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Affordable (and Free!) Summer Fun at Local Marcus Theatres 

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Want to beat the heat or get out of the rain? Keep the kids entertained this summer with one of these fun, affordable family-friendly movie options at Marcus Theatres!

Thanks to Marcus Theatres for sponsoring this post!

Affordable (and Free!) Summer Fun at Local Marcus Theatres

two children at Marcus Theatres Columbus Ohio

Ah summer…no school, warm days and long nights. Although the list of potential activities seems never ending, it’s always a good idea to have a fool-proof plan in your back pocket for those days when the kids say “I’m bored,” the rain ruins your outing or you just want to kick up your feet and RELAX!

That’s where Marcus Theatres comes to the rescue.  With two local theatres, the Marcus Crosswoods Cinema in Columbus and the Marcus Pickerington Cinema in Pickerington, there is plenty of affordable (and free!) family fun on tap all summer long. Both theatres also feature comfortable DreamLounger recliners, premium large format screens and two great dining options — the Take Five Lounge and Zaffiro’s Express — for a convenient outing all under one roof.

Kids Dream Summer Film Series (Crosswoods and Pickerington Cinemas)

The Kids Dream Summer Film Series presented by American Family Insurance brings recent family favorites back to the big screen for an admission price of just $3 per person. Better yet, popcorn and fountain drinks are only $2.75 each! All films will play now through August 14 on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. 

You can save even more by visiting an American Family Insurance agency owner or the Kids Dream website to receive two FREE tickets courtesy of American Family Insurance. Visit www.AmFam.com/KidsDream to get yours! 

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Kids Dream films:

kids at Marcus Theatres Columbus Ohio

Free Family Parties (Crosswoods Cinema)

Heads to the Crosswoods Cinema for free family parties to celebrate the opening of this summer’s biggest films. Pro tip: they are come as you please and a great way to burn off extra energy before or after the movie! 

Mark your calendar for these upcoming parties:

  • July 20 and 21: “The Lion King” Free Family Parties from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    • Get your picture taken in the photo booth; make-your-own paper plate lion mask, lion origami and animal scratch art; and enjoy free snacks! 
    • Stay for the movie! Film admission sold separately. Click here for showtimes.
  • August 17 and 18: “The Angry Birds Movie 2” Free Family Parties from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    • Partygoers will enjoy a variety of crafts, snacks and more — more details and showtimes will be available soon at www.MarcusTheatres.com.
    • Stay for the movie! Film admission sold separately.The Lion King movie shown at Marcus Theatres Columbus Ohio

Value Days (Select Locations)

From “Toy Story 4” to “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” (opening August 9), it’s no secret that this summer’s line-up is packed with plenty of amazing movies for families — and with value days at Marcus Theatres a trip to the theatre doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out these great offerings:

  • $5 Movie Tuesday (both theatres): Every movie is just $5, plus Magical Movie Rewards (MMR) loyalty members receive free complimentary-size popcorn! (Not a MMR member? You can sign-up for free online or in theatre.)
  • Student Thursday* (Crosswoods Cinema): Every Thursday, students and faculty can enjoy a movie for $6, plus receive free complimentary-size popcorn. Simply show your student or faculty ID to receive this great deal!
*Ticket prices are subject to tax where applicable. An additional charge applies for 3D, SuperScreen DLX and UltraScreen DLX showings.

The next time you’re in the market for a fun and affordable summer activity, make sure to head to your nearest Marcus Theatre!

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Related: 35 FREE Things to do with Your Kids This Summer in Columbus


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What Should We Do This Weekend? May 26-29, 2017 Memorial Day Edition

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1. The Main Event at Capital University Main Lawn

When: Friday, May 26, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Location: 2242 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209

This family-oriented evening includes activities, food trucks and the movie Moana!

2. Story Trail Opening at Friendship Park

When: Friday, May 26, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 150 Oklahoma Ave., Gahanna, OH 43230

Story Trail reopens for the summer with a ceremony and ribbon cutting, musical performance, games and activities! This year’s story is called The Friendship Bridge and was written and illustrated by students from Gahanna Lincoln High School.

3. Beauty and the Beast & Pirates of the Caribbean at South Drive-In

When: Opens Friday, May 26, 2017
Time: 9:30 PM
Location: 3050 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43207
Phone: 614-491-6771

Beauty and the Beast (PG) playing with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (PG13) for a double feature this coming week at South Drive-In!

