What Should We Do This Weekend? March 11-13, 2016

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My kids and I have played outside 3 days this week – that means it’s spring, right?  Also, don’t forget to “spring forward” this Sunday!  Those of us with early risers might get to “sleep in” for a week or so until the little ones adjust!  I’ve never looked forward to losing an hour of sleep so much in my life!

As always, there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on this weekend!  The forecast for Saturday looks good so far, so without further ado, here we go . . .

1.  Donato’s Short North Supports Local Music

When:  Friday, March 11, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 920 North High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-421-5100

Local musician (and children’s entertainer) you may know as “Mr. Eric” plays adult music in the Short North at a restaurant that serves kid friendly food at kid friendly hours.  Sounds like a win/win for kids and adults to me.

2.  Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

When:  Saturday, March 12, 2016
Time: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Location: Various Locations in Dublin (see link)

Event kicks off with the annual pancake breakfast, followed by giant helium balloons, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and continues on until 11:00 PM at the Blarney Blast which features a Wee Folk area for kids from 12:00 – 5:00!

3.  Opening Day of Blooms and Butterflies at the Franklin Park Conservatory

When:  Saturday, March 12, 2016
Time: 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Spring is in bloom at the Conservatory!  Opening day features Dr. Seuss-themed activities and characters.  At 11:00 and 2:00, the Westerville Parks and Recreation Civic Theater will perform songs from Seussical the Musical!

4.  All American Columbus Pet Expo: “The Greatest Pet Show on Earth”

When:  Friday – Sunday, March 11-13, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM Friday, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM Saturday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sunday
Location:  Ohio Expo Center, Buckeye Building, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

Dock Diving, Grooming Competitions, Stupid Pet Tricks, Llama World, rescue dogs, a dog comedy act, and more!

5.  Spring Egg Hunt at Highbanks Metro Park

When:  Sunday, March 13, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM
Location:  Northern Reservable Shelter, 9466 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center, OH 43035
Phone: 614-508-8111

Children 12 and under can learn about eggs and the animals that hatch from them!  Park rangers will lead an egg hunt after the program!

6.  Sensitive Bunny at Polaris Fashion Place

When:  Sunday, March 13, 2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location:  Easter set at Center court, Polaris Fashion Place, 1500 Polaris Parkway , Columbus, OH 43240

This is a special time for children with autism to visit with the Easter Bunny featuring quiet surroundings, low lighting and sensory friendly games.  This event is free and you will receive a free photo!


*Please be aware that 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 to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*


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In Grandview: Chocolate Cafe and Star Beacon

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I don’t consider myself a lazy person, but the longer I’ve spent in the house, the harder I find it to leave.  And it’s certainly not because I’m a homebody or someone who is content just hanging around the house with two small creatures who can exert more energy in a single hour than I exert all month (hmm, maybe I am lazy?).  It’s just that, on a day like today, I look outside at the snow falling, and I weigh the work required to get outside and get somewhere…getting everyone into winter coats, hats, gloves, boots, scraping off my car, getting my children into car seats and myself all wet, cold and yet sweaty at the same time.  I look at the roads, which are covered in my neighborhood, and I wonder if they’re safe, if my sanity is worth venturing out.

Then I look around me, inside the house, and I see how much work it will be to stay home: two boys who haven’t been out of the house in days, either.  They’re loud, and chasing each other, and fighting over who had what and who wants what.  I’ve already tried TV, but after about 35 minutes, they’ve hopped down off the couch and started half-heartedly watching while they simultaneously get into everything within the viewing area of the television.  They’ve been getting up early lately – before 5:30AM the past two mornings – and they’re so tired, they rely on hyper-activity to keep themselves awake.

Today, I decided it was just too much work to stay at home.  Getting into the car is hard work, but I will say this….it might be work wrestling a 19 month who doesn’t want to sit in his car seat, but once he’s in, once my four year old is in, they get quiet.  It’s like this magic spell is cast that automatically calms them and makes them mute.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into the car having no idea where I am going to go.  I just know that if I do the work to get them in there, everything will be okay.  Today was one of those days. I got them into their car seats and then I got out to scrape the snow off the windows.  When I do that, I always stop after I’ve cleaned their window and peek in at them and wave.  They love it!  They get these sweet little smiles that make all the curse words I was trying not to say earlier melt away.

I got into the driver’s side and looked into the rear view mirror – same sweet smiles and that ever elusive state: silence.  It was then that I decided out loud, “I think we need hot chocolate and cookies!”  Well, now the words were out and we all know there was no turning back.  We headed to Chocolate Cafe. While we stood looking at all of our choices, the man behind the counter asked how he could help. I said, “We need hot chocolate!”  And Jaden tugged at me and said, “Tell him we need cookies, too!”  So we got one hot chocolate to split between the three of us and a cookie for each.  And you know what, we had a good time together!  I guess offering kids sweet treats is kind of cheating if you want them to sit still in their seats and eat, but it was just what I needed this morning.


Choosing is hard…

It turned what was a difficult morning into something sweet (in more ways than one – but doesn’t chocolate always do that?).



Chocolate cafe is a fun place to take kids.  It feels special and exciting to them…being surrounded by so many sweets!  It’s bright and cheery, there’s ample seating (and lots of highchairs), and it’s just really hard not to be happy here.



The large windows let us watch the snow from inside and the Valentine’s decorations sparked the idea to make Valentine’s Cards for our friends and family.  So after our idyllic sweet treats (they do offer lunch and dinner as well, by the way), we headed out to another place I had been meaning to hit for a while: Star Beacon.  This is a little store chock-full of school supplies and art and craft materials.


Teachers and crafters, eat your heart out!

There’s so much stuff here at reasonable prices, I have to exercise great restraint.  I also have to keep Mayson in the stroller!  Way too many small objects at toddler-eye level!!


Mayson also threw a fit at the end when I wouldn’t let him keep the rubber ball he had been holding the whole time we walked around.  And then he threw a fit at our next stop, Target, when I had to take the heart stickers from him to check out.  So yeah, let me not just end with the cute cookie pictures – life continued to go on . . . toddler tantrums continued, tormenting each other continued, but, you know what?  We got out of the house.  We did it and it was worth it!  Parenting is hard, people!  Sometimes you’ve gotta let yourself have your chocolate and eat it, too!


Know before you go:

Chocolate Cafe
1855 Northwest Blvd., Columbus, OH 43212
Monday -Thursday: 8am-10pm
Friday: 8am-11pm
Saturday: 9am-11pm
Sunday: 9am-9pm
Phone: 614-485-2233

Star Beacon Products
1104 West Goodale Blvd., Columbus, Ohio 43212
Store Hours
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 12pm
Sunday: CLOSED
Phone: 1-800-860-4583


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