Innovators Club After School Program at PAST Foundation Exposes Kids to Technology of the Future

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The PAST Foundation offers an engaging, STEM-based after school program called Innovators Club for kids in grades 5-8.

Thanks to The PAST Foundation for sponsoring this post.

Are you looking for an after school program that is fun AND educational for kids? How about one where they spend a lot of time doing hands on projects that apply to real life – but at the same time are having so much fun they don’t even realize they’re learning?

PAST Foundation

Last week, my kids and I got a preview of the Innovators Club at The PAST Foundation! Innovators Club is a STEM-based after school program for kids in grades 5-8. The club takes places from 2:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. 2, 3 and 4 day programs are also available.

smart device microscope at PAST Foundation

The kids got to view items through an iPad microscope and draw what they saw.

The afternoon will offer a combination of homework time, mentoring, and a daily STEM activity.  This after school program is open to kids in any school district! (Register here!)

Innovators Club at PAST Foundation

iPad microscope at PAST Foundation

My kids got to try out a sample of STEM activities like the ones that will be done by kids in the program! It really stood out to me that these activities are things that kids will be genuinely interested in. In fact, like my kids, they will probably be enthralled!

kids at computers at PAST Foundation

The kids were enthralled by Minecraft Math!

I had to tear my kids away when it was time to leave!

kids on computers at PAST Foundation

These programs will allow kids to get up close to and hands on with cutting edge technologies that are the way of the future! The best part about it is that the activities are totally fun!

PAST Foundation Innovators Club

The boys made light up cards with LED lights and circuits!

The creators of Innovators Club have found ways to teach kids about science, technology, engineering and math through activities that kids will be excited to do and proud of themselves for completing!

Innovators Club at PAST Foundation

The STEM activities within the program may come through doing different projects each day or by focusing on a singular project for a few days at a time. There will be guest speakers from out in the field and field trips as well!

Possible topics include:

  • robotics
  • horticulture
  • drones
  • architecture
  • entrepreneurship
  • art
  • photography
  • Minecraft math
  • 3D printing
  • Lego League and more!
robotics at PAST Foundation

Checking out the robotics area!

car at PAST Foundation

The kids were fascinated by what lies just beneath the surface of a car!

This is a great program to keep kids busy and out of trouble during those key hours of the day! If your kids have any interest in STEM activities, this program will challenge them and expose them to the technologies and careers of the future!

lobby of PAST Foundation

What You Need to Know:

Innovators Club at PAST Foundation
1003 Kinnear Rd., Columbus, OH 43212


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Kids Eat Free in Columbus and Central Ohio

ICYMI: Kids Eat Free or Cheap in Columbus and Central Ohio

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15 Activities Kids Can Do for Free at the Ohio State Fair

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A trip to the Ohio State Fair can be budget friendly AND fun when you mix in these 15 free activities for kids!

Thanks to Ohio State Fair for partnering with us on this post!

A trip to the Ohio State Fair can end up costing a whole family a lot of money, but it doesn’t have to! In the past few years that we have attended the Ohio State Fair, these are some activities my kids have really enjoyed that don’t cost anything beyond admission!

Save money with these free, kid-friendly activities within the grounds of the Ohio State Fair!

Don’t miss the list of special deals happening each day at the Ohio State Fair that I have listed at the end of this post!

1. Scavenger Hunt

Pick up a scavenger hunt form at the Agriculture is Cool tent and answer 10 questions throughout your journey through the fair. The answers are posted on signs in various locations that have the headline “Did you know?” If you answer them all, you can turn in your form for free ice cream! This is free for kids AND adults!

Ag is Cool Passport and Scavenger Hunt

If you want to do the scavenger hunt, make sure to enter through Gate 1 (Cardinal Gate or North Entrance) so you can hit up the Agriculture is Cool tent to pick up your scavenger hunt form and ice cream coupons first!

2. Dig and Dump in the Corn Bin

Boys playing in corn bin at Ohio State Fair

Inside the Agriculture is Cool tent, young kids will love dumping and scooping corn kernels. Every parent I’ve seen has had to drag their kids away from this display! 😉

3. Animal Shows

Kids who are into animals might enjoy watching other kids show their animals and win awards! Each day the Ohio State Fair prints a schedule for the day and you can pick it up at the entrance OR view or download the schedule of any given day online by clicking here.

