Summer is officially here! School has ended and the chill has finally left us. But even though I love spring and fall, I am super excited that our hot summer has arrived because I get to share with you all of our favorite watering holes! The one thing I love about living in Ohio is that I get to see a glimpse of all four seasons, not so much the case in the south where I am from. But I would definitely be ok if Fall lasted six months of the year 😉
Since Summer is finally here I figured I would share some of our favorite watering hole spots! Some are free and some are not. Do your best to hit up each spot during the next several weeks. Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments!
Zoombezi Bay Waterpark is probably our most favorite place to go, and also the most expensive! Even if you are a Zoo member. But boy oh boy is it fun for all ages! They have a young kiddie pool area with many attractions, a older kiddie area with a pirate ship, four and a half story treehouse, slides, a big water bucket that topples over every so often, and a large area to swim. They also have a huge lazy river (one for families and one for just adults – beverages allowed!). There is also a tidal wave pool and many big slides to have fun on! Several concession stands and food options to choose from. During the summer they host several “Dive-In Movie” nights. I haven’t been to one yet but it sounds like a lot of fun! You will spend a pretty penny but its always a fun day here!
Heath City Water Park is another fun location. As a much smaller and cheaper version of Zoombezi Bay, they have a baby pool, kids pool with slides and swings, and larger pools with big slides. There is also a nice covered area on the lawn in case you dont want direct sunlight all afternoon, which was anperfect spot for Leighton’s nap and feeding sessions. If your kids are still quite small (5 and under) you will save time traveling and money for them to have just as much fun here
Dillon State Park has a small wading pool area with a geyser-like sprinkler, as well as many other attractions (campgrounds, swimming beach, tennis and volleyball courts, seven picnics shelters, several miles of trails, disc golf, hunting, fishing….you name it). But for just a fun afternoon with your tykes, the wading pool at Dillon and a packed lunch in the picnic shelter followed by some time on the playground next to it while drying off makes for a fun, free afternoon!
Scioto Mile Splash Pad has been a big hit for my family the past few summers. It is perfect for a hot afternoon of fun. There is plenty of trails to walk on along the riverside (but far enough away that your child cannot run into the water), and big lawns to play or pop down and have a picnic. The Bicentennial Park Splash Pad on Scioto Mile is the largest in Columbus. It’s 15,000 square feet and has water features that spray as high as 75 feet in the air. There is also plenty of seating for the onlookers, shaded and not shaded. And at night the fountain experience is enhanced by unique lighting and fog effects. Super cool, and free!
Last year was the first time we didn’t go to the beach on vacation. We were all bummed, but with the kids being so little we didn’t feel ready to go to the ocean quite yet. We do have a beach trip planned for this summer and the kids are so excited! From the pictures you can see they, especially my daughter, will be just as much a sun-bathing beach bum as her momma! However, even without a beach trip last year, we had many fun days in the cool water visiting the places I mentioned. If you haven’t already, go check them out!
I have also found this great article about other local splash pad areas around Columbus and can’t wait to try them out this summer before we take off to the beach! Don’t they look like fun?!
Let me know what you thought of these locations or if you have more that you know of in the Central Ohio area that I need to check out!