The Complete List of Columbus Play Cafes

Spread the Love
  • 456
    Shares

This list of indoor play areas and play cafes in Columbus will keep you sane this winter!

I can’t remember anything like play cafes existing when I was a kid! And mostly I know, deep down inside, these places were invented for the adults more than the kids. 😉

Play cafes offer everything that’s good about an at-home play date minus everything that could go wrong. Nothing can get broken, there’s room to run, you don’t have to prepare a meal and you get to have a half-way decent conversation with your mom-friend while the kids are entertained!

Play Cafes and Indoor Play Areas in Columbus:

After reading this list, don’t forget to check out 6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus or my list of 20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus (it’s technically 21 because I keep it updated! 🙂 ).

Disclaimer: several of the play cafes listed here hosted my family to aid in the completion of this list. *Please make sure to check individual website links as hours of operation, special features and pricing may change with the seasons!*

1. Firefly Play Cafe

Location: 4822 N. High St., Columbus OH, 43214
Phone: 614-230-2375
Features: Indoor play area, coffee and snacks, birthday parties and special guests like Mr. Eric’s Music

Price: Kids age 12-24 months: $5, Kids 24 months and up: $8, Adults and children under 12 months: free

How to Save: Monthly and Quarterly Memberships are available

2. piccadilly

Location: 2501 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-725-0204
Features: Play area plus programs like toddler art classes, little sprouts yoga, culinary institute of piccadilly, and more. Also hosts parent’s play date where you can drop your kids off and have a night out. Cafe on site.

Price: Day Pass: $8 for first child, $5 for each additional sibling. Piccadilly Express Pass (35 min play): $4, Children up to 12 months are FREE, Kids ages 11 years and up are FREE.

How to Save: Happy Hours Special: $5 per child from 2:00-5:00 PM, purchase a membership for unlimited play and discounts on programming.

3. peapod play cafe

Location: 4874 Thompson Rd., Columbus, OH 43230
Phone: 614-855-2517
Features: Indoor play area for kids 7 and under, coffee bar, art classes and special events, birthday parties

Price: Walkers through age 7: $10.00 per child, $6.00 for each additional child, Three or more children: $4.00 each additional child, Adults and sibling age 8 and up: Free

How to Save: Happy Hour happens the last hour of each day and cost is just $5 per kid! You can also purchase a 10 visit punch card for $70.

More Details: See 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Julie Borm

4. Tree of Life Play + Cafe

Location: 3708 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard OH 43026
Phone: 614-363-4041
Features: Indoor play area, cafe with full menu, birthday parties, coffee, special events

Price: $6.99 per child

How to Save: On Mondays and Wednesdays $9.99 admission includes a kids meal. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, $10 admission includes an hour of jump time at Get Air (next door) from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

More Details: See 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Helen Bosacki 

5. Fun in the Jungle

Location: 345 McGill St., Sunbury, OH 43074
Phone: 740-913-0692
Features: large indoor play area, toddler soft play zone, mini bowling, virtual reality games, cafe with food and drinks, arcade games, parties, special needs sensory hours on the first Sunday of each month.

Price: Play place: $7/child for all day, Kids 2 and under are $2 during the week and $4 on the weekend, Additional costs for bowling, arcade  and virtual reality.

How to Save: Toddler Hours for ages 4 and under happen on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM and are $2/child, Weekday special is $5 for play place and $5 for arcade Tuesday-Thursday.

6. Recreations Outlet

Location: 484 W. Olentangy/Powell Rd., Powell, Ohio 43065
Phone: 614-792-3700
Features: Large indoor play area features play equipment like slides, swings, climbing, etc., small soccer field, basketball hoops, play houses, trampolines and more.

Price: Monday-Friday: $6/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, Weekends: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, School Holidays: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play

How to Save: Charitable play happens on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM for a donation of $2/child. Donations are given to local non-profit organizations.

More Details: See $2 Tuesdays: Recreations Outlet, Columbus Zoo and Tacos!