4. Budweiser Clydesdales

Budweiser Clydesdales at Ohio State Fair

The whole family can walk through a tent to see the Budweiser Clydesdale horses up close, watch them get bathed and groomed and view their fancy saddles!

5. Live Entertainment

There are all sorts of free shows going on throughout each day on the Main Street and Gazebo Stages! Free live music from salsa to bluegrass to classic rock (schedule here) and other shows featuring jugglers, magic and illusions, ax throwing, a cappella singers, and more can also be seen (schedule here)!

6. Milk a Cow

Milk a Cow at Ohio State Fair

Kids can get up close and personal with a cow and learn how to milk it! Milk the cow from noon to 4:00 PM in the OVMA Veterinary Education Center. There will also be babies on display in that area. We saw newborn calves!

7. See the Butter Cow

Butter Cow at Ohio State Fair

This is a can’t miss Ohio State Fair exhibit! This year’s theme celebrates 35 years of A Christmas Story, the famous movie filmed in Cleveland in 1983!

8. Petting Zoo

Petting zoo at Ohio State Fair

Entrance to the Petting Zoo is free so kids can pet animals to their heart’s delight! At the door they sell small cups of carrots for $2 and large cups for $5. You can bypass these and buy dry feed out of machines for $.25 a handful.

9. Model Trains

Model Train at Ohio State Fair

The Cardinal Building is full of all kinds of fun arts and craft projects from doll houses to miniature displays and crafts made out of Brillo pads! Also in the building are several Model Train displays and a Thomas display kids can operate themselves!

10. Natural Resources Park

Natural Resources Park at Ohio State Fair

This fun area is maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – inside there is a butterfly house, watercraft simulator, fishing for kids, kayaking, archery and other educational displays and activities! This is a great area for kids and all of these activities are free!

11. Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear at Ohio State Fair

Kids will be amazed when a 14 foot Smokey Bear calls them by name! When walking through the Natural Resources Park, a worker will try to find out your kids’ names on the sly and pass them on so Smokey can personally remind your child never to play with matches!

12. Play in the Sand Box

Sand Box at Natural Resources Park at Ohio State Fair

My kids LOVE this sand box in the Natural Resources Park! It’s for kids age 5 and under and they ask you to limit your time in there to 15 minutes but as long as it’s not super busy, no one is clocking in and out!

13. Pig Races

Pig races take place several times a day in the Meijer Kiddieland area and are free to watch!

14. The Nerveless Nocks All American Stunt & Thrill Show

Watch daredevils as the perform crazy stunts like riding motorcycles around each other in a huge hamster wheel! 3 show times each day!

15. Mini Golf

Mini Golf at Ohio State Fair

Mini Golf gets an honorable mention here for costing less than a bottle of water! Inside the Beef building, kids can do a round of mini golf for $2.

Know Before You Go:

  • Regular admission at the gate is:
    $10 – Adults 13-59
    $8 – Seniors 60+
    $8 – Children 5-12
    Free – Children under 5
    $6 – Advance sale admission tickets
  • Parking is $5
  • Admission gates are open from 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM (9:00 AM – 7:00 PM on August 5th.)
  • Rides will run from 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM and until midnight on Fridays and Saturday.

Other tips for saving money at the Ohio State Fair:

-Pack your own lunch or snacks

-Bring your own water bottle (no glass allowed). (Trust me on this one. I brought my water bottle but at the last minute I decided not to take it in because I didn’t feel like carrying it. I ended up buying two drinks just for me throughout the day!)

– Buy drinks from the vending machines. Most drinks at concession stands are $3 but cold drinks are also sold in vending machines around the grounds for $2.

– General admission tickets can be purchased online for $6 each or a four pack for $5 for each ticket through August 5th.

-Buy your tickets in person at Kroger or AAA for $6 each.

-As part of the Fourth Grade Agriculture is Cool Program, If you have an exiting 4th grader, that child and an adult can get in free any one day with a valid report card or valid homeschool form at the entrance.

– Print off this amazing sheet of coupons to use for food and other vendors!

Ohio State Fair Food Highway

Take advantage of one of these special days happening next week! See the entire list here.

