Take partygoers on a food tour around the city.
Nathan Cowley had enjoyed two of the Columbus Food Adventures tours with his parents, so when it was time to plan a party for his 8th birthday, the company's Dessert Tour was the first thing that came to mind.
"We looked into it and said, 'Wow, we'll enjoy the food on the tour and it will be fun for both us, Nathan and his friends,'" said Nathan's mom, Jennifer Cowley. "They had a fantastic time."
During Columbus Food Adventures food tours, guides lead both public and private tours around the city, and recently the tours are becoming a popular outlet for birthday parties.
"They get to try a lot in one afternoon," said Bethia Woolf, owner of Columbus Food Adventures. "It's a fun, different experience. It's the closest thing to travel without really going anywhere."
WHAT: Taste your way around Columbus with Columbus Food Adventures. Two of its signature tours - the Dessert Tour and the Taco Truck Tour - are easily tailored for children, or you can work with the company to create your own custom itinerary. During the tour, the youngsters (make sure they come hungry) will sample eats from local restaurants during a three-hour tour. And while they're tasting, a knowledgeable Columbus Food Adventures guide will educate you about where and what you're eating.
WHERE: Depending on which Columbus Food Adventures tour or private itinerary you choose, the tours cover various places throughout the city. Several of the tours cater to specific areas (like the Short North or German Village), while others take you to different locales in Columbus. If the tour requires driving, Columbus Food Adventures will provide transportation to each stop. Guests will spend anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes at each stop.
WHY: Adventurous kids will love exploring different food options, and it serves as an experience-oriented birthday party. "The kids we get are the ones who watch the Food Network and Man v. Food," said Woolf. 'They like to try new foods." She also recommends the tours for kids ages 7 and older.
COST: Typically, public Columbus Food Adventures tours begin at $55 per person. Private tours are anywhere from $55-$70 per person, depending on the customization. Gratuity is not included in these prices. Tours can accommodate 8 to 14 guests. Woolf noted that groups can have more than 14 people, but a larger group might rule out certain restaurants.
ADDITIONAL OPTIONS: Want to include a birthday cake? No problem. Just arrange in advance for a cake to be at one of the stops for an extra charge. You can also purchase a tour gift certificate if your foodie son or daughter is interested in trying one of the other options.
WHEN: Private tours can be scheduled any day of the week, but it also depends on restaurant availability. Weekday afternoons tend be less busy, while Fridays and Saturdays fill up quickly.
WHAT THE VENUE PROVIDES: Columbus Food Adventures provides transportation to each stop if it's a driving tour, plus a guide, food and water.
WHAT YOU PROVIDE: Besides sending invitations to your guests, there's nothing else needed for the actual tour. "It was an intimate birthday party where we didn't have to do anything but show up," said Cowley. "We didn't have to clean up anything. It was easy for working parents to organize."
OTHER DETAILS: If you schedule a tour more than 15 days before the tour date, a non-refundable $250 deposit is required, and it goes toward the total cost of the tour. If it is less than 15 days from tour date, full payment is required at the time of booking.
CONTACT: 614-440-3177, columbusfoodadventures.com