A thriving new performance venue, a restored historic theater, impressive live music offerings, creative studios, classes, and exhibitions make Union County a surprisingly vibrant arts and culture destination amidst the backdrop of rural America. Explore the varied arts scene and be inspired by a host of cultural offerings from renowned local artists to New York-worthy entertainment and beyond.
Theater That Nurtures Your Spirit
In 1936, The Avalon Theatre debuted in Marysville, Ohio, where they opened the doors to the screening of “Let's Sing Again.” Today, the lovingly restored Art Deco theater celebrates its original roots by providing exceptional programming, theatrical experiences, and cinematic opportunities sure to entertain and inspire.
Another notable theater venue is the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, as it is host to a variety of theater, musical, and dance performances for all audiences to enjoy.
Tip: Summer youth programs bring kids from all over Ohio for theatrical and performance camps, where they learn from local professional instructors.
Music That Feeds Your Soul
Live music is available year-round in Union County. Locals and visitors can find some of the top entertainment in central Ohio in diverse settings, sure to please. Pick from one of the impressive venues and plan a night of tunes, brews, and fantastic food.
Leon’s Live!: Union County’s newest performance venue offers intimate viewing and state-of-the-art sound to create a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. With 20 beers on tap and a schedule filled with regional favorites and entertainers from across the U.S., Leon's Live! presents an opportunity to relax and enjoy a top-notch evening of fun.
Nestled along the banks of Bokes Creek, Bokes Creek Winery offers a relaxing atmosphere to sample estate grown, award-winning wines, chat with owners Mike and Diane, and enjoy live music.
Visitors often fall in love with Dalton Union Winery & Brewery. Perhaps it’s because of their award-winning craft beer, wine, cider and meads. Or maybe it’s because of the “meet no stranger” warm welcome from owners and staff. Meet new friends, enjoy delicious food and watch this little slice of heaven come alive with live entertainment and music every Saturday and Sunday night.
Tip: Food trucks provide great food every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Join the locals for various bands each week at Marysville Sports Pub, where craft beer is on tap and delicious pub food graces the tables. From rock and roll to start-up bands, this joint knows how to pack the house.
The Grainery is central Ohio’s up and coming premier destination for barbecue, brews, and live music. Live music is offered every weekend but summertime is when the outdoor stage brings out locals, families, and out-of-towners for an evening under the stars listening to live tunes.
Ask the locals, and they will tell you that Benny’s Pizza has some of the best pizza in Ohio, but along with that fantastic pie, you will find Saturday nights filled with great music and an eclectic atmosphere. Order your favorite pizza and brew and sit back for a night of excellent entertainment.
The Walking Distance Brewing Co, is just that, within walking distance from the shops, restaurants and vibrant neighborhoods of Marysville. Craft beers, curated events and live music make this a must-stop while in Union County.
Looking for a unique and rewarding live music experience? Buckeye Brass & Winds, the premier Midwest brass and wind instrument sales and service center (they are the official service center for TBDBITL, The Ohio State University Marching Band), offers musical performances not found elsewhere. As they are headquartered in a former historic church, the acoustics and concert setting are exceptional. Go here for event information and details.
Tip: Both Bokes Creek Winery and Dalton Union Winery & Brewery also offer a variety of classes for creators of all levels!. Check websites for bands, hours and class registration;; as they are subject to change.
Ignite the Artist Within
Located in the beautifully historic Houston House, the Marysville Art League offers an extensive array of classes, exhibitions, camps, and opportunities for art enthusiasts. Operated by passionate volunteers, the Marysville Art League, has been celebrating art and artists since 1979. Stop in, visit their galleries, explore the gift shop or simply enjoy their beautiful grounds.
Plan a dinner date or girl’s night out and enjoy a paint-and-sip class at one of the local creative arts studios. Book an evening class with the Crooked Door Studio; they have so many different options for you to choose from, including a paint night at Slushed Up, where artists painted while enjoying wine flights.
Don’t miss Creative Haven, a unique spot to join a public class or book the well-equipped area for a private event. Jessica, the owner, has created a beautiful space to host events to get your creative juices flowing. Each art opportunity is different, and she has exceptional projects for every skill level.
Inspiring Art in Unlikely Places
When you think about arts and culture, you might not think about public libraries, but these often act as galleries showcasing and celebrating local artists, as well as local history. Union County libraries also offer make-and-take classes, writer’s workshops, Lego building events, and storytime to encourage upcoming authors. Each library provides something different by hosting a variety of monthly events. Check out the links to find an event while you’re in town, Richwood Public Library, Plain City Public Library, and Marysville Public Library.
Storytelling Through Street Art
A walking tour of the painted murals in historic Uptown Marysville will leave you artfully inspired. The serene mural located at 130 N. Main Street depicts the story of Reuben Partridge, a creative bridge builder, who put his gifts and talents to work building hundreds of bridges in Ohio. Listen quietly and you may hear the sound of wind rushing around a balloon, as you mentally take flight through the beauty of the All-Ohio Balloon Festival mural located at 207 N. Main Street. See how you measure up to “Union County’s giant,” Noah B. Orr with his life size art installation at 103 West Fifth Street. At 7 ft. 8 in. and 500 pounds, Colonel Orr toured the country as a performer from the 1850s to early 1880s. He appeared in many leading circuses, shows and museums. Next, stroll to Leon’s Live! to see the largest murals in Union County, that of Bessie Brown. Born in April of 1889, Bessie Brown was one of the first Marysville born-and-raised singers to make it to the spotlight nationwide. She is known as “The Original” Bessie Brown and recorded between 1925 and 1929. In addition to singing, Bessie also acted and performed vaudeville.
Tip: There are a variety of open air lots available after business hours. Use the new parking app to easily find available parking.
Don’t miss the “God Bless America” mural located at 102 E. Main Street in Plain City. It was commissioned shortly after September 11, 2002, and repainted in 2020.
Elevated Art Made for Sipping
Which do you take first: a sip or a photo? Beautiful and delicious crafted drinks make it tough to decide!
The owners of Shaded City Coffee Roasters take coffee to the next level with their deep technical understanding of the science and art of coffee. Their ultra-high-quality small batch coffees and premium specialty teas elevate and inspire, especially since every beverage purchased helps support the mission of the non-profit Avalon Theatre.
Located on the National Register of Historic Places, the House of Spirits is the location for skillfully created cocktails served with a flare of art. Rightfully so, as timeless and contemporary flavors are coupled with the stunning backdrop of a beautiful 1884 Victorian home, lovingly restored with touches of the unexpected.
Escape, recharge, and get your creative juices flowing by making a weekend of it. Book a getaway to one of Marysville's well-appointed hotels today!