Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Welcome To The Buckeye State!

I've commented before on here about how I live my life with a list in-hand, so when Carabee at Blogtrotting invited me to write a tour post and show you around my "neck of the woods" I decided what better way to go about it than to make a Top Ten List of Some Really Great Things to see in Central Ohio.  (boy, was that ever a mouthful?!)

For those of you who are new and visiting my blog for the first time, allow me to tell you a little bit about myself.  I grew up and still live in central Ohio, near Columbus...home of THE Ohio State University Buckeyes.  My husband and I are both proud graduates of Ohio State.  We are raising our 3 children near a small town that is close to the outer northwest suburbs of Columbus.  We like that we are away from the hustle and bustle of city life yet are still able to reap the benefits and conveniences.  Columbus offers a great deal of cultural, ethnic, athletic and dining opportunities.

So, here goes.  It was very easy for me to quickly come up with ten places that my family enjoys experiencing here in the Buckeye State.  These are listed in no particular order.

1.   The Columbus Metropolitan Library:   I will admit, we visit only one of the many suburban branches of this library, voted the #1 library in the nation.  I hope to get my 3 kids to the main branch downtown sometime this summer so they can experience the architectural beauty of the building, not to mention the expanse of resources available.  The computerized system is second to none and I am certain my children truly have no idea how fortunate they are to have so much, so easily, just a click away.

2.   The Ohio State University:  Alma mater aside, this place is simply amazing.  I am so happy to have Dr. E. Gordon Gee back at the helm as president of the university.  "Time Magazine" named Dr. Gee the #1 college president!   GO BUCKS!
Nothing compares to tailgating prior to a big Buckeye victory!

3.   Columbus Zoo & Aquarium:   Our family has held a season pass to the Columbus Zoo since my 10 year old was only 1 year old!  So, I guess you could say we have visited the zoo many times over the last 9 years!  We have seen the zoo change and grow and improve in ways we could never have imagined during that time.  We very happily welcomed two polar bears to a new exhibit in the spring.  They are truly a treat to see.  And, not to continue bragging or anything, but...The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium was voted the #1 zoo in America!
Up close and personal!

4.   Columbus Children's Theatre:   I have taken my children here to see several fun productions (Schoolhouse Rock Live was our favorite).  I think it's good for children to experience live theater and this is such an appropriate environment.  The actors and audience are very forgiving to the occasional loud whispering four year old who "needs to go potty." 

5.   Huntington Park:   The Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team calls Huntington Park home since its construction was completed in 2009.  "Baseball Park Digest" named it the #1 Ballpark of the Year in 2009.  There is no bad seat in this house and parking is great too!
My 2 boys hamming it up during pregame!

6.   COSI:   COSI stands for Center Of Science and Industry.  I have been visiting COSI since I was a kid on school field trips.  Many of the experiments and displays have remained the same too, however, its location changed to a larger facility several years ago.  COSI offers areas for learning and fun for the very young, the school aged and even adults and was, (you may see a trend developing) named the #1 Science Center in the country during the last year.

7.   Columbus Museum of Art:   Currently undergoing renovations, the CMA is becoming bigger and better than ever.  Our most recent visit over Christmas break showcased one of my favorite artists, Dale Chihuly and his blown glass art.  The beauty of it all simply boggles the mind. 
 No need for words!

8.   Franklin Park Conservatory:   I have been taking my kids for annual visits to the Franklin Park Conservatory for about six years now.  The Conservatory is at its best, in my opinion, while the Blooms and Butterflies exhibit is underway.  This is a popular spot for weddings and black tie fundraisers too.

9.   Nationwide Arena:   Home to our very own NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets.  We've had the fortunate opportunity to attend a few games (at no small price!) and have enjoyed on two different occasions, a behind the scenes tour of the facility.  This place is huge!
Be sure to wear a jacket!  It's freezing in there!

10.   Graeter's:   I couldn't let this list end without mentioning at least one place that my family likes to get something to eat.  Like all families, our tastes and preferences are varied from one person to the next.  It would be impossible to list one favorite restaurant.  And, although we've never met an ice cream we didn't like, we can all agree that we love Graeter's ice cream!  Hailing originally from Cincinnati, Graeter's has many locations throughout Columbus and its suburbs.  Thankfully, one is located very close to where we live.  The chocolate chunks are insanely huge, the seasonal flavors are over-the-top and it can be conveniently purchased at my local Kroger's grocery store.

I hope you have enjoyed this mini-tour of my corner of the world.  There is so much more to Columbus, Ohio than the 10 places I have mentioned here.  But after reading all of these reviews, I think it's safe to say..."We're #1!"

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