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Columbus Christmas Staycation 2017

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If you’ve got kids off school or family in town and you’re enjoying a Columbus staycation over winter break, you’re probably going to need to get out of the house! I’ve got some ideas for you! For each day, I’m featuring one main idea and a couple of other events going on that day! I suggest reading through the whole post first instead of taking it day by day, because many things on the list are going on more than one day!  You can mix and match your plan as needed! 🙂

Monday, December 25, 2017

Chinese Lantern Festival

The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is open every day from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM through January 7, 2018. Enjoy cultural performances and eat Chinese and traditional fair food. The light displays are really something to see! There are traditional Chinese sculptures and also American Christmas sights like Santa and Mrs. Claus. On Mondays, you can receive a $2 discount for bringing a canned good donation.

More Events:


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gardens Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory

Gardens Aglow offers special holiday decorations, performances and evening hours at Franklin Park Conservatory. Throughout the season live music and special events are scheduled and the Conservatory is decorated for the holidays. From December 1-31 (except for the 24th and 25th) they are open until 9:00 PM. There will be special family-friendly activities and on Tuesday, December 26, Erica Carlson and her pet hedgehog will be at the Conservatory for a fun magic show at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM! Also, make sure not to miss the rotating railroad!

More Events:


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ohio Wildlife Center

The Ohio Wildlife Center is only open to the public a few times a month and today is one of them! Join them from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM for Celebrate with the Critters where kids can make a bird feeder and meet some of the resident animal ambassadors! Admission is $5/person or free with a donation from their wish list. Many animals can be seen on a tour of the grounds as well!  See our visit to Ohio Wildlife Center here!

More Events:


Thursday. December 28, 2017

Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio

Kids ages 1-7 can get out all of their energy in the ball pit, slides, rock climbing wall, tire swing, basketball hoop and more! Open Play is happening from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, December 27-29, 2017. Cost is $5 per child and parents must stay on the premises.

More Events:


Friday, December 29, 2017

COSI- Center of Science and Industry

COSI has extended its hours for Winter Break! From December 20th through January 6th they will be open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM! (Closed Dec. 24th and 25th). On Friday, December 29th, they stay open even later for Family Friday Night! Family Friday Night includes reduced admission from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and access to all exhibits. If you haven’t seen the new American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery, it’s included with membership or admission so Friday night would be a great chance to see it at a discount!

More Events:


Saturday, December 30, 2017

HOOT 82: Dance at Gateway Film Center

This family-friendly movie time is free with a canned good donation to benefit The Open Shelter! Watch short movies and cartoons and dance along to The Shazzbots! There are also activities in the lobby beforehand! This month there will be a special appearance by Movement Afoot Tap Dance Company! Activities start at 10:00 AM and movies end at 12:00 PM.

More Events:


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club

On each Saturday and Sunday in December COMRC is hosting their Christmas Open House! Admission and parking are free and the open house includes model train layouts and kids can run trains on a Thomas the Train display!

More Events:


Monday, January 1, 2018

Ohio History Center

The Ohio History Center will be offer special hours from Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 through Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. They will be open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. During this time you can see the Holiday Train and the Lustron House will be decorated for the holidays! The museum has recently updated the kids’ area near the wild animals and there is an exhibit towards that back where kids are free to touch “historical” items like rotary phones and typewriters. 😉 See all there is to do at Ohio History Center here!

More Events:


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Recreations Outlet

This retail store doubles as a play area with lots of playground equipment, trampolines, basketball hoops, soccer goals and more! There’s plenty of room to run, very few chances to break anything, and the best part is that during Charitable Play Hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, it’s only $2 per child to play! See more pictures and info about our visit here.

More Events:


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library

Don’t miss the Holiday Train at Main Library! Wednesday, January 3rd is the last day you can see it! Story times will be happening each morning throughout Winter Break at 10:30 AM. If you haven’t been to Main Library, it can be a full outing in itself! The kids will love the train, there’s a cafe in the library serving coffee, food and snacks and outside you can walk through Topiary Park, where you can see a tree-sculpture version of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte!

