Playdate in Uptown Westerville

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Confession: other than dropping off our taxes to the accountant, I haven’t spent any time in Uptown Westerville!  So who better to show me the ropes than a friend who grew up there? A playdate was in the plans so she suggested meeting for donuts before heading to Alum Creek Park North.  No one’s going to argue with that plan! We met up at Schneider’s Bakery to pick out our goodies before heading to the park.  This was my first time at Schneider’s Bakery, but from what I hear it is a Westerville institution.  The bakery opens at 1:30 AM.  Yes, in the morning.  I had to ask twice just to be sure!  This works well near a college campus and across the street from a bar . . . but keep this in mind if you get some middle of the night pregnancy cravings!  IMG_4007

IMG_3997There are a lot of goodies to choose from here including donuts, pastries, cookies and fresh bread and rolls.  Your kids will enjoy the I Spy Cake in the display case – a cake covered in lots of fun items with a list of things to look for.  We also got to sample a Celebration Donut, which is basically a humongous donut (10 inches in diameter, to be exact!) that you can order for special occasions!IMG_4003

Kids . . . they’re so funny.  They just haven’t learned yet that all that glitters isn’t gold.  They always choose sugar cookies with brightly colored sprinkles or bright blue ice cream with a name like Superman.  And then they spend the rest of the time asking me and their dad for bites of what we ordered – you know, the better tasting things like chocolate and normal colored foods.  Anyway . . . my kids both wanted a smiley face cookie, but then spent the morning asking for bites of my amazing glazed donut.  When will they learn?  And when will Mama get to eat her own food?  If you know the answer, do tell!  😉

The donut WAS one of the best I have ever had.  Really.

Don’t you, though?

Once we had our sweets, us mamas had to head down the street to Java Central for our daily dose of caffeine.  Don’t plan to eat your donut here (the signs are very clear about that), but pick up some coffee before you head to the park. (You probably already know this is a theme of mine.)  Java Central is a cute coffee shop with a lot of regulars, a lot of coffee choices, and a variety of food and snacks for sale.  (I didn’t try the Nitro, but I am definitely curious.)IMG_4021

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IMG_4014This day in particular was beautiful, not too hot, not too cold and it would have been totally possible to walk to the park, but I was on a time crunch, so we got back in our cars and drove to Alum Creek Park North.  The parking for the park is along Alum Park Dr.  The first time I came here, a few years ago, I took a few wrong turns around Otterbein, unsure where to enter.  There are spots lining the edge of the park and a small lot at the bottom of the hill.

This is a fun park with a lot of different areas to play in (I also featured it here.)  There’s a play train for the younger kids, an older kids play area, a climbing wall, a play-web structure, a sand pit and an Neos 360. There are also swings for all ages. The boys spent the majority of their time on the train and then in the sand pit.IMG_4047

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IMG_4031Something super serious is being discussed at this meeting of the minds – like, “is my smiley face cookie as good as your donut?”IMG_4066

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Caffeinated mamas are happy mamas!

I’ve seriously been thinking about that donut ever since our visit so I’m thinking a return visit to Uptown Westerville is in order! Anywhere else I need to visit while I’m there?

Know Before You Go:

Schneider’s Bakery
Location: 6 S. State St., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-882-6611
Hours:
Monday: 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday -Thursday: 1:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: Apr-Oct: 1:30 AM – 9:00 PM; Nov-Mar: 1:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 1:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday CLOSED
Cash or Check only!

Java Central
Location: 20B South State St., Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone: 614-839-0698
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 7:00 AM-9:00 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM-10:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM-10:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Alum Creek Park North
Location: 221 W. Main St., Westerville, OH 43081

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ICYMI: 6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers


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Saturday Morning in the Short North

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We {heart} the Short North!  When we moved to Columbus, it’s where we wanted to be. My husband and I lived here for three and a half years before we had our first child. We took full advantage of walking out our front door and straight to some of the best dining, arts and shopping in the city!

We love having kids in the Short North, the proximity to so many fun places, parks and museums is awesome!  We love being in a walkable neighborhood that’s full of life and energy!  But, let’s be honest, our excursions to High Street have decreased in frequency since the bambinos came along.  Gallery Hop comes to life mostly after bed time and strollers don’t always fit inside tiny, hip restaurants or crowded art galleries.  But over the past few years we’ve noticed more and more strollers popping up on the sidewalks around us and with the creation of the group Short North Parents, there’s been a movement for families with children to stay in the area as their kids grow.

Just this past year we’ve seen the opening of the first retail shop in the Short North that is 100% for kids (correct me if I’m wrong, I can’t think of another!).  That is certainly a sign that the times are changing and that the Short North CAN be kid-friendly!

Even if (and especially if) you don’t live here, you should know that you CAN bring your kids to the Short North and have a really fun time!  Today I’m going to share with you a recent outing I had with my family – all four of us.

First Stop:  Laughlin’s Bakery

This quaint little bakery sits on 2nd Ave. just east of High St.

