fryer park, grove city

6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers

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These 6 Columbus area parks are great for toddlers!

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes taking young kids to the park can be a frightening experience.  You look away for 5 seconds and all of a sudden your toddler is standing at the top of a climbing wall looking over a 10 foot drop off to the pavement below.  I like to take my toddlers to parks where they can roam freely without a lot of worry that their lack of impulse control (or balance) is going to send us on a trip to the ER.  But that’s just me.

I suppose I should make a disclaimer that most (all?) of the younger kids’ areas in the parks I’ve been to have signs saying the equipment is designed for ages 2-5.  I don’t know anyone who has waited until their kid was 2 to take them to a park, so that being said, I have chosen 6 parks with particularly toddler-friendly play areas:

1. Funk-ee-Town, Harrison Park, Harrison West

995 Harrison Park Pl., Columbus, OH 43201
No Restrooms Available

Harrison Park

Harrison Park

GREAT toddler area here!  No crazy heights, the small slide is enclosed at the top, and lots of opportunities for imaginative play – on the ground!  My kids love the snack shack and the house with the blue roof has drums and a xylophone to play on inside, as well as a steering wheel. While you’re in the area, check out some of these kid-friendly options in the Short North!

2.  Jeffrey Mansion and Park, Bexley

165 N. Parkview Ave, Bexley, OH 43209
Seasonal Restrooms Available

Jeffrey Mansion Park, Bexley

Jefferey Mansion Park, Bexley, Ohio

The toddler area here is fenced in, making it a perfect little play area just for the younger crowd!  There is tunnel to crawl through, a dinosaur slide and a play house.  As a bonus, the grounds here are beautiful and if you follow the path into the woods behind the park, you will encounter a boardwalk along Alum Creek! If you’re in Bexley, add a stop at Kittie’s or Gramercy Books to complete the morning!

3.  Schiller Park, German Village

1069 Jaeger St., Columbus, OH 43206
Restrooms Available

Train at Schiller Park, German Village

Slide at Schiller Park, German Village

This side of the playground at Schiller park is very toddler friendly.  Kids love these trains, and the play area behind it, seen in the picture, is specifically made for the toddler set.  It’s completely closed in, there’s a ramp and the slides are so slow my 4 year old got stuck.  😉 There are several baby/toddler swings here as well. Nearby, check out Winans for great coffee and chocolate!

4. Pingree Park, Worthington

374 Pingree Dr., Worthington, OH 43085
No Restrooms Available

Pingree Park, Worthington, OH

Pingree Park, Worthington, Ohio

Pingree Park, Worthington, Ohio

My kids had a lot of fun at this park!  There’s a toddler play set, infant/toddler swings and a small path around the park that does not cross a road or parking lot.  There are a couple of picnic tables and benches here that are convenient for snacking or eating a packed lunch.

Both of my kids, including my toddler, actually really had fun on the tunnel slide, though it specifically says for ages 5 and up.  They specifically enjoyed yelling “Paw Patrol!” from the top and then pretending to slide down into their respective vehicles.  So yes, I did basically yell out jobs for them for at least 20 minutes: “Marshall, I need you and your firetruck to go rescue a kitty from a tree . . .” and so on . . . It was fun. (Sarcasm font.)

5.  Discovery Frontier, Fryer Park, Grove City

3899 Orders Rd., Grove City, OH 43123
Restrooms Available

space themed park in Grove City, Ohio

Fryer Park, Grove City, Ohio

This park is toddler friendly because it is more about space than height.  And yes, I mean that literally and figuratively.  This space-themed park has a lot of area to run, hills to climb and also sand to play in.  My kids love running through the tunnel and up the hill that is the moon. While you’re in Grove City, check out their awesome library!

There are several toddler-sized structures to play on.  It’s hard to say exactly what space-themed things they are supposed to be, but none of them are very high off the ground, and that’s what matters.  At this park, there is also a pond with a path to walk. There are several toddler swings here and they are under umbrella cover for shade – another bonus!

