9 Central Ohio Metro Park Playgrounds

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We love exploring the playgrounds in the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks System! Combining a nature experience, be it a hike or looking for creatures in the woods, with time on a playground makes a perfect outing for my kids!

The Metro Parks offer so many free opportunities to learn about and explore nature even though we live in an urban area. I am constantly surprised every time I visit one of our Metro Parks. I always seem to say, “I can’t believe this is here!” You hike down a path and come into some kind of clearing or lake that just takes you by surprise and there is no sign of the city to be seen!

Despite all those opportunities to get up close with nature, sometimes it also just helps to have a playground as part of the experience! 🙂 Not all of the Metro Parks have playgrounds and some of them have more than one! Here are 9 Metro Parks that have fun playgrounds for kids!

9 Playgrounds within the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks:

1. Scioto Grove Metro Park 

  • 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City, OH 43123

Scioto Grove Metro Park Playground Slide

Scioto Grove Metro Park Playground rope climbing

Scioto Grove is the newest Metro Park in our area. This playground is really unique – it’s made nearly entirely out of rope!  This is NOT a toddler friendly playground, though, so use caution! This playground is in the Arrowhead Picnic Area. Parking and restrooms are close by.

Swingset at Scioto Grove Metro Park Playground

scioto grove metro park playground

2. Scioto Audubon Metro Park

  • 400 W. Whittier Street, Columbus, OH 43215

scioto audubon metro park playground

playground at scioto audubon metro park

The Scioto Audubon playground is in the Central Activities Area near the rock climbing wall and a water tower where you can climb to two observation decks. There are three play structures here and a shaded picnic area. Bathrooms are quite a distance away, in the Nature Center.

Play first and then plan to head up to the Nature Center where there is an outdoor sandbox, an indoor play area and aquatic animals to visit.

playground at scioto audubon metro park

rock climbing wall at scioto audubon metro park

3. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

  • Cedar Ridge Area, 1775 Darby Creek Drive Galloway, OH 43119

playground at battelle darby creek metro park

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park has a couple of playground areas. This particular playground is in the Cedar Ridge Picnic Area. Parking and restrooms are very close. This playground has two structures: one for over 5 and one for under. There are picnic tables and pavilions close by.

Battelle Darby Creek is the Metro Park with the bison! It is possible to walk from the playground to see the bison, but it is probably around a half a mile, give or take. Definitely check out the Nature Center to see the living stream exhibit!

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Play area

battelle darby creek metro park playground

4. Rocky Fork Metro Park

  • 7180 E. Walnut Street, Westerville, OH 43081

rocky fork metro park playground

rocky fork metro park playground

Rocky Fork has another unique play area. It is a mostly wooden structure with steps, a bridge and slide. There is also a balance beam and some climbing opportunities! Nearby is a wildlife viewing area and picnic pavilion. Restrooms are close by as well.

rocky fork metro park playground

rocky fork metro park playground and picnic area

5. Blendon Woods Metro Park

  • 4265 E. Dublin Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081

blendon woods metro park playground area

Blendon Woods is another Metro Park with more than one play area. This particular play ground is in the Cherry Ridge Area near the Natural Play Area. My kids loved crawling through the wire tunnels here. Blendon Woods Nature Center has a great bird-viewing area and some hands on activities.

blendon woods metro park play ground

6. Homestead Metro Park

  • Homestead Metro Park, 4675 Cosgray Road, Hilliard, OH

homestead metro park play ground

homestead metro park play ground area

When it comes to playgrounds, I think Homestead wins the prize, hands down! It has a huge playground area! Not only is there a large play area, there is a train to climb onto, a train station replica called Bradley Station and a separate accessible playground with a train theme called Web Junktion. Train lovers rejoice!