4. 43rd Annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival in Utica, Ohio

When: Saturday – Monday, May 27-29, 2017
Time: Saturday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 11339 Mt. Vernon Rd., Utica, OH 43080

This annual celebration of ice cream also includes kids’ activities, a parade, artisans and vendors, pony rides, a car show, live entertainment and ice cream eating contests! Kid’s activities include bounce houses, COSI on Wheels, Egg Toss, Magic Show and more! Cost is $5/car. See our trip to the Ice Cream Festival here!

5. Ohio Village Opening Day at Ohio History Center

When: Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus OH 43211
Phone: 614-297-2300

Ohio Village celebrates a new era and it’s season opening with an 1890’s-style carnival! There will be special performers, music, fairy floss (cotton candy) and lots of family fun! See pictures from last year’s event here!

6. Asian Festival at Franklin Park

When: Saturday & Sunday, May 27-28, 2017
Time: Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 1755 E. Broad St., Columbus OH 43203

Celebrate and experience Asian culture in columbus with exhibits and demonstrations, entertainment, a children’s area, games, food and more! The children’s area will have games, crafts, ethnic costumes and the opportunity to make a handprint dragon. This is a free event and parking is free, too!

7. HOOT 75: Reading at Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-545-2255

This event takes place the last Saturday of each month and includes family friendly activities like games, stories, crafts and live music by the Shazzbots! The kid-friendly short films start at 11:00 AM. This month’s theme is Reading! All movies are rated “G” and admission is free with a suggestion donation of a canned good for The Open Shelter!

8. Let’s Plant Some Seeds at Westland Area Library

When: Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: 4740 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228
Phone: 614- 878-1301

Hear the story If You Plant a Seed? and plant real seeds to take home and watch them grow! This activity is recommended for ages Preschool through 3rd grade.

9. MAKEbreak Patriotic Projects at Michaels

When: Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: your local Michaels Store

Make a red, white and blue craft: a tulle headband or patriotic slime! (A purchase is required for the headband.) The same day from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, kids 3 and up can decorate a patriotic cookie! $2 per cookie.

10. Family Funday at Columbus Commons

When: Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

Family Funday at the Commons includes kids activities, inflatables, face painting, putt-putt, carousel rides, and more! The movie The Secret Life of Pets begins at 8:00 PM. It is free to enter the event and many activities are free. A $5 wristband gives you unlimited access to all paid activities. The event opens at 3:00 PM for families with children with sensory sensitivity to feature a less overwhelming environment.

11. Family Day at the Orange Johnson House

When: Sunday, May 28, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 956 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-885-1247

The theme of this Family Day is Grave Rubbings! Tour the Orange Johnson House and then make grave rubbings from plates depicting the grave markers of famous Worthington residents buried at St. John’s Episcopal Cemetery! This event is free for members, $5 for adults, $3 for kids 6-16 and free for those under 5! Cash or check only!

12. Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players at Maple Grove UMC

When: Sunday, May 28, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 7 W. Henderson Rd., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-262-1163

Grammy nominated Children’s musician Justin Roberts will perform at 4:00 PM and games and activities will begin at 3:00 PM.

13. Paw Patrol Memorial Day Skate at Skate Zone 71

When: Monday, May 29, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr, Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

Chase and Marshall will visit Skate Zone 71 on Monday! If you arrive before 1:00 PM, admission is only $.99!

There are many ways to observe Memorial Day around Columbus. Check out Columbus on the Cheap for a full list of area Memorial Day Parades and Ceremonies here!

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

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ICYMI: Exploring Ohio with Kids: Bellevue

*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? April 28-30, 2017

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1. Arbor Day Celebration at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Friday & Saturday, April 28 & 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

This fun and educational event includes tree climbing for kids AND adults, a scavenger hunt, tree ring counting, and more opportunities to learn about trees and how important they are! While supplies last, those who attend will get a free tree sapling! There will be food trucks on site and a raffle for free tree work from Ahlum & Arbor. Kids can make Tree Cookie Necklaces on Saturday from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

2. Customer Appreciation Weekend at PizzaFire Dublin

When: Friday – Sunday, April 28-30, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM Friday – 9:00 PM Sunday
Location: Perimeter Loop Rd., Dublin, OH 43017
Phone: 614-698-0937

This weekend only all pizzas will be half price with unlimited toppings! (Dublin location only!) The proceeds from the weekend will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys and Girls Club! There will be a Kids’ Pizza Contest on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM and everyone wins something!