6. Alum Creek Park North, Westerville

221 W. Main St., Westerville, OH 43081
Restrooms Available

Train Park, Westerville Ohio

Alum Creek Park North

Most of this park is geared toward older kids, but there are two things in particular make this park toddler-friendly and worth a visit.  One is the train, which is mainly at ground level with a tunnel to crawl through, benches to sit on inside and a small slide.  The second thing is the large sand pit.  I said it was toddler friendly, I didn’t promise your kids would stay clean.  😉 This park was one stop during our Playdate in Uptown Westerville – make sure to read to find out where we got donuts before hand! 😉

I have personally tried all of these parks with a toddler and lived to see another day!  I hope you and your little ones enjoy exploring a new park!  If you’re planning to pick up coffee on the way to the park, I featured two of these parks in my post Coffee+Park: 3 Parks Within Walking Distance of a Coffee Shop!

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ICYMI: 6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus

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6 Parks for Toddlers in Columbus, Ohio

 

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Columbus Ohio

What Should We Do This Weekend? April 14-16, 2017 Easter Edition!

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1. EGGS, PAWS AND CLAWS at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

When: Friday & Saturday, April 14 & 15, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 4850 Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3400

There will be stories, animals searching for eggs, a Bunny Bonanza meet and greet with tons of famous Bunnies, and more!

2. Skate with the Easter Bunny at United Skates of America

When: Friday, April 14, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 3362 Refugee Rd., Columbus, OH 43232
Phone: 614-239-7202

Skate with the Easter Bunny during 2 sessions: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM and 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM! Bring your camera for pictures!

3. Spring Bloom Hunt at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Friday, April 14, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Go on a scavenger hunt for spring blooms and find them all for a prize!

4. Family Movie Matinee at Bexley Public Library

When: Friday, April 14, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Location: 2411 E Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-231-2793

Come watch the movie Moana with the family! Popcorn and drinks are provided!

5. Annual Bunny Romp & Pancake Breakfast at Hills Market

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 7860 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, OH 43235
Phone: 614-846-3220

Join the Hills Market for their $5 pancake breakfast followed by an egg hunt and visit from the Easter Bunny!

6. Spring Eggstravaganza at the Westerville Sports Complex

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: 325 N. Cleveland Ave, Westerville, OH 43082

This Egg Hunt event also includes the opportunity to visit the Easter Bunny, a Kidz Zone, music, crafts, games, inflatables and more! If you click on the link, go to page 16 of the recreation guide for more details!

7. Easter Bunny Fun at Blue Monkey Parties and Events

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: 591 Hill Rd N, Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 614-828-8236

This event will include bouncing, games, a craft, collecting eggs, pictures with the Easter Bunny! Admission is $10/child.

8. Easter Saturday at North Market

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Location: 59 Spruce St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-463-9664

This event will include an Easter Egg Hunt, a craft activity, live music from Mr. Eric, pictures with the Easter Bunny and dogs, cats and bunnies from the Capital Area Humane Society!

9. Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Magic Mountain

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Polaris and East

This event includes an Easter Egg Hunt for kids 10 and under, a charity raffle, games and a visit from the Easter Bunny! Stay and play with the Egg Hunt Special which includes unlimited mini-golf, go-karts and laser tag! (See link for pricing.)

10. GPS Egg Hunt at Sharon Woods

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Maple Grove Bulletin Board, 6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Use your GPS to search for eggs throughout the park! There are prizes and limited GPS units that can be borrowed!

11. Canal Winchester Community Easter Egg Hunt at Hanners Park

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 458 Groveport Rd., Canal Winchester, OH 43110
Phone: 614-834-9915

This egg hunt for kids up to age 10 includes 5,000 eggs and special prizes!

