5 on Friday: Chocolate Chip Cookies in Columbus

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You guys – would you believe Friday, August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? Can you even believe my luck? When I was deciding what this month’s 5 on Friday feature would be, I could NOT pass this one up! I know I already featured 5 Bakeries, and at nearly all of them I got a chocolate chip cookie, so, in an honest effort not to repeat myself too much, I took on the great hardship of trying out a few new options to add to the list! 😉

1. Fox in the Snow

1031 N. 4th St., Columbus, OH 43201

A while back, Fox in the Snow posted a picture of a chocolate chip cookie with the statement that they had wanted to add a cookie to their amazing arsenal of baked goods (oh my!) but had just not been satisfied with a recipe – until now! Well, you know if Fox in the Snow has worked hard to perfect a recipe, it’s gonna be good. Still, I was still taken aback with my first bite. I know, that is a lot of hyperbole for a cookie, but when something is hyped up in your mind and it doesn’t disappoint, that’s saying something! Give a try to their brown butter, toffee, chocolate chip cookie (sprinkled with sea salt) and I just can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed!

P.S. I never thought I would take my kids to Fox in the Snow. It’s hip, trendy and not somewhere I have felt confident taking a 3 year old. HOWEVER – whenever I have gone, there have always been kids there. (Ok, a good number of them have been in infant car seats or just a single child) but I guess it boosted my confidence because when I stopped in to get the cookie, I actually let my kids talk me into a cinnamon roll and staying there to eat on their great outdoor patio. Granted, the patio is probably better for kids than inside, but I guess the moral of the story is don’t be afraid to take your kids there – the pastries are so good they’ll be guaranteed to sit still for at least 60 seconds. 😉


2. Northstar

Multiple Locations

So, I’ve been eating the double chocolate chip cookies at Northstar since 2008, but a few months ago I saw a regular chocolate chip cookie for the first time and couldn’t pass it up. (Have you noticed yet that chocolate chip cookies are my weakness?) It was gooey and yummy and I’m so glad they have them at Northstar now!


3. Kittie’s Cafe

2424 E Main St., Bexley, OH 43209,

Ok, I’ll admit, Kitties Cafe in Bexley is a repeat. But I just couldn’t leave off my favorite chocolate chip cookie. This salted chocolate chip cookie is the first one that made me stand back and say, “Whoa!” Plus this spot is across the street from the amazing Bexley Library and next door to Gramercy Books – so you’ve got complete outing already planned!


4. Freedom a la Cart

Inside the Northside Library, 1423 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201

Speaking of another complete package, Freedom a la Cart has a cafe inside Columbus Metropolitan Library’s newly remodeled Northside Branch in the Short North! The cafe is on the first floor of the library and has a lot of treats to offer! Before I even knew I was going to write this post, I chose the salted chocolate chip cookie. Yum! Salt + Cookie is the best thing ever! Freedom a la Cart employs victims of human trafficking, giving them skills, experience and a safe place to learn a trade. Top your cookie off with a stop at the fish tank on the same floor and a visit to the kids’ area of the library and you’ve got your day’s outing done!


5. Sweet Carrot

1417 W 5th Ave., Columbus, OH, 43212, 614-488 – 7151

The chocolate chip cookie at Sweet Carrot looked so good from behind the counter the first time I ate there, but I passed it up. I had to try it out for this post so I stopped in to pick one up a few weeks ago. It was definitely yummy! I noticed a lot of other tasty looking desserts that will now get inside my head to try next! Sweet Carrot is a kid-friendly restaurant with a rabbit theme. They serve BBQ options (think pulled pork), mac and cheese and those two things together in a tasty combo! The decor inside is lots of fun! There’s an outdoor patio, too, so give it a try this summer!

Who makes your favorite chocolate chip cookie in Columbus?


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ICYMI: 4 Nature Themed Story Times Around Columbus


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Exploring Ohio with Kids: Bellevue

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This post has kind of been a long time coming! We did this late last summer and it seemed too late to post it, so I’m sharing it with you now as an idea for a fun road trip this summer! Bellevue, Ohio is a small Lake Erie town about 2 hours from downtown Columbus. We spent a week at Sandusky Bay and this is how we spent one of our days. It could be done in a one day road trip or you could spend the night somewhere near Sandusky and also visit the African Wildlife Safari Park!

Here are 3 activities that will fill your day in Bellevue, Ohio!

1. Jungle Junction

110 Cherry Blvd. Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-484-5532

Jungle Junction claims to be the largest indoor play structure in Ohio. I cannot verify this, but I will take their word for it! 🙂 This play area is designed for kids ages 12 and under and you must wear socks. I forgot socks and I was able to purchase a pair at the counter.

Around the periphery of the main play area is a toddler play area with animals to climb and slide on.

My kids had spent a lot of time in the toddler area until they gained the courage to enter the Tree Top Play area!

Inside the Tree Top Play area there are lots of climbing structures, slides, tunnels, etc. There are also air cannons that shoot plastic balls all around the area. (If your kids are sensitive to this kind of thing, they do have a Sensory Day on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM where the air cannons cannot be used.) My oldest is sensitive to noise and it took him a while to get used to the noise and have the courage to go inside!

