When children in Grandview Heights are old enough to walk to school on their own, parents breathe easier knowing that many moms and dads are looking out for them.
"In Grandview, we always say you have a hundred moms watching," joked Katie Clifford, a mother of three.
Many of the children go through school together beginning in preschool, which creates a wonderful sense of community, she said.
Walking to school comes naturally to families because many regularly walk or bike to the library or local shops and restaurants, Clifford said. The Grandview Heights Public Library offers many children's programs and hosts numerous community events like summer concerts and a Halloween party.
"That's one of the things that's so special about Grandview. You can ride your bike all the time," Clifford said.
Her family enjoys pedaling to Wyman Woods Park, which the city recently upgraded. The park now offers "a beautiful new play area," said Sean Robey, the city's director of parks and recreation. The play area features a long slide, climbing boulders and an elevator-like structure that allows kids to stand on a platform and slowly drop about 5 feet, he said.
"It has some really unique features," Robey said.
The park improvements were made possible by bed-tax dollars generated from a hotel at Grandview Yard, a mixed-use development on the site of a former Big Bear warehouse. The city has worked with a local real estate company to develop offices, restaurants and other businesses on the 100-acre property. The tax generates about $150,000 annually for parks and recreation, Robey said.
Revenue generated from Grandview Yard also will help fund improvements at the decades-old city pool, Robey said. The department has begun working with consultants to determine what type of new aquatic facility will best suit the community.
Local residents and commuters enjoy dining at Grandview Yard's Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill, which features a winning collection of Ohio State University sports memorabilia; Jason's Deli, a casual eatery that focuses on fresh ingredients, and Hofbräuhaus Columbus, which serves German food and often has live music.
The city also has many other dining options. Mazah Mediterranean Eatery is a family-owned restaurant offering hummus, falafel and other Mediterranean fare. The no-frills DK Diner serves classic breakfast food; the house specialty is a sandwich made from a glazed donut and fried eggs. Mothers and daughters will enjoy dining at the Cambridge Tea House. The cozy restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
Families will want to leave room for shopping and exploring. Grandview has many interesting boutiques and thrift shops. The city is home to the Grandview Theatre, a single-screen theatre that often shows family movies and hosts special events.
Shoppers looking for used furniture will want to visit The Carpenter's Daughter, Fresco Furnishings and One More Time Etc. Second-hand clothing and accessory shoppers should check out Second Chance and One More Time. Trader Tots is the spot for anyone in need of baby gear and children's clothing.
Peabody Papers sells fun stationery, prints invitations and carries seasonal items. Chapel Hill Florist offers much more than flowers and stunning silk arrangements. The shop carries jewelry, home décor items and women's accessories. The kitchen accessories store Cosecha has a small but unique selection of cupcake liners and other children's party supplies.
The Smithery, one of the area's newest stores, carries jewelry and affordable art.
"We really tried hard to bring in people whose work isn't sold in Columbus or the Midwest," said Jen Townsend, a jewelry artist and co-owner of the shop. She and co-owner Anne Holman, who is also a jewelry artist, teach classes for adults and children.
"We want people to know you can make things with your hands, and the joy it gives," Townsend said. In February, kids can register to make enamel necklaces or stitched Valentine's Day ornaments. Children also can pair up with a parent at one workshop to make a set of two necklaces with their initials on them.
The Ohio Craft Museum also offers workshops and camps for adults, children and families, but you'll need to register well in advance because these popular offerings fill up quickly.