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,…


Splash Pad

Family Favorite Free Outdoor Play Powell Splash Park

Bring bathing suit, towel to spray park in Powell With so many innovative outdoor play areas cropping up around Columbus, it’s a good time to be a kid in the Capital City. Free, public recreation spaces, such as the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus and Millstone Creek Park in Westerville, also make it a great time to be a parent….


Scioto Mile

Downtown Columbus Free Outdoor Play Splash Park

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 Homestead

Free Hilliard Outdoor Play Splash Park

Get into water-gun battle around wooden fort Entertaining youngsters and cooling them down on a hot day is easy at the Homestead in Hilliard. That’s because the 44-acre park, at 4675 Cosgray Rd., is full of fun things for kids to explore, including a wooden fort with water guns. The Homestead, operated by Washington Township Parks and Recreation, offers an…


Cherry Valley Lodge

Indoor Play Newark Splash Park

Upscale lodge plus indoor water park equals double the pleasure When the chill sets in, we seek out warmth. And family fun. One nearby getaway that can accommodate us is CoCo Key Water Resort at Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark, 25 miles east of Columbus. The 50,000-square-foot water park is done up in a Key West theme and radiates 84-degree…


Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center Splash Park

Fun to be found around Easton Town Center’s fountain Children love to play in outdoor water fountains during the summer heat. Central Ohio has several public fountains where kids can cool off, but only one that offers major shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. Many people regard Easton Town Center as the preeminent shopping destination in Ohio, in large part because…