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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Nikki Seeley

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

I’m excited to share my love of all things Grove City. I wasn’t able to limit the list to my top 3 so I added a bonus spot. Since my blog SweetlyCBUS is all about restaurants and food finds in Columbus, I featured two of my favorite eating spots plus two parks not to miss. Grove City is so much more than these few locations, I invite you to come check out many more spots like the local metro parks, the dog park, and booming downtown Grove City, which is popping up with breweries. Grove City also has the best-hidden patio in Columbus but of course, you must follow me to find out where that is!

1. 3 Brothers Diner


3090 Southwest Blvd., Grove City OH 43123, 614-317-7798

I’m sure this will come as no surprise, but 3 Brothers Diner was opened by 3 brothers. Although it’s much more than the brothers that run my favorite restaurant in Grove City. It’s a whole family affair with many nieces and nephews also working there. Prior to opening this restaurant, the head chef was the chef at Starliner Diner in Hilliard for almost 20 years!!! The experience stems from an even younger age were growing up they learned cooking from being in the kitchen with their mom. 3 Brother’s Diner is a true mix of their home cooking with their restaurant experience.

The menu, which are comprised of delicacies from Mexico, Cuba and America, are made up of many unique dishes, all of which are made from scratch. This includes marinating their meat, making all the dressing and baking all the bread. The food here is delicious beyond imagination. A few menu items not to miss are featured in a full blog post over on SweetlyCBUS: 3 Brother’s Scramble, 3 Brother’s French Toast (made with that house-made bread), the Plantains served with the house-made salsa dressing, Creole Macaroni, and for dessert, you can’t miss the house-made Flan.

 


2. Grove City Splash Pad


3600 Discovery Dr.,  Grove City OH 43123, 614-277-3050

The newest addition to Grove City is our yet opened Splash Pad. The Grand Opening is noon on May 19, 2018, where you can come see the faucets being turned on for the first time. This splash pad is free to the public and is open from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM through Labor Day. Set up in an adorable space theme, there is a rocket slide and a variety of spray options. This splash pad is on the smaller side and would be best for younger children but is just steps away from Fryer Park which includes a fishing pond, bike paths and a huge outdoor playground.


3. Mirolo Dream Field & Dream Field Playground


3400 Ventura Blvd., Grove City, OH 43123

Next to the Buddy Ball baseball field (Mirolo Dream Field at Mount Carmel Stadium which features a specially designed and built baseball diamond for children of all abilities and also hosts the buddy ball league) is the new baseball theme dream field playground which was designed to meet the needs of all children. Designed to focus around the 7 principles of inclusive playground design this playground includes a group of swings, various slides and climbers, a roller slide and roller table and panels that engage children in activities related to sound, colors and shapes.
Ramps and platforms are installed so that children using mobility devices can reach the higher levels.  It also offers a tremendous amount of shade for users to enjoy and the playground’s shelter house features wheelchair-accessible tables. The playground and dream field baseball diamond are part of Grove City’s ongoing commitment to inclusive play and demonstrate their leadership in providing opportunities for everyone to play together regardless of age and ability.

 


3+. Mona’s Eat and Treats


4362 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123, 614-957-4027

After spending some time at the parks, we have the perfect spot to cool down with some ice cream. Head on over to Mona’s Eats and Treats which is a local ice cream shop that has been in Grove City for over 70 years. But they are so much more than just sweets and ice cream.
Their menu includes hot dogs, nachos, sandwiches and soups and salads…but of course, you can’t miss the treats. Everything from hard ice cream to sorbet to soft serve. Milkshakes, slushies, snow cones and floats but the specialties like banana splits, dipped frozen bananas, and a tasty Mediterranean desert which takes baklava and tops it with ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry are the real winners. Order your dish in this sweet little shop and head around back to sit in the beautiful gazebos they have built to enjoy your treats.

 


About Nikki:

NYC Girl to Ohio State Buckeye
Wife to Car + Golf Enthusiast
Mama to 3 Bugaboos
Columbus Foodie
Donut Addict
Ice Cream + Sprinkles Fanatic

Why waste life’s precious moments eating veggies when you could be sinking your teeth into a cookie dough cupcake? SweetlyCBUS agrees and demonstrates with her foodie Blog + Instagram account, @sweetlycbus. Nikki Seeley loves her breakfast food, too, but not nearly as much as she <3’s sweet, sweet sugar. Especially donuts. She’s always keeping her followers’ mouths dripping with pics from local bakeries, popsicle stands, coffee shops, and pretty much any place with a dessert menu. Add a sprinkle of sugar to your life.

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ICYMI:  Franklin Park Conservatory’s Children’s Garden is Unlike Anything Else in Columbus


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Kathleen Murray

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

1. Homestead Park

We LOVE being outside and because my son is very active, this park is perfect for him!  There are so many different areas so he never gets bored.  He especially loves the fun tunnels that connect the different areas!  Plus, it has plenty of shade and picnic tables, and access to the Rails to Trails bike path that we enjoy running on.


2. Hilliard’s Station Park Splash Pad

The Hilliard splash pad is a great spot to cool off on a hot summer day!  It’s right off Main Street in Old Hilliard (and bonus, right across the street from Coffee Connections!) but it’s sunken down a bit which gives it a much more private feel.  The whole space isn’t huge or overwhelming and there’s plenty of spots to sit and watch your little one play!  We always pack a picnic because it tends to be less crowded during lunch! 


