Shale Hollow Preserve, a creeking gem

Our favorite new Central Ohio family fun discovery and the crowning gem of summer 2014 was without a doubt Shale Hollow Preserve, which just happens to be less than two miles from our house. Although this natural wonderland officially opened in December 2013, we didn't visit it until this summer in peak creekin' season. What a jewel we found. Situated on 188 acres, there are some unique geological features at Shale Hollow that make it more than just a pretty spot to go creek-walking and … [Read more...]

The best age for hiking

Before we became parents, E and I loved going for hikes together in Ohio's beautiful, scenic forests - either south to Hocking Hills or north to Mohican State Park. We've hiked alone together, we've hiked with our dogs, but we've always hiked. We went on dozens of wonderful spring, summer and fall hikes in our pre-Zoe years, and even took some great hikes while we were pregnant. Once our little angel arrived, however, she put a bit of a kibosh on our hiking adventures for a time. It wasn't … [Read more...]

The butterfly experiment

This summer, I did something I never thought I'd do: I invited five live, wiggly insects into my house, cared for them, and treated them like treasured members of the family. Somewhere in another life, the old, pre-kid me was screaming in horror the entire time. The things we do for our little ones! But in all seriousness, the butterfly experiment - having caterpillars arrive on the doorstep and nurturing them as they turn into chrysalids and then ultimately hatch as newborn butterflies - … [Read more...]

Franklin Park Conservatory is a Columbus oasis

You know how so many places for kids can be loud, overwhelming and exhausting - overrun with other people's screaming, grubby monsters? (Not your kids or Zoe. Ours are perfect angels.) Think Chuck E. Cheese. Or even COSI for example - I love the place and Zoe does too, and it's the number one kids science center in the country for a reason, but I can only handle it in small doses. I find myself very depleted and in need of a nap after spending more than a couple of hours there. (Fortunately, … [Read more...]

The joy of recycling

I let Earth day come and go last month without any big hoopla, but it has definitely been on my mind. I want Zoe to grow up being a good custodian of the earth. She already has a fantastic relationship with nature; she loves flowers and trees as well as all manner of critters. Now, I’ve got to instill in her the importance of the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. For today, I’m just going to write about recycling. We’ll tackle some of the other R’s in future posts. When I first … [Read more...]

Friday Favorites: outdoor family fun in NE Columbus

We’re having such an odd, unseasonably mild Ohio winter. This time last year, I blogged about indoor play spaces for winter fun. But instead of our usual gray days and sub-zero temperatures, lately we’ve been treated to mild weather and sunshine. And I’m not complaining! In fact, we know just where to go on these balmy days. In today’s Friday Favorites, here are our family’s favorite outdoor go-to spots in northeast Columbus. (Side note: I didn’t know whether to call these parks … [Read more...]

A waterfront treasure

Do you ever find yourself craving a scenic, peaceful water view? I do - maybe because I grew up on Long Island with a bay for my backyard. Here in Ohio, water views aren't as plentiful, but they are just as appreciated. On a recent sunny January Sunday, our family headed to one of our favorite outdoor treasures - 1,500 feet of boardwalk jutting out over the Hoover reservoir. The site is known as Hoover Mudflats, a rather unflattering name for such a picturesque and lovely place. We love it … [Read more...]