Your Guide to the Best Family Movies & Deals with Marcus Theatres 

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It’s the most wonderful moviegoing time of the year! Whether catching a new release, finding the perfect gift or looking forward to the return of Disney classics in the New year, Marcus Theatres is your family entertainment headquarters.

Thanks to Marcus Theatres for sponsoring this post!

Your Guide to the Best Family Movies & Deals with Marcus Theatres: 

Keep reading to learn about all the fun in store, then make sure to visit the Marcus Crosswoods Cinema in Columbus and Marcus Pickerington Cinema in Pickerington! 

Must-see Family Films

The holiday movie slate offers something for everyone. Not sure what to see? This guide is for you! Click the links to check out the trailers for each film.

Animated Films: 

  • “Frozen 2” (PG) — Out now: If you haven’t seen this Golden Globe-nominated flick yet what are you waiting for?!  
  • “Spies in Disguise” (PG) — Out December 25: An adorable comedy about a spy turned into a pigeon who must rely on his nerdy tech office to save the world — voice actors include Tom Holland and Will Smith!

Action Films:

Drama/Musical Films:

  • “Cats” (PG) — Out December 19: Introduce your family to the beloved musical in a way like never before.
  • “Little Women” (PG) — Out December 25: The newest version of Louisa May Alcott’s coming of age novel that is packed with an all-star cast — a true Christmas Day gift!

Planning to take multiple trips to the movies this winter break? Make sure to take advantage of $5 Movie Tuesday featuring $5 movies, plus free popcorn for all Magical Movie Rewards members! (Tip: Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fall on a $5 Movie Tuesday this year!) And don’t forget about $6 Student Thursday featuring $6 movies and free popcorn for students and school faculty.

Gifts that Entertain

Looking for a gift that’s perfect for friends, family, teachers, babysitters and more? Try a Marcus Theatres gift card! They’re perfect for family outings and date nights alike. Now through January 5, receive $5 in FREE Snack Cash with every $25 gift card purchase in theatre or online. (Tip: pair a gift card with an Ultimate Popcorn Tub for the gift that keeps on giving!)

Gifts that Give Back 

While you’re busy checking everyone off your list, Marcus Theatres is also giving you the opportunity to gift a Magical Movie Experience to a Make-A-Wish Ohio child battling critical illness. Visit to learn more and spread some joy to a local family.

Mark Your Calendar for the Return of Disney Classics!

Once you’ve had your fill of “Frozen 2,” introduce your family to timeless classics with the return of the Enchanted Tales Series featuring classic Disney films at both the Marcus Crosswoods and Pickerington Cinemas! Kids and adults alike will agree that there’s something even more magical about seeing Aladdin race through the sky or Sleeping Beauty wake from her slumber on the big screen. Best of all, admission is just $6 per person! 

  • “Aladdin:” January 24-26
  • “The Lion King” (original): January 31-February 2
  • “Sleeping Beauty:” February 7-9
  • “Pocahontas:” February 14-17 


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2018 Holiday Guide from your Columbus Mom Bloggers

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The holidays are fast approaching! This holiday guide from Columbus Mom Bloggers will help you get a jump start on gift buying, party planning and maybe even making a little time for yourself this season!
I’ve joined together with some of my favorite Columbus Mom Bloggers to gather this list of holiday tips, ideas and gift guides so you will have them all in one place! I encourage you to participate in our “Holiday Hop” – hop from blogger to blogger to see what recommendations they have for the season and maybe find a new blog to follow in the coming year!

Do you find yourself more stressed than merry during the holidays? I mean really, there are so many ways you can really over do it during this time of year! And the pressure to put together a Pinterest Perfect holiday is real!

Hacking the Holidays
Take a step back. Breathe deep. And read The Exhausted Mama’s Guide to Hacking the Holidays. My friend Malini from Lakes and Lattes has got 5 ways to make this season easier by just saying “NO!” While you’re at it, visit her blog for travel tips and ideas and to see what’s new in the Columbus restaurant scene!

If you’re not following Lindsay’s blog Find Where You Fit, you might not know that you can do yoga with beer, goats or paddle boards. (or coffee, wine, crafts, crystals, or chocolate for that matter).

Gifts for Active Kids
And it’s not just yoga: Lindsay tries out all the gyms and latest exercise trends for you and reports back so you can find where YOU fit! She also puts out a monthly guide featuring unique fitness events happening around the city! For the holidays, Lindsay’s put together a list of Gifts for Active Kids so you can encourage the kids to play something other than video games over Winter Break!

Katie from Zen Life and Travel has a really awesome list of The Coolest Gift Ideas for Travel Lovers!

Travel Themed Gifts
I pretty much want everything on this list! Some of my favorites are the Travel Hacker Map and the Color Map Mugs! If you or someone you know travels a lot, there are so many good ideas on this list! Katie knows how to travel hack – did you know that’s a thing? – so make sure to follow her adventures around the world and her tips for how you can do it, too!

Kim from Wear Love Wanders has a knack for finding the CUTEST t-shirts and clothing for her kids (and moms too!).

