Ceciel Shaw likes the mix of old and new she has found since moving to Granville seven years ago.

Ceciel Shaw likes the mix of old and new she has found since moving to Granville seven years ago.

The mother of three appreciates the village's historic buildings, decades-old holiday traditions and long-term residents. She also likes the community's environmentally friendly vibe, its willingness to support the kid-oriented events she organizes and its practice of warmly welcoming newcomers.

"This is a great place," Shaw said. "I really appreciate the safety of the community, the support and the resources. That library is amazing. You can go three times a week, and the kids won't get bored."

Neither will visitors to this scenic village located about 35 miles east of Columbus in Licking County. Granville, which was laid out by settlers from Massachusetts, has a vibrant downtown full of interesting shops and great restaurants. It's home to Denison University, the original Whit's Frozen Custard and several Christmas tree farms (Homestead Christmas Tree Farm, M&M Tree Farm and Timbuk Farms).

When the weather's nice, families will enjoy walking to various shops on Broadway, Granville's main drag. Kussmaul Gallery has a fun mix of jewelry, art and gifts, including unique items for little ones. Green Velvet stocks everything from clothing to housewares. Petali Teas sells locally made, hand-blended teas - including some that are caffeine free and full of vitamin C.

"They're great for kids," said owner Joy Wujek.

Children also will enjoy visiting the town's two chocolatiers, Goumas Candyland and Goumas Confections. For more substantial eats, the family-owned Elms Pizza Parlor serves pizza, stromboli and subs. Brews Cafe offers pub-style food and a wide selection of beer on tap or by the bottle. For healthier fare, try Alfie's Wholesome Food. The cozy eatery's menu includes vegetarian options, frittatas, salads and sandwiches.

A few blocks from downtown, visitors can grab a cup of java and a homemade scone at River Road Coffeehouse. The coffee shop is located near the Going Green Store - a business dedicated to helping customers get toxins out of their home and diet. It sells a wide array of environmentally friendly items including food produced within 50 miles of Licking County, recycled and up-cycled goods and chemical-free cleaning products.

In addition to the eclectic shopping and dining options, the area - which includes the county seat of Newark - also has several venues for family fun. Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark features CoCo Key Water Resort, an indoor water park with slides, interactive children's area and more. For outdoor fun, Dawes Arboretum has numerous habitats for kids to explore. The 1,800-acre park includes a pond, Japanese garden, wetlands and woods. The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology is a wonderful hands-on learning center. Families can perform science experiments, check out art and history exhibits or watch artists blow glass during a visit to the one-of-a-kind museum.

Kids who like to make art will want to visit the Granville Studio of Visual Arts. The studio, located on the grounds of historic Bryn Du Mansion, offers classes, workshops and camps for kids. Children are encouraged to follow their imagination while creating projects at the studio, which routinely hosts exhibits of the students' work, said Lee Anne Faler, executive director of the nonprofit organization.

Another outlet for creative expression in Granville is Ohio's Youth Entertainers Stage Show, a vaudeville theatrical revue. The stage show, which hosts tryouts in January, showcases child actors, singers, musicians, magicians, comedians and more. The troupe performs at festivals and fairs throughout the summer.