A Guide To Celebrating Grandparent's Day in Columbus

By Nicole Clark, Columbus Macaroni Kid Ambassador Mom September 10, 2021

Grandparents: We love them, our kids adore them ... and in turn, they offer unconditional love (and — if you're lucky — free babysitting!). Grandparents Day is Sunday, Sept. 12 and there's no better way to show the older people in your life how much you and your kids love and appreciate them than spending the day with them. And for those of you grandparents raising your grandkids full-time? We see and very much appreciate you!

Lucky enough to have grandparents who live close by? Here are 10 ideas on how to spend Grandparents Day around Columbus:

1. Take them out for a special breakfast around town. Here are three of our favorite locally-owned restaurants:

The Coffee Vault lies within the walls of a historic 1906 building, formerly the home of the Bank of Galena. Inside you can purchase an array of coffees and teas, sandwiches and bakery items (in addition to some other local goodies). The Coffee Vault offers a unique setting for some of your favorite foods.

At Donna’s Delicious Dozen you can watch your made-to-order donuts created right in front of your own eyes. Donna’s is open from 8:00-5:00.

In addition to their usual menu, Barrel and Boar in both Westerville and Gahanna offers a one-of-a-kind brunch menu on Sundays from 11:00-2:00. The brunch menu features a feast to feed 4-6 which includes something for everyone!

2. Take advantage of some of our beautiful trails. If your grandparents love fresh air and hiking in the woods, there might be no simpler way to spend the day! Here are some great walking trails that are accessible to all:

Inniswoods Metro Gardens in Westerville offers over 120 acres of gorgeous gardens with mostly paved paths. Most of the gardens are accessible using the paved trails. There are ten featured gardens and trails mostly ranging a half mile or less.

Creekside Park is a five acre centerpiece of Olde Gahanna which wraps along the Big Walnut Creek.  You will find waterfalls, paved walkways, picnic areas, fishing, and wading. It is walking distance to local restaurants and shops.

Antrim Park has 122 acres of parks with both improved and unimproved walking or biking trails from the Olentangy Greenway Trail. In addition to the trails, you will also find an array of athletic fields and a playground. Fishing is welcome in the lake and most of the trailway surrounding the quarry offers shade.

3. Plan a picnic in Surprise Grandma and Grandpa with a picnic! Here are three great spots for a family picnic:

Hanby Park offers a great location for an afternoon picnic with access to a playground, bike trails and even a restroom. It also shares a parking lot with the Westerville Library allowing for an opportunity to pick out and read your favorite books together after your picnic.

Listen to live music together during the Sundays at Scioto concert series in Dublin. The concert is from 5:00-6:30 and is a wonderful spot for a dinner-time picnic. The address is Scioto Park, 7377 Riverside Dr., Dublin. Do plan to arrive early, when the park is full, it’s closed to additional guests and vehicles.

Sharon Woods Metro Park has six different non-reservable picnic areas each boasting scenic views and easy access to playground equipment for the kids.

4. Let your child share one of their favorite places! Does your child have a favorite trampoline park, amusement park, or playground? Grandma and Grandpa might love to come along to take part, or if that's too much, simply watch their grandchildren enjoy themselves! Your children, in turn, will probably love to tour Grandma and Grandpa around their favorite place. Here are three fun spots where kids can play and there is plenty of room for adults to watch (or take part!):

Rockin Jump in Westerville offers Junior Jumpers (ages five and under) from 9:00-11:00 on Sunday followed by all ages jumping from 11:00-8:00. If jumping isn’t quite for Grandma and Grandpa, there are plenty of seating options to enjoy the show.

Scene75 Columbus is the largest indoor entertainment center in the country at 220,000 square feet. It’s the home of Toddler Town for the smallest of the grandkids with prices starting at $5 and continues with activities for the older grandchildren and for the “children at heart”. Scene 75 is open from 11:00 – 9:00.

Frontier Mini-Golf course has two different 18-hole courses that are fun for the whole family. Adults are $7 and children are $5 with deals if you do both courses. Frontier is open 10:00-8:00, weather permitting.

