5 Things to do with Your Kids this Summer in Columbus

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There is no shortage of things to do during the summer in Columbus! In fact, I compiled a huge list for Columbus Moms Blog! But there are so many things, it can get overwhelming to try to keep track and try them all, so I thought I’d do a short list of some of the things we’ve actually done this summer to give you some tips and ideas if you need them!

1. Attend a Free Program at one of the Metro Parks

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In May, we attended the Pre-K program at Darby Creek Metro Park about seeds. The kids got to hear stories about planting and then plant their own seeds in a cup. It was exciting when one day we discovered our seeds had actually bloomed!

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We also attended a story time at the Scioto Audubon. Most of the Metro Parks have some type of program for kids (and for varying age groups), and except for a rare occasion, they’re free! There are so many great opportunities to take advantage of at our Metro Parks! Click the link here to search for upcoming programs!

2. Splash at FountainSide at Bicentennial Park

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FountainSide takes place most Wednesdays from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM at Bicentennial Park. (Check the schedule in the link for the dates.) We attended the first one in June. The fountain area is really large and there are activities that take place in tents around the park. We got to blow bubbles, pet turtles, see chameleons eat bugs, crawl through tunnels, do a scavenger hunt in a pretend stream and plant seeds in a pot to take home!

Donatos sells slices of pizza for $2 and the Lazer Kraze Treat Truck is on site to pass out free ice cream bars! It was a really fun time. I recommend bringing a blanket and staking out a spot on the lawn. My kids aren’t into splashing in fountains (though they will certainly go out of their way to splash in any muddy puddle they see, thank you, Peppa Pig.) but there was plenty to do anyway! If you can’t make it during the week, the fountains are available for play from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM daily.

3. Tour the Velvet Ice Cream Factory

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We didn’t actually tour the factory, but we did attend the Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival on the grounds of the Velvet Ice Cream Factory on Memorial Day.  Since it was a holiday, the factory was not in operation, but we did get to see videos and take a look at the factory from the viewing window.

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The grounds of Velvet Ice Cream have a playground, a sand box, a pavilion, a gift shop and museum area, as well as restaurant and an ice cream shop, of course! It was about a 50 minute drive from downtown Columbus. 30 minute tours of the museum take place on the hour from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM on weekdays. The tours are not offered on weekends, holidays and some Fridays.

4. Ride the CBUS

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The CBUS is a fun and FREE way to get around downtown Columbus! Not only will it save little legs from walking (or more so, your back from carrying) long distances, it’s an exciting way to see the city! The bus runs every 10-15 minutes, every day! We took the CBUS on Mother’s Day when we had dinner at Northstar and then ice cream at Jeni’s (is that the perfect Mother’s Day or what?!). Note to self, it stops at 6:00 PM on Sunday! We didn’t realize that small fact in time! Luckily it was a short walk back to our car – but something to keep in mind if it happens to be Sunday and you don’t want to get stuck at the other end of town!

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Maybe it’s because my kids are boys, but they were very excited to watch for and ride the bus! Jaden kept wanting to know how the bus knew where we wanted to go! 😉 The great thing is that it goes in a loop, so you can’t possibly miss your stop! Just wait at one of the specific CBUS signs along the route (see the link), and then pull the cord above the window when you want to get off. Take the CBUS to and from the Short North and the Brewery District, getting on and off wherever and however many times you want. Use it to get to a specific destination or just ride it for fun and enjoy the sights! (FYI, you can bring your stroller and fold it up when you get on the bus!)

5. Visit Ohio Village at Ohio History Center

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Ohio Village is open for the summer and it has been updated to represent the 1890’s! You can try out an adult-sized tricycle at the new bike shop, take your photo 1890’s style, talk with the residents about their everyday life or play old-fashioned games on the Village Green.

We attended on Opening Day and the streets were bustling with activity! We got to try hand-cranked ice cream and take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Ohio Village is only open through Labor Day and is included with your admission (or membership) to Ohio History Center. (You can read our review here.) Saturday, June 18th is Storybook Village and your kids can meet with their favorite PBS Kids friends! (There is usually a line for this event and it is very popular so come early!) On June 19th, the Ohio Village Muffins play vintage “base ball” on their home field!

