Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Kids in Central Ohio

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These Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your kids from women-owned businesses in Central Ohio are fun, sweet, and, most importantly, delicious!

Guest Post by: Katie Sorokas

Valentine’s Day is all about loving on special people in your life and your little ones, tweens, and teens are no exception! Kids and teens alike will love chocolate, candy, a special shirt or craft, or bath bomb as a Valentine’s Day gift. And shopping local means loving on local business women and mamas as well!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Are you the type of person who goes all in on a family celebration with cupids, chocolate, and hearts? Or lets this holiday go by without a ton of effort and might pick up some discounted chocolate on February 15th? Maybe somewhere in-between with a dinner date for the grownups and pizza night for the kiddos?

While Valentine’s Day card and candy exchanges at schools may look different this year, you may be inspired to treat your kiddos to a fun and special celebration at home.

My little guy is just big enough to be talking about Valentine’s Day at preschool, and he is all about the red hearts and, most importantly, chocolate. We are always looking for an excuse to bake a cake in our house so we will be all forks into a decadently decorated cake on Valentine’s Day – and maybe a little treat yo self for the kiddos too! 

Rather than scoop up something from the Dollar Spot at Target this year, I am intentionally buying gifts and treats from local, women-owned businesses in Central Ohio.

Investing our dollars in our local economy, and especially to women-owned businesses, helps to grow both these entrepreneurs’ small businesses and keeps a workin’ mama’s dream alive another season. These dollars also stay in the local economy longer than a dollar spent at Target. 

Heads up – You may have to plan a bit more shopping local than you might at a big box store. These stores and shops are striving to make shopping local easy as pie (or cake!) with online orders and contactless pick up. Even if just a small part of your Valentine’s Day is full of small business love, you are rocking it by supporting a local mama and family. 

I hope these spotlighted businesses help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a little more love and fun this year! We could all use a sweet holiday filled with chocolate this season <3 

Valentine’s Gift Ideas For Tummies of All Ages:

Donna’s Delicious Dozen (Gahanna)

Checkout the yummy specials on Valentine’s Day donuts or (my favorite!) a DIY donut kit so you and your littles can decorate together!

Mara Bakes (Columbus)

Let Timmura, an award-winning baker with a home-based bakery business, make your Valentine’s Day a smashing success with a “smash heart” or paint-your-own cookie kit! She is also offering up cocoa bombs and tea bombs! Check out her social media for more details!

The Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Company (Westerville)

The ladies at The Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Company will set you up with all you need to host a delightful and sweet (or delicious and rowdy depending on your crowd of tiny humans!) tea party. They have everything you need to sip and toast to a day of loving on the special ones in your life. 

Foraged & Sown (Online)

Foraged & Sown can supply you with some yummy locally grown tea as well to fill your cup!

Valentine’s Gift Ideas For the Younger Crowd:

Wild Cat Gift & Party Store (Columbus)

With a section called “All Pink Everything,” Wild Cat has your Valentine’s Day decorations covered! And pick up a DIY coral reef crystal growing kit or dinosaur model kit for your little one while you are there!

City Folk Farm Shop (Columbus)

This family-owned homestead and farm shop will set your kiddos up for a Valentine’s Day outdoor adventure on the nature trail or a sweet garden to grow with love. Get your little ones involved in growing their own food right in your backyard (or on your windowsill!). Seed packets featuring a variety of pink and red fruits and veggies will fit right in this season. 

Valentine’s Gift Ideas For Tweens & Teens:

Natterdoodle (Columbus & Online)

From sweet cards to fun stickers for those Hydroflask water bottles to whimsical workshops, Natterdoodle has you covered! Natalie, the owner, has a mission to “sprinkle positivity confetti” around the world, and her art and style will do just that with your teenager! The stickers are adorable and sassy – and the workshops will be a win with your teen! My fav is the Virtual Intro to Handlettering workshop! 

Originalitees (Online)

Show Ohio and your teen some love with an Ohio proud shirt from Originalitees! This Ohio-based business includes a variety of tees in men, women, and child sizes. 

Earth Elements

Treat yo kiddo to a spa day with bath bombs, face masks, aftershave lotion, and more from Earth Elements (and might as well pick up something for yourself)! Simple, natural skincare products and toiletries made in Columbus will shower both you and this small business with love! Check out their Valentine’s Day Gift Guide online for more gift ideas too. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Katie Sorokas is a mama on a mission to raise up women-owned businesses in Ohio. Showcasing mamas workin’ their goals and chasin’ their dreams makes her heart grow almost as big as a giant box of chocolates. When she’s not having a dance party or on an outdoor adventure with her two little boys, she is writing at Realistically Aspirational and setting up her new Ohio mini-homestead. Follow her on Instagram at @Katie_Heartland and check out her musings on mamas chasin’ goals at www.realisticallyaspirational.com.


