Exploring Delaware with Your Kids

Here’s a fun day trip idea we stumbled onto a few weeks ago! I say stumbled because though I planned to go to the park and splash pad, the rest of the day was somewhat unplanned. Delaware is a 40-ish minute trip from downtown Columbus and has a super cute downtown area.

First of all, the park. As far as parks and playgrounds go, this one is awesome! I love that there is a playground (a REALLY nice one) so close to the splash pad. It’s the whole package in case your kids get tired of one or the other quickly. The playground area is covered in artificial turf – so no mud or mulch to deal with!

There is a dinosaur theme with large dinosaur prints in the sidewalk, a dinosaur slide and dinosaurs to run through at the splash pad.

There are some water tables on the edge of the playground – my kids really wanted something to play with inside them (which we didn’t have). So if your kids aren’t into being splashed, but still like to play in water, bring some plastic animals or cars to play with in the water!

Another nice thing about the splash pad is that there is a covered area for sitting. Throughout the park there were two large pavilions with picnic tables for shade and eating. There is also a snack shack.

If you followed me last summer, you might remember that my kids were not big fans of splash pads! 🙂 So I’ll tell you, I didn’t even pack swim suits – just an extra change of clothes! haha. Well, this year they proved to be a little bit braver than last so we needed those clothes! {See Five on Friday: Splash Pads here!}

After the Spray and Play, we headed downtown with no particular destination in mind.

We found a couple of bakeries and coffee shops and ended up choosing Fresh Start Cafe and Bakery. There were lots of yummy treats and Crimson Cup coffee. The boys chose cupcakes because they always do and I heard no complaints! 😉

  

We walked around downtown a bit and ended up at Fundamentals: Children’s Books, Toys and Games, which is a fun store for kids books and art and teacher supplies!

  

This summer, Fundamentals will be hosting a Where’s the Penguin hunt around downtown Delaware, based on the book Where’s the Penguin by Sophie Schrey! Beginning July 1, kids can search for the penguin at at least 20 participating businesses and prizes will be given away!  The Find the Penguin Grand Finale Party will take place at Fundamentals on August 4, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, during the First Friday events in downtown Delaware.

The store also hosts a story time that includes stories, music, dancing, and crafts at 10:30 AM! The next one is July 26th!

Another event they have coming up is the Summer Reading Road Trip on on Sunday, July 16th from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM which includes giveaways, costume character, author signings, crafts and activities!

I’m looking forward to returning to downtown Delaware! Does anyone have a Delaware favorite to recommend?

Know Before You Go:

Spray and Play at Veterans Park
1121 S. Houk Rd, Delaware, OH 43015

Fresh Start Cafe and Bakery
24 North Sandusky Street
Delaware, Ohio, OH 43015
(740) 990-0388
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday-Saturday 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Fundamentals: Children’s Books, Toys and Games
25 W Winter St
Delaware, Ohio, OH 43015
(740) 363-0290
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Sunday: Closed

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ICYMI: 6 Ways to Enjoy Columbus Commons this Summer

What Should We Do This Weekend? November 11-13, 2016

1. Big Book Sale at Columbus Metropolitan Library

When: Thursday-Sunday, November 10-13, 2016
Time: Times vary by day.
Location: Larry Black Auditorium, 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

This huge book sale is made up from donations and previously circulated books from the library. Friends of the Library can shop on Friday and Sunday offers Clearance prices!

2. PBJ & Jazz at Lincoln Theatre

When: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Ballroom, 769 E. Long St., Columbus, OH 43203

There will be two performances of these special family-friendly concerts: 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM. Children receive a PB&J sandwich, juice and a cookie. The concerts are $5 per person with a family maximum of $20.

3. International Festival at the Ohio Expo Center

When: Saturday & Sunday, November 12 & 13, 2016
Time: Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: Celeste Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

This celebration of international culture includes ethnic foods and cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, an international fashion show, a Parade of Nations, free flu shots and other medical screenings, arts and crafts and other children’s activities.

