Dawes Arboretum

Family Favorite Free Newark Outdoor Play

Dawes Arboretum: Explore 1,800 acres of plants, trees at Newark nature preserve

Explore 1,800 acres of plants, trees at Newark nature preserve I’ve driven by the Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio, many times while traveling to and from my husband’s hometown two hours east of Columbus. I’d often think to myself, “One day I’m going to visit that place.” I recently fulfilled that desire on a hot weekday in July, driving the…

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Ohio Statehouse

Downtown Columbus Family Favorite Free Indoor Play Museum

Young and old will enjoy romping around historic capitol building When I visit capital cities while traveling about the country I often make it a point to tour their statehouses. Doing so makes it feel as though I’ve stepped inside a state’s living room. Residing in a capital city myself, I sometimes forget what’s in my own backyard – the…

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Scioto Audubon

Downtown Columbus Free Outdoor Play

Metro park pleases families and birds Whittier Peninsula was never a place to take your kids. For decades, the 160-acre tract of land located south of downtown Columbus was a mangled mess of junked cars, buried trash and sewer water. But things are different now – thanks in part to the birds that annually migrate through the Scioto River headland….

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Inniswood

Family Favorite Free Outdoor Play Westerville

Metro gardens offer magical places for kids to explore Inniswood Metro Gardens in the Columbus suburb of Westerville is a scenic nature preserve that’s delightfully kid-friendly. The 121-acre site at 940 S. Hempstead Rd. contains colorful flower gardens, easily navigable walking trails and – best of all – a children’s area where kids are encouraged to frolic about a storybook maze…

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Slate Run

Animals Canal Winchester Family Favorite Free Outdoor Play

Historical farm presents past perfectly As a child, I’d often watch my mother slaughter chickens. She’d select a rooster from the flock, swing it around to get it dizzy and chop off its head with an ax. After she soaked the body in warm water to loosen the feathers, she’d pluck them out one by one. She’d then cut up…

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Chadwick Arboretum

Free Outdoor Play

Identify plants, walk labyrinth at learning gardens on OSU’s main campus The Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens on the Ohio State University campus is a neat, little place to take the kids for quick lesson on plant identification or just to snap a cute picture in front of some colorful flowers. The arboretum offers an ever-changing showcase of annuals, perennials…

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Park of Roses

Family Favorite Free Outdoor Play

Stop and smell the roses at Whetstone’s beloved flower garden Before I got married, I lived in a little apartment across the street from the Columbus Park of Roses. My back yard was a parking lot, so I regularly visited the park, 3923 N. High St., as if it were my own elegant back yard. The Park of Roses is…

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Art in Public Places

Dublin Free Outdoor Play

Art in Public Places driving tour helps demystify Dublin’s unique sculptures.

Driving tour helps demystify Dublin’s unique sculptures The first time I stepped inside Watch House in Dublin’s Coffman Park, I ran out terrified. It was evening, and I could have sworn I just saw a dead cat hanging from inside the structure’s copper-domed roof. I later reasoned that the black blob I saw on the ceiling was probably a colony…

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