5. Let grandparents share one of their favorite places around Columbus

Perhaps your grandparents have a favorite spot or activity around Columbus that you haven't been to before! Let them take you and your kids along to experience what makes it important to them. They'll love introducing you and your kids to their friends and sharing a place that's special.

6. Visit a museum together. Museums are a great place to spend a day with Grandma and Grandpa! Here are two great museums that will be open on Grandparents Day:

Center of Science and Industry (COSI) will be open from 10:00-5:00 and seniors receive $2 off admission. COSI is home to 300-plus hands-on exhibits, Ohio’s largest Planetarium, Giant Screen Theater, and live shows.

The Columbus Historical Society is showcasing 36 local artists in their Central Ohio Artists Pandemic Art: Expressions Through Art.  These pieces display various transitions that we have collectively experienced throughout the Pandemic and create an opportunity to reflect together in this free exhibit open from 12:30-4:00.

7. Say “Hi” to the animals. Grandparents probably love to see animals as much as their grandkids! Here are three places to go and see the animals on Grandparents Day:

You can almost never go wrong with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium which is open from 9:00 – 7:00. With more than 10,000 animals across the zoo, you are sure to find your favorite there. From 10:00-2:00 daily, you are even able to say “hello” to one of the zoo's newest addition, Frankie an elephant calf born in June.

The petting zoo at the Olentangy Indian Caverns is a wonderful way to combine exploration and a visit with the animals. The caverns are open from 9:30-5:00.

Highbanks Metropark is offering a Meet the Animals experience from 2:00-3:00 focusing on reptiles and amphibians and how they survive in the wild. You will meet at the nature center for this event. Please allow time for parking as parking at the nature center typically fills on the weekends.

8. Go for ice cream! Who doesn't love a sweet treat? Here are three great locally-owned ice cream places we love:

Libby Lou’s Fun Factory which is known for extreme shakes among other sweets is open 12:00 – 6:00.

You will be able to find the Little Ladies Soft Serve truck at the Powell Street Market from 12:00 – 4:00 for a sweet treat following a morning of shopping. Little Ladies specializes in soft-serve ice cream cones and sundaes from a menu unlike any other around.

You can watch the creation of a rolled masterpiece from the Ice Cream Rollery in Gahanna open from 1:00-9:00. If you are still hungry, you can even follow it up with a buttery lobster roll.

9. Do a fun and unique activity together:

Create a Mug together at Busy Bees Pottery and Art Studio in Dublin. Tickets can be purchased here.  

You can spend the afternoon together at Huntington Park to watch our very own Columbus Clippers take on the Gwinnett Stripers. Sunday is Family Day and fans can purchase a Family Pass with two adults and up to four youth bleacher, lawn, or SRO tickets for just $15, or reserved seating for just $25. It is also Senior Sundays where Seniors age 60 and over can purchase a Bleacher Senior Seat for only $2, or a Reserved Senior Seat for $5! (Not available online, purchase at the Huntington Park ticket windows or by calling 614-462-2757).

10. Add Kindness to your Grandparent’s Day Celebration!
Seeds of Caring has a creative & meaningful way to celebrate grandparents while helping your kids understand what it means to be a caring human! For this Grandparent’s Day project your kids can connect with their grandparents via Zoom, in-person, or even through mail, using the prompts provided to learn fun facts about each other, discuss kindness, and then commit to completing acts of kindness together throughout the Fall. The intergenerational component of this signature Seeds of Caring service project makes it particularly special! Registration can be found here

Grandparents live far away?
Let them know you're thinking of them on Grandparents Day! Here are three ways to tell them you love them from a distance:

Make a video
Kids can list all the things they love about grandma and grandpa.

Send them a hug
Tape together a few pieces of newspaper or use the white side of wrapping paper and outline your child with their arms outstretched. Let your kids color themselves in. Fold it up, put it in an envelope, and send that hug to Grandma and Grandpa!

Handprint Art
Handprint art is an easy way to capture a moment in time. It can be printed on paper, painted on objects or even imprinted in clay as an ornament. The options are limitless but some great ideas to get your creative mind flowing can be found here.