The Unofficial West Side Ice Cream Trail

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The West Side of Columbus his home to several unique ice cream shops featuring soft serve, Mexican paletas, milkshakes and more!!

I love ice cream! So of course I have an ongoing list of ice cream shops to try around Columbus! When we moved to Westgate, we discovered that the West Side of Columbus is full of hidden gems when it comes to ice cream! Lucky me! Put these on your summer bucket list ASAP!

The Unofficial West Side Ice Cream Trail:

1. Cream & Sugar

  • 2185 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43223

ice cream cone at Cream & Sugar Columbus, Ohio

Any place that has an ice cream flavor called Exhausted Parent earns my business! Cream & Sugar on Sullivant Ave. is open every day from 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM during the spring and summer seasons. This is a walk-up shop with seating outside.

Kids Cones are just $1! Cream & Sugar makes a very creamy ice cream. I recommend kids get it in a bowl rather than a cone because its texture is so creamy that it needs more structure to hold up! Choose between soft serve and hand dipped cone options as well as a variety of other treats!

boy and ice cream cone at Cream & Sugar, Columbus, Ohio

2. La Plaza Tapatia

  • 255 Georgesville Rd., Columbus, OH 43228

La Plaza Tapatia moved to a brand new location in 2021! This location has an expanded grocery store, tons of prepared Mexican specialty foods, a coffee bar, a food truck pad, a candy shop and Titi’s Heladitos: an ice cream shop within the store!

There are tons of ice cream and paleta flavors, all of them bright and beckoning! How to decide?! Grab a snack and head out to the patio to enjoy it or peruse this massive Mexican market for more tasty finds! It’s a gem!

Looking for more unique things to do in Columbus? Read Off the Beaten Path: 15 Unique Things to do in Columbus Ohio!

3. Dulce Vida Ice Cream Factory

  • 4201 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228

boy eating ice cream at Dulce Vida West, Columbus Ohio

This bright and colorful place is one of our favorites! My whole family loves the paletas here and there are also lots of flavors of hand dipped ice cream to choose from! Dulce Vida West offers a lot of indoor seating and some other food options as well! 

Oreo Paleta at Dulce Vida West, Columbus, Ohio

My kids are always choosing the most brightly colored paleta but I’m a sucker for the Oreo flavor!

4. Hilltop Dairy Twist

  • 2860 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43204

Hilltop Dairy Twist, Columbus, Ohio

I love Hilltop Dairy Twist because it’s your classic, no frills dariette. This was the kind of thing I grew up with in Wayne County, Ohio – locally owned dariettes serving soft serve, flurries and sundaes plus a whole menu of food options!

I couldn’t find anything like this in Columbus until I drove past Hilltop Dairy Twist one day while working! The sign outside boasted 40 flavors of soft serve and I knew I had to check it out! Just on the edge of Westgate, I am thrilled to be able to make this an affordable go-to ice cream spot! 

boy eating ice cream at Hilltop Dairy Twist, Columbus, Ohio

This is a walk up spot with outdoor seating. Cash only!

5. Tony’s Coneys

  • 5266 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228

ice cream shop at Tony's Coneys, Columbus, Ohio

You might not guess that Tony’s Coneys serves ice cream, but inside the restaurant, there is a separate room just for the ice cream shop! Not only does Tony’s serve, well, coneys, they have a pretty extensive menu of food! There is indoor and outdoor seating and a walk up option. Soft serve cones for kids are $1 and I HIGHLY recommend the chocolate malt milkshake! Yum!

boy eating ice cream at Tony's Coneys, Columbus, Ohio

6. Double Happy

  • 1280 Brown Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43223 

milkshake at double happy, columbus, ohio

This place is a total hidden gem! A walk-up ice cream shop that sells an absurdly long list of milkshakes! (Not that I’m complaining!) The list of hand blended milk shakes includes unique flavors like Banana Jam, Apple Mint, Pina Colada, Espresso, Raspberry Chai, Elvis Special and more! Or you can go out on a limb and create your own flavor combination!

boys drinking milkshakes at Double Happy, Columbus, Ohio

I chose the Espresso milk shake which is made with Stauf’s Espresso syrup and vanilla ice cream! My boys chose blue cotton candy because that’s what they do every. single. time.

The shop sells more than just milkshakes! Coffee, sundaes, and soft serve are also available as well as lunch options like chicken wraps and chicken and waffles!

