What Should We Do This Weekend? November 18-20, 2016

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1. Model Railroad Days at COSI

When: Wednesday – Saturday, November 16-20, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

See model railroad displays from local model railroad clubs and play with trains, color trains and more! (There’s a lot of construction around COSI (including the demolishing of the closest parking lots) but there is still a parking lot available, just allow a little extra time for walking to and from! See more info and a map on their website!)

2. The Bake Sale at Ronald McDonald House

When: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 711 E. Livingston Ave., Columbus, OH 43205
Phone: 614-227-3735
This bake sale is the longest-running fundraiser at RMHC of Central Ohio! There will be baked goods as well as chili, sandwiches, soup, hot dogs and hamburgers! There will also be craft vendors and other holiday gifts available for purchase to support RMHC!

3. Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Easton Town Center

When: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Town Square, 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 614-416-7000

Celebrate the lighting of the Easton Christmas Tree! Santa will arrive and be available for pictures and many stores will have special offers!

4. Wildlights Stuff the Truck at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

When: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065

You can get one free admission ticket to Wildlights for every 5 non-perishable food items you bring on Friday night from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Parking is free too, when you show one item at the parking booth! Large Mid-Ohio Foodbank trucks will be located in the main parking lot where you can leave your donations!

5. B-Well Food Drive at Bibibop, Henderson Rd.

When: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 1836 W. Henderson Rd., Columbus, OH 43220
Phone: 614-459-2991

Bibibop is collecting canned and boxed foods for Mid-Ohio Foodbank from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. If you bring three items (per person), your meal is free!

6. Deck the District Tree Lighting in the Short North

When: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Short North

Come to the Short North for live holiday music, pictures with Santa and the official tree lighting at 6:30 PM!

7. Christmas Tree Lighting Holiday Experience at Tanger Outlets, Columbus

When: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: 400 South Wilson Road, Sunbury, Ohio 43074

Tanger Outlets Columbus kicks off the holidays with live music, hot chocolate, cookies and Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving to light the tree!

8. Brio Train Play Day at Naturally Curious Kids

When: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 13 E. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081

There will be trains, tracks and accessories all available for lots of free play!

9. Christmas on the Farm at The Olde Hayfield

When: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Location: 4515 Grove City Rd., Grove City, OH 43123

This local vendor event also features food, live music and pictures with Santa!

10. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live at Palace Theatre

When: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM and 5:30 PM
Location: 34 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

Join Daniel and friends for a live production of songs, dancing and adventure in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe!

11. Disney Movie Saturday at Westland Area Library

When: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 4740 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228

Enjoy a family-friendly Disney movie with popcorn. All movies are rated G or PG and children age 12 and under are welcome!

12. Sensitive Santa at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Sunday, November 20, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-456-0120

Children with special needs and their families are invited to visit with Santa in an environment sensitive to their sensory and developmental needs. Each family will receive one free photo!

13. Visit Gahanna Holiday Lights Celebration

When: Sunday, November 20, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Gahanna’s Creekside District
Phone: 614-418-9114

This family Holiday Lights celebration includes a live reindeer petting zoo, train rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, food trucks, live music and the lighting of Gahanna’s community tree! See the full list of 90 activities here!

14. Family Craft Workshop at Inniswood Metro Gardens

When: Sunday, November 20, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Innis House, 940 S. Hempstead Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Bring the family to create holiday gifts! All ages are welcome and all materials are provided!

15. A Delaware Christmas Story Parade

When: Sunday, November 20, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 20 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015

Christmas kicks off in Delaware with a parade and a visit from Santa!

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ICYMI: MEGA Train List for Central Ohio and Beyond

*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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MEGA Train List for Central Ohio and Beyond

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My kids love trains! I have been to *almost* every place on this list! When Jaden was 3, he could have gone to Barnes and Noble every single day to play with Thomas. This list isn’t so much for your kids as it is for you! Of course your kids will love these places, but this list is to keep YOU from going insane from doing the same thing every day! 😉 A good number of these things are special events that are only available for a short time! So check the list and mark your calendars because many of those are coming up this month! You, too, can be a really useful engine! 😉

1. Paul Busse Model Garden Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory, downtown Columbus

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The train in the picture below is up nearly year round, but the one above makes a special appearance during the holidays! Check the link for info on Merry and Bright!

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2. Grandview Library, Grandview Heights

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One great library with a train table!

