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What Should We Do This Weekend? March 10-12, 2017

1. St. Patrick’s Day Craft at Tree of Life Play Cafe

When: Friday, March 10, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: 3708 Fishinger Blvd, Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-363-4041

Come in for a St. Patrick’s Day themed craft and snack!

2. Fun Friday at Columbus Metropolitan Library, Karl Road Branch

When: Friday March 10, 2017
Time: 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 5590 Karl Rd., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-645-2275

This program helps school-aged kids find their S.P.A.R.K.!

3. Square Dance at Stratford Ecological Center

When: Friday, March 10, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: 3083 Liberty Rd, Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-2548

The whole family can participate in traditional square dances, novelty and folk dances! Recommended for school aged children. $5/person.

4. 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 11th and March 18th from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  On Saturday, March 11, from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, you can see The Bug Man!

5. Spring Scavenger Hunt at Homestead Metro Park

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 4675 Cosgray Rd., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-508-8111

Families can pick up a scavenger hunt at the nature center, look for signs of animals getting ready for spring and turn it in for a small prize! Appropriate for ages 3-10.

6. Tales @ 10 at Westerville Public Library

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Location: 126 S. State St., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-882-7277

This family-oriented story time is geared toward ages 2-6. There will be stories, songs, play and more!

7. Liberty Tree Artisan Market at Liberty Tree Elementary School

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 6877 Sawmill Pkwy., Powell, OH 43065

There will be over 40 vendors at this annual market! There will be a free make and take craft station and photo booth for kids! Admission is a donation of your choice which benefits the Liberty Tree Elementary School PTO.

8. Commit To Be Fit Expo at Ohio Expo Center

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 11 & 12, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 717 E 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

This free expo presented by 10TV is focused on helping families live healthier lives! Activities include a giant rock wall, vendors, events like Kids Yoga and a Baby Race and the opportunity to learn how to make healthy snacks for kids! See the entire list of events by clicking on the link.

9. Blooms and Butterflies Opening Day at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Daily
Location: 1777 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Saturday is opening day for Blooms and Butterflies! Watch butterflies be released in the Pacific Island Water Garden! From 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, children can decorate a butterfly house to take home. $4 per butterfly house.

10. Kids Club at Michaels Stores

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: your local Michaels Store

For $2, kids ages 3 and up can make their own Fairy House!

11. Odd Squad Live at Ohio Theatre

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 39 E State St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: CAPA office: 614-469-0939

This interactive performance will include new music, action and the opportunity to put STEM skills to the test!

12. Celebrate Lego Batman at Barnes and Noble

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: your local Barnes and Noble

Kids can make their very own LEGO Batman Speedwagon and collect limited edition trading cards! This event is while supplies last!

13. Family Night at Paper Moon Art Studio

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 4145 N High St., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-332-9149

The second Saturday of each month, Paper Moon Art Studio stays open late for Family Night! This Saturday’s theme is Mardi Gras Fun! Call ahead to reserve your spot as space may be limited. $25/family.

14. Troll Roll at Skate Zone 71

When: Sunday, March 12, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM & 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

Skate and take pictures with the Trolls! There will be games and prizes!

15. Salamander Hike at Glacier Ridge Metro Park

When: Sunday, March 12, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 9801 Hyland Croy Rd., Plain City, OH 43064
Phone: 614-971-5211

Families can take a hike to discover salamanders and other amphibians at a vernal pool where they lay their eggs. See the link for recommendations on what to wear and what to expect!


Thanks to Goldfish Swim School for sponsoring this post!

Goldfish Swim School offers perpetual, year-round swim lessons for kids ages 4 months to 12 years old. Our pools are warm and inviting (90 degrees) and our class sizes are small (4:1) so kids receive the personalized attention from our Ellis-trained swim instructors. Our curriculum focuses on water safety so we teach kids at all levels how to be safe in and around water. Goldfish Swim School has two Central Ohio locations, in Dublin and Westerville, and for more information, visit http://westerville.goldfishswimschool.com and http://dublin.goldfishswimschool.com.

Want to sponsor What Should We Do This Weekend? click here!

