Graeter's Scoops & Shoots in Northwest Columbus
You know from the moment you spot the towering black-raspberry ice cream cone that this indoor playground is anything but vanilla. The monster milk shake and the giant banana teeter-totter tip you off as well.
In business for 140 years, Graeter's knows ice cream hands down, and apparently also has a leg up when it comes to burning a few of those calories - at least if you're under the age of 10 and don't mind running around in stocking feet.
Scoops & Shoots is located inside Graeter's Bethel Road location. In addition to the aforementioned treats, there's an ice-cream-cone-adorned crow's nest with giant slides, plus a three-net free-throw area. But there are no rebound boards behind the basketball hoops - just a triple-scoop cone of "mint chocolate chunk" and a cherry on top.
Parents should appreciate some of the amenities kids might not notice, like the thickly-padded carpet, the ability to bring in your own food for lunches, and the fact that the entire playground is vacuumed and sanitized daily. The carpet is also steam-cleaned monthly.
Speaking of cleanliness - you may want to hold off on the ice cream until after playtime so you can avoid any "spilled milk," if you know what I mean. Plus, the promise of a single scoop was the single reason I was able to get my 2-year-old back out the door from the play area.