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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Lea Delaveris

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Each month I will be featuring a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus! Thanks to Lea for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. The Zoo

Yes, it’s totally cliche. But I just love love love our zoo so much! I can’t get enough, and the kids are typically game to tag along with me. I’m totally the person who is talking to the docents and zookeepers. There is just so much to see and learn and watch and do, and even though we’ve been a zillion times, it seems like there is always something that wows us each time we go (even if it is just seeing an elephant pee). My kids have done zoo camp each summer for the past few years, and I can’t say enough good things about that program. We’re also thrilled the dinosaur ride is back this year! And of course, we always hit Wildlights in the winter.

{Lea designed a Something New to do at the Zoo Scavenger Hunt printable for Columbus Moms Blog! See it here!}

2. Carsonies’ Kids Night

We don’t typically eat out on weeknights, but it’s really hard to beat Carsonies’ kids’ night on Mondays. The kids are obsessed with their meatball sliders (I am too, actually), plus, Erica Carlson is there doing her balloon creations and she’s awesome. Super sweet and highly entertaining (for kids and parents), she can create some phenomenal balloon masterpieces (forget just animals – we’ve gotten Yoda, a jetpack, a Pokeball). If you have a spouse traveling or working late on a Monday night, it’s the perfect spot to avoid cooking – you get two kid meals with one adult meal purchase!

3. OSU Airport

This is such a gem that I don’t think a ton of people consider as something to do. We’ve loved going up to the tower on a nice day and watching planes take off and land. The pilots coming in and out have also always been incredibly friendly and taken the kids to tour planes and even an army helicopter!


I’m Lea Delaveris – wife, mom and attempt-to-work-from-home stationery designer. I love creating announcements, invitations and holiday greetings and learning to hand letter (and hopefully create my own font!). You can see my work at minted.com/store/leadelaveris and zazzle.com/leadelaverisdesign and follow along at @lea_d_design on Instagram.

 


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Melissa Stands

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Each month I will be featuring a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus! Thanks to Melissa for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Franklin Park Conservatory

In just the past year we’ve discovered all the fun and excitement that Franklin Park Conservatory has to offer! FPC is the perfect place for little ones who love to explore. Emily loves to look at the plants, flowers, fish and waterfalls, or water-walls as she calls them. Not only is it lots of fun for her, but little does she know, it’s educational too! They offer fun programs almost every weekend and even have story time during the week. Plus, regardless if it’s rain or shine, there’s always something to do which is great for our unpredictable Ohio weather! Be sure to add their Pollinator Palooza to your calendar for the end of June, where you can learn all about bees, butterflies and more!

2. The North Market

As a food lover, my list wouldn’t be complete without a destination like the North Market! It’s always been one of my personal favorites and now I love seeing it through Emily’s eyes. She’s a definite foodie, like her mama and she loves to look at, smell and sample all of the delicious foods. If you’re like me and are trying to introduce lots of different foods to your young children, this is the perfect place to go! You can get anything from Mediterranean or Polish for the more adventurous to Pizza and Mac ‘n Cheese for those who aren’t. My one tip though, go during the week when they open at 10:00 to beat the weekend and lunchtime rush. This way you can take your time to leisurely explore all of the foods, sights and smells they have to offer!

3. Hayden Falls + Diamond’s Ice Cream

This activity’s a two for one! It’s perfect for a quick afternoon or evening adventure when you just want to get out of the house for a little bit. Hayden Falls is a small nature preserve and waterfall located just off of Hayden Run, near Tuttle Mall. Every time we go I’m always surprised something like this exists where it does. Emily loves looking at the waterfall and seeing ducks and geese swimming around. Don’t forget the two observation decks from above the waterfall, along the road. Since this doesn’t take very long to do, we usually head up the street afterwards to Diamond’s Ice Cream for a little treat. The have a wide variety of homemade popsicles (paletas), ice cream and other Latin specialties like aguas frescas. My personal favorite is the Oreo paleta although everything I’ve had has been delicious!


Hi! I’m Melissa and am currently a stay-at-home-mom of a very active two-year-old! Emily loves to run, climb on all the furniture and go down every slide at the playground. When I’m not chasing her around I write the blog Made by Melissa Lee, where I share my daily #momlife with easy recipes, fun kid-food, and all the adventures Emily and I have around our wonderful city of Columbus!


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ICYMI: 35 Free Things to Do with Your Kids this Summer in Columbus


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Three Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Julie Borm

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1. Millstone Creek Park

Millstone Park in Westerville is by far one of our favorite parks. This sprawling park has everything you’d ever want for all ages. Endless slides, a futuristic NEOS game, soft rubber ground, lots of things to climb, swings, climbing walls, instruments and great little spots for young walkers that’s just their size. It’s a central location and easy parking, and it’s so big that no matter how many people are there it never feels crowded. There is also a serene wetlands play area with a walking path for kids to explore.

2. COSI

My older son is really into space and astronauts and has been for a long time, so once we got our membership we’ve been coming almost on a weekly basis. Sometimes we just pop in to say hi to our “astronaut friend,” (lifesize astronaut in a real costume on display) and play in the little kidspace, which could be a museum all on its own. There are lots of little details I love about this space – like how easy it is for young kids who are potty-training to use the kids’ bathrooms, or the nursing area and the giant foam blocks that are great for some gross motor building. They have lots of creative activities throughout the year for kids and families, and now that the weather is warm again, we can’t wait to play out in the outdoor play space again! Also be sure to check out the Ocean exhibit, which we missed the first few times we went there. This water playspace is breathtakingly beautiful and fun for all ages.

3. Peapod Play Café

There are lots of great play cafes in Columbus, but this one is my favorite lately because it’s ideal for crawlers and let’s be honest, it’s close by. Sometimes you just need to get out that energy, and Peapod does it. There’s a wide array of toys that foster creativity and imagination and it never feels cluttered. I love the bright décor, especially on a rainy day. And don’t miss the Magna Tiles or art/craft options in the front area if kids want a little more of a relaxed activity.


Photo by Aaron Taylor Photography

As a mom of two boys, Shepard, 3, and Beau, 1, Julie is constantly on the go and looking for energy-burning activities for her boys. She and her husband Clint moved to Columbus in September of 2016 from Tampa, FL, and since then, she’s been blogging about their adventures together in a new city and how to find balance and joy in the parenting trenches at Borm & Co. blog. She is a part-time communications consultant and enjoys being outdoors with her family, dark coffee and home decorating.


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