As part of our Ohio road trip, we headed to our next destination a couple of hours northeast — Delaware County, Ohio. Located just outside Columbus, we found the area full of charm with plenty of things to do with the family. 

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Disclosure: A big thanks to Destination Delaware County Ohio for providing a complimentary stay and attractions to experience all the county has to offer. I was not required to express a particular point of view. All opinions are my own.

Learn about farming and its animals

The Stratford Ecological Center may have been the best surprise of our visit to the area.  Emily, our awesome guide, showed us around the organic farm. Their main mission is to “plant seeds” of appreciation of the land. And boy, did the kids have an amazing experience being one with nature.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

The kids fed chickens, tried leafy greens straight from the greenhouse (who knew miner’s leaf would be a hit?), saw baby farm animals, and went salamander hunting in their nature preserve.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Tip: VIsit early spring to watch their maple sugar operation.

Visit a world-class zoo

We wanted more one on one time with animals so we headed to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium where we saw bears, reindeer, tigers, manatees, and more! What a fantastic zoo!

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Catch a flick

 

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The kids and I were pretty excited to watch the first run movie, Wonder, in such a historic location. The Strand Theatre has been a part of the community since 1916. In fact, it’s one of the 10 longest operating theatres still left around.  Part of the fun was choosing a $5 “kids pack” with popcorn, a choice of candy, and drink. The prices are pretty affordable with regular adult tickets for $7 and $5 for a matinee and kids 3 and under are free. 

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Tip: They offer sensory-friendly showings, and during the summer they offer free kids movies.

Get your coffee fix

I am always searching for independent coffee hot spots and Delaware County has two of the coolest that I’ve seen encountered. 

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

The Coffee Vault has one of the most unique buildings t I’ve ever stepped foot in. As a bank in its former life, the charming coffee shop retained some of the architectural elements including the vault and the exposed brick. With a table and chairs in the room, you can sit and enjoy your cup of coffee. How cool is it to say you’ve had coffee in a vault?

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Head down the spiral staircase to the basement to find more seating, a fireplace, and a chalkboard table for kids. What a great place to meet with friends, relax with a book, or have a coffee with kids in tow!

 

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The other coffee shop I totally fell in love with is located in charming downtown Delaware.  Coffeeology combines two of my favorite things – coffee and shopping.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

While you wait for your coffee (get the black lavender latte), you can peruse the shop with the cutest items. If you love unique, farmhouse style, cute shirts with witty sayings, this is the spot for you.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio. Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

A little timeout with nature

Looking for a little one on one time with nature? The Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk in Galena provided a little nature excursion with the family. Situated over the Hoover Reservoir surrounded by trees, water, and nature, the walk on the boardwalk is peaceful. And at only 1500 feet long, the walk was neither too long or too short.  The area also happens to be a popular spot for birds. At the time of our visit, there was an Osprey nesting site and we met someone that saw bald eagles flying a few days ago. 

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Tip: Grab a coffee at The Coffee Vault a few minutes away and enjoy the walk on the boardwalk with coffee in hand.

Check out art

The Arts Castle used to be home to George and Elizabeth Campbell but now serves as a cultural center offering art classes, dance, music, yoga, and so much more.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Peruse the Arts Castle and check out their current art exhibitions. Save time to look outside the castle as well. You’ll find benches in the front as well as sculptures and other artwork.

Tip: You can take a self-guided tour of the castle. Just ask them for the brochure.

Read on

My kids are avid readers so when they spotted the independent children’s book store,  Fundamentals Books and More, they were jumping for joy.  

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Get your grub on  

Local Roots in downtown Powell offers locally grown and locally sourced food. If you can time it right, visit during Happy Hour every day from 2-7 p.m. for half-priced appetizers as well as drink specials. It was a great way to try a few Ohio beers that we’ve been eyeing. The kids were each kept busy with a tin lunch box full of toys. What a genius idea!

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

At  Surve in Sunbury, everything is made fresh (they don’t have freezers) in their scratch kitchen. Everything we tried from the housemade hummus and chili to the fish tacos and the beef ribeye was excellent.  Such a great place!

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

If you’re craving a good burger (and exceptionally delicious fried chicken tenders), The Hamburger Inn Diner is the spot to go. Whatever you do, please, PLEASE do not miss the cinnamon rolls. They have brown sugar frosting and my husband still craves it to this day. We devoured it before I had a chance to take pictures. It was that good!

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Save room for dessert at Sweet Tooth Cottage. Their buckeyes are definitely yummy. (It’s also part of the Ohio Buckeye Trail.)

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Learn a little history

We visited the charming town of Sunbury which was a stagecoach town in the past. We were given a personal tour by Polly and learned so much about the past. In the past, the house served as an inn and now tells the town’s history. The museum also gives visitors a glimpse into how things were done in the past including laundry and entertainment.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Polly was great at keeping the kids entertained while learning at the same time.

Family fun in Delaware County, Ohio, located outside Columbus, Ohio.

Tip: Take a historic tour of the square with a tour booklet borrowed from the Myers Inn Museum.