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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9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus

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Fall is such a fun time in Central Ohio! Here are 9 things you can only do during the Fall in Columbus and Central Ohio!

What Are Some of the Best Things to do with Kids During the Fall in Columbus?

Here are 9 things we enjoy doing as a family during the fall!

1. Attend a Skull Session at St. John Arena

My kids love instruments and any kind of band, so we were excited, though a little nervous, about taking them to a Skull Session at OSU! It’s a great way to get caught up in the football spirit, even if you don’t have tickets to the game!

A Skull Session is basically a pep rally where the marching band plays, the players come out and the coach gives a little speech . . . it’s very high energy and really a lot of fun!

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I’d recommend either parking on West Campus (parking is $20!) and taking a shuttle or parking in a neighborhood along the Olentangy bike path and walking up the path to St. John Arena.

The Skull session happens 2 hours and 20 minutes before each game and lasts an hour. When it’s over, you can mull around amongst the tailgaters, pick up some free samples (1/4 of a Sugardale hot dog, anyone?) and enjoy the energy of game day.

We were nervous because we weren’t sure what would happen to our strollers when we got there! We were able to take our strollers (yes, we had two) into the arena, but we left them outside the gymnasium, along the outer wall. It was a risk, but no one decided to walk off with a stroller on game day. Phew! I don’t know where else you could put your stroller, as the seating in the gymnasium is very tight. It worked out for us and we were really glad we did it!

You can see the schedule of OSU games here! Friends recommended arriving 20-25 minutes early to get good seats, and I will pass that advice on to you. We got there around 9:20 AM for the 9:40 AM Skull Session and were able to get good seats facing the band.

2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

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There are so many pumpkin patch options, it’s kind of amazing! Every weekend in October is filled with Fall Festivals – honestly, I had no idea before I started this blog how many there are! Make sure to visit my post, Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals for a complete list!

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We recently visited Jaquemin Farms on a Monday! This one is great, in my opinion, because it is open during the week and for only $2 kids ages 3-10 can play in the corn box and run through the straw maze! Kids 2 and under are free! During the weekends, they have bouncy houses and the price is a bit higher. So if you have preschoolers at home during the week, this is a great way to spend an inexpensive morning at a pumpkin patch! Other weekday options include Circle S Farms, evenings at Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm.

If you want the BIG pumpkin farm experience complete with kettle corn, a zip line, a huge pumpkin trampoline, mazes, corn bins, pedal carts and more, make sure to check out 15 Things to Do at Leeds Farm!

Another place we love to go is Smith’s Farm Market! The picture below is a few years old, but they always have a large selection of pumpkins and picturesque settings for fun pictures with pumpkins!

smith-farm-market

3. Go Apple Picking

I’ve shared about our visit to Orchard and Company, and Branstool Orchards, and here’s a list of more apple picking ideas from Columbus Moms Blog! It’s getting late in the season, but there are still apples to be picked at many farms and a lot of them have farm festival weekends as well! If you’re looking for some options during the week (as opposed to the weekend), a few farms are open on select Fridays: Lynd Fruit Farm, and Cherry Hawk Farm, to name a few.

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4. Attend Boo at the Zoo at Columbus Zoo

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Boo at the Zoo happens for two weekends in October, the 19th – 21st, and the 26th – 28th, 2018. Dress your kids (or yourself!) in costume and visit a lot of vendors in different areas of the zoo who want to fill your kid’s basket with candy! It’s also totally acceptable to take your baby in a cute pumpkin costume in a stroller and accept candy on his or her behalf! 😉

5. Take a Road Trip

I shared 6 Ohio Road Trips to Take This Fall here, one of them being the Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek. Even if you can’t make it for the festival, a drive to Amish Country will be beautiful when the leaves (finally!) start to change!

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More fun road trip ideas include:

Fall is my favorite time of year for a road trip!

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6. Visit a Metro Park

Once the leaves start to change, there are some great options for leaf viewing in our local Metro Parks! A great one is Battelle Darby! There are walking paths through the woods and also bison viewing! While you’re there, check out the living stream in the Nature Center!

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Inniswood Metro Park is also beautiful in the fall. Seriously, check out this picture I took during the fall (below)! It felt like a fairy tale! It was amazing!

7. Visit a City Park

Don’t underestimate your local city park for fall beauty. Here is a list of all the Columbus City ParksFranklin Park is particularly beautiful in the fall! Keep an eye out for the Harvest Parties at Columbus Rec Centers. You don’t have to go far to celebrate! 🙂

columbus parks

8. See Model Railroads at COSI

Mark your calendars for Model Railroad Days at COSI (2018 dates yet to be announced!) My kids LOVE this special couple of days when several model railroad clubs take over a few galleries at COSI. There are a lot of model trains to see and also trains to play with! It only comes once a year, but it’s one of those things my oldest son always asks about!

model railroad days at COSI

9. Visit the Huntington Holiday Train at Main Library

This is something I consider a Christmas tradition for our family, but it does arrive before Thanksgiving, so technically, it’s a fall activity, right? 😉  In mid November, the train will be installed at the New Main Library! It’s really beautiful, and if you have train lovers, like I do, it’s something you have to see!

Huntington Train

What else would you add to the list of “can’t miss” fall activities in Columbus?

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ICYMI: Fun for the Whole Family at EnterTRAINment Junction

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9 things to do with your kids this fall in Columbus, Ohio


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Free Columbus and Central Ohio Splash Pads and Fountains

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These Central Ohio and Columbus splash pads are easy ways to cool off in the summer and a safer alternative for young kids who don’t yet know how to swim!

All of these splash pads are free to enter and most are open Memorial Day through Labor Day. It’s always a good idea to check the link for dates and hours of operation! You may want to read: 25 Things to Pack for a Successful Trip to the Splash Pad before you go!

Free Columbus and Central Ohio Splash Pads and Fountains

1. Bicentennial Park

233 S. Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH 43215

fountain at Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park on the Scioto Mile

2. North Bank Park

311 W. Long St., Columbus, OH 43215

  • The splash pad is behind the pavilion at the end of Neil Ave.

3. Hilliard’s Station Park

4021 Main St., Hilliard, OH 43026

Splash pad at Hilliard's Station Park

Hilliard’s Station Park

4. Easton Town Center Fountains

160 Easton Square Pl, Columbus, OH 43219

Fountain at Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center

5. Grove City Splash Pad

3600 Discovery Dr., Grove City, OH 43123

6. Ballantrae Community Park Spray Fountains

6350 Woerner Temple Rd., Dublin, OH 43016

Fountains at Ballantrae Park in Dublin, Ohio

Ballantrae Park

7. Powell Splash Pad

47 Hall St., Powell, OH 43065

Splash Pad in Powell, Ohio

Powell Splash Pad

8. Hanby Park

115 E Park St., Westerville, OH 43081

9. Fountain at Polaris Fashion Place

1500 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus, OH 43240

fountain at Polaris Fashion Place

Polaris Fashion Place

10. Partners Park

125 E 6th St., Marysville, OH 43040here

11. Spray and Play at Veterans Park

1121 South Houk Rd., Delaware, OH 43015

Spray and Play at Veteran's Park in Delaware

Veteran’s Park

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splash pads in Columbus Ohio

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