Ohio Winter Indoor Festivals
By Hannah Henthorne

Wooing over a snowy wonderland soon turns to a bad case of cabin fever. Fear not. Each corner of Ohio and everywhere in between offers solace to the chilly blues in the form of funky indoor expos and festivals. Take the family, take a date, and experience a new hobby, craft, or food at one of these festivals.

February:

Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Festival, Fairfield: Discover what all the stink is about at this giant wheel of cheesy fun. Taste samples from over forty booths, ranging from local to international cheeses. Other exciting parts of the festival include wine tasting, cheese carving contest, and samples from dozens of vendors. Admission, $12.




Photo courtesy of Jungle Jim's International Market

Wizard World Comic Con , Cleveland: Unleash the geek at this annual expo celebrating everything comic. Admission includes access to guest appearances by stars from favorite TV series and movies. Dress up as your favorite pop culture icon or go and admire the creative display of comic culture. Admission, $35.

The Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show, Columbus: Take advantage of snowy days inside the house to plan outside projects. Spark your creativity with how-to demos, chat with local crafty artists, and get started on your next big home improvement project. This year’s week long expo will focus on the themes of tiny living and alternate living spaces, a garden showcase, and giveaways galore. Admission, $10 online, $13 at the door. 

Other home and garden shows: The Great Big Home + Garden Show, Cleveland; House & Home Show, Toledo; Home & Lifestyle Expo, Willoughby; Great Lakes Home & Flower Show, Sandusky; Cincinnati Home & Garden Show, Cincinnati.

March:

Arnold Sports Festival, Columbus: Fitness buffs unite for the biggest convention weekend in Columbus. Athletes come from all over the world to compete in just about every sporting competition imaginable, from power lifting to jump rope to table tennis. This annual convention will be sure to motivate those who have been slow to start their New Year fitness resolutions. Admission, $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 




Photo courtesy of Arnold Sports Festival

Bridal Show at Sauder Village, Archbold: Winter is the time to start making wedding plans. Find inspiration for the dress, décor, and everything in between at this enchanting expo held at the historic Sauder Village in Archbold. While there, treat the bride to some home cooking at the Barn Restaurant and Doughbox Bakery (just dont plan to try any dresses on afterwards). Admission, $7. 




Photo courtesy of Sauder Village

Other bridal shows: Great Lakes Mall Bridal Show, Mentor; Ohio Bridal Expo, Cincinnati; Dayton Bridal Expo; Dublin Bridal Show; Summit Mall Bridal Show, Akron.

March Maple Madness Driving Tour,  Northern Ohio: Free of charge, this sweet celebration will include stops at small farms and large operations. Drivers will be able to witness firsthand the harvest of the delicious sap, from production to bottling to tasting, all while traversing the bucolic backroads of northwestern Ohio.  Click here for a list of the stops.




Photo courtesy of DiscoverOhio.com

Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival, Wilmington: This annual event features bluegrass, acoustic, gospel, and nostalgic tunes for the whole family. In addition to two days of music, this festival will offer a selection of vendors offering goods from crafts to instruments to jewelry and clothes. General admission, $35. 

Columbus International Auto Show, Columbus: Kick off the spring time spirit with a look into the world of cars both classic and contemporary. New models and upgrades are displayed for passersby to admire or even take for a test drive. Talk to sales reps about your next big purchase or revel in the shiny four-wheeled beauties. Admission, $10. 

This is just a sample of the winter fun to be had indoors. Don’t let the weather keep you cooped up at home. What’s your favorite Ohio indoor festival? 

About the Author

Hannah Henthorne is currently a third year student at The Ohio State University. She is studying English with a minor in Communication. Although she has grown up in the central Ohio area, she is proud to call the entire state home. Hannah is an avid reader, writer, photographer, dog lover, and traveler. She also enjoys staying in shape by cycling around the central Ohio bike paths. You can reach Hannah at hhenthorne@gmail.com.