8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Schiller Park in German Village

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Schiller Park in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio is home to a great playground, theater in the park and lots of opportunities for recreation!

Schiller Park in German Village, just south of downtown Columbus is Columbus’ second oldest park. The park was established in 1857 and covers over 23 acres. Schiller Park is a beautiful urban park with a lot of special features and events that take place there throughout the year.

Entrance to Schiller Park in German Village, Columbus, Ohio.

The park is a favorite of our family because it is equally fun for adults as it is for children. There is a great playground at Schiller Park, plus there are picturesque gardens, a pond and a lot of paved walking paths. Let’s explore some the fun things to see and do within the park! 

8 Things to See and Do in Schiller Park in German Village:

1. Playground

older kids playground area at Schiller Park.

The playground in Schiller Park has a play area for toddlers and a play area for older kids. My kids have always loved this playground because of the train structure!

As a parent I love this playground because there are a lot of mature trees which means shade! There are some picnic tables here and benches where parents can sit and keep an eye on kids!

toddler play area at Schiller Park.

The toddler playground area is mostly fenced in. The fence does not go all the way around, but it does add an extra bit of security for toddlers on the run!

2. Pond

two boys looking at the pond in Schiller Park.

The pond in Schiller park is always a favorite stop when we visit! The bridge across is a great place to stop and see the ducks and geese! Fishing is also allowed in the pond!

two boys walking over the bridge in Schiller Park.

3. Umbrella Girl

The Umbrella Girl statue in Schiller Park, German Village.

You’ll want to make sure to visit the Umbrella Girl statue in the northwest corner of the park. Take the path directly from the entrance on 3rd Street to find her! Umbrella Girl has an interesting history in Schiller Park beginning in 1872 with a statue of “the goddess of youth” and ending with the statue you see currently in the park, dedicated in 1996. 

4. Actors’ Theatre of Columbus

stage area in Schiller Park.

The Actors’ Theatre of Columbus offers live performances in Schiller Park throughout the summer weekends! Often the performances are adaptions of Shakespeare’s plays but other plays are also featured. See more info here

5. Walking Trails and Picnic Tables

people walking on a path and sitting at picnic tables in the park.

This is a great park for walking! The park is full of paved paths and is very stroller friendly! Throughout the park, especially on the north end, are many picnic tables. This is a great park for a picnic lunch or to pick up some food from one of the local restaurants and eat it in the park!

6. The Huntington Garden Promenade 

Huntington Garden Promenade in Schiller Park.

This garden is the heart of Schiller Park and meticulously maintained by the volunteer “dead headers”. The promenade leads up to the Schiller Statue (see below) and is a joy to see when it blooms! I usually have my kids with me when visiting Schiller Park but maybe one day I will come without them and just enjoy reading a book on one of the benches that line the path of the Huntington Gardens!

The suspended sculptures in Schiller Park pictured above are part of a temporary exhibit in the park by Polish painter and sculptor Jerzy Kedziora. 

Huntington Gardens in Schiller Park, Columbus, Ohio.

Along the pathway are quotes from well known authors and from the german poet, Schiller, whom the park is named after.

A quote by William Tell carved into the path in Schiller Park.

7. Schiller Statue

Schiller Statue in the park.

The Schiller statue was cast in Germany and is a likeness of the poet Friedrich von Schiller.

In researching Schiller Park, I learned that the name was briefly changed to to Washington Park during WWI because of anti-German sentiment as result of the war! Local residents requested the name be changed back after a couple of years. 

Schiller Statue from a distance and the Huntington Garden Promenade.

8. Sports and Recreation

Schiller Community Center.

Schiller Park is also home to one of Columbus Recreation and Parks’ Recreation Centers. Schiller Community Center is home to events, classes, a fitness center and more. The park also has softball fields, tennis courts and basketball courts. Combined with many walking paths, you can find many ways to exercise in Schiller Park!

Schiller Park is definitely worth a visit! There are a lot of ways to enjoy the park and there really is something for everyone! If you’re looking for nature, flowers, history, art or exercise, you will not be disappointed!

