31; Fridays through Sundays year-round

Admission: all-day pass $23.95 (Monday through Friday), $29.95 (Saturday and Sunday), or $21.95 after 4 p.m.; spectator pass $9.95

Parking: free

Least-busy days: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Tickets/information: 1-877-33-SPLASH, 614-868-1380 or www.fortrapids.com


Description: The state’s premier fair, including entertainment, livestock competitions, rides, youth organizations, agriculture, natural resources and fine arts

Location: Ohio Expo Center, I-71 and E. 17th Avenue, Columbus (Franklin County)

Open: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 24 through Aug. 3 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 4

Admission: $10 at the gate for those ages 13 to 59, or $8 for senior citizens 60 or older and children 5 to 12; free for children 4 or younger; special discount days throughout fair run

Midway wristbands: for unlimited rides, $23; $1 coupons for individual rides available

Parking: $5

New attractions: Sea Lion Splash: sea lions and their handlers will perform tricks. (When they aren’t performing, the sea lions can be seen in an underwater viewing tank); and camel rides ($7, or $5 for children 12 or younger).

Least-busy days: Tuesdays through Thursdays

Tickets/information: advance $6 tickets available through Aug. 4 at participating AAA, Kroger and Ticketmaster outlets; all-day wristband vouchers, $20, available at Kroger stores and Ticketmaster outlets through July 23; 614-644-FAIR, www.ohiostatefair.com


Description: A 22.7-acre water park — adjacent to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — featuring 17 water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, private cabanas and a kiddie play pool

Location: 4850 W. Powell Rd. (Delaware County)

Open: daily, operating hours vary May 19, May 23 through Aug. 20, Aug. 24-25, Aug.31-Sept. 2 (call for details)

Admission: $32.99, or $24.99 for children 2 to 9 and senior citizens 60 or older; free for children younger than 2

Parking: $8

Least-busy days: weekdays

Tickets/information: available at the park, AAA, Columbus-area Kroger stores and online; 614-645-3550, 1-800-MONKEYS, www.zoombezibay.com



Description: 31st season of Shakespearean plays and classics

Location: Schiller Park in German Village, 1000 City Park Ave., Columbus (Franklin County) and the Columbus Commons, E. Rich and S. High streets, Columbus

Performances: King Arthur and the Sword of Britain (May 23 to June 23), Twelfth Night (June 27 to July 28), The Beaux’ Stratagem (Aug. 1 to Sept. 1); all shows 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays; Romeo & Juliet (Sept. 6-15) 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays

Admission: free

Seating capacity: 1,000 on the Schiller Park amphitheater lawn, 5,000 to 6,000 on the Commons lawn (take your own chairs and blankets)

Running time: about 21/2 hours;

Information: 614-444-6888, www.theactorstheatre.org



Description: Proceeds from the annual event benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Location: Hoover Y-Park, 1570 Rohr Rd., Columbus (Franklin County)

Performances: July 17-20: including Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice; Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out; Rhonda Vincent and the Rage; Marty Raybon and Full Circle; Rhonda Vincent, Russell Moore, Junior Sisk; July 18: MACC Opry with Flatt Lonesome, Mo Pitney, Billy Ryan Droze; Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out; the Grascals; SteelDrivers; July 19: Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver with the Centerville Alternative Strings; Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers; Larry Sparks and Doyle Lawson 50 Year Celebration; the Seldom Scene; July 20: Aubrey Haynie and Terry Baucom; MACC Opry with Carl Jackson, Val Story, Larry Cordle and Jerry Salley; Gibson Brothers; Rambling Rooks; J.D. Crowe and Bradley Walker

Parking: free

Tickets: $35 to $105; half-price for children 11 to 15; free for children 10 or younger accompanied by a parent. Tickets available at Bluegrass Musicians Supply, 614-443-3558 or 1-800-753-2583; at Ticketmaster outlets (1-800-745-3000) or www.ticketmaster.com; by calling 740-548-4199; or at the gate. Camping: $5 a day

Information: 740-548-4199, www.bluegrassclassic.com


Description: Home to the Columbus Crew MLS soccer team, the stadium doubles as a concert venue that seats up to 30,000 people.

Location: 1 Black & Gold Blvd., Columbus (I-71 near E. Hudson Street, Franklin County)

Performances: June 29 (5 p.m.): Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Eli Young Band, Kacey Musgraves

Parking: $15 to $22

Tickets: $35 to $199 at Ticketmaster outlets (1-800-745-3000) or www.ticketmaster.com

Information: 614-447-2739, www.crewstadium.com


Description: Located in the Arena District, the outdoor amphitheater has a seating capacity of 4,500.

