Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus is fabulous, and I am still in awe that City Center Mall once stood there. Thank you to the city for turning the space into a huge park for its residents. My memories of stopping at Au Bon Pain before acting class and fights with mom over school clothes (hee hee) at the mall will not be forgotten – and now, I get new ones filled with carousel rides, music, and table tennis. Columbus Commons offers Commons for Kids every Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., June 3 – September 2 and Family Fundays the second Sunday of each month. During these events there will be a slew of entertainment for kids and plenty of lawn space to run around and enjoy the city landscape. The Columbus Metropolitan Library will be there with the book mobile on Fridays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (I know its summer, but reading is just as important as running, and riding carousels). Check out the Columbus Commons Happenings page for more details and events.
Parking was a breeze and there were many options within walking distance. There is an underground garage directly underneath the Commons off of Third and around the corner on Rich is an above ground garage. I paid $5.00 for parking in the Commons garage and my friend mentioned it was only $2.00 in the Rich Street lot. Also, the streets have tons of meters, but remember change and read the signs (I got a $25 ticket one night simply for not reading the sign thoroughly). Some are 2 hour limits and free on Sundays.
Please be prepared for crowds and lines during the events. I am not a fan of huge crowds and felt a bit overwhelmed, but the kids were having fun – I tried to chill out. We played corn hole, rode the carousel, got ice cream, and jumped in the bounce houses (not sure if bounce houses will be there all the time, though). Graeter’s sells ice cream for $3/cup and there is a stand for food, but a friend waited in line for 45 minutes for fries. I think we’ll be packing our lunch. Also, as far as the bathroom situation they have port-o-potties, so bring some extra toilet paper in your bag just in case.
Be sure to check it out this summer! It is Central Park of Central Ohio!
A few tips:
- Parking garages take credit card or cash, meters only take change. Be prepared.
- Strollers or wagons would be fine.
- Bring cash for the carousel – rumors are it will be $1 to ride/child.
- Pack lunch and bring water, or try eating at a downtown restaurant or foodie cart.
- Bring an umbrella in case of rain – there is no covered shelter.