Day Trippin’ With Uncle Mike: Downtown Columbus

“Day Trippin with Uncle Mike” is a Pickerington Online series featuring fun trips within a few hours of Violet Township, Ohio. Michael Nicodemus is a biology professor, birder, travel enthusiast & uncle.

November 15, 2021
by Pickerington Online Contributor Dr. Michael Nicodemus

Downtown Columbus is a great place for sight seeing, enjoying the theatre and/or experiencing fun foods.
Photo by David Johnson Jr.

Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt

Let’s Roam has scavenger hunts in 400+ cities around the world, according to their website. The hunt leads you to interesting and historical sites around the Columbus downtown area. It is a fun activity for the whole family. Between the stops, there are fun challenges and trivia. You can get a free month trial to see if you like it before you commit. Our only issue was that the app crashed a few times during our hunt. (Hint: Find a meter by Centennial Park.)
According to the Ohio Statehouse website, construction “began on July 4, 1839 with the ceremonial laying of the cornerstone. The structure would be completed much later, in 1861. Prison labor from the Ohio Penitentiary was used to construct the foundation and ground floors of the building. Objections from skilled tradesman, who felt they were losing out on good-paying jobs, brought about changes in hiring practices for the remainder of the construction.”

Guided Statehouse tours are available weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm and weekends from 12 pm to 3 pm.
The scooters take credit cards to rent, but the kids weren’t old enough to ride them.

Downtown Theatres

Located at 21 E. Main Street, the Southern Theatre built in 1896 is the “oldest surviving theatre in central Ohio and one of the oldest in the state” according to the Columbus Association of Performing Arts (CAPA).
Upcoming shows include the Jazz Arts Group’s Home for the Holidays (Dec. 1-5), Opera Columbus’s Tosca (Dec. 18-19) and Jim Brickman’s, The Gift of Christmas (Dec. 22).
Photo from
“Designed in the spirit of France’s Palais de Versailles, the 2,695-seat Palace Theatre is located at the base of the LeVeque-Lincoln Tower, 34 W. Broad Street. Adorned with chandeliers, a grand staircase, mural, hall of autographed pictures, and a fountain, the Palace is a delightful destination for an evening with the arts. Originally a vaudeville house, special attention was paid to the theatre’s acoustics when it was built. Consequently, there’s not a bad seat in the house!”- CAPA

Upcoming shows include Taylor Tomlinson (Nov. 20), Joe Bonamassa (Nov. 28), Dave Sedaris (Dec. 2), Mannheim Steamroller Christmas (Dec. 3), CAPA’s The Hip Hop Nutcracker (Dec. 4), The Lindsey Stirling Christmas Program (Dec. 8), Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour (Dec. 9), A Magical Cirque Christmas (Dec. 10), Broadway in Columbus’ Fiddler on the Roof (Dec. 14-19), Straight No Chaser (Dec. 21) and Sal Valcuno & Chris Distefano (Dec. 30)
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The Ohio Theatre, located between 3rd and High Streets across the street from the Ohio Statehouse, may be the most opulent of the downtown venues. According to CAPA, architect Thomas W. Lamb designed the Ohio Theatre as “a palace for the average man.” The highly, detailed, 2,791-seat performance hall is an example of Spanish-Baroque architecture including a 21-foot high chandelier.

Upcoming shows include Broadway in Columbus’ Hadestown (Nov. 16-21), the Columbus Symphony’s Holiday Pops (Dec. 3-5) and Ballet Met’s The Nutcracker (Dec. 10-26).
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The Peanut Shoppe

The Planters Peanut Shoppe on the corner of High and 3rd has been in business since 1936. The neon Mr. Peanut is the original sign. In addition to roasted nuts, the shop has a candy counter and was one of the few places open on a Saturday to grab a quick drink and visit a bathroom.
They are open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 pm and Saturdays from noon to 3 pm. However, check out their Facebook page because they often stay open special hours before CAPA performances at the Ohio Theatre.

Milestone 229

Nestled alongside Centennial Park and overlooking the river, Milestone 229 offers spectacular views of the Scioto Mile and downtown Columbus while serving up incredible food and beverages. Reservations recommended!
Owner and Pickerington resident Doug Griggs cultivated decades of fine-dining expertise (including many years as an executive with Cameron Mitchell) into the creation of this highly-touted restaurant. Trip Advisor rates Milestone 229 4.5 out of 5 stars with the Eggs Benedict a top choice. Columbus Underground awarded Milestone 229 the title of “#1 Brunch in Columbus”.
Photo from Milestone 229
In addition to an extensive wine menu and local beers by the pint, Milestone 229 offers refreshing takes on traditional cocktails like mimosas and mules as well as signature drinks such as the Gin & Jam and the Winter Punch.
Photo from Milestone 229

Check out Uncle Mike’s previous adventures:
Day Trippin’ – Amish Country
Day Trippin’ – Cinci Part 1
Day Trippin’ – Grandview
Day Trippin’ – Wheeling