Location: 405 Neil Ave., Columbus (Franklin County)

Performances: May 29 (7 p.m.): Of Monsters and Men; June 7 (7 p.m.): Passion Pit; June 9 (6 p.m.): Dropkick Murphys; June 11 (7 p.m.): Grizzy Bear, the xx; June 15 (6:30 p.m.): Next@Wex fest featuring the National, Local Natives, Matthew E. White; June 18 (7 p.m.): Alabama Shakes; June 20 (6:30 p.m.): Peter Frampton, Robert Cray; June 21 (7 p.m.): Summerland Tour 2013 featuring Everclear, Live, Filter, Sponge; June 22 (6 p.m.): Legends of Hip-Hop featuring Scarface, 8Ball & MJG, Juvenile, Mystikal; July 5 (6 p.m.): Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, Guster; July 6 (6 p.m.): O.A.R.; July 9 (6:30 p.m.): Fitz & the Tantrums; July 14 (7 p.m.): fun., Tegan and Sara; July 19 (7 p.m.): Melissa Etheridge; July 24 (5:30 p.m.): the Black Crowes, Tedeschi-Trucks Band; July 25 (6:30 p.m.): OneRepublic, Mayer Hawthorne; July 26 (6 p.m.): Under the Sun Tour 2013 with Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Gin Blossoms; Aug. 1 (6:30 p.m.): Ted Nugent; Aug. 6 (6:30 p.m.): the Killers; Aug. 9 (6 p.m.): Rob Zombie, Mastodon; Sept. 5 (6:30 p.m.): Zappa Plays Zappa

Parking: area lots and garages

Tickets: $15 to $80 at Ticketmaster outlets (1-800-745-3000) or www.ticketmaster.com

Information: 614-461-5483, www.promowestlive.com


Description: Casual outdoor performances featuring the Columbus Symphony and guest artists; reserved and lawn seating available.

Location: Columbus Commons, E. Rich and S. High streets, Columbus (Franklin County)

Performances: Picnic With the Pops — (all shows 8:15 p.m.) June 14: Chaka Khan; June 15: Richard Marx; June 22: Pink Martini; June 29: Patriotic Pops; July 6: Kansas; July 13: Natalie Merchant; July 20: the Music of Queen — Rock and Symphonic Spectacular; July 26-27: Ohio State University Marching Band Performances: Popcorn Pops — (all shows at 7 p.m., pre-concert activities at 5 p.m.) June 21: First Day of Summer Party; July 19: Broadway for Kids

Parking: $5 for underground parking off S. 3rd Street and in City Center garage between E. Main and S. High streets; metered parking nearby

Tickets: $23 ($25 at the gate), or $8 for children 3 to 14; free for ages 2 or younger for Picnic With the Pops; $8 for adults and children 3 to 14, free for ages 2 or younger for Popcorn Pops

Information: 614-228-8600, 614-469-0939, www.picnicwiththepops.com



Description: Known for its collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century American and European modern art and its regional collections, such as the largest public collection of woodcarvings by Columbus folk artist Elijah Pierce, and the world’s largest repository of paintings and lithographs by Columbus native George Bellows.

Location: 480 E. Broad St., Columbus (Franklin County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Admission: $12, or $8 for senior citizens 60 or older and students 18 or older with valid ID, $5 for those 6 to 17, free for members and children

5 or younger, free for everyone on Sundays

Parking: free, behind the museum

Special exhibits: “Strings Attached: The Living Tradition of Czech Puppets,” explores the history of puppetry in the Czech Republic since the 1850s (through Aug. 4); “Surface Tension: the 2013 Greater Arts Council Visual Arts Awards Exhibition,” honors the works of six central Ohio artists (June 14 to Sept. 14); “George Bellows and the American Experience,” includes more than 35 paintings as well as drawings and caricatures (Aug. 23 to Jan. 4).

Information: 614-221-4848, 614-221-6801, www.columbusmuseum.org


Description: A hands-on science center featuring several permanent exhibits, plus an Extreme Screen theater.

Location: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus (Franklin County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; Family Friday Nights ($9.95 after 5 p.m. the last Friday of each month)

Admission: $16.95 for those 13 or older, or $15.95 for senior citizens 60 or older, $11.95 for children 2 to 12, free for members; additional fee for Extreme Screen movies and some exhibits. All admission prices will increase $1 beginning June 8.

Parking: $5 for public,

$4 for members

Special exhibits: “Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition,” allows guests to investigate myths hands-on through interactive elements, including workshops, a demonstration stage and blueprint room (June 8 to Sept. 2). Tickets to the exhibit include general admission and cost $25.95, or $6 for members.

