3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Kim Barnes

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

1. Delaware County Library

The libraries in Columbus and the surrounding areas have so many great resources and programs for kids and the Delaware Library is one of our favorites. It’s located in the heart of downtown Delaware. They’ve got music programs and story time during the week, but there’s also a fun toy area available all the time. Liam likes to bounce back and forth between building things with blocks and using some educational programs on the computers they have available for the kids. Since our family travels a lot, especially during the summer, we try to stop in before every trip so Liam can pick out a book and a DVD to bring along.

2. Dari Point

My husband and I were thrilled to discover a few local ice cream shops here in Delaware when we first moved to town. There’s something so special about creating memories with your kids over ice cream. The Dari Point is our favorite, as it’s the closest to our home and offers lots of options. I love that they have both soft serve and hand-dipped cones with a variety of flavors. Papa Smurf cones seem to be a favorite, especially with the kiddos, but I like choosing a new hand-dipped ice cream flavor to try every time we go. They even serve food like hot dog and hamburgers if you want to grab dinner too.

3. The playground at Tanger Outlets

One of the things we love about the Tanger Outlets (aside from the shopping, of course) is the playground. It’s easy to miss, since it’s tucked away in the corner, but it is so much fun. Liam loves climbing up and down the nature-themed ladders and slides. The whole playground is enclosed within a fence, so it makes for easy play and parenting. Liam’s free to roam anywhere around the playground and I don’t have to worry about him running off somewhere. My favorite thing about this playground is that it’s generally pretty quiet. I think because it’s connected to the outlet mall, people forget it’s there or only visit while they’re on a shopping trip. Most of the time there are only two or three other children there. It’s definitely a nice break from some of busier parks in Delaware.

BIO: Hi! I’m Kim! I’m a mama of two littles, Liam and Caleb, fire wife, blogger, photographer and fiber artist. So basically I wear all the hats and do all the things. My blog Wear Love Wanders is all about my love for kid’s fashion, the latest in baby gear and traveling together as a family. Our boys are the greatest little road trippers and we love exploring new places around the U.S. We moved to Columbus a few years ago and we’ve fallen in love with this city! There is always something new to discover and there really isn’t another place quite like it.

Follow Kim here:

Blog: www.wearlovewanders.com
IG: instagram.com/wearlovewanders
Facebook: facebook.com/wearlovewanders
Photography: www.kimberlybarnesphotography.com
Fiber art: instagram.com/theserenityroad


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ICYMI: Ohio Road Trip: Geneva on the Lake


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10 Family Friendly Things to do at Olentangy Indian Caverns

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Olentangy Indian Caverns provides a fun day out for families! With cave tours, mini golf, a petting zoo, gem mining, a large maze and more, kids will have fun and learn something, too!

Thanks to Olentangy Indian Caverns for hosting us!

You might only think of caverns and caves when planning a visit to Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware, Ohio, but descending into caves is not the only thing there is to do at this family friendly destination!

Gift shop at Olentangy Indian Caverns

If you have never been to Olentangy Indian Caverns, I think you will be surprised at all there is to do. The great part about it is that it’s not a package deal – your family can pick any one of these things to do on the property to customize your day according to your time and budget!

You’ll see throughout this blog post that I have used pictures from multiple visits (wow, kids grow fast!) Here are 10 things you can do at Olentangy Indian Caverns:

1. Cavern Tour

kids going down the steps into the caverns

Obviously, the first thing you’re going to think of is the Cavern tour. The caverns are naturally made tunnels and caves that were, at one time, used by Native Americans for hiding, meetings, shelter, etc. You can do a self-guided tour of the caverns or join in on a group tour with a live guide.

kids walking through the Olentangy Indian Caverns

Our guide was great, giving us the history, telling us stories and answering all of our questions! Cavern tours are $9.95 for those 13 years old and up and $6.95 for children age 3-12. Ages 2 and under are free.

a tour guide talking at Olentangy Indian Caverns

a kid pointing to a fossil in the caves

Finding a fossil!

