3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Aaron Taylor

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Each month I feature a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus!

Thanks to Aaron for sharing 3 of his family’s favorites with us this month!

3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Aaron Taylor:

1. Northwest Library

baby at Northwest Library, Columbus, Ohio

While our family loves the entire public library system in and around Columbus, our local Northwest Library branch of the Worthington Libraries is special. Baby and toddler storytimes are inclusive and energetic. Even better is that storytime takes place in a secluded area that is decorated like a forest of fairy tales. You have to see it.

My kids love the books chosen as favorites by librarians, and they inevitably flock to the puppet play area, too. The best part for moms and dads? You can reserve books online to be picked up at a drive-up window!


2. ZipZone Outdoor Adventures

Zip Zone, Columbus, Ohio, boy on course

My family loves the outdoors, and we especially love adventure parks and ropes courses. ZipZone is our favorite because they have a course designed and reserved specifically for kids ages 4-7. Not only are the obstacles fun and challenging, but your kid will be responsible for safety on the course, too.

I can’t say enough about the sense of accomplishment and independence your child will have by the end of their afternoon at the Kids Park at ZipZone. (I have a detailed article about the experience here if you want to read more!)


3. Hoot Studio

Hoot Studio, indoor play cafe, Columbus, Ohio

While we’d always prefer to be outdoors, let’s face it: our family will spend a ton of time inside thanks to Ohio weather and winters. With a ton of options when it comes to play cafes, one we have come to love is Hoot Studio in Powell.

We are always impressed by the welcoming atmosphere and the breadth of activities. While my daughter will immediately don a princess dress to play make-believe, my older son will stack the foam blocks into a great obstacle course that will, of course, end in a belly flop on the billowy crash pad.

With plenty of tables and sofas for parents to relax or for families to eat treats and a great snack bar (Crimson Cup coffee!), Hoot Studio is a wonderful play cafe to visit for those in and around Powell. (They do amazing birthday parties, too!)


aaron taylor photography

Aaron is a father of three, a teacher, and owner of Aaron Taylor Photography, a boutique family photography experience specializing in creating custom prints and heirloom albums. Aaron and his wife, Megan, love being parents and planning a life for their family that focuses on experiences and kindness.

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What Should We Do This Weekend? Columbus, Ohio, March 15-17, 2019

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Looking for things to do in Columbus, Ohio St. Patrick’s Day weekend? Here are over 35 family-friendly events happening in Columbus, and Central Ohio this weekend!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! {Shameless Plug} I have been nominated for best blogger/social media account and if you love my blog, I would so appreciate your vote! Vote here! (You don’t have to choose something in every category to vote!) Thank you so much! Enjoy your weekend!

Family Friendly Events in Columbus, Ohio This Weekend:

FRIDAY

9:30 AM – Our Village: St. Patrick’s Day Workout and Playdate at Thompson Park North Shelter – Join FIT4MOM Columbus UA for a Stroller Strides class at 9:30 AM and a St. Patrick’s Day fingerprint craft at 10:30 AM. The playdates are free and open to all! 

10:00 AM – The LEGO® Movie™ DAYS at Legoland Discovery Center (Columbus) – LEGOLAND Columbus is celebrating The LEGO Movie 2 with special building activities, character appearances, photo opps and more!

10:00 AM – Columbus Pop Up Shop of Clothing, Toys & More at Franklin County Fair-Hilliard, Ohio – shop for gently used maternity clothing, baby and kids clothing, toys, baby items and more!

10:00 AM – Tuck Everlasting with Columbus Children’s Theatre at Park Street Theatre – this show based on the book by Natalie Babbitt and the Disney movie is a 2 act musical with intermission lasting 2 hours. The show is about an 11 year old run away and her decision of whether or not to live forever! The show is recommended for ages 4th grade and up.

10:00 AM – St. Patrick’s Fun at Fun Town Play and Learn Café – kids will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with arts and crafts, music, goodie bags, photos and more! Included with regular admission.

10:30 AM – Lucky Charms Sensory Bin at Foundations Learning Academy (Dublin) – join FIT4MOM Dublin for a work out and a free play date featuring a fun, St. Patrick’s themed sensory activity!

11:00 AM – Spring Break at Ten Pin Alley – for $15/person you will receive 1 hour of bowling with shoes, 1 laser tag mission and 1 $10 arcade card. This offer is good Monday through Friday throughout the whole month of March from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. 

12:00 PM – The Rooms at Easton, presented by COSI at Easton Town Center – explore 5 rooms of fun featuring optical illusions and audience participation. This is a free exhibit that will be in the Station Building at Easton until May 19, 2019.

12:00 PM – Kids Paint Free Day at Clay Cafe Clintonville – studio fees are waived for kids on Friday between 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM!

