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2 Great Metro Park Nature Centers for Columbus Kids

The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks is one of our greatest assets here in Central Ohio! The warm days of exploring the parks and all they have to offer are on their way, but don’t let colder weather keep you away! Many of the Metro Parks have Nature Centers that are lots of fun (and educational) for kids! Today I’m sharing 2 great Metro Park Nature Centers that will keep your kids entertained until it’s warm enough to splash in the creeks and spy on the bison!

1. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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

The Living Stream is one of the highlights of the Nature Center at Battelle Darby! Kids can view live fish and turtles right at eye level. They can even crawl “underneath” the stream to see from the inside! You’re even allowed to touch!

There are mounted animals for viewing and pelts for touching!

The park offers programs for preschoolers on most Tuesdays! During the summer we attended a program about Seeds and the kids got to plant their own seed to bring home and watch grow! They were thrilled when it actually sprouted!

2. Highbanks Metro Park

9466 Columbus Pike (US Rt 23 N), Lewis Center, OH 43035
Nature Center: 614-846-9962

There’s a lot for kids to do at Highbanks Metro Park Nature Center! There are a lot of opportunities for hands-on learning and educational play! There are books, puzzles, coloring, matching games, puppets, a “tree” to climb in, a hut for pretending in and a glass covered stream for exploring!

Lots of educational fun behind these doors!

Live animals are on display and you can walk over the indoor stream to see what you can find!   

Lots of puppet fun!

Build your own log cabin!

Highbanks has programs for preschoolers, story times and birding activities for kids!

If you’re looking for some new ideas for indoor fun, give one of these options a try! I recommend calling ahead to double check for seasonal hours!

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ICYMI: 5 on Friday: Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops

What Should We Do This Weekend? June 3-5, 2016

Here we are, the first weekend in June already! I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine! I know I, for one, am happy to be able to get these kids out of the house every day! I always start out the day with the goal of letting them run around and get tired out, but they just seem to keep on going no matter how much running they do! 😉 Here are 12 things to do this weekend! Enjoy it!

1. Kids Concert on the Green on Worthington Village Green

When: Friday, June 3, 2016
Time: 11:30 AM
Location: 2 E. Dublin Granville Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

Mr. Eric will perform at this interactive and fun Kids Concert!

2. Music + Movie at Bicentennial Park

When: Friday, June 3, 2016
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: 233 Civic Center Drive, Columbus, OH 43215

A fun combination of Rhythm on the River and Movies on the Mile brings you the Arnett Howard band at 7:30 PM and a showing of the movie Inside Out at dusk! This event is free!

3. Strawberries on the Square in Newark

When: Friday – Sunday, June 3 – 5, 2016
Time: Friday and Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Sunday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 5 S. 3rd St, Newark, OH 43055
Phone: 740-983-4797

Live music, rides, games, crafts, food and, of course, strawberry shortcakes are what this festival is all about in downtown Newark! If you’re looking for a short road trip this weekend, it sure sounds tasty!

4. Hubbard School Bazaar and the Short North Yard Sale

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 104 W Hubbard Ave, Columbus, OH 43215 (and surrounding neighborhood)

Search for treasure at the Short North Yard Sale – individual yard sales happen all around the neighborhood! Stop by Hubbard School Bazaar to support the school and shop for kids stuff, sample coffee from Boston Stoker, and more! Bring a pair of shoes in any condition to donate to help the school raise money. See more here.

5. Summer at Reeb: A Community Celebration at Reeb Avenue Center

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 280 Reeb Ave, Columbus, OH 43207

Kick off the summer with a family-friendly celebration while learning more about the services at the Reeb Avenue Center! The event features free food and live music by the OSU Alumni Marching Band and Supafun Band! If your kids love our local heroes, they’ll enjoy the Columbus Police Mounted Unit and a Columbus Fire Department truck. The celebration also includes face painting, balloon twisting, and more fun provided by the Columbus Zoo, COSI and Columbus Museum of Art.

6. Touch A Truck at CenterPoint Gahanna

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 620 McCutcheon Rd, Gahanna, Ohio 43230

Children can climb on, touch and pretend to drive all kinds of large vehicles! A bounce house and food trucks will also be on location!

7. Grand Opening of Columbus Metropolitan Library, Parsons Branch

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 1113 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43206

Join Columbus Metropolitan Library for a dedication ceremony (12:00 PM – 12:30 PM) of the new Parsons Branch! The celebration that follows will include family friendly activities and entertainment! You can enter a drawing for an eReader and sign up for a commemorative library card!

June 4th is also the kick-off of the Summer Reading Club at Columbus Metropolitan Library! Sign up online or at any location to start reading books and winning prizes! (As a side note, I once won tickets to The Nutcracker in the adult summer reading program! Reading to your kids counts, so Mom and Dad, you should sign up, too! 😉 )

8. Touch a Turtle at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM
Location: Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

An opportunity for kids of all ages to learn all about turtles! If you need more up close interaction with outdoor creatures you could also check out What’s That Bug on Sunday!

9. Summer in the 614 Festival on Worthington Village Green

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: 2 E. Dublin Granville Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

Enjoy local musicians, family-friendly activities, games, food and more! Music from 4-8:30 PM. Activities from 4-7 PM.

10. Cap City Nights Festival at Linden Community Center

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: 1254 Briarwood Ave., Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: 614-645-3067

This is the first of 8 summer festivals at Columbus Recreation and Parks Community Centers aiming to bring together neighborhood partners and empower them to work together to reduce violence. The festivals will feature free food, live entertainment, inflatable games, a video game truck, community art projects and more! The link will take you to the list of all 8 festivals and their respective dates.

11. Family Days at Pizzuti Collection

When: Sunday, June 5, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 632 N Park St, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-280-4004

Free admission to the Pizzuti Collection will be offered on the first Sunday of each month through December! These special days include guided children’s tours at 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM and a scavenger hunt. Each child will also be given their own sketchbook! You can read about our visit to the Pizzuti Collection here.

12. Forest Discovery Tour at Camp Mary Orton’s ZipZone Canopy Tours

When: Sunday, June 5, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Highbanks Metro Park, 7925 North High St. (Rt.23), Columbus, Ohio 43235
Phone: 614-847-9477

Learn about nature from the tree tops as you zip line through this guided tour! This activity is open to anyone ages 7 and up! Call for pricing and reservations.

ALSO . . . Make sure to bookmark these two posts from Columbus Moms Blog: Best of  Columbus: Free Summer Events and Best of Columbus: Free and Cheap Summer Activities and I promise you will never run out of things to do this summer!! 🙂

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ICYMI: Pizzuti Collection + Le Chocoholique

*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!*