12. Easter Egg Hunt at Slate Run Farm

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Buzzard’s Roost Picnic Area, 1375 State Route 674 N., Canal Winchester, OH 43110
Phone: 614-508-8111

Meet and greet and take photos with the Easter Bunny starting at 10:00 AM, the hunt starts at 11:00 AM and is divided into 3 age groups!

13. Annual All Star Saturday at Bruce Howard Recreation Center

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 2303 North Cassady Ave., Columbus, OH 43219

Columbus’ largest Easter Egg Hunt includes free food and drinks, face painting, balloons and an egg hunt divided by age! This is a free event and children 12 and under can participate!

14. Little Kids Fun Skate: Easter Bunny Visit at Skate Zone 71

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

The Easter Bunny will be on site for this little kids skate (recommended for ages 2-8)! Every child will receive an egg with a prize inside! Bring your camera for pictures!

15. Community Touch a Truck at Charity Newsies

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 4300 Indianola Ave., Columbus, OH 43214

Kids can see all kinds of vehicles up close including a fire truck, SWAT car, race car and more! “Stuff the Charity Newsies Van” by bringing new and used children’s books to donate! The first 150 people who bring a book will receive a free ticket to Monster Jam!

16. Columbus Recreation and Parks Easter Egg Hunts

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time:  10:00 AM SHARP!
Location: Your closest Rec Center

Participate in an Egg Hunt at your local Columbus Recreation Center! All hunts start at 10:00 AM sharp!

17. SpringFest at the New Albany High School Football Stadium

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time:  10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: 7250 Fodor Rd., New Albany, OH 43054

This free Easter event includes thousands of eggs dropped by helicopter! There will be bounce houses, music, prizes and food trucks!

18. City of Delaware Easter Egg Hunt and Kite Festival at Veterans Park

When: Saturday, April 15. 2017
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: 1121 S. Houk Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-203-3051

This free event for ages 1-9 includes an Egg Hunt, the Easter Bunny, food trucks and kite flying! Bring your own basket.

 

See a full list of Easter Egg Hunts on Columbus Moms Blog: Columbus Area Easter Egg Hunts and Activities 2017!

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ICYMI: 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Jaclyn Davis

*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*


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Two Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids

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Around this time last year, I shared some of our favorite libraries for reading AND playing (here and here). Since then, we’ve got quite a few more library visits under our belt and I wanted to share them with you (two this week and two more in a few weeks)! If you’re looking to shake up the routine a little bit, branch out and try one of these fun libraries! (No pun intended! 😉 )

1. Bexley Public Library

2411 E. Main Street, Bexley, Ohio 43209, 614-231-2793

The Bexley Library is amazing for kids! I can’t believe I’d missed out on it for so long! There is a play area for kids that is huge! My kids could have stayed here ALL day!

Seriously, we need this play rug!

There’s a castle play house, a theater for puppet shows, a table for drawing, magna tiles, letters, dinosaurs, and the list goes on!

  

The library offers story times followed by play times in the play area for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. They also have a pajama story time on Wednesday nights and an Imagination Station on Friday afternoons. See the full calendar of events here. Plus Kitties is DIRECTLY across the street with my favorite chocolate chip cookie ever!

2. Grove City Library

3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123, 614-875-6716

The Grove City Library opened up in the fall of 2016 and we visited around the holidays. Another GREAT kids’ area here!

The space is large and open with lots of natural light!

The children’s area is called Harper’s Grove, named after Laura Harper, the president emeritus of the Friends of Southwest Public Libraries Board of Trustees. Her donation to the library was in honor of her husband and his aunt, Irene Harper who was the first librarian of Southwest Public Libraries!

Harper’s Grove includes, reading areas, a puppet theater, an interactive learning wall, light table, duplos, and baskets full of educational toys in the Play Corner!

The library offers several story times throughout the week, programs for teens and activities on Saturdays, too! See the entire event calendar here.

If you’re looking to shake up your library routine, these two libraries would make for a GREAT morning out with the kids! And don’t forget to check out Two MORE Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids!

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ICYMI: 2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids

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