Monday July 30th – NBC4 Family Discount Day – until 6 PM adults will be admitted for the kids’ admission price of $8 and kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Also, with the purchase of one wristband, a second rider can ride free until 6:00 PM with a hand stamp.

Tuesday, July 31 – Seniors ages 60 and up get in for $4

Thursday, August 2 – AAA members can show a current membership card to receive $4 admission vouchers for each member in your party.

Friday, August 3 – Patrons 18 and over can bring a non-winning Ohio Lottery ticket to receive one $4 admission voucher.

Saturday, August 4 – One Ohio soybean farmer or Ohio Soybean Association member will be given free Fair admission, with each member in their party receiving $4 admission with voucher from Ohio Soybean News magazine.

Sunday, August 5 – Bring any empty Pepsi container to the gate for a $3 admission voucher for every member of your party before 3:00 PM.


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Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

Kids Eat Free in Columbus and Central Ohio

ICYMI: Kids Eat Free or Cheap in Columbus and Central Ohio


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What Should We Do This Weekend? July 27-29, 2018

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Over 35 family-friendly events happening around Columbus this weekend!


9:00 AM – Lancaster Festival – this festival goes on from July 19-28, 2018 and includes kid-friendly performances, many are free! Saturday is the last day of this event!

9:00 AM – The Ohio State Fair – gates open on Wednesday for the 2018 Ohio State Fair! See all your favorite exhibits, eat fried food on a stick, ride rides and watch shows! Click here to see all the attractions!

9:00 AM – First day for U-Pick Peaches at Branstool Orchards – Friday is the first day you can pick delicious peaches at Branstool Orchards! Read all about our visit to Branstool Orchards!

10:00 AM – Children’s Book Club! with FIT4MOM at Hannah Park – join FIT4MOM Columbus East for a book swap and bookmark making!

10:00 AM – Kids Film Series at Drexel Theatre – watch The Secret World of Arrietty, rated G, all weekend! Friday and Saturday at 10:00 AM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Kids up to age 12 are $1 and 13 and over are $3. Tupelo donuts will be on site on Saturday morning!

10:00 AM – Commons for Kids at Columbus Commons – this week’s theme is Ohio State Day! As always, free carousel rides and bounce houses will be on site along with other activities!

10:30 AM – KidX Summer Series at Polaris Fashion Place – enjoy free activities outside by the fountains at Polaris! This week’s theme is Circus! See more about KidX here.

11:00 AM – From Book to Film at Gateway Film Center – watch a movie based on a book for free with your library card! This week’s movie is The Hunger Games and there are showings at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM every day!

5:00 PM – Family Friday Night at COSI – COSI stays open late with special pricing until 9:00 PM!

6:00 PM – Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday in Uptown Westerville – this month’s 4th Friday celebration is World Bazaar and will feature customs, cultures and cuisines from around the world!

6:00 PM – Creekside Live: Willie Phoenix Band w/ Eric Jerardi Trio at Creekside Gahanna – enjoy live music beginning at 6:00 PM with the Eric Jerardi Trio and The Willie Phoenix Band at 7:30 PM.

6:00 PM – MusicBASH: The Muleskinners at Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm – enjoy a bluegrass concert at the park! Bring a chair!

6:00 PM – Grove City Homecoming Celebration in Grove City Town Center – celebrate Grove City’s 29th Homecoming Celebration with live entertainment, food trucks, concessions and watch a corn hole tournament from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

7:00 PM – Disney’s Tarzan at Westerville Parks and Recreation Civic Theatre – watch performances of Disney’s Tarzan on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00 PM at Westerville Central High School!

8:00 PM – Movie Under the Stars: The Birds at Deer Haven Preserve – watch The Birds outside on the big screen. This movie is rated PG13 but there will be kid-friendly activities beforehand beginning at 8:00 PM. Movie starts at 9:00 PM.

8:30 PM – Friday Night Flicks: The Incredibles at Sycamore Park Amphitheater – this week’s movie is The Incredibles and it will be shown at dusk! Bring a blanket and/or chairs.

9:00 PM – Movie in the Park – Monsters Inc. at Thompson Park – McCoy Road – this week’s movie is Monster’s Inc! Bring your own blanket and/or chairs.

