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10 Free Things To Do Around Ohio State University

10 Free Things To Do Around Ohio State University


Here’s the thing, The Ohio State University is huge. It comes equipped with its own transportation system, police officers and is the size of a city. Most would think that with such a large population there would be tons of things to do, and there are, but with limited funds (which us college students are notorious for) we end up in bed watching Netflix until we fall asleep. That’s lame. I’ve compiled a list of 10 free things to do around Ohio State University for FREE. Free events and activities listed that are not held on campus are all located on the COTA bus line, which you can ride for free with your BuckID.

1. Columbus Museum of Art on Sundays

A major perk of attending school in a big city is definitely the culture cities like ours foster. The Columbus Museum of Art is located in downtown Columbus and offers free admission every Sunday. CMOA constantly adds to their collection of artists and artworks and house large collections by local artists. If you can’t wait until Sunday, OSU students get a discounted rate with your BuckID.

2. Wexner Arts

If you’re really into the arts and can’t wait until Sunday to get your culture fix then head over to the Wexner Center for the Arts. As usual, just bring your BuckID and you’ll be all set to experience some really cool exhibits and films. Go here for the event schedule or just pop in! It’s not far from the Union so if you’re looking for a cheap date idea, the Wex then dinner at Sloopy’s is easy and affordable.



3. Planetarium

*Queues Drake verse* “We can stare up at the stars and put the Beatles on.”

Well, we may have to ditch the Beatles since I’m not sure the policy on outside music during Ohio State Planetarium’s public show but sharing earbuds may do the trick.


OSU’s Planetarium offers free public shows, typically on Fridays during the academic year. The students of the Astronomy department usually present the public show so you can support your fellow Buckeyes and see a cool, FREE show at once. The Planetarium is located on the 5th floor of Smith Lab.

4. Gallery Hop

The first Saturday of every month the shops and galleries in the Short North Arts District host a Gallery Hop. The Short North Gallery Hop is filled with new gallery exhibitions, special events, non-traditional exhibit spaces, street performances and extended restaurant and bar hours. Gallery Hop is from 4pm to 10pm every first Saturday and is straight down High Street.

5. Group Fitness

Group Fitness classes are a fun and free activity on campus. Offered at most rec locations, group fitness classes allow you to stay healthy, meet new people and do something fun! Schedules vary based on location and change during finals and when the campus is closed. To see a full list of class descriptions and schedules, click here.


6. OAC

OSU’s Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) is inside of the Adventure Rec Center (ARC) on passed AG campus next to Blankenship Hall. Inside, you’ll find a 4,000-square-foot, 35-foot tall climbing structure and bouldering wall with opportunities to take trips (for a slight fee) all while meeting new friends, developing leadership skills and increase knowledge of nature and the environment.


7. Rec Natatorium

Located on the ground floor of the RPAC, the recreation natatorium offers a lap pool, a leisure pool, dry saunas and rec spa during the Aquatic Center’s business hours. Free with your BuckID.

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8. The Olentangy Water Trail

Traveling right through the Columbus campus, The Olentangy Trail winds through a lot of different neighborhoods and connects to several major parks around the city. Apart of the Central Ohio Greenways, these trails include boating and fishing facilities and even picnic areas.


9. Park of Roses

A public garden with a lot of history, the Park of Roses was created in 1953 and is the home of over 12,000 roses. Open all year, from dusk to dawn. This is the perfect place for snapping some cool pictures.

10. School of Music Events

The Ohio State School of Music is kind of a big deal. Much like everything at OSU. The School of Music houses over 60 professors that are national and even internationally recognized artists, musicians, master teachers, scholars and composers. Along with the students, the School of Music presents over 400 programs and events a year. From Musicals to ensembles, there’s even a glee club. Check out their upcoming events here.

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