3. Huntington Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library, downtown Columbus

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The Huntington Holiday Train arrives in mid-November and the Main Library hosts an Open House on November 30th, which will include hot chocolate and cookies, crafts and the lighting of Topiary Park! For even more trains, keep an eye on the Hilliard and Gahanna branches which will offer Polar Express programs this year!

4. Ohio Railway Museum, Worthington

The museum has been working on repairing the tracks so no train rides are available as of today, but they hope to be up and running for the holidays!

5. The Train Station, Clintonville

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Model trains are for sale here and they also have a small play area for kids!

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6. Moody Street Trains, Clintonville

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Model trains are for sale here and there is a train table for playing. On Saturday, December 3, 2016, they will host the 2nd Annual National Lionel Train Day which will feature prizes, face painting and a visit from Santa!

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7. Model Railroad Days at COSI, downtown Columbus

Model Railroad Days are November 16-20, 2016 this year and large model train sets are available for viewing and there are also trains to play with! During the weekend you can watch the movie Rocky Mountain Express in the theater. At Christmastime, The Polar Express is shown as well! (p.s. there is also a train to play with in the little kidspace at COSI!)

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8. Barnes and Noble, various locations

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Barnes and Noble offers the hope that your children will play with trains while you quietly sip coffee and read a magazine.

9. Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Hilliard

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The Hilliard Branch is a fun library for kids and has a Chuggington train table.

10. Von Maur, Polaris Fashion Place

In the children’s section of the store, there is a train that runs along the wall and a train table for playing!

11. Easton Express Railway, Easton Town Center

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This outdoor train track is always decorated for whatever season it happens to be and is a big hit with the kids!

12. BrickUniverse, Columbus Convention Center

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There are lots of working LEGO trains at this once-a-year LEGO Expo!

13. Delaware County Model Railroaders’ Open Houses, Delaware

Model railroads are set up on these special open-house dates!

14. Great Train Show at Ohio Expo Center

This expo is coming January 14-15, 2017 and includes model railroads, train dealers, hands-on exhibits and more!

15. Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville

We stumbled upon this train track behind the offices at Inniswood. I couldn’t find any info on if/when it is used, but if you know, please leave a comment below!

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16. Holiday Train Display at Ohio History Center

This special train is on exhibit during the holiday season! It will be on display November 28, 2016 – January 4, 2017.

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There are other trains on the grounds of the Ohio History Center year round, including one inside the building that can be sat in, and the one seen below that sits outside.

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17. Schiller Park in German Village

This is a great park with a train that can be played on!

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18. Alum Creek Park North, Westerville

This park is affectionately known as “the train park” – and aptly so!

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19. Henceroth Park, Grove City

This park offers lots of vehicles to play on including a jeep, boat and this wooden train!

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20. North America Train Ride at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

For $1 per person, you can ride a train around the North American exhibit at the zoo!

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21. Christmas Time Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club

For 4 weekends in December, the club puts on an open house featuring giant model railroad layouts, an interactive Thomas the Tank Engine display and more! Admission is free!

22. Open Garden Tour by the members of Columbus Garden Railway Society

On the second Sunday in September, members of the Columbus Garden Railway Society open their houses (gardens!) for a tour of their own Garden Railroads!

BEYOND COLUMBUS . . .

23. Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, Mansfield

One of the larger exhibits at the Little Buckeye Museum is the model train display and nearby train tables for playing!

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24. Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, Bellevue

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There are tons of trains on display here, may of which you can climb aboard! This museum has indoor and outdoor components and the gift shop has a train table for playing!

25. Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc., Findlay

This organization offers train rides and holiday events (including the North Pole Express), a museum, gift shop and model train displays!

26. The Buckeye Express Diner, Bellville

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Eat dinner in an OSU-themed train car! There is a train playground outside too!

27. Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, Dennison

This museum has a railroad car just for kids, model trains and a scavenger hunt just for kids!

 28. Lodi Station Outlets, Lodi

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This outlet mall is built with a train theme! You can purchase tickets to take a train ride around the property!

29. EnterTAINment Junction, West Chester

This venue offers displays, a museum, seasonal rides and a funhouse!

30. Day Out with Thomas, various locations

These special days only happen a few times a year at Ohio locations and include a 25-minute train ride, kids activities, live music and more!

31. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Northeast Ohio

The trains here run mainly on the weekends and there are several events scheduled throughout the year, including a Christmas Tree Adventure!

32. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville

This railway offers special trips throughout the year including a Santa Train on December 18, 2016. Tickets are limited.

