If you’re looking for something to do with the family this weekend, head down to the riverfront for the Columbus Arts Festival. Learn more below:
Hands-On Activities Village
Always a popular attraction, the Festival’s Hands-On Activities Village has even more going on this year with a move to the new eight-acre Scioto Peninsula Park on the west side of COSI. Staffed by volunteers from 20 local organizations from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, activities range from building musical instruments, designing bridges, creating glass paintings, painting mini flower pots and more. Almost all activities are free and open to kids and adults. With representatives on hand from organizations like Art Garden Studios, Musicologie, Ohio Designer Craftsmen and Glass Axis, there are activities to fit a wide range of interests and ages.
Big Local Art Tent
Located on Washington Boulevard in front of COSI, the Big Local Art Tent is where creative groups from all over the city come together to build a place for people to experience and purchase local art. Celebrating its seventh anniversary, the Big Local Art Tent will showcase brilliant art in all mediums from independent artists. More than 60 artists from collectives across the city will sell their art while friendly and talented demonstrators will show you clay throwing, leather working, stained glass, blacksmithing and more. Don’t miss your chance to take home a work of art from some of the amazingly talented creatives living and working right here in Columbus.
Kids play art collector in the Children’s Gallery with support from Puffin Foundation West. On Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. children ages 12 and younger are invited to experience the unique kid-sized gallery—located near the Hands-On Activities Village—with artwork donated by exhibiting artists. Each piece is priced at $5 and under.
Meet the Art Shark
Always on the move, the beloved mascot of the Columbus Arts Festival will appear on both sides of the river. Festival goers can say hello and take a selfie with Arthur S. Hark, who can be found swimming around the Art Makes Columbus Activity Village by COSI (Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) or at the Bicentennial Park fountain (Friday, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, 3-5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-3:30 p.m.).
Get Framed at the Arts Fest
The Art Shark isn’t the only fun photo opp. Festival guests can place themselves in the giant selfie frame presented by Reed Arts, just north of the intersection of the Rich Street bridge and Washington Boulevard, for a perfectly framed photo with the city’s beautiful skyline as a backdrop.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)’s Riverfest returns to the festival with a free canoe and kayak launch point on the festival grounds behind the Bicentennial Park stage, next to the Main Street Bridge. Riverfest will take place Saturday, June 9 from noon – 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 from noon–4 p.m. Some walk-up appointments will be available; advance reservations can be made at www.morpc.org/riverfest.
Festival Hours: Friday, June 8 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Please note: on Friday and Saturday artist booths close at 9 p.m.)