Explore these 18 family-favorite spots all around Columbus.
The arrival of spring means it’s time to get outside, to run, climb, swing and slide. There’s a host of local parks, and most parents know where to find one close to home. But if you’re willing to do some exploring (or at least make a slightly longer drive), the good news is the Columbus area is home to great places to play.
Here’s a starting point to help your family find some of the region’s top outdoor playgrounds. Many of them have ADA-accessible features. All are in public parks, most of which are owned either by Metro Parks or local municipalities. And since these venues are open year-round, we’ve also listed winter amenities where available.
To suggest a destination that we should consider adding to our list, send an email to email@example.com.
Alum Creek Park North
221 W. Main St., Westerville; 614-901-6500; parks.westerville.org
This quaint-yet-scenic 11.9-acre park along Alum Creek has playgrounds suitable for ages 2-5 and 6-12. There is a NEOS 360-brand accessible electronic play structure. Other amenities include a shelter house, performance amphitheater with band shell, basketball and sand volleyball courts, a leisure path and fishing. ADA-compliant bathrooms are open seasonally.
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway; 614-370-6254; metroparks.net/parks-and-trails/battelle-darby-creek
One of the area’s most picturesque green spaces, nature lovers will revel in this 7,000-plus-acre park along the Big and Little Darby creeks. A 9-acre natural play area near the Indian Ridge Picnic Area boasts a ravine and creek access, plus a nearby foot golf course. Additionally, there are several playgrounds, numerous trails and picnic areas, ice skating, sledding and plentiful restrooms. Fishing and hunting both are available. Head to the nature center for educational exhibits, including a tank full of turtles and fish native to the local waterways, and make sure to check in on the bison.
Delaware Lake Recreation Area
3920 U.S. Route 23 N., Delaware; 740-363-4011; lrh.usace.army.mil/missions/civil-works/recreation/ohio/delaware-lake
This playground is located at the dam maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, not to be confused with the playgrounds at Delaware State Park farther to the north. Amenities include a large playground with equipment for different age groups, fishing, trails, bicycling, two shelter houses with wheelchair-accessible tables, grills, power outlets and ADA-compliant restrooms.
4040 Wyandotte Woods Blvd., Dublin; 614-410-4700; dublinohiousa.gov/parks
The 33.8-acre city of Dublin park has a universally accessible playground with NEOS 360 play stations, sports fields, a shelter house, canopies, a multiuse path, seasonal restrooms and public art.
Every Kid’s Playground at Liberty Park
2845 Home Road, Powell; 740-881-5432; libertytwp.org
This was the first “universally accessible” playground in Ohio. The playground also has an ADA-compliant shelter house and restrooms. The park itself features sports fields, a fishing pond, a walking path and a sledding hill.
3375 Kioka Ave., Upper Arlington; 614-583-5340; uaoh.net
One of (sadly) few places where you can choose between a playground and shuffleboard, this 25-acre multigenerational park’s amenities also include a multiuse path, sports fields, picnic areas, a shelter house, grills and restrooms.
3899 Orders Road, Grove City; 614-277-3050; grovecityohio.gov/parks-and-recreation
The main feature of this 110-acre park is the space-themed, ADA-compliant Discovery Frontier playground, but it also boasts the Century Village historic area with its renovated one-room schoolhouse, log cabin and barn. The playground is particularly suited for toddlers. Other amenities include sports fields, trails, catch-and-release fishing, a sledding hill and restrooms.
120 W. Goodale St. (Short North), Columbus; 614-645-3300; columbus.gov/goodalepark
This historic 32.71-acre park bordering the urban Short North and Victorian Village neighborhoods features standard playgrounds, a gazebo, walking paths, sports courts, a sledding hill and portable toilets, all centered on a pond with a well-known fountain topped with elephants. There is some free parking available within the park; metered streetside spots encircle the area.