2:00 PM – Buzz about Buzzards at Blacklick Woods Metro Park – it’s Buzzard Day! Learn about turkey vultures.

6:00 PM – Maple Chef, Jr. LIVE at North Broadway United Methodist Church – Local Girl Scouts will be presenting their Maple Syrup dishes to be judged in this fun competition! There will also be crafts and games! This event is open to the public.

6:00 PM – Columbus Pop Up Shop of Clothing, Toys & More at Franklin County Fair-Hilliard, Ohio – shop for gently used maternity clothing, baby and kids clothing, toys, baby items and more!

6:30 PM – Family Swim at Goldfish Swim School – check out all 3 Goldfish Swim School locations for a night of family fun including free swimming in the 90 degree pool!

7:00 PM – Tuck Everlasting with Columbus Children’s Theatre at Park Street Theatre – this show based on the book by Natalie Babbitt and the Disney movie is a 2 act musical with intermission lasting 2 hours. The show is about an 11 year old run away and her decision of whether or not to live forever! The show is recommended for ages 4th grade and up.

SATURDAY

7:00 AM – St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin – celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin (Ohio!) with a pancake breakfast, Inflation Celebration and parade! The parade begins at 11:00 AM through Historic Dublin.

8:00 AM – MOPS Spring Children’s Resale at The Naz – shop for gently used children’s clothing, toys, maternity items and more!

10:00 AM – Storytime at Grange Insurance Audubon Center – enjoy a nature based story time for preschoolers!

10:00 AM – Try-It Together: Dinosaurs at COSI Columbus’ Dynamic Hands-On Science Center! – this special event is for kids ages 2-6 and an accompanying adult. Discover dinosaurs with hands on STEM activities and demonstrations!

10:00 AM – Geology & Fossils of Highbanks at Highbanks Metro Park – geologists will take you on a hike through the ravines to learn about the rocks and fossils of Highbanks. Ages 8 and up. There are hikes at 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Register in advance. 

10:00 AM – The LEGO® Movie™ DAYS at Legoland Discovery Center (Columbus) – LEGOLAND Columbus is celebrating The LEGO Movie 2 with special building activities, character appearances, photo opps and more!

10:00 AM – Columbus Pop Up Shop of Clothing, Toys & More at Franklin County Fair-Hilliard, Ohio – shop for gently used maternity clothing, baby and kids clothing, toys, baby items and more!

11:00 AM – DONUT GROW UP PARTY – Audrey Turns ONE at Never Grow Up Boutique – check out Never Grow Up Boutique for special sales, giveaways and more!

11:00 AM – Free Family-Friendly Library Concert w/ ProMusica at Columbus Metropolitan Library – Karl Road Branch – join ProMusica for a kid-friendly classical music concert with corresponding books and stories!

12:00 PM – The Rooms at Easton, presented by COSI at Easton Town Center – explore 5 rooms of fun featuring optical illusions and audience participation. This is a free exhibit that will be in the Station Building at Easton until May 19, 2019.

12:30 PM – Geology & Fossils of Highbanks at Highbanks Metro Park – geologists will take you on a hike through the ravines to learn about the rocks and fossils of Highbanks. Ages 8 and up. There are hikes at 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Register in advance. 

1:00 PM – Tuck Everlasting with Columbus Children’s Theatre at Park Street Theatre – this show based on the book by Natalie Babbitt and the Disney movie is a 2 act musical with intermission lasting 2 hours. The show is about an 11 year old run away and her decision of whether or not to live forever! The show is recommended for ages 4th grade and up.

2:00 PM – Pinch of Luck Slime at Michaels Stores – head to your local Michaels Store to make Pinch of Luck Slime. All supplies will be provided.

2:30 PM – Free Family-Friendly Library Concert w/ ProMusica at Grove City Library – join ProMusica for a kid-friendly classical music concert with corresponding books and stories!

3:30 PM – Grand Opening at Little Bottoms Free Store – a new Free Store is opening up in Franklinton to serve families who need support! The store will offer items like diaper bags, high chairs, diapers, baby clothes and more. You must provide ID and income verification to shop. The Grand Opening Celebration will feature a ribbon cutting and cake!

4:30 PM – UNICORN Pony Rides & Free Petting Zoo at Horse -N- Round Fun – take a ride on a Unicorn for $6. There will be a free petting zoo on site as well! All ages welcome.

5:00 PM – Tuck Everlasting with Columbus Children’s Theatre at Park Street Theatre – this show based on the book by Natalie Babbitt and the Disney movie is a 2 act musical with intermission lasting 2 hours. The show is about an 11 year old run away and her decision of whether or not to live forever! The show is recommended for ages 4th grade and up.

SUNDAY

10:00 AM – The LEGO® Movie™ DAYS at Legoland Discovery Center (Columbus) – LEGOLAND Columbus is celebrating The LEGO Movie 2 with special building activities, character appearances, photo opps and more!

