The community, founded in 1849, attracts shoppers, diners and visitors.

When Gahanna was founded in 1849, the Big Walnut Creek played an important role in the settlement. The area along the creek became the hub of the community.

A church, school and inn were built within walking distance. The mill that was eventually built there provided food and power for residents.

Today, the area still attracts shoppers, diners and visitors. Creekside Plaza, which opened in 2008, offers many family-friendly events sponsored by the city and an interesting array of shops and restaurants.

"There's so much stuff going there, it's really become a meeting point for everyone," said Beth McCollam, marketing coordinator for the city.

From June through September, the city will host Second Saturdays, a kid-friendly event that includes games, crafts, canoeing, creeking and other active experiences. The plaza also is the site of the city's summer movie series, which starts June 8. Movies and show times are available on the city's website, gahanna.gov.

Creekside Plaza is worth a visit even without special events. Visitors can rent a paddleboat and take a relaxing ride around the creek.

Koko Tea Salon & Bakery is a tasty place for a snack or special treat. The bakery, which specializes in cupcakes, has received national attention. The locally-owned Three Creeks Coffee Roasters has a small but interesting menu and a wide variety of coffees to try.

Jewels & More carries a fun selection of Pandora Jewelry and interesting gift items. Zodiac is another unique store. The shop sells astrology-related gifts, books and jewelry, and offers psychic readings.

The Ohio Herb Education Center, operated by the city of Gahanna, is just across the street from the plaza. Located in the historic Nafzger-Miller House, the herb center helps promote Gahanna as the herb capital of Ohio. The center offers classes, operates a gift shop and runs a hotline that people can call with herb-related questions.

The nearby Café Creekside is a casual restaurant serving up breakfast and lunch at reasonable prices. Gahanna also is home to the only Central Ohio Smashburger restaurant - a burger joint that focuses on fresh ingredients and unique toppings.

Two other snack-worthy stops are Rita's, which sells Italian ice and other frozen treats, and Whit's Frozen Custard.

Children also will enjoy visiting Gahanna's park facilities. Friendship Park boasts a story trail created by students at Gahanna-Lincoln High School. The students wrote and illustrated The Acorn, a story that is depicted on placards along one of the park's nature trails.

Woodside Green Park features a beautiful rain garden, full of plants designed to soak up water that runs off the parking lot. Hannah Park has a stocked fishing pond.

The city also maintains an herb garden that is open to the public. The Geroux Herb Garden, located next to City Hall, has several themed areas, including medicinal, culinary and scented herbs.

On a rainy day, kids might enjoy a visit to the Art Garden Studios. The children's art studio hosts camps, drop-in classes and birthday parties.

Other spots for indoor fun are Gahanna Lanes, Cinemark Stoneridge Plaza Movies 16 and Glow Putt Mini Golf.

For kid-oriented shopping, check out Belles & Beaux Children's Boutique and Once Upon a Child in the Stoneridge Plaza. Belles & Beaux carries beautiful, high-end children's clothing. Once Upon a Child is great place to buy or sell second-hand kid's clothes and gear.