3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Nancy Gillespie

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Looking for new ideas for places to take your kids in Columbus? Each month I feature a local parent who will share 3 places they love to take their kids in Columbus! Thanks to Nancy for sharing her Columbus Favorites today!

1. WeJoySing

WeJoySing story time

WeJoySing is an early childhood music based class! It focuses on teaching music, movement, social and cognitive skills to your child while you play and learn alongside them. We joined our first 6 week session of WeJoySing in the Spring and were so happy to be in Ms. Joy’s class, who is the Director of the program.

They offer a $5 drop in class throughout the summer, which is a nice way to meet other Mom’s with children the same age. We’re already looking forward to joining the Fall session which begins in September. Classes are offered throughout Columbus, with both morning and evening options.


2. Dublin Pool South

Dublin Pool South

Dublin has two outdoor community pool options during summer. This summer, we have preferred the South pool mainly due to its zero depth entrance (perfect for babies + toddlers!). We also love this pool because of the shaded grassy areas surrounding it, as well as the splash pads across the street at Ballantrae Community Park.

Season pool passes are available to Dublin residents and daily passes are also an option if you only plan to go a few times throughout the summer!

Related: Free Columbus and Central Ohio Splash Pads and Fountains


3. Avery Park

Avery Park in Dublin, Ohio

We are lucky to be walking distance to so many great parks within Dublin. Avery Park has been our go-to park because to the big playground it offers! There is a larger playground for older kids and a smaller option for toddlers.

The surface is made from rubber, so there is no need to worry about mud or mulch. We have spent many early mornings and evenings at Avery Park enjoying this free activity!

Related: 6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers


Nancy Gillespie runs the website Gillespie & Co. with her husband Mike, which is a family + lifestyle blog located in Columbus, Ohio! With Nancy’s background in Buying/Merchandising in corporate retail and Mike’s experience in Video Production, they offer fresh content on everything from fashion and interior design, to their favorite local businesses and upbeat short videos. Follow along at @gillespieandco as Nancy and Mike navigate parenthood + life one sweet moment at a time.


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Central Ohio Fall Farms and Festivals

ICYMI: Central Ohio Fall Farms and Festivals


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: MaryAllison Comfort

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Each month I will be featuring a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus!

Thanks to MaryAllison for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Cover to Cover Bookstore

This is just about the cutest bookstore I have ever seen and it’s weekly story time is a who’s who of preschoolers. If you know Clintonville, you may remember this classic bookstore located on High Street. A new and equally welcoming owner took over and reopened this gem of a children’s bookstore in Upper Arlington.

This little store is charming and the staff is ever so friendly. Picture a local version of The Shop Around the Corner from You’ve Got Mail! There are Saturday morning story times and even a Harry Potter bookclub for young kids. I took my kids to the Harry Potter birthday party in fact, complete with Bertie Botts beans! Bonus points that it is around the corner from a coffee shop, too!


2. Grandview Heights Public Library

I’ll drive all over Columbus to try out different libraries, but it turns out our favorite library is just a short drive away in Grandview. My kids love the iPad stations with a great selection of educational games. Even my youngest can gleefully bang on the screens and “play” a game. If screen time isn’t your jam, there’s an elaborate dollhouse, a train table, and so many puzzles! Is there anything better than playing with someone else’s toys?

While the kids play nearby, the local events bulletin board fills my social calendar, alerting me to new family fun. Whether our visit to the library is a short one or a “we’re leaving in five minutes” on repeat kind of visit, the outing is not complete without climbing the steps or (power) walking up and down the ramp over and over. When you have small children, it’s the little things in life that make for the best day, or at least it’s a sticker that can sooth a kicking and screaming child when it’s time to go.


3. “Kitty Zoo” aka any pet store

This is a genius parent hack that I borrowed from a friend. I wish I could say I came up with the idea, but it needs to be shared with all! My girls love kittens, cats, any passing dog for that matter, so they love to to visit the “kitty zoo.” We visit with the kitties, ooh and ahh for several minutes, come up with imaginary names for all. Then we make our way to the fish tanks, and the fish are almost as exciting as the cats with their bright colors and fancy aquarium decorations.

By this point, a brand new puppy or lovable big dog has made a visit to the pet store with their owner. We are the pet store’s unofficial greeters for all four-legged patrons. After all the excitement of watching the cats, fish, and dogs, we have spent a good thirty minutes in the store, which is exactly what this mom had in mind for a quick and free adventure.


MaryAllison Comfort is a work-from-home mom while she juggles the schedules of her first-grader, preschooler, and toddler. She has a health and wellness business that helps people take back control of their health, whether its through weightloss, healthy aging, or energy and performance. Follow along with @ma.comfort on Instagram for her adventures in parenting and nutrition-inspired living.

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ICYMI: Free Splash Pads and Fountains in Columbus, Ohio

 


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Mary Hoover

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Each month I will be featuring a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus!

Thanks to Mary for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Rusty Bucket

Dining out when you are sticking to a budget can be tricky, but that’s why our first “fave place” has been a dinner saver (and marriage saver too!). Whenever I need a night off from cooking, The Rusty Bucket is our first stop.  Not only because we have one in walking distance from our house, but mainly for their awesome Kids Eat Free program (best in town, IMO!).

I LOVE the Bucketeer Bookworms Reading program.  Simply pick up a bookmark at your fave Bucket location, have your kiddo read 5 books (or read to them) and record them on the bookmark.  Once they have read 5, you can redeem for a FREE kids meal.  Even better, this is any night of the week and no per adult stipulation. So you can save money and encourage your kids to read! Can you see why we love the Bucket so much?  Not to mention the food is sooo good! (So glad they brought back my mommy indulgence, Chicken Finger BLT sandwich!)


2. Chick-fil-A on Sawmill

To keep up with the food theme, another one of our favorite places in Columbus is the Chick-fil-A on Sawmill Road.  Not only are we fans of the food (are you sensing a theme here with tweens/teen kiddos) but this location in particular goes above and beyond to make every experience amazing.  Whether it’s a family activity night, the ice cream trade in for the kids meal toy, a random freebie offer on your receipt, a donation drive opportunity or just the tried and true – “My Pleasure”, we just LOVE CFA Sawmill. And yes there are plenty of ways to save at Chick-fil-A too! Start by downloading their CFA One app, they are always sending fun freebies. 


2. Timbuk Farms

Finally, something non-food related. I do love to save money and that means I am a big “Black Friday” season shopper- BUT I actually don’t ever shop IN the store on Black Friday.  What? You say? That’s because my family has a “Green Friday” tradition. 

For 10 years now we have been cutting down our Christmas tree at Timbuk Farms (Granville, OH- just a short drive from Cbus) on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  It’s a wonderful tradition (at a farm I used to go to as a kid too) and I would much rather be there making memories with my kids, then battling the crowds for a deal (I just snag all the deals online!). It’s a wonderful way to start the holiday season, Free picture opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Clause included! 


Mary Hoover is on a Mission to help your family save! This Columbus native is married to her Columbus City Schools High School sweetheart and they have 3 kiddos. On MissionToSave.com, Mary shares weekly grocery match ups, frugal DIY ideas, family friendly recipes, deals you won’t want to miss, and other great tips to help you save money! Along with her blog and social media, you can find Mary on monthly Good Day Columbus segments. She has invited you to join the Mission Savers Community.

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ICYMI: Free Splash Pads and Fountains in Columbus, Ohio

 


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