4 Nature-Themed Story Times Around Columbus

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These four nature-themed story times around Columbus combine stories with great educational, hands on experiences!

I’ve mentioned probably more than a few times that my kids are really into bugs right now. So, when I saw that Ohio Wildlife Center had a story time about insects, we were there! It prompted the idea to put together a list of story times with a nature theme.

The bonus is that these story times also come with so much more than just a story! Maybe there’s a craft, animals to meet or a woods to explore – whatever the case may be, these story times make a for a great way learn AND have an up-close, hands-on experience with nature!

1. Ohio Wildlife Center

Times: Second Wednesday of the month
Location: 6131 Cook Rd. Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-734-9453
Cost: $5 for anyone over 5, including adults.

Ohio Wildlife Center hosts a Wild Story Time on the first Wednesday of each month. Check the calendar here. We went in July and the theme was Insects. As I said, my boys are REALLY into bugs right now so they were completely enthralled! There were a couple of stories with an insect theme and then a visit from a resident opossum!

After the story time, we all got to take a tour of the grounds, check out the animals that live there, and then do an insect-themed craft!

When the program part was over, we were allowed to explore the grounds on our own so we borrowed some binoculars and went on a hike through the woods and looped back around to visit the animals again! Ohio Wildlife Center cares for wild animals that have been hurt or abandoned and then releases them as they are able. Some of the animals housed on the grounds included raccoons, coyotes, owls, turkeys and more.

The Ohio Wildlife Center is not open to the public on a daily basis so in order to visit, you need to attend a story time or one of their “Open to the Public” events which takes place on the second Sunday of each month.

2. Grange Insurance Audubon Center

Times: Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:00 AM
Location: 505 W. Whittier St. Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-545-5475
Cost: Free

Twice a week the Pre-K Storytime is held at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in partnership with Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. See the calendar of events here (search for Scioto Audubon program). The story time takes place in the beautiful library at the Audubon Center with a stunning view of downtown Columbus.

Afterwards you can visit the aquatic animals and play in the indoor play area. Outside the Audubon Center is a sandbox, playground and rock climbing wall. See 9 Things to do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon.

3. Franklin Park Conservatory

Times: Thursdays at 10:30 AM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000
Cost: Included with admission or membership

Franklin Park Conservatory is currently hosting a Nature Storytime on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM in the Scotts Miracle Grow Foundation Children’s Garden. This is appropriate for kids ages 3-8 and features stories that celebrate gardens, plants and nature. Of course afterwards you can enjoy the amazing Children’s Garden which is full of hands on activities!

Franklin Park Conservatory hosts several new events and programs in the garden. See the upcoming schedule of events here.

We attended the Little Adventurers Program last summer, which took place indoors. The book was The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle and the craft was making a firefly with a glittery (“glowing”) body. Ok, let’s be honest, due to a rain storm and circumstances beyond my control, we were about 10 minutes late and missed the story, but you get the point! 😉 The boys had just spent the previous weekend catching fireflies at their grandparents’ house so this craft was extra appealing to them! The Little Adventurers program is free with admission or membership!

 

Afterwards, check out the Enchanted Forest, a children’s play area on the lower level and take a walk through Blooms and Butterflies (open March – September) to see butterflies up close and personal. Newly emerged butterflies are released every day at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

4. Stratford Ecological Center

Times: Second Tuesday of the month from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-2548
Cost: $5 per family

Stratford Ecological Center hosts Story Time on the Farm on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:00 AM starting in March and running through November. See the Calendar of Events. We haven’t actually been to the story time here yet, but we have been to the farm and I have heard that the story time is very popular! The story time lasts an hour and is based on what is going on at the farm during the current season! After the story time, you can explore the farm, dig in the dirt and visit the animals! See A Day on the Farm: 5 Things to do at Stratford Ecological Center.

 

Where is your favorite local story time?

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Two MORE Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids

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As I promised a few weeks ago, when I shared Two Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids, I’m sharing two MORE fun local libraries with you this week! If you’re tired of the same old, same old, these are some great options for a new outing with the kids!

1. Westerville Public Library

126 S. State St., Westerville, OH 43081, 614-882-7277

I love the trees in the Children’s Place!

The little kid’s area has a school bus . . .

a kitchen, puzzles . . .

a police car . . .

and a great view of the new Northstar! A visit to the library and a double chocolate cookie from Northstar sounds like a fun outing we need to put on the calendar! 😉

The Westerville Library has Drop-In Preschool Storytime, Rhyme Time, Yoga Tales and more! See the whole list of events for kids and families here!

2. Worthington Libraries, Northwest Library

2280 Hard Rd., Columbus, OH 43235, 614-807-2626

Northwest Library offers a unique area for kids called Story Garden! Around the children’s area, well known children’s stories are depicted in 3D!

