Being a child of the 90s growing up in Westerville, my family’s pilgrimages downtown were few, beyond annual trips to Columbus City Center for school clothes or for Red, White and Boom. It’s certainly not that my family was sheltering me or adverse to the short drive – it’s simply that there wasn’t a ton for families to do downtown.
My initial intention with this post was to highlight our first trip to the Columbus Blue Jackets Winter Park a few weeks ago. We took our daughter on a relatively mild Saturday and had a blast skating on an NHL-sized rink in the heart of the Arena District. With Columbus’ climate, outdoor activity can be scarce this time of year, but this is truly a remarkable amenity geared toward families that, quite frankly, I couldn’t imagine existing twenty years ago. Hell, it’s pretty unfathomable ten years ago.
After our skate, we checked out the new Fox in the Snow in German Village for a warm drink. I’ve always been a fan of the Italian Village location, and they’ve absolutely replicated the unique vibe and delicious drinks in German Village. We marveled at the fact that it was packed and busy in the middle of a cold Saturday. The clientele varied from college students to young hipsters to reading retirees to families with kids.
On this random Saturday, I had this feeling (that I’ve had many times before) that it’s a tremendous time to be raising a family in Columbus. No longer should parents feel that they’re banished to the suburbs. In one winter weekend, we made an afternoon out of outdoor ice skating in the center of our city’s downtown and feeling incredibly comfortable taking our daughter to a popular new coffee shop in the heart of an urban neighborhood. More importantly, we felt remarkably safe and welcome doing so.
By Steve Michalovich, Regular Contributor