What Should We Do This Weekend? July 1-3, 2016: July 4th Edition!

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Yay for long weekends and holidays! Here is a mix of activities for your weekend, some are 4th of July related and some are not! Regardless, there is definitely no lack of entertainment this weekend! We’ll be celebrating my “baby’s” 2nd birthday! The second year goes so much faster than the first, don’t you think? I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!

1. Ashland Balloonfest

When: Thursday, June 30 – Saturday, July 2, 2016
Time: Begins Thursday at 4:00 PM and ends on Sunday morning (see link for schedule)
Location: 1256 Center Street, Ashland, OH 44805

If you’re looking to take a road trip this weekend, the Ashland Balloonfest is a whole weekend of fun events including a kids fun zone, exotic animals, fire trucks on display, COSI on Wheels, concessions and of course, hot air balloons!

2. KidX Club at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Friday, July 1, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: the fountain at Polaris Lifestyle Center (outside), 1500 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-456-0180

KidX Club is happening every Friday at Polaris Mall through August 12, 2016. Each week has a theme and this week is Safe Smart! Make an ID bracelet and enter the raffle for a bike helmet!

3. Red White and Boom

When: Friday, July 1, 2016
Time: Activities beginning at 12:00 PM
Location: Downtown Columbus

This huge event in downtown Columbus includes a parade, live music, Taste of BOOM, live broadcasts, a children’s park, fireworks and an after party! For kids, the Columbia Gas’ Children’s Park is at the corner of Neil Ave. and Long St.. There will be inflatables, a dunk tank, COSI on Wheels, Columbus Blue Jackets Slap Shot, face painting and more! It will be open from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The parade kicks off at 6:00 PM and will take place mainly on Front St. between Main and Long. Check the website for parking info and lots of details about attending the event!

4. Ballpark “Boom” at Huntington Park

When: Friday, July 1, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: 330 Huntington Park Ln, Columbus, OH 43215

For $5 you can enter Huntington Park for family-friendly fun at the ballpark. Activities include firecrackers, inflatables, zip lining, and two live concerts. Stay to view the fireworks and concert that continues afterwards. Tickets are available for resale or at the ticket office the night of. Some activities have additional costs.

5. Chalk it UP! in Downtown Delaware

When: Friday, July 1, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 20 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-362-6050

Check out the sidewalk chalk art competition during Delaware’s First Friday!

6. Reynoldsburg Independence Day Festival in Civic Park

When: Friday, July 1, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: 1600 Daugherty Dr., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

This pre-fireworks festival includes inflatables, food trucks and live entertainment! Fireworks start at 9:45 PM!

7. Home Depot Kids Workshop

When: Saturday, July 2, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: your local Home Depot

Parent and child can come together to build an Ice Age: Collision Course bowling game. Kids get a certificate of achievement, a workshop apron and a commemorative pin!

8. Family Days at Pizzuti Collection

When: Saturday, July 2 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 632 N Park St, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-280-4004

Family Days at the Pizzuti Collection has been moved to the first Saturday of the month, in conjunction with Gallery Hop! These special days include guided children’s tours at 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM and a scavenger hunt. Each child will also be given their own sketchbook! You can read about our visit to the Pizzuti Collection here.

9. Ohio Roller Girls at Ohio Expo Center

When: Saturday, July 2, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Ohio Building, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

This Saturday is your last chance to see the Ohio Roller Girls at home! Children under 8 are always free and games are kid-friendly!

10. Independence Day at Ohio Village

When: Saturday, July 2, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Ohio History Center, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus OH, 43211
Phone: 614-297-2300

Celebrate Independence Day with a parade, music, dancing and other old-fashioned family activities at Ohio Village!

11. Olentangy Summer Bash

When: Saturday, July 2, 2016
Time: Gates open at 6:00 PM
Location: Olentangy Braves Stadium, 675 Lewis Center Road, Lewis Center, OH 43035

This celebration features a Kids Zone and a Teen Zone, a live DJ and a fireworks show accompanied by a live soundtrack on Mix 107.9!

12. Creekside Family Day at the Independence Day Celebration

When: Monday, July 4, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 117 Mill St., Gahanna, OH 43230

Creekside Family Day includes activities throughout Creekside Park and Olde Gahanna such as face painting, inflatables, game truck, hamster balls and other family activities set up by featured sponsors! Live music takes place on the Rotary Stage! Some events require purchase of a wristband to participate.

Looking for more 4th of July celebrations around the Columbus area? Check out the list of 4th of July Fireworks and Parades from Columbus Moms Blog.

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ICYMI: 5 Things to do at Stratford Ecological Center

*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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What Should We Do This Weekend? June 17-19, 2016

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Every week I want to start this post with, “there’s so much going on this weekend” – but I could pretty much just copy and paste that sentence for the rest of the summer! This weekend is Father’s Day and Monday is the official first day of summer so there’s lots to celebrate! I hope you enjoy celebrating the fathers and father figures in your life! Thanks, dads, for all you do!

