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What Should We Do This Weekend? April 22-24, 2016

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As we get closer to summer, the events across the Columbus area really start to pick up!  This looks like a nice weekend for being outside!  Enjoy it!

1. National Park Week all across America

National Park Week is April 16-24, 2016 and America’s national parks are free!  Check out the list of parks in Ohio here.

2. Free Book Fair for Kids and Teens at Columbus Metropolitan Library, South High Branch

When: Friday, April 22, 2016
Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 3540 S. High Street, Columbus, OH 43207
Phone: 614-645-2275

Each child or teen can choose one free book at this free book fair!  Recommended for grades K-12.

3. Ohioana Book Festival at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Location: 75 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-466-3831

Books for all ages are available at the Book Festival.  There will be a Kids’ Room featuring author/illustrator sessions, balloon twisting, crafts, a dress up area, Lego construction zone, door prizes and more!  Be sure to check the schedule for more specific times and details regarding the special events and authors!

4. Young Child Studios at Columbus Museum of Art

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM and 1:30PM-3:00PM
Location: 480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-221-6801

Led by CMA’s artist educators, children 18 months to 5 years can participate in opportunities to play and create together with their caregivers!  No reservations are required, but there is an additional (to admission) cost of $8 per child to participate.

5. Kids Cooking Class at The Hills Market Downtown

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 95 North Grant Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215

During this hands on cooking class taught by Hills chefs, kids will learn to make Bistro Style Hand Rolled Pizza, Chocolatey Chocolate Brownies and Raspberry Lemonade! Recommended for ages 4-18.  Reservations must be made in advance.

6. Free Green Columbus Earth Day Celebration at Columbus Commons

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215

This Earth Day celebration, brought to you by the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, features live music, food trucks, and kids’ activities including free carousel rides until 7:00 PM!  Kids’ favorites Mr. Eric and the Shazzbots are performing at 4:00 and 4:30 PM.

*Check out this  link on the Columbus Moms Blog for more Earth Day activities around the Columbus area!

7. Grand Opening of Glenwood Community Center

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 1888 Fairmont Avenue, Columbus, OH 43223

Sample classes like floor hockey and ceramics, win prizes including a family 4-pack to COSI, try the climbing wall and much more to celebrate the grand opening of Glenwood Community Center!  Free samples from City Barbeque and give aways start at 2:00 PM and the ribbon cutting ceremony by Mayor Ginther is at 3:30 PM.  (There is also a Family Fun Night and Open House on the Friday night before!)

8. Dancity-Doo & Story Time Too! at Whetstone Community Center Auditorium

When: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: 3923 North High Street Columbus, 43214
Phone: 614-561-1635

This performance features Dr. Seuss stories accompanied by dance!  Perfect for the whole family, this performance is approximately 30 minutes long and tickets are available at the door.

9. Bob Evans Family Day with the Columbus Clippers

When:  Sunday, April 24, 2016
Time: 1:05 PM
Location: Huntington Park, 330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 462-5250
Ticket Line: (614) 462-2757

Family Day Admission is $15 for two adults and up to four youth ages 18 and under! Admission includes access to left-field bleachers, lawn seating and standing room only. After the game, kids can run the bases in the Commit to be Fit Fun Run!

10. Children’s Garden Day: Spaghetti Dinner Gardening at Inniswood Metro Gardens

When: Sunday, April 24, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 940 S. Hempstead Road, Westerville, OH 43081, Sisters’ Garden
Phone: 614-895-6216

This family-friendly event teaches children how to grow the ingredients needed to make pasta!  Kids can learn how to plant lettuce and participate in pasta crafts!

*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 to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

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ICYMI: The Farm at Walnut Creek


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What Should We Do This Weekend? March 18-20, 2016

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You’ve got to love a weekend that ends with the first day of spring!  Congrats, fellow parents, we’ve made it!!  Special events really start to pick up around Columbus in the spring and summer and this weekend begins the Easter Egg Hunt season (is that a thing?).  Makes sure you read to the end for some upcoming freebies!  Enjoy!

1.  Annual Easter Egg Hunts on the Mini Golf Courses at both Magic Mountain Locations

When, Saturday, March 19, 2016
Time:  10:00 AM
Location:  Magic Mountain Polaris and Magic Mountain East

Bring your own basket for this egg hunt on the mini golf course!  $4 Admission also includes a visit from the Easter Bunny and kid friendly games!  Also available is the option to stay and play at the Egg Hunt Special including unlimited mini golf, go-karts and laser tag from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM!  Guests 12 and under: $10  Guests 13 and over: $15

2.  MORE Easter Egg Hunts and activities

There are several Easter-related events going on this weekend, you can check them out on this list I complied for the Columbus Mom’s Blog!

3.  Batman v. Superman Day at your local Barnes and Noble

When:  Saturday, March 19, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: all area Barnes and Noble Booksellers

Barnes and Noble hosts a trivia event to celebrate the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice including prizes and giveaways.  This event is geared toward teens and adults, but is family friendly.

4.  Aladdin Shrine Circus at the Ohio Expo Center

When:  Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20, 2016
Time: various showtimes throughout the weekend
Location: Ohio Expo Center – Celeste Center, 717 E. 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: 614-475-2609

66th Annual Aladdin Shrine Circus takes place this weekend!  Featuring the Aladdin Shrine Clowns, Fuzzy and Toots!  Children 12 and under are half price.  Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

5.  Saturday Story Stomp!

When:  Saturday, March 19, 2016
Time:  11:00 – 11:30 PM
Location:  Columbus Metropolitan Library, Karl Road Branch Road, 5590 Karl Road Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
Phone: 614-645-2275

Join this story time for kids ages 2-6 and their families featuring books, music and lots of movement!

