8 Family-Friendly Things to Do in Columbus over Spring Break

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It might not be the beach, but there’s lots of fun to be had for families during Spring Break in Columbus!

1. Play at Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio

play area at Easterseals of Central Ohio

Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio has two things going on this month you should know about! The first is this week of Open Play during spring break! Monday through Friday (April 2 – April 6, 2018) the play area at Easterseals will be open for special play hours. Price is $5/child for ages 7 and under! Availability is subject to maximum capacity reached. There are also special hours for special needs families. See the link for times. (P.S. This space is also available for birthday parties!)

football field at Ohio State University Horseshoe

ALSO, thinking ahead to later in the month, on April 28, 2017, Easterseals will be hosting their annual fundraiser, Romancing the Grape at The Huntington Club of Ohio Stadium! This is an adults only event that will offer you the opportunity to try over 100 varieties of the finest wines and sample food from some of Columbus’ finest restaurants! (Think The Guild House, The Refectory, The Blackwell Inn, etc.) Tickets are $85 per person until March 31st and $100 per person beginning April 1. The VIP ticket is $175 until March 31 and $200 starting April 1 and includes a VIP reception and tour of the stadium and locker room!

The proceeds directly fund the local Easterseals programs such as their Early Intervention program for kids with special needs, which is offered at no cost to participants who qualify for the service! I’m looking forward to attending this event and supporting Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio! Click here for more info about the event!


2. Free Petting Zoo at Olentangy Indian Caverns

petting zoo at Olentangy Indian Caverns

Olentangy Indian Caverns opens for the season on April 2! They will be offering free petting zoo admission for the whole first week (April 2-8, 2018)! Olentangy Indian Caverns would make a fun day trip during Spring Break! Besides the petting zoo there is gem mining, a play area, yard games and of course tours of the caverns! You can read more about it here: 10 Things to do at Olentangy Indian Caverns.


3. Spring Thaw at Ohio History Center

ohio history center, columbus, ohio

Take the kids to Ohio History Center for their special spring break hours. From Wednesday, March 14 to Sunday, April 8, 2018, they will be open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM every day! (Except Easter, April 1) There will be special programming with an Ice Age theme! There will be scavenger hunts, bones from ice-age mammals and special weekend programs!

There will also be a special pop-up cafe from Taste of Country Monday through Saturday (through April 8) from 11:0 AM – 2:00 PM! You don’t even need to pack a lunch! 🙂 See all there is to do at Ohio History Center here!


4. Family Fun at Ten Pin Alley

ten pin alley, hilliard, ohio

Ten Pin Alley has recently reopened in Hilliard and is offering several Early Bird Spring Break specials!

From 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM during the week and 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM on weekends they are offering the following specials through April 1, 2018:

  • Family Fun Pack: $44.95 (bowling for 1 hour, 4 shoes, 1 large one topping pizza, 4 sodas)
  • $5 Game of Laser Tag
  • $10 game card for $5

ALSO, Wednesday, March 28, 2018 is National Laser Tag Day!  Ten Pin Alley will be offering $3 missions all day in their arena!

See all there is to do for families at the New and Improved Ten Pin Alley!


5. Family Open Gym at Vertical Adventures

Vertical Adventures will be offering additional hours for families to drop in and climb! Cost is $10/climber and kids 3 and under are free! These special hours will be offered on the WEEKDAYS March 19 – April 6, 2018 from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. No need to sign up, just drop in!


6. Do Something Crafty at Aprons and Easels

Aprons and Easels in Hilliard is offering 1/2, 1 and 2 day Art Camps! Check their schedule for availability. Most classes are for kids ages 8 and up!


7. Go on an Easter Egg Hunt

easter eggs

I helped contribute to this HUGE list of Easter Egg Hunts, Easter Bunny Events and more for Columbus Moms Blog! There are so many Easter-related events going on over the next few weeks!


8. School’s Out CBUS: Summer Break at Columbus Museum of Art

wonder room at columbus museum of art

The Columbus Museum of Art is offering several activities for kids of all ages during the Spring Break including Young Child Studios for kids 18 months to 5 years on Tuesdays and Saturdays, free, drop-in Teen Open Studio for teens on Thursdays and Fridays, and free admission on Sundays! The Wonder Room is always available for kids and offers hands-on, artistic activities!


