5 on Friday: Unique Ice Cream Shops

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July is National Ice Cream month! I love ice cream!! 🙂 Columbus has so many amazing ice cream spots and Ohio is home to many nationally renowned brands as well! Don’t worry, Jeni’s and Graeters are still some of my favorites, but in this post I thought I’d focus on some unique ice cream spots around Columbus to encourage you to get out and try something new!

1. Diamonds Ice Cream

5461 Bethel Sawmill Ctr., Columbus, Ohio, OH 43235, 614-718-2980

Diamonds is a Mexican ice cream shop I’d been eyeing for a year or two before finally trying! There is a large selection of paletas (mexican popsicles), lots of hand dipped ice cream flavors, milk shakes, natural juice, aguas frescas, candy and more! I had the cookie dough paleta which was awesome and the boys had blue, bubble gum ice cream. Because blue, I guess. 😉 My friend, Melissa, shared about a regular trip she makes with her daughter out of Diamonds Ice Cream and a trip to Hayden Falls: Read it here. (There is also a Hilliard location!)

2. Mardi Gras

1947 Hard Rd., Columbus, OH, 614-766-2020

Mardi Gras is a must try for unique and international flavors of ice cream! You can sample anything you want before you choose! I tried an International Sampler and picked Green Tea, Sweet Rose and Pista Kulfi, all of which I enjoyed but I think I liked the Pista Kulfi (a pistachio flavor) the best! I asked to sample the Fire and Ice and couldn’t even finish the small sample because it was truly like fire on my tongue! There are plenty of other “regular” flavors to try as well, but I included the menu of their International Flavors so you can see what unique choices there are!

3. Dulce Vida Ice Cream Factory

4201 West Broad St., Columbus, OH, 43228, 614-429-3289

Sometimes you don’t know what to expect when you see something nestled into a strip mall and then you walk in the door and say, “Whoa!” That’s what happened to us at Dulce Vida West! This relatively new, brightly colored Mexican Ice Cream shop is full of options! We all tried a paleta, but we’ll be back to explore other options, I’m sure! Other menu items include hand dipped ice cream, aguas frescas, banana split, chicharrones, nachos and lots more! They also JUST opened a location off of Cleveland Ave. just south of 270 in June!

Looking for more unique eats and treats? Read: Off the Beaten Path: 15 Unique Things to do in Columbus Ohio

4. Cookie Dough Creamery

7227 N. High St., Worthington, OH, 614-547-0660

You know when you see a picture of some kind of food on social media and it sticks with you, haunting you until you try it? (Oh wait, is that just me? Don’t lie. I know I’m not the only one! 😉 ) Well, that was me with the ice cream cookie dough bars that Cookie Dough Creamery posted on their Facebook page! When we finally made it to the shop, I was momentarily tempted by the idea that I should first try out the main thing: the sundae bar. But then I would continue to be haunted by that chocolate covered ice cream bar, so I went with my gut and I was NOT disappointed!

So here’s what you do: you pick one of three sizes of bowls (they also have cones) and fill it with as much cookie dough as you want. Options included chocolate chip, sugar cookie and cookies and cream, to name a few. Then you can choose from several flavors of soft serve ice cream and dole whip, and then choose toppings and syrup. There were candy and cereal toppings to choose from. Here’s the best part (well, close to the best – the best was probably the cookie dough!) 🙂 price is per cup, not by weight! So you can cram as much as you can in the size bowl you choose! I helped the boys and didn’t fill them anywhere near as full as I could of (I did want them to take naps afterward! 😉 ) You can see it got two thumbs up!

5. Hilltop Dairy Twist

2860 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204, 614-279-8466

For a long time after moving to Columbus I was in search of a good, old fashioned ice cream stand like the kind I grew up with! Usually a combination of food like creamed chicken sandwiches, burgers, flurries and soft serve, you know the type. I couldn’t find anything like it in Columbus! A few years after moving here, I was meeting with a client on the west side of town and I would drive by the Hilltop Dairy Twist whose sign boasted 40 flavors of soft serve. It looked exactly like the kind of ice cream stand I had been searching for! You can get almost any flavor you can imagine swirled into soft serve ice cream, plus a plethora of other dairy stand food and treats! Plus, Hilltop Dairy Twist has the unique position of being next to Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery so you can experience some Civil War history as part of your trip! Cash only!