4. Mini Market Columbus at Bexley United Methodist Church

When: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 2657 E Broad St., Bexley, OH 43209

This is Columbus’ first craft market focused on handmade baby and children’s items! Admission is free!

5. Neighborhood Toy Store Day at Naturally Curious Kids

When: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Location: 13 E College Ave, Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone: 614-568-8590

National Neighborhood Toy Store Day is a real thing! Celebrate at Naturally Curious Kids with 15% off your total purchase, cookies from 2 Chicks and a Cookie, raffles and other giveaways!

6. Pine Cone Animals at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Kids can create an owl, fox, or other critter out of a pinecone. This activity is free with your paid admission or membership!

7. LEGO Club at Westland Area Library

When: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 4740 W. Broad Street Columbus, OH 43228

There will be a theme and challenge to complete at this LEGO Club get together!

8. Dancing with the Nutcracker at BalletMet

When: Sunday, November 13, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM
Location: 322 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

This free event allows kids to dance with costumed dancers from the Nutcracker! There will also be coloring and discounts on Nutcracker tickets. BalletMet asks that you bring a donation of one or more of the following: adult socks, adult gloves or mittens, baby sleepers to be given to Faith Mission. RSVP online!

9. Holiday Cheer Kick Off Parade at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Sunday, November 13, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus, OH 43240

Santa arrives with a holiday parade! There will be entertainment, face painting, balloon artists, crafts and more! Activities will occur in Center Court by JC Penney.

10. Family Adventures Tour at Columbus Museum of Art

When: Sunday, November 13, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-221-6801

These family friendly tours are given by a docent and involve fun and creative ways to learn about and explore art together! Admission to the museum is free on Sundays!

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ICYMI: 5 Moms of Nationwide Share their Favorite Places to take their Kids in Columbus

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

20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus

I hate to say it, but those days are coming . . . you know what I’m talking about: cold . . . winter . . . snow. 🙁 Luckily for us, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to play in Columbus, Ohio, and when it comes to playing inside, there are a lot of FREE options! If you need to pass a morning inside but you also need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, keep this list handy! You may also want to check out The Complete List of Columbus Play Cafes for more indoor ideas!

1. Blendon Woods Metro Park

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4265 E. Dublin-Granville Road Westerville, OH 43081, 614-895-6221

Hours:
April to September: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
October to March: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tips: Inside the Nature Center there are puzzles, activities and books for kids. See more about what to do at the Nature Center in Exploring Blendon Woods Metro Park!

2. Westerville Community Center

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350 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43082, 614-901-6500

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 5:45 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tips: Westerville Community Center also offers indoor programing during the fall and winter months for young children. See more details here.

3. Grange Insurance Audubon Center

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505 W. Whittier St., Columbus OH 43215, 614-545-5475

Hours:
(These are Summer hours, check the website or call to double check!)
Closed Monday
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Tips: The play area also includes a “cave” to play in and there are also weekly story times for the preschool age! See more to do at the Audubon Center in 9 Things to do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon. Also see: 2 MORE Great Metro Park Natures Centers for Columbus Kids!

4. Scoops and Chutes Playground at Graeter’s Ice Cream

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2555 Bethel Rd., Columbus, OH 43220, 614-442-7622

Hours:
(These hours may be seasonal, double check the website or call before visiting!)
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Tips: Socks are required to play inside and can be bought for $1 if you forget! I included this play area in one of my Cheap Family Outings in Columbus for Every Day of the Week!

Polaris Fashion Place:

1500 Polaris Parkway , Columbus, OH 43240, 614-846-1500

Hours:
Monday – Thursday 10:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

This mall is home to a few different options for indoor play:

5. Zoo Play Area

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Tips: Shoes must be removed to play. The area has recently been redone and only has one exit/entrance which is great for keeping an eye on wandering toddlers!

6. Food Court Play Area

polaris-play

Tips: In the Food Court, there are several vehicles kids can play on or ride for $.75. The area is mostly fenced in and has a large seating area around it so you can eat or have a seat while the kids play.

