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Spring Break: 7 Things to do This Week in Columbus

Columbus City Schools is on Spring Break this coming week! Whether you have school aged kids or not, here are some ideas to keep you and the kiddos busy throughout the week! It might not be the beach, but there’s lots of fun to be had in CBUS! 🙂

1. Play at Easterseals of Central and Southeast 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 17-21, 2017) the play area at Easterseals will be open from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Price is $5/child for ages 7 and under! Availability is subject to maximum capacity reached. (This space is also available for birthday parties!)

ALSO, thinking ahead to next week, on April 29, 2017, Easterseals will be hosting their annual fundraiser, Romancing the Grape! 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, Tucci’s, etc.) Tickets are $100 per person. 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. Kids Eat Free at Your Pie

We’ve been enjoying Your Pie, a new pizza shop in Grandview lately! Think pizza Chipotle style: you customize your pizza as you go through the line and you can have as many toppings as you want at no extra charge! Or, if you’re like my husband, you just order one of the signature pizzas so you don’t have to think too hard on the spot! 😉  Your Pie recently hosted a group of us bloggers and I taste tested each of the signature pies for you (a rough job, I know) and I can attest that they are all tasty, but my favorite was the BBQ chicken! Try them out on Monday night when you get a FREE kids combo with the purchase of a full-price entree! (This deal is good every Monday night!) The kids’ combos come with a panini or pizza, gelato and drink! Yes, they have gelato. Yum!

3. Storytime at Chic-Fil-A on Sawmill

Chic-fil-A on Sawmill offers a couple of options that really cater to families (I mean, besides being a restaurant with a kid’s play area, which already puts them a few steps ahead of the rest!) Recently they launched a new story time which will happen on the first and third Mondays in April and May from 9:30 AM – 10:15 AM! (Third Monday is THIS Monday, April 17!) There will be stories, crafts and songs! They also host a Kid’s Club on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM! You can check their Facebook page to keep updated on their events!

4. Special Hours at Ohio History Center Plus BOGO FREE

Take the kids to Ohio History Center for their special spring break hours. From Wednesday, March 15 to Sunday, April 23, 2017, they will be hosting special spring break themes each day:

Mondays: Mystery at the Museum
Tuesdays: Natural History
Wednesdays: Military History
Thursdays: Art & History
Fridays: Inventors

Click this link to see all the details and for a special Buy One Get One Free admission coupon!

5. Special Activities for Teens at Columbus Rec Centers

If you have older kids, from April 18-22, 2017, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is offering special activities at Rec Centers around the city for ages 14-23! Click here to see the special events happening this week only, as well as a list of ideas of things to do around the city!

6. Buy a Happy Meal

Only during the month of April, when you purchase a Happy Meal at a McDonald’s in Central Ohio, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mid-Ohio Foodbank and The Ohio Association of Foodbanks! That’s an easy way to give back to fight hunger in Central Ohio! Also, this week only, on Tuesday, April 18th, McDonalds will be offering Big Macs and Quarter Pounders with Cheese at a special price to give you some relief on Tax Day! Each sandwich will be buy one, get one for $.18!

7. See the Fairy Gardens at Franklin Park Conservatory

Not only are the spring blooms at the Conservatory beautiful these days, but the Fairy Garden display is adorable! I seriously want to crawl into those little worlds and stay a while! 😉 I had a great time there with my 2 year old last week! The kid’s area has a new Farmer’s Market set up, too! The fairy gardens are on display through May 29th, so you have a little more time on this one!

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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ICYMI: 5 on Friday: Columbus Donuts

20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus

I hate to say it, but those days are coming . . . you know what I’m talking about: cold . . . winter . . . snow. 🙁 Luckily for us, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to play in Columbus, Ohio, and when it comes to playing inside, there are a lot of FREE options! If you need to pass a morning inside but you also need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, keep this list handy! You may also want to check out The Complete List of Columbus Play Cafes for more indoor ideas!

1. Blendon Woods Metro Park

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4265 E. Dublin-Granville Road Westerville, OH 43081, 614-895-6221

Hours:
April to September: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
October to March: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tips: Inside the Nature Center there are puzzles, activities and books for kids. See more about what to do at the Nature Center in Exploring Blendon Woods Metro Park!

2. Westerville Community Center

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350 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43082, 614-901-6500

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 5:45 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tips: Westerville Community Center also offers indoor programing during the fall and winter months for young children. See more details here.

3. Grange Insurance Audubon Center

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505 W. Whittier St., Columbus OH 43215, 614-545-5475

Hours:
(These are Summer hours, check the website or call to double check!)
Closed Monday
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Tips: The play area also includes a “cave” to play in and there are also weekly story times for the preschool age! See more to do at the Audubon Center in 9 Things to do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon. Also see: 2 MORE Great Metro Park Natures Centers for Columbus Kids!