What’s your favorite ice cream spot in Columbus?


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ICYMI: 25 Things to Pack for a Successful Trip to the Splash Pad

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Columbus Ohio

What Should We Do This Weekend? July 7-9, 2017

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1. Commons for Kids at Columbus Commons

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

This week at Commons for Kids there will be cookie decorating, a free puppet show, a free craft and more! Every week at Commons for Kids there are free carousel rides, bounce houses, Imagination Playground and more! If the temperature is above 80 degrees, there will also be a water slide!

2. KidX Club: Game Time at Polaris Fashion Place

When: When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-846-1500

KidX series takes place at the fountain outside Polaris Fashion Place! This week’s theme is Game Time! Learn about sports, health and fitness while playing games! Bring a book to donate for the Columbus Metropolitan Library and kids can pick out a treat from the treasure chest!

3. From Book to Film at Gateway Film Center

When: Friday-Thursday, July 7-13, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

GFC has partnered with Columbus Metropolitan Library to bring your family these great films inspired by books! This week’s film is Shrek. Daytime admission is free with your library card!

4. Summer Carnival at Skate Zone 71

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

Enjoy a summer carnival including a bounce house, balloon twisting, face painting, games and giveaways!

5. Sprouting Melodies at Hilltop Branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library

When: Friday July 7, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 511 S. Hague Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Phone: 614-645-2275

A music therapist will be at this Summer Reading Club event to help promote early development through songs, play, movement and music! Recommended for kids ages 2-6.

6. First Friday at Ohio History Center

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus OH, 43211
Phone: 800-686-6124

I’m doing a giveaway for this event on my Facebook page! After 5:00 PM you can enter the museum for a reduced price of $6 ($3 for children ages 6-12)! You can explore all of the exhibits until 9:00 with special activities and the movie Mary Poppins will be shown at 7:00 PM! Snacks and beverages are available for purchase. Movie tickets are first come, first served. This event is free for members.

7. Weinland Park Movie Night

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: 1280 Summit St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-297-8442

Watch a free movie in Weinland Park! This week’s movie is Storks! Free movie, free popcorn! Bring a chair or blanket.

8. Family Farm Chores at Stratford Ecological Center

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-2548

**This program is now full!** This happens on the second Saturday of each month so you can plan ahead for the future! Join Stratford’s farmer for morning chores! You and your family can feed the goats and sheep, collect eggs, feed hogs and more! $15/family. This is a limited event and advanced registration is required. Call to check availability and register! See more about Stratford here.

9. Canoe the Lake at Sharon Woods Metro Park

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Take a canoe out on the lake, all equipment provided! Parents must be in the canoe with their child and children must fit into a life jacket to ride. There will be activities for families too!

10. Saturday Morning Cartoons at Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

Watch Saturday morning cartoons on the big screen for $5 which includes a bowl of cereal with milk!

11. Summer Jam West at Westgate Park

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 455 S. Westgate Ave, Columbus, OH 43204

Summer Jam West is a grassroots, free arts and music festival that features live bands, local food trucks, and local arts and craft vendors! There will be many kids activities including police and fire trucks, Artists Wrestling League, sidewalk chalking, free face painting and more in the Children’s Art Zone!

12. PBJ & Jazz at Topiary Park

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-294-5200 x 117

Take in a family friendly jazz concert in the park! This weekend features Bright Moments Quintet. Start with a story time inside the Main Library at 11:00 AM, concert is at 12:00 PM and then follow up with a craft from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Bring a picnic and/or blanket for this free event!

13. Unchained at Westgate BusinessWorks

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: 11 N. Westmoor Ave., Columbus, OH 43204

Gypsy Soul, Clay Street Ceramics and The Moon and Me will be hosting a fun local shopping experience. There will be sidewalk sales and a gift basket giveaway! For $2.50 you can get a hotdog, chips and a drink!

14. Open to the Public at Ohio Wildlife Center

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: 9000 Dublin Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-734-9453

Ohio Wildlife Center is open to the public on the second Sunday of the month! Learn how to identify birds, investigate the Milkweed and Monarch area, meet some of the wildlife ambassadors and more! $5/person, children 5 and under are free.