3. Fourth Friday in Uptown Westerville

When: Friday, April 28, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Uptown Westerville
Phone: 614-794-0401

Stroll Uptown Westerville as the shops stay open late! Enjoy live music, art, performing art, street vendors and family-friendly activities like bounce houses, a caricature artist, book characters and fire and rescue vehicles! Before hand (5:15 PM -5:45 PM) the Westerville Library will host “4th Friday Stories and Fun” which will feature a storytime!

4. Healthy Kids Day at your local YMCA

When: Saturday April 29, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: your local YMCA

This free event will include active play and educational activities with the goal of improving the health and well-being of families!  Click here to see the times and events specific to each YMCA location around Central Ohio!

5. Meet Z Yang at American Girl – Columbus

When: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 4040 The Strand E, Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 877-247-5223

Celebrate the debut of American Girl’s newest contemporary character, a filmmaker from Seattle! There will be a special give way and girls can make their own stop-motion film craft!

6. HOOT Family Film Series at the Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-545-2255

This event takes place the last Saturday of each month and includes family friendly activities like games, stories, crafts and live music by the Shazzbots! The kid-friendly short films start at 11:00 AM. This month’s theme is Flowers! All movies are rated “G” and admission is free with a suggestion donation of a canned good for The Open Shelter!

7. Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED at Ohio Expo Center

When: Saturday & Sunday, April 29 & 30, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: Cardinal Hall, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

This walk-through exhibit offers the chance to be up close with a Stegosaurus, Velociraptor and T-Rex! Kids can dig for fossils, play and bounce and do crafts in the Kids Adventure Zone!

8. 31st Annual Duckling Day at Columbus Metropolitan Library – Whetstone Branch

When: Saturday April 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 3909 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214

Clintonville Rotary hosts the annual Duckling Day which includes a parade, live ducks, a puppet show and literacy activities with a ducky theme! You can pick up a duck costume packet at the library before the event or duck masks will be available the day of the program!

9. Week of the Young Child Family Day at COSI

When: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 333 West Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

COSI is celebrating early childhood with hands-on science activities and visits from community partners who are educating, protecting and nurturing young children! Free with admission or membership!

10. Blacklick Woods Outdoor Adventure

When: Saturday April 29, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 6975 East Livingston Ave, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Phone: 614-835-6073 or 614-300-7867

This special event is a collaboration between Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks & ECRN+ (YMCA of Central Ohio) with the goal of getting children and youth of all abilities outdoors to play games, see wildlife and have fun! There will be free tram rides, exploring the nature center, archery, crafts, lawn games, snacks and more! See the link for all the details and to register. The event is free.

11. Fit4Baby Open House at Babies “R” Us

When: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 1400 Gemini Place Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43240

Fit4Baby is a new prenatal fitness class designed to strengthen your changing body during pregnancy! Visit the open house to meet instructors, learn about the program and see a short demo of what to expect during the classes.

12. MAKEbreak Slime Bar at Michaels Stores

When: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: your local Michaels Store

Customize your own Slime creation at this free event! All supplies are included while they last!

13. Swim to End Cancer at Aqua Tots Swim School

When: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 4018 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065

Sign up for a 30 minute swimming lesson for your child and 100% of the proceeds will go to support Pelatonia riders! If you have more than one child, there is a code for a 15% discount for siblings! There will also be a raffle for gift baskets with items from Aqua-Tots, The Little Gym and more!

14. Reading Buddies featuring the 4-H PetPALs! at Columbus Metropolitan Library – Parsons Branch

When: Saturday April 29, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 1113 Parsons Ave., Columbus, OH 43206
Phone: 614-645-2275

Kids age 5-11 can meet, greet and listen to a story with dogs trained by 4H PetPALS!

15. Children’s Garden Day: Strawberry Garden Party at Inniswood Gardens

When: Sunday April 30, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 940 S. Hempstead Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

At this free, family-friendly event you can learn how to grow and harvest strawberries! There will be crafts and ideas for using strawberries at home!

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

ICYMI: Two More Fun Libraries for Columbus Kids

*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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