6547 Clark State Road, Gahanna; 614-342-4250; gahanna.gov/hannahpark
The pond-side playground at this 34.5-acre park enhances the experience. If you like, catch-and-release fishing is available, as are sports courts and fields, trails, heated restrooms and a covered shelter with a fireplace and outdoor grill.
Homestead Metro Park
4675 Cosgray Road, Hilliard; 614-216-8859; metroparks.net/parks-and-trails/homestead
There are many options at this sprawling, 44-acre site, not the least of which is the fact that kids can choose from multiple playgrounds with different features, including one with an adaptive play area. Take advantage of the covered bridge, train station replica and caboose, fishing, sports courts and fields, trails, shelters with grills, an amphitheater, a 10-acre prairie garden and restrooms.
Huber Village Park
362 Huber Village Blvd., Westerville; 614-901-6500; parks.westerville.org
The signature family feature of this 27.56-acre neighborhood-feel park is the Planet Westerville playground. With areas for ages 2-5 and 6-12, it is a great destination for families with toddlers. Amenities include sports fields, a leisure path, a nature area with woodlands and wetlands, a shelter and ADA-compliant restrooms.
165 N. Parkview Ave., Bexley; 614-559-4300; bexley.org/parks-facilities
Another great setup for toddlers, this 34-acre park has a playground suitable for ages 2-5, nature trails with a boardwalk along Alum Creek, canoe and kayak access, sports fields, picnic areas with grills, shelter houses and restrooms (typically open April to October). The park also is home to the Bexley Community Pool, the Bexley Historical Society and Jeffrey Mansion. Dogs are not allowed in the park.
Millstone Creek Park
745 N. Spring Road, Westerville; 614-901-6500; parks.westerville.org
Amenities at this 15.27-acre park include an “inclusive boundless” playground geared for ages 2-12, a natural play area, wetlands, a boardwalk, sports courts and fields, paths, a gazebo and ADA-compliant restrooms with changing stations.
North Orange Park
7560 Gooding Blvd., Delaware; 740-657-2630; orangetwp.org
This Orange Township park has a playground with areas designed for ages 2-5 and 5-12; many features are ADA-compliant. Other park amenities include an open-air shelter with fireplace, sports courts and fields, trails, fishing and a sledding hill. The park also houses the North Orange Aquatic Center.
Olentangy River Parklands
600 W. Wilson Bridge Road, Worthington; 614-436-2743; worthington.org
The city of Worthington owns this 100-acre park that sits along the Olentangy River. It contains two playgrounds, Highgate and Whitney, as well as Winding Adventures Skate Park. Other amenities include a 2-mile multiuse trail, sports courts and fields, river access for canoes and kayaks, and a sledding hill.
1069 Jaeger St. (German Village), Columbus; 614-645-3300; columbus.gov/schillerpark
The second-oldest park in Columbus occupies 23.5 acres in the heart of German Village. Amenities include a playground, walking trail, gardens, a gazebo, a fishing pond, sports fields, a tennis court and a sledding hill. An outdoor stage is home to Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, which presents free productions throughout the summer.
3923 N. High St. (Clintonville), Columbus; 614-645-3217; columbus.gov/whetstonepark
This signature green space boasts the 13-acre Columbus Park of Roses (3901 N. High St.; parkofroses.org), but there is plenty else to be done outdoors in this 136.3-acre park along the Olentangy River. There’s, of course, a playground that is universally accessible, as well as sports courts and fields, a fishing pond, a gazebo, picnic areas, a shelter house and a walking trail. The park is next to the Whetstone Community Center and near the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. For outdoor winter fun, note that the Park of Roses has two sledding hills.
1520 Goodale Blvd., Grandview Heights; 614-488-3111; grandviewheights.org
In the center of the city of Grandview Heights lies Wyman Woods, home to a playground, a multiuse field, paths, a sledding hill and a shelter house with a kitchenette and accessible bathrooms.