7. El Ranchito Artisan Ice Cream and Snacks

  • 1275 Brown Rd, Columbus, OH 43223

El Ranchito, Columbus, Ohio

Situated right across the street from Double Happy is a new (opened in July 2019) Mexican ice cream shop! This shop is right next door to El Ranchito Taqueria and serves handmade ice cream and paletas! The shop does not have inside seating but there is an attached porch with several tables and chairs.

ice cream cone at El Ranchito, Columbus, Ohio

I always love the fun and colorful ice cream selections at Mexican ice cream shops. Paletas are my favorite, but I’ve been on a cookies and cream streak lately. It’s not too original, but it’s tasty!

You might also want to check out 5 on Friday: Unique Ice Cream Spots to add to your list! 😉

Need even more ideas? Check out Over 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio

Exploring Columbus with Your Kids

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Save this post!Tres Marias at La Plaza Tapatia



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What Should We Do This Weekend? September 15-17, 2017

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1. Storytime with Kara at ME and the Moon

When: Friday, September 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 15 N. Westmoor Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Phone: 614-570-1124

Me and the Moon is a new children’s consignment store and they will be hosting Storytime with Kara every 1st and 3rd Friday at 10:00 AM. There will be stories, songs, and games for the children, and parents can sip tea and shop! Afterwards there will be a pop-up book shop! This Friday’s theme is Counting and Colors!

2. Parent & Me Art with Picassos at Tree of Life Play + Cafe

When: Friday, September 15, 2017
Time: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Location: 3708 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-363-4041

Picassos Art Studio will be hosting a morning art project for parent and child! All supplies are included for $20. Must register online.

3. mrly pop-up shop at The Hart Room

When: Friday, September 15, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 152 Mill St., Suite #2, Gahanna, OH 43230
Phone: 614-321-2429

Check out this new, local kids clothing company at their first ever pop-up shop in the new creative space in downtown Gahanna, The Hart Room. This family-friendly event offers the opportunity to check out their new clothing line in person! There will be a live DJ, free donuts and balloons, and all items will be 10% off! Also on site will be Nonna’s Meatball Truck and Blank Slate Coffee!

4. Visit with Max, the K9 Dog at Grove City Library

When: Friday, September 15, 2017
Time: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Location: 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-875-6716

Come visit Max, the Grove City Police Department’s K9 dog, hear stories and ask a police officer any questions you may have!

5. SING + Bexley’s Got Talent! at The Main Event

When: Friday, September 15, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Location: 2242 E Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-559-4200

This fun evening includes a talent show, the movie Sing, food trucks, coloring station and crafts with Piccadilly and lawn games with Bexley Rec! The talent show starts at 6:00 PM and the movie starts at 7:45 PM.

6. Sunset Cinema at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Friday, September 15, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-846-1500

Each Friday night in September, Polaris Fashion Place will be showing a family friendly film with free activities beforehand! This week is Mulan and Mulan will be there in person! Bring a lawn chair or blanket to the outdoor area. Activities begin at 7:00 PM and the movie starts at 7:45 PM.

7. Birthday Bash 2017 at Level One Bar + Arcade

When: Friday-Sunday, September 15-17, 2017
Time: Beginning Friday at 8:00 PM through Sunday at 6:00 PM
Location: 130 Hutchinson Ave., Columbus, OH 43235
Phone: 614-681-0518

Celebrate the 2nd birthday of Level One Bar + Arcade with a kick off party including food truck and drink specials, a Mario Kart 64 tournament open to all ages on Saturday and a pinball tournament and Mario Kart tournament for the kids on Sunday with prizes!

8. Cartoon Weekend at the Columbus Zoo

When: Saturday & Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM both days
Location: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3400

Cartoon Weekend features your favorite characters from past and present cartoons including PJ Masks, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck! On Sunday, the Columbus Symphony will perform a Toons Concert featuring music from popular cartoons including a meet and greet with cartoon characters. There is an additional charge for this after-hours concert. See the link for all the details.

9. Delaware County Fair

When: Saturday-Saturday, September 16th – 23rd, 2017
Time: See Schedule
Location: 236 Pennsylvania Ave., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740 362-3851

This county fair includes exhibitions, rides, food, animals and entertainment such as DinosaurXperiencce, Magic Show, Mini Tractor Pull, hot dog eating contest, music and more!

