The small city of Hilliard in Franklin County, Ohio, offers plenty of great family attractions, shops, and dining options.
With a population of 37,114 in 2020, this affluent Columbus suburb continues to have a growing economy.
In 1852, John Reed Hilliard acquired 10 acres of farmland in West Franklin and had the area platted the following year. This land would become the city of Hilliard.
Its historical name was Hilliard's Station, a significant shipping area for agricultural products and supplies.
However, it changed its name in 1854 when the post office finished.
The area experienced explosive growth following the establishment of residential areas in the 1950s, and Hilliard officially gained city status in 1960.
Home to the unique Early Television Museum, Hilliard has many family-friendly public parks, nature sites, and local attractions.
Read on to learn more about this lively city community and find out the best things to do here.
Enjoy Some Time at Homestead Metro Park
One of the great public parks in Hilliard is Homestead Metro Park at Cosgray Road.
The 44-acre park gives you a calming country atmosphere but features enough amenities for sports activities like sand volleyball and basketball.
Spare some time fishing at the pond, or stretch for some hike, run, or bike ride at the three-quarter-mile paved trail loop.
Enjoy a lovely picnic at the Lake Pavilion and Pine Pavilion.
Both open-air shelters have amenities like electricity, tables, grills, and nearby restrooms.
You can make reservations for a half-day or full-day stay at these pavilions.
Enjoy Lots of Activities at the Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park
The Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park is the premier public park in Hilliard, Ohio.
Besides the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center, the park features a soft-padded playground with numerous swings, the Omni climber with ropes, benches, and even equipment for children with disabilities.
Play active sports like baseball, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, tennis, and beach volleyball at the different fields and courts.
Play some pickleball or disc golf, fish at the pond, or walk along the fitness path.
Likewise, enjoy picnicking at the shelter house and picnic area or goof around the sledding hill.
Celebrate the City Tradition of Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair
September is always the best time in Hilliard because of the Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair celebration.
Local business owners started Hilliardfest in 1985.
Its original name was Old Hilliard Day.
Each fall, the city's "Flagship Festival" takes place.
The street fair presents rows of vendors where you can find an array of local goods and items to buy.
There's much to enjoy during the day-long main festival, where you can watch live music, enjoy great food, and see the sunflower show and car show.
Kids can have fun at the Kid's fair, play games, and jump around the inflatables.
Get Fascinated with Early Television Museum
Steve McVoy founded this peculiar Hilliard museum. He worked in a television repair shop during his teenage years.
After selling his cable television business in 1999, he started collecting old television receivers.
From an RCA TRK-12 device he bought on eBay, his collection grew, and he decided to put up a museum.
The museum boasts the largest collection of TVs in the US, with over 150 television sets dating back to the 1920s and 1930s.
Check out antique TV sets from the pre-World War I era and vintage 1950s TV sets, most of which are still working.
Step Back in Time at Hilliard’s Historical Village
Visiting the Historical Village will send you back in time and let you see the life of Hilliard’s early pioneers.
Located at Weaver Park, the museum houses antiques and old items representing the city’s history and local culture.
Tours from the Hilliard Ohio Historical Society are open to the public.
Visit the quaint Village Chapel built in 1876. Enter the School House, which belonged to the Norwich Township School District in 1814.
Drop by an old caboose, or walk through the same structure from a 19th-century truss bridge with designs from Ithiel Town.
View the log cabin depicting the 1850s, the boxcars that tell the story of the Hilliards Station, or the 1850 vintage Granary.
Then, pop in the classic gazebo often found in the village green during the 19th-century.
Give Your Dogs a Treat at Heritage Trail Dog Park
The Heritage Trail Dog Park is an off-leash dog park where you can stroll with your faithful best friend.
The dog park is a joint project of the City of Hilliard and the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks.
You can easily access the park at the Rails to Trails trailhead on Hayden Run Road.
The park has an area for small dogs and one for larger breeds.
The four-acre dog area has enough space for running and play.
You can also find the shelter house with picnic tables and let your pooch play at the doggie splash pad and jump around the obstacle course.
Strike the Pins at Ten Pin Alley
It’s a night of fun and entertainment at Ten Pin Alley.
They have excellent classic bowling lanes that you can enjoy with family and friends.
This location also has much more to offer, such as a laser tag area and arcade.
Drop by the fully equipped bar, play bocce ball on the patio, or you can also enjoy live musical performances.
The restaurant serves a list of yummy appetizers, mouthwatering burgers and wings, and tasty sandwiches and pizza.
Enjoy a cold beer or have a drink of mocktails, cocktails, wines, and liquor selections.
Beat the Heat at Hilliard Family Aquatic Center and the Clyde “Butch” Seidle Community Pool
Have a splash of family time at two of Hilliard’s municipal pools: the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center and the Clyde “Butch” Seidle Community Pool.
Besides family-friendly pools, the facilities also serve as locations for swimming lessons and community events.
You can find the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park.
It is one of Ohio’s largest municipal complexes.
Enjoy swimming on the 30-foot water slides, and practice some strokes at the 25-yard competition pool.
