New and Improved Ten Pin Alley Provides Family Friendly Fun in Hilliard

Ten Pin Alley has been newly renovated to provide a super fun, family-friendly night out in Hilliard!

My husband and I attended the Grand Opening VIP Party at the newly expanded and remodeled Ten Pin Alley in Hilliard earlier this month, and later in the month, Ten Pin Alley hosted my family, and a few other local bloggers’ families, for a night of family fun!

Hilliard Ohio

I think we can all agree that the indoor smoking ban has much improved the bowling alley experience for everyone involved! Bowling alleys are seeing a resurgence that offers activities for the whole family to enjoy together!

Picture of family at bowling alley

I had never been to Ten Pin Alley before its renovation, but I have been told by others that it is much improved! Some of the changes include 8 additional bowling lanes, a 2-story laser tag arena, a new patio and bar, 2 bocce courts and an arcade!

bowling alley in Hilliard Ohio

Having had two very different Ten Pin Alley experiences – one as a date night, and one with kids in tow – I am actually torn between which experience I enjoyed more! Which, I guess, is a good sign that you can’t go wrong doing either!

couple at Ten Pin Alley

Here are all the fun things you can do at Ten Pin Alley:

1. Bowl

Let’s start with the obvious. There is a larger bowling alley with 16 lanes, and a smaller, private area with 8 lanes called The Brooklyn Side, which features its own bar and restrooms. Kids can bowl with ramps and bumpers!

Kids bowling at Ten Pin Alley

Bowling with a 6 and 3 year old pretty much requires putting any competitiveness on the back burner. It’s more of an exercise in letting go – literally and figuratively. My kids, however, had a blast!

Ten Pin Alley, Hilliard, Ohio

kid bowling at Ten Pin Alley

2. Eat

Whether you decide to eat pizza while bowling or eat a meal in the full restaurant, there are tons of options for dining!

food at Ten Pin Alley

There is a kid’s menu which includes a choice of a main dish (cheeseburger, pizza, chicken tenders or grilled cheese) plus a side (fries or celery and peanut butter) plus a drink for $6. (Add on Vanilla ice cream for $1!)

The huge main menu includes loads of appetizers, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and dessert! The drink menu is extensive, too, and includes local beers.

pizza at Ten Pin Alley

Happy Hour, which is Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM includes $2 off appetizers, $2 off all bar selections, 1/2 off one topping 10 inch pizzas and for the kids, $5 for one round of laser tag and double game play!

kid eating pizza at Ten Pin Alley

3. Laser Tag

laser tag arena at Ten Pin Alley

The new laser tag arena, called Steampunk H2O, simulates an underwater world with giant sea creatures and glow in the dark sea creatures!

Laser tag arena at Ten Pin Alley

There are no age regulations to play, but each child must be able to wear the vest. My 3 year old got scared and didn’t finish the game, but my 6 year old, who started out scared, ended up loving it!

Monday through Thursday and Friday before 5:00 PM, you can play one game of laser tag for $5, 2 games for $8 and 3 Games for $11.

4. Arcade

arcade at Ten Pin Alley

My kids were HUGE fans of the arcade! The arcade uses a card system and the cards can be taken home and brought back to continue to rack up tickets to win whatever prize your child covets! (Or they can be like mine and turn them in immediately for 14 pieces of individually wrapped candy and plastic fangs.) 😉

arcade at Ten Pin Alley

kid at arcade at Ten Pin Alley

I will say my husband and I had a pretty good time doing the arcade just the two of us. I highly recommend challenging your spouse to a high stakes game of Pac Man whenever you get the chance.

man at arcade at Ten Pin Alley

5. Birthday Parties

Bowling Alley in Hilliard, Ohio

The space is available for parties and social events, including kids birthday parties! You can see all the packages available for birthday parties here.

6. Daily Specials

Bowling Sign at Ten Pin Alley

Aside from Happy Hour, each day has its own theme in terms of discounts and deals! You can see all of the daily specials here, but a few of the family friendly highlights include Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays: A free kids meal and $5 game card with an adult entree purchase and the Sunday Family Fun Pack: 1 hour of bowling, 4 pairs of shoes, 1 large 1 topping pizza and 4 sodas for $49.99.

7. Give Back

Bowling Alley in Hilliard, Ohio

Ten Pin Alley has instituted Heart & Bowl, a way to give back to local non-profit organizations! For all of 2018, 2% of all sales will be given to Hilliard Food Pantry, Action for Children and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio! You can see all of the information about Heart & Bowl here.

My kids are already asking to go back to Ten Pin Alley! I’m anticipating hitting up a Kids Eat Free night sometime in the very near future! See you there!


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Ten Pin Alley in Hilliard Ohio






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5 on Friday: Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops

As a freelance and contract worker, my husband spends most of his days in some kind of coffee shop setting. When I told him I was putting together a list of kid-friendly coffee shops, he said, “There is such a thing?” The fact that my own husband said such a thing is proof enough this post is needed. 😉 Coffee is a big part of my life, so the kids are gonna have to come along. Here are 5 best-bets for the times when you need to bring the kids:

1. Coffee Connections of Hilliard, Hilliard

This spot has to win the most kid-friendly coffee shop, hands down! Coffee Connections of Hilliard has two buildings. In the front (on Main St.) there is a full-sized coffee shop with two floors of seating areas and in a separate building in the back there is a community room with a play area just for kids upstairs! My kids were so entertained here recently that my husband and I had a nearly uninterrupted coffee date with friends! There is a changing table and even an area for babies to play!

