In case you hadn't heard, Columbus is celebrating its bicentennial in 2012. To wish Columbus a happy birthday, Parent has drummed up 200 reasons why this fair city is a great place to raise a family.
81. Farmers' markets: We had farmers' markets around here long before the foodies deemed them cool. 82. Topiary Garden: Talk about making art come alive! 83. We're less than a day's drive from great vacation destinations. 84. Olentangy Greenway Trail: This 13-mile bike trail from Downtown Columbus to Worthington keeps getting better and better. 85. State Science Day: Let those geek flags proudly fly - this state championship of science fairs is based in Columbus and is now entering its 64th year with nearly $4 million in awards. 86. Creekside Paddle Boats: Another sure sign that summer is on its way! 87. Columbus Commons: It's rapidly becoming a focal point for Downtown life with food, entertainment and wide-open space to hang out. 88. Food Trucks: The easiest way to get your kids to try new foods (without admitting they're trying new foods). 89. We're the 2nd most playful U.S. city, as measured by our number of playgrounds and according to KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that builds and renovates playgrounds. 90. Jesse Owens: One of the most inspiring athletes EVER and his legendary career began here. 91. We are the top U.S. city for salad consumption, according to the Dole Nutrition Institute: Now you can use peer pressure to get your kids to eat their salad (because "everyone's doing it"). 92. The Memorial Tournament: No other golf tournament elicits the kind of "I will do everything I can to attend" respect from the pros and it's all because of this next guy. 93. Jack Nicklaus: Another legendary athlete whose role-model-worthy career started here. 94. Schiller Park: It's just flippin' gorgeous, thanks to the hard work of those German Village volunteers. 95. Major League Lacrosse: Did you know this professional lacrosse league has expanded to include the locally based Ohio Machine? Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports around here and this is a fun and low-cost way to enjoy watching the pros! 96. County Parks Systems: Even beyond the Metro Parks system, we're fortunate to enjoy great nature parks in the surrounding counties. 97. The Center for Family Safety and Healing: Doing major work to eradicate domestic violence in our community. 98. We're rated the 2nd safest U.S. city for families with young children, according to Underwriters Laboratories, an insurance industry research group. 99. Historical Societies: What? You haven't figured out these places are a gold mine when it comes to doing those social studies class projects? 100. Ohio Craft Museum: It's like an arts fair all year long inside this Grandview Heights location -and with very cool education programs for kids.