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Columbus Christmas Staycation 2016

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When I was a kid, this was the best week of the year: the week between Christmas and New Year’s!

I picture the week being filled with long, restful days filled with playing with new toys, padding around in pajamas, eating cookies  and sleeping in every morning. We all know that’s just a page out of a Pottery Barn Kids magazine. Real life looks more like kids fighting over toys, crashing from too much sugar and NEVER sleeping in!

If you’re enjoying a Columbus staycation this week, 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. This will be my only post for the week! Don’t forget to check out the 2016 Columbus Holiday Scavenger Hunt to check off the list throughout the week!

MONDAY

Ohio History Center

Visit the museum (which is open for special holiday hours this week) to see the holiday train display, the Lustron home decorated for Christmas and the finalists in the LEGO Design Challenge!  The museum will be open every day through January 8th. Monday through Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Make sure to click here to read about all there is for kids to do at Ohio History Center!

More Events:

  • 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – The Bugman at Franklin Park Conservatory
  • 12:00 PM – 8:30 PM – $1 Roller Skating at Skate Zone 71
  • 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

TUESDAY

Recreations Outlet

By Tuesday, you may be reaching all-time-high levels of cabin fever and sugar overload! Take the kids to Recreations Outlet to let them run around and get out all that energy! The 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 their special Winter Break Playtime, 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:

  • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Open Play at Easterseals
  • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Open Play at SuperGames
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Open Play at SuperGames

WEDNESDAY

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

Take a road trip to the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum in Mansfield! Just one hour away from downtown Columbus, this hands-on children’s museum is great for children 12 and under! On Wednesday, The Little Ren Players, from Renaissance Theater will be there from 10:15 AM – 11:00 AM, acting out interactive fairy tales! My kids had a blast at the museum where there are cars to drive around, houses to play in, businesses to run, dinosaur bones to dig for, a water table and much more! See more about our visit here!

More Events:

THURSDAY

Blendon Woods Metro Park

All week long (Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM), the metro park is hosting their Winter Break Scavenger Hunt and Craft time! Stop in to the Nature Center to do a scavenger hunt and a winter-themed craft! The Nature Center at Blendon Woods has large viewing windows and some “please touch” bins full of all sorts of things kids can touch and feel! My kids were big fans of those boxes! 😉

More Events:

  • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Open Play at Easterseals
  • 10:00 AM – PreK Storytime at Scioto Audubon
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Play to Learn at Columbus Metropolitan Library, Franklinton Branch

FRIDAY

Grove City Library

Check out the new Grove City Library! There’s a great kids area with a puppet theater, Duplos, toddler toys and cozy reading areas! During Winter Break, the library is having Winter Break at the Movies! At 2:00 PM every day December 27-30, they will be showing a movie with popcorn and crafts! If 2:00 PM doesn’t work for you, all day, each day they will be offering Building with Boxes, where children of all ages are welcome to pop in and create!

More Events:

SATURDAY

Grandview Library

Grandview Library has a great play area for kids with a train table, doll house, Duplos, puzzles, and there’s always an area for drawing and coloring. On New Year’s Eve you can join them for Noon Year’s Eve where you can count down to Noon with your Pre-K kids!

Looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids? Here are some more options!

SUNDAY

Columbus Museum of Art

The museum is open on New Year’s Day and this is a great chance to see Think Outside the Brick! PLUS, admission to the Museum is FREE on Sundays! This LEGO exhibit is a temporary exhibit that will only be on display until February 26, 2016. If your kids love Legos, it’s a must see! There are also Legos available for free building and the Wonder Room is across the hall for more fun with kids!

Happy New Year’s Day! The lights are still on at Columbus Commons, State Auto Christmas Corner, Wildlights, the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival and Bicentennial Park! See my post: 10 of our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions for more info!

Thanks for following along with us this year! I truly hope you enjoy your week and have a Happy New Year!

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

ICYMI: 2016 Columbus Holiday Scavenger Hunt


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$2 Tuesdays: Recreations Outlet, Columbus Zoo and Tacos!

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I know, this is crazy, right? Who does two full-fledged outings in one day, let alone one morning? But hear me out, because I think you might want to, too!

You know what else is crazy? I actually arrived at Recreations Outlet around 9:15 AM! Usually, it’s a good day if I’m getting out of the house at 10:15! It’s amazing how much that extra hour adds to your day – enough time that you would actually consider going to the zoo afterwards!

