Columbus sledding hills

Sledding in Columbus

Albeit flat, central Ohio produces some sledding possibilities


Columbus has discovered its world is pretty flat, but that doesn’t mean sledding is out of the question on snow days.

We recently tested three hills at Columbus parks along the Olentangy River that were suitable for small children and downright enjoyable for this mom.

So grab your sled and hit the hills.

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Clinton-Como Park
301 W. Pacemont Rd., Columbus

When I first encountered this hill, near the east bank of the Olentangy River, I mistook it for a sacred earth mound. But another Columbus resident perhaps had a better explanation: “I think it’s a dirt pile left over from from construction of the nearby apartments,” he said. This simplification made more sense. The mound, my children found, is descendable from all directions, which made it extra cool for sled riding. From atop you see a steady stream of bikers and joggers, meandering the Olentangy Greenway Trail that follows the river and intersects this 20-acre park. Access the hill by parking along the west end of W. Weber Road, or park at the lot on the west end of Lakeview Avenue, near a playground.

Kenney Park
5201 Delawanda Ave., Columbus

“I had no idea this park existed,” was my first thought upon discovering the sledding hills at Kenney Park, at the west end of Graceland Shopping Center. Located along the Olentangy River, the park contains ball diamonds and a soccer field, the sides of which create delightful sledding hills. Dozens of sledders were using the park when we arrived, zipping down inclines that led into the center of the soccer field. Access the park from the parking area west of the Kroger Marketplace.

Olentangy Park
600 W. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington

The 100-acre Olentangy Park, also along the Olentangy River, has multiple sledding possibilities, and when we arrived it appeared that sledders had already tried and worn out every one. The main hill is long and lean, adjacent to the entryway of the park. Other sledding slopes were created on a wooded bank straddling soccer fields. The park also contains a portion of the bike trail, playground and the Winding Adventures Skate Park.

If you’ve worked up a good appetite, visit Villa Nova Ristorante, 5545 N. High St., where children can eat a hearty dish of homemade rigatoni or spaghetti and meatballs for $3.95 ($1.99 on Mondays).

Columbus Children's Theatre Thrifty Thursday
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Columbus Children’s Theatre: Thrifty Thursday

All seats just $12 on Thursday nights


If you’ve got kids, and those kids like to watch plays (a likely eventuality), then check out what Columbus Children’s Theatre has to offer.

Located at 512 N. Park St. near the North Market, Columbus Children’s Theatre offers discounted tickets to its performances every Thursday. “Thrifty Thursday” tickets are just $12 apiece for all ages, compared to $15-$25 for tickets on other days. This once-a-week bargain presents a great opportunity for those not familiar with the theater company a chance to become acquainted with its fine productions.

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The theater was founded in 1963 with a mission to offer theatrical instruction to children throughout central Ohio. In addition to about eight productions a year, the theater offers a professional touring company that performs at schools around Ohio, as well as acting classes and workshops for children as young as three.

I took my family to see “Pinocchio” on a recent Thursday. The 50-minute show was the perfect length for a school night. The show started at 7:30 p.m. I arrived 30 minutes beforehand to secure a parking space. I pumped $2 into a meter in front of the theater.

The venue has three sections of stadium-style seating, with the actors positioned on the ground in the center. All seats provide good views.

Four versatile actors from the theater’s touring company performed the popular play about a wooden puppet that dreams of becoming a boy. They made it appear as though there were many more cast members as they moved about the theater, changing costumes and character voices.

My children were enraptured by the performance, especially when they asked for audience participation. My daughter, Rosie, delighted in joining two other girls on stage. At one point she was led behind a curtain, only to reappear with donkey ears on her head. She, along with Pinocchio, had been turned into a mule because she was playing too much and not doing her school work.

The cast members stayed afterward to sign autographs on playbills and pose for pictures.

Performances normally take place at the Park Street location, except the springtime productions, which move to bigger, more-accommodating venues.

Upcoming shows in the 2015 season include:

Feb. 12-22
“Healers in the Forest,” an hourlong show about a farm boy who discovers fairylike children with the power to heal that’s suggested for ages 4 and older.

March 12-29
“Fancy Nancy: The Musical,” a 75-minute show adapted from the children’s books by Jane O’Connor Minutes that’s suggested for ages 4 and older.

April 9-29
“The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a 50-minute William Goldsmith adaptation suggested for ages 3 and older.

April 30-May 10
“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” a two-act musical based on the animated film suggested for ages 5 and older and performed at the Lincoln Theatre, 769 E. Long St.

The box office is open one hour before shows. No concessions are sold at the theater and no food or drink is permitted inside. For more information, call 614-224-6672 or visit columbuschildrenstheatre.org.

Movie Tavern, Breakfast and a Flick
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Movie Tavern: Breakfast and a Flick

Bargain movies on weekend mornings with a side of eggs


Getting a price break on a first-run movie usually means settling on an afternoon matinee showing. But the Movie Tavern at Mill Run presents another option – bargain movies on weekend mornings with the added bonus of breakfast.

“Breakfast and a Flick” starts at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Guests pay $5 to see a first-run film at the 12-screen theater.

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I recently took my children on a Saturday morning to see “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” which proved to be a pleasant family outing that took half the time it would to separately eat a meal in a restaurant and see a movie.

I read the menu by a dim light that remained lit throughout the film. Our server, Jared, took our order at our seats before the movie started. We could request additional service by pressing a call button. Our food was delivered during the movie, and I paid toward the end.

The breakfast menu includes pancakes, French toast, bagels, oatmeal and quesadillas. Kids meals, including a drink, are priced at $4.25.

The food was a bit bland and the surroundings a bit disheveled, which I attribute to the theater’s nontraditional seating – think office chairs pulled away from the tables. That said, the wheeled seats that swivel and recline are quite comfortable.

Movie Tavern is a national chain. It has a full bar, so if you feel inclined, order a Bloody Mary or mimosa for breakfast, too.

Movie Tavern is located 3773 Ridge Mill Dr., Columbus.

For more information and
movie times, visit www.movietavern.com or call 614-777-1012.