Looking for Help - Best Columbus Hotels/Activities for Families

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johnblairgobucks's picture

The Columbus Zoo, is always a good stop if your kids like animals.

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BKallDAY's picture

I like the idea of staying in the downtown / arena area it sounds like alot of your activities are located in downtown . . . constantly commuting from from a polaris or other suburb area is going to be taxing especially trying to get into downtown if caught in rush hour 

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BKallDAY's picture

i like the botanical gardens alot . . . but it is hard to get kids super excited about going.  lots of great eats, happy to throw some ideas out there just let me know your budget and preference 

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IHadToGoogleArchiesMiddleName's picture

I'm pretty sure they just opened a LEGO Land near/in Easton - could be enjoyable for all 3 kids (and both parents).

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Hovenaut's picture

That's awesome. I want to get back home again and bring my 8 yo to a game...a visit to the LL would be another great incentive.

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RubixTube's picture

A brief review of LegoLand Easton (spoilers present):

I preface by saying we (the Tube family) visited on the 2nd weekend they were open.  My daughter was invited to a bday party & we felt somewhat obligated to let the other 2 have a run at it, too.  First impression, it's not a "big LEGO store", it's an attempt at a Chuck E Cheese style hangout without the video games.  Commercialism rules so you're greeted by a clunky check-in/payment gate where adults pay a small fortune to watch their kids have a good time.  After your initial fleecing, you're moved along to a photo stand where members of your party can pose for pictures that will later be available for sale in LEGO frames or, if you want, on your family's very own LEGO set (you get to build a brick wall with your picture on it).  

Moving on, you'll queue (which is really just Q followed by 4 silent vowels) into groups before moving into a giant theater.  There's a brief interactive video meant to introduce you to LEGO and the layout of the Land you're in, then it's on to the next stop.  Those who so choose can wait in line (short wait, I think we were < 15 mins) for a "ride" similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disney.  You sit in a car that holds 5 (max), each rider has a "blaster" and you shoot at targets as you progress thru the track.  Hi score wins.  The kids loved it.

After that, we may have stepped off of the 'tour path' but we ended up in a large room with the following:

  • large play area for younger kids, stocked with DUPLO blocks
  • large play area stocked with LEGO Friends & Cities blocks.
  • large play area stocked with LEGO vehicle parts, tracks & ramps.
  • large cargo net/rope play set 
  • Ride - round in circles you go, cars can raise and lower based on riders pedaling.
  • Cafe w/seating area -note that there's plenty of seating, but seating in/near the play areas is limited (maybe that's just because it was crowded).

Once you (or the kids) have had your fill of this play area, the next stop is the gift shop (LEGO store+) where you can buy/pick up your pictures from before as well as any number of LEGO sets.  The other LEGO store at Easton does still exist, so you're not bound to this stop for your LEGO needs.  

In all, it was a great time for the kids.  Had it been slightly less crowded, I imagine they (and I) would've found it more enjoyable.  I'll definitely take the kids back (or let them go back for a Bday party) sometime, but it's not really something they ask about, even when we're at Easton.  

Never before in the history of man have lives less lived been more chronicled. - Dennis Miller

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I live near the Legoland in Winter Haven, FL. Those things are freaking awesome. I didnt know one was opened in Columbus.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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jawnly211's picture

I was shocked to read this too! So I looked it up and its not a LEGOLAND theme park. It's a discovery center. I guess its like a huge Lego store. hahahaha

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Leonhard's picture

This might be a little out there, but my kids always enjoyed the Drury Inn.  They have an indoor/outdoor pool, and a hot tub.  Pets are welcome. Kids would walk up to a pet owner and can I pet your dog.  I always got the two room suite.  One for sleeping, one for moving around, and it wasn't that much more.  And with the happy hour, kids got the free buffet, and dad got a couple drinks on the house.  It worked for us when we had younger kids.  There's one in Grove City and one between Upper Arlington and Hilliard, which is the one we went too.  

Leonhard

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hetuck's picture

What is the timing of your spring break? Spring game is April 13th. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

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LCT's picture

Hetuck is potentially MVP of this thread

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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jamesrbrown322's picture

Their spring break is in March unfortunately.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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LCT's picture

OP, downtown Hampton Inn is a great spot. Adjacent to North Market and walkable to Capitol Square. Good pool, free breakfast.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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Buck61's picture

rooms around campus may be priced higher than normal in march, the high school championships are in columbus  starting the second weekends in march. hockey is at nationwide the second weekend, the second through the four at the vca. Wrestling then girls bball then boys bball.

