Hayden Falls

Free Hidden Gem Outdoor Play

A pocket of paradise amid urban sprawl There’s a pocket of paradise amid urban sprawl on the Northwest Side of Columbus, where you’ll find rare plants in a wooded gorge and an impressive, 25-foot-high waterfall. Located at 4335 Hayden Run Rd., near the intersection of Hayden Run Road and Riverside Drive, Hayden Falls has been drawing nature lovers and romantics…


Gallant Farm Preserve

Delaware Free Hidden Gem Indoor Play

Play parlor games at Depression-era home, living-history museum Moms and daughters, dads and sons enter the warm, welcoming farmhouse in Delaware County. A kind volunteer, wearing an apron-covered gingham dress, greets the visitors of Gallant Farm Preserve by making cocoa on a vintage wood stove. Gallant Farm, a living-history museum at 2150 Buttermilk Hill Rd., opened in October. The recreated…


Huntington Holiday Train

Downtown Columbus Free Hidden Gem Seasonal

Model train makes return visit to Columbus Main Library Central Ohioans need not travel far this holiday season to see a magical train exhibit built by a landscape magician who turns natural objects, such as nuts and shells, into fanciful displays. The Huntington Holiday Train chugged into the lobby of the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 96 S….


Liberty Park

Free Outdoor Play Powell

Play on sandy playground at picturesque park in Powell When there’s nothing particular to do on a warm afternoon in central Ohio, my family and I often seek out an awesome playground or a picturesque park. We recently found both at Liberty Park at 2845 Home Road in Powell, Ohio. From the moment you enter the park’s winding driveway, between…


Chief Leatherlips

Dublin Free Hidden Gem Outdoor Play

Play by 12-foot-high limestone head at park by Scioto River Little did we know that on the very day we visited the Leatherlips monument in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, the limestone sculpture of a Native American chief was quietly celebrating its 22nd birthday. Not that we would have known. There was no one else around the 12-foot-high limestone head…


Ballantrae Spray Park

Dublin Family Favorite Free Hidden Gem Outdoor Play Splash Park

Beat heat, dance with 15-foot-tall bunnies Housing developments tend to look alike with “rows of houses that are all the same,” as the Monkees sang in their 1960s hit song “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” But the whimsical community of Ballantrae, in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, is a pleasant exception. It resembles an Irish countryside with stone houses, fabricated rolling hills,…


North Orange Park

Family Favorite Free Lewis Center Outdoor Play

Clever layout allows parents to keep watchful eye on kids With so many innovative community parks popping up around central Ohio, it’s a great time to be a kid in the capital city. Sprawling recreation areas, such as North Orange Park in Lewis Center, also make it a great time to be a parent here. The 36-acre community complex –…