Christmas Tees for Kids
This year she’s put out Your Guide to the Best Christmas Tees for Kids and Mamas. Where does she find these things?! How about a T-Shirt that says, “I’m only a morning person on Christmas” or “All I want for Christmas is a Silent Night” LOL! There are holiday t-shirts featuring Star Wars, Harry Potter and Disney and even one that’s perfect for a pregnancy announcement! You’ve gotta see this list. If nothing else it will make you laugh out loud!

Kathleen holds a special place in my heart for teaching me how to do strength training at home. I was totally intimidated to start lifting weights on my own so I joined her program and online support group and I have felt so empowered from doing it!

75 Fitness Gifts
I highly recommend her 12 Week Workout Program (sign up on her blog Just Keep it Simple Fitness) if you’re just starting out and need some help! (New Year’s resolutions anyone??) ALSO she’s put out a list of 75 Health and Fitness Gifts for the Fitness Fanatic in Your Life. One aspect of this list that I found fascinating was the list of subscription services! Subscription boxes are the gift that keeps on giving and there were so many fun ideas: snacks, yoga classes, meal services, exercise equipment and more!

Ashley loves to explore Columbus and she often leans toward experiences in nature!

Gifts for Adventure Kids
You can follow her blog Columbus For Kids to keep tabs on the playground scene and learn about all there is to do with kids at our local Metro Parks! So it’s perfect that her list of holiday gift recommendations includes 19 Gifts for Adventure Kids! It’s full of fun toys and gadgets that you can use as you get out and explore nature with your kids! My youngest uses that Melissa and Doug flashlight in his bed at night! 😉

Allison has collected a list of tips for hosting the best holiday party!

Throwing a Holiday Party
In Wherever you find love: Throwing a Holiday Party, she shares a lot of what she’s learned from her friends and family about throwing a party that makes guests feel comfortable and creates a festive environment. From sustainable party supplies to custom cocktails to the perfect music, she’s got you covered on her blog Radiance Reflected!

Eryn Gilson from 614 Mom features all the best Columbus has to offer for us moms!

Cosi Gift Membership

She values giving experiences over things when it comes to celebrating holidays with her family! Memberships in particular are great gifts because they keep on giving for the whole year! For the holidays she’s recommending gifting a COSI membership! Read her post 5 Reasons to Give a COSI Gift Membership This Year to find out why!

What did I contribute to the Blogger Holiday Hop? The thing I know best: Toys for Boys!

Gift Ideas for Young BoysDon’t worry it’s not just an entire list of LEGO sets, even though that’s what my boys’ Christmas Lists are made of. Tried and True Gift Ideas for Young Boys is a list of toys, books and crafts that have stood the test of time at our house. I wanted to create a list of gifts that wouldn’t just be tossed away after the holidays. These are items that have been used over and over again! I hope it helps spark an idea for the perfect gift for a boy in your life! 


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Tried and True Gift Ideas for Young Boys

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Looking for a gift idea for a boy in your life that won’t just be tossed to the side after his birthday or the holidays? These are toys and books that have stood the test of time in our house!

This content contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure here.

My boys have a lot of toys! Too many toys, really! But there are some toys that were really worth it! This is a list of toys, books, games and arts and crafts supplies that my boys have played with consistently over time.

Yes, girls can play with and use these things, too, but I have two boys, three nephews and just one niece, so my adult life has pretty much been spent thinking about what gifts I should buy for boys! 😉

My experience in this area has thus far been limited to boys who are 8 and under and I want to make sure I give you an accurate idea of the ages for which these gifts are most appropriate. I hope this list of gift ideas for young boys gives you some ideas of presents that will stand the test of time!

Toy Gift Ideas for Boys:

1. Bruder Toys CAT Excavator

These trucks have not only kept my boys attention for years, they are sturdy and built to last for years, too! My boys have loved the construction vehicles in particular and the take them inside and outside to dig, whether it be dirt, sand or picking up LEGO Bricks! You can see a whole list of Bruder Trucks here! Also popular with my boys are the trash truck and fire truck!

2. LEGO Building Set


My boys are obsessed with LEGO® bricks! In particular, they love the LEGO CITY line: police, fire, construction, etc. The Mobile Command Center pictured above has been particularly popular with my boys!

The great thing about LEGOs is that they can be used over and over again in millions of different combinations. Some kids like to build sets and keep them together and other kids love to take them apart and build their own creations. Whatever your gift-recipient’s personality it’s hard to go wrong with LEGO bricks! Another great thing about LEGO toys is that there is something for every price range!

4. Magna-Tiles

Magna-Tiles are another toy that my boys can play with for long spans of time. These toys are an investment, but they continue to be popular at home and at local play cafes and indoor play areas! We have a slightly cheaper version called Dreambuilder Toy Magnetic Tiles that work pretty well but are a little bit smaller.

5. Playmobil

My boys have been fans of Playmobil across all ages. This is another toy that has spanned several years of playing! Again, my boys are particularly drawn to the Fire and Police lines of this toy, but they pretty much enjoy any vehicle or building. The Playmobile Fire Station was a hit a few years ago for Christmas and it continues to be played with on a regular basis! My boys love the police car and fire trucks.

