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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5 Socially Distant Summer Adventures for Kids in Columbus

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These fun outings in Columbus will get your family safely out of the house and exploring this summer!

This summer has been a summer of major change for most of us and one of the biggest changes is how much time we have been spending at home! We managed to snag one of the coveted blow up pools for our backyard, we have taken a gazillion walks around the neighborhood, and I’ve even bought 3 (!) bird feeders for our yard! 

But while we are trying to make the most of a life lived mainly at home, we have also been on the search for new, outdoor activities this summer in order to keep our cabin fever at bay!

Please remember that masks are currently mandatory indoors in Franklin County and outdoors when you are not able to socially distance. 

5 Fun Outings for Kids for the Summer of 2020:

Here are 5 things we’ve done this summer that pass the test for being outdoors and also able to be socially (or physically) distant from other groups!

1. The Paul Busse Garden Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory

  • 1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203

model train at the Paul Busse Garden Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory

The Paul Busse Garden Railway will be on display at Franklin Park Conservatory through January 10, 2021. This is an outdoor display that takes up a large portion of the Grand Mallway.

The Garden Railway is made of all-natural plant materials and features 4 botanical themes: Fairytale Land, Wild West Town and an animal themed “Who Lives Here” and a European Travels section! Each theme has its own section of the display and there is a sign listing what each building is and what to look for! It was fun for the kids to find all of the different displays!

Masks are currently required at Franklin Park Conservatory.

boy looking at the model railway at Franklin Park Conservatory

Read more about the railway and see more photos here: The Paul Busse Garden Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory is Now on Display and it is Magical!

2. Suspension Sculptures in Schiller Park

  • 1069 Jaeger St, Columbus, OH 43206

suspended statues at Schiller Park in German Village, Columbus, Ohio

Polish artist Jerzy Kedziora’s floating sculptures will be on display through September in Schiller Park in German Village! This is part of an exhibit of around 30 some sculptures that are hanging all around Columbus including Thurber Park Livingston Park, Main Library and more!

Schiller Park is home to the bulk of these suspended sculptures and my kids had a lot of fun looking for them throughout the park! Our favorite was The Rower over Schiller Pond! 

Balance Statues in Schiller Park

Schiller Park has a great playground and lots of shaded picnic tables! We spent the late morning looking for all the sculptures and then had a picnic in the park!

3. Creeking at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

  • 1775 Darby Creek Dr, Galloway, OH 43119

two boys playing in the creek at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Battelle Darby Creek has become our go-to metro park since moving to the west side of Columbus! But we have always entered through the same entrance and done the same hike again and again. Now don’t get me wrong, seeing the bison in the park and visiting the Nature Center are two of the best things you can do in the park, but trying out a new entrance gave us an entirely different experience in the park!

In order to find this creeking spot you can enter through the Indian Ridge Picnic Area or the Canoe Access Area. If you walk the Terrace Trail, you will come across even more creeking opportunities! The Indian Ridge Picnic Area also has a playground and lots of picnic areas.

railroad bridge over Darby Creek

4. Whetstone Prairie

  • 3923 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214

deer peeking his head out of the grass at Whetstone Prairie in Whetstone Park, Columbus

My husband and I stumbled upon the Whetstone Prairie while visiting the Columbus Park of Roses in June! We were shocked to find that this area existed after years of visiting the park and having no idea! The prairie is in the western part of the park along the Olentangy Trail. (Park in or near the Park of Roses parking lot.)

The prairie area is a peaceful place to walk, look for butterflies and other wildlife! I did not expect to come upon a deer in the middle of Whetstone Park! There are large clear paths for walking and enjoying solace in the middle of the city!

path at Whetstone Prairie in Columbus, Ohio

In addition to The Park of Roses and the Prairie, Whetstone Park is home to a library, rec center, pond and playground!

5. Rope Bridge at Scioto Grove Metro Park

  • 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City, OH 43123

two boys walking the rope bridge in Scioto Grove Metro Park

Let this be another lesson to us all about the value of exploring new parts of the Metro Parks! Again at Scioto Grove Metro Park, I have been guilty of only driving to one area within the park: the playground (which is more of a large climbing structure)!

There are a lot of good hiking areas around the playground, so don’t discount that if you haven’t done it, but this summer we were on a mission to find the Rope Bridge! We kept driving on past the playground to the Grove Lodge (where we parked) and then headed south on the REI River Trail. The Rope Bridge can be found where the REI River Trail meets the Mingo Trail (and it’s marked on the official Metro Parks map.)

view of the creek from the rope bridge in Scioto Grove Metro Park

The path to the Rope Bridge is very shady which is great, but I will caution you that it can be muddy and there were a lot of mosquitos. 

Exploring Columbus with Your Kids

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fryer park, grove city

6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers

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These 6 Columbus area parks are great for toddlers and younger kids!

