15 Best Things to Do in Worthington, OH

Worthington, OH
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The city of Worthington sits at the center of the intersection of US State Route 23 and 161, providing easy access to nearby Ohio cities.

Worthington is named after Thomas Worthington, one of Ohio’s first senators and governor.

Founded in 1803 by New England families from the Farmington River Valley of Connecticut and Massachusetts, Worthington was initially incorporated as a village with little growth.

Over the years, the city blossomed into a bustling area for trade, commerce, and transportation.

Today, you’ll still see the city riddled with New England heritage across several historical sites, as well as a robust business and arts district.

Check out 15 of the best things to do while in Worthington, Ohio.

Explore the Ohio Railway Museum

An illinois terminal vehicle at Ohio Railway Museum
George Campbell from Worthington, OH, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Find out everything there is to know about the Ohio railway system at the Ohio Railway Museum down on Proprietors Road.

The Ohio Railway Museum is one of the oldest railroad museums in America.

Founded in 1948, the museum has been a pillar for historical facts about railroad development in Ohio.

Exterior of Ohio Railway Museum's depot
Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out static equipment displays featuring electric traction and steam systems, and take a closer look at the last CD&M interurban parlor car #501, as well as an authentic steam locomotive.

You can also explore the museum and all its wonders by riding streetcars and the Pullman passenger car for a one-of-a-kind touring experience.

A rapid transit car at Ohio Railway Museum
George Campbell, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about Worthington's Humble Beginnings at the Worthington Historical Society

The Worthington Historical Society on New England Avenue offers visitors an in-depth cultural experience that tells the story of Worthington’s early days.

Founded in 1955, the Worthington Historical Society was formed by eight women that belonged to the Worthington Women’s Club.

Today, you can find priceless exhibits and displays, as well as programs that aim to preserve the city’s rich history.

Browse an extensive collection of authentic Worthington photographs, clothing, furniture, media records, maps, as well as Native American artifacts.

You can also check out other collections donated by Worthington residents, such as dolls, woodworking tools, lace, handmade iron latches, and more.

Celebrate the Holidays at the Holiday Open House

Nothing beats the feeling of spending the holidays at Worthington.

Held every Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Holiday Open House is a great way to experience Christmas time.

Sights and sounds of the holiday season fill the streets from noon until 5 p.m. during the Holiday Open House, providing a real treat for children and those who simply love Christmas festivities.

You can ride a horse-drawn carriage and even take a photo with Santa.

Holiday Open House attendees can also enjoy live music echoing across the streets, as well as sidewalk sales and promotions from local retailers.

Catch Live Performances at the McConnell Arts Center

Since 2009, the McConnell Arts Center has been Worthington’s cultural hub for the arts.

The McConnell Arts Center is housed in the former Worthington High School on Evening Street, which is also known as the Packard Annex.

With an area of 20,000 square meters, the theater has a 213-seating capacity, providing a home for the performing, visual, and digital arts.

Explore the contemporary and multidisciplinary center’s exhibition gallery, classrooms, digital imaging studio, dance studio, and rotating exhibit.

You can also watch free and ticketed performances in the arts center.

Visit the Doll Museum on New England Ave.

A collection of 19th-century dolls decorate the walls of the Doll Museum on New England Ave.

From Parian Bisques to French fashion models, you can find almost any doll you can think of in this one-of-a-kind establishment.

The museum also features rotating exhibits that showcase doll fashion and other full-size clothing pieces that have been collected since the 19th century.

As you wander the museum, you’ll get to see a wide range of creations一from rubber dolls to wax and wooden ones.

Catch rare sightings of dolls inspired by historical figures like Empress Eugenie of France, Rosa Bonheur, and more.

The museum also showcases fairytale-inspired doll collections from the likes of Alice in Wonderland, as well as miniature figures of cultural icons like Joel Ellis.

Check Out Jeffers Mound

Daytime landscape of Jeffers Mound
Kevin Payravi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sitting on the hillcrest where Plesenton Drive diverges from the Olentangy River Road is Jeffers Mound, a prehistoric mound that records human habitation dating as early as 8,000 B.C.

Currently owned by the Worthington Historical Society, Jeffers Mound is believed to have been part of a larger complex of earthworks, which were built by the Hopewell people.

Aerial view of Jeffers Mound showing hopewell's pole house footprints
Kevin Payravi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jeffers Mound stands at 20-feet tall, containing a smaller mound at the center and two other circular enclosures.

The original enclosure encompassed about eight acres of land, which served as a popular excavation site for ash, pottery fragments, skeletons, and several layers of wood.

Aside from its historical significance, tourists can visit the mound and get a good view of the Olentangy River from a dramatic 60-foot bluff.

Shop for Custom Fragrances at The Candle Lab

The Candle Lab on North High Street offers a great selection of fragrances that are perfect for every occasion.

Whether you’re looking for romantic and intimate candles for date night or something to calm you down after a stressful day, you’re sure to find the right candle at The Candle Lab.

Shop from over 100 fragrances in the form of soy candles, reed diffusers, soy wax tarts, and more, and appreciate the creations of the store’s team of fragrance experts.

If you’re looking for a more unique experience, you can head over to the Fragrance Bar to design your own label, mix your preferred oils, and create your own scent.

