Downtown Delaware Date Nights!

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Ollie's Fine Ice Cream. Photo Tara Salsman, DelawareO.


A Night Out Needed!

With twin two year olds, my husband and I don’t get as many nights out as we had in the first few years of our marriage. But spending that alone time together to reconnect is even more important now than before. We love to do our time out in downtown Delaware– practically it makes our baby sitting cheaper because there’s not an hour or more of driving involved to get down to Columbus– but there are some great restaurants to try out in our own little town, and we have a great time exploring and supporting the small businesses that make up Delaware. Scott and I get out maybe every other month and for this time around, my mission is to try out several different restaurants and spend under $50 (not including babysitting!).

 First, drinks at Veritas Tavern on Winter Street. We love Veritas for a special night out, but it can be really expensive for a full meal there. So I like to go for their specialty vintage cocktails on a girls’ night out or as a great kickoff for date night!

  • Pimm’s Cup (me)… $6
  • Old Fashioned (him)… $8
  • tax & tip…$4
  • Total: $18

 Dinner: Mi Cerrito is our Mexican option of choice in Delaware. The location is perfect for us, just next door to Veritas, and the service is friendly and fast. That’s not even mentioning their great food (with free chips & salsa!). Plus, we almost always have leftovers perfect for a Sunday lunch.

  •  Quesadillas Rellenos (me) $7.49
  • Carnitas (him)… 10.49
  • domestic beer for the husband… $2.99
  • tax & tip… $6
  • Total: $26.97

 Dessert: For us, the choice is always Ollie’s ice cream. We started going here because one of our daughters has an egg allergy, and Ollie’s is the only ice cream in town she can eat. But we’ve stayed for their incredibly inventive flavors and the portions are great for just $2.50 each. Keep in mind that Ollie’s is cash only.

Ollie’s ice cream for 2… $5

Total for the night: $ 49.97!

There are many other ways to spend less money and have a great time! Please comment and share your favorite night out in Delaware!

 

Women’s City Club is probably not what you think!

Visions of Sugar Plum Fairies Danced…

WCC Preview Party

WCC “Festival of Trees’ Preview Party

The first Saturday of each December is the unofficial start to the Christmas holiday season in Delaware with the Holiday Home Tour sponsored this year by the Women’s City Club of Delaware. Each year the residents of historical homes decorate with elaborate trees, garlands, wreaths, and unexpected objects to inspire and entertain those who come through on the tour. It is an opportunity for the community to sneak a peek into these beautiful old homes and spend a night with friends and family to kick off the winter holiday season.

 But this is summer!

Why am I even mentioning this now? First, it was simply a call for interested home owners to sign up to have their home on tour. If you are interested, please contact Jo Ingles (jo_ingles@yahoo.com) for more information. They are looking for a variety of homes in all sizes and styles– not just the Downtown Abbey style manor homes. One benefit of having your home on the tour is an invitation to the exclusive Festival of Trees reception the night before the tour!

However, as I learned more about the Women’s City Club (WCC), their mission, and what they do on a daily basis, I realized how many Delawareians may be completely unaware or misguided about this group housed on North Franklin street. If I am honest all around, when I first heard of the WCC, I thought it was a social club– some sort of Ohio or Delaware specific Junior League. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

So what than is the WCC?

In its essence, the WCC is a group of women who come together to help other women by providing extremely low-rent housing. There is no other group like this known in Ohio, where women who need a few months or maybe a year of help to get back on their feet can find a helping hand. Rent for a room at the WCC house can be as low as $40-$50 a month. The women share a kitchen and living area and develop support systems with each other as well as with the “downstairs” members of the WCC who help coordinate fundraisers to subsidize the rent and run the house utilities. One member stated that “without what we do, these ladies wouldn’t have a place to stay while they take time to figure out their next steps.” Many women who stay at the WCC house are finally escaping from abusive relationships, or facing homelessness or other challenges. They can spend the time at the WCC to get back on their feet, maybe finish school and feel secure before venturing out on their own again.