6. Road Rug

Do boys come out of the womb obsessed with Matchbox cars? I think mine did! One of the best places to drive your toy cars is on a “road rug”! A rug like this one and a pack of Matchbox cars will provide hours of entertainment! My boys have used their road rugs as an action scene for LEGO vehicles, dinosaurs, Playmobil cities and more! These rugs provide the setting for imaginations to run wild!

7. Matchbox or Hotwheels Cars and Transporter

As mentioned in #6, Matchbox or Hotwheels cars are super popular with all ages of boys! My kids started playing with them at age 2 and they’re still playing with them! It’s easy to collect these cars in mass numbers and one of the things we have used to store them is this Toy Truck Transport Car Carrier

8. Wooden Train Tracks

Wooden train tracks have been played with at my house in some form for many years! Both of my boys have gone through their train phases and these tracks stand the test of time! There are a lot of related brands of train products that fit together.

The Thomas the Train line is probably the most popular train toy, but my boys have played with all kinds of trains! And no matter how many tracks you have you can always add more to make your scene bigger!

Check here for the wooden Thomas the Tank Engine train.

9. Kid Galaxy White House

This gift is a surprising one on the list, but recently my boys got really into learning about the US Presidents! When I shared about this in my Instagram stories, I got a lot of interest in this toy that friends of ours found for my boys, so I figured my boys are not the only ones into US history!

This set comes with a plastic White House that opens up and has 4 play rooms. There is a figurine for each president of the US and a set of cards with info about each president. It was amazing how much my boys played with this one!

Book Gift Ideas for Boys:

1. My Truck is Stuck

This is a funny, rhyming book my boys have read over and over! A great picture book for young boys!

2. Alphabet Trucks


If your boys love trucks, they will love learning the alphabet with this book that features a truck that starts with every letter of the alphabet!

3. Cars Galore

Cars, cars and still more cars! This is another great car book for vehicle lovers!

4. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

A classic by Richard Scarry here! This book has scenes from all over featuring, you guessed it: vehicles!

5. Sticker Books


Books like these sticker books have kept my boys busy for hours! They love these books that have stickers to put on all the pages in the book. They especially love the Trucks and Cars themed sticker books! Friends of our family have given my boys these books as gifts and they even regularly look at them even though all the stickers are in place! 

Board Game Gift Ideas for Boys:

1. UNO Attack

My kids love playing UNO Attack – even if they’re making up their own rules most of the time! 😉 UNO is a great game for kids because it involves matching colors and recognizing numbers and it’s pretty easy to learn at a young age! Adding in the Attack feature is extra fun for kids! They love the suspense of wondering if and how many cards are going to come flying out!

2. Payday

Payday is a classic game that is pretty easy for young kids to pick up! My kids have loved this game and love learning about the concept of money! There is a surprising amount of life lessons to be learned when playing this game! 😉 Introducing the concept of bills, insurance, jobs and the responsibilities of adulthood is never a bad idea!

3. Connect 4

This is a really simple game for young kids to play! Even a 3 year old can play Connect Four! My youngest son recently made up his own version of Connect 4 where we took turns making a pattern. Maybe it’s not in the rule book, but I thought it was a great learning exercise that was fun for him at the same time! (As a side note, check out this awesome life sized, yard games version of Connect 4!)

4. Sorry

Sorry is another great game for younger kids! I am not a fan of this game because it always made me cry as a kid! LOL! But my kids love it so I will swallow my pride and play it with them. It’s a great way to learn counting!

Arts and Crafts Gift Ideas for Boys:

1. Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad: Vehicles

My kids have this sticker pad and love using the stickers over and over again to make different scenes! The price on this pad is very reasonable (usually less than $5) which is pretty good considering that the stickers are reusable!  There are several themes available for these pads including My Town and Adventure!

2. Water Wow! Reusable Coloring Books

We recently discovered these books as they were gifted to my kids by one of their grandparents! This is another mess free coloring option that’s great for travel or keeping kids busy in restaurants or doctor’s offices and the like! You fill the pen with water and then you can paint the scenes and they turn colors! The great thing about this pad is that as it dries, the picture turns white again and it is reusable!

3. Imagine Ink Magic Ink Picture Books

These mess free coloring books are great for car rides and pretty much any time you need to keep a kid busy! My kids have had tons of these books and they love them! This is a great idea for when you’re traveling with kids or want them to be able to color without worrying about making a mess. The ink is clear unless used on the special paper within the book!

4. Crayola Washable Water Paints


You can’t go wrong with these classic water paints! Kids love to play and paint with water. We have huge rolls of paper that we just roll out on the table and let the kids paint on!  Don’t forget paint brushes!

If you’re looking for a great gift idea for young boys, I hope this list gives you a starting point! These gifts are classic and have stood the test of time in my house! If you’re looking for a gift for a boy that won’t get tossed to the side the day after opening it, pick one of these gifts that can be used again and again, even in different ways, as kids grow and change!


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Tried and True Gift Ideas for Young Boys 


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