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5 Fun Things to do with Kids in Bellefontaine, Ohio

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Just one hour from downtown Columbus, Bellefontaine, Ohio provides a fun, family-friendly way to spend the day!

Thanks to Logan County Visitors Bureau for partnering with us on this post.

I love discovering new (to me) towns that are easy day trips from Columbus! I am always happy to end up pleasantly surprised by the places we find within an hour’s drive! One of those happy discoveries happened this fall when we were invited by the Logan County Visitor’s Bureau to visit Bellefontaine, Ohio – just a tad less than an hour from downtown Columbus!

Downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

My family spent the day exploring the area including mini golf, pizza, and, of course, coffee! 😉 Plus we found one of the most adorable and inspiring toy stores I have ever been in! Set aside a day for a trip from Columbus to Bellefontaine and enjoy what this cute town has to offer!

buildings in downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

child in downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

5 Family Friendly Things to do in Bellefontaine, Ohio:

1. Logan County History Center

  • 521 E Columbus Avenue, Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311, 937-593-7557

Our first stop in Bellefontaine was the Logan County History Center. Housed in an impressive mansion, the museum was filled with a surprising amount of displays and things to see!

Logan County Museum in Bellefontaine, Ohio

Honda opened in Marysville in 1979 and opened another plant in Logan County in 1997. The Logan County History Center, in conjunction with Honda, celebrated 40 years of Honda with an ongoing display of cars, car parts and history. The display includes donations from the International Friendship Center, an organization created to support families moving to Ohio from other countries to work with Honda. The display includes many Japanese items.

Transportation Museum in Bellefontaine, Ohio

The Logan County Transportation Museum was added in 2014 and includes examples of transportation throughout history from Conestoga to railroads to planes. My kids enjoyed seeing the many vehicles on display!

plane on display in the Transportation Museum in Bellefontaine, Ohio

The museum is filled with rooms that rotate displays. Some of the displays we enjoyed were communication devices through the years, the civil war and old toys! (And by old I mean the 80’s and 90’s haha). There really is a lot to see here! It would be a definite stop for kids who love vehicles!

child inside the Logan County History Center


2. The Fun Company

  • 136 S Main St., Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311, 937-599-2993 

Inside The Fun Company toy store in Bellefontaine, Ohio

I’m still thinking about how magical this toy store is. What an amazing hidden gem just outside of Columbus! I loved how The Fun Company had little nooks and crannies for playing and reading. 

two boys inside The Fun Company in Bellefontaine, Ohio

Toys were out on display for kids to test out. The colors and decor in the store made it absolutely dreamy. Can I move in? My kids loved it, I loved it, it was a highlight of the trip for sure!

reading area inside The Fun Company in Bellefontaine, Ohio

Books for sale at The Fun Company in Bellefontaine, Ohio


3. Six Hundred Downtown

  • 108 S Main St Bellefontaine, OH 43311, 937-599-6600 

Six Hundred Downtown, pizza restaurant in Bellefontaine, Ohio

We stopped for lunch at the restaurant Six Hundred Downtown. The restaurant is owned by Brittany Saxton who is a 5 time World Pizza Champion. I can’t say for sure what that is, but it sounds like major #goals! She has also competed on Guys Grocery Games on the Food Network!

pizza at six hundred downtown in Bellefontaine, Ohio

The name Six Hundred comes from the temperature at which you bake pizzas – 600 degrees. The atmosphere in the restaurant is classic and comforting. It was great for kids and it would also be great for a date night!

boy playing with dough at Six Hundred Downtown in Bellefontaine, Ohio

We had garlic knots as an appetizer and a pizza for our main course. The pizza was VERY good.  The restaurant offers a kid’s menu and some of the meals do include a drink. All kids meals are $4.50. The best part for my kids is that they bring pizza dough to the table for kids to play with while they wait!


4. Putt & Play Golf Center

  • 209 W Columbus Ave., Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311, 937-404-1330 

boys playing mini golf at Putt and Play in Bellefontaine, Ohio

In downtown Bellefontaine you will find a fun indoor activity center called Putt & Play Golf Center. Inside they have a golf simulator, a mini golf course, laser tag and a virtual reality booth. We chose to play a round of putt putt golf! Indoor mini golf courses are somewhat hard to find so this was a lot of fun on a cold day!

boy and dad playing mini golf in Bellefontaine, Ohio

This course was unique because of its train theme! The course was fun and not too challenging for the kids. My kids are still young enough to get frustrated by really complex mini golf courses, but this one was just right! 

trained theme mini golf at Putt and Play in Bellefontaine, Ohio

train themed mini golf at Putt and Play in Bellefontaine, Ohio

If you’re in the Northwest area of Columbus this might even work for a unique birthday party idea – especially if you’re having a train-themed party! There is a party room and Birthday Party Packages start at $12.99/person.


5. Sweet Aromas

  • 120 Court Ave., Bellefontaine, OH, 937-599-CAFE

kids at Sweet Aromas Coffee shop in downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

We stumbled upon Sweet Aromas after we came out of the toy store! My husband and I got an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of caffeine! I’m always thrilled to find local coffee shops when we visit new cities. This one  had a large seating area, cute decor and fun gift items for sale! 

merchandise for sale at Sweet Aromas coffee shop in downtown Bellefontaine, ohio

Sweet Aromas, Six Hundred Downtown, Putt & Play and The Fun Company are all within walking distance in downtown Bellefontaine so any of these stops  would be great paired together!


6. Marie’s Candies

  • 311 Zanesfield Rd., West Liberty, OH 43357, 937-465-3061

Marie's Candies in West Liberty, Ohio

I’ve added a bonus stop to the list! It’s a bonus because it’s not in Bellefontaine so it requires and extra 10-15 minutes of driving to West Liberty, but it’s worth it! There are a lot of fun and unique candy items for sale here and everyone who comes into the store gets a free sample. They even let us sample other candies that were for sale behind the counter before we made our decisions!

inside Marie's Candies in West Liberty, Ohio

We picked up a Christmas gift, jelly beans for the boys and I got the most amazing maple cream candies! I’m thinking I need to drive back for some more ASAP!


Bottom line: Just an hour from Columbus, a day trip to Bellefontaine, Ohio with your kids will be filled with surprising finds, yummy treats and lots to explore! Put this one on your list!

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5 Fun Things to do with Kids in Bellefontaine, Ohio, Family Friendly Things to do in Bellefontaine, Ohio, Road Trip from Columbus, Ohio

 


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Exploring Ohio with Kids: Bellevue

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This post has kind of been a long time coming! We did this late last summer and it seemed too late to post it, so I’m sharing it with you now as an idea for a fun road trip this summer! Bellevue, Ohio is a small Lake Erie town about 2 hours from downtown Columbus. We spent a week at Sandusky Bay and this is how we spent one of our days. It could be done in a one day road trip or you could spend the night somewhere near Sandusky and also visit the African Wildlife Safari Park!

Here are 3 activities that will fill your day in Bellevue, Ohio!

1. Jungle Junction

110 Cherry Blvd. Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-484-5532

Jungle Junction claims to be the largest indoor play structure in Ohio. I cannot verify this, but I will take their word for it! 🙂 This play area is designed for kids ages 12 and under and you must wear socks. I forgot socks and I was able to purchase a pair at the counter.

Around the periphery of the main play area is a toddler play area with animals to climb and slide on.

My kids had spent a lot of time in the toddler area until they gained the courage to enter the Tree Top Play area!

Inside the Tree Top Play area there are lots of climbing structures, slides, tunnels, etc. There are also air cannons that shoot plastic balls all around the area. (If your kids are sensitive to this kind of thing, they do have a Sensory Day on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM where the air cannons cannot be used.) My oldest is sensitive to noise and it took him a while to get used to the noise and have the courage to go inside!

Admission is for the day, so you can come and go with a stamp on your hand. There is no charge for parents/caregivers and the price for children (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • Children 1 and under: $2
  • Ages 2-12: $6
  • Twilight Special – $4 (After 5:00 PM, Monday-Thursday)

2. Bone Boy’s BBQ

109 W. Main St., Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-483-7447

We’ve only eaten at one restaurant in Bellevue, but I can highly recommend this one if you like BBQ and it is kid friendly! I loved to see the meat being grilled right out back of the restaurant!

A big bonus here is that kids under 5 eat free!

Yum!

3. Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum

253 Southwest St., Bellevue, Ohio 44811
Phone: 419-483-2222

Wow. I took a lot of pictures here! There is SO MUCH to see! If you have kids that love trains, they will be in heaven at this museum! The museum is open every day from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and on weekends during May, September and October.

You buy your tickets in the gift shop – and then try to tear the kids away from the play area so you can see the actual museum! 😉

This museum is very hands on! It has an indoor and an outdoor area. You can walk through train cars, climb into the cabs and see historical artifacts.

The outdoor portion of the museum is across the street and there are many trains to climb into. Many of the trains have displays for viewing inside.

Admission (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • $10.00 Adults
  • $9.00 Senior (60+)
  • $5.00 Children (5-12)
  • Under 5 FREE

We played at Jungle Junction in the morning, had lunch and then headed over to the Railroad Museum for the afternoon. With kids under 5 (at the time), we didn’t even have to spend that much money! It was a full day, and as you can imagine, the boys looked like this on the way back to where we were staying:

We love to spend time around Lake Erie! Do you have a favorite place to visit there?

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ICYMI: Columbus Zoo: Little Explorers Base Camp


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A Day on the Farm: 5 Things to do at Stratford Ecological Center

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A friend and I took our kids to Stratford Ecological Center one afternoon in early June. It was a bright sunny day which made for a beautiful 30 minute drive to Delaware County. I took my oldest son, who, on the drive, became obsessed with the idea of being in the woods  (though he kept calling it “the wood,” as in, “are we in the wood now mommy?”) I think what he really meant was “wow, look at all these trees!” And when we turned into the driveway for the center it looked like this:

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And then yes, I could definitively say we were in “the woods”.  😉 We drove back through the property and arrived at the visitor’s center. Though the property managed by the Stratford Ecological Center is 236 acres, we spent about two hours just wandering through the small, educational farm. When visiting, you’re free to roam about the property at your own pace. Here are 5 things you can do!

1. Visit the animals in the barn

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The day we visited, there was a farm camp for kids going on. These camps are week-long day camps for kids ages 3-12. We got in on a goat-milking session with some of the kids.  (haha – no pun intended. 😉 )

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In the barn, there were also goats, sheep, a llama and a few barn cats that the kids went crazy trying to pet. Outside the barn, there were cows in the pasture, chickens and baby chicks, a rooster, a rabbit, and a mama with her baby goats.

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(I swear, the wearing of the tractor shirt was a total coincidence, I’m not THAT coordinated!)

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This is the famous unfriendly rooster. (That’s what the sign says, I’m not just being mean.) It’s famous at our house because whenever we talk about the farm, this is pretty much always what Jaden brings up. These are the things that leave impressions on kids!

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2. Walk out to the pond

Make sure you take a walk out to the pond. We got directions from the friendly staff inside the visitor’s center. It’s a short walk, though this path looks like it could go on forever!

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We saw birds and tadpoles and we could hear frogs croaking around the pond.

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It was beautiful and peaceful.

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As a bonus, there are lots of farm machines/equipment to see on the way down the path!

3. Pick your own fruits and vegetables

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Since we visited in early June, the only crops available for picking were various kinds of lettuce. But throughout the growing season, you can pick and purchase your own organic fruits and vegetables grown here in the garden. Inside the center you can also purchase eggs, meat, honey and seasonal maple syrup. Anything that is not purchased is donated to People In Need, a Delaware food bank.

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4. Dig in dirt

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I’ll be honest, of all the things on the farm, this was probably the most fun for Jaden. He loves to dig in the dirt and there is a small shed full of shovels, rakes and hoes and a huge pile of dirt with a sign that says, “dig here,” which is pretty much every little boy’s dream!

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5. Attend a story time or family program

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We weren’t at the farm during any special programing so I can’t tell you personally about this, but the center does offer a story time on the second Tuesday of each month, March through November ($5/family). On the second Saturday of the month, your family can participate in chores around the farm from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM ($12/family). There are other special events scheduled this fall as well, so check out the event calendar here.

This is an outing is one you can totally do at your own (or your kids’) pace. The farm, garden, pasture and pond are all fairly close to each other so it’s doable even for small children (though not stroller friendly). Let me know what your kids enjoy doing on the farm!

Know Before You Go:

Stratford Ecological Center
Address: 3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-2548

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Visitors are encouraged to give a $3 donation per person or $6 per family.

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ICYMI: Your #newmain Library: Sneak Peek


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