The massive presence of Ohio State makes it a city within the city of Columbus. The Oval, the heart of the Columbus campus, is beautifully landscaped with 115 varieties of trees and surrounded by stately buildings including Orton Hall, the Main Library, and University Hall. There are guided tours available weekdays at 10 and 2 for groups of six or more. Call to schedule ([p]614/292–3030), preferably at least a month in advance.
Affiliated with the school's department of horticulture, the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Garden is an outdoor laboratory of local and regional trees and plants including wildflowers, prairie plants, and perennials. The calming labyrinth garden, set in a ring of arborvitae evergreens, is modeled after one at Chartres Cathedral in France. 2001 Fyffe Ct. chadwickarboretum.osu.edu. Free. Apr.–Oct.,
Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center is home court for Buckeye basketball and home ice for hockey. Concerts and touring productions as diverse as the Three Tenors, Simon and Garfunkel, and Sesame Street Live also use the space. 555 Borror Dr. 800/273–6201. www.schottensteincenter.com.
In a dramatic building designed by Peter Eisenmann, the Wexner Center for the Arts houses contemporary art—including performance art and mixed-media works. The cabaret-style theater features intimate concerts, rarely screened movies from independent film makers, and discussions or lectures with filmmakers, artists, and performers. 1871 N. High St. 614/292–3535. www.wexarts.org. Varies by artist and program; lower lobby exhibitions free. Tues., Wed., Sun. 11–6, Thurs.–Sat. 11–8 pm.