7. KidsGym Playland at Magic Mountain

Location: Polaris: 8350 Lyra Drive, Columbus, OH 43240, East: 5890 Scarborough Blvd., Columbus, OH 43232
Phone: Polaris: 614-840-9600 East: 614-892-3335
Features: Playland for kids 58 inches and under, includes a climbing gym with interactive elements

Price: Ages 3 and up: $5 on weekdays and $6.50 on weekends Kids under age 3: $3

How to Save: Labor Day through Memorial Day you can purchase a season pass for $35/person ($15 for additional siblings). Pass offers admission 7 days a week plus special discounts on additional add ons such as $1 off a kids combo meal.

8. Blue Monkey Parties and Events

Location: 591 Hill Rd. N., Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 614-828-8236
Features: Mostly available for parties, the center offers 5 inflatable areas, green screen and carnival games for birthday parties and events, however open play hours are available throughout the week. Visit their calendar for details.

Price: $10/child during open play hours

How to Save: Toddler hours for ages 1-4 are Thursdays from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM and are $7 for the first child, $5 for each additional child.

More Details: See: 3 Things to Do With Your Kids in Pickerington

9. little kidspace at COSI

Location: 333 West Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674
Features: Within COSI, kids 1st grade and under can play in the little kidspace on the second floor. This huge space includes water play, an art studio, imaginative play area including farm stand, house, barn and truck. Other play area features a medical theme with a doctor’s office, ambulance, helicopter and more!

Price: $25 for those age 13 and up, $20 for kids age 2-12, kids under 2 are free. Price includes admission to the entire museum.

How to Save: A membership is a must here to save money. While there are several membership levels, the Basic Family membership is $149/year. If you live in or relatively near Columbus, you could conceivably come here once a week, making your cost per visit less than $3 for the whole family!

10. The FunGym at Galaxy Golf and Games

Location: 3700 Interchange Rd., Columbus, OH 43204
Phone: 614-351-8400
Features: The whole facility includes mini-golf, an arcade, party rooms and a FunGym. The FunGym includes ball pits, climbing, slides, tunnels and more. There is also a toddler area with a play house, ball pit and ride-on toys.

Price: Ages 1-2: $2.99, Ages 3-10: $4.99

How to Save: Combos are available to include golf (seasonal) and the arcade. A Pizza Fun Deal features a large cheese pizza, pitcher, 15 tokens and a choice of two admissions to FunGym or Golf.

11. HOOT Studio

Location: 337 West Olentangy St., Powell, OH, 43065
Phone: 614-389-8369
Features: Inclusive indoor play area for ages 2-10 with your choice of supervising your child or paying a little more for supervised play so someone else can watch your child while you enjoy a coffee date or get some work done in the cafe. Keep an eye out for special events, art classes, kids’ yoga and more!

Price: Parent supervised play: $6/hour for first child, $3 for each additional child. Hoot Studio Staff Supervised play: $9/hour for first child, $6/hour for each additional child.

How to Save: Monthly Memberships are available.

12. Fun Town Play and Learn Cafe

Location: 2000 Hard Road, Columbus Ohio 43235
Phone: 614-285-7503 
Features: A town-themed play area including a pet store, gas station, grocery store and more! The space also hosts parents night out activities, parties and Spanish classes. A cafe with drinks and snacks is also available! The space is also available for birthday parties!

On the first Tuesday of each month kids can partake in a free Spanish class when you pay admission. Another fun thing to do: mail a letter at the post office and Fun Town will mail it to your child at home!

Price: General admission for 1 child: $7.00, 2 children: $12.00, 3 children: $15.00, beyond that $5/child. Infant through 12 months and adults are free.

How to Save: Fun Town Card Deals are available for multiple visits and equal out to one free visit. Annual memberships are available and annual members get a 10% discount on private classes.