12:00 PM – The Rooms at Easton, presented by COSI at Easton Town Center – explore 5 rooms of fun featuring optical illusions and audience participation. This is a free exhibit that will be in the Station Building at Easton until May 19, 2019.

3:00 PM – Tuck Everlasting with Columbus Children’s Theatre at Park Street Theatre – this show based on the book by Natalie Babbitt and the Disney movie is a 2 act musical with intermission lasting 2 hours. The show is about an 11 year old run away and her decision of whether or not to live forever! The show is recommended for ages 4th grade and up.

6:00 PM – Howl at the Moon at Highbanks Metro Park – take a 3.5 mile hike with your dog at Highbanks Metro Park!

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*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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The Complete List of Columbus Play Cafes

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This list of indoor play areas and play cafes in Columbus will keep you sane this winter!

I can’t remember anything like play cafes existing when I was a kid! And mostly I know, deep down inside, these places were invented for the adults more than the kids. 😉

Play cafes offer everything that’s good about an at-home play date minus everything that could go wrong. Nothing can get broken, there’s room to run, you don’t have to prepare a meal and you get to have a half-way decent conversation with your mom-friend while the kids are entertained!

Play Cafes and Indoor Play Areas in Columbus:

After reading this list, don’t forget to check out 6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus or my list of 20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus (it’s technically 21 because I keep it updated! 🙂 ).

Disclaimer: several of the play cafes listed here hosted my family to aid in the completion of this list. *Please make sure to check individual website links as hours of operation, special features and pricing may change with the seasons!*

1. Firefly Play Cafe

Location: 4822 N. High St., Columbus OH, 43214
Phone: 614-230-2375
Features: Indoor play area, coffee and snacks, birthday parties and special guests like Mr. Eric’s Music

Price: Kids age 12-24 months: $5, Kids 24 months and up: $8, Adults and children under 12 months: free

How to Save: Monthly and Quarterly Memberships are available

2. piccadilly

Location: 2501 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-725-0204
Features: Play area plus programs like toddler art classes, little sprouts yoga, culinary institute of piccadilly, and more. Also hosts parent’s play date where you can drop your kids off and have a night out. Cafe on site.

Price: Day Pass: $8 for first child, $5 for each additional sibling. Piccadilly Express Pass (35 min play): $4, Children up to 12 months are FREE, Kids ages 11 years and up are FREE.

How to Save: Happy Hours Special: $5 per child from 2:00-5:00 PM, purchase a membership for unlimited play and discounts on programming.

3. peapod play cafe

Location: 4874 Thompson Rd., Columbus, OH 43230
Phone: 614-855-2517
Features: Indoor play area for kids 7 and under, coffee bar, art classes and special events, birthday parties

Price: Walkers through age 7: $10.00 per child, $6.00 for each additional child, Three or more children: $4.00 each additional child, Adults and sibling age 8 and up: Free

How to Save: Happy Hour happens the last hour of each day and cost is just $5 per kid! You can also purchase a 10 visit punch card for $70.

More Details: See 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Julie Borm

4. Tree of Life Play + Cafe

Location: 3708 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard OH 43026
Phone: 614-363-4041
Features: Indoor play area, cafe with full menu, birthday parties, coffee, special events

Price: $6.99 per child

How to Save: On Mondays and Wednesdays $9.99 admission includes a kids meal. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, $10 admission includes an hour of jump time at Get Air (next door) from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

More Details: See 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Helen Bosacki 

5. Fun in the Jungle

Location: 345 McGill St., Sunbury, OH 43074
Phone: 740-913-0692
Features: large indoor play area, toddler soft play zone, mini bowling, virtual reality games, cafe with food and drinks, arcade games, parties, special needs sensory hours on the first Sunday of each month.

Price: Play place: $7/child for all day, Kids 2 and under are $2 during the week and $4 on the weekend, Additional costs for bowling, arcade  and virtual reality.

How to Save: Toddler Hours for ages 4 and under happen on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM and are $2/child, Weekday special is $5 for play place and $5 for arcade Tuesday-Thursday.

6. Recreations Outlet

Location: 484 W. Olentangy/Powell Rd., Powell, Ohio 43065
Phone: 614-792-3700
Features: Large indoor play area features play equipment like slides, swings, climbing, etc., small soccer field, basketball hoops, play houses, trampolines and more.

Price: Monday-Friday: $6/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, Weekends: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, School Holidays: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play

How to Save: Charitable play happens on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM for a donation of $2/child. Donations are given to local non-profit organizations.

More Details: See $2 Tuesdays: Recreations Outlet, Columbus Zoo and Tacos!