There is a Nature Center at Homestead but the hours it is open vary based on ranger availability. Inside the Nature Center there are box turtles to visit! They do occasionally offer programs for toddlers here as well!

homestead metro park willard ohio playground area

homestead metro park playground train area

homestead metro park all abilities playground

7. Glacier Ridge Metro Park

  • 9801 Hyland-Croy Rd, Plain City, OH 43064

This new play structure at Glacier Ridge Metro Park was built in 2018 and is perfect for the wannabe Ninja Warrior! With a mini zip-line, climbing walls and a rope hammock, this playground is incredibly unique in the Central Ohio area!

glacier ridge metro park playground

glacier ridge metro park ninja warrior course

If you’re looking for a great Metro Park to explore, I found this one to be gorgeous! There is also a shelter with picnic tables and also information about the wildlife in the surrounding area. Also, don’t miss the watch tower where you can climb to the top to watch for birds and other creatures!

glacier ridge metro park play structure

There is also a more “traditional” playground in the same general area as well as an obstacle course!

glacier ridge metro park playground

glacier ridge metro park playground

8. Walnut Woods Metro Park

  • 6723 Lithopolis Rd, Groveport, OH 43125

walnut woods metro park playground

I love the playground at Walnut Woods Metro Park for the natural feel it has. It’s a small playground, but it’s unique!

boys rope climbing at walnut woods metro park playground

Rope and rock climbing are available, swings and a merry go round! Restrooms are close by as well!

merry go round at walnut woods metro park playground

9. Slate Run Metro Park

  • 1375 St. Rte. 674 North, Canal Winchester, OH 43110 

A new playground was built in early 2019 at Buzzard’s Roost Picnic area in Slate Run Metro Park! Also within the park is the Slate Run Living Historical Farm which will take you back in time to the 1880’s! You can visit with the farmer and his wife, meet the animals in the barn!

But back to the playground! There is a fun netted structure, a tire swing, regular swings and more!

Nearby are lots of picnic tables inside and outside of a large pavilion. Public restrooms are right on site, too, so it makes a great place for a picnic and play time!

Do you have a favorite Metro Park playground?

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Amazing Metro Park Playgrounds in Columbus and Franklin County

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Two Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids

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Around this time last year, I shared some of our favorite libraries for reading AND playing (here and here). Since then, we’ve got quite a few more library visits under our belt and I wanted to share them with you (two this week and two more in a few weeks)! If you’re looking to shake up the routine a little bit, branch out and try one of these fun libraries! (No pun intended! 😉 )

1. Bexley Public Library

2411 E. Main Street, Bexley, Ohio 43209, 614-231-2793

The Bexley Library is amazing for kids! I can’t believe I’d missed out on it for so long! There is a play area for kids that is huge! My kids could have stayed here ALL day!

Seriously, we need this play rug!

There’s a castle play house, a theater for puppet shows, a table for drawing, magna tiles, letters, dinosaurs, and the list goes on!

  

The library offers story times followed by play times in the play area for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. They also have a pajama story time on Wednesday nights and an Imagination Station on Friday afternoons. See the full calendar of events here. Plus Kitties is DIRECTLY across the street with my favorite chocolate chip cookie ever!

2. Grove City Library

3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123, 614-875-6716

The Grove City Library opened up in the fall of 2016 and we visited around the holidays. Another GREAT kids’ area here!

The space is large and open with lots of natural light!

The children’s area is called Harper’s Grove, named after Laura Harper, the president emeritus of the Friends of Southwest Public Libraries Board of Trustees. Her donation to the library was in honor of her husband and his aunt, Irene Harper who was the first librarian of Southwest Public Libraries!

Harper’s Grove includes, reading areas, a puppet theater, an interactive learning wall, light table, duplos, and baskets full of educational toys in the Play Corner!

The library offers several story times throughout the week, programs for teens and activities on Saturdays, too! See the entire event calendar here.

If you’re looking to shake up your library routine, these two libraries would make for a GREAT morning out with the kids! And don’t forget to check out Two MORE Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids!