13. Momi Land

Location: 704 Radio Dr, Lewis Center, OH 43035
Phone: 1-740-201-8764
Features: A ball pit with slides and an obstacle course play area, trampolines, foam pit, a play kitchen and market area, a mini carousel and a play area for babies!

This is a super modern play area with a commitment to cleanliness! This is the only play cafe (besides IKEA) with a ball cleaner and those balls get cleaned at least once a week! There is a party room for up to 25 kids available for rent and a break room for eating snacks or lunch. This is a peanut free facility. 

Recommended for kids up through age 8, adults and kids alike must wear socks inside the play area. Trampoline socks are available for purchase for children if you need them and adults can wear regular socks.

Price: $15 for the first child, $10 for each additional child. Children under 2 are $10 and children under 12 months with a paid sibling are free. You may stay as long as you like.

How to Save: Buy a 10 pack of visits for $129 or purchase a membership for $49/month for the first child, $29/month for the second child and $10/month for each additional child. Membership includes unlimited play 7 days a week and 20% off party packages.


*Please make sure to check individual website links as hours of operation, special features and pricing may change with the seasons!


IMG_8735

Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Malini Swank

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


Spread the Love
  • 456
    Shares

6 Best Outings to Keep Toddlers Busy in Columbus, Ohio

Spread the Love
  • 259
    Shares

When your baby becomes a toddler life becomes busy! Toddlers are full of energy and lots of fun! It’s also a lot of work keeping them entertained! Luckily for us, there are a ton of fun and affordable things to do with a toddler in Columbus!

indoor play area, columbus ohio

6 Fun Things to do with Toddlers in Columbus, Ohio:

1. Play Cafes for Toddlers in Columbus

Play Cafes are all the rage with the 5 and under crowd! Seriously, though, they’re a safe place to play and moms and dads can grab a coffee or a snack while their kids play. Firefly Play Cafe has been a favorite of ours for the wide variety of things to do for kids and a good seating area for adults.

things to do with toddlers in columbus, boy playing at Hoot Studio

Friends rave about Tree of Life Play Cafe and they have during toddler time with Get Air right next door! You may also want to check out HOOT Studio for the simple fact that for a slight upcharge, they will watch your kid for you while you get work done or have a coffee date in the adjoining cafe! Awesome!

If you’re looking for the best deal in town, I highly recommend a COSI membership! Yes, even for a toddler! The little kidspace inside COSI contains water play, an art studio, and a huge area for kids to engage in imaginative play: including a large play house, vegetable stand, doctor’s office, fire truck and so much more!

things to do with toddlers, play area at fun in the jungle

Looking for a free option? Don’t worry, there are tons of places for your toddlers to play inside for free in Columbus! From mall play areas to rec centers, check out Over 20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus for more ideas!

Some of the indoor play areas for older kids (think Magic Mountain, Fun in the Jungle, etc.) also have smaller, separate areas for toddlers to play! You can see more ideas in 6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus.

2. Story Times for Toddlers in Columbus

Story times are great things to do with toddlers in Columbus! Libraries were the first place I started taking my son when he was just a baby. We were big fans of the baby lap time at Grandview Library and the play area there is perfect for toddlers!

Baby lap times happen at almost of all of the libraries in town and can be a great way to get out of the house with a little one!

things to do with toddlers in Columbus, ohio, two boys at Ohio Wildlife Center

Beyond libraries, many local bookstores have regular story times, and story times are even popping up at Columbus restaurants like Duck Donuts and Chick-fil-A on Sawmill!

The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks is another great resource for story times for toddlers! We love the story time at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center (at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park) because afterwards you can play in their free indoor play area or go outside to play in the sandbox!

3. Music and Sensory Times for Toddlers in Columbus

Toddlers love music! There are several ways to introduce your toddler to music in Columbus! We Joy Sing does drop in classes at Coffee Connections of Hilliard, taking advantage of their great indoor play area for kids! Coffee Connections is definitely one of the most kid-friendly coffee shops in Columbus!

