Wickliffe Playground

Castle playground in Upper Arlington is full of fun, friendly features

The Wickliffe Playground in Upper Arlington is a study in friendship.

Volunteers in the community built the castle-like playground within a week in 1990 and dedicated it “to children of all ages,” according to a bronze plaque on one of its spires.

Constructed out of plywood and car tires, it’s where boys and girls can engage in adventuresome games of hide-and-go-seek and tag.

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The playground is surrounded by colorful benches with positive messages about friendship like “you are amazing” and “treat others kindly.” They’re the works of students from the adjacent Wickliffe Progressive School, known for its art-centered curriculum.

Also on site is a Little Free Library – a birdhouse-like structure where children can borrow and lend books – another friendly gesture by the school.

I learned about the playground from a friend who lives in the neighborhood and regularly visits with her son. I went with my children, who quickly made new friends while traversing a labyrinth of walkways and bridges.

Other neat features include a tunnel of tires, a portion of a walkway that rocks back and forth, and a section that looks like a locomotive. There also are swings that don’t squeak – perfect for swinging alongside a friend.

Visit during non-school hours or on weekends. Parking is available along the 2400 block of Eastcleft Drive in Upper Arlington.


Reed Road Park Boulder Garden

Introduce youngsters to rock climbing at Upper Arlington park

Sure, Columbus doesn’t have mountains, but that doesn’t stop our desire to climb.

Children and adults can exercise this craving at Reed Road Park in Upper Arlington. That’s where you’ll find four natural looking boulders made of concrete on a squishy surface.

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The fabricated boulders were installed at the park in 2012 and manufactured by a Canadian company called RockCraft.

Weighing in at about 3,000 pounds apiece and standing at roughly 8 foot tall, the rocks have sculpted holds and ledges for hands and feet. They’re recommended for ages 5 and up as a way to get a physical and mental workout without experience or safety equipment.

My kids just thought they were fun to climb, not knowing they were exercising and improving their confidence with each upward step.

The park, located at 3855 Reed Rd., also has two sand volleyball courts, baseball diamonds, a multi-purpose trail, a picnic shelter, a small playground and restrooms.

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Central Ohio Farm Markets

Prime picking time for farmers markets

One of the best things about summer in Ohio is the bounty of fruits and vegetables. There’s nothing like a sun-ripened tomato, picked fresh from the vine. Even better is dicing it up and combining it with peeled cucumbers, strips of basil and a freshly made vinaigrette for a tasty summertime salad.

You can find these ingredients and more at the many farm markets sprouting up this time of year in central Ohio. I recently visited the farmers market in the Columbus neighborhood of Clintonville, held each Saturday from April through November.

Vendors from around Ohio set up temporary shops along N. High Street, offering fruits, vegetables, pastries, jams, honey and flowers. The farmers grow their produce within 75 miles of Columbus, so it’s made for flavor — not made to survive long trips on trucks or trains.

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Here is a brief look at some of the many farm markets around central Ohio:

Bexley Farmers Market: 4-7 p.m., Thursdays, May through October, Bexley City Hall, 2111 E. Main St., Bexley. Learn more: www.bexleyfarmersmarket.com.

Canal Winchester Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-noon., Saturdays, May through October, Main Street in downtown Canal Winchester. Learn more: www.thecwfm.com.

Clintonville Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, April through November; and 4-7 p.m., Wednesdays, June through August, west side of N. High Street between Orchard Lane and W. Dunedin Road, Columbus. Learn more: www.clintonvillefarmersmarket.org.

Delaware Farmers Market: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturdays; 3-6 p.m., Wednesdays, May through October, Sandusky Street, downtown Delaware. Learn more: www.mainstreetdelaware.com/farmers-market.

Dublin Farmers Market: 3:30-6:30 p.m.., Wednesdays, May through September, Oakland Nursery, 4261 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., Dublin. Learn more: www.dublinfarmersmarket.com.

Franklinton’s Market at 400: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturdays (biweekly), year round, 400 W. Rich St., Columbus. Learn more: 400westrich.com.

Grandview Avenue Farmers Market: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays, July through October, 1371 Grandview Ave., Grandview Heights.

Grove City Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, April through October, Grove City Town Center, at the corners of Park Street and Broadway.

Hilliard Farm Market: 4-7 p.m., Tuesdays, June through September, parking lots at the corner of Wayne and Center streets, Hilliard. Learn more: hilliardfarmmarket.com.

Jefferson Township Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, June through September, Jefferson Community Park, 7494 Clark State Rd., Blacklick.

Lancaster Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, May through October, Government Services parking lot, 239 W. Main St., Lancaster. Learn more: www.lancasterohfarmersmarket.org.

Pearl Market: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesdays and Fridays, May through October, Pearl Alley, one block north of the Ohio Statehouse, downtown Columbus. Learn more: downtowncolumbus.com/pearlmarket.

Powell Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, May through October, City of Powell Municipal Building, 47 Hall St., Powell.

Reynoldsburg Farmers Market: 3-6 p.m., Thursdays, June through August, Huber Park, 7300 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg.

Worthington Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, May through October; 9 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, November through April (indoors), downtown Olde Worthington. Learn more: worthingtonfarmersmarket.blogspot.com.

Upper Arlington Farmers Market: 3-6 p.m., Wednesdays, May through September, Upper Arlington Senior Center, 1945 Ridgeview Rd.

Uptown Westerville Farmers Market: 3-6 p.m., Wednesdays, May through October, N. State and E. Home roads, Westerville. Learn more: www.marketwednesday.com.