I plan to do this kind of post a few times this summer so keep an eye out! Enjoy your summer!

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ICYMI: Day Trip: Downtown Mansfield


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What Should We Do This Weekend? June 10-12, 2016

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I’m really excited about all there is to do this summer in Columbus! I’ve got a calendar full of ideas and we’re trying to make the most of each day! Though one of these days, I’m going to need to make the most of my laundry piles . . . but until then here’s some things to do instead!  🙂

1. Weekend Kick-Off Craft and Story – Rainbows at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Friday, June 10, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081

Kids 12 and under can kick off the weekend with a story and craft about rainbows.

2. Carnival at Credit Union of Ohio

When: Friday, June 10, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM- 7:30 PM
Location: 5500 Britton Pkwy, Hilliard, OH 43026

The Credit Union of Ohio sponsors this totally free Carnival! The carnival features live music, games, inflatables, and free food from The Angry Weiner food truck!

3. B – Fest Teen Book Festival at your local Barnes and Noble

When: Friday – Sunday, June 10 – 12, 2016
Time: various times each day
Location: Local Barnes and Nobles stores

This special event for teens includes author visits, trivia, games, giveaways and the opportunity to sample upcoming novels and win books!  Each day of the festival has a different theme with workshops and specific giveaways! Search for events at your closest Barnes and Noble!

4. Columbus Arts Festival at the Riverfront

When: Friday – Sunday, June 10-12, 2016
Time: Friday and Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM, Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Along the Scioto Mile and in front of COSI

So many artists, events and special activities are going on this weekend at the Columbus Arts Festival! Specifically for kids, check out the Columbus Makes Art Activity Village presented by Kroger, where kids can do arts and craft activities and the Children’s Art Gallery on Saturday and Sunday, where kids can enter a kid-sized art gallery and purchase artwork for $5 and under! Outside of COSI, artist Daniel McCauley will assemble a metal T-Rex! There will also be a Student and Community Art Exhibition and a performance of the Lorax by local actors on Saturday and Sunday. Check out the Festival Guidebook for detailed information about all of the events and the special activities for children on pages 18-20!

5. Pickerington Teen Book Fest 2016 at Pickerington High School North

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 7800 Refugee Road, Pickerington, OH 43147

A day of workshops, book signings, break out sessions, food trucks and meetings with community organizations will take place during this celebration of teen fiction! See the complete Schedule of Events here.

6. Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic at your local Lowe’s!

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: your local Lowe’s

Build your own Captain America! Get a free apron, goggles, and patch! Register online.

7. Ready, Set, Race at Grandview Heights Public Library

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: Meeting Room, 1685 W. 1st  Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

All ages are invited to build and race airplanes and cars made out of Legos!

8. Nature Fair at Three Creeks Metro Park

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Heritage Nature Center, 551 Wirt Road, Groveport, OH 43125

The City of Groveport Community Affairs Department is hosting this nature fair featuring a scavenger hunt, kid’s fishing derby, nature displays and the chance to learn about bees!

9. Inside Out at Whetstone Park

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 8:15 PM
Location: 3923 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214

Join Clintonville Rotary for their 6th Annual Movie in the Park! It’s free!

10. Kid’s Day: Dispersing Seeds at The Crest Gastropub

When: Sunday, June 12, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 2855 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH 43202

The Clintonville Farmers’ Market will show kids 12 and under how to plant seeds and start their own garden! Plus, kids eat free every Sunday!

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Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: Day Trip: Downtown Mansfield

*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? June 3-5, 2016

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Here we are, the first weekend in June already! I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine! I know I, for one, am happy to be able to get these kids out of the house every day! I always start out the day with the goal of letting them run around and get tired out, but they just seem to keep on going no matter how much running they do! 😉 Here are 12 things to do this weekend! Enjoy it!

1. Kids Concert on the Green on Worthington Village Green

When: Friday, June 3, 2016
Time: 11:30 AM
Location: 2 E. Dublin Granville Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

Mr. Eric will perform at this interactive and fun Kids Concert!

2. Music + Movie at Bicentennial Park

When: Friday, June 3, 2016
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: 233 Civic Center Drive, Columbus, OH 43215

A fun combination of Rhythm on the River and Movies on the Mile brings you the Arnett Howard band at 7:30 PM and a showing of the movie Inside Out at dusk! This event is free!