7. KidsGym Playland at Magic Mountain

Location: Polaris: 8350 Lyra Drive, Columbus, OH 43240, East: 5890 Scarborough Blvd., Columbus, OH 43232
Phone: Polaris: 614-840-9600 East: 614-892-3335
Features: Playland for kids 58 inches and under, includes a climbing gym with interactive elements

Price: Ages 3 and up: $5 on weekdays and $6.50 on weekends Kids under age 3: $3

How to Save: Labor Day through Memorial Day you can purchase a season pass for $35/person ($15 for additional siblings). Pass offers admission 7 days a week plus special discounts on additional add ons such as $1 off a kids combo meal.

8. Blue Monkey Parties and Events

Location: 591 Hill Rd. N., Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 614-828-8236
Features: Mostly available for parties, the center offers 5 inflatable areas, green screen and carnival games for birthday parties and events, however open play hours are available throughout the week. Visit their calendar for details.

Price: $10/child during open play hours

How to Save: Toddler hours for ages 1-4 are Thursdays from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM and are $7 for the first child, $5 for each additional child.

More Details: See: 3 Things to Do With Your Kids in Pickerington

9. little kidspace at COSI

Location: 333 West Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674
Features: Within COSI, kids 1st grade and under can play in the little kidspace on the second floor. This huge space includes water play, an art studio, imaginative play area including farm stand, house, barn and truck. Other play area features a medical theme with a doctor’s office, ambulance, helicopter and more!

Price: $25 for those age 13 and up, $20 for kids age 2-12, kids under 2 are free. Price includes admission to the entire museum.

How to Save: A membership is a must here to save money. While there are several membership levels, the Basic Family membership is $149/year. If you live in or relatively near Columbus, you could conceivably come here once a week, making your cost per visit less than $3 for the whole family!

10. The FunGym at Galaxy Golf and Games

Location: 3700 Interchange Rd., Columbus, OH 43204
Phone: 614-351-8400
Features: The whole facility includes mini-golf, an arcade, party rooms and a FunGym. The FunGym includes ball pits, climbing, slides, tunnels and more. There is also a toddler area with a play house, ball pit and ride-on toys.

Price: Ages 1-2: $2.99, Ages 3-10: $4.99

How to Save: Combos are available to include golf (seasonal) and the arcade. A Pizza Fun Deal features a large cheese pizza, pitcher, 15 tokens and a choice of two admissions to FunGym or Golf.

11. HOOT Studio

Location: 337 West Olentangy St., Powell, OH, 43065
Phone: 614-389-8369
Features: Inclusive indoor play area for ages 2-10 with your choice of supervising your child or paying a little more for supervised play so someone else can watch your child while you enjoy a coffee date or get some work done in the cafe. Keep an eye out for special events, art classes, kids’ yoga and more!

Price: Parent supervised play: $6/hour for first child, $3 for each additional child. Hoot Studio Staff Supervised play: $9/hour for first child, $6/hour for each additional child.

How to Save: Monthly Memberships are available.

12. Fun Town Play and Learn Cafe

Location: 2000 Hard Road, Columbus Ohio 43235
Phone: 614-285-7503 
Features: A town-themed play area including a pet store, gas station, grocery store and more! The space also hosts parents night out activities, parties and Spanish classes. A cafe with drinks and snacks is also available! The space is also available for birthday parties!

On the first Tuesday of each month kids can partake in a free Spanish class when you pay admission. Another fun thing to do: mail a letter at the post office and Fun Town will mail it to your child at home!

Price: General admission for 1 child: $7.00, 2 children: $12.00, 3 children: $15.00, beyond that $5/child. Infant through 12 months and adults are free.

How to Save: Fun Town Card Deals are available for multiple visits and equal out to one free visit. Annual memberships are available and annual members get a 10% discount on private classes.

13. Momi Land

Location: 704 Radio Dr, Lewis Center, OH 43035
Phone: 1-740-201-8764
Features: A ball pit with slides and an obstacle course play area, trampolines, foam pit, a play kitchen and market area, a mini carousel and a play area for babies!

This is a super modern play area with a commitment to cleanliness! This is the only play cafe (besides IKEA) with a ball cleaner and those balls get cleaned at least once a week! There is a party room for up to 25 kids available for rent and a break room for eating snacks or lunch. This is a peanut free facility. 

Recommended for kids up through age 8, adults and kids alike must wear socks inside the play area. Trampoline socks are available for purchase for children if you need them and adults can wear regular socks.

Price: $15 for the first child, $10 for each additional child. Children under 2 are $10 and children under 12 months with a paid sibling are free. You may stay as long as you like.

How to Save: Buy a 10 pack of visits for $129 or purchase a membership for $49/month for the first child, $29/month for the second child and $10/month for each additional child. Membership includes unlimited play 7 days a week and 20% off party packages.


*Please make sure to check individual website links as hours of operation, special features and pricing may change with the seasons!


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ICYMI: 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Malini Swank

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