Pickaway Place Brings A Slew of Unique Opportunities a Bit Closer to Home

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Do you live on the south end of Columbus or in Pickaway County and the surrounding areas? You’re gonna want to check out Pickaway Place: a one-stop shop for events, community gatherings and enrichment opportunities!

frisbee at Pickaway Place

What is Pickaway Place?

Part community center, part party center, Pickaway Place in South Bloomfield is positioned to be “THE” place to be in Pickaway County! Owner Kim  Miller has taken on the huge task of bringing a tremendous amount of classes, programming and enrichment options to Pickaway County! Where once families might have to drive up to an hour to attend a theatre performance or a STEM Class, thanks to Pickaway Place, they can now find these options close to home!

basket of toys at Pickaway Place

An impressive list of community partners have signed on to bring these opportunities to Pickaway Place including CATCO is Kids, Columbus Children’s Theater, Ruling Our Experiences (ROX), OASIS, Youth Yoga Project and so much more!

There’s a lot going on at Pickaway Place and you can see it in their mission statement:

“Our mission is to provide the community with a wellspring of classes, programs and activities to support personal growth and well-being; while also providing our community a destination for birthday parties, graduation parties and a place for life’s other celebrations.”

welding project at Pickaway Place

While certainly convenience is going to be a major factor for families and adults living on the south side of Route 70, all are welcome at Pickaway Place! There are no membership fees, but families can create an account for easy registration and enrollment in programs and activities! 

event rental space at PIckaway Place

I took a trip to Pickaway County to visit Pickaway Place and I came away really excited for all that this space is becoming! Read on for all that Pickaway Place has to offer!

What does Pickaway Place have to offer?

1. Community Spot

toddler play area at Pickaway Place

There is something for everyone at Pickaway Place! In addition to classes provided by outside partners, Pickaway Place offers some of their own programming as well! Toddler Explorer Club, Toddler Open Play and Family Adventure Club are some of the regularly scheduled activities. 

Pickaway isn’t just for the toddler set either! There is adult yoga, programs for senior citizens, classes for becoming a better babysitter, Zumba, a space for batting practice and more!

2. Classes and Events with Community Partners

An extensive list of community partners are bringing their opportunities and expertise to Pickaway Place! Performances by Columbus Children’s Theatre, STEM classes with OASIS, building robots with Robot Academy, learning code with Code Monster, sports and fitness classes with JumpBunch, handwriting coaching with The Penmanship Lab, are just a few of the options available!

classes available at Pickaway Place

Now families in Grove City, Circleville, Chillicothe and other “south of Columbus” locales have a more convenient way to access these kind of options that may have previously involved driving for 30 minutes to an hour to experience!

Some of the classes happen on a weekly basis, some are a one time event. Make sure to check the calendar to see what kind of activities and classes are coming soon!

3. Birthday Parties

Birthday parties provided by Pickaway Place

Photo provided by Pickaway Place.

I know that families are ALWAYS looking for spaces to have birthday parties for their kids! Pickaway Place offers two options when it comes to birthday parties: 1. Rent the space and host your own or 2. Hire them to throw the whole party!  

tee pee at Pickaway Place

There are currently no less that 12 Birthday Party themes including Laser Tag, LEGO Party, Slime Making, Batting Cage, Toddler Toys, Movie Party and more! Current price is $215 for a two hour theme party for up to 20 kids. Additional add ons like Dodge Ball, all of the plates and utensils provided, etc. are available. 

4. Event Space Rental

event rental space at Pickaway Place

Looking for a space for a birthday party, baby shower, wedding reception, graduation party or corporate meeting? A large room at Pickaway Place is available for rent that seats 100 people at tables. The space can be broken up with moveable walls as needed.

event rental space at Pickaway Place

meeting rental space at Pickaway Place

There is a kitchen space available along with the tables and chairs that you might need. Smaller spaces are also available for meetings and WiFi is included. Prices are very affordable!

meeting room at Pickaway Place

5. Summer Camps

Summer is just around the bend and this is the time when families start to scramble for summer camp options for their school-aged kids! There are camp options for kids as young as 4 and as old as 18!

front door of PIckaway Place

Whole day and half day camps are available as well as after-hours care! Here is an example (but not an exhaustive list) of a few of the summer camps available throughout this summer (2019): (Click here for the full list of summer camp options.)

