Are you looking for fun ways to keep the kids entertained but don’t want to spend a fortune every time? I’m with you! That’s why I put together a list of fun and FREE activities to do with your kids in Columbus! Do you have some ideas I should add to this list? Let me know!
Visit a new Library Branch and/or attend a free storytime at the Library!
Columbus Metropolitan Library has 22 Branches throughout Franklin County. I have a lot of storytime programs listed over on my calendar on the website, or you can also check out the Library’s calendar of events here, and filter by location and age group to find a free storytime to attend. Visiting a branch of the library that you’ve never been to is also fun and exciting and you can just let the kids explore the kids area and check out some new books!
Visit German Village
German Village, located just south of downtown Columbus, is an unique area known for charming brick houses and cobblestone streets. You can simply wander around and admire the architecture and historic charm, or visit a shop or restaurant. I recommend visiting the Book Loft, the 32 room bookstore, whenever you’re in German Village! Additional ideas for your visit can be found here.
Attend a local Farmers Market (Farmers Market season depends on the Farmers Market).
For my list of Farmers Markets in the area, check out this list on our website!
Try a new Park or Playground!
Columbus has so many great playgrounds, parks and recreation areas. I recommend visiting one of our Metro Parks! The Columbus Metro Parks features 20 outstanding natural area parks with more than 230 miles of trails and over 28,400 acres of land in seven Central Ohio counties. Many of the Metro Parks have a lot of hiking options, plus playgrounds to explore and many programs are available at the Nature Centers. I list many of the Metro Park programs over on the website on my calendar!
Visit a waterfall, right here in Columbus!
We are fortunate that we have a few waterfalls, right here in the city! If you are lucky to visit one after a rain, it can be really spectacular! Here are three within Columbus:
- Hayden Falls: Located in Dublin, Hayden Falls is easily accessible from the parking lot. A flight of stairs and a quick walk on the boardwalk takes you right to the waterfall. Address: 4326 Hayden Run Rd, Dublin, OH 43017
- Indian Run Falls: Indian Run Falls is also located in Dublin and has a trail that loops around the park. Address: 700 Shawan Falls Dr, Dublin, OH 43017
- Millikin Falls at Quarry Trails Metro Park. This waterfall is located at Quarry Trails Metro Park in Columbus. There is an Upper Trail of .05 miles, and a Lower Trail of .75 miles. Address: 2600 Old Dublin Rd, Columbus OH 43228
Find a local Mommy and Me playgroup!
Let’s be honest, us moms crave social interaction just as much (or sometimes more) then our kiddos! Find a local playgroup to provide playtime for the littles, and adult conversation for us moms. Or, start your own in your neighborhood, with your friends or through word of mouth on social media. Here are a few ideas to find play groups:
Fit4Mom Columbus North and Fit4Mom Upper Arlington/Hilliard offer regular play dates for the Littles after a class. The play groups are free to attend even if you don’t attend class (though you can always try a class for free).
You can also look for groups that exist on your local moms/parents groups on social media, or ask moms you know of any playgroups that you can attend. Sometimes you meet new friends at the library, playground or park and you can create your own new playgroup with new friends!
Visit a local Little Free Library.
I see a lot of Little Free Libraries in my area when I’m out and about. You can make it a fun adventure and an exciting hunt for the family to try to find a Little Library or two and leave a book while you take a book. There is a Little Free Library Map and Search tool available here.
Explore Franklin Park Conservatory on Community Day.
Community Day is the first Sunday of each month and admission is free for residents of Franklin County and the City of Columbus (with valid ID). The Conservatory is open 10am-5pm.
Visit Graeter’s on Bethel Road and let the kids play in the free indoor play area. The play area is free, but the ice cream is delicious at Graeter’s, so you may want to purchase some ice cream or treats! Who can resist ice cream?
Have any free activities in Columbus that you love to do with your family? Let me know so I can add to this list!