10. Apple Harvest Open House at Hirsch Fruit Farm

When: Saturday & Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017
Time: Sat: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sun: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 12846 State Route 772, Chillicothe, OH 45601
Phone: 740-775-7055

If you’re looking for a short road trip this weekend, this Annual Apple Harvest Open House includes orchard tours, horse-drawn wagon rides, apple butter making pick your own apples, food, face painting, apple and cider tasting, make-your-own scarecrows, round bale romp, mini maze and more! Admission is free but parking is $8 and proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity!

11. 22nd Annual Wool Gathering at Young’s Dairy Farm

When: Saturday & Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017
Time: Sat: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sun: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, OH 45387
Phone: 937-325-0629

Another road trip option this weekend is this festival of fibers which includes lots of wool-bearing animals, shearing demonstrations, wool spinning, weaving and over 100 vendors! Admission is free!

12. Arts in the Alley in Grove City Town Center

When: Saturday & Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017
Time: Sat: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Sun: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Broadway and Park Streets, Downtown Grove City

This annual event includes concessions, juried artists and crafters, a community mural, demonstration tent and parade! Live entertainment includes the Grove City High School Marching band, cloggers, choirs and more! There will also be tethered balloon rides and a Kids’ Fun Street area which includes rock decorating, lots of craft opportunities for kids, a bounce castle, temporary tattoos and a corn pit!

13. Off the Beaten Path Pokémon Hunt in Uptown Westerville

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Uptown Westerville

Follow clues to catch pocket monsters around Uptown Westerville! Tickets are available online. Each registered player will receive one 4″ Pokéball and at least 8 1″ Pokémon figures. Players who complete the scavenger hunt will also be entered into a raffle to win prizes!

14. Family Creekin’ at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 1775 Darby Creek Dr., Galloway, OH 43119
Phone: 614-370-6254

Meet at the Ranger Station to spend time in Big Darby Creek where you can catch and release various water creatures!

15. Clintonville’s 170th Birthday Cake at Mozart’s

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 4784 N High St., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-268-3687

Mozart’s is celebrating Clintonville’s 170th birthday with a humungous birthday cake! This cake will be one of the largest sheet cakes in the Midwest! There will be a celebratory cake cutting at 4:00 PM, live music, a champagne toast and a free slice of cake! This event is part of the Experience Clintonville Days event going on this weekend.

16. Powell Street Market in Downtown Powell

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Downtown Powell

This is the last Street Market of the year! There will be over 100 vendors, food trucks and pony rides!

17. Sensory Friendly Films at Gateway Film Center

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

The Ohio State University Nisonger Center and Gateway Film Center host this sensory friendly screening of Stuart Little which includes a lower volume and the lights kept up. Tickets are free!

18. Fall Fun Crafternoon at Naturally Curious Kids

When: Sunday, September 17 2017
Time: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 13 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-568-8590

Stop in anytime between 1:30 and 3:00 PM to make a fun fall craft! Read more about Naturally Curious Kids here!

19. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Party at Bexley Library

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: 2411 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-231-2793

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with real-life fantastic beasts, Ollivander’s wand shop and lots more at the Bexley Library! Travel across the street to Gramercy Books and Kittie’s Cafe for even more fun and prizes! Dress in your best costume for a costume contest!

20. Canoe Float at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: 1775 Darby Creek Dr., Galloway, OH 43119
Phone: 614-370-6254

Take a canoe ride on the lake! Children can ride if they fit into a life jacket! Meet at Pleasant Valley Bulletin Board.

Thanks to mrly for sponsoring this post!

mrly is a brand new kidswear clothing company based right here in Columbus, Ohio. In an industry filled with bright colors and patterns, we stand for high-quality, super comfy, everyday clothes that allow a kid’s personality to do the talking. All of our clothes are easy to mix-and-match and the gender neutral colors allow you to hand them down to any younger siblings or friends. We source the best textiles from Japan and proudly manufacture right here in the USA.

Helping families in need is important to us, which is why we’ve partnered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Laundry services are one of the biggest expenses for them and we are proud to announce that we will be donating one load of laundry for every item purchased. Each and every load makes a difference.

Make sure to catch their pop-up this Friday night at the Hart Room!

Want to sponsor What Should We Do This Weekend? Click here!


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ICYMI: 6 Central Ohio Metro Park Playgrounds

*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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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

ICYMI: 5 on Friday: Unique Ice Cream Spots

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