10 Things to do at Olentangy Indian Caverns

Olentangy Indian Caverns hosted my family for a day of fun in mid-July! We had a blast! I’m sharing about all the things they have to offer in this post and combining it with a giveaway for a family 4 pack of tickets so one reader’s family can do all of these fun things for free! (See my Facebook page for the giveaway!)

If you have never been to Olentangy Indian Caverns (like me!) I think you will be surprised at all there is to do. The great part about it is that it’s not a package deal – your family can pick any one of these things to do on the property to customize your day according to your time and budget!

Here are 10 things you can do at Olentangy Indian Caverns:

1. Cavern Tour

Obviously, the first thing you’re going to think of is the Cavern tour. The caverns are naturally made tunnels and caves that were, at one time, used by Native Americans for hiding, meetings, shelter, etc. You can do a self-guided tour of the caverns or join in on a group tour with a live guide. Our guide was great, giving us the history, telling us stories and answering all of our questions! Cavern tours are $9.95 for those 13 years old and up and $6.95 for children age 3-12. Ages 2 and under are free.

Finding a fossil!

There are a lot of steps to go up and down and the caverns are often wet. We had to hop over and through a couple of puddles on our journey. I was glad I had chosen to wear closed toed shoes for that reason. So keep your family’s footwear in mind when planning for the trip as things may be wet and/or slippery.

The youngest child on our tour was just under two and she had a great time, but if you have a non-walker I would recommend an on-body baby carrier of some sort. You can’t take a stroller in and I couldn’t imagine carrying an infant car seat, but many of you might be stronger than me . . . 😉

2. Museum

The entrance to the caverns is housed in a small museum where you can read about the history of the caverns and some of the famous and infamous things that happened there, and see the bones of an ox that fell down to its untimely death around 1818 (or 1821, depending on the story!). There are also arrowheads and lots of other artifacts related to the caverns.

3. Mini Golf

The option of mini-golf is available on the property. There are 18 holes and the cost is just $3/person.

4. Gem Mining

After our cavern tour, we did some gem mining! This was another first for our boys and I was honestly surprised how much they loved this! (Though when I think about it, the act of digging through dirt, stones and water to find treasure sounds exactly like their idea of a good time! 😉 ) A bag of sand/stones/gems is provided and you use a strainer of sorts and a small stream of water to sift through the sand to find gemstones! There is a range of bag sizes available and prices range from $5.99 – $9.99/bag.

5. Petting Zoo

There is a rather large petting zoo area on the property! There are goats, cows, sheep and even deer who will happily eat out of your hand! If your kids are skittish (like mine) there is a fenced in area where the kids can stand inside and feed the animals from behind the fence. After some shrieks, we started out here and then eventually ventured into the large open area. My kids were scared of the cows but loved the smaller goats. The deer were gentle and sweet. This could definitely be unique a stand-alone activity! The cost for a wristband to enter the petting zoo is $3 and a small bag of food can be purchased for $1, a large bag for $3.

6. Spot More Animals

There are also rabbits and chickens on the farm. They are not for petting, but still fun to spot! The chickens roam around freely so they are fun to watch! The rabbits are in a fenced-in area.

7. Yard Games

On a busy day, you may have to wait for a guided tour slot. While you wait, there are tons of yard games to play on the property! Cornhole, tic tac toe, jenga, frisbees, checkers, etc. There is also a climbing wall and a playground with a fun twisty slide my boys enjoyed!

8. Picnic Area

On the grounds there is a pavilion with picnic tables and covered areas. You can bring your own food here for a picnic lunch or reserve the shelter for a group event!

9. Gift Shop

Pick up souvenirs (and all your activity tickets) at the Gift Shop! There was a surprisingly large amount of merchandise from toys and t-shirts to souvenirs and jewelry!

10. Birthday Parties/Group Events

You can also have a birthday party or other group event here! The shelters are available for rental and for groups of 25 or more you can receive a discount on the price of the activities. See info here!

