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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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Lauren Goubeaux

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Each month I feature a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus!

Thanks to Lauren for sharing 3 of her family’s favorites with us this month – and because she’s a party planner, she’s sharing 3 of her favorite places to host a kid’s birthday party in Columbus!

There’s nothing more fun than planning my kids’ birthday parties. I know they love them and always have a blast, but let’s be real- as an event planner, I just might love it more! With having rambunctious boys, lots of friends/family, and a tiny house, I am always on the lookout for a great party venue.

Here are 3 of my favorite birthday party venues for kids in Columbus:

1. Recreations Outlet

We are frequent visitors to this place! It is a playset/trampoline/sports equipment showroom, where you can pay to play. Our favorite time to go is during their Charitable Play hours when we can get in for only $2 a kid.

We just hosted our son’s 4th birthday there in January, and it was the EASIEST party to throw! They have 2 party rooms available for rent. Each room has picnic tables and a counter to set up your food. 2 hour rentals start at $149, and include the party room and playtime for 15 kids. It was so perfect for a winter birthday because all the kids could run and play their hearts out!

2. Get Air

This is another favorite spot for our boys, and we visit at least a couple times a month. My nephew just had his 6th birthday party there last weekend. Let me tell you, Get Air knows how to execute a party! There is even a separate check-in desk for all the party guests where they pass out party socks.

They too have party rooms where you can set up decorations and drop off your shoes and gifts before jumping. They announced on the overhead speakers when it was time for our party to break for lunch. And after food, cake and gifts, there was still plenty of time for the kids to jump more! 2 hours of room rental and jump time for 10 kids starts at $199, including socks, pizza and drinks!

3. Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

Central Ohio has the BEST metro parks, am I right?! We have hosted almost every birthday party for my July birthday boy at a Metro Park.
These are so great because the price is right (free!), and there is no limit on a guest list. The only catch is that you can’t reserve most shelter houses and picnic tables. Just make sure to get there early enough to claim your space! A few of our favorites are Slate Run, Walnut Woods, Battelle Darby Creek, Homestead and Scioto Audobon.

If you need any more party venue suggestions, custom decorations, or help with planning an event- reach out to my event planning business LACE at or follow us on Instagram @lacecolumbus!

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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Aaron Taylor

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Each month I feature a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus!

Thanks to Aaron for sharing 3 of his family’s favorites with us this month!

3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Aaron Taylor:

1. Northwest Library

baby at Northwest Library, Columbus, Ohio

While our family loves the entire public library system in and around Columbus, our local Northwest Library branch of the Worthington Libraries is special. Baby and toddler storytimes are inclusive and energetic. Even better is that storytime takes place in a secluded area that is decorated like a forest of fairy tales. You have to see it.

My kids love the books chosen as favorites by librarians, and they inevitably flock to the puppet play area, too. The best part for moms and dads? You can reserve books online to be picked up at a drive-up window!

2. ZipZone Outdoor Adventures

Zip Zone, Columbus, Ohio, boy on course

My family loves the outdoors, and we especially love adventure parks and ropes courses. ZipZone is our favorite because they have a course designed and reserved specifically for kids ages 4-7. Not only are the obstacles fun and challenging, but your kid will be responsible for safety on the course, too.

I can’t say enough about the sense of accomplishment and independence your child will have by the end of their afternoon at the Kids Park at ZipZone. (I have a detailed article about the experience here if you want to read more!)

3. Hoot Studio

Hoot Studio, indoor play cafe, Columbus, Ohio

While we’d always prefer to be outdoors, let’s face it: our family will spend a ton of time inside thanks to Ohio weather and winters. With a ton of options when it comes to play cafes, one we have come to love is Hoot Studio in Powell.

We are always impressed by the welcoming atmosphere and the breadth of activities. While my daughter will immediately don a princess dress to play make-believe, my older son will stack the foam blocks into a great obstacle course that will, of course, end in a belly flop on the billowy crash pad.

With plenty of tables and sofas for parents to relax or for families to eat treats and a great snack bar (Crimson Cup coffee!), Hoot Studio is a wonderful play cafe to visit for those in and around Powell. (They do amazing birthday parties, too!)

aaron taylor photography

Aaron is a father of three, a teacher, and owner of Aaron Taylor Photography, a boutique family photography experience specializing in creating custom prints and heirloom albums. Aaron and his wife, Megan, love being parents and planning a life for their family that focuses on experiences and kindness.

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