More Events:


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Scioto Audubon Metro Park and Grange Audubon Center

The Grange Audubon Center offers a lot of indoor fun for kids! There is an indoor play area (pictured above) which also includes puppets and a cave to play in. There are animals to see, bird watching, and on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:00 AM they host a preschool story time in the library area. See 9 Things to Do with your Kids at Scioto Audubon for more ideas!

More Events:


Friday, January 5 2018

Ohio History Center

Another good day to visit Ohio History Center would be on Friday when they stay open late for a family movie night! Mrs. Doubtfire will be shown at 7:00 PM and the museum is open until 9:00 PM!

More Events:

7:00 PM – Family Pajama Jam Skate at Skate Zone 71


Saturday, January 6, 2018

piccadilly play cafe 

On $5 Saturdays, kids can play between the hours of 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM for just $5/child! piccadilly has a cafe serving coffee, small meals and snacks, a play area for the kids, a large stage area for kids to play on and an art space for painting and other crafts!

More Events:


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Columbus Museum of Art

Admission to the Columbus Museum of Art is free on Sundays and this is a great chance to see Think Outside the Brick! This LEGO exhibit is a temporary exhibit that will only be on display until March 2, 2018. If your kids love Legos, it’s a must see! You can also check out the newly remodeled Wonder Room – a creative space just for kids!

If you’re still looking for more ideas, check out 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions, 5 on Friday: Holiday Trains and 6 of the Most Festive Things You Can Do in Columbus This Holiday Season!


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Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: 6 of the Most Festive Things You Can Do in Columbus This Holiday Season

*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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What Should We Do This Weekend? December 1-3, 2017: Holiday Edition

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This weekend includes so many Christmas and Holiday related events! In order to include as many as I could, I had to shorten the information provided, so please check the link for all the important details! 🙂

Friday:

10:00 AM – Storytime with Kara at Me and the Moon – this week’s story time theme is Imagination!

10:30 AM – KidX Wake Up Santa! at Indian Mound Mall – this preschool story time includes music, snacks and a craft. After the story, the kids can go on a scavenger hunt to find Santa and wake him up!

5:00 PM – Olde Village Holiday Gathering in Olde Pickerington Village – includes tree lighting ceremony, shopping, games for kids, carriage rides, carolers, Santa and more!

6:00 PM – Winter Festival on the Mallway Park, Upper Arlington – includes caroling, carriage rides, bonfire, visits with Santa, ice sculpting and more!

6:00 PM – Christmas in the Village 2017 in the City of Canal Winchester -includes tons of activities all throughout downtown including the tree lighting, visits with Santa, cookies and card making, games, train rides, crafts and more! (Also happening Saturday night at 5:00 PM.)

6:00 PM – Holiday Carriage Rides at Easton Town Center – happening Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

6:00 PM – First Friday “Home for the Holidays” in Downtown Delaware – includes live reindeer, carolers, carriage rides, ice skating, tree lighting, visit from Santa and more!

7:00 PM – The Preschool Poets: An Animated Film Series – local artists have created a movie depicting kids’ poems. The film debut includes an onstage conversation with the directors and poets and a free public reception.

7:00 PM – Westerville Tree Lighting Ceremony at Westerville City Hall – live music, candle lighting, hot chocolate and the annual tree lighting.

8:00 PM – Holiday Pops with the Columbus Symphony – the Columbus Symphony and Chorus will perform your favorite holiday songs and Santa stops by! Several performances are happening throughout the weekend.

Saturday:

7:00 AM – Holiday All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast at Aladdin Shrine – this all you can eat meal includes pancakes, sausage juice, milk and coffee.

9:00 AM – The Santa Race 5k and Little Reindeer Dash at Creekside Gahanna – this festive 5K event also includes a Little Reindeer Dash for the kids! Register by 12/2.

9:00 AM – Christmas Prelude at The GRAND of Dublin – event includes craft vendors, musical performances, silent auction, children’s crafts and games and breakfast with Santa!

9:00 AM – Kitty Adoption Party at PARTY Like It’s Your Birthday – adopt a plush kitten, paint it’s home, make a collar and take it home with you! The party includes cat themed snacks!

9:30 AM – Family Improv Class at Hilltop YMCA – this free event, presented by CATCO is Kids, includes improv and acting games for the whole family!

