Exploring Grove City: Library, Lollipop Stop and Welcome Center and Museum

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{Updates: The Lollipop Stop unfortunately closed during the summer of 2016. The new Grove City Library was completed in October, 2016 and is now at 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123}

After a lot of sick days at home, I forced the three of us out of the house, into the snow and wind, for an outing to Grove City. I’m in a weird place here. You see, the two libraries closest to me are now closed for renovations. There is going to be a good 4 month overlap where I have no home library. I like exploring new libraries, to be sure, but I need a home base where I can reserve and return all these Lego books my son likes to check out and read 35,000 times!

Well, a few of the books had come due and it was time to venture out and return them somewhere. I chose the Grove City Library. Turns out Grove City is building a new library too! But luckily for us, in this case, the old one is still open! It looks like the new one will be awesome – so we’ll definitely revisit come summer!

The kids area is pretty low key here. There was no story time when we went, but they do offer several times during the week for different age groups. My goal here was to return books and spend a little time playing.


My boys did some puzzles and took turns picking out books and reading them in the large open area on these comfy seats.


One plus about this location is that the Police Department is across the street and you can look out the tall windows and see police vehicles, which is always a plus for my boys!


Look at the police cars!

I told the boys if they listened to me at the library, we would go to the candy store around the corner. So, of course when it was time to leave, my oldest yelled through the library to my youngest, “Come on, Mayson, Mommy said we could go to the candy store!” Now I am loudly pronounced that mom who might be bribing her kids AND lets them eat CANDY! “Shh!” I said, “that sign right there says to use your library voice!” (Luckily for me, that was true!) haha. Oh, well.

As planned, we walked through the wind and snow to the Lollipop Stop. Honestly it’s just 1 tenth of a mile from the library and totally doable, even in the snow! On the way we passed these cute puppies which were fun to “pet”.

The Lollipop Stop is a cute little store (so little, I left my umbrella stroller outside).


So much to see and lots of fun for kids to pick out a few pieces of candy! There are chocolates, bulk candy, cupcakes and fun trinkets and toys. In warmer weather, they also sell ice cream.


YUM is right!


Admittedly, this was a little tough for my toddler who doesn’t exactly understand that you can’t just reach in and eat whatever candy you want. He spent a few minutes flat out on the floor in his typical tantrum pose. But can you blame him? He’s a kid in a candy shop! (A kid with very little control over his emotions and impulses, to boot!)  I let the kids pick out just a few pieces of candy. There is a $2.50 minimum purchase on the bulk candy so we also picked out two rubber balls. It was a bright, fun respite from the winter weather.


On the walk back, I took an unplanned detour into the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. I’m glad we did! I would recommend this stop as part of your day in downtown Grove City! There is a lot more to see here than I expected! An old-fashioned car, early firefighter uniforms, old tools, cameras and record players, to name a few! A very friendly employee gave us a short tour and let us hear music played on the record player and gramophone. The building is an old bank and the vault is full of local artifacts including a large cash register from the 1920’s (that also still works!). The Welcome Center also offers flyers and pamphlets about things to do in Grove City and the surrounding area.



Firefighters are popular at my house!


Show your kids what electronic devices used to look like!




Entering the vault!

After 8 years of living here, though I had driven through, this was the first time I had set foot in downtown Grove City! I’m looking forward to coming back to the new library and adding the Lollipop Stop to my ice cream exploits! You could easily pass a morning here, and I’m sure there’s even more to do! What else should I check out in Grove City? Feel free to comment with ideas!

Know Before You Go:

Grove City Library
3359 Park St, Grove City, OH 43123
Monday – Thursday – 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday and Saturday – 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday – 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Phone: 614-875-6716

Lollipop Stop
4002 Broadway Grove City, OH 43123

Grove City Welcome Center and Museum
3378 Park Street, Grove City, OH, 43123
Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesdays 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Phone: 614-277-3061

Also:  The library has its own parking lot.  I used free, 2 hour street parking in front of the library and walked to the other places, which are all within 1-2 blocks.

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Columbus Museum of Art + LEGOS

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There is only one week remaining to visit the Think Outside the Brick exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art!  I wanted to share a few pictures from our visit in December.  The exhibit runs through February 21, 2016.

