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 over 10 years ago and we have fallen in love! (Make sure to follow us on Instagram for every day ideas of things to do in Columbus, Ohio with your kids!)

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! 

The Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio:

1. Center of Science and Industry

Center of Science and Industry COSI in Columbus, Ohio

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.

Dorrian Green park and green space outside COSI in Columbus, Ohio

Within the museum is a cafe serving coffee, wine and snacks, a restaurant serving full meals and a great gift shop! Parking is available in the underground garage or at nearby meters. Outside COSI is Dorian Green, a great park and playground area where the kids can run around and you can eat a picnic lunch!

Oceans Exhibit at COSI in Columbus Ohio

2. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

boy watching fish at 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)!

shores play park at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Within the zoo are several snack shops and a food court. You can also bring in your own food – but no glass bottles or straws! Check the website for their bag policy to make sure your bag fits the size specifications. Coolers and food storage bags can be stored at your own risk in a pavilion just outside of the zoo entrance. 

Lions in the Heart of Africa at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

3. Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library and Topiary Park

entrance to the Children's Department at Columbus Metropolitan Library

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. 

art in the atrium of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library

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!

Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio

4. Columbus Commons

Carousel in Columbus Commons Park, Columbus, Ohio

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!

Kid playing at Commons for Kids, Columbus, Ohio

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.

Easy and convenient parking is available in the Columbus Commons Garage at 55 E. Rich St.

Columbus Commons park in Columbus Ohio

5. Columbus Museum of Art

kids building with blocks at 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.

Wonder Room for kids at columbus museum of art in Columbus, Ohio

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

Sisters Garden in Inniswood Metro Park

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.

treehouse for kids in Inniswood Metro Park in Columbus, Ohio

Kids can walk amongst the trees on suspension bridges and climb into a treehouse. The park also offers programs for children throughout the year. Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks offers programs throughout the year for preschoolers, families and adults at this park!

boy walking at Inniswood Metro Park in Columbus, Ohio

7. Franklin Park Conservatory

boy looking at fish at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus Ohio

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.

play area at Franklin Park Conservatory for kids in columbus ohio

There is a small children’s play area, preschool programs and family friendly activities throughout the week and 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! The public grounds around the Conservatory are beautiful in themselves and also include a playground!

Children's Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory

8. Scioto Audubon Metro Park

boys playing in sandbox at scioto audubon metro park in columbus ohio

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!

Indoor play area at scioto audubon metro park nature center in columbus ohio

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!

skyline of Columbus from the Scioto Audubon Metro Park

9. Ohio History Center

Lobby at 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.

Ohio Village at Ohio History Center in Columbus, Ohio

During the summer months, Ohio Village, an outdoor village that recreates life in the 1800’s is open for exploring and special events including Storybook Village and 1880’s style Base Ball games! The special events at Ohio Village are lots of fun but if you happen to visit on a weekday when the Village is less crowded, there is something pretty magical about stepping back in time and exploring the 1800’s at a relaxed pace!

Ohio History Center

10. Easton Town Center

train at 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!

fountains at Easton Town Center

When it comes to dining, Easton offers tons of stand-alone restaurants to choose from as well as a food court. If you’re looking for some kid-friendly dining options check out: 5 Tasty Kid-Friendly Restaurants at Easton Town Center for the scoop!

kid playing at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus


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Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio


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What Should We Do This Weekend? April 21-23, 2017 Earth Day Edition!

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1. Open Play at Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio

When: Friday, April 21, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 3830 Truman Ct., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-228-5523

The play area at Easterseals will be open from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM for a special Open Play time. Price is $5/child for ages 7 and under! Availability is subject to maximum capacity reached.

2. Earth Day Bird Feeders with FIT4MOM Columbus North

When: Friday, April 21, 2017
Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Polaris Fashion Place, 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240

Join FIT4MOM for a workout (kids welcome!) and do a bird feeder craft afterwards! Your first class is free and the crafts are always free! See more about FIT4MOM here!

3. KidX: Earth Day Jubilee at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Friday, April 21, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-456-0180

Join the KidX Kid’s Club to celebrate Earth Day by decorating a pot and planting flowers! Delaware County Preservation Parks will be there to provide educational information and the first 100 families will get a free tree to plant!

4. Dream Catcher Class with Sew Many Stitches

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Sew to Speak, 752 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-547-7380

Kids 8 and up (accompanied by a parent) can take this class to learn how to make a traditional dream catcher with a modern twist! Call to register!

5. Hilliard Earth Day at Hilliard Community Center

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 3800 Veterans Memorial Dr, Hilliard, OH 43026

This Earth Day Celebration is free and includes arts and crafts for the kids as well as lots of educational opportunities!

6. Saturday Morning Cartoons From Around the World at CCAD

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Location: CCAD Canzani Center Auditorium, 60 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

It’s free for kids 12 and under (General Admission $6) to watch these family-friendly cartoons from around the world as part of the Columbus International Film + Video Festival!

7. Tulips and Tutus at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Kids can make a tulip fan craft and at 2:00 PM, Columbus Youth Ballet will teach them ballet steps! Free with admission!

8. 3rd Birthday Celebration at Naturally Curious Kids

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 13 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-568-8590

Help Naturally Curious Kids to celebrate their 3rd birthday with crafts, treats and games! Follow their Facebook page for more details!

9. Daniel Tiger Storytime at Grove City Library

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 3359 Park St., Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-875-6716

This is a special story time at the new Grove City Library featuring stories about Daniel Tiger and friends! There will be songs, dancing and more! Appropriate for ages 2-7.

 

10. Earth Day: “Protect Our Pollinator” at HTH Farm Market

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 2340 W. Dublin Granville Rd., Columbus, OH 43235

Those who attend this event will learn how to support pollinators in your community! Kid-friendly activities include learning about planting plants and the life cycles of insects! There will be caterpillars and butterflies will be released!

