5 Super Fun Playgrounds in Gahanna

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These 5 parks and playgrounds in Gahanna, Ohio will keep your kids entertained and having fun outside!

Gahanna, just east of Columbus, is home to a lot of really unique parks! If you live in Gahanna or you’re visiting in the area and looking for a place for your kids to burn off some extra energy, these 5 playgrounds will offer fun opportunities to do just that!

Round out a trip to Gahanna with a frozen custard from Whit’s or a cupcake from Small Cakes Cupcakery and Creamery! Gahanna is also home an Herbal Trail and the Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival!

5 Super Fun Playgrounds and Parks in Gahanna, Ohio: 

1. Friendship Park

  • 150 Oklahoma Ave., Gahanna, OH 43230

play structure at Friendship Park in Gahanna.

Friendship Park is a bright and fun playground with activities for kids of all ages. There is a fun twisty slide for the big kids, a small play area for the younger kids and a wall of hands-on activities for toddlers.

toddler play structure at Friendship Park in Gahanna, Ohio.

This is also the location of one of the Story Trails in Gahanna. You can walk through a path reading a story. The story changes annually. 

little boy playing on a wall of toddler activities at Friendship Park in Gahanna, Ohio.

2. Sunpoint Park

  • 670 McCutcheon Rd., Gahanna, OH 43230 

two boys playing on a wheelchair accessible merry go round at Sunpoint Park in Gahanna.

Within Sunpoint Park is a really incredible inclusive playground – Kaleidoscope Playground! There are fun activities for kids of all ability levels including wheelchair accessible play structures!

kaleidoscope playground at Sunpoint Park in Gahanna.

One of the newer parks in Gahanna, Sunpoint Park is a true gem for kids who might not be able to play on traditional playgrounds. Kids will also enjoy the hockey themed part of the park with larger than life sized hockey sticks to climb on!

two boys on a swing facing each other in Sunpoint Park in Gahanna.

There are some benches and seating areas that are covered here and restrooms are available. 

wheelchair accessible glider at Sunpoint Park in Gahanna, Ohio.

3. Hannah Park

  • 6547 Clark State Rd., Gahanna, OH 43230 

Hannah Park playground in Gahanna.

Hannah Park is probably the largest playground on this list (according to my untrained eye 😉 ). It includes play structures for older and younger kids and a wheelchair accessible glider. The tall, colorful flowers at the entrance make a whimsical addition to the playground!

people and kids on the playground at Hannah Park in Gahanna.

Hannah Park is also home to a story trail. Across from the playground there is a lake with a trail that includes a story. Walk from one display to the next to read the story! When we visited the story was about a young bee, but the story may change periodically.

two boys on the Story Trail at Hannah Park in Gahanna.

Hannah Park also has a really nice shelter that is available for rent!

4. Academy Park

  • 1201 Cherry Bottom Rd., Gahanna, OH 43230

play structure for older kids at Academy Park in Gahanna, Ohio.

At Academy Park in the northern part of Gahanna, you will be greeted by a large bumble bee! A sign next to the bee gives some educational facts about Honey Bees and honey as well as some tips for properly disposing of your litter in order to protect our local honey bees!

large metal honey bee structure in Academy Park in Gahanna.

Another fun feature of this park are the two dinosaurs that greet you at the entrance to the playground area! The playground has a large play structure with some tall and twisty slides. There is a tire swing, and a face-to-face swing so adults can face their infants when they swing.

kids playing on the playground at Academy Park in Gahanna, Ohio.

This park is part of the Big Walnut Trail that connects to the next playground on the list (Woodside Green Park). We did not walk the trail between the two, but Google maps tells me the the walk between the two parks is 18 minutes. (I’m sure that’s not toddler time.)

boy climbing on a playground structure at Academy Park in Gahanna.

5. Woodside Green Park

  • 213 Camrose Ct., Gahanna, OH 43230 

natural play area at Woodside Green Park in Gahanna.

When my kids got out of the car at Woodside Green Park, they said, “Dude, this park is sick!” Which made me briefly consider that perhaps they are too old for playgrounds. 😉 But they weren’t wrong!

This is one of my favorite parks that we have visited in Gahanna! I liked it so much there’s a whole blog post about just this park: Woodside Green Park in Gahanna is Fun for Everyone!

tunnel in the natural play area at Woodside Green Park in Gahanna, Ohio.

Woodside Green Park has a lot of great features. First is the Natural Play Area which consists of logs, rocks, tunnels, wooden play structures and play houses! It’s a really great spot for kids to use their creativity and imagination!

play house and tree stumps in the natural play area at Woodside Green Park in Gahanna.

