Spring Awakening: 25 things to do

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Give back

Take part in one of the many volunteer events held by Columbus Gives Back, a local organization that gives young professionals a chance to have fun while helping out.

There are about 10 different events per month, and in May you can clean up a garden at Franklin Park Conservatory, plant flowers at the topiary park or serve beer at the Columbus Beerfest, among other activities. After each event, the group goes out for food or drinks to celebrate everyone's hard work.

For a list of upcoming volunteer opportunities, check out columbusgivesback.org.

Pile on the toppings

During the winter, the logical place to sate that rare I-need-something-cold-and-sweet craving is Jeni's. Now that it's warmer, branch out and try a frozen yogurt piled high with whatever toppings your heart desires. A handful of fro-yo places around town feature self-serve stations, offering the chance to brag to your friends about your superior sundae-making skills.

Yagoot at Easton, Red Mango near Campus and Cuzzins Yogurt in The Shops on Lane Avenue all have an ample supply of fresh fruit toppings such as kiwi, blackberries and mango, but you can also pour on various chocolates, sugary cereals and other delicious confections for a slightly less healthy sugar fix.

Have a picnic in the park

North Market in the Arena District has everything you need for a yummy gourmet picnic. Pick up some juicy brisket or barbecue sandwiches from Holy Smoke BBQ, or grab a large premade salad at Expressly Market Bakery and Bistro. Stop by Mozart's Bakery for a slice of rich torte that's big enough to share, and select your Dry Soda flavor of choice at Jeni's.

Walk over to Goodale Park, and set up at one of the many picnic tables near the southern edge. Or for a more intimate experience, head to Frank Fetch, the small park hidden on German Village's Beck Street.

Change your scent

Pick a new perfume that helps you - and the people around you - celebrate the end of a dreary winter.

Short North-based Mukha Custom Cosmetics & Medi-Spa makes several spring-friendly fragrances ($55), and they're all made from organic oils. Slightly spicy, citrusy Sonny features flowers native to the Philippines. The No. 1 has hints of cucumber, ginger and lemongrass, and proceeds from sales of magnolia- and clover-infused Hazel benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

You can also try one of the everyday-scent-inspired bottles from Demeter, available at Ulta. The brand's Mimosa, Geranium and Vanilla Cake Batter are especially fun ways to smell delicious.

Eat sushi on Haiku's patio

Hold off on Haiku's flavorful, soothing bowl of udon noodles until it gets cold again. Now is the time for sushi on the patio.

Enjoy your favorite rolls - from the specials menu, order the popular Harvest Roll, which deliciously combines acorn squash, avocado, cream cheese, sweet mango sauce and spicy sriracha - while sitting by the quaint little bridge over the fish pond and watching people walk and bike by on High Street.

Stop by for lunch, and you'll be served free soup and a house salad.