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ICYMI: 2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids

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What Should We Do This Weekend? January 27-29, 2017

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I’ll admit to being really hungry when I made this list! It’s hard to say which came first, my hunger or the unusual amount of food related things to do this weekend! Regardless, I think this weekend is going to include BBQ, ice cream, pastries and waffles! 😉

1. Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big at Nationwide Arena

When: Wednesday – Sunday, January 25-29, 2017
Time: Various Times (see link)
Location: 200 W. Nationwide Blvd.,  Columbus,  OH  43215

Disney on Ice descends upon Columbus this weekend with several shows throughout the weekend!

2. Family Friday Night at COSI

When: Friday, January 27, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

On the last Friday of the month, COSI stays open late to offer reduced admission! General admission is $11 and includes a movie in the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater!

3. Grand Opening Weekend at Gramercy Books

When: Friday – Sunday, January 27-29, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM on Friday – 3:30 PM on Sunday
Location: 2424 E. Main Street, Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-867-5515

Kid-friendly highlights at the grand opening of this beautiful book store include a reading, meet and greet and book signing with children’s author Will Hillenbrand, live music and a visit from R.L. Stine, the author of the Goosebumps series! Tickets are sold out for the day with R.L. Stine, but check the link for all the other details of the weekend!

4. Waffle Bar at Coffee Connections of Hilliard

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 4004 Main St., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-664-3993

This special offering includes a waffle bar, complete with all the trimmings for just $5 – juice and drip coffee included! Plus upstairs there is a free kid’s play area!

5. Beauty and the Beast at COSI

When: Saturday & Sunday, January 28 & 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM both days
Location: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

Beauty and the Beast is the movie showing at COSI this weekend! Tickets can be bought in advance or at the door. $5 for members, $6 for non-members. (Also this weekend is opening weekend for the exhibit Mindbender Mansion!)

6. Hoot 71 Winter at Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1550 N High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-545-2255

The theme of this month’s HOOT Family Film Series is Winter! There will be child-friendly short films, activities before the show and music by the Shazzbots!

7. Mozart’s 261st Birthday Celebration at Mozart’s

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 4784 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-268-3687

Mozart (the composer) turns 261 and Mozart’s (the restaurant) is celebrating! There will be live music, complimentary pastries, special guests and more!

8. Thai Inspired Rolled Ice Cream at Oats and Barley Market

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 970 N High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-914-8624

Check out this unique rolled ice cream for a limited time at Oats and Barley Market!

9. Snowmen in the Snow at Grove City Library

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123

Kids ages 4-8 can celebrate the best parts of a snowy day: making snow people, doing science activities, and participating in indoor snowballing!

10. Small Steps Giant Leaps Book Release Party at Midwest Photo

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 2887 Silver Dr, Columbus, OH 43211

You may have followed @smallstepsaregiantleaps on Instagram, if not, check out the cutest pictures of Astronaut Harrison exploring Columbus and beyond! Their book launch party is this Saturday and there will be snacks, astronaut coloring pages, a rocket balloon launchpad and a Fujifilm Instax photo booth with helmets for the kids to wear! Click here to sign up for free tickets!

11. Kids Eat Free at City Barbeque

When: Sunday, January 29, 2017
Time: all day
Location: your local City BBQ

All day on Sunday get one free kid’s meal with each adult purchase of $7 or more – or take $5 off a Family Pack! Mention “Family Time” when ordering!

12. Kids Sewing 101 at Sew to Speak

When: Sunday, January 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 752 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-547-7380

Kids ages 8 and up can learn to sew a pillowcase. They can learn the basic operation of a sewing machine as well as basic sewing terminology and operation. Class cost is $35. Call to register.

13. Family Friends and Funday at Lifetown Columbus

When: Sunday, January 29, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 6220 E Dublin-Granville Rd, New Albany, Ohio 43054

The community is invited to this annual Family Friends & Fun Day which includes story time, music and movement, face painting, a movie and popcorn, crafts and more! Tickets are required for some activities and can be purchased at the door. Adults are free to enter.

 

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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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