If you’re a stay at home parent, then you probably avoid going places with your kids on Saturday. Honestly, the thought of taking my kids to COSI on a Saturday ranks right up there with grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon. (Hey – I have an idea, let’s do something 6000 of your closest friends and neighbors are also doing!) Stay at home parents and (from what friends tell me) homeschooling parents are pretty much spoiled when it comes to having large institutions to themselves and pretty much dread summer break, winter break, spring break and school field trips when “their” beloved locations are, well, busy.

But if you work outside the home, you don’t have a lot of choice in this area. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are times when parents who work traditional 9-5 schedules can find less busy times to visit locations that can otherwise feel like navigating the aisles of Target the Saturday before Christmas. (I tried to avoid it this year but I did not succeed!)

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This blog post is specifically about COSI during winter break. On January 2nd, my entire family decided to go to COSI on Saturday night. During winter break this year, COSI was open until 9 PM. There was practically no line for members and parking was free! How was parking free, you ask? The meters outside COSI shut off at 6 pm. This is pretty much the only time I can think of that you can get free parking at COSI. The foot traffic at COSI was manageable and even the LEGO exhibit was easy to get around and my kids got to take their turn at every thing they wanted to try. We stayed for just about an hour or so, killing that dreaded hour between dinner and bedtime in which the clock usually moves backwards, am I right?!?

If it’s not winter break, (you know, the other 50 weeks of the year), I have also been to Family Friday Night at COSI, which happens on the last Friday of every month and I can attest that it is not super packed on those nights either.

The LEGO exhibit at COSI is around until May 8, 2016. If you have kids who love LEGOs, this is your year. There are LEGO exhibits at COSI, The Columbus Museum of Art and The Ohio History Center this winter. And if you read my blog post about memberships, then you, my friend, know that you can make these visits often and nearly free. 😉

Written by Julie Miller