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes taking young kids to the park can be a frightening experience.  You look away for 5 seconds and all of a sudden your toddler is standing at the top of a climbing wall looking over a 10 foot drop off to the pavement below.  I like to take my toddlers to parks where they can roam freely without a lot of worry that their lack of impulse control (or balance) is going to send us on a trip to the ER.  But that’s just me.

I suppose I should make a disclaimer that most (all?) of the younger kids’ areas in the parks I’ve been to have signs saying the equipment is designed for ages 2-5.  I don’t know anyone who has waited until their kid was 2 to take them to a park, so that being said, I have chosen 6 parks with particularly toddler-friendly play areas!

6 Columbus Parks that are Perfect for Toddlers: 

1. Funk-ee-Town, Harrison Park, Harrison West

995 Harrison Park Pl., Columbus, OH 43201
No Restrooms Available

Harrison Park

Harrison Park

GREAT toddler area here!  No crazy heights, the small slide is enclosed at the top, and lots of opportunities for imaginative play – on the ground!  My kids love the snack shack and the house with the blue roof has drums and a xylophone to play on inside, as well as a steering wheel. While you’re in the area, check out some of these kid-friendly options in the Short North!

2.  Jeffrey Mansion and Park, Bexley

165 N. Parkview Ave, Bexley, OH 43209
Seasonal Restrooms Available

Jeffrey Mansion Park, Bexley

Jefferey Mansion Park, Bexley, Ohio

The toddler area here is fenced in, making it a perfect little play area just for the younger crowd!  There is tunnel to crawl through, a dinosaur slide and a play house.  As a bonus, the grounds here are beautiful and if you follow the path into the woods behind the park, you will encounter a boardwalk along Alum Creek! If you’re in Bexley, add a stop at Kittie’s or Gramercy Books to complete the morning!

3.  Schiller Park, German Village

1069 Jaeger St., Columbus, OH 43206
Restrooms Available

Train at Schiller Park, German Village

Slide at Schiller Park, German Village

This side of the playground at Schiller park is very toddler friendly.  Kids love these trains, and the play area behind it, seen in the picture, is specifically made for the toddler set.  It’s completely closed in, there’s a ramp and the slides are so slow my 4 year old got stuck.  😉 There are several baby/toddler swings here as well. Nearby, check out Winans for great coffee and chocolate!

4. Pingree Park, Worthington

374 Pingree Dr., Worthington, OH 43085
No Restrooms Available

Pingree Park, Worthington, OH

Pingree Park, Worthington, Ohio

Pingree Park, Worthington, Ohio

My kids had a lot of fun at this park!  There’s a toddler play set, infant/toddler swings and a small path around the park that does not cross a road or parking lot.  There are a couple of picnic tables and benches here that are convenient for snacking or eating a packed lunch.

Both of my kids, including my toddler, actually really had fun on the tunnel slide, though it specifically says for ages 5 and up.  They specifically enjoyed yelling “Paw Patrol!” from the top and then pretending to slide down into their respective vehicles.  So yes, I did basically yell out jobs for them for at least 20 minutes: “Marshall, I need you and your firetruck to go rescue a kitty from a tree . . .” and so on . . . It was fun. (Sarcasm font.)

5.  Discovery Frontier, Fryer Park, Grove City

3899 Orders Rd., Grove City, OH 43123
Restrooms Available

space themed park in Grove City, Ohio

Fryer Park, Grove City, Ohio

This park is toddler friendly because it is more about space than height.  And yes, I mean that literally and figuratively.  This space-themed park has a lot of area to run, hills to climb and also sand to play in.  My kids love running through the tunnel and up the hill that is the moon. While you’re in Grove City, check out their awesome library!

There are several toddler-sized structures to play on.  It’s hard to say exactly what space-themed things they are supposed to be, but none of them are very high off the ground, and that’s what matters.  At this park, there is also a pond with a path to walk. There are several toddler swings here and they are under umbrella cover for shade – another bonus!

6. Alum Creek Park North, Westerville

221 W. Main St., Westerville, OH 43081
Restrooms Available

Train Park, Westerville Ohio

Alum Creek Park North

Most of this park is geared toward older kids, but there are two things in particular make this park toddler-friendly and worth a visit.  One is the train, which is mainly at ground level with a tunnel to crawl through, benches to sit on inside and a small slide.  The second thing is the large sand pit.  I said it was toddler friendly, I didn’t promise your kids would stay clean.  😉 This park was one stop during our Playdate in Uptown Westerville – make sure to read to find out where we got donuts before hand! 😉

I have personally tried all of these parks with a toddler and lived to see another day!  I hope you and your little ones enjoy exploring a new park!  If you’re planning to pick up coffee on the way to the park, I featured two of these parks in my post Coffee+Park: 3 Parks Within Walking Distance of a Coffee Shop!

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


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ICYMI: 6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus

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6 Parks for Toddlers in Columbus, Ohio







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