The WCC hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. You will find them in the hospitality tent at the Delaware County Fair in September. They also host the Princess Tea for young girls, the BFF Bash (a Ladies Only Valentine’s Day celebration), a yearly summer garden tour, the Wines and Pines Gala and also the annual Festival of Trees. Be sure to check out some of their great events, or even consider becoming a member! Their website is full of information– www.wccdelaware.org

 

The Historical Society Offers a Window into Our County’s Past

When we were looking to move to Central Ohio 3 years ago, my husband and I found Delaware through real estate listings for older homes. I’ve always been drawn to the character of an old house. Now that we live in a 100 year old cottage in the Northwest Neighborhood of Delaware, I’m excited to discover the unique history of our home and the people who came before us.
[Read more…]

Family Activities to Beat the Summer Slump!

Overcoming the Summer Slump

I always seem to hit the lazy-summer slump in the weeks following the Fourth of July. I start the warm weather activities strong, trying to hit the zoo and a park and maybe our backyard blow up pool in a nice rotation to keep me and the girls out and burning off that summer energy that seems to arrive with the sunshine. Then there’s the apex of Independence Day parades and fireworks, and I slip off the cliff of hot boredom and try to hole up in the air conditioning until football season starts.

But not this year, no! I will finish strong! And luckily, we live in Delaware and there are some fantastic options in the area for kids this July & August.

First, the outdoor activities.

We’ve had a rather mild summer (so far) so playing outside is always welcome. But sometimes, even though the girls are totally happy, I get a little bored with the same playgrounds every day. Here’s a list of some local outdoor activities for you and your kiddos. I’m not ranking based on age, but you know your kids the best, so you know if an activity would be appropriate for their age level.

1. Go for a hike at Alum Creek. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has an outdoor activities packet available here, which has games and activity suggestions for while you’re in the park as well as easily worded safety information for kids. (http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/2/kids/pkpalactivguide.pdf)

2. Stratford Ecological Center offers a variety of activities for families with a range of ages. There are creeks, ponds, woods, and a farm to explore, as well as Nature Clubs and Story Time. There are costs associated with most of the programs, so check out their website for more information www.stratfordecologicalcenter.com

3. If you’ve not already been to the Powell or Polaris splash pad/fountains, use a warm morning as an opportunity to put on bathing suits (and sunscreen) and get wet! Powell’s pad is located at the Village Green and the Polaris Mall fountains are in the courtyard near Cantina Laredo, Benihana and the Cheesecake Factory.

4. There are many free and low-priced programs available through Columbus Metro Parks, including HighBanks in Lewis Center. Here’s a searchable list that provides all the information you need for making plans with your kiddos. http://reservations.metroparks.net/programs/46/Highbanks.html

5. Festivals! Scioto Gardens is hosting their 7th Annual Gardening & Arts Festival on July 20th with great gardening workshops (more for Mom and/or Dad to attend, but the information will be great for using with your kids later. Check out the 11am butterfly gardening and the 3:00 edible garden sessions!). There’s fun music as well as artist booths.

If you can make it to Marysville in August, the All Ohio Balloon Fest is the 15-17. It’s $5 for 2 days and kids under 12 get in free to check out some amazing hot air balloons. There are evening concerts as well. Go to their website, http://www.allohioballoonfest.com/, for more information.

6. Delaware Family Friday nights. Each Friday night of the month this summer a different organization is sponsoring a family event, here’s the full calendar http://www.preservationparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/DelawareFamilyFridays.pdf. First Fridays are hosted downtown with shops staying open later and booths lining Sandusky street. The Second Fridays will be at the YMCA building

Third Fridays feature movies at Mingo Park which start at 8:30pm. July 19th will feature Willy Wonka, August 16 is The Princess Bride, and September 20th (at 8pm) will show Meet Me in St. Louis. Preservation Parks host Fourth Fridays with July 26th Family Night on the Farm and August 23rd Paper Moon Photo & Dance, both at Gallant Farm Preserve. (see www.preservationparks.com for more information)

We all know that sometimes summer heat and thunderstorms can keep us all inside. So here are some fun indoor ideas in the Columbus area to try out!

It is raining outside, now what?

1. Kids Bowl Free at Delaware Lanes. You have to register online (at www.kidsbowlfree.com), but with your free registration, kids aged 15 and under receive 2 free games of bowling EVERY DAY all summer long! Go to the website to get specific times and terms (for example, shoe rental is not free).

2. Fundamentals on Winter Street downtown has a ton going on this summer! If you haven’t already started the “Where’s Waldo” game, it runs through the month of July celebrating the 25th anniversary of Fundamentals. A 6-inch cardboard Waldo is hiding in 25 different Delaware businesses. You can get a Waldo Passport from Fundamentals and then go on a search! Discounts start after finding just 10 Waldos. Then there is a Grande Finale Waldo Party on July 31 at Fundamentals. Find the Where’s Waldo in Delaware facebook page for clues, jokes and updates.

