Experience Columbus Culture on a Student Budget

The Book Loft in German Village remains a local favorite for students to visit. Photo: Pearl Carey

Although some students struggle to find inexpensive means of entertainment, Columbus offers a variety of opportunities to experience art and culture on a budget throughout the school year.

The Columbus Museum of Art, Gateway Film Center, and German Village are easily accessible with student discounts and free alternatives. The Ohio Syndicate Discount Ticket Program program and the Columbus Metropolitan Library cultural passes are another resource for those looking to explore Columbus on a budget.

D-Tix is ​​available to any student who pays the Student Activity Fee, which is usually included in semester fees and tuition. Some events and experiences are offered free by lottery, but most events and discounts can be purchased while supplies last.

CML cardholders can borrow cultural passes free of charge in the same way as they would borrow books from the library. CML offers passes to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus Clippers games, Franklin Park Conservatory and more, according to CML website.

The German Village Historic District, less than four miles from campus, features brick streets and 19th-century architecture. Students can stop by Columbus favorites – such as Stauf’s Coffee or the Book Loft – or make memories and save money just by walking around and exploring the area.

The German village of Columbus was developed in the mid-1800s, with German immigrants describing the neighborhood as “like home”, according to its website.

“The entire village is on the Ohio Historic Register,” said Scott Kennedy, director of the Book Loft. “The whole community is in the Civil War era, and it really is a special place. I’ve worked here for years and really like it.

Students who want to experience art and culture in Columbus can plan a visit to the Columbus Museum of Art, which offers seasonal exhibits such as the Wonder Room exhibit, the Big Idea Gallery, and monthly events.

Columbus Museum of Art offers free admission on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., depending on its website. Students can get a 10% discount on a ticket for other days of the week by showing their BuckID at the museum admissions office. CML sites also offer discounted art museum passes and free parking for the day.

The Wonder Room and Big Idea Gallery, both located in the JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity, offer creative hands-on activities and art stations for visitors to interact with, according to the CMA website.

Amanda Kepner, manager of institutional processes at the CMA, said the museum strives to create accessible events for all to enjoy. According to the museum websitevisitors can participate in events such as artist talks, yoga classes, open studios for making art and more.

“We want to emphasize our mission to think like an artist,” Kepner said. “We do this by bringing creativity to everyone.”

Kepner said the museum is a great place for students’ first dates or afternoons after lunch.

“With the Columbus Museum of Art, you can visit for an hour or two and really get a taste of everything,” Kepner said.

Students can also experience culture in Columbus at Gateway Cinema Center, located at 1550 North High St. The Film Center showcases big-budget and independent films from the United States and around the world. Movie buffs can also find film festival screenings.

Students can purchase discount movie tickets through D-Tix, which never expire. Student discounts are also offered for evening, matinee and happy hour tickets and can be booked at the Gateway Film ticketing center.

The gateway will charge $3 for all screenings in honor of the first-ever National Movie Day on Saturday, according to a Instagram post Tuesday.

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