10:00 AM – Maker Mania – Gift Edition at PAST Innovation Lab: Kids can choose from one of the gift making options like Recycled Robot Art, Seed Bombs, Thumbprint Lights and more! This event is open house style and parents can join their kids in the process! Admission is $10 if you purchase it online, $12 at the door.

10:00 AM – National Lionel Train Day at Moody Street Trains – discounts will be available on train sets and accessories and kids can operate Lion Chief Trains in the store!

10:00 AM – Free Pictures With Santa at Saxton Real Estate – bring a toy donation for Firefighters for Kids and get a free picture with Santa!

10:00 AM – Sensitive Santa at Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities – – free pictures with Santa are done in a sensitive environment. Register online and consider a donation of a new hat or pair of gloves for the Common Grounds Free Store.

10:00 AM 2017 Grove City Christmas Celebration in Grove City Town Center – a full day of events includes visits with Santa, live entertainment, a parade, Mistletoe Market and more!

10:00 AM – Cheryl’s 2017 Annual Holiday Party at Cheryl’s Cookies and Brownies – event includes a visit with Santa, visitors from the Columbus Zoo, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, Secret Santa shop and more!

10:00 AM – Storytime at Grange Insurance Audubon Center – free nature-themed story time!

10:00 AM – Christmas Fairy Garden Workshop at Dutch Mill Greenhouse – make a winter-themed fairy garden! Register online.

10:00 AM – HOOT 81: Holiday HOOT at Gateway Film Center – kid-friendly short films with a holiday theme, music from The Shazzbots and crafts and kids activities!

10:00 AM – Holiday Open House at Main Street Delaware, Inc. – see Santa, shop local and enjoy community events for all ages!

10:45 AM – Family Yoga Class with Youth Yoga – School aged kids and their parents are invited to attend a family yoga class hosted by the Youth Yoga Project. Stay for The Shop for the Cause shopping party after class!

11:00 AM – WinterFest at Bicentennial Park Scioto Mile – the first annual WinterFest includes live music, food trucks, seasonal ales and the Empty Bowls project!

11:00 AM – Dash for Dasher at Main Street Delaware, Inc. – explore downtown Delaware in search of Dasher the reindeer! Visit the Santa House when your search is complete!

12:00 PM – Winter Fest in Downtown Lancaster – event includes free carriage rides, music, elf scavenger hunt, pictures with Santa, local shopping and the Tour of Trees!

12:00 PM – Toys For Tots DRIVE THRU Toy Drive at Mikey’s Late Night Slice – drive thru with your donation for Toys for Tots and receive a coupon!

12:30 PM – Uptown Scrooge in Uptown Westerville – take a walking tour of Uptown Westerville in this walking theater performance featuring a local version of Dickens’ The Christmas Carol. Several times available this weekend.

1:00 PM – Nutcracker Celebration at Licking County Library – this celebration includes a performance of The Nutcracker by Central Ohio Youth Ballet, a hand bell choir, visit from Santa, hot chocolate, a holiday train and more!

1:00 PM – Historic Dublin Holly Days in Historic Dublin – kick off the season with tons of activities going on around Historic Dublin including craft activities, tours of fire trucks (bring a donation for Firefighters for Kids), letters to Santa, carolers and more!

1:00 PM – 12 Elves of Dublin – during the month of December you can go on the 12 Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt! Pick up your 12 Elves Card and hunt for an elf at each of the participating locations. At each stop you will receive a treat when  you find it!

2:00 PM – Holidays in Powell in the City of Powell – event includes free children’s activities and crafts, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more!

2:00 PM – Lazarus Santa’s Workshop at the Lazarus Building– see Santa at the iconic Lazarus Building! There will also be crafts for kids, refreshments, free carousel rides at Columbus Commons and more!

3:00 PM – Columbus Police vs Fire Basketball Challenge to Benefit RMHC at Columbus Fire Training Academy  – watch the Police take on the Fire Department in this game that benefits Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio! Kids 12 and under are free!

3:30 PM – 2017 Main Street Christmas Cookie Walk & Lighted Parade in Downtown Pataskala – walk downtown Pataskala for the annual Cookie Walk! Other activities include kids crafts, letters to Santa, hot chocolate, face painting, a lighted Christmas Parade and more!

