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Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio

Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus Ohio

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These are the top 10 things to do with kids in Columbus Ohio!

Columbus has so much to offer families! It’s a great place to live, work, play and visit! Every day it seems I run across something new going on or a special event to check out! My family moved here 10 years ago and we have fallen in love!

If you’re new to Columbus, planning a trip to Columbus or a new parent in Columbus, these are the top 10, can’t miss family-friendly things to do in this amazing city!

1. Center of Science and Industry

One of the top science museums in the country, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) has something for kids (and adults) of all ages! There are 2 full floors of hands-on science exhibits with different themes from Oceans to Gadgets to Energy, a cafe, a little kidspace that’s perfect for the 6 and under crowd, a permanent American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery and seasonal, traveling exhibits.

2. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Another gem in Columbus is the Zoo and Aquarium! Highlights include the Heart of Africa, the Polar Frontier and the new Shores Play Park! The Zoo is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Don’t miss the special shows, programs for kids and holiday events like Boo at the Zoo and Wildlights! During the summer you can combine your visit with water play at Zoombezi Bay (additional tickets required)!

3. Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library and Topiary Park

The Main Library in downtown Columbus was remodeled in 2016 and offers a large children’s area, reading rooms, a coffee shop and cafe, gift shop with unique items, and outdoor patio and access to the internet. It’s worth stopping here even if just to check out the unique Topiary Park just East of the library. There is access to the park from the library. The park is a sculptural interpretation of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte. There are 54 people made of plants and bushes as well as boats, dogs and other animals, standing up to 12 feet tall!

4. Columbus Commons

Looking for a green space in the middle of the city to put your feet up and let the kids run around? Look no further than Columbus Commons. Not only is there a huge green space for kids to run around in, during the warmer months there is access to art supplies and books on most days and a carousel! There are two permanent cafes in the park, Tortilla – Mexican street food and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – some of the best ice cream in Columbus! Throughout the season the park hosts many events, concerts and festivals including Commons for Kids on Friday mornings during the summer.

5. Columbus Museum of Art

Believe it or not, there is a lot for kids to do at the Columbus Museum of Art! Check out the Wonder Room, a space completely dedicated to kids where they can explore various textiles and activities to inspire the artist inside. Throughout the museum there are rotating activities for kids to make connections to the art on the walls. Each year the museum is home to Think Outside the Brick, a huge LEGO display and opportunities for free building. Look for opportunities to take a Family Adventures Tour or drop in on a Young Child Studio. Bonus: the museum is FREE on Sundays!

6. Inniswood Metro Gardens

Many of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks offer amazing play and learning opportunities for kids, indoors and outdoors, but Inniswood Metro Gardens is especially magical for children. The park includes a Sister’s Garden with places for kids to play, look for frogs and hide in the Secret Garden. Kids can walk amongst the trees on suspension bridges and climb into a treehouse. The park also offers programs for children throughout the year.

7. Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory offers the opportunity to step into another climate, be it the desert or the rain forest! Amazing botanical displays are a guarantee and exhibits rotate throughout the seasons. In the spring Blooms & Butterflies opens and your family can watch newly emerged butterflies be released into the habitat. There is a small children’s play area, preschool programs and family friendly activities on Saturdays. The conservatory itself has indoor and outdoor components and new in 2018, they have added an amazing Children’s Garden which is included in admission and offers a full experience in itself! (Read all about it here.) The public grounds around the Conservatory are beautiful in themselves and also include a playground!

8. Scioto Audubon Metro Park

The only Metro Park in downtown Columbus is the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. Within it is the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. The best views of downtown Columbus can be seen from the Center and inside there is a children’s play area, live animals on display and lots of opportunities for bird watching! Walk through the park, over the boardwalk to the climbing wall and playground area for extra exercise! Outside the Audubon Center there is a sand box for kids to play in, a chalk board and overlook decks to spot wildlife! See 9 Things to do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon for more ideas!