It’s worth a trip to this library just to view this amazing artwork! Their website lists all of the stories depicted, including the author and a brief description of each story! Looking at the website, I see so many I missed on our visit!

Inside an area called Three Bears Cottage, there is a space for play for young children with lots of toys and seating!

Northwest Library currently has some kind of programming for children every weekday and at least one night a week! See the full calendar here.

What’s your favorite local library?

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What Should We Do This Weekend? April 21-23, 2017 Earth Day Edition!

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1. Open Play at Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio

When: Friday, April 21, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 3830 Truman Ct., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-228-5523

The play area at Easterseals will be open from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM for a special Open Play time. Price is $5/child for ages 7 and under! Availability is subject to maximum capacity reached.

2. Earth Day Bird Feeders with FIT4MOM Columbus North

When: Friday, April 21, 2017
Time: 9:30 AM
Location: Polaris Fashion Place, 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240

Join FIT4MOM for a workout (kids welcome!) and do a bird feeder craft afterwards! Your first class is free and the crafts are always free! See more about FIT4MOM here!

3. KidX: Earth Day Jubilee at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Friday, April 21, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-456-0180

Join the KidX Kid’s Club to celebrate Earth Day by decorating a pot and planting flowers! Delaware County Preservation Parks will be there to provide educational information and the first 100 families will get a free tree to plant!

4. Dream Catcher Class with Sew Many Stitches

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Sew to Speak, 752 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-547-7380

Kids 8 and up (accompanied by a parent) can take this class to learn how to make a traditional dream catcher with a modern twist! Call to register!

5. Hilliard Earth Day at Hilliard Community Center

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 3800 Veterans Memorial Dr, Hilliard, OH 43026

This Earth Day Celebration is free and includes arts and crafts for the kids as well as lots of educational opportunities!

6. Saturday Morning Cartoons From Around the World at CCAD

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Location: CCAD Canzani Center Auditorium, 60 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

It’s free for kids 12 and under (General Admission $6) to watch these family-friendly cartoons from around the world as part of the Columbus International Film + Video Festival!

7. Tulips and Tutus at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Kids can make a tulip fan craft and at 2:00 PM, Columbus Youth Ballet will teach them ballet steps! Free with admission!

8. 3rd Birthday Celebration at Naturally Curious Kids

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 13 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-568-8590

Help Naturally Curious Kids to celebrate their 3rd birthday with crafts, treats and games! Follow their Facebook page for more details!

9. Daniel Tiger Storytime at Grove City Library

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 3359 Park St., Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-875-6716

This is a special story time at the new Grove City Library featuring stories about Daniel Tiger and friends! There will be songs, dancing and more! Appropriate for ages 2-7.

 

10. Earth Day: “Protect Our Pollinator” at HTH Farm Market

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 2340 W. Dublin Granville Rd., Columbus, OH 43235

Those who attend this event will learn how to support pollinators in your community! Kid-friendly activities include learning about planting plants and the life cycles of insects! There will be caterpillars and butterflies will be released!

11. Raisin Healthy Kids at Raisin Rack Natural Food Market

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: 2545 W. Schrock Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-882-5886

Celebrate Earth Day with recycled crafts, container garden demonstrations and featured eco-friendly products! If you ride your bike there you will receive a special reward!

12. OSU Drum Major Tryouts at Woody Hayes Athletic Center

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: Harmon Family Football Park, 2491 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, OH 43210

Drum major try outs for the OSU Marching Band are open to the public! Each candidate will perform, accompanied by the spring Athletic Band and the 2016 Marching Band and the 2017 drum major and assistant drum major will be named at the end of try outs!

13. Earth Day Celebration at Columbus Commons

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

Celebrate a week of service in Columbus with this Earth Day Celebration! There will be a petting zoo and chalk-board drawing for kids, food trucks and live music for the adults! All ages are welcome and this event is free!

14. Columbus Chicken Coop Tour hosted by 4th Street Farms

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: various locations around the city

This is a family-friendly, self-guided tour of local urban farms featuring chicken, quail, partridge and rabbit! This tour is meant to help families and kids learn about where our food comes from and to provide information for people who are considering keeping chickens in their own backyard! See the link for locations!

15. Monster Jam at The Schottenstein Center

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: 555 Borror Dr., Columbus, OH 43210

This action-packed event includes monster truck racing and freestyle competitions!

16. Life at the Farm at the Orange Johnson House

When: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 956 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-885-1247

Join the Worthington Historical Society for the opening of the Orange Johnson House for the season! “Bring the Farm to You” will have farm animals on site for visiting and touching! There will also be hands-on activities for kids including pioneer games, Lincoln Log building, pioneer outfits and more! See the link for pricing. Members are free.

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*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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