6.  Schoolhouse Rock Live! Presented by Shadowbox Live

When: Sunday, March 20, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Location: Shadowbox Live, 503 South Front Street, Ste #260, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-416-7625

All your favorite school subjects are covered in this family-friendly musical based on the popular cartoon series from the 1970’s!

7.  Kids Eat Free at City Barbeque

When:  Sunday, March 20, 2016
Time: all day
Location:  your local City Barbeque

City Barbeque invites you to spend some one-on-one time with your kid!  One free kid’s meal with an adult meal purchased at $7 or more.  One free kid’s meal per check.  MUST mention the Kid’s Eat Free offer to the cashier.  Dine in only.

8.  Free Italian Ice at Rita’s

When:  Sunday, March 20, 2016
Time:  12:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location:  your local Rita’s

To celebrate the first day of spring, Rita’s is giving away FREE Italian Ice!

9.  The cast of Snoopy visits Polaris Fashion Place!

When:  Sunday, March 20, 2016
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Location:  Polaris Fashion Place

In anticipation of Snoopy coming to the Columbus Children’s Theater, he and the rest of the cast will join you at Polaris Mall for games, photos, prizes, crafts and more!

 

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*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 to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

 


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Aquarium Adventure

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Yesterday we took a trip to Aquarium Adventure.  You know, I used to feel kind of weird for taking Jaden here until I saw that Aquarium Adventure posted an ad in Columbus Parent telling parents to bring their kids here to look at fish!  Permission granted!

I stumbled upon Aquarium Adventure a few years ago out of curiosity.  I’m sure, as parents, we’ve all spent more than our fair share of time in the shopping plaza anchored by Babies ‘R Us off Sawmill Road.  As your bump turns into a baby, you probably, like me, travelled down the plaza to Carter’s and then, eventually, to Michael’s to entertain the thought that, one day, you might once again have time to do something crafty (hence the bag of unused crochet needles and yarn in my closet – I had a 6 month old, WHAT WAS I THINKING?).  Then, when the euphoria wore off, you realized the kid’s craft section is fun entertainment for your preschooler.  Eventually you end up at the other end of the strip:  Aquarium Adventure.

This place is pretty awesome.  As you can see from these pictures, it’s pretty large, has a ton of different fish, and even caters to visiting children.  (I’m just going to interrupt here to say that since I am not an underwater expert, I am going to refer to most of the living creatures we saw here as “fish”, though I do realize that might not be the correct term!)  What is especially entertaining is the large tanks they have with bigger fish . . . and this time, a stingray!

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There used to be a creepy looking fish in the large tank that Jaden was afraid of.  It has since been replaced by a stingray – with caution tape advising you to stay behind the line while viewing!  My kids circled this tank, coming back and forth to it many times.  They also loved the turtles – the real ones and the Teenage Mutant Ninja variety!

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We got to see one of the workers feed the piranhas – she invited my kids to watch, which I thought was pretty nice.  There is also a “Touch Me Tidepool” complete with towels for wiping wet hands.  Jaden was cautious when I read off the list of things you could touch and he heard the word “crabs”.  There was no way he was putting his hand in that pool!  Though to be honest, I didn’t see any crabs!  Mayson probably would have dove in head first, so I didn’t call too much attention to this opportunity.

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As with most of my daily outings, I combined a legitimate errand on my part with something fun for my kids to do. They could have stayed at Aquarium Adventure all morning! We were probably there for at least 30 minutes as it was, but I was on a mission to Whole Foods to pick up a few groceries, which leads me to part two of the morning.

Whole Foods itself can be a fun experience for kids, but I find that my kids, like the food, have an expiration date in grocery stores. Grocery shopping is a race against the clock for me, and it can quickly decompensate into a seriously stressful experience. Whole Foods often helps stretch the time by offering samples of food and the promise of time in the play area if they can hold it together long enough for me to compare labels on the nitrate-free bacon.

On this trip, I’ll admit, I also picked up two chocolate chip muffins to sweeten the trip.

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After checking out, we made our way to the play area so I could sit and stare into space (every parent’s dream) and the kids could play while we ate our muffins.  The play area at the Whole Foods on Sawmill is nice in that it is pretty closed off, is close to the bathroom and has a lot of nice seating in the area.  In my opinion, it is not the cleanest and that is a drawback.  Maybe this is a stereotype, but my expectations are a little higher for Whole Foods.  But I let them play anyway, and they had a lot of fun.

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Overall, this was a good morning for us.  It was a happy combination of fun things for the kids and mom accomplishing a goal.  This outing took about 2.5 hours for us, including drive time.  At 18 months old, Mayson loved seeing the fish and was tall enough to see into enough fish tanks to make it worth it.  You could easily combine this trip with lunch at Whole Foods, and if it was warm, you could potentially walk between the two locations (because I am all about reducing the amount of times you have to get kids in and out of the car!).  Has anyone else checked it out?

 

Know before you go:

Location: 3632 W Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43235

Cost:  Free

Parking:  Large parking lot in front of store


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