9:00 PM – Full Moon Canoe Float at Scioto Grove Metro Park – float down the Scioto River in the moonlight! Ages 8 and up.


8:00 AM – Summer Bird Walk at Blues Creek Park – take a bird walk to look for birds in the park! This is free and binoculars will be provided. Appropriate for ages 7 and up.

9:00 AM – All Disabilities Fest at Genoa Park – this festival is open to the whole family and includes activities from COSI, live music and food trucks!

9:30 AM – Youth Fishing Derby at Sycamore Creek Park Pond – register by Thursday for this annual fishing derby including prizes in various age categories. This is free but you must bring your own equipment.

10:00 AM – HOOT 89: Bugs at Gateway Film Center – enjoy family friendly short films, lobby activities and live music from the Shazzbots! Films are rated G and geared toward ages 1-8. Entrance is free with a canned good donation to the Open Shelter.

10:00 AM – Grove City Grand Re-Opening at Once Upon A Child Grove City – check out what’s new at Once Upon a Child in Grove City! They are celebrating with sales, face painting, a balloon artist, and the first 50 guests in line get a $10 gift card to OUAC. There will also be raffle prizes including bikes, tickets to Kings Island, the Zoo and more!

11:00 AM- Guest Storytime with Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn at Westerville Public Library – this free story time features a story read by the owner of Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn, a craft or activity and refreshments! 

11:00 AM – Grand Opening Celebration at The Learning Experience (New Albany) – this is a free event including a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, treats and more! There will also be a self-care class from FIT4MOM!

11:00 AM – Summer Reading Carnival at Marysville Public Library – celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Program with a carnival including games and prizes!

1:00 PM – 2nd Anniversary Open House at Fresh Start Cafe And Bakery – celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Fresh Start Cafe between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM with a free mini cupcake and $2 drink specials! There will be a pie eating contest for employees and raffle prizes too! Read about our trip to Fresh Start Bakery and other things to do while you’re in Delaware here!

1:00 PM – Art on West Park on West Park Ave – the Franklinton Arts District is hosting an art-themed block party that features art by Franklinton artists, activities for children, a sprinkler and snacks!

2:00 PM – Whitehall Food Truck Festival and Fun Fest in Whitehall – the Whitehall Food Truck and Fun Fest takes place from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM and includes live music throughout the day and other fun activities!

4:00 PM – Delaware Pacer Bands Food Truck Festival at the Delaware County Fairgrounds – this food truck festival includes live music, face painting, and several food trucks!

4:00 PM – Lewis Center Grand Opening at Goldfish Swim School – celebrate the Grand Opening of the newest location of Goldfish Swim School! There will be an open family swim, giveaways, snacks, activities, an appearance from Ariel and more! This is a free event!

5:00 PM – The Grandview Hop – July 2018 on Grandview Avenue – enjoy a sidewalk market with live music, shopping, art, food trucks, a pop up beer garden and activities for all ages! This week enjoy kid friendly music from Musicologie and the Cousins Maine Lobster truck, among others!

5:30 PM – Creeking and Campfire at Three Creeks Metro Park – take a half mile hike to the creek, search for critters in the creek and then roast hot dogs and marshmallows around the fire.

8:00 PM – Picnic With The Pops – OSU Marching Band at Columbus Commons – OSU Marching Band fans will enjoy the “biggest tailgate party of the year” with TBDBITL and fireworks!

9:00 PM – Summer Stargazing at Glacier Ridge Metro Park – use telescopes and binoculars to look at stars and planets.


10:00 AM – FIT4MOM Friends & Family Day at FrontRunner at FrontRunner – join FIT4MOM Central Ohio for a special shopping and fitting event. Save 20%!

1:30 PM – Cheap Skates at Chiller Ice Rinks – Sundays from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM admission is $5 for all and kids 4 and under are free! Skate rental is $3 for those over 4. All locations.

7:00 PM – Concerts on the Green at the Worthington Village Green – concerts begin at 7:00 PM. This week’s band is The Floorwalkers!

Don’t forget to check out: Summer Nights in Columbus: Movies, Concerts and More for Every Night of the Week for activities throughout the week!


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*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!*

Kids Eat Free in Columbus and Central Ohio

ICYMI: Kids Eat Free or Cheap in Columbus and Central Ohio


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