Pizzuti Collection + Le Chocoholique

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I have to tell you, looking at the pictures for this post makes me feel all warm and fuzzy . . . not just because this was a great time with my son, but specifically because I was having a really rough parenting week (season?) and this outing was a little bit of healing.  My son is 4 and since the arrival of his little brother on the scene, almost 2 years ago, every day is a competition for mom’s attention. But when he has my undivided attention, he is like a different child. We had such a sweet and special time doing this together. The other thing about little brother arriving on the scene is, though they are competitive with each other, they are also attached at the hip. I literally had to drag Jaden out of the house, crying, to do this.  I almost gave up, but my husband encouraged me to keep going. Sometimes for parents, our gratification is REALLY delayed, but shortly after getting to the museum, Jaden said to me, “This is a lot funner than crying!” THANK YOU. (Now remember that the next time I have to drag you out of the house to do something fun, for pete’s sake!)

I especially wanted to share this post this week in particular because this weekend is Family Day at the Pizzuti Collection and I wanted to encourage you to give it a try! Family Days happen the first Sunday of each month through December, 2016. [Updated June 22, 2016: Family Days now happens on the first Saturday of the month during Gallery Hop!] Admission is free, there are guided children’s tours, an art-themed scavenger hunt and your child gets a free sketchbook. AND the meters are free in Columbus on Sundays, so that makes this outing extra easy on the wallet!


The hours on these special Sundays are 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. We didn’t get to the museum until 4:00 PM, but for a 4 year old, that was plenty of time. We didn’t make it for a guided tour, but that was probably okay for a 4 year old’s attention span as well! We picked up the booklet for the scavenger hunt, but didn’t do that either. (Boy, I’m really selling it here, aren’t I?) 😉 What WAS a hit was the sketchbook. I saw my little boy come alive as he pretended to be an artist and draw the things he saw in the museum. Don’t get me wrong, I think the tours and the scavenger hunt are a great idea for engaging older kids and you should definitely do them! For my son, this was an introduction to the art world, a chance for him to dip his toe in the water. And, in my book, it was a rousing success!

We walked around the 3 floors of the museum, looking at paintings, pictures and sculptures and then spent a good amount of time outside in the sculpture garden. Here’s a little taste of our time:


Drawing in his sketchbook.






Jaden really loved finding the surprising things built into the stone benches. A toilet flusher? Awesome! A light switch? Cool!




And don’t forget to check out the statue of a man peeing . . . it might help with the last nudge over the potty training hill.

Obviously, the age of your child is going to determine what they get out of this experience. One thing I wanted to mention was that there is an exhibit referencing the shootings at Columbine High School and a few of the pieces have images of guns in them. My son did not notice this at all, so it never came up, but you may want to be prepared for that conversation, depending on the age of your kids.

After the museum, we walked over to Le Chocoholique for a little treat. We each picked out a chocolate that turned out to be pretty kid friendly: a chocolate covered Oreo and a chocolate covered Nutter Butter! Le Chocoholique serves all kinds of amazing chocolates (most of them a little more high brow than Oreos and Nutter Butters!), coffee and alcoholic drinks and other fancy desserts. On beautiful days like the day we went, the windows open to the street and it’s a great space for people watching!




After eating our chocolates, on a last minute whim, we headed across the street to Blick Art Materials. I thought it would be a great opportunity to connect the dots between the art work and the supplies that artists use to make it. Unfortunately we arrived at literally the last minute and they were closing, but we walked through one aisle full of paint and paint brushes and I was still glad we did it. (Learn from my mistakes, though, and go a bit earlier!).



Sunday would be a great afternoon for exploring the Short North! You could combine your trip to the museum with lunch or dinner. Some kid-friendly options for eating out in the area would be Melt Bar and Grilled, Fabian’s Chicago Style Pizza Place, or Stack City Burger Bar. You could also have dessert at Jeni’s or Whit’s. The museum is across the street from Goodale Park so you could take a walk around the park or head to the playground! For some more ideas, you can check out my post, Saturday Morning in the Short North!

