Looking for Columbus Places to E-Visit? Check these Options Out!

Stay at home and visit all your favorite Columbus spots. Columbus is a vibrant city, full of amazing attractions, interesting museums, and a lively arts and music scene.

a museum worker stands in front of dinosaur bones during a presentation


Bridget Houlihan


Jan 21, 2021

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Columbus is a vibrant city, full of amazing attractions, interesting museums, and a lively arts and music scene. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced these institutions to close their doors to the public in order to reduce the chance of the disease’s transmission. Not to be deterred, many of these businesses have made their collections and events virtual--so that everyone at home can continue to enjoy them from the safety of their computer or phone.

A lot of people in Columbus might be wondering what to do on the weekends, when they would normally see a theater or symphony performance, or maybe even stop in with the kids to view the latest exhibit at the COSI. This is why we thought it would be helpful to put a list together of Columbus’ attractions that you can e-visit--no matter what time of day, or night, it is!

Libraries may be closed, but you still have access to their vast collections online! Image courtesy of CML.

Columbus Libraries

Check out all these centers of learning have to offer online

Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Columbus Metropolitan Library provides so many services to the public--lending books, offering access to computers and printers, helping with research, providing a quiet space to work, read, or do a puzzle, and giving locals the opportunity to learn new skills. Although patrons can no longer visit in person, there is a lot that they can do online! If you’ve never tried borrowing an audiobook or an e-book, now is the perfect time to do so. They have a wide collection of books, magazines, movies, and music that you can borrow with your library card.

If you’ve always wanted to start a new hobby or expand your knowledge of a subject, this might be a good time to do so--simply browse their online collection and see what you can find. The library also offers helpful information and research tools to continue to expand your horizons, even while you're at home.

Ohio State Library

Although this library is also closed, while you’re at home would be a fantastic time to check out all they have available online in their collections. You can search their digital collections or special collections catalogs by keyword, subject, format, and even time period. If you’re not exactly sure where to start or what you’re looking for, you can ask a librarian for help, either via online chat, email, or phone. They can give you assistance navigating the library’s site and point you in the right direction to get you where you want to go.

You may not be able to visit the dinosaurs in person, but you can take a virtual tour of the dino gallery.  Image courtesy of COSI.

Museums Around Columbus

Take a tour of new collections and revisit some of your favorites online

Columbus Center of Science and Industry

Although you can’t visit COSI this weekend, you can check out their COSIConnects page daily for interesting videos put together by COSI educators. Follow their social media to get updates on their Activities of the Day, which include hands on science that you can try at home. They have videos on topics including A Skull Investigation, A Million Stars, Why Are Whales So Big, and Chocolate Crystals. If you’re looking for a fun activity for the kids, COSI is offering a Create a Flipbook contest, where you could win a chance to get your flipbook filmed and displayed at the museum!

Or, if you’d like to check out something more familiar, you can always choose to visit your favorite dinosaurs from the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery via COSI’s 360 virtual tour.

Ohio History Center

If you’re struggling to find ways to keep your kids in learning mode while they’re home from school, consider checking out the Ohio History Center’s learn at home page. Here they have put together a collection of historical resources that are designed to keep students engaged. You can search for activities based on the age of your children, or even see what they have to offer in the adult education center. There are video lessons, activities, and ways to learn what history happened right in your own backyard!

This is a great way to keep kids busy, and while you’re at it, take some time to review some of the History Center’s interesting blog posts--you may learn something new about Ohio history!

Columbus Museum of Art

When you want to see your favorite artwork, or perhaps check out the latest exhibit, you go to the Columbus Museum of Art. Although you can no longer visit in person, you can view their current collection online, as well as other collections from their European gallery, photography, women artists, and folk art. It’s easy to get lost among all the beautiful works of art in these online galleries, so even though you can’t stop by the museum, you can still spend a Saturday or Sunday morning touring the galleries virtually!

Marvel at all the beautiful handiworks of artists from the comfort of home. Image courtesy of Ohio Craft Museum.

Columbus Art Online

The arts continue to thrive virtually

Columbus College of Art and Design

The Columbus College of Art and Design is ranked as one of the top design schools, and their students are on the cutting edge of art, design, fashion, film, and photography. Each year the college holds a Spring Art Show, where CCAD students and alumni can showcase and sell their work to the public. Thankfully the CCAD decided not to cancel this popular event, but instead made it digital. Starting Friday April 10, 2020, you can view the artwork for sale up until April 12, 2020. Proceeds from the purchases go directly to the artists.

In addition to the virtual Spring Show, CCAD has also decided to display the work of their second year MFA students’ Thesis Exhibition online as well. Starting April 14, 2020, you can view their works on the CCAD website.

Ohio Craft Museum

If you need your fill of beautiful crafts, look no further than the online galleries at the Ohio Craft Museum. You can browse their permanent collections of clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, and wood all from the comfort of your home. They also offer patrons a 360 virtual tour of their space, which allows viewers to zoom in and see objects from all angles--just like they would in person. The current exhibition, Found Again Quit Exhibition is also available to view in an online gallery too.