You can also have great fun at the lazy river and interactive pool for kids, or simply lay back at the leisure pool.
Meanwhile, you can find the Clyde “Butch” Seidle Community Pool at Schirtzinger Road.
Enjoy amenities like the bathhouse, zoom down on the 14-foot water slide, or beat the heat at the interactive spray pad.
Concessions and shaded areas are also available.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Enjoy Spectacular Scenery at Prairie Oaks Metro Park
Prairie Oaks is one of Hilliard's scenic parks.
Reconnect with nature at this splendid park.
You can find a 500-acre area draped with flourishing prairies native to Darby Plains and carpets of grasslands surrounding the area.
Enjoy a magnificent view of the Darby State and the flowing National Scenic River, giving you a perfect outdoor adventure backdrop.
Easy-to-hike trails in the park include Alder, Beaver Lake, Darby Creek Greenway, Lakeview Trails, and River Rock.
If you prefer moderate to challenging trails, you can take the Coneflower and the Sycamore Plains Trails or ride a horse down the Briddle Trail.
Stay at the Prairie View Picnic Area, Whispering Oaks Picnic Area, or the Darby Bend Lakes.
You can find shelters and use amenities like restrooms and grills.
Other things you can do at the park include water activities like boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
Eat Great Food at Beer Barrel Pizza & Grill
Beer and Barrel Pizza & Grill has operated in Ohio for 50 years.
In 2004, the restaurant became part of Good Food Restaurants, an Ohio company, and the business has expanded to several locations.
Taste their well-loved Beer Barrel style pizza and list of family recipes on the menu.
The restaurant is also known for its family dinner atmosphere and a place where friends can also grab a drink.
Try their serving of Original Beer Barrel Pizza, using their own dough, sauces, and spices, then sprinkled with first-grade cheese and baked to perfection.
They also have a build-your-own pizza option, where you can choose the toppings on your pizza and other specialties like Wings & Chicken Chunks, soups, burgers, and more.
Get a Day Tour Adventure at Griggs Reservoir Park
Named after Julian Griggs, the Griggs Reservoir Park had its dedication in 1905.
Griggs served the City of Columbus as Chief Engineer for many years.
The park offers bike and driving trails along the river.
While the park has nature preserves and areas for boating and a disc golf course, you can also enjoy sunbathing, hiking, and picnicking here.
You can access the parking areas and use the picnic tables around the park with access points from the Riverside Drive area.
You can also explore the Woods and Wildlife Area, Greenway Trail Access, and other walking trails.
Check boating limitations and regulations as well.
Enjoy the River Activities at Kiwanis Riverway Park
The Kiwanis Club funds this eponymous Riverway Park, which provides a path through the wetlands, perfect for bird viewing.
This park gives you access to the Scioto River and the surrounding river scenery.
Follow the wooden boardwalk, breathe the fresh forest air, see dainty wildflowers, and appreciate the lovely views.
Go fishing or walk the nature areas, explore the woods and wildlife, and get a glimpse of birds and wildlife in the river areas.
Try Your Luck at the Hollywood Casino Columbus
Penn National Gaming opened Hollywood Casino Columbus in 2012.
In 2009, a state constitutional amendment passed, authorizing casinos in Ohio's four largest cities (including Columbus) to operate.
The casino operates from a former auto parts plant called Delphi Automotive.
Enjoy rounds of card games, try your luck on the slot machines, and gamble your way up the table games.
You can enjoy a lavish buffet at the restaurant after.
You might also catch boxing matches and concerts.
See the Dancing Hares at Ballantrae Community Park
The Ballantrae Community Park has welcomed curious visitors to relax and meet the bunnies in a green space with an odd place of interest.
Located in Dublin, the park's main feature is the peculiar statue of giant dancing hares standing on the boulders that provide a splash pad.
You can enjoy a stroll on the 2.4-kilometer loop trail, an easy path that only takes about 32 minutes to complete.
Go birdwatching, trail running, and simply walk to greet other passersby.
Ballantrae Community Park is one of the attractions near Hilliard that offers a relaxing park feel.
Have Some Indoor Escapade at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park
The Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park will give you an all-out family fun time.
Experience their exciting attractions like the Leap of Faith, Indoor Skydiving, Sky Rider, APEX Trampolines, DropZone, Rope Courses, etc.
Have fun in teams and groups with Dodgeball, Battle Beam, or Slam Dunk Zone game.
The amusement center also offers leisure games and activities like Wall Climbing, Arcade, Bowling, Laser Tags, Go-Karts, Mini-Golf, and Lazer Fury.
Tired of all the jumping, tumbling, and zipping?
Grab some snacks or soda at the café or munch up snacks like pizza and burgers.
Hilliard is a growing community with plenty of natural sights.
The city also has numerous parks that offer plenty of things to do, from outdoor sports to fun recreation that families will surely enjoy.
The Early Television Museum and other historical attractions make this city an exciting location.
There are good, family-friendly places to dine and relax, too.
Hilliard has much to offer for such a small city.
It's time to put this city on your travel list for your next vacation.