15. Little Free Library Storytime with Bexley Library

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: 875 Pleasant Ridge, Columbus, OH 43209
Phone: 614-231-2793

The Bexley Public Library hosts a story time at a Little Free Library!

16. Mommy and Me Painting Class with Colorful Columbus

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Goodale Park, 120 West Goodale St., Columbus, OH 43215

This is a mom and child painting event – both paintings combine to create one piece! The theme is foxes! Cost is $35/pair which includes all supplies.

17. Bob Evans Family Day at the Columbus Clippers

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 2:05 PM
Location: 330 Huntington Park Ln., Columbus, OH 43215
Ticket Line: 614-462-2757

Family Day admission is $15 and includes 2 adults and up to 4 children for General Admission seating. The kids can run the bases at the end of the game in the 10TV Commit to be Fit Fun Run!

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ICYMI: 25 Things to Pack for a Successful Trip to the Splash Pad

*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

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25 Things to Pack for a Successful Trip to the Splash Pad

25 Things to Pack for a Successful Trip to the Splash Pad

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You guys, a trip to the splash pad feels like a major outing!

We explored several splash pads last summer and have begun the tour this summer as well. This is the first summer my boys have actually enjoyed getting wet! I shared in my post about the awesome splash pad/park combo in Delaware that I didn’t even pack any extra clothes or swim suits for the trip because they normally hate to be splashed in the face! They actually ventured closer to the fountains than I expected that day!

We had an outing planned with some fellow mom-bloggers to the Powell splash pad last week and based on my Delaware experience and the fact that my kids have also recently begun to enjoy running through the sprinkler at home, I decided I better be prepared on this trip!

Even though I felt like my 4 bags were packed with everything I could think of and I was even able to produce a band-aid on demand for a friend, I still felt like I had missed a few things. My kids’ sandals were drenched and they had to wear them to our next destination. As a result, the dry socks I was so proud of myself for bringing were quickly just as soaked as the ones they took off. (Ok, side note. My kids insist on wearing socks and sandals through the water . . . most of you probably don’t have this problem! LOL!) Their towels for drying off were drenched too.

I thought I would use the “wisdom of crowds” to come up with the most complete “What to Pack for the Splash Pad” list as possible! I asked my fellow blogger friends and followers on social media to weigh in on what makes for a successful trip to the splash pad.

Here you go! It turns out you *only* need these 25 things for a successful trip to the splash pad:

1. Drinks

2. Snacks

  • Local Tip: A lot of splash pads are within walking distance to restaurants and snack options, but the splash pad at Veterans Park has a snack shack on site!

3. extra set of clothes for each child

4. swim diaper

5. extra swim diapers

6. a towel for each child

  • Local Tip: You can borrow a towel at the fountains at Easton Town Center on the weekends in case your shopping trip turns into an unexpected run through the fountains!

7. an extra towel, just in case

8. sunscreen

9. water shoes

10. camera

11. water bottles for each person

12. sun hats

13. tent

  • Local Tip: a tent was specifically recommended for the Bunny Fountains in Dublin because of the large green space and lack of shade.

14. water buckets

15. water toys

16. picnic blanket

17. high water fruit for kids who don’t drink enough water

18. packed lunch

19. money for a food truck or lunch

20. cups for playing in the water

21. lawn chair

22. band aids

23. extra pair of shoes

24. plastic/grocery bags for carrying home wet clothes

25. coffee

Photo provided by Hilliard’s Station Park

This list was compiled with help from Kimmi of Crazy Richards Peanut Butter, Kimberly of Little Fire Brigade, Julie of Borm & Co, Lindsay of Find Where You Fit, Eryn of 614 Mom, Helen of Diaperbag Diaries, Nina of Chaos in Mommyhood, Chelsea of Greatest Little Blessings, @emilyp103, Stacie from Little Adventures Await and Leslie of The Penmanship Lab!

What did we miss? Add your ideas in the comments!

Click on the images below for more local splash pad info!

Exploring Delaware, OH with Your Kids

5 on Friday: Splash Pads


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ICYMI: A Boy Mom Does American Girl


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