Another option for continuing the art theme of this outing would be to print this map of the Short North Mural Series: Blank Spaces, and use it as a scavenger hunt for the murals that are on buildings all around the neighborhood.


Let me know if you give this outing a try! I’d love to hear what your kids thought!

Know Before You Go:

Pizzuti Collection
632 North Park St., Columbus, OH 43215

Le Chocoholique
601 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215
Sunday – Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Blick Art Materials
612 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Parking: as I mentioned, the meters are free on Sunday! You can try to find a spot in front of the museum on N. Park St. along Goodale Park, or on W. Goodale St., on the south end of Goodale Park. There is also The Joseph Garage right behind the museum at 33 W. Russell St. Check out this link for more parking options.


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ICYMI: Playdate in Uptown Westerville

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What Should We Do This Weekend? May 27-29, 2016

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The temperatures are in the 80’s, some schools are out, it’s Memorial Day Weekend and Columbus events are in full-swing!  It’s the unofficial start of SUMMER! (Just for saying that, it will probably snow next week (thanks, Ohio!) but I’ll take my chances!)

First off, this weekend kicks off the summer season at Columbus Commons, a great, multi-purpose green space in the middle of downtown.  All summer there will be concerts, festivals and my first event on the list, Commons for Kids!

1. Commons for Kids at Columbus Commons

When: Friday, May 27, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

Free carousel rides, bouncy houses and open play are available every Friday, but each week has different special activities.  This week Lowe’s will be on hand to help your child plant a plant to take home and Mr. Puppet will give a performance!

2. Family Fun Day at Columbus Commons

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

Saturday at Columbus Commons you can join in lots of fun activities like face painting, inflatables, crafts, Lego play, maker space, photo booth and more!  Some (but not all) activities require a $5 wristband purchase. The event opens at a 3:00 PM for children with sensory sensitivities. There will be food trucks on location and visits from special characters!  Stick around for:

3. Free Movie Night at the Commons

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

The busy weekend at the Commons concludes with an outdoor showing of The Good Dinosaur, rated PG.

4. Story Trail Opening Day at Friendship Park

When: Friday, May 27, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 138 Oklahoma Ave., Gahanna, OH 43230

Celebrate the opening of the new Story Trail at Friendship Park, a collaboration between Gahanna Parks & Recreation, Columbus Metropolitan Library and Art Garden Studios. Attend the ribbon cutting ceremony, enjoy a live music performance by Casey Redmond and participate in games and other fun activities!

5. Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival

When: Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 28-30, 2016
Time: Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 11339 Mt Vernon Rd., Utica, OH 43080

If you’re up for a short road trip this weekend, the Utica Ice Cream Festival offers tons of fun for kids (not to mention ice cream)! Kid friendly events include arts and crafts, magic shows, kiddie tractor pull, visits from the Columbus Zoo, water balloon toss and a whole lot more! Admission is $5 per car.

6. Asian Festival at Franklin Park

When: Saturday & Sunday, May 28 & 29, 2016
Time: Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 1755 E Broad St, Columbus OH

This celebration of Asian culture includes performances, food, a marketplace, and more. Specifically for kids, there will be a children’s area with games, crafts, dress up and the opportunity to learn calligraphy and make a handprint dragon!

7. Opening Day at Ohio Village

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Ohio History Center, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus Ohio, 43211
Phone: 614-297-2300 or 800-686-6124

Ohio Village opens for the season and steps into the 1890s!  Opening day offers a look at the changes the village has undergone and a chance to meet new residents of the village, try croquet, make ice cream, listen to live music and more! Check the link for the schedule of activities.

8. For Kids – Wildlife at Homestead Park

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: The Barn, 4675 Cosgray Rd., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-971-5211

Homestead Metro Park offers kids ages 3-10 the opportunity to meet live animals and learn more about Ohio’s wildlife!

9. Bob Evans Family Days at the Columbus Clippers

When: Sunday, May 29, 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. Farmer’s Markets

Check out this link from Columbus Moms Blog where every Farmer’s Market in the Columbus area is listed by day!  Many take place on the weekend and would make for a fun outing this weekend as the season gets underway!