This park is also connected to The Big Walnut Trail. There are multipurpose trails within the park. We walked a path behind the Natural Play Area to a bridge over the Big Walnut Creek!

large cardinal art structure and playground at Woodside Green Park in Gahanna, Ohio.

Woodside Green Park is also home to a more traditional playground that includes swings and a slide and lots of areas for climbing. There is also a larger than life Cardinal, along the same lines as the Honey Bee at Academy Park! There is also a catch and release fishing pond in the park!

These are by no means all of the playgrounds and parks in Gahanna. Do you have a favorite that’s not listed here? Leave a comment below to share!

playgrounds in Gahanna, Ohio

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Road Trip Inspiration: 5 Ohio Waterfalls to Visit this Year

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Waterfalls in Ohio? What? Yes, it’s true! This list will spark some road trip inspiration for your next Ohio adventure!

I say it over and over again! There is a lot to love about Ohio! One thing that might surprise you is that there are actually waterfalls in Ohio. Now, I’m not talking about Niagara Falls. But I am talking about little water falls that are hidden gems. You  might have to go just a little out of your way to find them, but they’re worth the trip!

Some of these waterfalls are part of a bigger destination. (Hocking Hills, for instance.) And some stand alone by themselves, waiting to be discovered just off the beaten path. 

Use this list as inspiration for your next Ohio road trip and check out one of these 5 Ohio waterfalls:

1. Indian Run Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Address: 700 Shawan Falls Dr, Dublin, OH 43017

Indian Run Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Indian Run Falls is just a skip hop and a jump from historic downtown Dublin. A hidden little gem off the beaten path, this Ohio waterfall is nestled in a small park.

Take the Indian Run Falls Trail to the observation decks that overlook the Indian Run Falls. The entire area includes .8 miles of trails, 2 shelter houses, observation decks and a pedestrian bridge. 

These pictures were taken during a dry summer. The falls can definitely get larger than pictured here. Despite what you see in these pictures, creeking, swimming and jumping off the falls is technically not allowed here. 

A small parking lot is available.

boy in creek area of Indian Run Falls

2. Cascades at Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Address: 405 Corry St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387

The Cascades at Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio

The Cascades are part of Glen Helen Nature Preserve, a nonprofit organization associated with Antioch College. In addition to the waterfall, there are several things to do and see within the preserve and there a few main trails to hike!

Take a good look at the map of Glen Helen and bring it with you! Don’t be tempted to park at the Raptor Center. Parking for hiking is not allowed there. The main entrance is on Corry St. and you can take the Inman Trail to the Cascades. The trail was made one way in 2020 so make sure to check the map for updates.

There are no trail markers on the path. Even though the trails are named and intersections are numbered on the map, there are no signs or numbers within the park so you have to pay close attention to where you are on the map!

Parking is available for $5 at the Corry St. entrance.

ohio waterfall in Glen Helen Nature Preserve

3. Upper Falls at Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking Hills, Ohio

Address: 19988 OH-664 Scenic, Logan, OH 43138 

the Upper Falls in the Old Man's Cave Area in Hocking Hills State Park

The Upper Falls at Hocking Hills State Park is in the Old Man’s Cave area of the park. Take the Gorge Exit Trail (one way in 2020) from the Visitor Center and parking lot. You will cross over the bridge above the waterfall and then head down to the base of the falls. 

The Old Man’s Cave Area is beautiful no matter what the season, but fall is just breathtaking! The entire area is a moderate hike with lots of steps! Within this area you can also find the Lower Falls and Brocken Rock Falls to add to your list of Ohio waterfalls!

A large parking lot (and maps) are available at the Old Man’s Cave Visitor’s Center.

Waterfall in Ohio in Hocking Hills State Park

4. Chagrin Waterfalls in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Address: N. Main St., Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

The Chagrin Waterfalls in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

These beautiful Ohio waterfalls are located in downtown Chagrin Falls, an adorable little town outside of Cleveland. There are viewing areas and benches on both sides of the river for viewing this waterfall in downtown Chagrin Falls. You can also view them from Main Street Bridge. 

Chagrin Falls also offers local shopping, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, restaurants on the river and a great popcorn shop!

Parking is available around town.

Ohio Waterfall in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

5. Hayden Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Address: 4326 Hayden Run Rd., Dublin, OH 43017 

Hayden Falls in Dublin, Ohio

Hayden Falls is a 35 foot waterfall that is part of the waterways of the Scioto River in Dublin, Ohio. Follow the steps and boardwalk to the bottom viewing area to see the waterfall. This is another waterfall that will look very different depending on the amount of rainfall the area has had in recent days.