These ideas not enough? You might need to check out this list: “50 Fun Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio with Kids” compiled by First Community Village of Columbus!

Have a safe and happy Spring Break!

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6 Free or Cheap Indoor Places for Kids to Run Wild in Columbus

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These 6 indoor play areas offer inexpensive options for getting out all that pent up energy!

There are lots of places to play inside in Columbus – for that we are extremely thankful come winter! So many of them are free (see a list of over 20 here!) and we also have our fair share of fun play cafes (see a complete list here!) but this list is about places where kids can really run and play – places for LARGE muscle movement and getting out all the pent up energy that threatens to explode after being stuck inside in sub zero temperatures!

As my kids transition from toddler play to big kid play, I’m finding the answer to What Should We Do Today? requires a little closer assessment of their current energy level. There are lots of things we could do indoors, but some days they really need a space where they can run, jump, slide and climb!

These 6 places accomplish just that and, if you play your cards right, they don’t break the bank! 😉 All of these places are FREE or less (some way less) than $8/kid!

1. Recreations Outlet

trampoline

484 W. Olentangy/Powell Rd., Powell, Ohio 43065, 614-792-3700

This play equipment showroom features an area for kids to play during select hours. It includes large indoor play area features play equipment like slides, swings, climbing, etc., small soccer field, basketball hoops, play houses, trampolines and more.

Price: Monday-Friday: $6/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, Weekends: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play, School Holidays: $8/child ages 1 and up for 2 hours of play. Charitable play happens on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM for a donation of $2/child. Donations are given to local non-profit organizations.

More Details: See $2 Tuesdays: Recreations Outlet, Columbus Zoo and Tacos!

 Recreations Outlet in Powell, Ohio Recreations Outlet in Powell, Ohio


2. Galaxy Games and Golf

Galaxy Golf and Games in Columbus, Ohio

3700 Interchange Rd., Columbus, OH 43204, 614-351-8400

The FunGym at Galaxy Games and Golf includes ball pits, climbing, slides, tunnels and more. There is also a toddler area with a play house, ball pit and ride-on toys. The whole facility also includes mini-golf, an arcade and party rooms.

Price: Ages 1-2: $2.99, Ages 3-10: $4.99

  Galaxy Golf and Games in Columbus, Ohio Galaxy Golf and Games in Columbus, Ohio


3. Central Park at Westerville Christian Church

Central Park at Westerville Christian Church, Westerville, Ohio

471 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081, 614-891-6842

This play area is open mid September through May: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 11:25 AM, Saturdays 10:00 AM – 11:30AM. It has an indoor climbing area including slides and a rock climbing area. Shoes must be removed for play!

Price: Free!

Central Park at Westerville Christian Church

Central Park at Westerville Christian Church


4. The Naz Playplace

The Naz Playplace in Grove City, Ohio

4770 Hoover Rd, Grove City, OH 43123, 614-305-2034

This indoor play area has lots of opportunity for climbing, sliding and large muscle movement! Shoes must be removed and socks worn for play. Socks can be purchased for $1. There is a story time with crafts on Tuesday mornings! You can also register online before your first visit to save time! Outside the play area there is a cafe where you can purchase food and lots of seating!

Hours are: Sun: 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Price: Free!

The Naz Play place in Grove City, Ohio

The Naz Playplace in Grove City, Ohio


5. KidsGym Playland at Magic Mountain

Kids Gym at Magic Mountain Polaris, Ohio

Polaris: 8350 Lyra Drive, Columbus, OH 43240, East: 5890 Scarborough Blvd., Columbus, OH 43232, Polaris: 614-840-9600 East: 614-892-3335

Besides all of the outdoor activities and arcade, Magic Mountain offers an indoor KidsGym Playland. (These pictures are from the Polaris location.) The Playland is for kids 58 inches and under and includes a climbing gym with interactive elements and smaller climbing elements for toddlers.

Price: Ages 3 and up: $5 on weekdays and $6.50 on weekends Kids under age 3: $3 Toddler Thursdays: $2.50/child from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Labor Day through Memorial Day you can purchase a season pass for $35/person ($15 for additional siblings). Pass offers admission 7 days a week plus special discounts on additional add ons such as $1 off a kids combo meal.

