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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Erin Wanke

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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 Erin for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Pigeon Roost Farm

We love all the fun farms in central Ohio that open their doors to families during one of the best times of the year in the Midwest! One of our favorites, Pigeon Roost is a family farm in Hebron Ohio that features a “Great Pumpkin Fun Center” each fall (Sept 15 – Oct 31). We started going when our oldest was 3 and have been back almost every year since.

When you enter, you’ll see their huge pumpkin patch and concession stands, and the ticket booth for your passes to the family fun area. They’ve got plenty to keep you entertained on a beautiful weekend day: slides, a corn maze, an enchanted forest with obstacle course, a tire play arena, straw barn, pumpkin express train, and lots more. It’s probably best for ages 7ish and younger, but they do have something for everyone – after all, who doesn’t love an adult size corn maze and kettle corn?! (I may or may not have officially gotten lost in that maze once or twice. #truth.)


2. Columbus Children’s Theater

For a kid-friendly cultural experience, The Columbus Children’s Theater has a continual line-up of family focused performances, including sensory friendly offerings. We’ve seen Mr. Scrooge there twice, once as a family and once with friends, and even got to meet some of the actors afterwards (as you can see in the picture of my daughter and friends!).

The small space makes for an intimate venue, and their performances are geared towards a range of ages depending on the specific show. Some upcoming shows include Dracula, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Pete the Cat, and Peter Pan. They also offer acting classes which our kids haven’t done but I can see my middle daughter loving that. Bonus: The theater is located conveniently close to North Market, which makes it easy to stop by before or after for lunch, dinner, or a snack (our favorites are Little Eater and Destination Donuts!)


3. Acre

The Upper Arlington/Grandview location of Acre is a favorite lunch stop, both for convenience and for their healthy kid’s menu offerings. They have smoothies, kid sized versions of their bowls, veggie quesadillas, and grilled chicken skewers with dipping sauce and broccoli. As for me, I love their black bean hummus and their Thai bowl with tofu.

If you haven’t tried the Impossible Burger, a meatless burger that’s somewhat new on the market, Acre features two different varieties of it on their menu (a classic cheeseburger or a vegan umami burger with mushrooms, miso mayo, and house kimchee).


Erin Wanke spent 8 years working in clinical research before leaving to become certified as a Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She now runs a health coaching business, authors a vegetarian food and wellness blog (Feed Me Greens) and provides recipe development and food photography services.

She is receiving her Vegan Nutrition Certification from the Vegetarian Health Institute and specializes in helping others move towards plant-based eating. Erin lives in Columbus, OH with her husband and three young children/sous chefs/mess makers. You can find more information on her website at www.feedmegreens.com, or follow her on Instagram (@feed_me_greens)!


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ICYMI: Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals


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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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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: MaryAllison Comfort

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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 MaryAllison for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Cover to Cover Bookstore

This is just about the cutest bookstore I have ever seen and it’s weekly story time is a who’s who of preschoolers. If you know Clintonville, you may remember this classic bookstore located on High Street. A new and equally welcoming owner took over and reopened this gem of a children’s bookstore in Upper Arlington.

This little store is charming and the staff is ever so friendly. Picture a local version of The Shop Around the Corner from You’ve Got Mail! There are Saturday morning story times and even a Harry Potter bookclub for young kids. I took my kids to the Harry Potter birthday party in fact, complete with Bertie Botts beans! Bonus points that it is around the corner from a coffee shop, too!


2. Grandview Heights Public Library

I’ll drive all over Columbus to try out different libraries, but it turns out our favorite library is just a short drive away in Grandview. My kids love the iPad stations with a great selection of educational games. Even my youngest can gleefully bang on the screens and “play” a game. If screen time isn’t your jam, there’s an elaborate dollhouse, a train table, and so many puzzles! Is there anything better than playing with someone else’s toys?

While the kids play nearby, the local events bulletin board fills my social calendar, alerting me to new family fun. Whether our visit to the library is a short one or a “we’re leaving in five minutes” on repeat kind of visit, the outing is not complete without climbing the steps or (power) walking up and down the ramp over and over. When you have small children, it’s the little things in life that make for the best day, or at least it’s a sticker that can sooth a kicking and screaming child when it’s time to go.


3. “Kitty Zoo” aka any pet store

This is a genius parent hack that I borrowed from a friend. I wish I could say I came up with the idea, but it needs to be shared with all! My girls love kittens, cats, any passing dog for that matter, so they love to to visit the “kitty zoo.” We visit with the kitties, ooh and ahh for several minutes, come up with imaginary names for all. Then we make our way to the fish tanks, and the fish are almost as exciting as the cats with their bright colors and fancy aquarium decorations.

By this point, a brand new puppy or lovable big dog has made a visit to the pet store with their owner. We are the pet store’s unofficial greeters for all four-legged patrons. After all the excitement of watching the cats, fish, and dogs, we have spent a good thirty minutes in the store, which is exactly what this mom had in mind for a quick and free adventure.


MaryAllison Comfort is a work-from-home mom while she juggles the schedules of her first-grader, preschooler, and toddler. She has a health and wellness business that helps people take back control of their health, whether its through weightloss, healthy aging, or energy and performance. Follow along with @ma.comfort on Instagram for her adventures in parenting and nutrition-inspired living.

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ICYMI: Free Splash Pads and Fountains in Columbus, Ohio

 


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