  • Rock and Roll (Ages 4-7) 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • World of Wizards (Rising 3rd – 6th graders) 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Little Veterinarian School: Healthy Pets are Happy Pets (Ages 5-12) 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Me & My Doll (Rising K – 4th graders) 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Electronic Lab (Ages 7-12) 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Can You Dig It? Fossil Hunt (Ages 6-11) 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Dragons to Unicorns: Fairytale Creatures (Rising K – 3rd Graders) 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Learn to Code iPad/iPhone (Ages 8-12) 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Want to sign your child up for a camp? See all the details including dates and cost and register here.

frisbees at Pickaway Place


Play space at Pickaway Place

I think it’s pretty clear: You belong at Pickaway Place! I look forward to watching this space flourish!

Know before you go:

Pickaway Place
5075 South Union Street
South Bloomfield, OH 43103

Hours vary depending on events and activities for the day. 


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What You Need to Know About Making Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist a Success!

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When should my kids first visit the dentist and what can I do to help them prepare? I’m partnering with River Park Dental to answer some of your questions about your child’s first trip to the dentist!

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here.

I waited, what I thought was, a really long time to take my kids to the dentist. I was dreading it, to be honest. My oldest son has some struggles with anxiety so I put off taking him, afraid that it was going to be a horrible experience. When I finally did take them, my oldest was in Kindergarten and my youngest son was 3.

kid getting teeth cleaned at first visit to the dentist

Thanks to the amazing staff at River Park Dental, our first visit to the dentist was 1000% better than I expected. It was so good, in fact, that my kids would ask when they could go back and when they did have another visit scheduled, my son woke up saying, “I can’t wait to go to the dentist!” Now if that isn’t a testament to the experience River Park Dental provides, I don’t know what is!

pictures of patients at River Park Dental

I want to use this post to answer some common questions about taking your kids to the dentist for the first time. Hopefully with a little preparation you can take your kids to the dentist with confidence! Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, or a dentist, and this advice was written in partnership with River Park Dental, but please consult your own doctor or dentist for advice pertaining to your own child!

When should kids first visit the dentist?

kids watching videos at first dentist visit

Missy, our dental hygienist at River Park Dental, recommends that age 3 is a great age to take your child to the dentist for the first time. Of course if you have concerns, by all means take your child earlier, but age 3 is when kids will start to be a little more open to the experience!

What if my kid freaks out and doesn’t cooperate?

Or am I the only one asking that question? ha! The ladies at River Park Dental have been around the block a few times when it comes to this teeth cleaning thing. In other words, this will not be the first time they’ve experienced a toddler tantrum when trying to stick their fingers in a child’s mouth!

Missy said, “Don’t be disappointed if the first visit doesn’t go as you hope.” “Don’t be frustrated,” she continued, “We don’t think anything about it. We’re not looking at you any different. We just go with it.” Basically, no judgement here. They’ve seen it all before!

What should I expect at my kid’s first dentist appointment?

At River Park Dental, they try to make the first (and every) visit as fun as possible and if the child is not cooperating, they aren’t going to push anything. The main goal is to try to at least get a good visual of what’s going on inside your child’s mouth!

kids picking from the treasure chest at first dentist visit

At River Park Dental, kids can choose a video to watch on the screen overhead. There are a lot of fun books and 2 iPads in the waiting room. At the end of the visit, kids get to pick a prize from the treasure chest! The whole experience is kind of a treat for my kids!

kid at iPad visiting the dentist for the first time

When should a child brush their own teeth?

I talked with Missy about this because, though my pediatrician recommends that I let my 4 year old brush his own teeth, I am still doing it. The dental hygienist sides with me! Missy told me, “Brush your children’s teeth as long as you can.” Baby enamel is thin and prone to cavities. She recommends children age 5 and up can begin brushing their own teeth but that parents should still follow up.

What do I have as proof of this? My 4 year old’s teeth had way less plaque on them than my 7 year old’s. So I’m continuing to brush. 

How do I prepare my child for their first dentist visit?

When you take your child to the dentist for the first time, the hygienist is going to wear gloves and a mask and it can be a little bit scary for kids. One way to prepare them is to read some books about going to the dentist that show a dentist with a mask and using some of the equipment they will see. That way your kids will know what to expect when they get there.

This is a sampling of some of the books that River Park Dental has in their office.