Know Before You Go:

  • Address: 1069 Jaeger St., Columbus, OH 43206
  • Park Hours: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Parking: Free street parking is available around the perimeter of the park and there is a parking lot available at the Schiller Community Center at the address above. Parking beyond the park in the surrounding neighborhood of German Village may be metered or permit only so play close attention to street signs.

More Parks to Visit in Columbus:

If you’re visiting Columbus, check out Over 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio! Enjoy your visit!

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schiller park in German Village, Columbus Ohio.

 


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Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio Brings Fine Art to Life

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Topiary Park in downtown Columbus is one of the most unique parks you will ever visit, bringing a famous painting to life in topiary form!

I consider Topiary Park to be one of Columbus’ most precious hidden gems! Unless you hear about it from someone else, you might not even know it exists! But once you find it, you will realize you are seeing a work of art that is a masterpiece!

topiary park in Columbus, Ohio.

What is Topiary Park?

Topiary Park is one of the most unique parks in Columbus. The park is a plant-based recreation of the famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. While the original painting  hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago, you can visit a larger than life creation in downtown Columbus!

a close up view of the topiaries in the park.

Where is Topiary Park in Columbus?

Topiary Park is just east of Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main Library and can be found at the corner of E. Town Street and S. Washington Avenue in the Discovery District of downtown Columbus, Ohio.

The park is adjacent to the library which is a gem in itself! Heading out the back door of the library and into the park is the perfect ending to your visit to the library!

umbrellas on the patio of the Main Library.

Or, if you visit the park first, head inside to the library and grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat at Carnegie Cafe just inside! Besides the tables in the courtyard behind the library, there are benches to sit on throughout the park and picnic tables for having lunch or a snack.

What is there to See And Do in Topiary Park?

Topiary Park (also known as Old Deaf School Park) includes hand sculpted topiaries of people, animals and boats.

Old Deaf School Park sign in Topiary Park.

The area has been a park since the 1800’s but the topiary part of the park was sculpted in 1989 by James and Elaine Mason, Columbus residents.

Topiary animals in the park.

Seeing these topiaries in person is a really cool experience! It’s just one of the most unique things to walk amongst these larger than life-sized creatures!

The topiaries take up just a fraction of the park on the east side. The rest of the park has paved paths for walking and is very stroller friendly. There is a circular path to walk within the park as well as off-shoots of the path that lead out of the park on the west side.

As He Saw It

a metal engraving of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte from the point of view of Seurat.

Don’t miss “As He Saw It” which shows the view of the park from the scene as painted by Seurat. The hills and the pond in the park are meant to resemble the River Seine. It’s fun to match up what you see in the park with the painting!

the pond and hills meant to symbolize the River Seine.

Concerts and Events

The park is home to PB&J Jazz concerts for children which take place in the summer months. Often the park also hosts outdoor movies in the summer and other special events and it is decorated with lights during the holidays!

Tips for Visiting Topiary Park

When is Topiary Park Open?

The park is open from dawn to dusk and is in full bloom from April to November.

Topiary Park in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Where to Enter Topiary Park

There are a couple of entrances to the park with the gatehouse at the southeast corner being the main entrance. I find it easiest to enter through the Main Library but if the library is closed, you can park on the street and enter through the gatehouse on S. Washington Ave. near Franklin Avenue.

Where to Park when Visiting

The easiest access to the park is through Main Library and parking is available in the library parking lot for less than $.50/hour. The parking garage is only available when the library is open. There is also metered parking available on the surrounding streets. The park itself is public and free to visit! 

a Topiary boat in the pond.

More Parks to Visit in Columbus:

You will not regret a visit to Topiary Park, especially during the months when it is in full bloom! If you’re visiting Columbus, check out Over 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio! Enjoy your visit!

two boys walking on the path in Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio.

 

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Topiary Park in Columbus Ohio is a hidden gem.

 


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Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City is Full of Hidden Gems

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Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City is known for it’s picturesque rope bridge, scenic overlooks and unique playground!

One of the newer of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, Scioto Grove has some unique features! Possibly the most famous is the Rope Bridge on the REI Trail. This bridge can be difficult to find if you’re not familiar with the park so read on to find out exactly where it is!

two boys walking across the rope bridge at Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City, Ohio.

