3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Aaron Sheldon

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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 Aaron for sharing 3 of his favorites with us this month!

1. COSI

I guess it’s a no brainer that one of a wandering astronaut’s favorite places in Columbus is COSI. We have had a membership since Astronaut Harrison was two, and we still visit frequently. We have always enjoyed COSI for its permanent exhibits and fantastic kid’s play area. We love going there even more now that the planetarium shows and access to the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery are included in the cost of the annual family pass.

Another thing to love? Discount programs for veterans and families who participate in WIC, Ohio Directions or Ohio Medicaid through their Family Access membership ($49 per family!).


2. Cover to Cover Books

Having an amazing children’s bookstore like Cover To Cover was great when it was in Clintonville. When owner Melia Wolf moved it to the Mallway in Upper Arlington (5 minutes from my house) it became downright dangerous to my wallet. Melia and her staff are fantastic. They have introduced Astronaut Harrison to several new book series that he adores and they are always up for a game of chess.

They also offer frequent story times and visits from notable children’s book authors. If you have the chance you have to attend their Firefighter story time with the UA Fire Department. After story time (and fire safety tips) everyone goes across the street to the UA Fire Station for a chance to see the firefighting gear and trucks.


3. Legoland Discovery Center Columbus

Our new favorite place in Columbus is Legoland Discovery Center Columbus (LDC) at Easton Town Center. LDC has so many great activities with something of interest for kids of all ages (including us parents). Astronaut Harrison’s favorites are the 4D Cinema, LEGO Racers test tracks, the rides, and the multi-level playland.

My favorites are the Creative Workshops that offers a different build session every month, the MINILAND version of Columbus (and parts of Cleveland and Cincinnati), and the coffee shop (which serves Starbucks). The first Thursday of every month they have Adult Fan of LEGO Night with a host of activities and giveaways – no kids allowed. November was Casino night and I won big!

Astronaut Harrison and I have been there many times, and we’ve put together a few tips on how to get the most out of your visit (including how to save big on admission) on our blog at: Astronaut Harrison Explores the New LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Easton.


Astronaut Harrison is a 1st grader who loves to explore his everyday world. His Dad, Aaron Sheldon, when not documenting adventures for their Instagram account @smallstepsaregiantleaps, is a Social Media consultant for area non-profits and a real estate photographer.

As a special for What Should We Do Today Columbus readers, you can pick up a copy of their book “Small Steps Are Giant Leaps” for 50% off the cover price at: https://mpex.com/small-steps-are-giant-leaps.html

Use code Leaps50 at checkout to get the discount!


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Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio

Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Erin Wanke

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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 Erin for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Pigeon Roost Farm

We love all the fun farms in central Ohio that open their doors to families during one of the best times of the year in the Midwest! One of our favorites, Pigeon Roost is a family farm in Hebron Ohio that features a “Great Pumpkin Fun Center” each fall (Sept 15 – Oct 31). We started going when our oldest was 3 and have been back almost every year since.

When you enter, you’ll see their huge pumpkin patch and concession stands, and the ticket booth for your passes to the family fun area. They’ve got plenty to keep you entertained on a beautiful weekend day: slides, a corn maze, an enchanted forest with obstacle course, a tire play arena, straw barn, pumpkin express train, and lots more. It’s probably best for ages 7ish and younger, but they do have something for everyone – after all, who doesn’t love an adult size corn maze and kettle corn?! (I may or may not have officially gotten lost in that maze once or twice. #truth.)


2. Columbus Children’s Theater

For a kid-friendly cultural experience, The Columbus Children’s Theater has a continual line-up of family focused performances, including sensory friendly offerings. We’ve seen Mr. Scrooge there twice, once as a family and once with friends, and even got to meet some of the actors afterwards (as you can see in the picture of my daughter and friends!).

The small space makes for an intimate venue, and their performances are geared towards a range of ages depending on the specific show. Some upcoming shows include Dracula, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Pete the Cat, and Peter Pan. They also offer acting classes which our kids haven’t done but I can see my middle daughter loving that. Bonus: The theater is located conveniently close to North Market, which makes it easy to stop by before or after for lunch, dinner, or a snack (our favorites are Little Eater and Destination Donuts!)


3. Acre

The Upper Arlington/Grandview location of Acre is a favorite lunch stop, both for convenience and for their healthy kid’s menu offerings. They have smoothies, kid sized versions of their bowls, veggie quesadillas, and grilled chicken skewers with dipping sauce and broccoli. As for me, I love their black bean hummus and their Thai bowl with tofu.

If you haven’t tried the Impossible Burger, a meatless burger that’s somewhat new on the market, Acre features two different varieties of it on their menu (a classic cheeseburger or a vegan umami burger with mushrooms, miso mayo, and house kimchee).


Erin Wanke spent 8 years working in clinical research before leaving to become certified as a Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She now runs a health coaching business, authors a vegetarian food and wellness blog (Feed Me Greens) and provides recipe development and food photography services.

She is receiving her Vegan Nutrition Certification from the Vegetarian Health Institute and specializes in helping others move towards plant-based eating. Erin lives in Columbus, OH with her husband and three young children/sous chefs/mess makers. You can find more information on her website at www.feedmegreens.com, or follow her on Instagram (@feed_me_greens)!


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ICYMI: Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals


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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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