How to Rock the Twelve Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt

Over the weekend we spent Saturday morning exploring Historic Downtown Dublin doing the Twelve Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt! This is a totally fun outing with something for the whole family! I’m partnering with Historic Dublin to tell you how to Rock the Scavenger Hunt in this December!

Found the Elf at Daso Custom Cabinetry!

In 12 participating businesses around Historic Dublin, an elf is hiding, just waiting to be found by your eager kiddos! You can begin the hunt at any one of the 12 locations by picking up an Elf Card and finding the elf. At each stop, the kids can point out the Elf to the employee and they will receive a small prize and a stamp on their card. The small prizes are a mix of candy, stickers, tattoos, etc.

Finding the Elf at Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland brought this little guy lots of satisfaction!

Head to all 12 locations, in no particular order, collecting your stamps and prizes. When finished, you can turn your Elf Card into any of the participating businesses and the accompanying adult will be entered into a drawing to win a prize basket filled with prizes from each of the participating businesses! (See, there’s a win for the parents, too! 😉 )

Dublin Ohio CVB Visitor Center was one of our first stops!

Getting our cards at Boho 72 Boutique!

My kids were totally into the hunt! They were surprisingly focused on finding each elf. Well, let me clarify, my first born, type A child was focused on the exact number they had found and how many more were left to find. My second child, just 3 years old, was focused on where to get the next piece of candy! 😉

Candy cane prizes at Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland!

It had been a while since I walked around Downtown Dublin on foot, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of getting the kids around. It turned out that all of the locations were surprisingly close! My 3 year old had no trouble keeping up without a stroller. We even back-tracked a few times to go to places that hadn’t opened yet when we started the hunt.

If you aren’t in the holiday spirit before walking around Downtown Dublin, you will be! The city is beautifully decorated! It’s kind of like walking around in a Christmas card!

Historic Dublin

This was such a fun thing to do as a family! It took us about 2 1/2 hours, but that included a leisurely stop for lunch. I would allow 1-2 hours to complete the hunt depending on your family and your schedule.

This scavenger hunt is NOT hard and we accomplished it with very little planning ahead! BUT I’m going to give you 5 tips to rock the scavenger hunt so you have a fun family time with very few hiccups!

1. View the Elf Card and Map online

Click here to view the Elf Card and Map! The kids loved having the official Elf Card, so I would suggest picking the actual card up at your first stop, but having the map printed out will help you plan out your path ahead of time if you are so inclined!

2. Know your parking options before you get there

There are several public parking lots in Historic Dublin. See this map for ideas.

3. Check the hours of the stores

We got a jump start on Saturday morning, and some of the shops did not open until 11:00 AM or 12:00 PM so we had to backtrack. Also Daso Custom Cabinetry generally closes at 1:00 PM on Saturdays, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re doing it on the weekend. (Though they will be staying open until 4:00 PM this Saturday, December 9th.) Backtracking wasn’t that big of a deal for us because everything is so close, but if you’re on a time crunch, you’ll want to pay closer attention to this. See the list of participating locations here.

4. Plan out your options for snacks and meals

There are two stops on the hunt where you can have a full meal. We had lunch at Donatos about halfway through the hunt. La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro is the other option with a full menu. You may also want to consider your timing when stopping into the other restaurants! Perhaps pick Winans for a coffee stop before lunch or Johnson’s Ice Cream or Our CupCakery for dessert afterwards! (Though I do want to say you are not required to purchase anything to participate in the hunt and we felt no pressure to do so at any of the locations!)

Chocolate is the prize at Winans Dublin!

Can’t beat pizza at Donatos for a mid-hunt break!

Finding the Elf was tricky at La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro!

Find the Elf and a little ice cream treat at Johnson’s Real Ice Cream!

The cutest holiday cupcakes at Our CupCakery!

5. Build in time for the adults to enjoy the hunt, too!

This hunt doesn’t have to be just for the kids. This is a great opportunity to get some holiday shopping done, pick up a few decorating tips or take care of some business! We even took a few minutes to appreciate fine art at Terra Gallery! (P.S. There is an Adult Holiday Hunt taking place on December 9, 2017!)

Perusing the finer side of art at Terra Gallery!

Decorate for the holidays at Chelsea Borough Home!