KidsGym at Magic Mountain Polaris, Ohio

Kids Gym at Magic Mountain, Polaris, Ohio


6. Fun in the Jungle

Fun in the Jungle, Sunbury, Ohio

345 McGill St., Sunbury, OH 43074, 740-913-0692

Inside Fun in the Jungle there is a large indoor play area, toddler soft play zone, mini bowling, virtual reality games, cafe with food and drinks, arcade games and room for parties. There are special needs sensory hours on the first Sunday of each month.

Price: Play place (for ages 0-10): $7/child for all day, Kids 2 and under are $2 during the week and $4 on the weekend, Additional costs for bowling, arcade  and virtual reality. Keep an eye on their social media pages for specials throughout the week!

Fun in the Jungle, Sunbury, Ohio

Fun in the Jungle, Sunbury, Ohio


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Indoor Play Place Columbus, Ohio


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10 Life Hacks for Columbus Parents

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Parent life is hard, amirite?! Here are 10 ways to save money, make life a little easier and enjoy Columbus!

1. Columbus Member Advantage Program

Through the Columbus Member Advantage program, you can show your membership card from one of the participating partners to buy one admission and get the second one free – up to two free admissions per visit. Columbus Member Advantage partners include:

  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
  • COSI
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • Ohio History Center & Ohio Village
  • Wexner Center for the Arts

2. Free Child Care at Eagle’s Nest

Grocery shopping is the new Friday night date, have you noticed? In addition to great in-store dinner options and wine tastings, you can take advantage of the Eagle’s Nest Child Care at four Giant Eagle Market District locations around Columbus. This is a free child care service for kids ages 3-9 for up to 2 hours. (And yes, you have to remain in the store! 😉 )

3. Half Price Pizza from Papa John’s

When the Columbus Blue Jackets score two goals (win or lose) Papa John’s locations in Central Ohio offer 50% off large pizzas with the code JACKETS50 the very next day! With the awesome season the Blue Jackets are having, that means a lot of cheap pizza! Everybody wins! See their schedule here.

4. Free Magazine Downloads

Children’s (and adult’s) digital magazines are available from Columbus Metropolitan Library and can be checked out on your device and kept FOREVER! See the link here for the titles that are available! You can also check out adult coloring books!

5. Free Rides on the CBUS

If you’d like to take your kids to the Short North, Downtown or German Village but aren’t sure about how far they can walk, take the CBUS! The CBUS is a FREE circulating bus with a route that circles from the Short North, through Downtown to German Village and the Brewery District and back again. Riding the bus is fun in itself for a lot of kids! Click here for the route map.

6. Mom’s Valet at Chic-fil-A

If the thought of taking the kids into a restaurant by yourself, waiting in line to order and carrying your food to your seat seems like an impossible feat, head through the Drive Thru at Chic-fil-A at Sawmill, place your order and tell them you’re coming inside. They’ll have your order ready and at a table for you by the time you park and get inside!

7. Mini-Me Weekends at Level 1 Arcade

Level 1 Arcade welcomes kids every Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM. 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.

8. Franklin County Days at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Franklin County residents receive half price admission to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. You need to show a valid ID or utility bill to prove your residency and receive the discount. See the details here.

9. Charitable Play at Recreations Outlet

If we still have a few more weeks of Winter ahead of us, you may want to take your energetic preschoolers to Recreation’s Outlet to get out all that excess energy! Regular price for indoor play is normally $6 or $8 per child for up to two hours, depending on the day. If you take advantage of Charitable Play hours (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM) not only can your kids can play for a donation of only $2/child, but also 50% of the proceeds on those days are donated to charity!

10. Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Kids 5 and under in certain zip codes in Franklin County are eligible to receive one free book a month through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio are partnering to administer the program here in Central Ohio. You can get an application at local libraries or check your eligibility and enroll online. Check the link for all the details!

**What are you favorite Columbus Life Hacks? I’d love to hear them! Click here to tell me your favorites!**

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ICYMI: Indoor Fun Around Columbus: 6 Things to do Before Spring

*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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