Taking two kids under 5 to the art museum by myself was a little bit intimidating, but the museum actually has a lot to offer kids (and as a side note, if you’re a nursing mother, one of the nicest Mother’s Rooms in the city!)  Right now is a great time to visit with kids because of the LEGO exhibit.

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The first thing you will see is this amazing replica of Ohio Stadium.  Upon seeing this, my 4 year old said, “I didn’t know they made such cool LEGO sidewalks!”  Okay?  The things they notice are never what you expect!


Then there is a great model of the city of Columbus built from LEGOS.


The Museum of Art with its new addition.


The Statehouse.





Lots of fun!

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There is also an area for free building with all white LEGO bricks.


Though the LEGO’s may be on their way out, don’t let that stop you from taking your kids to the museum.  On the first level there is the JPMorgan Chase Center for Creativity with space for kids to play, build and experience art hands-on.  There are also Open Studio times for all ages.

Think Outside the Brick is part of a collaboration with COSI and the Ohio History Center.  Together they have sponsored the 2015 LEGO Design Challenge.  The Ohio History Center has the finalists on display through April 10, 2016.  Here are a few pictures of this display:

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COSI has the LEGO creations of artist Arthur Gugick on display in their LEGO Travel Adventure Exhibit through May 8, 2016.  There is also areas for kids to build and race their own cars and a free building area ideal for children over age 3.

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If you have LEGO lovers in your family, like I do, don’t miss these exhibits!

Know Before You Go:

LEGO Travel Adventure at COSI

September 26 – May 8, 2016
333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Mondays & Tuesdays, Closed
Wednesday-Sunday, 10AM – 5PM

Think Outside the Brick at Columbus Museum of Art

November 21 – February 21, 2016
480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Monday, Closed
Tuesday-Wednesday, 10AM – 5PM
Thursday, 10AM – 9PM
Friday-Sunday, 10AM – 5PM

There’s No Place Like Home at Ohio History Center

January 13 – April 10, 2016
800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211
800.686.6124 , 614.297.2300
Wednesday–Saturday, 10AM –5PM
Sunday, Noon – 5PM

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Ohio History Center

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Ohio History Center has been a go-to destination for our family! With special events, interactive displays and Ohio Village, kids will have fun while learning about the history of Ohio!

I’d say it was probably October of last year that I started to panic about winter approaching.  I had survived my first winter with two kids – one of them a napping infant – and being, for the most part, stuck at home was rough!  But as my youngest began nearing the transition to one nap a day, and winter was rapidly approaching, panic began to set in. What would we do when all the outdoor options were no longer so inviting?

Main Floor of Ohio History Center

I remember in one week’s time buying memberships to the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Ohio History Center and the Columbus Museum of Art. I figured with my COSI pass, Zoo pass and library card, I should have an indoor option for pretty much every day of the week if need be! Phew!

At that point, I had only been to the Ohio History Center one time and that was for Storybook Village, when all the PBS Kids characters make an appearance at Ohio Village. The museum itself seemed pretty fun, but on the first visit, it turned out that I missed a lot of things!

Ohio Village Muffins Base Ball Players

The thing about the Ohio History Center is that there are many nooks and crannies (I suppose they call them Galleries) that are easy to overlook. In this post, I want to highlight the specific areas your kids might enjoy so that you don’t miss out on all there is to do and see.

First of all, you should know what a good deal an individual membership is if you have kids under 5. I wrote about that here. Secondly, now that it’s winter (kind of) you may be interested using the lockers that are on your left, immediately after the gift shop.  

The first time I tried to use the locker I had trouble, and the ladies who were using the lockers when I was there today had trouble with them as well. So, just for you, I paid special attention to how to operate the lockers! Haha! Open the locker. Put in your belongings. Put the quarter into the lock on the INSIDE of the locker door. Close the door. Turn the key hard to the left, then pull the key out. Keep the key with you. The best part is, you get your quarter back when you retrieve your stuff. If you don’t have a quarter, they also have hangers.

Exploring Ohio History Center with Kids:

Okay, now on to the exciting stuff. First off, it’s hard to miss the giant mastodon when you enter from the lobby.

the Mastadon in the Ohio History Center

Considering the fact that there’s a large sign saying “It’s NOT a dinosaur!” I cringe every time my 4 year old loudly yells, “there’s the dinosaur!!” – which is every time. Do I correct him? I’d say it’s 50/50 at this point. No dinosaurs have ever been found in Ohio . . . a fact I learned at the Ohio History Center!