Miss Marlene Dance and Sing is a special song and dance time for toddlers that takes place at Abbey Theatre in Dublin! There’s usually a special visitor! When we were there, we were joined by Clifford the Big Red Dog!

things to do with toddlers, dublin ohio recreation center

The PBJ & Jazz concerts are kid-friendly ways to introduce your kids to music and toddlers are free to get up and dance around! During the winter, the concerts take place in the Lincoln Theater Complex and include a PB&J sandwich, juice and a cookie for $5/person. During the summer, the concerts are free and they happen in Topiary Park outside the Main Library and include a craft and story time!

4. Open Gyms for Toddlers in Columbus

What do toddlers really want? They want to run around in circles forever, really. Sometimes that’s all a kid needs! And if it turns into an extra long nap afterwards, than that’s a bonus!

A great way for toddlers in Columbus to get out all of that excess energy is at open gyms! 

What is an open gym? It’s exactly as it sounds. The gym is open and toddlers can run around and play until they fall over! Check out the Westerville Rec Center for their Pee Wee Play Gym, Dublin Community Recreation Center for their Preschool Open Gym and Prairie Township Rec Center and your local Columbus Recreation Center for specific open gym times!

We’ve attended a few of these and they usually include balls, ride on toys and other free play activities for toddlers!

5. Animal Adventures for Toddlers in Columbus

Animals seem to be another love that toddlers all have in common! We’ve found some really great ways to get up close to animals without having to bring one home and take it out to pee in the middle of the night! 😉

One place we’ve gone again and again is Aquarium Adventure! We loved the Sawmill location and recently visited the new location in Hilliard and it’s just as great! There is always something new to see and there is also a small pond area where kids can reach in and touch!

things to do with toddlers at Aquarium Adventure

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers a really fun activity for toddlers in Columbus called Little Explorers Base Camp. This takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year and features sensory activities set up at different stations. Kids can learn all about animals through hands on activities! My kids have LOVED this, even up to age 7!

two kids at little explorers base camp, columbus, zoo

Ohio Wildlife Center and Stratford Ecological Center are two great destinations for toddlers! Both locations offer regular story times and the option to explore the grounds, visiting the animals on site!  

Don’t discount a trip to the local pet store for a fun outing as well! My kids still love visiting the nearest pet store to view fish, gerbils, snakes, birds and to pet the cats and see dogs getting groomed!

More info:

6. Parks and Playgrounds for Toddlers in Columbus, Ohio

Last but certainly not least, how could we forget parks and playgrounds? From the time they can walk, toddlers need large areas to run and explore and nothing beats a great park for getting out all of that excess energy! 

However, as a parent, you soon find that not all parks are equal. Just because a toddler can walk does not mean they navigate most play structures!

playground for toddlers in columbus, ohio

Our favorite park when my kids were toddlers was one in our former neighborhood. It definitely helped that we lived two blocks from Funk-ee Town in Harrison West Park, but it is an exceptionally great area for little kids! 

I put together this list of 6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers to share parks that have particularly toddler-friendly play areas! No more heart attacks for mama when you find your 1 year old suddenly standing over a 10 foot drop of or about to go down an incredibly high twisty slide! 


IMG_8735

Use the share buttons to share this post with your friends!

More Fun Things to do with Toddlers in Columbus, Ohio

Need more ideas to keep your toddler or preschooler busy in Columbus? Check out one of theses links for more!

2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids

Metro Park Nature Centers are great places for toddlers! Here are two of our favorites!

Continue Reading

2 MORE Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids

Metro Park Nature Centers are great places for toddlers! Here are two more of our favorites!

Continue Reading

Two Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids

These libraries have great play areas for kids in Columbus, Ohio!

Continue Reading

Two MORE Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids

Here are two more libraries with great play areas for kids in Columbus, Ohio!

Continue Reading

North, South, East and West: Great Libraries for Reading AND Playing! Part 1

Great libraries for kids in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system!

Continue Reading

North, South, East and West: Great Libraries for Reading AND Playing! Part 2

Great libraries for kids in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system!

