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Alum Creek Park in Westerville: Go for playground, volleyball, charcoal grills

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Some of my favorite memories of childhood involve impromptu outings to neighborhood parks with my brothers and sisters.

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As teenagers, my older siblings were surprisingly adept at selecting fun places for us to visit. They often packed a picnic of hotdogs and hamburgers that they'd cook on the charcoal grills that dotted the landscape in the 1970s.

Recently seeing several charcoal grills alongside a picnic shelter at Alum Creek Park in Westerville brought back this fond memory. It made me want to return to revive the park picnic in the near future with my family.

On this day, however, I was content enough to appreciate all the park's other fine offerings, including a sand volleyball court, ball diamond and basketball court that's lit up at night.

My young children enjoyed the plentiful playground equipment with uncommon features such as a climbable train donned up in primary colors, and a spinning contraption that allowed them to rotate in a circle while hanging by their arms. "Again, again!"

Operated by Westerville Parks and Recreation, Alum Creek Park is situated on 12 tree-filled acres alongside Alum Creek at 221 W. Main St. It's home to many events throughout the year, including a free summer concert series that gives center stage to the domed-shaped amphitheater with its natural, stadium-style seating.

The park also offers a nearby bike path, canoe launch and clean restrooms – a must for families with young children.

For more information, visit the City of Westerville's website.

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