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Exploring Delaware with Your Kids

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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


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9 Things to Do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon

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The Scioto Audubon is a really awesome Metro Park as far as kids are concerned – you should definitely take your kids there! I had been there a few times for work events in my past life, but I had never explored the park with kids until this past spring! I was missing out!

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Here are 9 things you can do there with your kids! (I don’t necessarily recommend doing them all in one day, we did a lot of them and were pretty worn out!) We’ve since been back a few times just to play in the sandbox and have a much more relaxed morning, and that’s just as great, too!

1. Attend a Story Time

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We arrived in time for the Pre-K Storytime on a Thursday morning. These story times take place at 10:00 AM on Thursdays and Saturdays in the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. The library area was full of children’s books and there was a tee pee to play in, as well as scientific equipment to investigate. The story time was laid back and fun for small kids. There was a wide age range of kids there and I felt that the volunteer was very understanding of their varying levels of concentration!

2. Visit with Live Animals

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After the story time, a volunteer took us down the hall to visit with frogs, turtles and other water creatures. I wouldn’t have known about this room if it wasn’t for our friendly story time leader!

3. Check Out the Play Room

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I had no idea that there was a play area inside the Center. I would have been coming here during the winter, that’s for sure! There are puppets in a cave-like play area and a climbing structure! There were also really cute animal costumes for dressing up. Inside the same room were animal pelts and skulls the kids could touch.

4. Play in the Sand Box

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Just outside the Audubon Center, there is a sand box to play in. My kids could have stayed here all day! There were already sand toys in the area, so we did not have to bring our own. There’s a chalkboard for drawing on and several paths for the kids to walk on in the area.

5. Walk the Boardwalk

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We took a walk out the back of the Audubon Center, down the path that leads to the rock climbing wall and playground. It’s a good hike, but still doable with small children. We didn’t actually see any animals, but we heard frogs croaking! This spot was a little scary for me with an almost 2 year old peering over the boardwalk. If you can trust your kids not to dive in, it’s worth doing! I wished I could enjoy it a little more but I was trying not to have a heart attack every time they walked close to the edge. 😉

6. Check out the River Overlook

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The park has a river overlook, out over the Scioto River. There are binoculars available for long distance viewing!

7. Play on the Playground

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You can walk down the boardwalk to the playground, or park in the parking lot right next to it. We walked down after already having a full morning playing, so the walk back up was a bit tiring. I might recommend driving down so you can leave from the park. There is a play area for older and younger kids and a mister for really hot days! There are several picnic tables with umbrellas overhead. For older kids, there is a rock climbing wall and an obstacle course nearby. I love the gorgeous views of downtown from the park!

8. Go Bird Watching

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Well, this should be obvious at an audubon center, I guess, but there are a lot of bird watching opportunities. 😉 If you can get your kids to stay still enough (definitely a challenge for me!) the birds will congregate at the feeders around the building. We saw quite a few from the windows in the library, and we were able to walk by the feeders on the outside decks (which are also on my list of places to come WITHOUT kids)! There are lots of opportunities to learn about birds inside the center, too!

9. Climb the Water Tower

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Or more accurately, climb two stories of the water tower! 😉 And this is a bonus tip because we didn’t actually do it! If I thought it wasn’t going to mean carrying a toddler up and down the steps, I would have totally done this for the awesome view, but I was pushing the limit as it was! I imagine it would be fun to eat a packed lunch up there!

Know Before You Go:

Scioto Audubon Metro Park, 400 W. Whittier St., Columbus, OH 43215, 614-202-5197
Park Hours:
6:30 AM to 10:00 PM April through September
6:30 AM to 8:00 PM October through March

Grange Insurance Audubon Center, 505 W. Whittier St., Columbus OH 43215, 614-545-5475
Spring/Summer Hours:
Closed Monday
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

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ICYMI: Cheap Family Outings in Columbus for Every Day of the Week


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Saturday Morning in the Short North

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We {heart} the Short North!  When we moved to Columbus, it’s where we wanted to be. My husband and I lived here for three and a half years before we had our first child. We took full advantage of walking out our front door and straight to some of the best dining, arts and shopping in the city!

We love having kids in the Short North, the proximity to so many fun places, parks and museums is awesome!  We love being in a walkable neighborhood that’s full of life and energy!  But, let’s be honest, our excursions to High Street have decreased in frequency since the bambinos came along.  Gallery Hop comes to life mostly after bed time and strollers don’t always fit inside tiny, hip restaurants or crowded art galleries.  But over the past few years we’ve noticed more and more strollers popping up on the sidewalks around us and with the creation of the group Short North Parents, there’s been a movement for families with children to stay in the area as their kids grow.

Just this past year we’ve seen the opening of the first retail shop in the Short North that is 100% for kids (correct me if I’m wrong, I can’t think of another!).  That is certainly a sign that the times are changing and that the Short North CAN be kid-friendly!

Even if (and especially if) you don’t live here, you should know that you CAN bring your kids to the Short North and have a really fun time!  Today I’m going to share with you a recent outing I had with my family – all four of us.

First Stop:  Laughlin’s Bakery

This quaint little bakery sits on 2nd Ave. just east of High St.

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The cookies, cakes and pastries are beautiful and it was tough to choose!

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My oldest went straight for the pink one (technically the Lemon and Pomegranate Haley Cake) because he’s into icing!  Eric and I shared a Laminated Sugar Brioche which was awesome!

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The selection is amazing and I could try one of each – so could my kids, for sure!  There are 3 or 4 tables for sitting.  The atmosphere is bright and I bet every day feels like Saturday in here! See also: 5 on Friday: Columbus Bakeries!

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Laughlin’s Bakery
Location: 15 East 2nd Ave, Columbus Ohio, 43201
Phone: 614-914-8858
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Closed Monday

Second Stop: Italian Village Park

If you’re exploring the Short North and your kids need somewhere to get out excess energy or a place to take a break and have a snack, veer east on Buttles Ave., over to Italian Village Park, which is about a block and a half from high street.  This is a pretty large green space for the area and a great meeting place for the neighborhood.  There is a lot of seating here, room to run and a small playground.  We’ve stopped off here a number of times to eat ice cream from UDF or let the kids out of the stroller to run after walking up and down High Street.

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Italian Village Park
Location: 55 E. Hubbard Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

Third Stop: Cub Shrub

Cub Shrub grew from one shelf in Tiger Tree to it’s very own storefront!  Since its opening in November, 2015, this was our first visit to the store!

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My kids enjoyed the workbench set up for play and they especially loved pushing the little shopping carts around the store.

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Cub Shrub carries toys and clothing for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  If you’re looking for a unique, one-of-a kind birthday or shower gift, look no further!  The clothing is hip and adorable and the toys are eye catching and high quality.  There is also a fun selection of books, decor and children’s accessories.

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Cub Shrub
Location: 749 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-947-1193
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Free and metered street parking can be found on the side streets around the Short North. There are also several parking garages available.  Check out this link for more detailed parking options in the area.  If you’re looking for more in the Short North, check out our trip to North Market and keep an eye on the blog as we will continue to share more Short North fun with kids!

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ICYMI: The Farm at Walnut Creek

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