On our last leg of our road trip (read about it here and here) we stayed a couple of nights in Dublin, Ohio, a super cute community (think adorable cobblestone bricks and historic buildings) located about 15 minutes away from Columbus. We had no idea there were so many family-friendly things to do including a magical fairy door trail, waterfalls, sculptures, as well as a baseball bat factory. Ready to learn more? Read about all the fun in #SoDublin!
Disclosure: Disclosure: A big thanks to Visit Dublin Ohio for hosting our family I was not required to express a particular point of view. All opinions are my own.
Family fun in Dublin Ohio
Irish Fairy Door Trail
One of the most magical trails can be found in Dublin. On the Irish Fairy Door Trail, trail-goers are on a mission to find the tiny fairy doors located at 10 stops throughout Dublin. A majority of the shops are located throughout the adorable Historic Downtown Dublin. It also gives you a chance to peruse the newer area on the other side of the river. Once you’ve found all the names of the fairies, stop by the Dublin Convention Visitors Bureau for an adorable Fairy Finder shirt.
Warning: Many of the stops include ice cream, cupcakes, a toy store and more. It may be hard to leave the store. Just sayin’ from experience.
Love art? Starting with just one sculpture, the Dublin Art in Public Places has now grown to over 70 pieces. You can even take a cell phone tour to learn more about each piece. Our personal family favorite is the Field of Corn. It’s always a blast zipping and zagging through more than 100 ears of concrete corn!
Our next sculpture stop was to see the Dancing Hares. We had no idea they were so huge! The kids were so excited to run up to the top of the hill and dance with the dancing hares. If you visit during warmer weather, make sure to take advantage of the splash pad.
The final sculpture we saw was Leatherlips located at Scioto Park right by the Scioto River. If the weather is in your favor and the kids need to release energy head to the playground.
We were surprised to find that Dublin was home to a few waterfalls. (And the best part is that many of them are easily accessible by kids.) Hayden Falls is located at Griggs Nature Preserve. After finding parking in the small lot, we headed down the stairs and followed the boardwalk to the Falls. It was a quick and easy walk and the waterfalls were beautiful.
Located close to the Historic Downtown Dublin, Indian Run Falls, the former home to the Wyandot tribe, can be found just a few feet from the parking lot.
Phoenix Bats, named after the mythical creature reborn from the ashes, not the city, started out as a dream and one man’s hobby but can now be found being used by pro players.
Just outside Dublin, the one hour tour gives you an inside look into how bats are made. The coolest souvenir includes a mini bat engraved with Phoenix Bats.
Hungry? Don’t fret, you’ll find a place for every craving.
Follow your sweet tooth to Winans with every kind of chocolate imaginable (don’t forget the Buckeyes!) as well as a great selection of coffee (we couldn’t resist the Buckeye Blend).
At Cap City Diner, you’ll find your classic diner food, but with a modern touch. Everything at this upscale diner was delish from the blue cheese nachos to the burgers to the steak – everything! I especially loved my miso salmon. We couldn’t leave without trying their milkshakes, as well as their huge “mile high” chocolate cake.
Tip: Bring quarters to grab a gumball from the huge gumball machine.
We were excited to check out the newest hot spot in town, Condado Tacos, a build-your-own taco concept restaurant. (Think a sit-down version of Chipotle.) My boys were happy to customize their taco by choosing a shell, protein, veggies, cheese, and sauce (Yes, one was enough for them!) while I tried one of the recommended items. Order their chips and guacamole and get it in a few minutes top thanks to their lightning fast system. If you park in the garage, don’t forget to bring your parking ticket to validate.
Tip: If the wait is long, walk across the street to check out the Veterans Memorial as well as the entrance to the Indian Falls Waterfall.
At Dublin’s very first brewery, you’ll no doubt find a wide variety of beer. Can’t choose? Try a flight! As far as the food goes, everything we tried from the calamari to the fish and chips to the burgers was pretty tasty, although the ahi poke nachos with crispy wonton chips were simply amazing.
The RAM also happens to be a stop on the Celtic Cocktail Trail, highlighting businesses all over Dublin with a specialty cocktail or drink. The drink they offer is the chocolately Dublin Oh-Riginal Stout.
In need of a caffeine fix, we stopped by Bridge Park’s Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea. They have plenty of items to choose from on the menu including coffee and tea but we decided to get a French Vietnamese Au Lait, a dark roasted coffee with sweetened condensed milk.
Tip: Sweetwaters also happens to be on the Irish Fairy Door Trail.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the newly renovated Columbus Marriott Northwest hotel was located minutes away from Historic Dublin and all the eateries. We loved our suite and adjoining room. It was cool, modern, with fantastic furnishings.
If you can get a room with access to the M Lounge – do it! Not only do you get access to free food, but they have an awesome coffee machine that churns out Starbucks drinks.