Neighborhood Spotlight: Grandview Heights
Although Grandview Heights might be best known for great restaurants where grown-ups can find fine dining and adult beverages, it also has plenty of opportunities for family fun. It's a Columbus suburb with a small-town feel, said Michelle Wilson, executive director of the Grandview Area Chamber of Commerce.
"It's Mayberry-esque in a modern way," she said.
Residents can always count on running into someone they know while out and about, added Analisa Trares, a Grandview mother of three.
"You're on a first-name basis with the mayor," she said. "You have total access to anyone you need."
The Clay Cafe, a paint-your-own pottery studio, is a great place to take kids. They love working on the art projects that make fabulous one-of-a-kind gifts for parents and grandparents.
Families can experience professional art at the kid-friendly Ohio Craft Museum. The museum features rotating exhibits, plus offers classes and camps for children.
Another unique art experience is the Open Door Art Studio, which offers classes and creative-enrichment opportunities for people with disabilities. The studio, located in an alley along Grandview Avenue, sells affordable and interesting works of arts made by students.
Grandview Avenue, one of the city's main roads, is best explored on foot like the locals do. Get your caffeine fix at Stauf's Grandview and wander around the bustling downtown.
Kids will enjoy making candles at The Candle Lab. Candle creators can combine a variety of scents to create a unique-smelling soy candle.
Be sure to see what's playing at the recently restored and locally-owned Grandview Theatre, which tries to offer movies and special events for kids and adults.
Indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to Jeni's Ice Creams, the local chain that specializes in fresh ingredients and unique flavors. For more traditional ice cream treats, visit the Grandview Dairy Queen.
The Grandview Heights Public Library is a short walk from downtown and has an inviting children's area with computer games, nooks for reading, and a cozy play area. The library offers regular story hours and numerous free events each month.
For some outdoor fun, visit Wyman Woods where kids can walk through the woods or climb on the playground equipment. The park also is home to one of Central Ohio's best sledding hills.
Trares likes Buck Park for its recycled tire surface in the playground area. She takes her kids there when the weather has been rainy because she said the surface means kids won't get muddy.
Grandview also is home to a large number of resale and consignment shops, many of which are located along Fifth Avenue. Trader Tots, which opened more than 20 years ago, sells second-hand kid clothes and baby items. Second Chance Consignment Boutique and Coco Couture specialize in upscale ladies' clothes. Other stores include one more time, a 9,000-square-foot store that sells used women's and men's clothing; one more time plus, which carries plus-size clothes, one more time etc., a used-furniture store, and Fresco Furnishings, an upscale used-furniture shop.
Buckeye fans will want to sample the fare at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill. The sports restaurant features memorabilia, photographs and a 'Block O'-shaped fire pit. Menu options range from hamburgers to prime rib to fish.
For lighter appetites, try Jason's Deli, which serves soups, sandwiches and salads, with a focus on organic ingredients. Kids can finish off their meal with free soft-serve ice cream.
For a fun mother-daughter day, visit the Cambridge Tea House. Kids and moms can sip tea or hot chocolate out of fancy cups and sample scones and finger sandwiches.