Know Before You Go:

  • 1779 Home Rd. Delaware, OH 43015, 740-548-7917
  • The Caverns are open from April 1st – October 31st, every day from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM.
  • Guided tours are only available June 1 – August 6 from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. You may do a self-guided tour during the other times.

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Exploring Delaware with Your Kids

Here’s a fun day trip idea we stumbled onto a few weeks ago! I say stumbled because though I planned to go to the park and splash pad, the rest of the day was somewhat unplanned. Delaware is a 40-ish minute trip from downtown Columbus and has a super cute downtown area.

First of all, the park. As far as parks and playgrounds go, this one is awesome! I love that there is a playground (a REALLY nice one) so close to the splash pad. It’s the whole package in case your kids get tired of one or the other quickly. The playground area is covered in artificial turf – so no mud or mulch to deal with!

There is a dinosaur theme with large dinosaur prints in the sidewalk, a dinosaur slide and dinosaurs to run through at the splash pad.

There are some water tables on the edge of the playground – my kids really wanted something to play with inside them (which we didn’t have). So if your kids aren’t into being splashed, but still like to play in water, bring some plastic animals or cars to play with in the water!

Another nice thing about the splash pad is that there is a covered area for sitting. Throughout the park there were two large pavilions with picnic tables for shade and eating. There is also a snack shack.

If you followed me last summer, you might remember that my kids were not big fans of splash pads! 🙂 So I’ll tell you, I didn’t even pack swim suits – just an extra change of clothes! haha. Well, this year they proved to be a little bit braver than last so we needed those clothes! {See Five on Friday: Splash Pads here!}

After the Spray and Play, we headed downtown with no particular destination in mind.

We found a couple of bakeries and coffee shops and ended up choosing Fresh Start Cafe and Bakery. There were lots of yummy treats and Crimson Cup coffee. The boys chose cupcakes because they always do and I heard no complaints! 😉

  

We walked around downtown a bit and ended up at Fundamentals: Children’s Books, Toys and Games, which is a fun store for kids books and art and teacher supplies!

  

This summer, Fundamentals will be hosting a Where’s the Penguin hunt around downtown Delaware, based on the book Where’s the Penguin by Sophie Schrey! Beginning July 1, kids can search for the penguin at at least 20 participating businesses and prizes will be given away!  The Find the Penguin Grand Finale Party will take place at Fundamentals on August 4, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, during the First Friday events in downtown Delaware.

The store also hosts a story time that includes stories, music, dancing, and crafts at 10:30 AM! The next one is July 26th!

Another event they have coming up is the Summer Reading Road Trip on on Sunday, July 16th from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM which includes giveaways, costume character, author signings, crafts and activities!

I’m looking forward to returning to downtown Delaware! Does anyone have a Delaware favorite to recommend?

Know Before You Go:

Spray and Play at Veterans Park
1121 S. Houk Rd, Delaware, OH 43015

Fresh Start Cafe and Bakery
24 North Sandusky Street
Delaware, Ohio, OH 43015
(740) 990-0388
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday-Saturday 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Fundamentals: Children’s Books, Toys and Games
25 W Winter St
Delaware, Ohio, OH 43015
(740) 363-0290
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Sunday: Closed

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What Should We Do This Weekend? April 7-9, 2017: Easter Edition Part 1

Lots of Easter Egg Hunts and Bunny Events this weekend! This is Part 1, the rest will come next weekend with Part 2!

1. First Friday: Mascot Madness in Downtown Delaware

When: Friday, April 7, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 20 E Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015

First Friday in downtown Delaware will include some of your favorite Delaware and Central Ohio mascots (including the Easter Bunny) walking around downtown, available for pictures and meet and greet! At 6:30 there will be a “Mascot Madness” dance-off!