4004 Main St., Hilliard, OH 43026

2, Grandview Grind, Grandview Heights

Grandview Grind has a large seating area and, in the back, there is a couch with a book shelf full of books, games and crayons! I was there recently with my two year old and he even found an Elmo book! There is a large drink menu and treats for sale as well.

1423 A Grandview Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

3. Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op, Franklinton

Bottoms Up is a new coffee shop/co-working space in Franklinton. I have been known to stop by this coffee shop with two kids when we’re on our way to somewhere else just to get the Canary Island (an espresso drink made with condensed milk!). You don’t just “stop by” coffee shops with kids, getting them in and out of car seats just for fun, unless the reward is worth it! Also, they have a cute little table where kids can color and great food options!

1069 W.Broad St., Columbus, OH 43222

4. The Bexley Coffee Shop, Bexley

Bexley Coffee Shop is another safe bet for taking the kids! The coffee shop is a pretty good size and there are yummy treats like the chocolate chip coffee cake (pictured above). My 2 year old said, “this is the best chocolate chip cake in the whole galaxy!” so that must be saying something! I like their fun selection of local handmade items and during the summer they have a story time for kids hosted by Bexley Public Library!

492 N. Cassady Ave., Columbus, OH 43209

5. Espresso 22, Powell

If you’re wandering around downtown Powell and you need a pick-me-up, stop in at Espresso 22! They serve One Line Coffee and every day they have a fresh selection of Der Dutchman donuts!  There is a good amount of seating here and it’s very open. These are two things I associate with being kid-friendly! Last time I was there they had a Nutella Latte on the menu. Just sayin’

22 Liberty St., Powell, OH 43065

What coffee shops have you braved with the kids in tow?


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ICYMI: Countdown to Spring: 20 Days to Celebrate in Columbus

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Indoor Fun Around Columbus: 6 Things to Do Before Spring!

Here are some indoor activities to do around Columbus before it gets warm! Though the winter has been pretty mild, I’m still counting down until park days, evening walks and no more winter coats! If you’re getting stir crazy in the house, pick one of these ideas for a fun outing with the kids!

1. Brick of Dreams

  • UPDATE: Brick of Dreams closed in the Fall of 2017
  • 6190 Shamrock Ct., Suite C, Dublin, OH 43016

Brick of Dreams is a fun way to spend an hour or two free-building with LEGO and DUPLO blocks! You pay per kid, per hour to have full access to the thousands of LEGO bricks available! Around the room are shelves full of containers filled with LEGOs, pick one out, sit at one of the many tables and go to town! There are also DUPLO blocks for the younger crowd and a race track for your creations with wheels! I took my 5 year old for an hour one morning and it flew by! Keep an eye out for the President’s Day special – $5/hour/kid. (Regular cost is $7/hour/kid).

2. Mindbender Mansion and Amazing Mazes at COSI

  • 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

COSI has a new exhibit going on until April 30, 2017. It’s on the second floor and it’s filled with illusions, mazes and mysteries! Kids can create their own mazes, solve mysteries, try to figure out optical illusions and wind their way through mazes themselves! (To be honest, it’s pretty fun for adults, too!) This exhibit is free with admission or membership. We were recently hosted by COSI and invited to try the new Bean Sprouts menu in the Atomic Café. The menu offers healthy options for kids (and adults!) The P-moji Pizza and Chicken Presto Chango sandwich were really good!

3. Milk and Cookie Happy Hour at Sassafras Bakery

I know, I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but cookies are always worth mentioning again, in my book! 😉 I often find the hardest hour of the day to pass is from 4:00 – 5:00 PM. So if you need a little cheer to get you through the last part of the afternoon, head to Sassafras Bakery for Milk and Cookie Happy Hour from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. You get a free glass of milk or cup of coffee with each cookie purchased. (Most cookies are $2).

4. Gramercy Books

  • 2424 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209

Gramercy Books is a new independent bookstore in Bexley. There is a great selection of children’s books! If your kids love books and reading, they will love it here! On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, they will host Sunday Storytime for kids at 12:00 PM. Attached to the bookstore is Kittie’s, a wonderful little coffee shop and bakery! Put the two together and you have a perfect outing!

5. Coffee Connections of Hilliard

  • 4004 Main St, Hilliard, OH 43026

Coffee Connections is a coffee shop with a mission to build community. Located in Old Hilliard, the shop has two buildings. The front (on Main St.) is where the coffee is made and served and in the back building, on the second floor, there is a play area for kids! As long as you’ve got coffee in hand, this play area is free! It is geared toward the younger crowd, I’d say 5 and under, but there is a lot of space to sit and catch up with a friend while your kids play!

6. Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art

  • 480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

There are just a few more weeks to see Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art.The exhibit is on display until February 26, 2017 and is included in admission or membership. Also, remember that admission is free on Sundays! Along with the large LEGO display, there are bricks for free building, and a LEGO Pokemon scavenger hunt!

If you’re looking for more fun {INDOOR} ideas, check out 20 FREE Indoor Play Areas in Columbus or my post for Columbus Moms Blog: 5 FREE Kid-Friendly Columbus Outings!


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ICYMI: Save Money on LEGO Sets with BrickSmarts


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