These books give a good overview of what it’s like for kids to go to the dentist for the first time:

going to the dentist book by mercer mayer

Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer

berenstain bears go to the dentist book for toddlers

The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist by Stan & Jan Berenstain

curious george goes to the dentist book for toddlers

Curious George Visits the Dentist by H.A. Rey

There is, of course, a Daniel Tiger episode about his first trip to the dentist! Check out the book adaptation here: Daniel Goes to the Dentist adapted by Alexandra Cassel

These books are geared toward elementary school kids and deal with loose teeth:

Loose tooth book for first readers

Freckleface Strawberry Loose Tooth by Julianne Moore (Step 2)

My wobbly tooth must not ever never fall out book

My Wobbly Tooth Must Not Ever Never Fall Out by Lauren Child

Loose Tooth Book

Loose Tooth by Lola M. Schaefer (I can read book)

These books talk about taking care of your teeth and why kids need to do so:

cutie sue fights the germs book

Cutie Sue Fights the Germs by Kate Melton

no place for sugar bugs book for dental visits

No Place for Sugar Bugs by Rose O. Waderya DMD


Sugarbug Doug by Dr. Ben Magleby (There’s also a Sugarbug Doug coloring book!)

The Tooth Book A guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller

Does my baby need to go to the dentist?

While it was recommended that age 3 is a great age to take your child to the dentist, there are some cases where River Park Dental can help your infant. River Park Dental performs frenulectomies and frenectomies for infants and children
“Tongued-tied” babies can struggle with bottle or breast feeding. Being tongue tied can also result in a speech impediment when kids get older. River Park Dental can perform tongue and lip tie revisions with a Solea laser right in the office.

What other questions do you have about taking your kids to the dentist?


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kids at the dentist

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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: MaryAllison Comfort

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

1. Cover to Cover Bookstore

This is just about the cutest bookstore I have ever seen and it’s weekly story time is a who’s who of preschoolers. If you know Clintonville, you may remember this classic bookstore located on High Street. A new and equally welcoming owner took over and reopened this gem of a children’s bookstore in Upper Arlington.

This little store is charming and the staff is ever so friendly. Picture a local version of The Shop Around the Corner from You’ve Got Mail! There are Saturday morning story times and even a Harry Potter bookclub for young kids. I took my kids to the Harry Potter birthday party in fact, complete with Bertie Botts beans! Bonus points that it is around the corner from a coffee shop, too!

2. Grandview Heights Public Library

I’ll drive all over Columbus to try out different libraries, but it turns out our favorite library is just a short drive away in Grandview. My kids love the iPad stations with a great selection of educational games. Even my youngest can gleefully bang on the screens and “play” a game. If screen time isn’t your jam, there’s an elaborate dollhouse, a train table, and so many puzzles! Is there anything better than playing with someone else’s toys?

While the kids play nearby, the local events bulletin board fills my social calendar, alerting me to new family fun. Whether our visit to the library is a short one or a “we’re leaving in five minutes” on repeat kind of visit, the outing is not complete without climbing the steps or (power) walking up and down the ramp over and over. When you have small children, it’s the little things in life that make for the best day, or at least it’s a sticker that can sooth a kicking and screaming child when it’s time to go.

3. “Kitty Zoo” aka any pet store

This is a genius parent hack that I borrowed from a friend. I wish I could say I came up with the idea, but it needs to be shared with all! My girls love kittens, cats, any passing dog for that matter, so they love to to visit the “kitty zoo.” We visit with the kitties, ooh and ahh for several minutes, come up with imaginary names for all. Then we make our way to the fish tanks, and the fish are almost as exciting as the cats with their bright colors and fancy aquarium decorations.

By this point, a brand new puppy or lovable big dog has made a visit to the pet store with their owner. We are the pet store’s unofficial greeters for all four-legged patrons. After all the excitement of watching the cats, fish, and dogs, we have spent a good thirty minutes in the store, which is exactly what this mom had in mind for a quick and free adventure.

MaryAllison Comfort is a work-from-home mom while she juggles the schedules of her first-grader, preschooler, and toddler. She has a health and wellness business that helps people take back control of their health, whether its through weightloss, healthy aging, or energy and performance. Follow along with @ma.comfort on Instagram for her adventures in parenting and nutrition-inspired living.


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ICYMI: Free Splash Pads and Fountains in Columbus, Ohio


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