Sledding is an essential activity during the winter months in Ohio. All you really need is a little snow, a sled, some warm clothes, and the desire to have fun. I recently took my kids to Antrim Park off of Olentangy River Road where we enjoyed sledding, making snow angels, and tracks in the snow. I discovered that my almost two-year-old liked keeping his feet on the ground, and that my three-year-old daughter was a sled-devil. She loved the anticipation of “take-off” and would laugh and scream all the way down. Seriously cute. Her little brother and I would run down after her cheering all the way, and then help her stand up. We’d drag the sled back up and do it again.
We have a little blue toddler sled which was fun, but it is made to seat only one child. It would have been more fun if both kids could have gone down at the same time, either each in a sled of their own or one sled made to fit two people. I think my son, who isn’t quite two years old, got scared going by himself. It would have been much better if he could have sat on my lap or gone with his sister hanging onto him. The toddler sled has a belt so the child can be strapped in, but I think that is if you are pulling them around in the snow, not for sledding (for safety reasons, I think it is best not to strap your child in when they go down the hill – just in case they crash).
Since my children are both so little they tired easily. They also didn’t quite have the attention span to keep going up and down the hill, no matter how thrilling the sledding down part was to them. And really, that was fine because at Antrim they have a big field to play in. We tracked dog, deer and squirrel footprints, and made tracks of our own. The kids also rolled around and made snow angels. When we were about to leave more kids were sledding and we watched them for a bit, but after playing in the snow for two hours my kids were ready to go.
Once we got in the car I took off their snowy mittens and blew on their hands to warm them up. We went to Panera for some hot cocoa and a pastry treat. It was a fun morning!
Please remember a few things if you decide to sled outside this winter:
- Sled – can be found at places such as Lowes, Bed Bath and Beyond, The Andersons, Dick’s, Meijer, Target, and there are plenty of options online.
- A snowsuit is ideal for a child, but if you do not own one layer them up. Tights under jeans, double shirts under coats and tuck at least one shirt into their jeans.
- Mittens and hats are a must. Boots are great too, but you can always double up socks or pull baby legs over the shoe tops to help keep snow out.
- Sunscreen if it is a sunny day for their little faces.
- Some of the metro parks offer shelters, but not for warmth.
- Water or bring a thermos with a warm beverage if you are planning to stay out for a long time.
- Watch out for bigger kids! Kids are still kids and will be focused on having fun – they aren’t necessarily going to look out for your little ones. If you have bigger kids, please go over a little sledding safety with them (watch out for people below, wait your turn, etc., etc.).
- Go early.
There are plenty of places to take your children sledding. If they are young they don’t need a huge hill, so take advantage of small hills in your neighborhood – just please be careful that the hill doesn’t end near a street. Take a look at these options for hills:
Thank you to the Columbus Dispatch for the listings below. Original posting, click here.
Metro Parks sledding hills are all open today, park officials report. Those are at:
* Battelle-Darby Creek, 1775 Darby Creek Dr., Galloway: a hill off Alkire Road at Kropp Road. (614-891-0700)
* Blacklick Woods Metro Golf Course, 7309 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg: a hill on the golf course. (614-891-0700)
* Highbanks, 9466 Columbus Pike (Rt. 23 north), Lewis Center: hills at the end of the park at the Big Meadows parking lot. (614-891-0700)
* Sharon Woods, 6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville: a hill just north of the main entrance. (614-891-0700)
* Blendon Woods, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville: a child’s hill to the right of the Y from the entrance. (614-891-0700)
Schiller Park, 1069 Jaeger St. in German Village (this hill is sanctioned by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department)
Clinton-Como Park, west end of W. Weber Road
Whetstone Park, 3923 N. High St.
Antrim Park, 5800 Olentangy River Rd., hill for small children
Dublin: Scioto Park, 7377 Riverside Drive
Gahanna: Gahanna Golf Course, 220 Ridenour Rd.
Grandview Heights: 25-foot hill at Wyman Woods, 1520 Goodale Blvd.
Grove City: Fryer Park, 3899 Orders Rd.
Hilliard: Municipal Park, 3800 Veterans Memorial Dr.
Pickerington: Sycamore Creek Park, 500 Hereford Dr.
Whitehall: Community Park, 402 N. Hamilton Rd.
Worthington: Olentangy River parkland, 600 W. Wilson Bridge Rd.