11. Raisin Healthy Kids at Raisin Rack Natural Food Market

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: 2545 W. Schrock Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-882-5886

Celebrate Earth Day with recycled crafts, container garden demonstrations and featured eco-friendly products! If you ride your bike there you will receive a special reward!

12. OSU Drum Major Tryouts at Woody Hayes Athletic Center

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: Harmon Family Football Park, 2491 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, OH 43210

Drum major try outs for the OSU Marching Band are open to the public! Each candidate will perform, accompanied by the spring Athletic Band and the 2016 Marching Band and the 2017 drum major and assistant drum major will be named at the end of try outs!

13. Earth Day Celebration at Columbus Commons

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

Celebrate a week of service in Columbus with this Earth Day Celebration! There will be a petting zoo and chalk-board drawing for kids, food trucks and live music for the adults! All ages are welcome and this event is free!

14. Columbus Chicken Coop Tour hosted by 4th Street Farms

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: various locations around the city

This is a family-friendly, self-guided tour of local urban farms featuring chicken, quail, partridge and rabbit! This tour is meant to help families and kids learn about where our food comes from and to provide information for people who are considering keeping chickens in their own backyard! See the link for locations!

15. Monster Jam at The Schottenstein Center

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: 555 Borror Dr., Columbus, OH 43210

This action-packed event includes monster truck racing and freestyle competitions!

16. Life at the Farm at the Orange Johnson House

When: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 956 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-885-1247

Join the Worthington Historical Society for the opening of the Orange Johnson House for the season! “Bring the Farm to You” will have farm animals on site for visiting and touching! There will also be hands-on activities for kids including pioneer games, Lincoln Log building, pioneer outfits and more! See the link for pricing. Members are free.

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ICYMI: Spring Break: 7 Things to do This Week in Columbus

*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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What Should We Do This Weekend? March 24-26, 2017

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1. Aladdin Temple Shrine Circus at Ohio Expo Center

When: Friday – Sunday, March 24-26, 2017
Time: Various times throughout the weekend
Location: Celeste Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.,  Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: To purchase tickets: 800-745-3000

This circus offers lots of fun including clowns, aerialists, animal acts, indoor carnival rides and more! The ticket window opens 1 hour before each show.

2. Spring Break Scavenger Hunt and Craft at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Friday, March 24, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111
Participate in a scavenger hunt and a nature craft! See more to do at Blendon Woods here!

3. Sesame Street Live at Palace Theatre

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 25 & 26, 2017
Time: Various times throughout the weekend
Location: 34 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

See all your favorite Sesame Street characters live on stage! Meet Chamki, Grover’s friend from India, and celebrate through singing, dancing and more!

4. Waffle Bar at Coffee Connections of Hilliard

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 4004 Main St., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-664-3993

There will be a waffle bar with toppings for $5 per person! Also includes juice and drip coffee! See more about Coffee Connections here!

5. Little Kids Fun Skate Pajama Party at Skate Zone 71

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

This event is recommended for ages 2-8 and beginner skaters! Wear your pajamas and receive $2 admission! There will be a free glow stick with each child’s paid admission and there will be 10 winners of the Going-to-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton! Fisher Prices skates are available and adults are allowed to assist children on the floor in tennis shoes!

6. HOOT Family Film Series at Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

Watch family friendly short films, enjoy music by the Shazzbots and activities in the lobby! This month’s theme is Spring! See more about this activity here.

7. PBJ & Jazz at Lincoln Theatre

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM
Location: Ballroom, 769 E. Long St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-294-5200

These Jazz concerts, designed to introduce children to Jazz music are $5/person with a family max of $20. Each child receives a PB&J sandwich, juice and a cookie! There are two performances.

8. Suzy Ultman Book Signing at Igloo Letterpress

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 661 High St., Ste B, Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-787-5528

Suzy Ultman’s new children’s book is called Masha and Her Sisters and you can celebrate at Igloo Letterpress with a reading, craft, and milk and cookies! Geared toward children ages 4-8 but siblings are welcome!

9. Grand Opening Family Fun Day at Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 4696 Cosgray Rd..Hilliard, OH
Phone: 614-528-4555

Admission is free during this Grand Opening celebration! The facility will be open for guests to see the facility and enjoy all it has to offer: Sports Performance, The Gauntlet, Football, Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball and Soccer! Register online!

10. Opening Day for Simply Rolled Ice Cream at Oats and Barley Market

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 25 & 26, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM both days
Location: 970 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201

Simply Rolled Ice Cream will now be rolling Thai-inspired ice cream every Saturday and Sunday inside Oats and Barley Market! This will be their first official weekend!

11. Fairy Garden Class at DeMonye’s Greenhouse, Inc.

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 25 & 26, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 2500 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 614-252-6046

Plant your own miniature fairy garden! Cost is $45/class which covers one fairy garden and supplies!

12. Ironwood Wolves presents Foxes in Folklore at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614.715.8000

Learn about the red fox and where foxes appear as characters in stories and fairytales! Also meet a fox!

13. KidX: Mad Hatter Tea Party at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Sunday, March 26, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240 (Center Court)
Phone: 614-846-1500

Join the Mad Hatter, the Bunny and Alice for a tea party! Get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny, enjoy tea time, create your own “mad hat” and play croquet like the Queen of Hearts!

14. Family Maker Date Night at Columbus Idea Foundry

When: Sunday, March 26, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 421 W. State St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-653-8068

Families can create a keepsake Family Casting by making a plaster casting of each person’s hands, entwined! Event includes one kit per family plus a meal!

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ICYMI: Three Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Liz Miller

*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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