Dublin’s Bridge Park
Dining out has always been one of my most favorite things IN THE WORLD to do. My husband and I both love taking advantage of the amazing culinary scene that Columbus has to offer – and we certainly weren’t willing to give that up when we became a family of four.
Since they were born, my two- and four-year-old have joined us as we explore some of the best restaurants in the city — new ventures, local favorites and even a couple breweries (don’t judge.) I’ll be honest – it’s not always a walk in the park to dine out with little ones. On multiple occasions, we’ve had to hastily ask for the check and some to-go boxes to avoid the embarrassment of a complete meltdown. But, we try really hard to avoid hanging at home all the time just because it seems like the easier option.
One of our go-to spots for a family night out is the new(ish) Bridge Park area in Dublin. It’s packed with restaurants, bars and shops — and it continues to grow so there always seems to be something new to explore. Here are some of our favorite spots to check out when we have our kids in tow:
Grab a happy hour drink while your kids enjoy playing some pinball, foosball, ping pong or their oh-so-popular duckpin bowling. The place is buzzing with the sound of games and happy patrons so you won’t feel the pressure of making sure your kids keep their noise level down. If you want a bite to eat, they rotate food trucks throughout the month. It’s a family-friendly all-day spot at Bridge Park to check out! (changing over to 21+ after 8pm).
Recently named both Best Diner and Best Bang for your Buck by 614 Magazine’s 2017 Columbest Poll, this popular Cameron Mitchell restaurant is a great spot for kiddos. This fun, casual, retro-inspired atmosphere features simple yet delicious comfort food — and the extensive kid’s menu offers all the basics (think hotdog and mac and cheese) along with options like Seared Salmon and Grilled PB&J for the more adventurous eaters. Check out one of my recent blog posts for more details on our experience at Cap City!
You may think that this restaurant is out of the question for kiddos, but my family’s recent experience was just the opposite. While the rustic Italian cuisine and white-tablecloth atmosphere is a bit fancier than our typical dinner locations, the staff is extremely welcoming of little ones. They have some pretty solid kid’s options and of course, the regular menu is one of the best at Bridge Park and in the city. Where else can you get a kid’s pizza along with some hand-pulled mozzarella and lobster carbonara?
There’s no better way to end an evening out than with a delicious dessert, and this little shop at Bridge Park will provide just that. Whether you’re into ice cream, caramel apples or homemade fudge, you’ll surely find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Your kids will be sold the minute they walk through the door and are greeted with the smells of sugary treats. Bonus: they can even watch bakers in action as they roll buckeyes or hand dip chocolate covered pretzels.
Find out other reasons we love Dublin, Ohio too!
About Becky Hixen
Becky Hixen lives in Worthington with her husband and two young kiddos. She’s an avid runner, has a full-time day job with The Ohio Society of CPAs and loves a good glass of wine. She and her husband have always been passionate about taking advantage of the amazing culinary scene that Columbus has to offer – and they weren’t willing to give that up when they became a family of four. Her blog, Grilled Cheese & Chardonnay explores some of the best restaurants and activities in town – and a few off the beaten path – with kids in tow. Follow her on Instagram at @grilledcheeseandchardonnay!