Information: 614-228-2674, 1-888-819-COSI, www.cosi.org


Description: The complex features the cultural and historical contributions of African-Americans.

Location: 867 Mount Vernon Ave., Columbus (Franklin County)

Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to

7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Admission: free; donations accepted for gallery

Parking: free, at the Garfield entrance

Special exhibits: “Visual Voices: Dayton Skyscraper V,” recognizing African-American artists in Dayton and the Miami Valley (through Aug. 23).

Information: 614-645-5464, www.thekingartscomplex.com


Description: The center focuses on connecting visitors with the state’s history; Ohio Village is a recreated Civil War-era community.

Location: I-71 and E. 17th Avenue, Columbus (Franklin County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; Ohio Village: same hours Memorial Day through Labor Day

Admission: $10, or $9 for senior citizens 60 or older, $5 for children 6 to 12, free for children 5 or younger; Ohio Village included with admission to the center

Parking: free

Special exhibit: “Face of Appalachia: Photographs by Albert J. Ewing,” 200 photos capture the daily lives of Appalachians in the 1900s (through December); “Controversy 2: Pieces We Don’t Talk About,” examines perceptions of racial stereotypes from a historical perspective (through Dec. 30.); “The War of 1812: Ohio on the Frontline,” includes artifacts and materials from Ohio in the War of 1812 (July 4 to Dec. 30); “1950s: Building the American Dream,” a walk-through exhibit that looks into lives of a 1950s central Ohio family living in a Lustron home (opens July 13)

Information: 614-297-2300, 1-800-686-6124, www.ohiohistory.org


Description: The center offers dance and music performances as well as films and special exhibits.

Location: 1871 N. High St. at 15th Avenue, Columbus (Franklin County)

Open: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday

Admission: $8, or $6 for seniors 65 or older, Ohio State faculty and staff; free admission for members, students with a college ID and anyone under 18; free admission every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. and on the first Sunday of each month.

Parking: nearby garages

Special exhibits: “Shimon Attie: Metro.PAL.IS.,” video installation of eight flat-screen monitors that highlight an overlap between Palestine and Israel’s declarations of independence (through Aug. 4); “Paul Sietsema,” an exhibit of his productions from the past 50 years and his Chinese Box, created through the Wexner Center Artist Residency Award (through Aug. 4).

Information: 614-292-0330, www.wexarts.org


Description: An interactive history, science, technology and art learning center where people of all ages can be inspired.

Location: 55 S. 1st St., Newark (Licking County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Admission: $8, or $6 for senior citizens 55 or older, $4 for children 2 to 17, free for children 1 or younger

Parking: free, on-site

Special exhibits: “They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Art in Wartime from the Spanish Civil War to Kosovo,” a collection of children’s art produced in wartime, mainly from the Spanish Civil War (through July 13); “Mr. Jim: Growing Art in Our Community,” highlights Columbus artist Jim Arter’s projects with children around the world (July 26 to Oct. 12).

Information: 740-349-9277, www.attheworks.org




Description: The Cleveland Indians’ International League affiliate plays in the heart of the Arena District.

Location: Huntington Park, 330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus (Franklin County)

Home games: May 19-21 vs. Scanton/Wilkes Barre; May 23-26 vs. Syracuse; May 31-June 3 vs. Indianapolis; June 17-20 vs. Pawtucket; June 21-24 vs. Lehigh Valley; July 5-7 vs. Louisville; July 8-10 vs. Indianapolis; July 11-12 vs. Toledo; July 26-29 vs. Durham; July 30-Aug. 2 vs. Buffalo; Aug. 6-7 vs. Toledo; Aug. 8-9 vs. Louisville; Aug. 17-20 vs. Norfolk; Aug. 22-25 vs. Gwinnett; Aug. 28-29 vs. Louisville; Sept. 1-2 vs. Toledo

Admission: $6 to $10, or $3 to $7 for senior citizens and children 12 or younger

Parking: nearby lots

Tickets/information: available at the Clippers office, 614-462-2757; through Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000; 614-462-5250, www.clippersbaseball.com



Description: Playing in the first soccer-specific stadium in the U.S., the Crew has one of the best home records in the MLS.

