Tired of the same three spots? Explore somewhere new! Columbus is loaded with great suburbs and interesting neighborhoods. With a wide-open day in my schedule and three kids in tow, I ventured into a suburb south of downtown: Grove City. It did not disappoint! The new scenery made for a fun and adventurous outing with my children, including being caught in a severe thunderstorm in downtown traffic. Mom tip: Check the weather!
This park and gardens is a wonderful destination, located close to the 71 exit. There is a nice playground for the little ones with a large shelter house to eat a picnic lunch. Adjacent to the playground is a red barn structure that hosts preschool classes and activities throughout the year. Older children will enjoy a large, bumpy slide across from the parking lot as well as a natural play area, biking trails, and a creek. After lunch, wander through the impressive gardens. Your kids will love all the different herbs and flowers as well as the brick maze.
Continue park hopping and head to this park which is actually part of a sprawling recreation complex that includes the Grove City YMCA, a fishing pond, a historic 1800’s village, and acres of ball fields. The massive space-themed playground is fully accessible. Your kids will love the climbing wall, huge sandbox, and space tunnels! Hiking and recreation trails abound at this park.
No day trip is complete without a sweet treat! This little gem is nestled in Grove City’s small but growing downtown area. The charming bakery and ice cream parlor is beautifully decorated with their wedding cake displays. They serve up delicious cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, and Velvet ice cream. Try the gigantic, cream-filled M&M cookie sandwich. Wow, just wow.
What could be sweeter than honey? Try a honey stick at this unique shop, also located in the downtown area. This shop sells all kinds of products using locally sourced honey. The staff is excited to share their knowledge about honey and the pollination process. Your kids will love the tasting station, sampling the light, medium, and dark honey. Group tours and presentations are available.
Rainy day list
If you failed to check the weather like me and find yourself seeking shelter here is a list of some rainy day options for Grove City:
Located a block from Capital City cakes, this beautiful library has only been open for a year. There is a large play area in the children’s section filled with toys, games, and books. Check their website for regularly scheduled storytimes and children’s activities.
Break out the roller skates!
Summer must-do list
To beat the summer heat, check out this fantastic, zero-entry pool in the area. On select Thursdays throughout the summer, there are themed kids activities. Your kids will love all the various slides, the climbing wall, and the sand volleyball court.
At Fryer Park, there is a unique 1800’s village complete with a one-room schoolhouse, log cabin, barn, and blacksmith. It is free and open to the public on the fourth Saturdays from 2-4 pm, June through September as well as during festivals.