1. Powell Family Time at the Powell Branch of Delaware County Library

When: Friday, June 17, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 460 South Liberty St., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-888-9160

Recommended for ages 6 and under, this story time includes flannel board stories, songs and activities to help kids develop reading skills in an interactive way!

2. KidX Club at Polaris Mall

When: Friday, June 17, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: the fountain at Polaris Lifestyle Center (outside), 1500 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-456-0180

KidX Club is happening every Friday at Polaris Mall through August 12, 2016. Each week has a theme and this week is Summer Read Out! There will be a story time with some of your kids’ favorite characters. Bring a book to donate and you will receive a free treat!

3. COSI Summer Movie Series

When: Friday and Saturday, June 17-18, 2016
Time: see link for details
Location: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

This weekend is a double feature with Jurassic Park and Godzilla 3D! On Friday before the film, there will be a Jurassic Park trivia time and Saturday’s Science on the Screen will feature a special talk from Dale Gnidovec, a Paleontologist, and animal expert, Harry Peachey, before the movie.

4. Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival

When: Friday-Sunday, June 17-19, 2016
Time: Hours vary each day. See link for details.
Location: 117 Mill St. in Gahanna OH 43230
Phone: 614-418-9114

The weekend is full of music and art at Creekside! Kids 12 and under are free and can participate in crafts, face painting, rides, playing musical instruments and much more! Check out the link for the Family Fun Zone for more specific information for kids. The festival is offering free admission on Sunday between the hours of 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM for each person who brings a non-expired, non-perishable food item to donate.

5. Family Fishing Day at Fryer Park

When: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Rotary Lake, 3899 Orders Rd, Grove City, Ohio 43123
Phone: 614-277-3050

Bring the kids for a morning of fishing at Fryer Park! Bait is provided along with a limited amount of fishing equipment for children. Catch and release, no license required!

6. Family Fun on the Farm at Gallant Farm

When: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Time: 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 2150 Buttermilk Hill Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-524-8600, ext. 6

All ages are welcome to learn about raising chickens, canning, planting and growing food, container gardening and more! There are children’s activities planned as well!

7. Columbus Children’s Festival at Fred Beekman Park

When: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 2200 Carmack Rd., Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 877-543-7801

This free children’s festival put on by KidsLinked.com offers sports tournaments, a dance competition, a fun zone, bounce park, food trucks, face painting, giveaways and much more! There is also a 5K run/walk. Parking is $5 and some activities may have a charge.

8. T-Shirt Art at Blendon Woods

When: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM
Location: 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Bring a white t-shirt to decorate at this event for all ages!

9. Big Machines at COSI

When: Saturday, June 18 – Sunday, June 26, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

Explore how big machines like bulldozers and dump trucks work to do their jobs! Kids can climb on board and learn about the science of construction! This special outdoor exhibit goes on for 9 days!

10. Storybook Village at Ohio Village

When: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus OH 43211
Phone: 614-297-2300

Your kids can visit with their favorite book and television characters like Curious George, Peg + Cat, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Daniel Tiger and more! There are lots of fun activities going on that day like a story time and petting zoo! Members are able to get in early at 9:00 AM. See the link for more details. (Also this weekend, the Ohio Village Muffins play “base ball” in Ohio  Village!)

11. Free Admission for Dads at the Columbus Zoo

When: Sunday, June 19, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3400

Free admission to the Columbus Zoo for dads or granddads with the paid admission of a child or grandchild all day, Father’s Day!

*Don’t forget, you can also check out my Friday, Saturday and Sunday pages for more weekend events!

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

ICYMI: 5 Things to do with Your Kids this Summer in Columbus

*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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Five Go-To Places You Need to Know About if You’re a New (or New-to-Columbus) Parent

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There are some places I go with my kids that I shrug off writing about because I think, “everybody knows about that!”  But based on some positive feedback I’ve received since starting this blog, I’m beginning to think that might not necessarily be true.  When my first son was born, I had only lived in Columbus for 3 years.  I’d spent a lot of time exploring Columbus as a person without kids, but I had never really needed to find out what there was to do with kids . . . until I had one in my possession!  Once I became a mom, it was a whole new world.  Places I used to go seemed too ambitious when toting around a diaper bag and pushing a stroller, and some were certainly not kid friendly (why is everything around me suddenly breakable??)!  I relied on other mom friends to give me the low down on what to do with this little bundle of joy that was holding me hostage in my house!

