2016: 12 Places to Try with Kids

Have you made resolutions yet? I set the bar pretty low for myself...eat more fruit and veggies, sharpen my photography skills, etc. Many of you might be wanting to get out there beyond your suburb and introduce your family to our city. Here are 12 great places to start, giving you one new adventure per month (our reviews are linked to each)...

1. Stratford Ecological Center 
Get out of the hustle and bustle with Stratford's pastures, barn, forest and pond. Take a self-guided tour or join them for scheduled programming.

2. Franklin Park Conservatory
Every Saturday, they have family programs, and throughout the week there are story times. If it is warm enough, check out the grounds behind the Everal Barn and the playground. (Fall visit | Winter visit )


3. Metro Parks
Chances are, there is a Metro Park near you! This is great, FREE fun any day. Many have gorgeous indoor nature centers and children's programming almost every day.


4. The North Market
Come hungry! There are food choices for everyone here, and so much to see.


5. German Village
Set aside a day to go check out the bookstore, Helen Winnemore's, play at Schiller, and of course eat some great local food.


6. Whetstone Park of Roses
When I did fall photoshoots, I was floored by how many families had never been to Whetstone. It is definitely in it's prime during rose season, but is also beautiful in early magnolia season and is not to be missed in the fall.

7. The (new) Columbus Museum of Art
The Wonder Room is so much fun, and the rest of the bottom floor is definitely created for children. There are interactive supplies laid out all over for exploration. (Don't forget Free Sundays!)

8. Columbus Metropolitan Library
I loved the old library, so I can't wait for the summer 2016 opening of the brand new library! And nearby, check out the Topiary garden for a picnic.

9. Short North
You could add this on to your North Market trip. Take a stroll through Goodale Park to see the elephant fountain and play on the playground, stop in to Cub Shrub and Bink Davies, and don't forget Jeni's for dessert!

10. Dublin waterfalls
Indian Run Falls are right behind the library in Old Dublin, and Hayden Falls is just across the bridge on Hayden Run Road. Neither are stroller-friendly, and both need close supervision, but they are beautiful.

11. Fountainside at the Scioto Mile
We could have spent every week at Fountainside, offering free splash pad action, a taste of downtown (which my kids love), and different themes/entertainment each week. Even on non-event days, it is a beautiful place to walk and picnic)

12. The Ohio Railway Museum
Bet you didn't know this was here and you've passed by it many times (right outside Old Worthington). We had fun at the Annual Train Day in May, but you could go any Sunday for a real train ride on a historic train car. It is definitely not stroller friendly, but is a fun afternoon for train-lovers.


I have been to all of these places, but have my own list of unexplored places to try with my family. Let me know if you visit any of these or what you think we should add to ours. Enjoy!

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