Top 4 Rainy-Day Activities in Columbus, Ohio

When most people think about things to do in Columbus, Ohio, watching the Buckeyes play football or visiting the Ohio State Fair often comes to mind. But in the winter months or when a rainy day rolls in, you might find yourself looking for something indoors to keep the family busy.

If you're looking for a family-friendly gift card for friends or family, you can't go wrong with one that helps them keep the little ones entertained. A virtual GiftYa card to a museum that's kid-friendly is a great choice. Simply pick your virtual gift card, add a personalized message, and hit send, and your gift will be delivered in just minutes. Your friends or loved ones could be enjoying a visit to a museum the very same day!

If you're looking for just the right museum or rainy-day activity to gift to a friend or family member, keep reading to learn a few of the best that Columbus, Ohio has to offer.

1. Cosi Columbus

An over-the-top, fully immersive family-friendly museum experience.

The ultimate destination for kids and kids at heart. Image courtesy of Yelp.

333 W Broad St | Columbus |

It's tough to really picture what Cosi Columbus is until you've had the opportunity to visit. While it's often labeled a children's museum, it's actually a fully immersive, interactive experience that visitors of all ages will enjoy. From an exhibit that lets you literally walk through decades of American history with fully-themed streets depicting changes to a waterfront city to interactive displays that let you build bridges, examine the inner-workings of the human body, and more, there's much more to see and do than you could get to in a single day--or perhaps an entire week! With a dining hall and gift shops on site though, you won't have to waste even a single moment of your time at this incredible destination.

"This museum is incredible! Very hands-on and interactive. I LOVE the National Geographic big screen. This month they were showing a movie about heroic dogs. It was funny, sweet and so inspiring. Watching it was the best part of the trip. I love how seamless the process is to get in and out. I also like that you can buy pre-movie snacks for a reasonable price.The museum is educational and entertaining. It's serious fun for all ages. I could honestly go with another adult and have a blast.They always have extra shows/workshops going on that you can participate in.There are many fun times to be had here!" -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Cosi Columbus.

2. Central Ohio Fire Museum

A deep-dive into the history of fire fighting in Ohio, located in a historic engine house.

A well-designed museum located in a historic engine house. Image courtesy of Yelp.

260 N 4th St. | Columbus |

The Central Ohio Fire Museum does more than just take you through a visual history of fire fighting in the area; it's also located inside of a restored engine house built in 1908. Alongside photos and histories of fire stations in central Ohio, you can also view horse-drawn and early motorized fire apparatus, as well as other artifacts. If you have a little one that loves fire trucks or you are simply interested in learning about an often-overlooked, but important part of history, this museum is a must-see.

"What a neat museum! A wonderful collection of antique trucks and fire gear fills the space of a former firehouse. The new firehouse is located just a few buildings over. The museum is staffed by current and retired firefighters who offer tours when you come in. There are is also a lot of great signage at the various displays, as well. We found both options handy, as we were accompanied by a kid who happily held up on the tour up until the point that he spotted the fabulous kids play area - then he couldn't wait a second longer to get over there!
The play area includes a real cab from a fire truck, complete with flashing lights, a video about firefighting set up in front of a smaller fire truck with steering wheel, several giant tubs of all sorts of fire trucks to wheel around, a great little library filled with books on firetrucks, fire safety, other vehicles, and other community workers, and a real fire pole to slide down. There's also a little locker area set up with kid-sized fire coats, boots, and hats! Very cute.

The back portion of the museum includes a stall still set up like it was for the horses, examples of things that had caught or been on fire, and safety displays." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Central Ohio Fire Museum.

3. Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum

A large collection of classic cars and the histories behind them.

A private collection of classic vintage vehicles. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor.

476 East Kossuth St | Columbus

This isn't your typical automobile museum. Instead, it's a massive, private collection of vintage cars, owned by an auto enthusiast who loves educating visitors on his collection and the history of the automobile. Stroll through a gallery packed wall to wall with vehicles, as well as lots of vintage accessories and advertisements. This is certain to be a hit with car lovers of all ages!

"So looking for that diamond in the ruff when visiting Columbus look no further. One must call ahead and there is no fee just if you would like to make a donation. Steve passion for his period correct cars is infectious. They are not museum prices but rather drivers that he loves and has history with. His knowledge about low and single letter or number license plates for Ohio is amazing. If your not a car person it's okay he is also knowledgeable about the local history. We had to Uber over and he even drove us back to our Hotel. We did change a tire along the way but that is story you will have to ask Steve about. " -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for the Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum.

4. Columbus Cultural Arts Center

A visual arts center featuring galleries showcasing emerging artists.

A colorful contemporary art gallery showcasing emerging artists. Image courtesy of Yelp.

139 W Main St | Columbus |

If your prior experience with art galleries is stark rooms filled with carefully framed art painted several hundred years ago, you're in for a surprise. The Columbus Cultural Arts Center is the state's premier visual arts center. While it is an art gallery, it's the focus is on showcasing contemporary art and the work of new, emerging, relatively-unknown artists. Established in 1978, the gallery is constantly changing and evolving with the times. Whether you're interested in art or not, strolling through the colorful gallery packed with interesting pieces is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Besides the art gallery, the Columbus Cultural Arts Center also offers a number of hands-on art classes and workshops for adults. From painting to pottery to sculptures, you can hone your existing skills or try something brand new.

"I absolutely love the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. To be surrounded by artwork, studio, and the energy to create makes me keep coming back.I'm usually off on Thursdays so I get to enjoy the conversations and coffee programs that they offer. You get to sit and enjoy I chat with some of the artists that are local and from far away to talk about their craft, and what allow them to be the artist they are today.I hope to one day give it a shot as I am still learning how to navigate life as an artist. I create work in my studio so it is easy to become isolated from everyone else when you never leave your house to make work.So this is a nice place to network and make connections. 5 stars for always having kind people working and the patrons who enjoy art as much as I do." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for the Columbus Cultural Arts Center.

If you're looking for the perfect rainy day activity for your family, Columbus has plenty of options. Jump, climb, play, and learn at Cosi, stroll the colorful halls of the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, or take a trip back in time with a visit to the Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum or the Central Ohio Fire Museum.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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