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Your Kid’s First Swim Lesson at Goldfish Swim School: What to Expect

This post was sponsored by Goldfish Swim School.

We started swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School in Dublin this summer! So far I have nothing but good things to say about the experience! But if you’re like us on the first day, you might not know what to expect and your kids might be a little bit nervous. Here are 10 things you can expect to make your first lesson go as smoothly as possible!

1. Key Tag Check-In

When you arrive and sign in at the front desk, you will be given a key tag for your key ring. At subsequent lessons, just check in by scanning your key tag!

2. Goggles and Swim Gear

Kids are encouraged to wear goggles for the lessons (I say encouraged because my kids are a little skittish about this, and the teachers don’t push it when they are.) Kids who aren’t potty trained must wear a reusable swim diaper. I neglected to read this fine print until the morning of our first lesson, but luckily both of these items are available for purchase and you will receive a discount on your first purchase!

3. Family Friendly Changing Rooms

Lots of space is available in the changing rooms – all three of us fit in to one in order to get suits on and everyone ready to go! There always seems to be enough changing rooms – we’ve never had to wait!

4. Easy Viewing Area

To view the lessons there is a large seating area with a glass wall separating you from the pool. It’s easy to find a seat to watch your child closely. One of the teachers suggested that I try different things with my youngest who is having a harder time being separated from me, so being poolside is an option, too, if that helps your child adjust.

5. Play Area for Little Sibs

Got a little one in tow? Books, coloring sheets and some toys are available in the viewing area!

6. Hair Dryers

There are hair dryers available to dry hair if needed before you leave. This will be especially handy in the winter! (Forgive me for mentioning the “W” word in August . . . )

7. Swim Suit Dryer

After your kid’s lesson, you can put your suit in a dryer for a quick spin to get out the extra water!

8. Snacks

Snacks, drinks and coffee are available for purchase. $.25 candy is available as well – just drop a quarter in the money box and take a candy!

9. Tears

I’m not saying there will be – but there might be – tears. There have been for my kids and several moms have come up to me and said, “we’ve been there, it will get better!” A big thanks to those moms for having my back. 🙂 And also a big thanks for #10:

10. Caring Teachers

I knew my kids were going to be stand offish about swimming lessons. They haven’t had a ton of experience in the water and they’re generally cautious kids. The teachers have been nothing but supportive, encouraging and non-judegemental. We’ve had 4 lessons and their comfort level has improved each time. By lesson 4, my oldest got in without any tears and my youngest didn’t cry through the WHOLE lesson, so there’s improvement! 😉


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.


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ICYMI: Kid Friendly Put-in-Bay: 11 Things to do with Your Kids

What Should We Do This Weekend? October 14-16, 2016

This is another busy fall weekend with a lot of fun options! Don’t forget to refer back to this post if you’re looking for a fall festival weekend at a local pumpkin patch! Most are still going on throughout the whole month of October!

1. Farm Festival at Bob Evans Farm

When: Friday – Sunday, October 14-16, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 791 Farmview Road, Bidwell, OH 45614
Phone: 1-800-994-3276

This festival includes food, give aways, live music and children’s activities like a hay bale maze, game tent, corn pile, horseback rides, wagon rides, a pedal tractor pull and more!

2. Fall Farm Fun at Leeds Farm

When: Friday, October 14, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 8738 Marysville Rd., Ostrander, OH 43061.

Leeds Farm and pumpkin patch is open one Friday only this season and this week is it! They’re also open one evening of the season, and that’s Saturday for the Harvest Moon Festival!

3. Big Top Halloween at Worthington Community Center

When: Friday, October 14, 2016
Time: 6:30- 8:30 PM
Location: 345 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

This annual Halloween party is free and features carnival games, a trick or treat trail and live music!

4. PBR Rodeo at Ohio Expo Center

When: Friday, October 14, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

Some of the nation’s top bull riders will be competing in Columbus this weekend as part of the All American Quarter Horse Congress!

5. Touch a Truck Story Time at Northwest Library

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 2280 Hard Rd., Columbus, OH 43235
Phone: 614-807-2626

Touch a truck at the library and enjoy a story time about vehicles!

6. Jackson Team Pumpkin Giveaway at COVA

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 3770 N High St, Columbus, Ohio 43214

Bring a canned good to donate to Neighborhood Services and get a free pumpkin!

7. BREAD! Community and Arts Festival in Dublin

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: Downtown Dublin
Phone: 614-889-7444

This free festival will feature food, music, dancing and art as well as a focus on traditional breads!

8. Trick or Treat Trail at Oakland Nursery

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Location: 1156 Oakland Park Ave., Columbus, OH 43224
Phone: 614-268-3511

Kids ages 10 and under are invited to participate in a trick or treat trail including goodie bags and a costume contest!

9. Scare at the Square at Georgesville Community Center

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: 8020 Rush St, Grove City, OH 43123

This community event includes hayrides, a costume contest, games, food and a “Trail of Terror”! Admission is one non-perishable food item per person.

10. Powell Community Bonfire and Tailgate at Village Green Park

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: 47 Hall St., Powell, OH 43065

Tailgate before the OSU game with free hot dogs, apple cider, donut holes and marshmallows! The game will be shown on the Technicare Amphitheater Stage starting at 8 p.m.

11. Kids Eat Free at City Barbeque

When: Sunday, October 16, 2016
Time: all day
Location: all area locations

On Sunday, get a free kid’s meal with an adult meal purchase of $7 or more! Mention that you’re there for “family time” to receive this offer!

12. Grand Opening at Grove City Library

When: Sunday, October 16, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 3359 Park St., Grove City, OH 43123

Join the Grove City library for the dedication and grand opening celebration of the new Grove City Library! The day includes a flag raising, ribbon cutting ceremony, dedication of the early literacy area, Harper’s Grove, instillation of a time capsule and more! Take a last look at the old library here!

13. Fall Fun Day at Blendon Woods

When: Sunday, October 16, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Road, Westerville, OH 43081
Phone:

This fun day will include tram rides, roasting marshmallows, jumping in leaves and making crafts! Read about our day at Blendon Woods here!

14. Harvest Festival at Orange Johnson House

When: Sunday, October 16, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 50 W New England Ave., Worthington, OH 43085

This festival will feature a hands-on area for kids, Lincoln Logs building, pioneer games, cider pressing, and more! This event is free for members.

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ICYMI: 9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus

*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!*

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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