4:00 PM – Short North Arts District Holiday Hop 2017 in the Short North Arts District – this special Gallery Hop includes street performers, holiday window displays, photos with Santa and more!

4:00 PM – Free Family Portrait Day at Jerry L. Garver YMCA – all families are welcome to have their family pictures taken for free! See link for info on RSVPing.

6:00 PM – GRAND OPENING EVENT at AR Workshop Grove City – celebrate the grand opening of AR Workshop in Grove City with live music, food, drinks, desserts, Santa and goodie bags for the kids! There will also be swag bags, raffles and more giveaways!

Sunday:

12:00 PM – HolidayVille 2017 in Clintonville – this neighborhood-wide event includes hoping, carolers, cookies, sales and activities like a make and take ornament station, free s’mores, samples, cookie decorating, a visit from Santa and more!

2:00 PM – Christmas Open House at Orange Johnson House – enjoy “An Old Time Christmas” with live music performances and refreshments!

2:00 PM – Rudolph Run/Walk 5k (kid-encouraged!) on State Street in Westerville – this family friendly run/walk kicks off the Westerville Children’s Parade!

5:00 PM – Hilliard Holiday Hop & Tree Lighting in Old Hilliard – event includes balloon twisting, face painting, food trucks, hot chocolate, live reindeer, petting zoo, Santa, the Empty Bowls Project and more!

5:00 PM – Village Lights in German Village – stroll through a candlelit German Village enjoying treats, specials, live music, story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more!


A big thank you to the Historic Dublin Businesses Association for sponsoring this post!

Historic Dublin is kicking off the holiday season in a Merry way beginning December 2nd. It’s the start to the popular 12 Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt. Stop by one of the following locations December 2 through December 16 to pick up your 12 elves card: La Chatelaine, Boho 72, Dean Insurance Group, Chelsea Borough Home, Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland, Winan’s, Our CupCakery, Donatos, or the Dublin Library.

Pick up your card and search through the shops of Historic Dublin to find the 12 Elves. Each time you find an elf you will be rewarded with a special treat from each shop!


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

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Make sure to follow What Should We Do Today? on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and never miss a post!

ICYMI: 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Signe Anderson

*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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Happy Holidays from Columbus: The Best Holiday Tips from Your Local Bloggers

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I’ve joined together with a bunch of great Columbus bloggers to share our best tips for the holidays! Whether it’s healthy eating, gift giving, local events, family traditions, crafts or decorating, you’ll find some great ideas here!

I shared 10 of Our Favorite Christmas Traditions around Columbus! We are looking forward to doing each of these things during the upcoming holiday season!

Malini from Lakes and Lattes, shares Christmas in Columbus: A Family Adventure which includes 3 challenges to complete with your family including a scavenger hunt!

Shannon from My Life in the Blink shares How to Simplify Holiday Gift Giving with 5 simple guidelines!


The The Best of Christmas in Columbus from Eryn at 614 Mom includes the best holiday events around town!

Get some great ideas in Lindsay’s Healthy Columbus Holiday Gift Guide on her blog Find Where You Fit!

Kim from Wear Love Wanders is sharing a Columbus focused Holiday Gift Guide that features some beautiful AND yummy ideas for holiday gifts from local artists and businesses!

Ashley from Columbus For Kids has shared ideas for 3 Holiday Nature Crafts to keep the kiddos busy this time of year!

In From Walmart to Wow: How to Decorate Your Artificial Christmas Tree, Tara from Pennies From Heaven Home shares some great tips for decorating an artificial tree!

In How to Keep the Holidays Healthy but Still Fun! Kathleen from Just Keep it Simple Fitness shares some great tips for keeping it healthy during the holidays (including not being TOO hard on yourself)!

Mary from Mission to Save says it’s not too early (or too late) to get a game plan for your holiday shopping. Check out her Tips for Black Friday and Holiday Shopping.

Emily from Let’s Play the Speech and Language Way shares ways to encourage language development in your little ones throughout the holiday season with Santa Claus is Coming to Town!


Happy Holidays from Columbus!

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ICYMI: 10 of our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions



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