Trip to downtown fountain refreshes body, spirit

A craving for cold water and warm thoughts about downtown Columbus enticed my family and me to visit the new Scioto Mile, including the reworked Bicentennial Park.

The Scioto Mile, which opened on July 7, is a $40 million investment by the city of Columbus as part of its ongoing effort to revitalize the downtown area.

Managed by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the park stretches a mile along the Scioto River, extending from the Arena District on the north end of Downtown to Whittier Peninsula on the south. It features the John W. Galbreath Bicentennial Park, a 4.7-acre space including a 15,000 square-foot water fountain and a restaurant called Milestone 229 at 229 Civic Center Dr.

My family and I arrived on a Sunday, when parking meters are free. We easily located a parking spot a few blocks away from the fountain and walked, following the sounds of rushing water and children’s laughter. We rounded a corner at Milestone 229 and got our first glimpse of the fountain and surrounding green space.

“I want to swim, I want to swim,” shrieked my 4-year-old daughter, Rosie.

Rosie and her brother, Max, explored water spouts that sprung from the cement and spraying water from several metal structures that looked like halos and another that resembled a big crown.

I found it heartwarming to see so many kids and adults finding common ground and happiness while splashing in a fountain.

If you stick around until after dark, you can see the fountain illuminated by colored lights.

We walked north along the river toward the Santa Maria, passing new benches and bench swings. Rosie liked the fish fountains. She grabbed a penny out of the water and I told her it was somebody’s wish. She threw it back and said “I wish that I was a beautiful princess.”

As the sun set we could hear a lone bagpiper playing a melancholy tune from the steps of COSI (The Center of Science and Industry) across the river.

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