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Fun for the Whole Family at EnterTRAINment Junction

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EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester, Ohio makes an awesome day trip or weekend get away for Columbus families!

This post is written in partnership with Visit Butler County!

If anyone in your family loves trains, EnterTRAINment Junction should be on your list of road trips this summer! What a fun place to explore!

EnterTRAINment Junction

model train

First of all, the model railroad display is amazing – in fact it is the world’s largest train display! The trains run on 2 miles of track and takes a journey through the history of railroads. Beginning in the 1860’s, the display takes viewers through the Civil War, into the Middle Period in the 1940’s and 50’s and into the Modern Period including subways!

kids looking at a model train

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

The display is so lifelike, it’s almost like you could step right into the city and walk the streets and wait for the subway.

Model Train

Model Train

kids watching a model train

This isn’t just for little kids. My kids loved this display, of course, but my husband loved it too! It’s a display that I believe has something for all ages!

model train display at EnterTRAINment Junction

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

Upstairs, there is a separate model depicting Cincinnati’s Coney Island Amusement Park in it’s glory days (1965)! This is a 1000 foot, handmade replica that includes a roller coaster, ferris wheel, haunted house, arcade games and more! There are also interactive portions of the exhibits! You can press buttons on the exhibit that make the rides move, buildings light up and more!

Coney Island display at EnterTRAINment Junction

Coney Island display at EnterTRAINment Junction

You can’t miss Imagination Junction, a play area for kids! There is a large climbing structure, small model train displays, a train to ride on and an area for toddlers to play, too! Socks are required to play here and are available for purchase if you forget!

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Toddler play area at EnterTRAINment Junction.

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

There are also two outdoor rides that are available Memorial Day through Labor Day. We didn’t get to experience these but friends have told me this was the best part!

Also inside EnterTRAINment Junction is the A-Maze-N Funhouse which resembles a circus midway. (Admission to this exhibit is separate.) There are various exhibits to enter and experience! Some of the exhibits were a little too stimulating for my kids, but they liked running through the mirror maze!

hall of mirrors at EnterTRAINment Junction

A-Maze-N Fun House at EnterTRAINment Junction

Last, but not least (certainly for my kids), were the amazing toy and gift shops! Honestly, I had to drag my kids out of the toy store to go see the exhibits! haha! There is a huge LEGO section, so I don’t think I need to explain myself! 😉

toy store at EnterTRAINment Junction

Toy store at EnterTRAINment Junction

We try to pick out a new Christmas ornament every year when we go on vacation. Our 2018 ornament will be from EnterTRAINment Junction! 🙂 Get your souvenirs in the gift shop and almost any toy you can imagine in the toy store!

There is also a cafe on site and the space is available for birthday parties!

lobby at EnterTRAINment Junction  Cafe at EnterTRAINment Junction

This attraction is well worth the drive! We’ve had this one on our list for a long time and I’m so glad we finally did it! We spent about 2 hours here and the kids probably could have played longer in the play area if I had let them! But either way, that means you still have time for the Butler County Donut Trail!

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat before or after visiting EnterTRAINment Junction, check out Bagger Dave’s, which is close by! They have lots of Kids Meals to choose from and the restaurant is very family-friendly!

hamburger at Bagger Dave's

 

Know Before You Go:

7379 Squire Ct, West Chester, OH 45069
513-898-8000
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

  • EnterTRAINment Junction is running a special April 2nd through May 25th, 2018 where if you buy one Do-It-All ticket you will get a return visit for free! Get it All tickets are currently $14.95
  • In addition to your admission ticket ($13.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids 3-12), the outdoor rides are $3 and the Funhouse is $9.95. Check the website for group rates, senior pricing and other upgrades! Kids 2 and under are free.

EnterTRAINment Junction

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Exploring Ohio with Kids: Bellevue

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This post has kind of been a long time coming! We did this late last summer and it seemed too late to post it, so I’m sharing it with you now as an idea for a fun road trip this summer! Bellevue, Ohio is a small Lake Erie town about 2 hours from downtown Columbus. We spent a week at Sandusky Bay and this is how we spent one of our days. It could be done in a one day road trip or you could spend the night somewhere near Sandusky and also visit the African Wildlife Safari Park!

Here are 3 activities that will fill your day in Bellevue, Ohio!

1. Jungle Junction

110 Cherry Blvd. Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-484-5532

Jungle Junction claims to be the largest indoor play structure in Ohio. I cannot verify this, but I will take their word for it! 🙂 This play area is designed for kids ages 12 and under and you must wear socks. I forgot socks and I was able to purchase a pair at the counter.

Around the periphery of the main play area is a toddler play area with animals to climb and slide on.

My kids had spent a lot of time in the toddler area until they gained the courage to enter the Tree Top Play area!

Inside the Tree Top Play area there are lots of climbing structures, slides, tunnels, etc. There are also air cannons that shoot plastic balls all around the area. (If your kids are sensitive to this kind of thing, they do have a Sensory Day on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM where the air cannons cannot be used.) My oldest is sensitive to noise and it took him a while to get used to the noise and have the courage to go inside!

Admission is for the day, so you can come and go with a stamp on your hand. There is no charge for parents/caregivers and the price for children (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • Children 1 and under: $2
  • Ages 2-12: $6
  • Twilight Special – $4 (After 5:00 PM, Monday-Thursday)

2. Bone Boy’s BBQ

109 W. Main St., Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-483-7447

We’ve only eaten at one restaurant in Bellevue, but I can highly recommend this one if you like BBQ and it is kid friendly! I loved to see the meat being grilled right out back of the restaurant!

A big bonus here is that kids under 5 eat free!

Yum!

3. Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum

253 Southwest St., Bellevue, Ohio 44811
Phone: 419-483-2222

Wow. I took a lot of pictures here! There is SO MUCH to see! If you have kids that love trains, they will be in heaven at this museum! The museum is open every day from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and on weekends during May, September and October.

You buy your tickets in the gift shop – and then try to tear the kids away from the play area so you can see the actual museum! 😉

This museum is very hands on! It has an indoor and an outdoor area. You can walk through train cars, climb into the cabs and see historical artifacts.

The outdoor portion of the museum is across the street and there are many trains to climb into. Many of the trains have displays for viewing inside.

Admission (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • $10.00 Adults
  • $9.00 Senior (60+)
  • $5.00 Children (5-12)
  • Under 5 FREE

We played at Jungle Junction in the morning, had lunch and then headed over to the Railroad Museum for the afternoon. With kids under 5 (at the time), we didn’t even have to spend that much money! It was a full day, and as you can imagine, the boys looked like this on the way back to where we were staying:

We love to spend time around Lake Erie! Do you have a favorite place to visit there?

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ICYMI: Columbus Zoo: Little Explorers Base Camp


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What Should We Do This Weekend? December 1-4, 2016 Holiday Edition!

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Hi Everyone! Each week in December I’ll be extending my weekend posts to include more holiday events going on throughout the week! There are so many fun things going on, why limit it to the weekend? 🙂

**Please also don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a family play pass to Recreations Outlet by telling me 3 Places You Love to take Your Kids in Columbus ➡️ click HERE to enter! I’m giving away 2 passes each week!**

Ongoing

12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt in Historic Dublin – pick up a 12 Elves Card at a participating location then find all 12 elves. Each time you find an elf you will get a special treat! Turn your card in to enter the Grand Prize drawing!

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – see the amazing light shows, special performances and holiday festivities!

Tribute to the Nutcracker at Grove City City Hall – see the animated window display Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival at Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds – a 5 week celebration of Chinese culture with amazing silk lanterns, traditional performances and food!

For more ongoing ideas like the Huntington Holiday Train, Think Outside the Brick Lego Exhibit, Merry and Bright and more, click here for 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

5:00 PM – Hilliard Holiday Hop – carolers, hot chocolate, trolley rides, Santa, cookie decorating and the official Tree Lighting!