There are a lot of steps to go up and down and the caverns are often wet. We had to hop over and through a couple of puddles on our journey. I was glad I had chosen to wear closed toed shoes for that reason. So keep your family’s footwear in mind when planning for the trip as things may be wet and/or slippery.

two boys going down the steps into Olentangy Indian Caverns

The youngest child on our tour was just under two and she had a great time, but if you have a non-walker I would recommend an on-body baby carrier of some sort. You can’t take a stroller in and I couldn’t imagine carrying an infant car seat, but many of you might be stronger than me . . . 😉

2. Richard F. Leitch Museum at Olentangy Indian Caverns

a man and boy inside the museum at Olentangy Indian Caverns

The entrance to the caverns is housed in a small museum where you can read about the history of the caverns and some of the famous and infamous things that happened there, and see the bones of an ox that fell down to its untimely death around 1818 (or 1821, depending on the story!). There are also arrowheads and lots of other artifacts related to the caverns.

bones inside the museum

3. Treasure Hunt Maze

The Treasure Hunt Maze at Olentangy Indian Caverns

When you purchase admission to the Treasure Hunt Maze you will receive 3 tokens. Explore the maze to find 3 treasure stops! You can use the tokens to get your three treasures and then work to find your way out!

boy inside the Treasure Hunt Maze

I can promise it is way harder than it looks! Admission is $5/person. 

two boys finding the treasure inside the Treasure Hunt Maze at Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware, Ohio

4. Mini Golf

Mini Golf course at Olentangy Indian Caverns in Ohio

The option of mini-golf is available on the property. There are 18 holes and the cost is just $3/person.

5. Gem Mining

Two boys gem mining at Olentangy Indian Caverns

After our cavern tour, we did some gem mining! This was another first for our boys and I was honestly surprised how much they loved this! (Though when I think about it, the act of digging through dirt, stones and water to find treasure sounds exactly like their idea of a good time! 😉 ) 

a boy mining for gems at Olentangy Indian Caverns

A bag of sand/stones/gems is provided and you use a strainer of sorts and a small stream of water to sift through the sand to find gemstones! There is a range of bag sizes available and prices range from $5.99 – $9.99/bag.

kids mining for gems at Olentangy Indian Caverns

6. Petting Zoo

outside the petting zoo at Olentangy Indian Caverns

There is a rather large petting zoo area on the property at Olentangy Indian Caverns! There are goats, cows, sheep and even deer who will happily eat out of your hand! If your kids are skittish (like mine) there is a fenced in area where the kids can stand inside and feed the animals from behind the fence.

a boy feeding a goat at the petting zoo at Olentangy Indian Caverns

After some shrieks, we started out here and then eventually ventured into the large open area. My kids were scared of the cows but loved the smaller goats. 

This could definitely be unique a stand-alone activity! The cost for a wristband to enter the petting zoo is $4 and a small bag of food can be purchased for $1, a large bag for $3.

 a man feeding a goat and a cow at Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware Ohio


a father and son feeding a goat at the petting zoo at Olentangy Indian Caverns

young boy looking at a goat at Olentangy Indian Caverns petting zoo.


inside the petting zoo at Olentangy Indian Caverns

There is also separate area for feeding and petting deer!

kid petting a deer inside the deer petting area at Olentangy Indian Caverns

boys looking for rabbits at Olentangy Indian Caverns

There are also rabbits and chickens on the farm. They are not for petting, but still fun to spot! 

7. Playground

wooden playground area with yellow slides

The playground at Olentangy Indian Caverns is a destination in itself, especially if you ask my boys! This is the one activity they wanted to come back to again and again! I had to peel them away from the playground to do the other activities!

wooden playground structures at Olentangy Indian Caverns

The play structure is quite large and includes a couple of climbing walls, tube slides, and a really great wooden train structure!

Olentangy Indian Caverns playground with train structure

8. Picnic Area

On the grounds there is a pavilion with picnic tables and covered areas. You can bring your own food here for a picnic lunch or reserve the shelter for a group event!

pavilion for picnics at Olentangy Indian Caverns

There are also many picnic tables scattered around the property for a rest or a snack!

picnic tables on the property

9. Gift Shop at Olentangy Indian Caverns

outside view of the gift shop at Olentangy Indian Caverns

Pick up souvenirs (and all your activity tickets) at the Gift Shop! There was a surprisingly large amount of merchandise from toys and t-shirts to souvenirs and jewelry!

inside view of the gift shop at Olentangy Indian Caverns

10. Have a Birthday Party or Group Event at Olentangy Indian Caverns

You can also have a birthday party or other group event here! The shelters are available for rental and for groups of 25 or more you can receive a discount on the price of the activities. See info here!

Know Before You Go:

  • 1779 Home Rd. Delaware, OH 43015, 740-548-7917
  • The Caverns are open from April 1st – October 31st, every day from 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM.
  • Guided tours are only available June through August. You may do a self-guided tour during the other times.

Looking for more to do when you’re in Delaware, Ohio? Check out: Exploring Delaware with Your Kids!


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Ohio Caves and Caverns at Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware, Ohio

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Exploring Delaware with Your Kids

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Just 40 minutes from downtown Columbus, a trip to Delaware includes a unique dinosaur park, cupcakes and a great children’s bookstore!

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! (Fundamentals is now Beanbag Books.)


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 (Now Beanbag Books)
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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