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ICYMI: 2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers 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!*

What Should We Do This Weekend? January 6-8, 2017

Life is back to normal, so it seems! Back to work, back to school, snow in the forecast. We’re headed into the long stretch of winter that I tend to dread! Sigh. But hey, this week is also the last giveaway for a play pass to Recreations Outlet! Now there’s something fun to do inside on a cold day! You can enter by telling me 3 places you love to take your kids in Columbus! Click here to enter! Thank you to all those who have! I will be using those suggestions in future posts! 🙂 Have a happy weekend!

1. Grand Opening at Duck Donuts

When: Thursday – Sunday, January 5-8, 2017
Time: 6:00 AM Thursday – 9:00 PM Sunday
Location: 825 Polaris Parkway, Westerville, OH 43082
Phone: 614-896-6450

Duck Donuts at Polaris celebrates its grand opening this weekend with a coupon for a free donut for the first 100 customers on Thursday and Friday beginning at 6:00 AM and free coffee all weekend (through Sunday)! There will be activities for kids and giveaways all weekend!

2. Toddler/Preschool Enrichment at Studio J: Sing Paint Play

When: Friday, January 6, 2017
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Location: 27 S. Liberty St., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-563-4807

This class is appropriate for ages 1-5 and will feature a story, fingerplay, songs, an art project and more!

3. Winter Sale and Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District

When: Friday, January 6-29, 2017
Location: Various stores throughout the Short North

Many stores throughout the Short North are offering sale prices on their items! Combine this shopping opportunity with Gallery Hop on Saturday from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM for extra fun!

4. Fitness Resolution Solution at Glenwood Recreation Center

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1888 Fairmont Ave., Columbus, OH 43223

The whole family is invited to learn about the ways Columbus Recreation and Parks can help them stay healthy this year! There will be activities and prizes! (Also, registration opened earlier this week for the next session at Columbus Rec and Parks, search for available classes here.)

5. Opening Day of Orchids at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

This weekend marks the opening of the Orchids exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory as well as the exhibition Nightime Tropicals. On Saturday, families are invited to make paper flower collages from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. This craft is free with membership or admission.

6. Story Time with Belle at Barnes and Noble Pickerington

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: 1738 North Hill Rd., Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 614-751-0927

Come meet Princess Belle at this free event!

7. Indoor Binocular Hunt at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 1415 Darby Creek Dr., Galloway, OH 43119
Phone: 614-508-8111

Do an indoor hunt for animals inside the Nature Center! Free! All ages welcome!

8. Tinker Lab at Grove City Library

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-875-6716

Kids in grades 4-7 are welcome to come to the library to create, use team work and learn about how things work!

9. Dream Catcher Class at Sew to Speak

When: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 752 High St. Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-547-7380

Kids 8 and up, accompanied by a parent are welcome to this beginner level class where they can learn to make a traditional dream catcher with a modern twist! Cost is $40.

10. Family Treasure Hunt at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Meet at the Nature Center to take part in a treasure hunt!

11. January Family Paint Class at Art With Anna

When: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Time: 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Location: 420 N Cassady Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43209
Phone: 614-252-1881

Each member of your family can paint a small canvas that can be hung together to create a larger mural! This event is appropriate for ages 6 and up and costs $15 per artist!

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ICYMI: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Columbus Parents

*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!*

MEGA Train List for Central Ohio and Beyond

My kids love trains! I have been to *almost* every place on this list! When Jaden was 3, he could have gone to Barnes and Noble every single day to play with Thomas. This list isn’t so much for your kids as it is for you! Of course your kids will love these places, but this list is to keep YOU from going insane from doing the same thing every day! 😉 A good number of these things are special events that are only available for a short time! So check the list and mark your calendars because many of those are coming up this month! You, too, can be a really useful engine! 😉

1. Paul Busse Model Garden Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory, downtown Columbus

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The train in the picture below is up nearly year round, but the one above makes a special appearance during the holidays! Check the link for info on Merry and Bright!

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2. Grandview Library, Grandview Heights

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One great library with a train table!

3. Huntington Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library, downtown Columbus

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The Huntington Holiday Train arrives in mid-November and the Main Library hosts an Open House on November 30th, which will include hot chocolate and cookies, crafts and the lighting of Topiary Park! For even more trains, keep an eye on the Hilliard and Gahanna branches which will offer Polar Express programs this year!

4. Ohio Railway Museum, Worthington

The museum has been working on repairing the tracks so no train rides are available as of today, but they hope to be up and running for the holidays!

5. The Train Station, Clintonville

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Model trains are for sale here and they also have a small play area for kids!