11. Memorial Day Parades and Other Events

Here is a link to Memorial Day events in the Columbus area, most happening on Monday, as we remember those we’ve lost in active military service.


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ICYMI: Playdate in Uptown Westerville

*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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Playdate in Uptown Westerville

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Confession: other than dropping off our taxes to the accountant, I haven’t spent any time in Uptown Westerville!  So who better to show me the ropes than a friend who grew up there? A playdate was in the plans so she suggested meeting for donuts before heading to Alum Creek Park North.  No one’s going to argue with that plan! We met up at Schneider’s Bakery to pick out our goodies before heading to the park.  This was my first time at Schneider’s Bakery, but from what I hear it is a Westerville institution.  The bakery opens at 1:30 AM.  Yes, in the morning.  I had to ask twice just to be sure!  This works well near a college campus and across the street from a bar . . . but keep this in mind if you get some middle of the night pregnancy cravings!  IMG_4007

IMG_3997There are a lot of goodies to choose from here including donuts, pastries, cookies and fresh bread and rolls.  Your kids will enjoy the I Spy Cake in the display case – a cake covered in lots of fun items with a list of things to look for.  We also got to sample a Celebration Donut, which is basically a humongous donut (10 inches in diameter, to be exact!) that you can order for special occasions!IMG_4003

Kids . . . they’re so funny.  They just haven’t learned yet that all that glitters isn’t gold.  They always choose sugar cookies with brightly colored sprinkles or bright blue ice cream with a name like Superman.  And then they spend the rest of the time asking me and their dad for bites of what we ordered – you know, the better tasting things like chocolate and normal colored foods.  Anyway . . . my kids both wanted a smiley face cookie, but then spent the morning asking for bites of my amazing glazed donut.  When will they learn?  And when will Mama get to eat her own food?  If you know the answer, do tell!  😉

The donut WAS one of the best I have ever had.  Really.

Don’t you, though?

Once we had our sweets, us mamas had to head down the street to Java Central for our daily dose of caffeine.  Don’t plan to eat your donut here (the signs are very clear about that), but pick up some coffee before you head to the park. (You probably already know this is a theme of mine.)  Java Central is a cute coffee shop with a lot of regulars, a lot of coffee choices, and a variety of food and snacks for sale.  (I didn’t try the Nitro, but I am definitely curious.)IMG_4021


IMG_4014This day in particular was beautiful, not too hot, not too cold and it would have been totally possible to walk to the park, but I was on a time crunch, so we got back in our cars and drove to Alum Creek Park North.  The parking for the park is along Alum Park Dr.  The first time I came here, a few years ago, I took a few wrong turns around Otterbein, unsure where to enter.  There are spots lining the edge of the park and a small lot at the bottom of the hill.

This is a fun park with a lot of different areas to play in (I also featured it here.)  There’s a play train for the younger kids, an older kids play area, a climbing wall, a play-web structure, a sand pit and an Neos 360. There are also swings for all ages. The boys spent the majority of their time on the train and then in the sand pit.IMG_4047


IMG_4031Something super serious is being discussed at this meeting of the minds – like, “is my smiley face cookie as good as your donut?”IMG_4066



Caffeinated mamas are happy mamas!

I’ve seriously been thinking about that donut ever since our visit so I’m thinking a return visit to Uptown Westerville is in order! Anywhere else I need to visit while I’m there?

Know Before You Go:

Schneider’s Bakery
Location: 6 S. State St., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-882-6611
Monday: 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday -Thursday: 1:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: Apr-Oct: 1:30 AM – 9:00 PM; Nov-Mar: 1:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 1:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Cash or Check only!

Java Central
Location: 20B South State St., Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone: 614-839-0698
Monday-Thursday: 7:00 AM-9:00 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM-10:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM-10:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Alum Creek Park North
Location: 221 W. Main St., Westerville, OH 43081

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ICYMI: 6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers

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