Scioto Grove Metro Park also has a unique playground. It’s not your typical playground structure. This play area is made up of a rope structure and slides. It’s not safe for toddlers, but older kids will love the challenge of this play area! Don’t worry there are also swings and a round glider swing if you have younger kids with you!

This park is right along the Scioto River and canoeing and kayaking are an option here! There is canoeing access at the North and South ends of the park. See the park map here.

Read on to find out what there is to do in Scioto Grove Metro Park organized by area of the park!

Things to do at Scioto Grove Metro Park: Hickory Picnic Area

1. Fishing

At the Hickory Picnic area there is a fishing pond. There is a nice little deck on the water that is great for fishing. There are also spots along the pond where you can fish from the side of the water.

deck and fishing area at the pond.

The Overlook Trail borders the eastern side of the pond and takes you either to the canoe launch to the north or to a series of observations decks to the south.

boys along the edge of the fishing pond at Scioto Grove Metro Park.
2. Observation Decks

observation deck at the Arrowhead Picnic Area.

Follow the Overlook Trail south from the Hickory Picnic area to  a series of three observation decks.  Look out for birds and other wildlife! This trail is largely unpaved and can get muddy or wet when there has been a lot of rain.

You can also take the Multipurpose trail from the Hickory Picnic Area to the Arrowhead Picnic Area (see more info below). It won’t take you to the observation decks, but it is paved and you will end up at the same place!

Things to do at Scioto Grove Metro Park: Arrowhead Picnic Area

1. Playground

playground area at scioto grove metro park.

The playground area at Scioto Grove Metro Park consists mainly of this rope structure pictured above. There are two slides and lots of opportunity to climb! As I mentioned above, this isn’t a great park for toddlers but older kids who are a little more steady on their feet will love this one!

rope play structure and slides at the playground in the park.

tall blue slide on the playground at Scioto Grove Metro Park.

The rope structure is not the only playground equipment in the area. There are swings and a glider swing.

swings in the playground at Scioto Grove Metro Park.

2. Sledding Hill

Behind the playground and picnic area at Arrowhead Picnic Area is a sledding hill! 

3. Backpacking 

two boys playing at a backpacking site.

There are several backpacking sites in Scioto Grove Metro Park. Backpacking sites include a raised area for a tent and reservations can be made to spend Friday and Saturday nights between April and October. Make a reservation by calling 614-539-3339.

4. REI River Trail

boy walking on the REI River Trail.

The REI River Trail is a great path to hike right along the Scioto River. This path is not paved but is an easy hike. The trail begins at the far north end of the park and ends at the Rope Bridge which you can read about below. The entire trail is 1.8 miles long.

a father and son walking on the path at Scioto Grove Metro Park.

5. Observation Deck

a man and two boys on the observation deck in the park.

There is another observation deck at the Arrowhead Picnic Area. I love these peaceful decks for the opportunity they the offer to sit and observe nature. You never know what you might see!

Things to do at Scioto Grove Metro Park: Grove Lodge

1. Observation Deck

two boys looking over the observation deck at Grove Lodge.

Park at the Grove Lodge and head to the left of the lodge to an observation deck. What you see here will depend on the season and the leaf cover but it’s a nice entrance point to the REI Trail which you will read about next!

2. Rope Bridge

the rope bridge at scioto grove metro park.

One of the most unique things to see and do in Scioto Grove Metro Park is the Rope Bridge! This bridge crosses the Grant Run Creek. The easiest way to get to the Rope Bridge is to park at the Grove Lodge and take the REI River Trail south from the lodge.

the rope bridge across the creek at scioto grove metro park.

The Rope Bridge is just before the REI River Trail meets the Mingo Trail. The Grove Lodge parking lot is the closest parking lot to the Rope Bridge. 

the rope bridge at scioto grove metro park.

The path to the Rope Bridge is not paved and it can get muddy.

two boys standing at the edge of the Scioto River.

When you get to the bridge there is also a rock path crossing the creek. This would be a fun area for creeking!

stone steps across the creek.

Overall, Scioto Grove is a great park to visit with your family! With hiking, a playground, picnic areas and the rope bridge, you can easily fill a morning or afternoon with lots of fun outdoor activities!

Know Before You Go:

Address: 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City, OH 43123

There is one main entrance for the park and the road will lead to each of these areas.

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Scioto Grove Metro Park


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