Nature of Ohio

To your left upon entering is an area called Nature of Ohio. I definitely missed this whole area on my very first visit. There is an area for kids to explore animal foot prints, read books and play in and around the tree in the middle.

Kids Area with a tree in the middle.

Surrounding this “Discovery Park” are many “stuffed” animals. Large ones! This is a lot of fun for my kids!

Stuffed and mounted bear in the Nature of Ohio area


several stuffed and mounted animals on display behind glass

more mounted animals on display

The Lustron House

I would have to say that my kids’ favorite part of the museum is the Lustron house, a prefabricated house completely set up inside the museum. Lustron houses were popular after World War II, but were only made for a few years (according to the tour guide there today). Walking into this house is like stepping back into the 50’s. Everything in the house is authentic and set up for you to use, touch and discover. My kids love the bedrooms and the kitchen.

the Lustron House on display


boy putting a record on a record player inside the Lustron house at Ohio History Center

While looking at this record player in the “boy’s room” of the house, Jaden said, “Should we pop in a different CD?”

A few more scenes from the 50’s:

kitchen table set in the Lustron House

Living Room in the Lustron House

boy in the kitchen of the Lustron House

There’s also a backyard component to the house where you can hula hoop, play horseshoe and jump rope. Also you can sit on these fantastic lawn chairs like you did at Grandma and Grandpa’s when you were 6.

outdoor backyard area of the Lustron House

The Early Ohio Room – Gallery 1

Now let’s move on to houses of a different time period all together…the log cabin days…another favorite “play area” for my kids. This is the “Early Ohio Room” and it is located in Gallery 1. Lots of opportunity for free play and pretend here. And there’s a bench for tired parents.

boys playing in the Early Ohio Area at Ohio History Connection

boy playing in the log cabin area at Ohio History Center

A funny thing happens to me at this museum. When I’m in the Lustron house, I think to myself, “wow, I’m really thankful for the technology we have today and that I don’t have to wash my clothes on this:”

washing machine inside the Lustron House

But then I get to the Early Ohio House and I look inside the log cabin replica and I feel wistful for simpler times, wishing I could just pop myself into that log cabin and live a more simple life. I imagine daily life without media and cell phones, doing things with my hands, baking my bread, weaving baskets, etc. I know, it makes no sense. Still though, happens every time.

log cabin replica at Ohio History Center

Second Floor Exhibits

I try not to get other people’s children in my pictures for privacy reasons, but today we were literally the only kids here. I’ve been here on days when there are school field trips, but today we nearly had the place to ourselves. We packed a lunch and ate in the seating area on the second floor. There is a grand set of steps (and also an elevator). My boys enjoy looking at the cars and planes on display on the second floor.

hanging airplane on the top floor

boys eating a packed lunch

There is a vending area upstairs….if you like ordering a turkey sandwich out of a vending machine, knock yourself out, but I prefer to pack our lunch. If you’re looking for speciality snack items, you may have better luck in the gift shop, which actually has an impressive collection of unique, Ohio-produced items including food and candy. I did notice for the first time today that the vending machine sells bottled Starbucks Frappucinos. Duly noted.

I have to say this one thing. If your kids happen to be terrified of public restrooms, be aware that the toilets make a really loud flushing noise – or more so a really loud squeal at the end of the flush that has caused major breakdowns in my children…more than once. They both actually break down at the mention that we might have to go into the bathroom – which for me, usually always has to happen. So if you hear two children screaming and crying from inside the restroom and one mother screaming and crying back, it’s probably me. I will be avoiding eye contact upon exit…

Also, be sure not to miss the two-headed calf on the way out!

a two-headed calf on display at Ohio History Center


I’d love to hear what your kids love about the Ohio History Center!

Know before you go:

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 10AM-5PM, Sunday, 12PM – 5PM

Address: 800 E. 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211

Phone: 1-800-686-6124

General Admission: Adults: $10, Ages 6-12: $5, Ages 5 and under: Free
Discounts are available with military ID, college ID, and AAA card.

Parking: Ample parking in front of the museum.

Also: Large area for eating on the second floor, outside food is allowed, museum is stroller and wheelchair friendly, Ohio Village (the outdoor component) is closed during the winter months.

Looking for more ideas: Try Over 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio!

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