leaf_rubbingA roughly three-and-a-half-hour drive from southeast Michigan, Dublin, Ohio, is situated just north of Columbus and has a historic downtown with brick sidewalks and charming little shops. While the adults might enjoy perusing the shops for Celtic gear or enjoying a pint at one of the many pubs, the kids will want to do something a little more active and entertaining.

A handful of shops and studios offer a chance for kids to hone their creativity with beading, ceramics and other activities. In addition, area parks provide a chance to get the little ones’ hands dirty while they explore nature.

Art in Public Places/Dublin Arts Council

The Dublin Arts Council offers a way for the young and old(er) to exercise their creativity with the Art in Public Places program. Have you ever seen 109 human-sized concrete ears of corn in a field? It’s a sight to behold. In addition, visitors can follow clues to discover a Riverbox in a game modeled after the popular pastimes of letterboxing and geocaching. The council also has a gallery with new exhibitions every so often.

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine is a pottery studio where visitors can choose their own piece of pottery to personalize, then paint and decorate it. The staff takes care of firing and glazing each piece, which is then ready to be picked up after a few days.

Dublin Recreation Parks

There are 17 community parks and 35 neighborhood parks in Dublin, some of which are situated along the Scioto River corridor or several streams. Visitors can walk nature trails, bird watch, spot wildflowers, and more. Bring along a camera to take photos or a journal to jot down notes from the inspiring scenery. Younger kids can collect interesting leaves and make crayon rubbings.

1 Stop Bead Shop

This bead shop has rainbows of beads in many styles, sizes and materials, as well as kits, cords and thread, and tools. While several classes are offered, the shop also provides free work space in the form of tables, where bead enthusiasts can gather and work on projects, get advice and help from the staff, and use the tools.

Our CupCakery

This Dublin bakery offers sweet treats including cakes and cookies, and even offers a cupcake bar where visitors can customize their own cupcake or sugar cookie with flavors, icing, and toppings. Stop in for a customized treat to enjoy in the store or at home.

Teresa J. Shaw covers Southeast Michigan for Traveling Mom. Visit her website at TeresaJShaw.com and follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw.