What Should We Do This Weekend? March 17-19, 2017

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1. Month of Madness at Entertrainment Junction

When: March 1 – March 31, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Monday-Saturday; 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM Sunday
Location: 7379 Squire Ct, West Chester, OH 45069
Phone: 877-898-4656

If you’re up for a road trip this weekend, at this family entertainment center and train museum, for the month of March you can visit the A-Maze-N Funhouse for only $1.25 with the purchase of a Train Journey Ticket! Also hot dogs are only $.25!

2. Spring Fling at Oakland Nursery

When: Saturday, March 11 – Sunday, March 19, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 1156 Oakland Park Ave., Columbus, OH 43224
Phone: 614-268-3511

This week long Spring Fling includes workshops, sales and family-friendly events! There will be a Kid’s Carnival on March 18th from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM!

3. Free Green Smoothie at Smoothie King Polaris

When: Friday, March 17, 2017
Time: 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Location: 1924 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-505-7072

Get a free 12 oz green smoothie in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!

4. Chatterboxes at Treehive Cafe + Play

When: Friday, March 17, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: 337 W. Olentangy St., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-681-1456

Drop in to chat with a Speech Language Pathologist about “typical” speech and language development in children! No registration required!

5. St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: Parade begins at 11:00 AM
Location: Metro Center through Historic Dublin
Phone:

This day of celebration includes a pancake breakfast at 7:00 AM, an Inflation Celebration at 9:00 AM and the parade at 11:00 AM! There will be more than 100 units in the parade!

6. Donuts with Dad at Coffee Connections of Hilliard

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: 4004 Main St., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-664-3993

Have a donut and playdate with Dad at Coffee Connections!

7. Spring Craft and Gift Bazaar at Grove City High School

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 4665 Hoover Rd., Grove City, OH 43123
When: March 18, 2017 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Children under 12 are free to enter this Spring Bazaar that benefits Grove City High School Band! There will be over 175 vendors including food and drink!

8. Paw Patrol Meet and Greet at Skate Zone 71

When: When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

Visit with Chase and Marshall at this family skate!

9. Ribbon Wands at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43203
Phone:  614-715-8000

Fairy lovers can color their own satin ribbon wand!

10. Meet and Greet with Belle at Ohio Glass Museum

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 124 W. Main St., Lancaster, OH 43130
Phone: 740-334-0520

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World you can meet Travels by Stacy to learn how she can help, plus A Dream Come True Parties will be presenting Belle from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM! There will be a meet and greet, story time and pictures!

11. Pixar in Concert at Columbus Symphony

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-469-0939

Watch clips of your favorite Pixar movies accompanied by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra!

12. Columbus Toy and Collectible Show at Ohio Expo Center

When: Sunday, March 19, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: Lausche Building, 717 E 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211

You can buy, sell or trade retro and collectible toys at this Toy and Collectible Show! Kids under 12 get in free!

13. Back to the Future Part 4th St. on South 4th St.

When: Sunday, March 19, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 260 S 4th St, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Join the restaurants of S. 4th St. to go Back to the Future! Bring $5 or a pack of diapers to donate to the Columbus Diaper Bank and you can get a picture in front of the Delorean and a 5X7 print out!

14. Turtle Rescue at Watermelon Cay Book Reading at Grove City Library

When: Sunday, March 19, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614- 875-6716

The Friends of Southwest Public Libraries are hosting this special event where local author Janet Shailer will read her book, “Turtle Rescue at Watermelon Cay” while the artist who illustrated the book will lead an art project! There will also be a marine biologist on site to talk about her work with baby sea turtles! Every child who attends will receive a free copy of the book! No reservations necessary!

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ICYMI: Two Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids

*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*


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What Should We Do This Weekend? February 3-5, 2017

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1. Kids Get in Free at Newport Aquarium

When: through February 26, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM most days, 7:00 PM on weekends
Location: One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071
Phone: 1-800-406-3474

If you’re in the mood for a road trip, the Newport Aquarium is about 2 minutes from downtown Cincinnati and throughout the month of February, you can get one free kids ticket for each adult ticket purchased!

2. Kid’s Meal Special at Nutcracker Family Restaurant

When: Through February, 2017
Location: 63 E. Broad St., Pataskala, OH 43062
Phone: 740-964-0056

Kids 10 and under can get a free Tin Lunch Box with the purchase of a special $5.99 Kid’s Meal!

3. First Friday at Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

When: Friday, February 3, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 44 W. 4th St., Mansfield, OH 44902
Phone: 419-522-2332

If you’re interested in checking out Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, the museum is open late for Mansfield’s Shop Hop Night and admission is half price ($4/person)!

4. First Friday at Firefly Cafe

When: Friday, February 3, 3017
Time: until 8:00 PM
Location: 4822 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-230-2375

On the first Friday of each month, Firefly Cafe stays open for play until 8:00 PM! For dinner, Donatos in Clintonville will deliver to the cafe!

5. Blue Jackets Winter Park in the Arena District

When: Friday, February 3 – Sunday February 26, 2017
Time: hours to be announced
Location: Across from Nationwide Arena

Blue Jackets’ Winter Park begins on February 3! Open skate times will be announced but the Mad River Mountain Kids’ Slide hours are as follows: Monday – Friday: 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM.

6. Ice Cream for Breakfast Day at Cookie Dough Creamery

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 7227 N High St, Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-547-0660

Cookie Dough Creamery is celebrating National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day by opening at 7:00 AM and adding waffle bites and maple syrup to the self-serve sundae bar! Wear your pajamas! There will be gift cards for winners in the categories of funniest, wildest and sweetest pajamas! Afterwards, you can shop at the Worthington Farmer’s Market, starting at 9:00 AM at the Shops at Worthington Place!

7. Valentine’s Photo Box at Home Depot

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (until supplies last)
Location: your local Home Depot

In this free workshop for kids, your child can build and decorate a Valentine’s photo box! Participants receive a certificate, an apron and a commemorative pin!

8. Ice Cream for Breakfast Day at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM
Location: All Columbus Jeni’s Ice Cream Locations

To celebrate National Ice Cream for Breakfast day, all Jeni’s scoop shops will open at 9:00 AM and 100% of sales from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM will benefit the Columbus Foundation’s Gift of Kindness fund!

9. Young Child Open House at Columbus Museum of Art

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 480 E. Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-221-4848

During this special open house you can learn about what CMA has to offer the 5 and under crowd! There will be kid-friendly activities, even for those under 2! Drop in anytime between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, no reservations required. Free with admission or membership.

10. Mini-Me Weekends at Level 1 Arcade

When: Every Saturday and Sunday
Time: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 130 Hutchinson Ave. Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: 614-681-0518

All ages are welcome to play arcade games and skeeball for free with the purchase of a beverage (kids’ beverages available)! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

11. Playdate in the Park (Indoors!) at Powell Library

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: 460 South Liberty St., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-888-9160

City of Powell Parks and Recreation has teamed up with the Delaware County District Library for this free indoor play time! There will be stories, parachutes, bubbles, a giant soccer ball and more!

12. Pre-Valentine’s Day Fun at The Honey House

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 3937 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 740-542-1889

Daniel Cooper, Proprietor of Pure Imagination Chocolatier in Grandview, Ohio, will be in the store to demonstrate things you can make for Valentine’s Day at home with chocolate!

13. Super Bowl Sunday Skating at United Skates of America

When: Sunday, February 5, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: 3362 Refugee Rd, Columbus, OH 43232
Phone: 614-239-7202

There will be two skating sessions: 1-3:30 pm & 4-7 pm. If you wear your favorite team jersey, admission is only $2!

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ICYMI: Exploring Clintonville with Your Kids: Cover to Cover + Dough Mama

*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*


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You Need these 7 Columbus Memberships to Survive Winter!

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A few years ago, facing my first winter as a SAHM with two kids, the panic started to set in around September. I bought a membership to everything I could think of (because some of these are really good deals!) and planned to have somewhere to go for every day of the week during the winter. Yes, I panicked, but it was worth it!

The cost of membership to most of these places more than pays for itself in usually 2 visits. After that your visits are “free” So every day it feels like you are getting to do something really fun for “free”. All year, special events are “free”. (Though I don’t necessarily suggest you buy all of these memberships in one month or you’ll find yourself spending a good chunk of change all in one month every year at renewal time. cough cough. (who would do that?) 😉 ). We do put $20/month into an envelope for our “memberships” – it doesn’t quite cover the costs to what I’ve listed here – but let’s just say it helps when renewal time comes around!

I can tell you this, I’m headed into my second winter with two kids and I have renewed every one of these memberships! 😉

1. Columbus Museum of Art

If you have children that are 5 and under, you should absolutely have a Friend membership to CMA. Cost is $60 for the year. This membership is for one person, but kids 5 and under are free! Plus you get admission for one additional adult per visit. (Regular adult admission is $14). If your kids are over 5, then the Household Membership is only $15 more. (Regular admission for children over 5 is $5/visit.)

The Museum has the Wonder Room, which is a great area for kids to create. It’s not exactly a toddler play area, so that is the one downside to taking kids that are 5 and under, but as they get closer to 5, they will get more and more out of the Wonder Room. Once a year, the museum has Think Outside the Brick, an LEGO display and exhibit! We usually see this at least twice, so we are getting our money’s worth right there! The museum offers Family Adventure Tours, Open Studio for all ages to drop in and your membership is also good for special exhibits.


2. Ohio History Center

Membership to Ohio History Center is about as affordable as you can get! This is another case where children 5 and under are free, so if your kids are young, you only need an Individual Membership which is $35. The Individual Membership also allows you to bring one unnamed adult per visit. Regular admission to OHC is $10/person, $5 for children over 5. You can also get $5 off your membership if you have AAA or are an active education (among others)! The family membership, if your children are over 5, is just $55.

Ohio History Center has a lot to offer kids. There are several educational play areas. Click this link above for my previous post about Ohio History Center and all there is for kids to do there! If you have a membership, it includes admission to Storybook Village, which is a fun day each summer when your children’s favorite story book characters come to life at Ohio Village. It also includes admission to Ohio Village Muffins vintage base ball games. (yes, it is base ball (2 words!)) as well as admission to 50 other sites and museums around the state!

In my mind, there are very few cons to this membership! If I had to think of one, it is that they are not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. This has tripped me up a few times! Whoops!


3. COSI

If you only have very young children or are new to Columbus, you might not know that COSI has a huge play space for kids age 6 and under! little kidspace is a great place for you to take babies, toddlers and preschoolers during the winter. (Major con this winter only is that the parking lot is under construction so you will have a bit of a cold walk to get inside! I’ve heard there is a shuttle running to and from the parking lot, but I haven’t been since it got really cold!)

The COSI membership is a bit pricier than the others I’ve mentioned so far (basic family is $119), but honestly, you can’t beat the price when it comes to an indoor play area for toddlers and preschoolers. (Obviously, COSI has a lot to offer older kids as well, but for now I am thinking of those of us who are passing winter days with kids who are not old enough to be in school yet!)

Regular admission ranges from $15 – $20/person, so a family could potentially spend the cost of a membership in one visit! Plus, your admission to COSI gets you discounts on parking, movie tickets, admission to special Members Only events and special events like Farm Days, Big Machines, Model Train Weekend and more!


4. Franklin Park Conservatory

The Conservatory is a great place to go in the winter! Even though plants and flowers might make you think of summer, I actually prefer going there in the Winter! Perhaps that is because we went there on a really hot day last summer, not thinking what it might feel like to walk through a greenhouse when it was already 100 degrees outside! Eek! A basic family membership is $90. (Regular admission is $14/adult and $7/child. Children 2 and under are free.) If it will be mainly one parent who just wants to get out of the house with a baby 2 and under, you could easily make use of the Individual Membership for $45!

The Conservatory can be slightly nerve wracking with toddlers if you’re managing more than one kid by yourself, but for the most part it is pretty kid friendly. (Speaking as someone whose child knocked over a glass vase filled with water there recently . . . ) One really great part about the membership is that it includes the special events going on at the Conservatory.

There is something for families most weekends and there is a Little Adventurers program for kids ages 3-5 on Thursdays! There is usually (depending on the exhibits going on at the time) a little children’s play area on the first floor, a model train and ongoing children’s activities. Not to mention, when it gets warm, the grounds are beautiful!


5. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

How is this one going to help you survive winter, you ask? Because you are going to get to take advantage of those unseasonably warm days that randomly pop up – I actually “strongly dislike” going to the zoo during the summer: too hot! (gosh I’m hard to please!) For me, the best times of the year to go to the zoo are spring and fall.

Membership gets you into Boo at the Zoo in October and Wildlights at the holidays. It’s also good for other special zoo events, preschool classes, and free parking! Maybe this one won’t help you survive the cold, dreary days but it’s still a must have, IMHO. 😉 If you’re really brave, there are quite a few indoor areas at the Zoo, once you get to the grounds from the parking lot!


6. Columbus Recreation and Parks Department

Ahh….I don’t take enough advantage of the Recreation and Parks program in Columbus, but we have done baby swimming lessons at Columbus Aquatic Center and a couple of Mommy and Me preschool art classes. The cost of a Leisure Card to use the facilities is $1 (and it’s good for 3 years!).

During the winter, Open Swim at the Columbus Aquatic Center is $1/person. It is REALLY hard to beat that cost! The classes and programs vary by location but they include art classes, gymnastics, yoga, pottery, soccer, basketball and more! Plus classes for adults! Check out the online schedule of programs here.


7. Your Local Library

Yes, I am technically counting this as a membership! 😉 And it is free! I think most parents figure out pretty fast that the library is the place to go for free indoor entertainment for kids! All of the libraries in the area have some form of story hour, baby lap time, regular activities and the like!

Your membership, in the form of a library card, also allows you to check out books and magazines to make sure your kids have something new to read on a regular basis! Many of the Columbus Metropolitan Library locations have Ready for Kindergarten areas where young children can play and explore. I’m all for getting out and trying new libraries (this is mainly to keep me entertained!) 🙂 Here and here are four that are fun libraries for reading AND playing!


If you have these memberships and you use them wisely, there is always an affordable and fun indoor option if you need to get out of the house! (And if you don’t want to spend a dime, there’s always my list of 20 FREE Indoor Play Areas in Columbus!) Let me know in the comments if there are any other memberships that help you survive winter in Columbus!

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ICYMI: Indoor Programs for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Columbus: Winter 2017


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