Location: Columbus Crew Stadium, One Black & Gold Blvd., Columbus (I-71 near

E. Hudson Street)

Home games: June 1 vs. Houston Dynamo; June 15 vs. Montreal Impact; June 22 vs. Chicago Fire; July 7 vs. Port

land Timbers FC; July 20 vs. New England Revolution; Aug. 10 vs. New York Red Bulls; Aug. 17 vs. Toronto FC; Aug. 31 vs. Seattle Sounders FC

Admission: $23 to $48 in advance, $23 to $50 on game day

Parking: $10, on Ohio Expo Center grounds

Tickets/information: available at Crew office, 614-447-2739; Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000; www.thecrew.com



Description: A professional men’s team

Location: Selby Stadium, 45 S. Henry St., Delaware (Delaware County)

Home games: May 23 vs. Hamilton Nationals; June 15 vs. Rochester Rattlers; June 29 vs. Boston Cannons; July 6 vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks; July 27 vs. Charlotte Hounds

Admission: $12 to $18, or $20 game day

Parking: $5

Tickets/information: 614-754-1973, or www.theohiomachine.com



Description: Many of the best golfers in the world come to Dublin to play in the event that Jack Nicklaus started in 1976.

Location: Muirfield Village Golf Club, 5750 Memorial Dr., Dublin (Franklin County)

Dates: May 27 to June 2

Admission: $155 (all-tournament badge), $30 (all three practice rounds); free for 12 or younger when accompanied by paying adult; 18 or younger free Wednesday (Junior Golf Day)

Parking: Main lot is off Dublin Road near the 6th tee; overflow parking is available in the Ashbaugh Road lot. Complimentary shuttles transport patrons between the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the tournament-grounds main gate Thursday through Sunday.

Tickets/information: badges available by calling 614-889-6712; or online; 1-877-MTBADGE, www.thememorialtournament.com

Motor sports


Description: A 1/3-mile semi-banked oval track plays host to weekend warriors and NASCAR pros.

Location: 1841 Williams Rd., Columbus (Franklin County)

Events: NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Saturdays through Aug. 10; May 25: Jegs CRA All-Star Tour Memorial; June 22: Super Late Models; June 29: Hilarious Trailer Races; July 6: 94-Lap Robbie Dean Memorial Series; July 13: 150-Lap NASCAR K and N Pro Series; July 27: 30th Annual John Nuckles Memor-

ial; Aug. 17: Amazing School Bus Figure Eight; Aug. 24: Kid’s Night; Aug. 31: Labor Day Championship

Admission: varies per event

Parking: free

Tickets/information: at the gate only; 614-491-1047, www.columbusspeedway.com


Description: The National Hot Rod Association owns the facility, which has a concrete-and-asphalt racing surface.

Location: 2650 National Rd. S.W., Hebron (Licking County)

Events: Weekly racing with special events including T-100 Wednesday Nights and Blitz Friday Night Street fights/NHRA Street Legal (selected Fridays); May 19: 21st-annual Mo-Power event; May 25-26: JEGS ET Series; May 31-June 1: Chevy Performance Nationals; June 7-9: No Hatin Drag Racing’s Motorcycle Madness; June 15: JEGS Super Quick Series; June 16: National Dragster Challenge; June 22-23: Spring Nostalgia Nationals; July 5-7: JEGS Foundation Buckeye Open — Midwest Jr. Super Series; July 12: Goodguys Friday Night Drags; July 13: Night of Thunder; July 19-21: NHRA Lucas Oil Regional Buckeye Fuel Wars; July 27: NHRA street legal; July 28: NHRA Summit King of the Track; Aug. 2-3: 10th annual BPG Buick Horsepower Nationals; Aug. 8-11: 33rd annual MOPAR Nationals; Aug. 16-17: OHSAA CC Invitational; Aug. 23-24: Beat the Heat World Finals; Aug. 30-Sept. 1: 35th annual NMRA Ford Expo

Admission: varies

Parking: free for most events

Tickets/information: available at the gate; 740-928-5706, www.nationaltrailraceway.com

Harness racing


Description: The 5/8-mile harness track is one of the fastest in the nation.

Location: 6000 S. High St., Columbus (Franklin County)

Season: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (post time 6:30 p.m.), May 8 through Sept. 14; simulcasting daily

Admission: free

Parking: free

Information: 614-295-4700, www.sciotodowns.com



Description: The 86-year-old zoo boasts more than 9,400 animals representing 680 species and sits on 582 acres (100 are developed), plus a golf course and water park.

Location: 4850 W. Powell Rd. (Delaware County)

Big attractions: Dinosaur Island, located in the Australia and Island regions, will feature 26 animatronic dinosaurs that move and make noise as well as an archeological dig pit, boat ride and gift shop (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Admission for the exhibit is $3, or $2 for zoo members.

Open: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily May 25 through Labor Day

Admission: $14.99, or $10.99 for senior citizens 60 or older (and half-price on Tuesdays), $9.99 for children 2 to 9, free for children younger than 2; Wednesdays are half-price for Franklin County residents

Parking: $8

Information: 614-645-3550, www.columbuszoo.org.