7. Pottery Barn Kids

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Tips: PBK usually has toys out for play on both sides of the store (boys and girls) and my kids love them all! There is a story time on Tuesdays at 11:00 AM!

8. Battelle Darby Nature Center

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1775 Darby Creek Dr Galloway, OH 43119, 614-878-7106

Hours:
April to May: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
June to August: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
September to October: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
November to March: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Tips: The nature center has a living stream as well as a small kids’ area to play in.  There are preschool programs inside the center on Tuesdays! See 2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids.

9. Columbus Metropolitan Libraries

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Main Library: 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

Hours vary by library and can be found here.

Tips: So many of the branches of Columbus Metropolitan Library have great areas for indoor play! I shared my favorites here and here! Of course, many other area libraries have areas for play too! Check out the locations for Worthington, Westerville, Delaware County, Grove City, and Upper Arlington! You may also want to check out: 2 Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids and 2 MORE Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids!

10. Grandview Heights Public Library

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1685 W. 1st Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tips: I included Grandview’s library separately because they have a really good area for toddlers and preschoolers to play. They also have a lot of story times! See the schedule here.

11. Whole Foods, Dublin

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3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., ColumbusOH 43235, 614-760-5556
Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Tips: The play area is close to the restrooms and surrounded by tables that are convenient for watching your kids play!

12. Whole Foods, Upper Arlington

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1555 W. Lane Ave., Upper Arlington, OH 43221

Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Tips: This small play area is near the front and has books, play food, cars and more! Lots of seating nearby.

13. United Art and Education

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3622 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard, OH 43026, 614-527-8508

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tips: First of all, this is a GREAT store for fun and educational kid products! There is a little play area tucked into the front corner of the store with a surprising amount of things to do! Blocks, play groceries, magnets, Calico Critters, and more!

14. Barnes and Noble

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See the Columbus locations here!

Tips: Barnes and Noble is a hit for kids who love trains! At some locations there are Duplo blocks for playing and, of course, always lots of books to read! There are also story times on Saturdays!

15. The Naz Playplace

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4770 Hoover Rd, Grove City, OH 43123, 614-305-2034

Hours:
Sun: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PMam – 2pm
Monday – Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Tips: Shoes must be removed and socks worn for play. Socks can be purchased for $1. There is a story time with crafts on Tuesday mornings! You can also register online before your first visit to save time! Outside the play area there is a cafe where you can purchase food (coffee is only $1!) and lots of seating!

16. Central Park at Westerville Christian Church

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471 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081

Hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Saturdays 9:30 AM – 11:30AM

Tips: Shoes must be removed for play. There is also a rock climbing area here!

17. The Shops at Worthington Place

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7227 N. High St., Worthington, OH 43085

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tips: Shoes must be removed for play. If it’s warm enough, there is also an outdoor play area just outside the exit by the indoor play area!

18. The Mall at Tuttle Crossing

5043 Tuttle Crossing Blvd, Dublin, OH 43016, 614-717-9300

Hours:
Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tips: This play area has a STEAM theme: Science, Technology, Arts and Music. Lots of hands-on, fine motor activity here! (There is also an area with coin-operated vehicles in the food court area!)

19. Wonder Room at Columbus Museum of Art

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480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215, 614-221-6801

Hours:
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tips: This is a area for art and exploration on the bottom floor of the Art Museum. The Columbus Museum of Art (and this kids’ area) is free on Sundays only!

20. LEGO Store at Easton Town Center

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4004 Gramercy St., Columbus OH 43219, 614-342-2710

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Tips: Most of the time there is a Lego table set up for play inside the store!

**I’ve updated this list to include more free play areas as we find them! Yay!

21. Coffee Connections of Hilliard

Hours:
Monday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tuesday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Tips: Coffee Connections is a coffee shop in Hilliard with a community space and play area in the back building. The play area is fun for preschoolers and younger and is totally free! (Though, you should probably buy a cup of coffee. 😉 ) See more pictures here.

I hope this list gets you through the winter! I know we will be making use of many of these places as the weather gets cold and I get cabin fever! 🙂

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