Continue Reading

Five Go-To Places You Need to Know About if You're a New (or New-to-Columbus) Parent

Are you a new parent or new to Columbus? Read this first!

Continue Reading
Save this post on Pinterest!

playground, 6 best outings for toddlers in columbus, ohio


Spread the Love
  • 259
    Shares

25 Free Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio this Winter

Spread the Love
  • 289
    Shares

This list of free things to do in Columbus, Ohio will keep you and the kids busy and cabin-fever free this Winter!

Winter is tough with kids. I’m sure some of you die hards will disagree, but for me it takes so much more effort to get out of the house: coats, gloves, hats, taking off coats for carseats, defrosting the car. And the list goes on. But I’ve put together a list of free kid-friendly things to do around Columbus that will make all the effort worth it! Good luck! 🙂

25 Free Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio this Winter:

1. Watch planes take off at Ohio State University Airport

boys watching planes take off at Ohio State University Airport

2. Tour Anthony Thomas Chocolate Factory. Tours take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the winter. (I consider this free because at the end you get to use your admission price ($2 for adults and $1 for kids) towards a purchase of candy in the gift shop! 😉 ).

kid getting buckeye candy at Anthony Thomas Candy Factory in Columbus, OH

3. Play at The Naz indoor play area in Grove City. This one’s open until 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM on weekdays!

4. See the Living Stream at Battelle Darby Metro Park.

5. Look for the bison at Battelle Darby Metro Park. (A brisk .5 mile walk from the Nature Center!)

6. Attend a story time at Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Afterwards play in the free indoor play area!

7. Take a ride on the Smart Circuit. There’s a stop just outside COSI!

kid waiting at a stop for the Smart Circuit in Columbus, Ohio

8. Go to Columbus Museum of Art on a Sunday. Admission is free from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

9. Visit Franklin Park Conservatory on Community Days (the first Sunday of each month).

10. Get a free cup of coffee or glass of milk when you buy a cookie at Sassafras Bakery during Milk and Cookie Happy Hour.

cookie and cup of coffee at Sassafras Bakery

11. Play in the kids area at Coffee Connections in Hilliard. (After you buy a cup of coffee, of course!)

12. Visit the totally cute Story Garden at Northwest Library in Worthington.

Story Garden in Worthington Library

13. Play in Småland, the awesome indoor childcare area for free for one hour at IKEA. IKEA Family Members (rewards card holders) get an extra half hour (and free coffee)!

14. Watch for birds at the Blacklick Woods Metro Park Nature Center.

15. Play at Central Park at Westerville Christian Church. Check the link for hours because they are very specific!

play area at Westerville Christian Church

16. Attend KidX at Polaris Fashion Place! This monthly event features free activities for kids!

17. Participate in the Winter Reading Challenge at Columbus Library. Kids get a pencil and book mark just for signing up!

18. Look for fairies on the Dublin Irish Fairy Door Trail.

19. Enjoy music, activities and movies at Hoot Family Film Series! This activity is free with a non-perishable donation to the Open Shelter.

20. Look at art on Pizzuti Collection Family Day – Family Day (one special Sunday each month) offers free admission, special activities and a family centered tour! 

pizzuti collection free sundays columbus ohio

21. Attend one of these story times. The Cheryl’s Cookies story time includes a free mini cookie!

22. Read 5 books and get a free kid’s meal at Rusty Bucket. (Check the link for a whole list of Kids Eat Free options!)

23. Go on a Winter Hike with Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. Hot drinks and food provided afterwards!

24. Visit the dinosaur at Orton Hall.

dinosaur bones at Orton Hall

25. Visit the fish (and other interesting sea creatures) at Aquarium Adventure in Hilliard!

Save this post on Pinterest!

25 Free Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio this Winter

IMG_8735

Use the share buttons to share this post with your friends!

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

ICYMI: Story Times for Kids in Columbus, Ohio


Spread the Love
  • 289
    Shares