Originally published 3/24/17. Updated 6/6/19.
Columbus some beautiful parks for adventure and imagination.
The time is finally here. It’s that sweet spot between rainy and unpredictable Spring and full-on summer. You know, the time in Ohio when you can go outside and actually enjoy yourselves! To be fair, these parks are pretty fun all year long.
Whether you’re looking for old school swings or high-tech playground equipment, Columbus has your back. So load up the kids, grab the sunscreen, and pack up the snacks! It’s time to check out some of the city’s best parks and playgrounds.
The Scioto Audubon Metro Park is the perfect place to wear the kids out! Not only is there tons of nature to explore, including trails, overlooks, and a boardwalk, there is a unique playground full of fun things to climb on.
Located just outside Columbus in the suburb of Grove City, Fryer Park isn’t your traditional playground. Oversized musical instruments and space-age inspired equipment encourage children to use their imagination while playing outside. The park is conveniently located near the Grove City YMCA and they opened a brand new Splash Pad this summer, perfect for hot, sunny days.
Speaking of splash pads, Ballantrae Spray Fountains in Dublin is the perfect warm-weather destination for kids of all ages. On hot days, the fountains can get pretty packed, so be sure to get there early! Grab yourself a nice spot on the grass and enjoy a picnic while taking a break from the water.
Honestly, this is probably the absolute coolest place to take kids in Columbus right now. The Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory has a million features the little ones will love, including an awesome treehouse, a waterfall play area, and even a fairy garden. Ticket prices to the conservatory include your admission to the Children’s Garden, so be sure to spend a full day at FPC to get your money’s worth!
Located behind the historic Jeffrey Mansion in Bexley, Jeffrey Park is an awesome place to spend a sunny afternoon. With plenty of shade, a shelter house, and playground equipment for kids of all ages, it’s a wonderful resource for parents in Columbus. One of the coolest parts about this playground is that the kiddos can have a massive “make-believe” session on the castle grounds.
The Columbus Commons is one of the most popular downtown parks, and in my opinion, it has the most fun for kiddos! Not only is there an interactive section of the park that encourages kids to use their creative and imaginative play skills, it has something no other park in Columbus has! The Carousel at the Commons will, without a doubt, be the highlight of your visit. Open from April to October, kids can hop aboard the merry-go-round for $1 per ride. The Commons also offers a Reading Room, which is a shaded, outdoor space with reading materials provided for the kiddos by Columbus Metropolitan Libraries, May-October.
In the heart of German Village sits the historic Schiller Park. One of the most well-known parks in Columbus, Schiller has plenty of space to keep the kids entertained. In addition to the recently renovated playground, there are walking paths, tennis and basketball courts, and even a pond, perfect for duck feeding or fishing!
Click the pin-points on the map below for park locations
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