Public Art Pieces

There are many public art pieces located throughout Columbus that aren’t closed and offer visitors enough space to stay the necessary 6 ft. away from each other. Depending on what you’re in the mood to see, you can visit the Columbus Makes Art public database and search based on categories, such as whether the art is considered architectural, a fountain, historical, a mural, sculpture, or a statue. These art pieces are free, and will give you a chance to take a walk outside of the house.

Speaking of walking, the city of Dublin offers a mobile tour of outdoor artwork that offers you another good reason to get outside and see a few of these installations on foot. All you need is your phone and you’re all set with a personal tour guide to view these installations at your leisure.

The Nest Theater

If you love attending live theater shows but now find yourself unable to, never fear, the Nest Theater has been making much of their content available to view online. Since closure, they’ve been posting weekly updates of shows that will be offered for free (but donate if you can) via their social media pages. You can catch programming like storytellers who read original works on a theme, improv theater, the popular Comedy Sportz CBus, and even shows from their archives. Stay up to day by following their Facebook page so you’ll never miss a performance!

Ohio Dance Virtual Dance Collection

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of dance in Ohio, then you need to spend some time in the Ohio Dance Virtual Dance Collection. The online collection was unveiled in 2017 with the intent to organize, preserve, and showcase Ohio’s unique contribution to this artform for everyone to enjoy. It contains excerpts of 30 interviews, historical timelines, archives of film and photos, as well as interview transcripts. There is a wealth of information available for viewers on this site, including some of their recent exhibits--Dance at Dennison, Inlet Dance Theater, and OhioDance.

Follow your favorite artists on social media for live streaming local music. Image courtesy of the Columbus Symphony.

The Columbus Music Scene

You can’t stop the music in Columbus!

Columbus Symphony

Classical music is a big part of the music scene in Columbus, and even though patrons can no longer attend performances, that hasn’t stopped the Columbus Symphony from making music available for everyone online. Have a look at their media page and you’ll find a selection of videos from their latest performances, including the Chihuly Festival, the Russian Winter Festival I, and the music of Frank Sinatra with Tony DeSare.

You’ll also find audio clips of the symphony’s past performances (including a link to the full audio) with pieces such as Brahms’ Requiem, the Rite of Spring, and selections from Beethoven and Mendelsson. The symphony will be broadcasting it’s Russian Winter Festival II (with works by Prokofiev, Borodin, Rimski-Korsakov, and Tchaikovsky) on March 29, 2020, at 1pm on Classical 101.1FM.

Local Musicians

It seems that there’s always live music to see in Columbus, and even though you can’t attend shows in person of all your favorite local acts, you can still catch them online and via live streaming! ColumbusAlive is doing a weekly roundup of concerts you can tune into each day, so you’ll never have to go long without a much needed dose of music. They even include ways you can help the artists amid the live venue shutdown.

It’s also worth checking out @CBusMusicians Facebook page where you’ll find live music streams, rebroadcasts of live shows, and even a couple of ideas of what to do with all your time at home--like learn a new instrument!

Stay fit and healthy by turning to online videos for exercise! Image courtesy of GoYoga.

Columbus Stays Fit

Stay healthy and keep up with your exercise

Arnold Virtual Expo

Each year many fitness and sports enthusiasts in Columbus look forward to the Arnold Sports Festival and Fitness EXPO, which showcases athletes competing in events such as martial arts, dance, strongman, and boxing to name a few. This festival also hosts close to 1,000 fitness vendors who gather to display all the latest sports equipment, clothing, nutrition, and training information.

This fun event may have been cancelled this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out all the vendors have to offer online. Check out the Arnold Virtual EXPO where you can connect directly with vendors to learn all about their different products and services while you eagerly await next year’s festival.

Columbus Dance Centre

A great way to spend time at home is to learn something new--whether that’s a hobby, an instrument, or learning to dance. The Columbus Dance Centre knows that even though people are at home, they still crave some fun exercise. Good thing their YouTube channel has dance instructional videos that can help anyone learn how to dance. Whether you want to learn the basics of ballet, or would rather watch some of the top professionals dance, this is a great place to put a little movement back into your day.

Local Online Yoga

Now more than ever, locals in Columbus are turning to online instruction when it comes to fitness. Since yoga studios no longer can host their classes, they instead have taken instruction online. The Columbus Underground has rounded up a list of yoga studios that are now offering students online classes, so they’ll never need to miss their daily sessions. Many local studios including Heartfelt and GoYoga are even offering reduced fare for their class passes for patrons to use in the future. Consider picking up gift cards as well as show your support for your favorite yoga studio.

Even though many attractions in Columbus are closed to the public, that doesn’t mean they don’t have something to offer you online! If you don’t see something you’re interested on this list, check out social media platforms and see if your favorite Columbus spot has something you can e-visit!

March 25, 2020
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