A Day in Downtown Newark
By Abbey Roy

On a special Friday morning recently, my two young daughters and I visited downtown Newark in central Ohio to treat ourselves to hot, crispy donuts from the counter at Brick Alley Donut Company. I, a purist, am content with cinnamon and sugar, but there’s something about caramel, Oreos and sprinkles that the kids find irresistible. Who knew?

We headed toward Courthouse Square for an autumn stroll, past River Road Coffee, home to the caramel-drizzled River Road Mocha and co-storefront with Palumbo’s Italian Market, whose tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwich never fails to deliver the perfect amount of zest.

We posed for a photo with Mark Twain, who can often — rather, always — be spotted with his arm resting atop a bench outside the historic Midland Theatre, a copy of Huckleberry Finn on his lap. Talk about selfie-ops.

Our walk took us to the Canal Market District, where we’ve stopped on numerous occasions to pick up fresh fruit for pies, veggies and herbs for dinner and baked goods for treats; the adjacent Market Street Soda Works is a great spot to duck in, sip a vintage ginger beer and watch the world go by.

The girls love to wander through the hands-on science exhibits at The Works, now in the process of building a $1.4 million SciDome planetarium, watch glass-blowing demonstrations and race their self-created K’nex cars down the ramp. (The old-fashioned rotary phone is also a huge hit — Every. Single. Time.) Shown below: A friend’s daughter enjoying the Jerrie Mock exhibit.

We’ve lived in Newark for a decade now, but I’m continually impressed with the momentum in our community and the up-and-coming scenes being added to the downtown landscape: Thirty One West, a freshly renovated venue boasting equally fresh talent; restaurants like Sand Hollow Winery Speakeasy (text a number for the password), Franks & Sammies hot dogs and Elliot’s Wood Fired Kitchen & Tap; shops like Apple Crate Antiques and Kicks Mix Bookstore. The list goes on.

If you haven’t been here lately, please stop by. We might save you a doughnut…if you’re lucky.

For more ideas on your next day trip, Find It Here at Ohio.org.

About the Author

Abbey Roy is a Kent State University journalism graduate. She writes a weekly column entitled the Bargain Advocate for the Newark Advocate and Media Network of Central Ohio and enjoys spending time with her family - her husband, Seth, and two daughters, Analeigh and Aria - reading, being outdoors (especially in the woods, water or both), bicycling and photography. She also makes a mean zucchini bread. You can email Abbey at abbey.m.roy@gmail.com.