There is a small parking lot available. 

boy going down the steps to the waterfall at Hayden Falls Park in Dublin, Ohio

If you’re looking for some more Ohio inspiration try out an Ohio beach or one of these fun activities to do with kids all around the state of Ohio! Or plan an easy day trip one hour from Columbus or less! I firmly believe you’ll never run out of things to do in the great state of Ohio!

Exploring Columbus with Your Kids

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5 Waterfalls in Ohio to Visit This Year

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How to Explore Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park with Your Kids

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Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park is the largest of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and features hiking, canoeing, fishing, a great Nature Center and bison who roam within the park!

Railroad Bridge in Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park is in the southwest corner of Franklin County and its heart is the intersection of Big Darby Creek and Little Darby Creek. 

This park, one of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, is full of things to do! Since it is the largest park, it can take several visits to see and do everything! We spent several years just entering two different entrances. It wasn’t until the summer of 2020 that I really made an effort to explore the park starting at some of the other entrances!

I’ve divided up this post into things you can do at each entrance. Use this map to explore the park. To date we haven’t even explored all of the park entrances yet! But never fear, I will update this post as we do!

The two entrances we used the most were Cedar Ridge and the Nature Center. After 2020, the Indian Ridge Area is now a new favorite! Check out all there is to do at this Metro Park and enjoy the beauty and unique activities each area offers!

Things to do at the Cedar Ridge Area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park:

This area of the park has a large parking lot, restrooms, a playground and access to trails.

Address: 1775 Darby Creek Drive Galloway, OH 43119

1. Darby Creek Greenway Trail

Two boys and dad walking Darby Creek Greenway Trail

The Darby Creek Greenway Trail runs for 5 miles beginning here and heading north to the Darby Dan area at the northern most end of the park. We frequently walk this trail between the Cedar Ridge Picnic Area and the Nature Center to view the bison at the bison viewing area. 

large tree at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

2. Playground

Playground at the Cedar Ridge Area of the park.

There are two playground areas here: one for older kids and one for younger kids. It’s nice to have the option of the playground here to add motivation for kids to make the rest of the hike if you’re coming from the Nature Center or the bison viewing area! There is also a picnic area here.

boy on the playground at the Cedar Ridge Area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

3. Bison Viewing

boy looking at the bison at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Take a walk on the Darby Creek Greenway Trail towards the Nature Center and you will come upon the Bison Viewing Area. During the warm months, this area is where the park’s bison hang out. (See the Nature Center area for winter pasture information.)

Seeing the bison is always the highlight of our visit to Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park and we hardly ever visit the park without at least attempting to see them!

Bison freely roaming at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Bring a pair of binoculars if you want to be sure that you’ll see them up close! Sometimes you luck out and they are really close to the viewing area. Other times they will be further away. But it’s always worth trying to find them!

If you’re not sure where they are in the park, check in with a park ranger or at the Nature Center. They will be able to tell you for sure. 

4. Observation Deck

view from the Observation Deck in the Cedar Ridge Area

To be completely honest I had totally forgotten about this overlook area until I was organizing my photos from 2015! Now I wish I had remembered to visit each fall since then!

To find the observation deck, you will take part of the Cobshell Trail which you can access in between the playground area and the picnic area. The trail is a .1 mile walk west towards Big Darby Creek. 

boy and dad walking on a boardwalk in Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Things to do at the Indian Ridge Area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park:

The Indian Ridge Area is one of our new favorites! With a playground, great creeking and shaded trails it’s a definite go-to area!

Address: 2705 Darby Creek Drive Galloway, OH 43119

1. Playground

Playground area at Indian Ridge Area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

The Indian Ridge area also has two playgrounds structures, one for older kids and one for younger. There is also a set of swings.

2. Picnic Area

picnic area and pavilion at the Indian Ridge Area

Near to the playground area is a picnic area and a small shelter with tables inside. With access to the playground and near to a great spot for creeking, this area is perfect for families to spend a day!

3. Creeking

Railroad Bridge over Big Darby Creek in Galloway, Ohio

There is a great creeking spot for kids off of the Camp Chase Trail. The view of the railroad bridge is striking and makes for a great backdrop to searching for crawdads and splashing in the creek.

There are also large rocks for sitting and watching. The large rocks came from “twin bridges” that used to span the creek here. Above the creeks there used to be a grist mill and the railroad bridge here is still in use today!

Creeking area at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

4. Natural Play Area

Natural Play Area at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

I’m listing this here because the Natural Play area is on the map here but we did not find this area to be like some of the other Natural Play Areas within Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. It was pretty overgrown and it was hard to see any open area for the kids to play from the trail so we did not try to venture inside. 