3. Strawberries on the Square in Newark

When: Friday – Sunday, June 3 – 5, 2016
Time: Friday and Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Sunday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 5 S. 3rd St, Newark, OH 43055
Phone: 740-983-4797

Live music, rides, games, crafts, food and, of course, strawberry shortcakes are what this festival is all about in downtown Newark! If you’re looking for a short road trip this weekend, it sure sounds tasty!

4. Hubbard School Bazaar and the Short North Yard Sale

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 104 W Hubbard Ave, Columbus, OH 43215 (and surrounding neighborhood)

Search for treasure at the Short North Yard Sale – individual yard sales happen all around the neighborhood! Stop by Hubbard School Bazaar to support the school and shop for kids stuff, sample coffee from Boston Stoker, and more! Bring a pair of shoes in any condition to donate to help the school raise money. See more here.

5. Summer at Reeb: A Community Celebration at Reeb Avenue Center

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 280 Reeb Ave, Columbus, OH 43207

Kick off the summer with a family-friendly celebration while learning more about the services at the Reeb Avenue Center! The event features free food and live music by the OSU Alumni Marching Band and Supafun Band! If your kids love our local heroes, they’ll enjoy the Columbus Police Mounted Unit and a Columbus Fire Department truck. The celebration also includes face painting, balloon twisting, and more fun provided by the Columbus Zoo, COSI and Columbus Museum of Art.

6. Touch A Truck at CenterPoint Gahanna

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 620 McCutcheon Rd, Gahanna, Ohio 43230

Children can climb on, touch and pretend to drive all kinds of large vehicles! A bounce house and food trucks will also be on location!

7. Grand Opening of Columbus Metropolitan Library, Parsons Branch

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 1113 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43206

Join Columbus Metropolitan Library for a dedication ceremony (12:00 PM – 12:30 PM) of the new Parsons Branch! The celebration that follows will include family friendly activities and entertainment! You can enter a drawing for an eReader and sign up for a commemorative library card!

June 4th is also the kick-off of the Summer Reading Club at Columbus Metropolitan Library! Sign up online or at any location to start reading books and winning prizes! (As a side note, I once won tickets to The Nutcracker in the adult summer reading program! Reading to your kids counts, so Mom and Dad, you should sign up, too! 😉 )

8. Touch a Turtle at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM
Location: Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

An opportunity for kids of all ages to learn all about turtles! If you need more up close interaction with outdoor creatures you could also check out What’s That Bug on Sunday!

9. Summer in the 614 Festival on Worthington Village Green

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: 2 E. Dublin Granville Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

Enjoy local musicians, family-friendly activities, games, food and more! Music from 4-8:30 PM. Activities from 4-7 PM.

10. Cap City Nights Festival at Linden Community Center

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: 1254 Briarwood Ave., Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: 614-645-3067

This is the first of 8 summer festivals at Columbus Recreation and Parks Community Centers aiming to bring together neighborhood partners and empower them to work together to reduce violence. The festivals will feature free food, live entertainment, inflatable games, a video game truck, community art projects and more! The link will take you to the list of all 8 festivals and their respective dates.

11. Family Days at Pizzuti Collection

When: Sunday, June 5, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 632 N Park St, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-280-4004

Free admission to the Pizzuti Collection will be offered on the first Sunday of each month through December! These special days include guided children’s tours at 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM and a scavenger hunt. Each child will also be given their own sketchbook! You can read about our visit to the Pizzuti Collection here.

12. Forest Discovery Tour at Camp Mary Orton’s ZipZone Canopy Tours

When: Sunday, June 5, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Highbanks Metro Park, 7925 North High St. (Rt.23), Columbus, Ohio 43235
Phone: 614-847-9477

Learn about nature from the tree tops as you zip line through this guided tour! This activity is open to anyone ages 7 and up! Call for pricing and reservations.

ALSO . . . Make sure to bookmark these two posts from Columbus Moms Blog: Best of  Columbus: Free Summer Events and Best of Columbus: Free and Cheap Summer Activities and I promise you will never run out of things to do this summer!! 🙂

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Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: Pizzuti Collection + Le Chocoholique

*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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