Spring break adventures await you in close-to-home Columbus, Indiana. With so many indoor and outdoor attractions, you’ll have a great time no matter the weather. From sprawling parks and walking trails to a children’s museum and newly renovated indoor playground, there are plenty of places to explore.
James A. Henderson Playground at The Commons
After months of construction, the newly renovated indoor playground is now open! You and your kids will love the enhancements. The new features include designated infant/toddler areas, slides and a tunnel. The two-story Luckey Climber is back! Now, the infant/toddler area is more separated from the “big kids” areas, making it safer for the “littles.” You’ll discover more elements that encourage group play and socialization along with more sensory experiences. As always, the playground is free and open to the public. Hours are family-friendly no matter your schedule.
kidscommons Columbus’ community children’s museum
The kidscommons children’s museum is exciting and interactive with three floors of fun! Most of the hands-on activities and exhibits support STEM learning and are kids-sized. Exhibits include Early Childhood Garden, ExploraHouse! (with a giant toilet to climb in), bubble-ology, City by Design and Laser Harp. The newest exhibit on the third floor, Camp kidscommons, features adventures searching for Indiana creatures and their habitats. Each experience is designed to encourage exploration, collaboration and creativity. Most importantly, your kids will think they are just playing and having fun!
The kidscommons is easy to find in downtown Columbus on Washington Street. On-street parking or parking at the Public Parking Garage close by, makes getting there a breeze.
While accompanying adult supervision is required, clear sightlines throughout the museum makes this a safe place to allow your toddlers to discover and learn. Crowds are controlled so every visitor has an enjoyable experience. With two time slots per day to reserve, advance online ticket purchase is highly recommended.
The museum is closed on Mondays. Reserve your tickets now, then look forward to your day of meaningful play.
Lucabe Coffee Company
A coffee break and snack are a must following vigorous play and learning at kidscommons. In addition to aromatic coffee choices, the Lucabe Coffee Company menu includes kids-sized smoothies, waffles, croissants, breakfast sandwiches, scones, breads and biscuits. All are freshly made and right around the corner from the museum.
At Lucabe’s, your kids won’t have to take a break from fun. At the downtown Lucabe Coffee Company, kids have their own space to play. Lucabe kids café features a lofted, just-their-size coffee shop with plenty of pretend coffee to brew and serve. In the loft above is a reading corner with books and a place to play. It’s adorable! They will love the extra playtime, and you’ll love a moment to relax and enjoy an exceptional cup of coffee.
Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor
Established in 1900, the whole family will be enchanted by their visit to Zaharakos. Here, you’ll step back in time to Tiffany lamps, Victorian-style dining area, an enormous 50-foot mahogany bar that features antique working soda fountains. At our historic counter, ice cream is served the old-fashioned way, homemade and hand-dipped. With a full menu, it is the perfect lunch spot. For an afternoon refreshment, stop in for ice cream, or a hand-pulled soda from the 1904 soda fountain. Zaharakos is another special spot you’ll want to include during your family-fun day in Columbus.
photo by Lee Lewellen
Search-and-Find Street Art by David Zinn
A delightful way to explore downtown Columbus is to locate street art illustrations created by David Zinn. Stop by The Columbus Area Visitors Center (located downtown) to pick up a free search-and-find guide to the Zinn art locations. The map will direct you to David Zinn’s “friends” hidden in plain sight throughout town. His characters are colorful, charming and a little bit funny. Your kids will love this amusing twist of hide-and-seek as they look for these zany characters in unexpected places. A walk downtown has never been so exciting!
Mill Race Park
Landscape Management has recognized Mill Race Park for its design, reputation and accessibility. Spanning 85 acres, this extraordinary park features an 84-foot observation tower, a covered bridge, people trails, fishing at two lakes, picnic shelters, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, basketball courts and an amphitheater. Only minutes from downtown, the natural scenery is breath-taking. Paths take you from meadows, to woods to riverside. Bike it or hike it. Your family will love it either way.
Right off I-65
Right off I-65, Columbus Indiana is an easy drive from Indianapolis, Cincinnati or Louisville. Columbus is a fascinating city with a unique blend of world-class architecture, public art and family-fun. Downtown is the colorful and vibrant heart of the city, offering attractions, parks and places to have fun or relax. The family memories you make here will be heart-felt and lasting.
To enhance your stay, check out our dining options.
To extend your stay, explore our many hotels.
photo by Hadley Fruits, Landmark Columbus