I was born and raised in Columbus, and I am passionate about discovering new places in this awesome city of mine. Growing up, it was all I knew. Now, as an adult, I couldn’t imagine raising my family anywhere else. Diversity is welcomed here and creativity, the small startup, and the entrepreneurial spirit are embraced.
There are so many places that I have yet to explore in Columbus, but here are some of my recent favorite discoveries:
South Side Roots
South Side Roots Cafe, owned and operated by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, is my new favorite underrated gem. Housed in the building that was formerly Reeb Elementary, Southside Roots cafe and market shares space with 13 other non-profits. The building is a resource and community center, and even houses a boys and girls club.
This past week I took a group of students for lunch and a tour and I was blown away. The food was AMAZING. They use fresh produce from local vendors and pride themselves on farm to table service. The best part is that there are several ways to pay for your meal. You can pay the suggested price or patrons who are not able to pay for their meals are able to give an hour of their time in service to the cafe to earn/ pay for their meal. As a patron you are also given the option to “pay it forward” and pay for someone else’s meal that might not otherwise be able to afford it.
Their mission aligns with what I believe to be the heart and soul of the community of Columbus. I love knowing that this isn’t just a cafe, it’s a safe haven and a resource hub. Plus, the food was AMAZING! There was not a single person in our 20 plus person group that didn’t love their food!
Glass Axis, located in Franklinton, is the perfect spot for a date night, girls night or special event. I went with family in order to celebrate my Aunt’s birthday. We made our own hand blown glass Christmas ornaments. From getting to pick out our own color combinations to getting to use the kiln and blow the glass ourselves, we were a part of the whole process (thankfully with the support of skilled glass artisans).
The 12,700 square foot facility can accommodate nearly any sized group (1-199) and occasion. And if you’re not looking for the experience but want to purchase glass pieces you can always stop by and shop the glass creations of other artists throughout the city.
Highbanks Metropark is a hop, skip, and a jump away from us, though this is not the main reason that we absolutely love it. There are 10 trails, multiple playgrounds, picnic areas and a nature center all within the 1,200 acre park. Whether I am in the mood to run, walk, have a picnic, take Quinn to a playground or explore, this is our go-to for outdoor adventures.
The nature center is super underrated and Quinn’s new favorite hangout. The story time area, the library, the bird observation area, the life-sized hallowed out tree and the live turtles are only a few of the things that we find ourselves diving into within the nature center. I love that as Quinn grows, there will always be more for her to learn and discover!
Stay tuned for more places that I love around Columbus!