Kid-Friendly Short North: 5 Places to Take Your Kids



The Short North isn’t just for rowdy college students and hipsters in skinny jeans (or is it boyfriend jeans now? I can’t keep track!)  The Short North is also for kids!  Try out these 5 kid-friendly venues in the Short North while also doing a scavenger hunt for the Short North Temporary Mural Series along the way!  I’ve listed these stops in order from North to South!

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop


Your kids will be amazed at the crazy huge selection of candy and soda – sugar as far as the eye can see!  Try some of their famous taffy, sample candy from other parts of the world or try one of the hundreds of different kinds of soda from the bottles that line the store.  I’m not sure what is more fun: looking or tasting!

944 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
Sunday: 12:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday-Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Melt Bar & Grilled


Originating in Cleveland, Melt is a kid friendly restaurant, large and loud, which means no one will hear any toddler meltdowns (see what I did there).  The bright and eclectic decor will provide lots of entertainment for your kids to look at and the portion size is so big no one will go away hungry!  Kids meals are $4 and include a side and a drink. (They are also half off on Tuesdays, which can’t be beat!) See the kids menu here.  Go on the early side of lunch for a shorter wait.  Kids and adults can entertain themselves by doing the Meltland Scavenger Hunt posted on the wall: a search for 105 famous Ohioans painted on the mural on the wall!

840 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Italian Village Park


Take a rest break here at Italian Village Park.  This large green space is great for getting out that excess energy.  The park provides lots of seating and is a great place to stop and have a snack and let the kids play on the small playground.  See more pictures of the park here.

55 E. Hubbard Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215

The North Market

Kids always have a blast at the North Market exploring vendors and trying new food. It’s the perfect way to explore local foods with your kiddos! Some favorites include Pistachio Vera, Dos Hermanos, Jeni’s, Destination Donuts, and Taste of Belguim. Sit up stairs for a fun viewing area! 

59 Spruce Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Sunday-Monday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Tuesday-Saturday- 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 



Big Fun


Toys from all eras can be found here!  Your kids will definitely enjoy this store, but for you it will be a trip down memory lane!  I would suggest this is a stop for the 5 and over crowd as it is a small store and not really a place for playing.  What you will find is wall to wall action figures, collectors items, gag gifts, dolls, Matchbox cars, games, and so much more!  Prepare a bribe for your kids when it’s time to go because they will NOT want to leave!

672 North High St., Columbus, OH 43215
Monday-Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.


A few tips:

  • As you prepare to spend your day in the Short North, print out this map of the Short North Temporary Mural Series titled BLANK SPACES. This Mural series is, well, just what it says, temporary, so check them out before they’re gone! These murals are installed on 19 buildings throughout the Short North. You and your kids can use the map as a scavenger hunt, scouting out the various murals as you walk down High Street.
  • Free and metered street parking can be found on the side streets around the Short North, but watch out for time limits and permit parking restrictions. There are also several parking garages available. Check out this link for more detailed parking options in the area.

I hope you enjoy this kid-friendly tour of the Short North! You can check out a recent Saturday morning my family spent in the Short North here!