What Should We Do This Weekend? June 10-12, 2016

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I’m really excited about all there is to do this summer in Columbus! I’ve got a calendar full of ideas and we’re trying to make the most of each day! Though one of these days, I’m going to need to make the most of my laundry piles . . . but until then here’s some things to do instead!  🙂

1. Weekend Kick-Off Craft and Story – Rainbows at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Friday, June 10, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081

Kids 12 and under can kick off the weekend with a story and craft about rainbows.

2. Carnival at Credit Union of Ohio

When: Friday, June 10, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM- 7:30 PM
Location: 5500 Britton Pkwy, Hilliard, OH 43026

The Credit Union of Ohio sponsors this totally free Carnival! The carnival features live music, games, inflatables, and free food from The Angry Weiner food truck!

3. B – Fest Teen Book Festival at your local Barnes and Noble

When: Friday – Sunday, June 10 – 12, 2016
Time: various times each day
Location: Local Barnes and Nobles stores

This special event for teens includes author visits, trivia, games, giveaways and the opportunity to sample upcoming novels and win books!  Each day of the festival has a different theme with workshops and specific giveaways! Search for events at your closest Barnes and Noble!

4. Columbus Arts Festival at the Riverfront

When: Friday – Sunday, June 10-12, 2016
Time: Friday and Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM, Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Along the Scioto Mile and in front of COSI

So many artists, events and special activities are going on this weekend at the Columbus Arts Festival! Specifically for kids, check out the Columbus Makes Art Activity Village presented by Kroger, where kids can do arts and craft activities and the Children’s Art Gallery on Saturday and Sunday, where kids can enter a kid-sized art gallery and purchase artwork for $5 and under! Outside of COSI, artist Daniel McCauley will assemble a metal T-Rex! There will also be a Student and Community Art Exhibition and a performance of the Lorax by local actors on Saturday and Sunday. Check out the Festival Guidebook for detailed information about all of the events and the special activities for children on pages 18-20!

5. Pickerington Teen Book Fest 2016 at Pickerington High School North

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 7800 Refugee Road, Pickerington, OH 43147

A day of workshops, book signings, break out sessions, food trucks and meetings with community organizations will take place during this celebration of teen fiction! See the complete Schedule of Events here.

6. Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic at your local Lowe’s!

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: your local Lowe’s

Build your own Captain America! Get a free apron, goggles, and patch! Register online.

7. Ready, Set, Race at Grandview Heights Public Library

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: Meeting Room, 1685 W. 1st  Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

All ages are invited to build and race airplanes and cars made out of Legos!

8. Nature Fair at Three Creeks Metro Park

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Heritage Nature Center, 551 Wirt Road, Groveport, OH 43125

The City of Groveport Community Affairs Department is hosting this nature fair featuring a scavenger hunt, kid’s fishing derby, nature displays and the chance to learn about bees!

9. Inside Out at Whetstone Park

When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 8:15 PM
Location: 3923 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214

Join Clintonville Rotary for their 6th Annual Movie in the Park! It’s free!

10. Kid’s Day: Dispersing Seeds at The Crest Gastropub

When: Sunday, June 12, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 2855 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH 43202

The Clintonville Farmers’ Market will show kids 12 and under how to plant seeds and start their own garden! Plus, kids eat free every Sunday!

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ICYMI: Day Trip: Downtown Mansfield

*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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Day Trip: Downtown Mansfield

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A few weeks ago, I shared in depth about our trip to Little Buckeye Children’s Museum.  This week I’m going to give you the details on how we spent the whole day in downtown Mansfield, also known as the Carrousel District. If you’re looking for a fun road trip this summer, I think this outing is worth the drive – which is only about an hour from downtown Columbus.

We started out with lunch at Coney Island Diner. a fun, colorful diner that traces its roots back to 1919!

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There’s lots to look at on the walls and a very reasonably priced kids menu (the kids meals were served in fun dinosaur plates!). We made it for an early lunch and beat the rush (it got really busy around noon). If you wanted to make it earlier, they have a decent sized breakfast menu as well. You can view the whole menu here. The kids had fun sitting at the counter (of course they all fought over who got to sit by Grandma)!

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After lunch, we walked over to the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, which is where we spent the bulk of our day. The museum is 2 floors full of opportunities for imaginative play for your kids. Designed for ages 12 and under, the museum was a hit with my kids and my nephews!

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Much of the museum is set up like a town with areas to play like an auto repair shop, grocery store, hair salon, school house, and more. There is also an area for water play, vehicles to ride on, a baby area and space for birthday parties. You can read in depth about our visit to the museum here.

After 3 hours at the museum, a few of us adults had to make a stop at Relax it’s Just Coffee for our afternoon pick me up! There was a good looking selection of baked goods (one of my weaknesses) and a definite artsy vibe.

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If we were kid-free I would have loved to spend more time here – you know, actually sit down at a table and leisurely drink my coffee, but we all know that is not how coffee is consumed once you become a parent.