4. Scoops and Chutes Playground at Graeter’s Ice Cream

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2555 Bethel Rd., Columbus, OH 43220, 614-442-7622

Hours:
(These hours may be seasonal, double check the website or call before visiting!)
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Tips: Socks are required to play inside and can be bought for $1 if you forget! I included this play area in one of my Cheap Family Outings in Columbus for Every Day of the Week!

Polaris Fashion Place:

1500 Polaris Parkway , Columbus, OH 43240, 614-846-1500

Hours:
Monday – Thursday 10:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

This mall is home to a few different options for indoor play:

5. Zoo Play Area

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Tips: Shoes must be removed to play. The area has recently been redone and only has one exit/entrance which is great for keeping an eye on wandering toddlers!

6. Food Court Play Area

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Tips: In the Food Court, there are several vehicles kids can play on or ride for $.75. The area is mostly fenced in and has a large seating area around it so you can eat or have a seat while the kids play.

7. Pottery Barn Kids

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Tips: PBK usually has toys out for play on both sides of the store (boys and girls) and my kids love them all! There is a story time on Tuesdays at 11:00 AM!

8. Battelle Darby Nature Center

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1775 Darby Creek Dr Galloway, OH 43119, 614-878-7106

Hours:
April to May: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
June to August: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
September to October: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
November to March: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Tips: The nature center has a living stream as well as a small kids’ area to play in.  There are preschool programs inside the center on Tuesdays! See 2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids.

9. Columbus Metropolitan Libraries

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Main Library: 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

Hours vary by library and can be found here.

Tips: So many of the branches of Columbus Metropolitan Library have great areas for indoor play! I shared my favorites here and here! Of course, many other area libraries have areas for play too! Check out the locations for Worthington, Westerville, Delaware County, Grove City, and Upper Arlington! You may also want to check out: 2 Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids and 2 MORE Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids!

10. Grandview Heights Public Library

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1685 W. 1st Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tips: I included Grandview’s library separately because they have a really good area for toddlers and preschoolers to play. They also have a lot of story times! See the schedule here.

11. Whole Foods, Dublin

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3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., ColumbusOH 43235, 614-760-5556
Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Tips: The play area is close to the restrooms and surrounded by tables that are convenient for watching your kids play!

12. Whole Foods, Upper Arlington

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1555 W. Lane Ave., Upper Arlington, OH 43221

Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Tips: This small play area is near the front and has books, play food, cars and more! Lots of seating nearby.

13. United Art and Education

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3622 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard, OH 43026, 614-527-8508

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tips: First of all, this is a GREAT store for fun and educational kid products! There is a little play area tucked into the front corner of the store with a surprising amount of things to do! Blocks, play groceries, magnets, Calico Critters, and more!

14. Barnes and Noble

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See the Columbus locations here!

Tips: Barnes and Noble is a hit for kids who love trains! At some locations there are Duplo blocks for playing and, of course, always lots of books to read! There are also story times on Saturdays!

15. The Naz Playplace

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

Hours:
Sun: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PMam – 2pm
Monday – Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Tips: 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 (coffee is only $1!) and lots of seating!

16. Central Park at Westerville Christian Church

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471 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081

Hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Saturdays 9:30 AM – 11:30AM

Tips: Shoes must be removed for play. There is also a rock climbing area here!

17. The Shops at Worthington Place

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7227 N. High St., Worthington, OH 43085

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tips: Shoes must be removed for play. If it’s warm enough, there is also an outdoor play area just outside the exit by the indoor play area!

18. The Mall at Tuttle Crossing

5043 Tuttle Crossing Blvd, Dublin, OH 43016, 614-717-9300

Hours:
Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tips: This play area has a STEAM theme: Science, Technology, Arts and Music. Lots of hands-on, fine motor activity here! (There is also an area with coin-operated vehicles in the food court area!)

19. Wonder Room at Columbus Museum of Art

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480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215, 614-221-6801

Hours:
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tips: This is a area for art and exploration on the bottom floor of the Art Museum. The Columbus Museum of Art (and this kids’ area) is free on Sundays only!

20. LEGO Store at Easton Town Center

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4004 Gramercy St., Columbus OH 43219, 614-342-2710

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Tips: Most of the time there is a Lego table set up for play inside the store!

**I’ve updated this list to include more free play areas as we find them! Yay!

21. Coffee Connections of Hilliard

Hours:
Monday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tuesday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Tips: Coffee Connections is a coffee shop in Hilliard with a community space and play area in the back building. The play area is fun for preschoolers and younger and is totally free! (Though, you should probably buy a cup of coffee. 😉 ) See more pictures here.

I hope this list gets you through the winter! I know we will be making use of many of these places as the weather gets cold and I get cabin fever! 🙂

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