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6. Moody Street Trains, Clintonville

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Model trains are for sale here and there is a train table for playing. On Saturday, December 3, 2016, they will host the 2nd Annual National Lionel Train Day which will feature prizes, face painting and a visit from Santa!

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7. Model Railroad Days at COSI, downtown Columbus

Model Railroad Days are November 16-20, 2016 this year and large model train sets are available for viewing and there are also trains to play with! During the weekend you can watch the movie Rocky Mountain Express in the theater. At Christmastime, The Polar Express is shown as well! (p.s. there is also a train to play with in the little kidspace at COSI!)

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8. Barnes and Noble, various locations

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Barnes and Noble offers the hope that your children will play with trains while you quietly sip coffee and read a magazine.

9. Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Hilliard

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The Hilliard Branch is a fun library for kids and has a Chuggington train table.

10. Von Maur, Polaris Fashion Place

In the children’s section of the store, there is a train that runs along the wall and a train table for playing!

11. Easton Express Railway, Easton Town Center

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This outdoor train track is always decorated for whatever season it happens to be and is a big hit with the kids!

12. BrickUniverse, Columbus Convention Center

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There are lots of working LEGO trains at this once-a-year LEGO Expo!

13. Delaware County Model Railroaders’ Open Houses, Delaware

Model railroads are set up on these special open-house dates!

14. Great Train Show at Ohio Expo Center

This expo is coming January 14-15, 2017 and includes model railroads, train dealers, hands-on exhibits and more!

15. Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville

We stumbled upon this train track behind the offices at Inniswood. I couldn’t find any info on if/when it is used, but if you know, please leave a comment below!

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16. Holiday Train Display at Ohio History Center

This special train is on exhibit during the holiday season! It will be on display November 28, 2016 – January 4, 2017.

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There are other trains on the grounds of the Ohio History Center year round, including one inside the building that can be sat in, and the one seen below that sits outside.

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17. Schiller Park in German Village

This is a great park with a train that can be played on!

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18. Alum Creek Park North, Westerville

This park is affectionately known as “the train park” – and aptly so!

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19. Henceroth Park, Grove City

This park offers lots of vehicles to play on including a jeep, boat and this wooden train!

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20. North America Train Ride at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

For $1 per person, you can ride a train around the North American exhibit at the zoo!

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21. Christmas Time Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club

For 4 weekends in December, the club puts on an open house featuring giant model railroad layouts, an interactive Thomas the Tank Engine display and more! Admission is free!

22. Open Garden Tour by the members of Columbus Garden Railway Society

On the second Sunday in September, members of the Columbus Garden Railway Society open their houses (gardens!) for a tour of their own Garden Railroads!

BEYOND COLUMBUS . . .

23. Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, Mansfield

One of the larger exhibits at the Little Buckeye Museum is the model train display and nearby train tables for playing!

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24. Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, Bellevue

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There are tons of trains on display here, may of which you can climb aboard! This museum has indoor and outdoor components and the gift shop has a train table for playing!

25. Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc., Findlay

This organization offers train rides and holiday events (including the North Pole Express), a museum, gift shop and model train displays!

26. The Buckeye Express Diner, Bellville

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Eat dinner in an OSU-themed train car! There is a train playground outside too!

27. Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, Dennison

This museum has a railroad car just for kids, model trains and a scavenger hunt just for kids!

 28. Lodi Station Outlets, Lodi

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This outlet mall is built with a train theme! You can purchase tickets to take a train ride around the property!

29. EnterTAINment Junction, West Chester

This venue offers displays, a museum, seasonal rides and a funhouse!

30. Day Out with Thomas, various locations

These special days only happen a few times a year at Ohio locations and include a 25-minute train ride, kids activities, live music and more!

31. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Northeast Ohio

The trains here run mainly on the weekends and there are several events scheduled throughout the year, including a Christmas Tree Adventure!

32. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville

This railway offers special trips throughout the year including a Santa Train on December 18, 2016. Tickets are limited.

33. LM & M Railroad, Lebanon, Lebanon

This historic railroad offers special events including the Day out with Thomas and North Pole Express!

34. Train-O-Rama, Marblehead

One of Ohio’s largest multi-gauge model railroad displays open to the public! Trains are for sale in the gift shop as well!

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ICYMI: 5 Moms of Nationwide Share their Favorite Places to take their Kids in Columbus