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The cookies, cakes and pastries are beautiful and it was tough to choose!

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My oldest went straight for the pink one (technically the Lemon and Pomegranate Haley Cake) because he’s into icing!  Eric and I shared a Laminated Sugar Brioche which was awesome!

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The selection is amazing and I could try one of each – so could my kids, for sure!  There are 3 or 4 tables for sitting.  The atmosphere is bright and I bet every day feels like Saturday in here! See also: 5 on Friday: Columbus Bakeries!

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Laughlin’s Bakery
Location: 15 East 2nd Ave, Columbus Ohio, 43201
Phone: 614-914-8858
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Closed Monday

Second Stop: Italian Village Park

If you’re exploring the Short North and your kids need somewhere to get out excess energy or a place to take a break and have a snack, veer east on Buttles Ave., over to Italian Village Park, which is about a block and a half from high street.  This is a pretty large green space for the area and a great meeting place for the neighborhood.  There is a lot of seating here, room to run and a small playground.  We’ve stopped off here a number of times to eat ice cream from UDF or let the kids out of the stroller to run after walking up and down High Street.

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Italian Village Park
Location: 55 E. Hubbard Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

Third Stop: Cub Shrub

Cub Shrub grew from one shelf in Tiger Tree to it’s very own storefront!  Since its opening in November, 2015, this was our first visit to the store!

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My kids enjoyed the workbench set up for play and they especially loved pushing the little shopping carts around the store.

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shoppingcarts

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Cub Shrub carries toys and clothing for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  If you’re looking for a unique, one-of-a kind birthday or shower gift, look no further!  The clothing is hip and adorable and the toys are eye catching and high quality.  There is also a fun selection of books, decor and children’s accessories.

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Cub Shrub
Location: 749 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-947-1193
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Free and metered street parking can be found on the side streets around the Short North. There are also several parking garages available.  Check out this link for more detailed parking options in the area.  If you’re looking for more in the Short North, check out our trip to North Market and keep an eye on the blog as we will continue to share more Short North fun with kids!

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ICYMI: The Farm at Walnut Creek

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What Should We Do This Weekend? April 8-10, 2016

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So there’s a possibility of snow this weekend.  Big Deal.  We’re from Ohio . . . we’ve got this.  (Right?)  Sigh.  Well, here are 8 things you can do indoors this weekend!  I hope you enjoy the weekend!

1. Family Books and Build at Upper Arlington Main Library – Tremont Road

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Location: 2800 Tremont Rd, Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Phone: 614-486-9621

Story time is followed by hands-on building time with LEGO and Duplo blocks!  Registration is required.  Openings were still available at the time I published this.  See link for more details.

2. Kiddie Konsignment Sale at Grace Polaris Church

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016
Time: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM (closed from 12:00PM – 1:00 PM, half price sale from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Location: 8225 Worthington Galena Rd, Westerville, Ohio 43081

Okay, I’ll be honest, I have a vested interest here because I’m selling like a bajillion toddler and baby toys at this sale.  But it’s a good one for baby items and clothes, kids clothes, maternity items, toys, etc.  The half price sale starts at 1:00 PM and there is usually a line, so plan to arrive a little early!

3. Let’s Play Storytime at your local Barnes and Noble Booksellers

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: all local B&N Booksellers

Story time and activities based on the book Let’s Play!

 4. Princess Party at Barnes and Noble Pickerington Location

When: Saturday April 9, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: 1738 North Hill Road, Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 614-751-0927

Event features games, stories and a royal visitor!

5. Food, Fit and Fun Fest at Scioto Darby Elementary School

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: 5380 Scioto Darby Rd, Hilliard, Ohio 43026

This event features free health screenings for children and adults, food trucks and fitness information!  A $5 fun band provides access to lots of fun games for kids including a bounce house, relay races and more!  Proceeds support programs at Scioto Darby Elementary School.

6. Nisonger Sensory Friendly Screening: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial at Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: 1550 N High St, Columbus, Ohio 43201

The movie E.T. will be shown in a sensory-friendly manner: lower volume and lights up in order to make the experience more comfortable for those with autism or developmental disabilities.  Tickets are free.

7. Kids Monarch Day at The Crest

When:  Sunday, April 10, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: 2855 Indianola Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43202
Phone: 614-261-7128

Wild Ones Columbus, OH and Simply Living will be teaching kids about Monarch Butterflies at this free event!  (Geared toward ages 12 and under, but all ages are welcome).  Kids also eat free every Sunday!

8. Concerts for Kids: Fairy Tales in Music at Ohio Theatre

When:  Sunday, April 10, 2016
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: 39 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215
Tickets available: here

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra presents your favorite fairy tales in music form!  Pre-concert activities including crafts from the Columbus Museum of Art, a sing along, conducting lessons and more start at 2:00 PM.

 

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ICYMI: 3 Parks Within Walking Distance of a Coffee Shop

 

 


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