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Abby Hallstrom

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

3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Abby Hallstrom:

1. Blacklick Ridge Community Park 

boys holding a fish at Blackridge Community Park

My boys love to fish and spend time outdoors. We luckily found a wonderful park close to home that has a pond. Blacklick Ridge Community Park has a small catch and release pond at the back of the park. The boys love going here because they always have luck with catching several fish.

We also pick Blacklick Ridge Community park as one of our favorites  because of the fun community events that take place throughout the year. An Ice cream social, Hog Roast, and a Halloween party are just a few of the fun events.

2. Pickerington Public Library

Boys at Pickerington Library, Columbus Ohio

The library has always been a fun place that we enjoy going to as a family. The Pickerington Public Library Sycamore Branch has become the favorite one to visit for the boys. The kids section is top notch. Games, books, nature backpacks, and videos can all be checked out to continue the fun at home.

The cherry on top for Sycamore is the fun and educational programs they frequently put on for the kids. We have attended programs about reptiles, hedgehogs, and tarantulas. We recently learned the process of making apple cider, and have participated in a fun Noon Years Eve celebration with games, dance parties, and crafts.

I have also enjoyed being creative with a class by AR Workshop Pickergton and creating String Art, all for free at the library. Make sure to frequently check the events page or follow them on Facebook. They are always posting events and classes. 

3. Lego Store at Easton

Boys at LEGO Store at Easton Town Center, Columbus, Ohio

My boys are huge Lego fans and are constantly building and creating with Legos and Duplos. We are fortunate to have both LEGOLAND Discovery Center and a LEGO store here in Columbus.

We visit the LEGO store frequently for the free mini builds that take place once or twice a month. You can stop into the store or call at the beginning of each month to register for the free builds. On the night of the build you come, make the build, and take it home.

The store also has several LEGO stations out where the kids can build and create. One Monday a month you can bring in minifigures to trade with the employees.You can find the monthly events calendar online, or pick one up in the store. 

Abby Hailstorm, @Cbusboymomma
Hello! I am Abby and I am a momma to three amazing little guys, a wife to a pretty cool man, an educator, and an online small shirt shop owner. We love to explore and have fun in our city Columbus, Ohio. Being a momma of 3 and an educator for 13 years I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way. I love to share our adventures and activities on my Instagram @cbusboymomma or on my blog www.cbusmomma.comMy creative side can be found at my shirt shop www.cbusgalsdesign.com. Columbus is an amazing place to live, work, and play! I am proud of our great city!


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kid in Columbus: Amanda DeCastro

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

3 Places I Love to Take My Kid in Columbus: Amanda DeCastro:

1. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center

We are so lucky to have not one, but two fantastic Metro parks within a stones throw of downtown Grove City. Scioto Grove Metro Park has miles of walking trails, a fun suspension bridge, massive playground and more. But, with a two-year-old who has to touch everything – we love spending our days at the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Not only does Battelle Darby Creek have an incredible, super hands-on nature center, it also has miles of walking trails, a lake for fishing, dog swimming area and bison that roam the fields. Trust me on the Nature Center, it’s truly such a hidden treasure. Also, on your way out of town, be sure to swing by Mona’s Eats and Treats located just outside downtown Grove City for some yummy shakes and coneys.


2. Century Village at Fryer Park

Grove City’s roots run deep and we are proud of our heritage. Truly only one of its kind across central Ohio, Century Village is home to more than a dozen historical buildings – most dating back to the early 1800s. The majority of these buildings are original to early Grove City including a one-room schoolhouse, a small barn, a log house, a granary and more.

The Village hosts monthly open houses as well as their three signature events including the early summer Heritage Celebration, fall Old Time Harvest Day and Christmas Tour and Open House (which also includes stops at the Grove City Museum and Grant-Sawyer House.) While checking out the free open houses and events, be sure to enjoy the awesome bluegrass band  (Samantha’s favorite for dancing, of course.) And save the date – the Old Time Harvest Festival is coming up on Sunday, October 6!


3. Central Ohio Fire Museum & Learning Center

If you’re like me, you’ve probably driven by the Central Ohio Fire Museum in downtown Columbus and not even realized it. Samantha and I check it out this summer and we were BLOWN away. Between the incredible history of the building (I LOVE historical buildings), the fire prevention and education center, the historic fire engines and awesome kids space, we could have stayed all day. We loved it so we are becoming members and I seriously can’t recommend it enough!


Hi! I’m Amanda! I’m a full-time Momma with a side of leading community relations for a local TV station. My two-year-old daughter Samamtha and I stay Busy in Grove City, Ohio, where we live — so busy in fact we started an Instagram page dedicated to our life around town – @BusyInGroveCity. While we certainly take advantage of all Columbus has to offer – we are excited to share a couple of the hidden kiddo-friendly gems located in Grove City (and one of our favorite spots outside of Grove City, too!)


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