It only takes less than two hours before your concoction is ready to be taken home, making the perfect souvenir to commemorate your trip to Worthington!

Everything there is to see about Worthington art is at the High Road Gallery on East Stafford Ave.

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, and almost every other artwork adorn the gallery walls, creating a vibrant atmosphere for its visitors.

Located on the historic Buttles-Pinney-Brown House, High Road Gallery also adds a tinge of cultural flair that goes along with the local creations nestled inside its walls.

The gallery was originally a five-bay brick residence built in the 1800s.

In 1823, Sidney Brown, a cooper, purchased the property and turned a portion of the home into a shop for making and repairing barrels.

Today, visitors flock to the gallery to catch a glimpse of 2D and 3D works from resident artists, as well as seasonal exhibits for featured artists.

On Saturdays, visitors can enjoy the gallery’s Art Brunch event, where they can catch live music, grab a bite from food trucks, and check out current shows in the gallery.

Travel Back in Time at the Orange Johnson House

Step inside the Orange Johnson House and see what it’s like living in a 19th century home.

Purchased by the Johnson family in 1816, the three-bedroom home stands as one of the oldest residential houses in Central Ohio.

The Orange Johnson House is famed for withstanding the tests of time, providing its guests a glimpse of the pioneer period and a New England-inspired interior.

Wander the halls of the Orange Johnson House and explore all six rooms during the tour.

Check out the kitchen’s vintage fireplace, the aesthetic sitting room, and the dining room that connects to the kitchen.

Marvel at the bedrooms’ federal architecture and check out the stencil room, which is famed for having stenciled walls instead of being decorated with wallpaper.

Spend a Day at Worthington Pools

If you’re planning to visit Worthington for the summer, there’s no better way to beat the heat than spending a day at Worthington Pools.

This recreational facility on West Dublin-Granville Road offers visitors a wide range of water-related activities that can surely make your Worthington trip worthwhile.

Enroll your kids in the facility’s Learn to Swim Program, or you can also enroll in advanced swimming lessons yourself.

You can also swim in laps or participate in water aerobics classes scheduled on certain days of the week.

Those who are looking to become a certified lifeguard can also get their certification from Worthington Pools.

Worthington Pools’ lifeguard training involves three courses, which include an online test, land skills training, and water skills training.

Traverse the Olentangy Trail

Exploring the Olentangy Trail is a great way to catch Worthington’s best views.

This 17-mile bike trail connects Worthington to downtown Columbus and offers a scenic view of the Olentangy River.

Traverse this trail and find yourself passing by Ohio State University and other major city parks in Columbus like Antrim Park and Whetstone Park.

But before you reach the bustling streets, you’ll enjoy the calm and quiet atmosphere as you pass through the riverbanks.

You’ll also pass by the famed Ohio stadium along the way, which is the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team.

Hone Your DIY Skills at AR Workshop

Let your imagination run wild and hone your DIY skills at AR Workshop on High Street.

From gift cards and wooden signs to upcycling projects and woodwork, you can do almost anything in this DIY workshop.

AR Workshop also has workshops for children, including classes on color theory, paint and stain techniques, upcycling, and basic handknitting.

DIY Workshops are also scheduled throughout the year with classes on wood, canvas, chunky knit blanket making, seasonal workshops, and more.

Or, if you don’t have time for DIY projects but want a touch of personal creations lounging around your home, AR Workshop has a wide selection of make-it-for-me projects.

The workshop also has to-go DIY kits that have everything you need to make your project from the comfort of your own home.

Get Fit with Snap Fitness

Going on a vacation doesn’t mean you have to give up your active lifestyle.

You can still make time to work out and stay in shape with Snap Fitness on North High Street.

From top-notch cardio equipment to free weights, this fitness center has everything you need to keep your body in tip-top shape.

The gym is open 24/7, so you can work out without having to worry about closing time.

You can also hire a personal trainer for a more dedicated training regime that suits your needs.

Send Out Personalized Cards with Igloo Letterpress

There’s nothing more personal than sending out handmade cards.

At Igloo Letterpress on North High Street, customers can choose from a wide variety of cards for almost every occasion.

The shop combines digital and analog techniques in its custom printing projects, bringing unique creations that make the perfect giveaway for holidays, birthdays, and more.

Other than personalized cards, Igloo Letterpress also has a great selection of handmade notepads, prints and posters, and DIY globes.

You also have the option to avail of their custom printing services that lets you pick out your own paper, ink choices, and other pieces.

Dine and Sing along at Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza

New York-style pizza and live music? Yes, please!

At Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza on North High Street, you’ll get a taste of coal-fired pizza for your taste buds and amazing live music for your ears.

Swing by this restaurant and end your day with great music and food.

Natalie’s also has a great selection of cocktails一from margaritas and draft beers to bourbon and spiced rum.

If you’re having trouble choosing the best drink, just ask the staff for their featured cocktail!

Final Thoughts

Worthington is more than its historical sites.

Over the years, the city has blossomed into a business and arts district that locals and tourists have come to love.

And with the many things to experience and sights to see, you’ll surely want to stay for a few more days to make the most out of your trip.

Don’t miss out on the adventure ahead, so book your trip to Worthington today!