5:30 PM – Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting at The Ohio Statehouse  – this indoor ceremony features a short program, welcomes Santa and Mrs. Claus and continues with snacks, crafts, games and live performances! Pictures with Santa are free!

6:00 PM – Illuminating Shopping in Old Worthington – luminaries will line the streets and retailers will stay open late for special shopping hours. Horse drawn carriage rides will take you around the neighborhood!

Friday, December 2, 2016

2:00 PM – Sip & Shop at piccadilly – enjoy personal shoppers, free hot cocoa and complimentary gift wrapping while searching for the perfect toy!

5:00 PM – First Friday Film Series at Ohio History Connection – watch A Christmas Story and enjoy special First Friday activities before the movie which starts at 7:00.

5:00 PM – Grand Illumination at the Scioto Mile – lots of live entertainment including BalletMet, Comedy Jugglers, OSU Urban Art Space, Santa and the official lighting of the Scioto Mile. You can also support the Empty Bowls Project and Mid-Ohio Food Bank by purchasing a hand made bowl filled with soup!

6:00 PM – Winter Festival in Upper Arlington – the city’s tree lighting ceremony also includes horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving, carols and a visit from Santa!

6:30 PM – Mama & Me Handprint Ornament Class hosted by Mini Market – make a keepsake clay ornament of your child’s hand!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

9:00 AM – Lionel Train Day at Moody Street Trains – enjoy door prizes, face painting, a visit from Santa and operating train displays!

9:00 AM – Christmas Prelude at The Grand of Dublin – enjoy breakfast with Santa, a coloring contest, gingerbread house decorating, and ornament contest, craft fair, bake sale, hot chocolate bar, musical performances and more!

CANCELLED due to illness . . . 10:00 AM – Make a Christmas Ornament at Lowe’s Build and Grow – register online to receive an apron, goggles and a patch along with your ornament project!

10:00 AM – Cheryl’s Annual Holiday Party in Westerville – free pictures with Santa from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, frost a cookie with Mrs. Claus, free samples, special prices and a Secret Santa Shop!

10:00 AM – Christmas Celebration in Grove City Town Center – a full day celebration includes visits with santa, live entertainment, a parade, the Mistletoe Market and much more!

11:00 AM – Holiday Gift Making at Franklin Park Conservatory – children can make and take their own gifts! $2 per gift!

11:00 AM – Made Local Marketplace at Brookshire – Ohio made products by local vendors for your shopping enjoyment!

12:00 PM – Bexley Holiday Hop in Bexley  – Bexley merchants will offer special promotions, entertainment and samples! There will be princesses and Mr. and Mrs. Claus! Fill your snowman card to enter the drawing for prizes!

12:00 PM – Holiday Hop in the Short North Arts District – the biggest Gallery Hop of the year includes a visit with Santa, decorated windows, and lots of holiday cheer!

12:00 PM – Christmastime Open House at the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club – visit the club during these special open house days (Saturdays and Sundays throughout December) to view large model railroads and try out the interactive Thomas the Tank Engine lay out!

12:30 PM – Secret Gift Shoppe at Cruz Candy and Studio J – Spin the wheel for free candy at Cruz Candy, taste free chocolate and kids can create surprise gifts for family members at Studio J upstairs!

2:00 PM – Holidays in Powell – event includes a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, activities in downtown Powell, and the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree in Village Green Park!

6:00 PM – A Holiday Evening on the Farm at Gallant Farm Preserve – live Christmas music, roast chestnuts, eat cookies and make holiday decorations at this celebration of the holidays set in the 1930’s!

Sunday

11:00 AM – Made Local Vintage Marketplace at Brookshire – Ohio made market that features 60 local vintage vendors and makers!

12:00 PM – HolidayVille in Clintonville – take the Jolly Trolley throughout Clintonville to visit with santa, decorate cookies, make crafts and much more!

5:00 PM – Village Lights in German Village – stroll the streets of German Village to visit business who will stay open late to offer holiday specials and free treats. There will be live music and lots of holiday festivities throughout German Village!

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

ICYMI: November in Review: Amy’s Donuts, Louisville, Toddler Theater and More!

*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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