Then, on August 10th, Fundamentals will host authors Lenore and Daniel Jennewein for a special StoryTime where the authors will share their newest book. There will be crafts as well!

3. Graeter’s ice cream factory on Bethel Road tour is always free. If you get a group of friends together (minimum of 10) you can call and reserve a personal tour guide, otherwise tours are self guided. They have a great play area to burn off all the sugar energy before nap time. Here’s the website for more information: http://www.graeters.com/bethel_tour.aspx

3. I hesitate to suggest this, but, did you know that Columbus is home to the only metal whistle maker in the US? American Whistle offers tours for just $4, but you need a minimum of 15 in a group. Be warned– everyone on the tour receives a “shiny new American Classic chrome finished whistle”.

4. Michael’s craft store on highway 23 near Powell Road offers kids craft classes Monday, Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays costing just $2 each (with all materials included). Check out the July calendar for themes and projects your child might enjoy.

http://demandware.edgesuite.net/aaeo_prd/on/demandware.static/Sites-Michaels-Site/Sites-Michaels-Library/default/v1370402061526/documents/calendars/stores/Event_Calendar_Store_1560.pdf

I’m excited to get my girls out of the house and enjoying the fun summer activities Delaware has to offer! Hope to see you there!

DelawareO.com Welcomes Writing Staff.

You want writers? We got Writers!

Last month we put out the call for writers, and wow did we get them. We are excited to announce our first class writing staff. With no further adieu here the are!

wpid-Nicole.jpgNicole Fowles

Nicole loves her community. She is a Communications Specialist for the Delaware County District Library and Vice President to Main Street Delaware’s Board of Directors. She and her husband moved to Delaware in 2009 and immediately felt comfortable calling it home. You’ll most likely find them eating or drinking at any of the downtown establishments if they’re not at home brewing a beer of their own. Nicole has also dabbled in community theater and has a fervent love and appreciation for the arts. She is excited to translate that all that to the written word for DelawareO.

Alice J. Drew-Yoder wpid-Alice.jpg

Alice comes to us with a wide and varied, from bar/ restaurant management to Lactation consultant as well as an extensive volunteer resume. She has worked in the fitness industry as an avocation for 25 years. For the past fifteen as a Small Business /Owner Fitness Instructor/Yoga Teacher. Delicately balancing career, family and ever-changing roles has been her great honor. The quest to live fully, wholly and spiritually in her always active, wonderfully warm, fabulously fun, frequently fragile life has been a gift. The mom of three outstanding, lovely daughters, and “Mimi” to two adorable grandsons keeps her busy. Alice lives with the man of her dreams ’til death do ’em part” in Delaware’s Historic Northwest Neighborhood along with their two rescue dogs and a revolving cast of characters. Alice is excited and humbled to be a part of the DelawareO Blog staff.

wpid-Anne.jpgAnne K. Anderson

Anne is a recent transplant to Delaware. A graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School, she now coordinates a volunteer advocacy program for abused kids. Anne loves to try new recipes, read fiction, move furniture around the house, listen to indie music, and find fun things to do in Delaware. Her patient and dedicated husband Victor stays home and takes care of two very stubborn creatures- their toddler Samuel and the saddest-looking-basset-hound-ever Lola.

Tara Salsmanwpid-Tara.jpg

Tara was born and raised in Alabama, living on every border the state has, before leaving to study psychology at Berry College in Rome, GA. After receiving a Master’s in Education from the University of Kansas, she moved to Atlanta and met fun her husband, Scott. The two moved to Saratoga Springs, New York and after 2 1/2 years and 28 weeks of a twin pregnancy, they moved into the Northwest Neighborhood of Delaware. Tara now stays home occupying their two girls with visits to local spots and crayons while running a small business, Swallowtail Calligraphy, during nap time. Tara also loves Auburn football, New York City and ice cream.

wpid-Brianna.jpg

Brianna Lawcock

Brianna grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, moving to Delaware when she was nine. At twenty seven, the city has become a hometown for her. Always a heavy reader, that developed into writing, she helped on her college’s literary journal, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Engaged for a year now to a Delaware native, she is close to her two younger brothers, and aims to one day publish a book.