The Fam Five: Arts and Entertainment Picks for June

Jim Fischer
Columbus Parent
Stuart Chafetz conducts the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's annual Picnic with the Pops concerts.


The Columbus Symphony Orchestra always offers a summer season chock-full of outdoor concerts, and while Popcorn Pops shows are geared specifically to young audiences, the rest of the Picnic with the Pops season is family-friendly, too. The first Popcorn Pops of the season, themed “Dance Party,” is set for June 21. Additionally, Patriotic Pops, part of the more formal Picnic with the Pops season, will be June 29. In either case, your ticket gets you into the Commons, where you can spread a blanket and enjoy a meal or a snack you’ve brought with you or that you’ve purchased on-site. Tickets start at $10.

John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St., Columbus (Downtown), 614-469-0939,


The Columbus Arts Festival kicks off June festival season in Central Ohio for the 58th year. The festival’s fin-tastic mascot, Art Shark, returns, as does a host of visual, performing, cultural and interactive art of all kinds. Make sure your trip includes the Big Local Art Village, where local creatives are highlighted, the Hands-On Art Activities Village and the new Virtual Reality Tent. Check it out June 7-9. Admission is free.

Scioto Mile (Downtown), 614-224-2606,


Not all summertime entertainment is of the outdoor variety. This year marks the 50th year that CAPA will presents its Summer Movie Series, notable not only for offering films at a Downtown theater but also for featuring unseen, restored or otherwise unique titles. The series offers a handful of great family films. Classic movie musical “The Music Man” screens June 29-30 and, if you don’t mind a bit of off-color language, there’s “Back to the Future” June 19-20.

One of our favorites is Cartoon Capers, the Saturday morning (June 22) screening of classic toons—the kind that began their lives as preludes to feature films. Another returning treat is organist Clark Wilson providing preshow music on the Ohio Theatre’s Mighty Morton organ. Same-day tickets are $5.

Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St., Columbus (Downtown), 614-469-0939,


The Jazz Arts Group offers summertime tunes tailored to young audience members in the form of four PBJ & Jazz family concerts. Held at 1 p.m. Saturdays in the often-overlooked Topiary Park, these concerts are free. The season kicks off June 8 with Such Sweet Thunder, a tribute band playing the works of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Concerts are preceded by an 11 a.m. storytime at Main Library and followed by an art activity.

Topiary Park, 480 E. Town St., Columbus (Downtown), 614-469-0939,


Your older elementary or middle school-age kids get a musical that’s written just for them as Columbus Children’s Theatre’s Summer Advanced Performance Academy presents “13,” which runs June 27 through July 7. When Evan Goldman’s family moves, he’s faced with sorting out his place in the hierarchy of posers, jocks, geeks and beauty queens in his new school. The show boasts a pop-rock score by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown.

Columbus Children’s Theatre, 512 Park St., Columbus (Arena District), 614-224-6672,

The Fam Five is arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer at Columbus Alive.