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Columbus with Children

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Akron, Ohio
posts: 20
Columbus with Children

Hi! We are visiting with my children (ages 10, 8, 7, 4) in April to celebrate two birthdays. We have visited before, but I would like to make the most of our trip and am looking for some advice. We plan on going to COSI and Easton (for the Lego and American Girl stores). We are staying for two nights / three days. Any restaurants that are great / fun for younger kids (we are planning two dinner nights - one for each kid's bday)? Any other attractions that are great for families or young kids? Thanks for all your help!

Destination Expert
for Ohio, Cleveland
posts: 10,018
reviews: 28
1. Re: Columbus with Children

The Columbus Zoo in Powell is excellent for children and adults!

Other attractions might include the Ohio Statehouse and the Franklin Conservatory.

Dewey's Pizza in Grandview is enjoyed by kids. Dewey's is considered by many as the best pizza chain in Ohio, and there are some in the Cleveland area. I don't know about Akron.

There's a Spaghetti Warehouse near COSI. Check TA reviews.

Jason's Deli, a national chain which emphasizes healthy food, is a favorite of kids because it has free soft serve desserts. It's in Grandview Yard.

Northstar Cafe is certainly worth considering. It's a TA reviewer favorite that serves very good locavore food. One is located on High St. There's also one at Easton Town Center.

Jeni's Ice Cream, often considered the best artisan ice cream in the U.S., or Graeter's, also would be hits.

Another option is to eat in the Ohio Union. You could take pictures of the kids with Brutus Buckeye on his bench there.

If you're willing to drive an hour to and from Columbus, certainly consider visiting the aviation history attractions of Dayton. Get there at the opening to sign up immediately for slots on the shuttle to the Presidential Gallery at the Air Force National Museum. Visitors can walk through several retired Air Force Ones.


Let us know what the kids enjoyed!

Akron, Ohio
posts: 20
2. Re: Columbus with Children

Thanks for all the great ideas! We are looking forward to great birthday celebrations!

Columbus, Ohio
posts: 164
reviews: 122
3. Re: Columbus with Children

Sounds like you have a pretty good plan so far and real good input from TE.

We love our zoo in Columbus. Agreed on Jenis ice cream; it's my favorite (though not cheap) and there's one at Easton.

Though I don't care for it ( my kids like it) there's a Cheesecake Factory restaurant at Easton.

Agreed on Franklin Park Conservatory.

Dirty Franks hot dogs downtown is really good. It's small and has a bar feel but it's also kid friendly. It can get busy on Blue Jackets hockey game nights. That might work well with your COSI trip.

If you're Buckeye fans there's the Buckeye Hall of Fame grill in Grandview. I haven't eaten at its present location though.

Have a great trip.

Opp, Alabama
posts: 531
reviews: 105
4. Re: Columbus with Children

While you're downtown at COSI, there's a handful of quick, free things to see, fun for all ages, such as the world's largest gavel, topiary park, water feature at Scioto Mile if warm enough to get wet. All are listed on here. I don't know any kid that wouldn't enjoy Dave'n'Busters! Polaris location is very close to Easton area.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 12,802
reviews: 626
5. Re: Columbus with Children

Totally agree with going to Jeni's, it's worth the extra $$....the replica of the Santa Maria is kind of neat, cheap if you like history....

Columbus, Oh
Destination Expert
for Columbus
posts: 350
6. Re: Columbus with Children

If you will be here for brunch, I recommend Milestone 229. It's a really wonderful place, great views, great food, and it is really kid friendly. Waffles are delicious!

I think Dirty Frank's Downtown will be too busy for you and you will be disappointed. If you really want hot dogs, go really early, like 4pm. Or you can check out their location in Westgate that is on West Broad Street.

The Ohio Historical Museum has a really neat Lustron home set up inside with everything from the 1950s/60s and you are allowed to touch it all! It's great.

If you will be here on April 12, you may want to check out the Moonlight Market, downtown on Gay Street. There will be all kinds of vendors, and all of the restaurants are open. Due Amici is a nicer place and I've taken kids there.

I do not believe the Santa Maria is open right now, that park is under construction.

The Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill has wonderful food and they are kid friendly.

The Columbus Museum of Art is free on Sundays and they have a neat area for creative play called the Wonder Room.

Enjoy your trip!

Chicago, IL
posts: 95
reviews: 26
7. Re: Columbus with Children

Personally my kids prefer Graeter's over Jeni's. We adults love Jeni's, but the weird flavored aren't a favorite of my kid's. Rusty Bucket is a good, family friendly food chain.

The Art museum is a great suggestion for a Sunday. And if it is nice, I suggest the zoo as well.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 12,802
reviews: 626
8. Re: Columbus with Children

The artisan flavours of Jeni's aren't "weird" IMO, some of their flavours are definitely are an acquired taste, but hardly are they all "weird"...

Chicago, IL
posts: 95
reviews: 26
9. Re: Columbus with Children

To a kid (though not all, I'm sure) a lot of those flavors are very weird. I'm not knocking Jeni's. I love Jeni's and think it's great that Columbus is home to them. But frankly, my kid will pick cotton candy flavored ice cream over rosemary any day of the week and to him, that flavor is "weird".

Chicago, IL
posts: 95
reviews: 26
10. Re: Columbus with Children

And no doubt, I could take him there and get him "normal" flavors like strawberry and vanilla, but frankly I'm not willing to spend that on a kid who can't appreciate the difference. But the op's kids may have a more sophisticated palate than my son and if so, all the better for them!