My oldest son starts preschool in September and with that, we will enter the stage of life where our days are dictated by a school schedule. I’m looking at this summer as our last slice of compete freedom! We’re trying out lots of new things which I’ve written about in PART 1 and PART 2 of this Summer post. Here is PART 3:  5 more things you can do this summer with your kids!

1. Play in the Sandbox at Scioto Audubon

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We’ve enjoyed the Scioto Audubon a few times this summer! You know one of the great things about it? There’s this awesome sand pit behind the Center and all of the sand toys are already provided for you. Also it’s shady. Also my 2 year old is sitting next to me while I’m typing and he’s saying, “I want to go to that sandbox,” so I would take that as a good sign! 😉 There’s also an outdoor chalk board for drawing and a play area inside. And also this playground. It’s so great there!

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2. KidX Club at Polaris Fashion Place

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KidX happens on Friday mornings at the fountains at Polaris Fashion Place. Each week has a different theme. We went on safety day. We did a scavenger hunt to find little plastic firemen hidden around the fountain area and when we marked them all off, the kids each got to pick a prize out of the treasure chest. Sunny 95’s treat truck is on site giving out free ice cream and each week has different activities, sponsors and give aways! Of course kids can jump in the fountains so bring your swimsuits! There are just two more opportunities to do this, this summer: August 5 and August 12!

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3. Visit the Animals at Stratford Ecological Center

We spent at afternoon at Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware County in early June. When we were there, there were baby goats, baby chicks, and baby piglets, as well as lots of other animals like cows, llamas, and the adult forms of the aforementioned babies. 😉 The gardens were just starting to come in, so only lettuce was available for picking, but you can pick and purchase your own vegetables from the garden all summer and there should be many more options now! See my full post about our visit here!

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4. Play at Shores Park at Columbus Zoo

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Shores Park is a new interactive playground. With animal structures to climb in and through, this was a lot of fun for my kids. Several of the features have water that shoots out at random times, which provided a suspense-filled play time for lots of kids, including my youngest who got drenched by one of the fountains! There is also a life-sized board game where you can move along the path on the ground to become an Ocean Explorer! Also new in the area is a 4-D theater. In case you’re wondering what 4-D is, like I did, the films are 3-D with the addition of multi-sensory effects. I can’t tell you for sure what those effects are because we haven’t tried it yet, but the tickets are $5/person or $4 for Zoo members (Free for Gold Members and those with a Zoo-It-All wristband). Current films being shown are short, 8 minute offerings from Ice Age and Happy Feet. My kids enjoyed it here and could have stayed longer, but we pushed them along in search of dinner! 😉

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5. See a $1 Movie at Studio Movie Grill’s Children’s Summer Series

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On a hot morning, we cooled off with a kid’s movie at Studio Movie Grill This was my kids’ first movie theater experience and, for the most part, it was a success.  There was that excruciatingly long Ice Age snippet before the movie that was a bit overwhelming and loud for my kids, but after that, they settled in pretty happily with Peanuts. Peanuts was a sweet movie and rated G. You can see a list of their upcoming movies here. There is a different kids’ movie each week through September 2, 2016. The $1 showings are at 11:00 AM. Studio Movie Grill also serves food while you watch. You order by pressing a button on your seat table and a server will come to take your order. Parking in the garage is $2 with validation. $4 for the movie tickets and $2 for parking made the $7 popcorn (with free refills!) a little more bearable! There is also the Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse with $1 movies at 10:00 AM on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but that ends this week!

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I don’t want to think about summer coming to an end . . . but it’s not over yet, so we’ll keep exploring and sharing our ideas with you! Thanks for reading!

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ICYMI: Exploring Blendon Woods Metro Park

Written by Julie Miller