11 Best Experience Gifts in Columbus

Columbus is the state capital of Ohio and is currently the 14th most populous city in the United States. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in the country and features a wide array of activities and entertainment. Whether you’re from the Columbus area or are just visiting, be sure to check out all that the city has to offer.

To help make your job easier on deciding what to do, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best experience gifts in Columbus. Sure, these experiences make great gifts for your loved ones or friends, but every once in a while, you should remember to treat yourself to a gift. These experiences are a great way to do just that.

Whether you’re into beer, hang gliding, hockey, food, or comedy, Columbus has something for everyone. What are you waiting for? Check out these awesome experiences in and around the city:


Cessna Plane Flying Lessons

Have you ever wanted to fly a plane? If you said no, then you lied. If you said yes, then you’re like all of us here at TDW. The allure of the blue sky and the fluffy white clouds just make you want to soar up there with them. Now you can. You don’t need any experience to get started. Climb aboard a Cessna 172, the most popular training airplane in the world, to learn how to fly. You’ll start with a pre-flight checklist and a quick lesson before taking to the skies. Then, your FAA Certified Flight Instructor will help you take off. From there, you’ll be in control of the plane for the majority of a 40-minute flight. That’s right, you get to fly the plane for almost an hour. When time is up, you instructor will land you safely on the ground. Unfortunately, you’ll be left with the burning desire to go back up for more flight time. Sorry about that. Buy Here


Tandem Hang Gliding Flight

If there’s anything better than being in the sky in an airplane, it’s being up there free and enjoying the air. Sky diving can be fun, but you fall so quickly that your time in the air is rather short. Hang gliding offers a way to fly through the air safely and for a longer period of time. With this experience you’ll strap into a hang glider with your US Hang Gliding Association Certified Instructor. (Who knew that was even a thing!) You’ll be towed into the air by a carbon trike and then released 2,000 feet above ground. For about 15 minutes, you’ll soar high above the Ohio countryside and take in all the natural beauty the area has to offer. If you’re lucky, you might even get a chance to take the controls and feel what it’s like to pilot the hang glider. Just don’t forget to wear warm clothes, it can be chilly up there! Buy Here


Murder Mystery Dinner Show

Bang! You are taking part in an elegant four-course dinner with your date when suddenly a gunshot goes off. A murder has occurred. Now, it’s up to you and your date to figure out who the killer is. Based off of real cold cases and set in the modern era, this murder mystery dinner show is unlike anything you’ve been to before. Disguised actors and actresses are mixed in with guests to provide a truly immersive experience. Even as you eat, the murderer may be lurking at your table. You knew there was something off about the guy drinking a cup of milk with his dinner. You and your fellow guests will interact throughout the night to try and figure out who the murderer is. As hidden clues appear, and more mayhem occurs during your dinner, detectives from the show will try to help solve the crime. The Top Sleuth (whoever comes closest to solving the mystery) wins a prize pack at the end. Buy Here


ZipZone Zip Lining Tour & Adventure Park

Just cause you’re in the city doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little outdoor adventure. When it comes to adrenaline-pumping fun, it doesn’t get better than zip lining. ZipZone features 5 trails and over 60 unique challenges. It holds claim to the title of largest forest climbing park in the Columbus area. If you’re worried about falling, don’t be. Their award-winning SSB “intelligent belay” system has double-connected safety clips to keep you connected to a lifeline cable even if something else would go wrong. You can zip through the treetops, bungee from tall towers, and rock climb in the sprawling forest. With their most popular 2-hour experience, you can complete two different zip line trails. This is a blast and something everyone should do at least once. Buy Here


Historic German Village Food Tour

Food. Now we’re talking. What could be better than a four-hour excursion through one of Columbus’ most beautiful neighborhoods? Cobblestone streets and beautifully restored brick cottages are everywhere along with gorgeous, well-maintained gardens. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll learn about the history of the German neighborhood and experience all of its sights, sounds, and, of course, foods. Along the way you’ll visit some of Columbus’ most popular and finest dining establishments. Sample award-winning pizza from Harvest Pizzeria. Try Katzinger’s Delicatessen for a sandwich from the shop which has been featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. Enjoy delicious sausage at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus, featured on “Man vs. Food”. Stop for dessert at Pistacia Vera, a delicious pastry kitchen. Finally, end the day in Barcelona to sample some paella and enjoy a cool glass of their famous sangria. No experience could possibly be better than four-hours of delicious food, right? Buy Here


Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Game

Nationwide Arena, deep in the heart of Columbus’ lively arena district, is the home of the only NHL franchise in Ohio: The Columbus Blue Jackets. If you’re in town from mid-September to mid-April, check out a fun-filled game at a state-of-the-art arena. The Blue Jackets made it to the NHL Playoffs in the 2017-18 season, so you’re in for a good game no matter what opponent is in town. Even if you aren’t a hockey fan, you’ll enjoy the family-friendly, electric atmosphere of every home game. They even have a cannon that’s fired after the team scores a goal. After the game, be sure to check out the hockey-themed bars and restaurants downtown that commemorate the team and serve some great beer and food. Buy Here


Vertical Adventures Indoor Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a fun sport for beginners and experienced climbers alike. It works both the mind and body for a fun, engaging workout. Unfortunately, central Ohio isn’t a great place for natural outdoor climbing. However, at Vertical Adventures, climbing is easily accessible and fun for everyone. There are courses easy enough for first-time climbers, and ones challenging enough for even the most advanced. Take advantage of one of their guided classes that teaches you how to manage the ropes, choose foot and handholds, and climb safely. Their state-of-the-art climbing center has plenty of space and challenges for you to feel comfortable and have a great time. Buy Here


FunnyBone Comedy Club & Restaurant

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? The FunnyBone Comedy Club has shows almost every night that are guaranteed to make you do just that. Featuring local up and coming comedians, as well as big-name talent, there’s no shortage of funny. Enjoy comedy shows, live podcast recordings, and special events like hypnosis experiences. On top of the entertainment, the club offers a full restaurant with delicious food and a full bar. Be sure to get your tickets well in advance as the venue tends to fill up quickly once new shows are announced. As a bonus, the club is located in Easton Town Center, a classy, activity-filled area of Columbus with no shortage of things to do. Buy Here


Brew Your Own Beer With North High Brewing Company

Okay, technically you can brew your own beer at home, but there’s no guarantee that it will turn out or taste good. Instead, stop by North High Brewing Company and engage in this personalized brewing experience. First, you’ll choose from dozens of beer recipes including fan favorites like a jalapeno lime ale, Tree Tapper (made with Ohio maple syrup), and Wildcard! (a unique vanilla English ale). You’ll spend around three hours performing the brewing process with experts from the brewery. Then, a few weeks later you’ll return to complete the bottling, capping, and labelling process. In all, the process will yield a keg of beer, equal to about 140 12oz. bottles. You can customize the labels for your beer, and purchase bottles directly from the brewery or supply your own. Since you get charged per batch not per person, be sure to bring as many friends as you want. The more the merrier! Buy Here


Water Jetpack Ride

We already know that jetpacks are awesome. This experience puts you in the driver’s seat of your very own jetpack on the water. You’ll fly through the air like a superhero and zoom underwater like a dolphin once strapped into this bad boy. Before that, you’ll get a lesson on the equipment and how to fly the jetpack. Then, you have half an hour to maneuver, soar, or dive underwater however you like. Your certified instructor will be there to oversee the whole thing and make sure you are safe. This aquatic adventure takes place in beautiful Lakeview Park, bringing a seaside experience close to home. You know you want to fly a jetpack. Give it a try. Buy Here


Downtown Columbus Discovery Scavenger Hunt

Some of the best experiences are the ones that you discover along the way while exploring the city you’re in. This scavenger hunt helps you find iconic and historical sights and sounds of Columbus while getting you closer to the city. The experience takes about 2 hours and lets you explore the best features the city has to offer. Identify grand buildings and lush parks near and along the Scioto River. Find the most popular downtown sites and some hidden gems. You’ll encounter US Presidents, theatrical jesters, and Christopher Columbus himself thanks to interactive photo and video trivia challenges. Explore the capital of Ohio in unrivaled fashion with this discovery experience that’s great for the whole family. Buy Here