Life in Bowling Green

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Downtown Bowling Green, Ohio

Our quaint downtown provides a picturesque and safe place for leisure activities, making BG the quintessential college town. Opportunities and a sense of vitality have increased during the last several years as downtown has been infused with significant investments in new restaurants, boutiques and specialty stores.

But new growth and investments doesn’t mean the town has lost its charm. Ask BGSU alumni and staff about the years they spent in Bowling Green and most will tell you about their favorite nostalgic spot… their favorite restaurant for pizza or ethnic food, best watering hole to get a drink with friends, the local downtown stores they find the perfect gifts at or the quietest place to get a coffee.

Every year, BG proudly hosts major events like the International Tractor Pull which draws 80,000 fans in August; the Black Swamp Arts Festival featuring top-rated fine arts and a music festival, drawing more than 60,000 people in September; and for eight days every summer, over 100,000 people attend the long-standing tradition of the Wood County Fair.

Bowling Green is conveniently located in the Toledo region on the most traveled highway in North America, making it easy to get where you want to go.

  • Spend the day at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium which has been ranked the #1 best zoo in the country
  • Visit the internationally recognized Toledo Art Museum which is FREE to visit every day
  • Enjoy a major concert or performance at the Huntington Center
  • Attend a Mudhens game (AAA Baseball team for the Detroit Tigers) or a Walleyes game (ECHL team for the Detroit Red Wings)
  • Explore the hands-on science center, Imagination Station – soon to feature an IMAX theater
  • Check-out an outdoor concert or monthly art walk through Hensville, Toledo’s brand new entertainment district
  • Spend the day shopping 10 minutes North at Levis Commons, one of three major shopping malls in the region

Because of its proximity to Michigan, many people in Northwest Ohio take quick trips to southeast Michigan for outdoor adventures, night life, shopping trips or to catch a flight at the Detroit International Airport (the second largest hub for Delta Air Lines) an hour away from campus.  

The charming town of Bowling Green is a place for anyone to call home, surrounded by endless possibilities. Providing residents, students, faculty and staff a place to truly belong, stand out and go far.

Nearby Cities 

  • TOLEDO, OH - 25 miles
  • DETROIT INT. AIRPORT - 70 miles
  • ANN ARBOR, MI - 71 miles
  • CLEVELAND, OH - 115 miles
  • COLUMBUS, OH - 124 miles
  • CINCINNATI, OH - 183 miles
  • INDIANAPOLIS, IN - 232 miles
  • PITTSBURGH, PA - 241 miles
  • CHICAGO, IL - 254 miles

Top things to do on the weekend in Bowling Green

BGSU Arts and Athletics
From theatre, arts, athletic and alumni events, there is never a loss of things to do in Bowling Green!  Between the community and University, your social calendar can be as full as you wish!

BGSU Planetarium
The Bowling Green State University Planetarium is a 118–seat public science theater serving BGSU students, area schools and the public of northwest Ohio. Set under a 40-foot dome, the Minolta star projector can show the sky as it would be seen from any place on the Earth at any time, including the Sun, Moon, planets, and more than 4000 stars. 

Black Swamp Arts Festival

The Black Swamp Arts Festival (BSAF) connects art and the community by presenting an annual arts festival and by promoting the arts in the Bowling Green community. 

Bowling Green City Pool
Cool off during the summer months at more than just your typical city pool with a slide and waterworks for kids! 

Clazel
The 50s original movie theater has been transformed into a venue designed to present a dynamic array of entertainment possibilities.  Movie house, live entertainment, wine bar and banquet facility, the Clazel Theater offers something for people from all walks of life and bestows Main Street, Bowling Green, Ohio an invigorating leisure atmosphere. 

Nightlife
While Bowling Green is a small community, the entertainment is large. The city offers an array of nightlife for people of all ages.

Top destinations in Northwest Ohio

The Butterfly House
The Butterfly House contains more than 1,000 butterflies with many different species from North and South America and Asia.

Cedar Point
The roller coaster capital of the world.

Centennial Quarry and Terrace
More than just a great place to swim, the Centennial Terrace and Quarry offers water toys, great concerts and a beautiful beach.

Kelleys Island
The entire island measures more than four square miles and is the largest fresh water American island in Lake Erie. Remnants of the island's past can be seen throughout the island as the entire island is on the National Register of Historical Places.

Lake Erie
All the fun of a genuine shore vacation is closer than you think. Nearly seven million people visit the Lake Erie Shores and Islands each year, solidifying its position as one of the most appealing vacation destinations in the Midwest.

Maumee Bay State Park
Set in the midst of a 1,850-acre state park, Maumee Bay offers not only the finest of recreational facilities but also a unique natural environment created by the convergence of the land and Lake Erie.

Put-in-Bay
Located in Lake Erie, visit the Put-in-Bay Chamber and Visitors & Convention Bureau webpages to learn more about this popular summer vacation destination.