3. Frank’s Park/Little Ice Cream Shoppe

Another outdoor option (can you tell we like to be outside??)!  Frank’s Park is a little playground tucked in-between neighborhoods in Hilliard!  It’s not a huge park, but has a nice pond and picnic tables, plus lots of space to play soccer!  There’s also a great path that circles the whole park.  Another huge perk is that you can walk over to the Little Ice Cream Shoppe to grab a sweet treat!


Kathleen Murray is a health and fitness blogger at Just Keep it Simple Fitness.  She is an ACE certified personal trainer and enjoys teaching others that leading a healthy life does not need to be fancy, complicated, expensive, or time consuming.  Her background in soccer and her young son motivate her to stay active every day!  Apart from blogging, she works part time as a chemical engineer and enjoys going on runs with her family.  You can follow her simple fitness tips on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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ICYMI:  7 Ways to Give Back in Columbus By Doing Things You Already Do

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fryer park, grove city

6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers

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These 6 Columbus area parks are great for toddlers!

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes taking young kids to the park can be a frightening experience.  You look away for 5 seconds and all of a sudden your toddler is standing at the top of a climbing wall looking over a 10 foot drop off to the pavement below.  I like to take my toddlers to parks where they can roam freely without a lot of worry that their lack of impulse control (or balance) is going to send us on a trip to the ER.  But that’s just me.

I suppose I should make a disclaimer that most (all?) of the younger kids’ areas in the parks I’ve been to have signs saying the equipment is designed for ages 2-5.  I don’t know anyone who has waited until their kid was 2 to take them to a park, so that being said, I have chosen 6 parks with particularly toddler-friendly play areas:

1. Funk-ee-Town, Harrison Park, Harrison West

995 Harrison Park Pl., Columbus, OH 43201
No Restrooms Available

Harrison Park

Harrison Park

GREAT toddler area here!  No crazy heights, the small slide is enclosed at the top, and lots of opportunities for imaginative play – on the ground!  My kids love the snack shack and the house with the blue roof has drums and a xylophone to play on inside, as well as a steering wheel. While you’re in the area, check out some of these kid-friendly options in the Short North!

2.  Jeffrey Mansion and Park, Bexley

165 N. Parkview Ave, Bexley, OH 43209
Seasonal Restrooms Available

Jeffrey Mansion Park, Bexley

Jefferey Mansion Park, Bexley, Ohio

The toddler area here is fenced in, making it a perfect little play area just for the younger crowd!  There is tunnel to crawl through, a dinosaur slide and a play house.  As a bonus, the grounds here are beautiful and if you follow the path into the woods behind the park, you will encounter a boardwalk along Alum Creek! If you’re in Bexley, add a stop at Kittie’s or Gramercy Books to complete the morning!

3.  Schiller Park, German Village

1069 Jaeger St., Columbus, OH 43206
Restrooms Available

Train at Schiller Park, German Village

Slide at Schiller Park, German Village

This side of the playground at Schiller park is very toddler friendly.  Kids love these trains, and the play area behind it, seen in the picture, is specifically made for the toddler set.  It’s completely closed in, there’s a ramp and the slides are so slow my 4 year old got stuck.  😉 There are several baby/toddler swings here as well. Nearby, check out Winans for great coffee and chocolate!

4. Pingree Park, Worthington

374 Pingree Dr., Worthington, OH 43085
No Restrooms Available

Pingree Park, Worthington, OH

Pingree Park, Worthington, Ohio

Pingree Park, Worthington, Ohio

My kids had a lot of fun at this park!  There’s a toddler play set, infant/toddler swings and a small path around the park that does not cross a road or parking lot.  There are a couple of picnic tables and benches here that are convenient for snacking or eating a packed lunch.

Both of my kids, including my toddler, actually really had fun on the tunnel slide, though it specifically says for ages 5 and up.  They specifically enjoyed yelling “Paw Patrol!” from the top and then pretending to slide down into their respective vehicles.  So yes, I did basically yell out jobs for them for at least 20 minutes: “Marshall, I need you and your firetruck to go rescue a kitty from a tree . . .” and so on . . . It was fun. (Sarcasm font.)

5.  Discovery Frontier, Fryer Park, Grove City

3899 Orders Rd., Grove City, OH 43123
Restrooms Available

space themed park in Grove City, Ohio

Fryer Park, Grove City, Ohio

This park is toddler friendly because it is more about space than height.  And yes, I mean that literally and figuratively.  This space-themed park has a lot of area to run, hills to climb and also sand to play in.  My kids love running through the tunnel and up the hill that is the moon. While you’re in Grove City, check out their awesome library!

There are several toddler-sized structures to play on.  It’s hard to say exactly what space-themed things they are supposed to be, but none of them are very high off the ground, and that’s what matters.  At this park, there is also a pond with a path to walk. There are several toddler swings here and they are under umbrella cover for shade – another bonus!

6. Alum Creek Park North, Westerville

221 W. Main St., Westerville, OH 43081
Restrooms Available

Train Park, Westerville Ohio

Alum Creek Park North

Most of this park is geared toward older kids, but there are two things in particular make this park toddler-friendly and worth a visit.  One is the train, which is mainly at ground level with a tunnel to crawl through, benches to sit on inside and a small slide.  The second thing is the large sand pit.  I said it was toddler friendly, I didn’t promise your kids would stay clean.  😉 This park was one stop during our Playdate in Uptown Westerville – make sure to read to find out where we got donuts before hand! 😉

I have personally tried all of these parks with a toddler and lived to see another day!  I hope you and your little ones enjoy exploring a new park!  If you’re planning to pick up coffee on the way to the park, I featured two of these parks in my post Coffee+Park: 3 Parks Within Walking Distance of a Coffee Shop!

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ICYMI: 6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus

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6 Parks for Toddlers in Columbus, Ohio

 

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