33. LM & M Railroad, Lebanon, Lebanon

This historic railroad offers special events including the Day out with Thomas and North Pole Express!

34. Train-O-Rama, Marblehead

One of Ohio’s largest multi-gauge model railroad displays open to the public! Trains are for sale in the gift shop as well!

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ICYMI: 5 Moms of Nationwide Share their Favorite Places to take their Kids in Columbus


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What Should We Do This Weekend? September 2-5, 2016 Labor Day Weekend!

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It’s Labor Day Weekend – the official end of summer. Sad. Tears. But I’m looking forward to things like apple picking and fall festivals, wearing boots and sweaters and drinking hot coffee instead of iced. 🙂 Enjoy your holiday weekend!

1. Gala Apple Picking at The Orchard and Company

When: Friday – Sunday, September 2-4, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 7255 US HWY 42 S., Plain City, OH 43064
Phone: 614-873-0510

Visit The Orchard and Company to pick your own apples and enjoy other farmyard fun like pedal carts, a barrel train, zip lines, hill slide and more! This weekend is my personal favorite, Gala!

2. Greek Festival at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

When: Friday – Monday, September 2-5, 2016
Time: Friday & Saturday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 Midnight, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight, Monday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 555 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-224-9020

The Greek festival features food, dancing, culture, shopping, cathedral tours, a Kids Activity Center, and more! Admission is $5 for adults, kids 12 and under are free, and your admission is good all weekend!

3. Dime A Dog Night at Columbus Clippers

When: Friday, September 2, 2016
Time: 7:05 PM
Location: Huntington Park, 330 Huntington Park Ln, Columbus, OH 43215

Hot Dogs are $.10 a piece, tickets are $5 and if you have a AAA card, (up to 4) tickets are BOGO Free!

4. Rhythm on the River: BalletMet at Bicentennial Park

When: Friday, September 2, 2016
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: 233 Civic Center Drive , Columbus, OH 43215

This is the final Rhythm on the River of the summer and BalletMet dancers will perform excerpts from their 2016/2017 season! This event is free!

5. Historic Dublin Street Bazaar

When: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: S High St., Dublin, OH 43017
Phone: 614-389-2444

Enjoy an open-air market in downtown Dublin including local artists, 12 food trucks, an Irish Zone and more! Don’t forget to visit the NW Columbus Macaroni Kids Zone!

6. Ohio Cup Vintage Base Ball Festival at Ohio Village

When: Saturday & Sunday, September 3 & 4, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus Ohio, 43211
Phone: 614-297-2300

The final weekend of the summer at Ohio Village is celebrated with the Ohio Cup, where 20 vintage base ball teams compete, including the Ohio Village Muffins! If you are an Ohio History Connection Member, this event is free!

7. Milford Center Bicentennial Celebration at Bicentennial Park

When: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Time: Parade begins at 1:00 PM
Location: Milford Center, OH

This celebration in Union County includes kids activities, a parade, a beard contest, craft show, ox roast, square dancing and more!

8. Gallery Hop

When: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM (though individual business hours may vary)
Location: Short North

This weekend is Gallery Hop in the Short North! Galleries stay open late and there is often street art and entertainment! This also includes free admission to Family Days at Pizzuti Collection!

9. Star Wars at High Banks Metro Park

When: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: 9466 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center, OH 43035
Phone: 614-891-0700

Another last of the summer: the outdoor movies at High Banks! This week it’s Star Wars – The Force Awakens! There will be activities before the movie and popcorn will be provided!

10. Kids Eat Free at Chipotle

When: Sundays in September
Time: all day
Location: your local Chipotle

In September, kids 12 and under get a free kids meal when you purchase a burrito, bowl, an order of tacos or salad, plus they also get a Dragons Love Tacos activity sheet! Click the link for all the rules.

11. Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival at Northam Park

When: Monday, September 5, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 2070 Northam Rd, Upper Arlington, OH 43221

Celebrate art at Upper Arlington’s 50th Labor Day Arts Festival! There will be food, activities, music and, of course, art! There will be family-friendly stations presented by Picassos, OSU Urban Arts Space, piccadilly and more! Look for book crafts, face painting, drama and other kid-friendly activities!

For more fall fun and planning, check out my list of Upcoming Events, this list of local Apple Orchards from Columbus Moms Blog and this list of Family-Friendly Fall Festivals!

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ICYMI: 9 Things to Do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon

*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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