I heard about Recreations Outlet last year, but I just felt that my newly one year old was not a good fit for large playground equipment. Then summer rolled around and we spent a lot of time exploring outdoor parks. When the temperatures dropped, and my now 2 year old was a steady-enough climber, I put it back on my list of places to visit. In full disclosure, my family received a pass to visit for free, but it was 100% coincidence that I already had the playdate on the calendar with a friend for the coming week! Serendipity!

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So what makes this a $2 Tuesday? On Tuesdays (AND Wednesdays and Thursdays) from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Recreations Outlet has charitable play, where admission is $2 per family (that includes up to 3 children). Additional children are $1 per child. Not only are you getting a major discount, but 50% of the price you pay gets donated to a charity chosen by Recreations Outlet! All other play times are $6 per child during the week, and $8 per child on the weekends.

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My kids LOVED it here!  My 5 yr old has asked to go back multiple times! It is a really great place for kids to run around and get out all of that extra energy! Besides the many sets of playground equipment, there are basketball hoops, soccer goals, trampolines and a log cabin!

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My kids are really into sports this year, so they especially liked playing in these areas!

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I’m pretty sure if kids dream of heaven, this is what it looks like!

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While our kids were playing, my friend Katie casually mentioned that it was $2 Tuesday at the Zoo. “Whaaatt is that?” I asked. When she listed off the food deals, my wheels started turning. I might have been out the door before 9:00 AM, but don’t trick yourself into thinking I had managed to have lunches packed (or the dishwasher emptied, or a load of laundry in the wash or dinner in the crock pot)! I was on time, but not SuperMom! 😉 Okay, actually, I was late for a 9:00 meet up. But I digress . . .

On to the zoo . . . Okay, $2 Tuesday only counts if you’re a member. But you’re a member, right? If you live in Columbus, the Zoo membership is a must have amiright? Also, the Zoo is 3.1 miles away from Recreations Outlet. (Actually, a lot closer than I realized, considering that I haven’t spent much too much time in downtown Powell, and I usually come to the Zoo from Sawmill Rd!) Oh! Wow, there it is!

What will $2 get you at the Zoo on Tuesday? A hot dog, or a bratwurst or a bag of popcorn (butter or kettle) or a pretzel! The three of us ate for $8! Yay! This deal is going on until December 13, 2016!

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What’s new at the Zoo this fall? Mums. Pumpkins. Boo at the Zoo. Christmas lights. I recently read on Facebook that it takes them 10 weeks to put up the lights for Wildlights! Normally I’m not a fan of Christmas decorations before Halloween, but I guess we’ll let it slide . . . 😉 It turned out that the lights were my 5 yr old’s favorite thing about the zoo that day! Maybe because Mighty Machines were involved in putting them up. (“Working for you doing mighty things . . ” (anyone, anyone?))

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Another thing we’ve been enjoying lately is taking the shuttle from the entrance to the Polar Frontier. Seriously, why has it taken me 5  years to do this? If you’re kids love the petting zoo and you don’t, this is a great way to avoid it. (cough, cough)

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You know what else is new at the zoo? Starbucks! (No, they don’t take the Starbucks Card. 🙁 I asked so you don’t have to.)

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A few more pics from our day:

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Yes, I do make my child wear a shirt that says, “My Mom’s the Bomb” – the years of picking out their clothes are short, we might as well make the most of them! 😉

Seriously, you can do this! The charitable play at Recreations Outlet ends at 11:00 AM, so you have to leave anyway. You might as well drive 3.1 miles to the zoo and have a hot dog!

Now I could just end this post right now, but there is one more way to spend $2 on Tuesday! TACOS!! Here’s a non-official short-list of places that have $2 Tacos on Tuesdays!

Local Cantina – $2 Tacos all day

Condados Tacos – Tacos are $1 off from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, which makes most of them $2

Whole Foods – Easton and Dublin locations

Dos Hermanos – in the North Market

Balboa – Half off all Tacos

Hadley’s Bar and Kitchen – $2 Tacos

If you’re looking for more daily deals, you might enjoy my post Cheap Family Outings in Columbus for Every Day of the Week!

Know Before  You Go:

Recreations Outlet, 484 W. Olentangy/Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065, 614-792-3700
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
(Charitable Play: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065, 614-645-3400
Fall/Winter Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (special hours for Boo at the Zoo and Wildlights)

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

ICYMI: 3 Can’t Miss Pumpkin Patches Near Columbus

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!*


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