Kids you can pick out a Christmas gift for mom at Boho 72 Boutique . . . Hint Hint!

A Christmas Story throwback at Dean Insurance Group!

We had a blast seeing Dublin in a new way! I highly recommend this activity for a low-cost holiday outing that is fun for the whole family!

The boys were very proud of their completed Elf Cards!

Mail a letter to Santa while you’re at it!

Know Before You Go:

-The 12 Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt takes place between December 2 – December 16, 2017.

-The participating locations are as follows:

Boho 72 Boutique
Chelsea Borough Home
Daso Custom Cabinetry
Dean Insurance Group
Donatos Pizza
Dublin (Ohio) Historical Society at Dublin Ohio CVB Visitor Center
Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream – Dublin
La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro
Our CupCakery
Terra Gallery
Winans Dublin

-Your completed card must be returned to any of the participating businesses by the end of day December 16, 2017.

-The winner of the grand prize drawing will be awarded Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

See all the details here!

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ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

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NEW! Children’s Play Area at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing

On May 25, 2017, The Mall at Tuttle Crossing launched a soft opening of the new Children’s Play Area, beginning with an 8 AM sneak peek for local bloggers and their kids! Your kids can play here now, too, but the official Grand Opening is this Friday, June 2, 2017 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM! To celebrate, there will be a ribbon cutting, face painting, a balloon artist and an opening statement from the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

The play area uses the theme STEAM. No, not STEM, STEAM! I’m happy to report they’ve added an “A” for Art, a movement created by the Rhode Island School of Design! Good for them!

There are 5 main activity areas, each representing a letter of the acronym STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

1. Science Scramble:

On one side of the square cards, you can put a science-themed puzzle together. With the other side, you can play tic-tac-toe with periodic elements!

2. Techno Tunes:

Make music with the power of technology! By stepping on the squares in front of the rainbow steps (which lead to a slide!) you can play a tune with the sounds of different instruments! One thing I appreciated here was that music was always playing, but it was NOT loud! 🙂

3. Wonder Wall:

At the Wonder Wall (who’s singing Oasis?) you can use levers, pulleys, wheels and other simple machines to move a ball up through the maze and back down again. This one was a hit with my kids!

4. My Art Gallery:

Tap, slide and pinch with your fingers to choose the scene of your art work, add items to it, enlarge them and then change the style. There are three “easels” to work on around the wall. When you’re done you can email the artwork to Grandma (or whomever you choose)! When you tap “Finish,” the screen says LOOK UP! and your artwork is then displayed on the screen above you! The look on my 2 year old’s face when this happened was priceless!

5. Tile Table:

The Tile Table was, by far, my 5 year old’s favorite station. This was popular with lots of the kids! I apologize to all the kids out there who wanted a literal piece of the action as he stood guarding his castle, making sure it didn’t get knocked down.

In addition to the 5 activity areas, there is an additional toddler zone, STEAM Jr., which is separated from the other areas by a soft, immovable barrier.

My kids, age 2 and 5, were engaged for 3.5 hours at this play area! Honestly, that’s the longest they’ve ever spent at a mall play area before begging me to move on! I had to pry them away because I was hungry!!

Let’s address the number one comment/question I received on social media! There are no more walls! Will this be an issue? For the majority of preschool-aged children? I don’t think so. For your 9 month old crawlers? I don’t think so. For your 18 month old runners? Yes it will be.

After the sneak peek, the mall opened and the play area got busy! There were one or two runners during that time, but most of the kids were engaged in the activities that were presented. There is definitely a shift in focus from large muscle play to fine muscle activities. This isn’t a play area for running around, climbing and sliding, though there is room for a little bit of that.

The truth is that the soft toddler barriers are not large enough to keep bigger kids out and the lack of a barrier around the general play area also allows teenagers in, which I did witness the day I was there.

These are some logistical things that we as parents will encounter, HOWEVER, in my mind, the benefits and engagement level of the activities here outweighs the negatives. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my kids back here to play. The play area was designed by designers who create a lot of children’s museums, and I think if you shift your focus from what the play area at Tuttle used to be (gross/large muscle), to thinking of this as a small section of a STEAM children’s museum, you’ll be on target with what the play area is designed to be!

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ICYMI: Exploring Ohio with Kids: Bellevue

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

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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