German Village with Kids

Ahhhh German Village. The teeny brick houses with over-the-top gardening and gorgeous curb appeal. The restaurants we all went to before kids. The cobblestones.

Is it doable with kids?  For sure. You just have to know some of the ins and outs of the area and be ready to adjust to places that were built before the invention of strollers. Because my Mother-in-Law lives there, we are fortunate enough to visit often and try new things each time. Here are some of our favorites...

Schiller Park
1069 Jaeger St
Columbus OH 43206

We always park at grandma's and walk down 3rd street, but there is on-street parking on some of the streets and you can park at the rec center in a parking lot. If you park on the Deschler Avenue side, you have the bonus of walking past all the houses you wish you lived in.

Schiller is a sprawling, beautifully manicured park with an abundance of shaded picnic tables, a duck pond with a fun bridge to cross, and best of all, an AWESOME playground.

We are quite picky about playgrounds because most are made with only one age group in mind. Schiller has a partially fenced in playground that encompasses three playgrounds. One for the earliest walkers (age 1-3), one for the preschoolers, and one for the big kids. There are both kinds of swings, and lots of them!  If you go in the morning, much of the area is in the shade and it is not too crowded.

You could either pack your own lunch from home or stop at the Brown Bag Deli on your way to bring a picnic. Restrooms are located inside the Rec Center, which is open from 9 am-7:45 pm.

Pistacia Vera
541 South Third Street
Columbus OH 43215

YUM. Pistacia Vera is famous for their decadent and colorful macarons, which we adults love. The kids are partial to the shortbread cookies. There is a full (delicious-looking) coffee menu by Cafe Brioso. We like to eat our treats on the patio. Be careful, the adorable green chairs have almost no back to them, so shorties might fall through the back (it almost happened 2 seconds after the photo below)!

There is a lovely ramp for strollers, which made makes me want to do a backflip every time I see it. Thank you, PV for the ramp!

double fisting

Helen Winnemore's
150 East Kossuth Street
Columbus OH 43206

You have to step inside this gift shop and go upstairs to the toy area. The staff is so welcoming, and my daughter loves to play in the toy room. There is a coloring table, items for her to touch, and a few little trinkets we can take home each time. If you need a baby gift, they have some of the sweetest gifts I've seen. Besides the kids' toys, there are about a million things I'd want for myself!

This store is not stroller friendly, as there are many many steps. BUT we take turns with the baby, sitting out on their shaded, quiet patio in the back. It is a nice place to listen to the birds and relax. Or you could just take the baby out of the stroller and park it outside the shop.

900 Mohawk St
Columbus OH 43206

After the kids play hard at the Park, walk up Mohawk and order from the Jeni's window. The have a small set up on the patio to eat your Brown butter almond brickle or Ndali Estates vanilla (our family faves!)

The Old Mohawk
819 Mohawk Street
Columbus OH 43206

Leave the stroller outside and grab a highchair in this restaurant, serving large portions off of a huge menu. Get there right when they open and you will miss the lunch rush. Bathrooms were clean but do not have a changing table. No kids menu, but lots of kid favorites, like grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and mac and cheese. My little guy loves their applesauce, which is a good starter to keep the babies happy while the rest of the meal comes out. Service was very prompt and the "adult" food (french dip and chicken salad wrap) were great.

There is a nice, clean bathroom, so send the kids in before you head off to your next stop!

no pictures inside because the kids were craaaazy during this meal. RIP all of my fries that were thrown like confetti by Rhys.  

Kitties Cakes
495 S 3rd St
Columbus OH 43215
(614) 754-8828

First of all, please know that I did not put a crown on my daughter's head on this day. Second of all, do you see the size of the cookie?  It almost takes up the entire plate.

Kitties has been on my list for weeks, but we kept missing each other. The stars aligned and we finally got our visit in, and it was worth the wait. You MUST go early or call in your order. This is suggested all over their social media, but I witnessed a few people come in for their favorites that had already sold out. That's because they are amazing. So, pull it together and call ahead, friends!  They bake in limited quantities to assure top-quality craft and ingredients. I was probably (most certainly) gushing about how pretty the cupcakes were, because they aren't your run of the mill gigantic dry cakes with greasy icing on top. They are smaller size, neat as a pin, and freaking delicious.

I will say that although Larkyn likes the idea of going to a bakery, she rarely finishes what she chooses. The chocolate chip cookie as big as her head though? Gone. My cookies and cream cupcake? Gone. My mother in law got a bacon and cheddar scone and I wanted to steal it after she gave me a few bites.

The bakery has a patio setup out front (too hot for us today) and a counter that faces the window. We were definitely offered a highchair for Rhys, but he was happy in his stroller.

And naturally, I had to get an iced coffee. Their coffee counter was tidy and stocked with thoughtful items AND SIMPLE SYRUP (the way to my heart). The Stumptown cold brew fit the bill on the 93 degree day.

Most impressive? The friendliness and care that they obviously put into their business and their products. We were carefully instructed on how to care for our 4 little cupcakes (coconut, cookies & cream, gooey gooey chocolate, and s'mores) traveling home with us and asked more than once how everything tasted.  If there is a place NOT to miss in German Village, this is it. And yes, I said s'mores cupcake.

631 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43206
(614) 464-1774

We can't walk past the Book Loft without Larkyn begging to go in. The window on the ground level is a view of the

vibrant children's section. My Masters Degree is in Children's Lit, so definitely appreciate a selection of good
quality books of all types, set up in a way that kids can pull them off the shelves and lay down on the floor with them. 

This building is a nice break from the heat, but make sure the kids stay close to you. It is so easy to get lost in there! 
With 32 rooms and multiple staircases, it is best to move from one room to the next with a buddy. And hopefully it
goes without saying, but the stroller has to stay outside. The outdoor area is beautiful, with fountains that 
are apparently too tempting to ignore and landscaping that is out of this world. 

Yes, in fact, he did need a hair cut and he got one after I saw this photo.

A few other places we have been to over the years but don't have pictures...

  • Staufs- If you have a stroller, go in the patio entrance to the right of the main door. The blueberry muffins are to die for and they serve a coffee cooler that will wake you up. Seriously.
  • Katzingers- I think we have unfortunately gone during the dinner rush and had some crying while waiting in line. If you time it right, a gigantic sandwich and pickle will be all yours without the line. PS- word is they have changing tables.
  • Schmidt's- Oh, how I love the schnitzel. And the coconut cream pie. The buffet helps to get a meal on the table quickly, but they also have a kids menu. It is a popular spot, so plan on being patient and taking a walk around the nearby courtyard, into the Fudge Haus, or taking obligatory photos with your heads in the fun cut outs. My kids refuse. 

  • Parking stinks. Your best best is to take the first spot you find and just walk. Otherwise, you will be driving around forever and angry that you didn't take that spot you saw.
  • Have the kids wear closed-toe shoes. The sidewalks are ridiculous and someone will for sure trip, so flip flops and sandals are a boo-boo waiting to happen. 
  • Bring your tough stroller. Those sidewalks are a bear with the cobblestones, bricks, curbs, and uneven surfaces. Many of the curbs do not have ramps, so you will need to lift it to go up and down in several places. 

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