When the weather gets wild and wintry, parents of young children all over Ohio shake in our boots. It can be hard to keep an energetic toddler cooped up during the cold months – but take heart. I’ve found several fabulous, low-cost and even free playspaces in central Ohio where kids can be kids… and parents can breathe easy.
Firefly Play Café in Clintonville is amazing. It’s free for children under 12 months, $3 for 12 to 23 months, and $5 for 2 years and older. Adults are free, and while your kids play in a safe, modern, clean environment you can sit back and enjoy a hot or cold beverage as you watch them. I read about Firefly on Columbus Underground and absolutely love it – it’s the kind of place that makes you proud to call Columbus home.
Moms know that the Polaris Fashion Place mall isn’t just for shopping. The Columbus Zoo soft play area is the largest indoor children's play area in the region. Kids can run, climb, slide and play all winter long at this fun indoor park – and always for free. This one always makes me wish I was a kid again, just so I can join in the fun.
The Westerville Community Center is a gorgeous building with top-notch indoor aquatic facilities for members. However, everyone can enjoy the public “Treehouse” play area just inside the lobby, where kids can play and climb in a spacious atrium as parents sit and catch up over coffee (bring your own).
The large indoor Central Park Playland at Westerville Christian Church is one I haven’t visited yet, but it is free and open to the public, and I’ve heard great things about it. This is definitely on my list to try this winter.
This list would not be complete without mentioning the wonderful Little Kidspace at COSI. While it’s only free to members, one visit will have you wanting to join so you can bring your little ones there again and again, all winter long. There’s far too much to do in just one day – the water table is a highlight for our family.
I am sure there are other gems like these that I simply haven’t found yet, not just in central Ohio but all around the state. What do you say, moms and dads – let’s create a really great resource by compiling them all here in one place. Please leave other ideas in the comments!
What are some other indoor places to take kids in the winter where they can run, explore and play?