Coffee in hand, we headed down the street to the carrousel. This carrousel was built in 1991 and has 52 figures to ride on, including a couple of chariots to sit in if your kids are too little or afraid to ride by themselves. There are also several rocking chairs to sit in around the carrousel for those who just want to observe. Tickets to ride the carrousel are purchased inside the gift shop where there are also concessions available. Ages 2 and under are free and all others are $1 per ride or 6 rides for $5. I don’t think you can go to the Carrousel District without stopping for a ride on the carrousel. It just wouldn’t be right, would it?carouselbldg

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Some of us ended up back at Coney Island Diner for hand dipped ice cream. (That would be those of us who didn’t partake in the caffeine break a few minutes earlier – if only I had known! (Ice cream is my first weakness).)

Here’s what I love about this day trip to downtown Mansfield – you can park in one spot and walk to all of these places. I really hate dislike getting my kids in and out of the car a million times during an outing. There is a public parking lot at the corner of Main St. and Fourth St. You can park there for 3 hours. That might not be long enough to do all of these things, so if you’re lucky enough to have another adult with you, send them to move the car. 😉 There is also metered parking on the street and street parking is free on the weekends!

Know Before You Go:

Coney Island Diner
Address: 98 N Main St, Mansfield, OH 44902
Phone: 419-526-2669

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 6:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum
Address: 44 West Fourth St., Mansfield, OH, 44902
Phone: 419-522-2332

Summer Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Relax It’s Just Coffee
Address: 105 North Main St., Mansfield, OH 44902
Phone: 419-522-1521

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM –5:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Richland Carrousel Park
Address: 75 N. Main Street, Mansfield, OH 44902
Phone: 419-522-4223

Summer Hours (through Labor Day):
Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Monday – Thursday 10 AM – 5 PM
Labor Day through Memorial Day:  Monday – Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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ICYMI: Pizzuti Collection + Le Chocoholique


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Playdate in Uptown Westerville

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Confession: other than dropping off our taxes to the accountant, I haven’t spent any time in Uptown Westerville!  So who better to show me the ropes than a friend who grew up there? A playdate was in the plans so she suggested meeting for donuts before heading to Alum Creek Park North.  No one’s going to argue with that plan! We met up at Schneider’s Bakery to pick out our goodies before heading to the park.  This was my first time at Schneider’s Bakery, but from what I hear it is a Westerville institution.  The bakery opens at 1:30 AM.  Yes, in the morning.  I had to ask twice just to be sure!  This works well near a college campus and across the street from a bar . . . but keep this in mind if you get some middle of the night pregnancy cravings!  IMG_4007

IMG_3997There are a lot of goodies to choose from here including donuts, pastries, cookies and fresh bread and rolls.  Your kids will enjoy the I Spy Cake in the display case – a cake covered in lots of fun items with a list of things to look for.  We also got to sample a Celebration Donut, which is basically a humongous donut (10 inches in diameter, to be exact!) that you can order for special occasions!IMG_4003

Kids . . . they’re so funny.  They just haven’t learned yet that all that glitters isn’t gold.  They always choose sugar cookies with brightly colored sprinkles or bright blue ice cream with a name like Superman.  And then they spend the rest of the time asking me and their dad for bites of what we ordered – you know, the better tasting things like chocolate and normal colored foods.  Anyway . . . my kids both wanted a smiley face cookie, but then spent the morning asking for bites of my amazing glazed donut.  When will they learn?  And when will Mama get to eat her own food?  If you know the answer, do tell!  😉

The donut WAS one of the best I have ever had.  Really.

Don’t you, though?

Once we had our sweets, us mamas had to head down the street to Java Central for our daily dose of caffeine.  Don’t plan to eat your donut here (the signs are very clear about that), but pick up some coffee before you head to the park. (You probably already know this is a theme of mine.)  Java Central is a cute coffee shop with a lot of regulars, a lot of coffee choices, and a variety of food and snacks for sale.  (I didn’t try the Nitro, but I am definitely curious.)IMG_4021

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IMG_4014This day in particular was beautiful, not too hot, not too cold and it would have been totally possible to walk to the park, but I was on a time crunch, so we got back in our cars and drove to Alum Creek Park North.  The parking for the park is along Alum Park Dr.  The first time I came here, a few years ago, I took a few wrong turns around Otterbein, unsure where to enter.  There are spots lining the edge of the park and a small lot at the bottom of the hill.

This is a fun park with a lot of different areas to play in (I also featured it here.)  There’s a play train for the younger kids, an older kids play area, a climbing wall, a play-web structure, a sand pit and an Neos 360. There are also swings for all ages. The boys spent the majority of their time on the train and then in the sand pit.IMG_4047

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IMG_4031Something super serious is being discussed at this meeting of the minds – like, “is my smiley face cookie as good as your donut?”IMG_4066

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Caffeinated mamas are happy mamas!

I’ve seriously been thinking about that donut ever since our visit so I’m thinking a return visit to Uptown Westerville is in order! Anywhere else I need to visit while I’m there?

Know Before You Go:

Schneider’s Bakery
Location: 6 S. State St., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-882-6611
Hours:
Monday: 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday -Thursday: 1:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: Apr-Oct: 1:30 AM – 9:00 PM; Nov-Mar: 1:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 1:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday CLOSED
Cash or Check only!

Java Central
Location: 20B South State St., Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone: 614-839-0698
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 7:00 AM-9:00 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM-10:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM-10:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Alum Creek Park North
Location: 221 W. Main St., Westerville, OH 43081

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ICYMI: 6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers


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