5. Terrace Trail

man and two boys on the Terrace Trail

The Terrace Trail makes a 2.1 mile loop throughout the Indian Ridge Area. We accessed it from the Camp Chase Trail which you will see behind the playground and picnic area by the parking lot. 

Just a short walk south and you will find another creek access point where kids can wade into the water. There is another entrance/exit point at the southern part of the parking lot (or you can just turn around) if you don’t want to hike the entire 2.1 mile trail.

Things to do at the Canoe Access and Ohio to Erie Trailhead Area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park:

This area has a small parking lot that is mainly for those accessing the creek for canoeing. There is also a sledding hill here but we have not personally used it.

Address: 8465 Alkire Rd Galloway, OH 43119

1. Canoe Access

canoeing access area at Big Darby Creek

Canoeing is allowed on the Little Darby Creek and the Big Darby Creek and this is the main launch area for canoes or kayaks. Throughout the warmer months, Columbus and Franklin County Metro parks offers public canoeing times within the park.

2. Sledding Hill

There is a sledding hill here at this area. As I mentioned above, we have not gone sledding here ourselves, but if you’re looking for a hill in the area this is it!

Things to do at the Nature Center Area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park:

The Nature Center Area has a large parking lot, access to trails and, of course, the Nature Center itself which is a gem!

Address: 1415 Darby Creek Drive Galloway, OH 43119

1. The Nature Center

Boy looks into the Living Stream inside the Nature Center

The Nature Center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park is a must see! The Living Stream is the highlight of the Nature Center. Kids can view live fish and turtles right at eye level. They can even crawl “underneath” the stream to see from the inside! You’re even allowed to touch!

boy and dad looking at a turtle in the living stream inside the Nature Center

There are also educational exhibits about local wildlife that are interactive. Many times there are animal pelts out for kids to touch and feel. Educational programing is held here throughout the year.

2. Riffle Run Trail

boy on riffle run trail

The Riffle Run Trail is a short .2 mile hike downhill to the Big Darby Creek. There’s a great view and the trail ends right at the water. It’s a steep hill – you’ll be out of breath when you get back to the top – but doable for kids.

When we hiked the trail in January, there was someone pushing a stroller, so I guess I should never say never, but I wouldn’t recommend taking a stroller since the hill is steep and the trail is gravel.

Big Darby Creek in the winter.

3. Winter Pasture for Bison

bison in the winter pasture at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

If it’s winter, the bison will most likely be in the winter pasture which is behind the Nature Center. There is an overlook deck at the Nature Center with binoculars which is a great spot for viewing them if they are there. 

Things to do at Osprey Lake Area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park:

Osprey Lake

This area of the park is a bit further south and may add an extra 10 minutes or so to your drive depending on where you’re coming from. I will say that this area felt a little more desolate than the other areas. There weren’t as many other people around, which, I suppose, can be good or bad, depending on how you roll.

Address: 5800 Harrisburg-Georgesville Rd Darbydale, OH 43123

1. Fishing on Osprey Lake

boys throwing rocks into Osprey Lake in Darbydale, Ohio

There are many spots around the lake that are great for fishing. Fishing is allowed here or anywhere along Big Darby or Little Darby Creeks. Anyone 16 and older needs an Ohio fishing license.  

2. Osprey Lake Trail

boys walking on Osprey Lake Trail

Osprey Lake Trail is a .5 mile trail around Osprey Lake. This is a pretty area with many spots for fishing. The trail is grass and gravel.

3. Canoe Access

Canoe access in Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

There is canoeing access to the Big Darby Creek in this area of the park. And if you just like to get down near the creek, this is a nice spot as well. Canoes and kayaks are also allowed on Osprey Lake.

There is so much to do at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park! I highly recommending trying a new entrance each time you visit! It’s so great to see new areas of the park and it almost seems like you’re visiting a new park each time!

There is even more to see and do than is listed here! Enjoy exploring new trails and treasures and let me know what you find!

Know Before You Go:

Address: 1775 Darby Creek Dr, Galloway, OH 43119 (This will take you to the Cedar Ridge Picnic Area.)

Hours: Open Daily from 6:30 AM to 8:00 PM

Nature Center Hours: Opens at 9:00 AM. Closing time varies depending on the season. (Nature Center is currently closed during the winter of 2021.)

Nature Center: 614-878-7106

Metro Parks Info Line: 614-508-8000

Looking to explore more Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks? Read more here:

Exploring Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park with your Kids

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Things to do at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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