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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: Mary Hoover

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

1. Rusty Bucket

Dining out when you are sticking to a budget can be tricky, but that’s why our first “fave place” has been a dinner saver (and marriage saver too!). Whenever I need a night off from cooking, The Rusty Bucket is our first stop.  Not only because we have one in walking distance from our house, but mainly for their awesome Kids Eat Free program (best in town, IMO!).

I LOVE the Bucketeer Bookworms Reading program.  Simply pick up a bookmark at your fave Bucket location, have your kiddo read 5 books (or read to them) and record them on the bookmark.  Once they have read 5, you can redeem for a FREE kids meal.  Even better, this is any night of the week and no per adult stipulation. So you can save money and encourage your kids to read! Can you see why we love the Bucket so much?  Not to mention the food is sooo good! (So glad they brought back my mommy indulgence, Chicken Finger BLT sandwich!)


2. Chick-fil-A on Sawmill

To keep up with the food theme, another one of our favorite places in Columbus is the Chick-fil-A on Sawmill Road.  Not only are we fans of the food (are you sensing a theme here with tweens/teen kiddos) but this location in particular goes above and beyond to make every experience amazing.  Whether it’s a family activity night, the ice cream trade in for the kids meal toy, a random freebie offer on your receipt, a donation drive opportunity or just the tried and true – “My Pleasure”, we just LOVE CFA Sawmill. And yes there are plenty of ways to save at Chick-fil-A too! Start by downloading their CFA One app, they are always sending fun freebies. 


2. Timbuk Farms

Finally, something non-food related. I do love to save money and that means I am a big “Black Friday” season shopper- BUT I actually don’t ever shop IN the store on Black Friday.  What? You say? That’s because my family has a “Green Friday” tradition. 

For 10 years now we have been cutting down our Christmas tree at Timbuk Farms (Granville, OH- just a short drive from Cbus) on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  It’s a wonderful tradition (at a farm I used to go to as a kid too) and I would much rather be there making memories with my kids, then battling the crowds for a deal (I just snag all the deals online!). It’s a wonderful way to start the holiday season, Free picture opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Clause included! 


Mary Hoover is on a Mission to help your family save! This Columbus native is married to her Columbus City Schools High School sweetheart and they have 3 kiddos. On MissionToSave.com, Mary shares weekly grocery match ups, frugal DIY ideas, family friendly recipes, deals you won’t want to miss, and other great tips to help you save money! Along with her blog and social media, you can find Mary on monthly Good Day Columbus segments. She has invited you to join the Mission Savers Community.

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ICYMI: Free Splash Pads and Fountains in Columbus, Ohio

 


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