Admission is for the day, so you can come and go with a stamp on your hand. There is no charge for parents/caregivers and the price for children (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • Children 1 and under: $2
  • Ages 2-12: $6
  • Twilight Special – $4 (After 5:00 PM, Monday-Thursday)

2. Bone Boy’s BBQ

109 W. Main St., Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-483-7447

We’ve only eaten at one restaurant in Bellevue, but I can highly recommend this one if you like BBQ and it is kid friendly! I loved to see the meat being grilled right out back of the restaurant!

A big bonus here is that kids under 5 eat free!

Yum!

3. Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum

253 Southwest St., Bellevue, Ohio 44811
Phone: 419-483-2222

Wow. I took a lot of pictures here! There is SO MUCH to see! If you have kids that love trains, they will be in heaven at this museum! The museum is open every day from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and on weekends during May, September and October.

You buy your tickets in the gift shop – and then try to tear the kids away from the play area so you can see the actual museum! 😉

This museum is very hands on! It has an indoor and an outdoor area. You can walk through train cars, climb into the cabs and see historical artifacts.

The outdoor portion of the museum is across the street and there are many trains to climb into. Many of the trains have displays for viewing inside.

Admission (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • $10.00 Adults
  • $9.00 Senior (60+)
  • $5.00 Children (5-12)
  • Under 5 FREE

We played at Jungle Junction in the morning, had lunch and then headed over to the Railroad Museum for the afternoon. With kids under 5 (at the time), we didn’t even have to spend that much money! It was a full day, and as you can imagine, the boys looked like this on the way back to where we were staying:

We love to spend time around Lake Erie! Do you have a favorite place to visit there?

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ICYMI: Columbus Zoo: Little Explorers Base Camp


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5 on Friday: Tacos

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Of course this month’s Five on Friday has to be TACOS!! I love tacos! My kids don’t love tacos. How can that be? They like plain tortillas and chips and salsa, so we make it work! Four of these options I would consider to be kid-friendly. One is more of a date night . . . but we’ll get to that . . . Enjoy!

1. Junior’s Tacos

184 W. 5th Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

Junior’s Tacos is a taco truck that sits in the parking lot of a convenience store called Dairy Family. This was one of my very first, if not first, taco truck experiences, so it is dear to my heart. 🙂 It’s not too hard to find parking in the surrounding area and across the street from the truck is a park with several picnic tables. In the past, Junior’s has set up a tent with tables next to the truck. But it’s not up now so I don’t know if they will during the summer or if that’s a thing of the past. Tacos are $1.75 a piece and you can choose between Mexican or American tacos. (American have lettuce, cheese and sour cream!).

2. Zacatecas

3528 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204

We recently moved to Westgate and we tried Zacatecas upon recommendation of one of our new neighbors! One thing I’m excited about on the west side of Columbus is all of the authentic Mexican food! Zacatecas does not disappoint! I am especially in love with their salsa! If you’re looking to venture out and try more authentic ethnic restaurants, I highly recommend alt.eats.columbus or Taco Trucks in Columbus Ohio! I could read those blogs for days, making lists of places to try!

3. Los Gauchos Taqueria

  • 5221 Godown Rd., Columbus, OH 43235
  • 376 Cherry Bottom Rd., Gahanna, OH 43230
  • 461 Commerce Square, Columbus, OH 43228 – truck

I’ve shared about Los Gauchos before because their famous tacos al pastor are BOGO free on Mondays! (The tacos are $1.50 a piece, so you can get a TON of tacos without even coming close to breaking the bank on a Monday!) Nearly everyone on the planet agrees these are the best tacos in the world. Haha. No seriously. I honestly have never had anything else at the restaurant but the tacos al pastor! There are two restaurant locations and one food truck. I’ve been to them all. Give me all the tacos. 🙂

4. Katalina’s

1105 Pennsylvania Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

I’m including Katalina’s breakfast tacos on my list because they are one of my favorite meals in Columbus! When we first moved to Columbus, the restaurant was called Cafe Corner and we lived 3 blocks away. The breakfast tacos were one of the first things I tried – and continued to choose for years! I have since learned it is best to go with a friend or spouse, order these AND the pancake balls and share both meals! Is Katalina’s kid-friendly? I would say that depends on the kid, their age and the time/day you go. This place is so popular on the weekends, the line is out the door! There is not a lot of indoor seating, so plan to be out on the patio (which was expanded a few years ago)! The patio is kid-friendly, but if it were me, personally, I would try to pick an off-peak time to go so the kids don’t have to wait in line as long. But my kids are 2 and 5. If you have older kids, by all means, go on Saturday morning! 😉 Seriously though, just look at these tacos:

5. Balboa

1312 Grandview Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

Maybe someone will argue with me here, but I don’t consider Balboa kid-friendly. So this one I’ve added as a fun date night option for your taco fix! (They have 2 items on their “kid’s menu,” so to me that says we don’t expect there to be a lot of kids, but we have actually considered that there might be.) 😉 On Taco Tuesday, you can get 3 tacos for $8! They are good tacos with a lot of toppings! (I loved the pork belly taco the best!) I also have to include these babies below! The Balboa Island Bananas! Frozen bananas dipped in chocolate with hazelnuts, white chocolate, caramel sauce and whipped cream! Yum!

There are SO many place to get tacos in Columbus! What’s your favorite?

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