9. Ohio History Center

The Ohio History Center is the hub of the Ohio History Connection, which includes 58 historic sites around Ohio. The Ohio History Center features exhibits highlighting the history of Ohio including a life in the 1950’s, pioneer Ohio, Ohio animals, including a large Mastodon on display, a children’s play area, vehicles and airplanes on display and much more. During the summer months, Ohio Village, an outdoor village that recreates life in the 1800’s is open for exploring and special events.

10. Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center is your one stop destination for shopping, eating, playing and more! This open air mall offers just about any store you can imagine, fountains for splashing, a model train and kid-friendly stores like Build-A-Bear, American Girl, The LEGO Store plus the amazing LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Columbus! When it comes to eating, Easton offers tons of stand-alone restaurants to choose from as well as a food court.

 

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ICYMI: The Complete List of Columbus Play Cafes

Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio


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Celebrating 1 Year: See Our Favorite Memories and Read Our Top 10!

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This week, I’m celebrating the 1 year anniversary of What Should We Do Today? January 28, 2016 is when I first “went public” with my blog on Facebook, basically begging my local friends to invite their local friends to like my Facebook page. 😬 A friend recently asked if I could go back and tell myself something when I was just starting out, what would it be? My answer was “to keep going because it’s worth it!”

It’s been a great year! We got to do some really fun things, meet some talented and creative people and keep exploring Columbus together as a family!

Because I’m reminiscing today, I’m going to share with you my top 3 personal favorite experiences from the year and then my top 10 most viewed blog posts from the year!

1. Hands down, my number one experience this year was taking a hard hat tour of the new Main Library. For me this was such an honor. I had only been blogging for 3 months and it meant SO much to me to be invited – plus, my family loved that library and couldn’t wait for it to reopen, so to get a sneak peak was really exciting AND I got to do it on my birthday! Pretty hard to beat that!

This is my “I can’t believe it!” face.

2. Another top favorite experience was being invited to Abigail Wexner’s horse barn to learn about the activities and mission of the New Albany Classic. Being invited to anyone Wexner’s personal anything was pretty crazy! 😉 I honestly had no idea what the New Albany Classic was (well, the ideas I did have were wrong) and it was very touching to hear Abigail Wexner talk about her heart for the Center for Family Safety and Healing. To be able to catch the vision first hand for what the day is all about was a special and memorable experience.

Wexner Horse Barn

3. Writing for Columbus Moms Blog has been a big part of this past year! While my own blog is primarily about things to do with your kids in Columbus, I’ve been able to do some other kinds of writing for CMB. For me those articles are almost more personal than what I post here and some of have been shared on other City Moms Blog networks across the nation! I really want to encourage moms with what I post there (as well as share fun things to do in Columbus) and I’ve been so thankful for that opportunity! Not only has the writing been great, but I’ve met some really funny, supportive and amazing co-writers that I am happy to call my friends!

One of my first CMB posts. Click on the picture to read.

And now here is the countdown of the top 10 most viewed posts this year!

10. Indoor Programs for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Columbus: Winter 2017

9. 26 Things to Do Thanksgiving Weekend in Columbus

8. What Should We Do This Weekend? October 27-31, 2016 Halloween Edition

7. 12 Columbus Parks to Try This Summer

6. Cheap Family Outings in Columbus for Every Day of the Week

5. Columbus Christmas Staycation 2016

4. 6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers

3. 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

2. 10 Things to be Excited About at New Main Library!

And surpassing #2 by more than 1000 views (!) . . .

1. 20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus

If you’ve read this far, what I most want to say is THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING! Your reading, sharing and commenting has kept me going! You guys rock! I also have to say a big thank you to my husband, Eric, because without his encouragement (and his web design skills) I would have given up a bajillion times by now! 😉

Keep exploring Columbus with your kids! Our city is awesome!

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Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

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