2. Spring Kiddie Konsignment Sale at Grace Polaris

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Location: 8225 Worthington Galena Rd., Westerville, OH 43081

Shop this huge children’s consignment sale to find deals on infant and children’s clothing, accessories, toys, furniture and more! Half Price Sale is from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM!

3. Brunch with Bunny at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus, OH 43240

Arts and crafts, entertainment and the Easter Bunny are highlights of this special brunch! Reservations are only accepted in person at Guest Reception at Polaris Fashion Place! Kids 12 months and under are free.

4. Sprout Swap at Charity Newsies Headquarters

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 4300 Indianola Ave., Columbus, OH 43214

Great opportunity to buy or sell gently used cloth diapers, baby carriers, nursing gear, and accessories!

5. Old Hilliard Bunny Hop in Old Hilliard

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 5274 Norwich St., Hilliard, OH 43026

Main Street Old Hiliard hosts a spring festival that includes arts and crafts, activities and prizes! There will be real bunnies, coloring contests, a candy hop, golden egg hunt and more!

6. Girls Day at OSU Airport

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM  – 12:00 PM
Location: Hangar 5, 2160 W Case Rd., Columbus, OH 43235
Phone/Email: vilcheck.1@osu.edu

Girls in grades 5-8 can join in a day of aviation activities designed to inspire them to pursue a career in aviation! Send an email to register!

7. Eggstravaganza at Northwest United Methodist Church

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 5200 Riverside Dr., Columbus, OH 43220
Phone/Email: DorisI@nwumc.com

Breakfast, games, crafts and pictures with the Easter Bunny begin at 9:00 AM.  and the Easter egg hunt starts at 10:30 AM.  Also, NWUMC is collecting new and gently used children’s books for neighborhood children.

8. Jungle Book: Kids Edition at Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center

When: Saturday & Sunday, April 8 & 9, 2017
Time: Saturday: 10:00 AM & 3:00 PM (SOLD OUT), Sunday: 3:00 PM
Location: 5425 Center St., Hilliard, OH, 43026

Watch this kid-friendly rendition of The Jungle Book presented by Hilliard Arts Council!

9. Cheryl’s Easter Egg Hunt Event at Cheryl’s Cookies and Brownies

When: When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 646 McCorkle Blvd., Westerville, OH 43082

This fun event includes photos with the Easter Bunny, an egg hunt, a visit from Columbus Zoo, cookie frosting, prizes and more!

10. Easter Bunny Meet and Greet at Kingsdale Shopping Center

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 3061 Kingsdale Ctr., Columbus, OH 43221

Meet and greet with the Easter Bunny on the Green at Kingsdale! Free pictures! Bring a basket to hunt for eggs!

11. Free Cone Day at Ye Olde Mill

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 11324 Mount Vernon Rd., Utica, OH 43080

Everyone gets a free single dip cone only on Saturday from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM! Read about our visit here!

12. Jack and the Beanstalk at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Columbus Children’s Theater presents Jack and the Beanstalk! Free with admission!

13. Underwater Easter Egg Hunt at Worthington Pools

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 400 W. Dublin Granville Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

This event includes an underwater egg hunt and an open swim!

14. Golden Hobby 18″ Doll Party at Golden Hobby Gift Shop

When: Sunday, April 9, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 630 S. 3rd St., Columbus, OH 43206
Phone: 614-645-8329

This event includes crafts, games, face painting, refreshments, a style show and an American Girl Doll raffle! Call to make a reservation!

15. Egg Blast at Dublin Baptist Church

When: Sunday, April 9, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Location: 7195 Coffman Rd., Dublin, OH 43017
Phone: 614-889-2307

This event includes a free hot dog dinner and thousands of eggs being blasted into the air! There will be give aways and prizes! Register online.

*Plan ahead for Easter Egg hunts with my latest post for Columbus Moms Blog: Columbus Area Easter Egg Hunts and Activities 2017!

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*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!*