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TeddyKGB's picture

People are happy to help, obviously, but give more info. What specific dates? What do your kids like to do for hobbies?  Price range of hotel rooms. 

People post these asking for recommendations a lot and they are  so vague. 

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jamesrbrown322's picture

We'll be in Columbus March 22-24. Our girls are pretty typical, so the "mythic creatures" exhibit at COSI should hopefully be a big hit. We think they may also enjoy seeing The Shoe and visiting campus since their grandparents when to college there. Apologies for being so vague, I was just trying to throw it out there and see what ideas folks had for kids.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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Earle's picture

Whatever else you do, DO NOT TAKE THEM TO THE AMERICAN GIRL STORE AT EASTON.

That is my public service for the day.

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jamesrbrown322's picture

We have one here, literally down the street from our house.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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Earle's picture

My condolences to your bank account.

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TeddyKGB's picture

Depending on when you get there on the 22nd, stop by the WHAC.  The trophy room is open until 4:30pm I believe.

Friday you could also book a tour of the Shoe - https://www.ohiostadiumtours.com/

Nice weather, walk through Buckeye Grove.

NCAA March Madness Rounds 1 & 2 are in town that weekend.

Might be able to get the kids to eat free at Old Bag of Nails with this coupon  - http://www.oldbagofnails.com/events/

Or at Rusty Bucket if they read 5 books.  https://www.myrustybucket.com/news/rusty-bucket%E2%80%99s-bucketeer-book...

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Buck61's picture

the ncaa basketball tourney is in town that weekend, get your hotel  rooms locked up well in advance. there will plenty of out of towners in coumbus that weekend. looking at the sites columbus could easily get uk,  ut, big 10 teams.

expect much higher rates for the downtown hotels. the teams will be staying downtown.

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erniefurgler's picture

That's the same weekend as the boy HS basketball state tournament so the area around the Schott/campus will be fairly busy...may also impact the price of your hotel, although if staying downtown it should be fine. 

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Wargor's picture

Where in Southern Ohio are you coming from and where do you live now?  I'm wondering about the route up and what there might be along the way / what activities would be a taste of something new vs. the same thing you have at home.

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jamesrbrown322's picture

We're heading up from Franklin, TN, which is about 20 minutes south of Nashville and visiting my grandparents in Portsmouth before heading up to CBus.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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Wargor's picture

About an hour out of your way is the Great Serpent Mound.

Another possibility on the way up is Slate Run, where they have an old-timey working farm.  Definitely check to see what might be going on that time of year along with restricted hours. 

I also go along with earlier recommendations on the Zoo.  

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Chic&#039;sGhost's picture

Drive around German Village, have lunch at Schmidt's and go to the Book Loft.  I've traveled the world, and German Village is one of the coolest places ever. 

Barney Fife lives, and he lives amongst us.

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

In your opinion how does it compare to a real village in Germany?

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Leonhard's picture

I'm going to throw my 2 cents in.  I've been to Oberammergau, Berchtesgaden and Wolfach in the Bavaria.  I like German Village. But it can't compare to the real thing.  Hoping to go back before the wife and I kick the bucket.  Loved Bavaria, clean, safe, history out the ying yang, and the views are spectacular.

Leonhard

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Chic&#039;sGhost's picture

It's not supposed to. German Village is a cool place and it is irrelevant how it compares to German villages.

Barney Fife lives, and he lives amongst us.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I'm from Southern Ohio. The weather will be weird for you. One day it may be snowing. The next 75 and sunny. The following day freezing rain. The day after that thunderstorms. Pack accordingly.

As been mentioned before, I have a friend who works at COSI, which is great for families, and the new Legoland in Columbus is indoors (because of the weather I just spoke about). It's brand new so it will be packed.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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jamesrbrown322's picture

Yeah, the weather is a gamble, which is why I was planning on COSI rather than a stadium tour. The LEGO idea is picking up steam for sure...

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

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GunnerBuck's picture

Zoo and Franklin Co Conservatory for sure. As far as hotels, I can't help you. I live here so I don't stay in hotels much haha. 

"Come on, you sons of b!tches! Do you want to live forever?" -- Dan Daly, WWI

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hetuck's picture

1. OP, what did you wind up doing and how did it go?

2. Here is a Dispatch link to an interesting book. 

https://www.dispatch.com/entertainmentlife/20190423/joe-blundo--anietra-...

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

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