So this post is for you if you are a first time parent or new to Columbus!  Let me be that other mother who gives you the skinny on where we’re all taking our kids when we (I mean they) need to get out of the house!

zootext1.  The Columbus Zoo.  The Zoo is a great place to have a membership.  Even if your little one is just a babe, it’s a great place for you to get out and get some exercise while the little one naps in the stroller.  There’s lots for you to see, even if your little one doesn’t yet care about animals . . . take advantage of this time because once they do care, your zoo trips will become a lot more narrow.  You might think you’re going to see animals, but then you find yourself spending your whole trip to the zoo at the playground and the gift shop.  This is why having a membership is great.  You can go to the zoo without the pressure of feeling like you have to see the whole thing in one trip.  You can go one week and spend an hour at the Africa exhibit and go home, then come again the next week and play at a new playground.  If you just had a baby, you might not even know the zoo has playgrounds.  When we were kid-less, my husband and I took my niece and nephew to the zoo.  We were really excited for our first trip to the zoo since moving to Columbus and all they wanted to do was go to the playground.  Consider yourself warned!  🙂 kidspace

2.  COSI.  Everyone knows about COSI, right?  I remembered visiting COSI as a child.  I had vivid memories of rat basketball and that static electricity ball, but as an adult, I had no idea they had an extensive little kidspace for the Kindergarten and under crowd!  It would take all my fingers and toes and then some to count the number of times I have gone to COSI and ONLY gone to little kidspace.  As a Columbus parent this is another must have membership, even if you only have a toddler.  For an average of about $10/month, cheaper than one adult visit to COSI, you can have access to one of the best indoor play places in Columbus.  Not only are there plenty of areas for free play, there are water tables, an art studio for painting and other crafty things, baby-specific areas for soft play and a private nursing room!library

3.  Libraries.  When you become a parent, you probably envision taking your child to the library, picking out books, and going to story time.  In Columbus, it’s one of our greatest resources as parents, in my opinion.  All libraries have story time for all ages, but you might not know that most libraries have some kind of baby lap time.  I took my first son to Baby Games at Grandview Library when he was 5 weeks old.  Okay, so he slept through the whole thing, but I got to sit next to another mommy friend of mine and socialize with another adult!  These baby times are usually grouped by age 0-18 months and 18-36 months.  It’s a great way to start your introduction to the kid’s area of your local library!

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4.  Barnes and Noble.  Before you had kids, you may have had very little reason to spend much time in the kid’s area at Barnes and Noble.  We live about a mile from a Barnes and Noble and loved going there as kid-less adults.  Of course, once you take kids with you, gone are the days of sitting down reading a magazine and sipping coffee.  So adjust your expectations accordingly!  But the kids areas have a train table, books to read (duh!) and a stage area where story times are held – usually on Saturday mornings.  It starts out like this:  you take your toddler to the kids area, hoping they will just stay there and play with the train while you sip your coffee and read People Magazine.  But they run, because they are 14 months old and have the attention span of a fly.  They take down every baby book off the shelf, all the stuffed animals and every Thomas train.  They get older, and you just start to be able to sit in one place for about 5 minutes looking at your book, aaaannndddd then you have another baby.  Sleeping baby will sit with you at B&N for a few months and then they’re on the run again . . . and by the time baby #2 feels like staying at the train table to play, child #1 just wants to look at the LEGOS – which are in a different section, of course.  Oh wait, I’m supposed to be helping you here . . . Seriously though, it’s free and there is the possibility that you will be able to drink coffee.polaris

5.  Polaris Fashion Place.  Malls are great for pushing sleeping babies around in strollers.  Also for exercising with your baby in a stroller.  All area malls have play areas for children.  I’m specifically going to talk about Polaris because it has a few more options you might not know about as a new parent or a parent new to Columbus.  Polaris has a great, shoe-free play area for kids.  It’s sponsored by the Columbus Zoo and the kids can crawl around on life-sized rubber animals or in a treehouse.  I’m going to be  honest here – my oldest never wants to go in there.  He has a thing about having to take his shoes off (??) and he’s a bit reserved so I think the fact that it’s usually pretty busy is overwhelming for him.  So here’s where we spend our time:  Pottery Barn Kids.  PBK has toys out for kids to play with.  My oldest son LOVES to go here.  There’s a girl’s side usually with a kitchen and/or doll house and a boy’s side with the Bat Cave and vehicles.  My kids love to play on both sides.  🙂  There is also a train table in the kid’s clothing section at the department store, Von Maur (which also has a great nursing mother’s room, by the way).  When I had a 3 year old and a baby and I really wanted to get out of the house, I came here a lot because I knew I would have a place to nurse and my older son would be entertained.  Near the train table at Von Maur, there are also puzzles on the wall and a TV that is usually playing Sesame Street.  The third place for kids to play at Polaris is in the food court by Chic Fil A.  This area is relatively fenced in and there are a lot of ride-on vehicles that kids can play in – putting money in them is optional.  My reserved child doesn’t like it when they actually move, so I figure that I’ve saved myself an above average number of quarters in this area.

So these are the “regular” places we have gone quite often since becoming parents.  Don’t keep them to yourselves – use the share buttons below to share the love with your new-parent friends who are just barely keeping their heads above water about now . . . they’ll thank you later, after they’ve started getting at least 4 consecutive hours of sleep . . .


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