How to Rock the Twelve Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt

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Over the weekend we spent Saturday morning exploring Historic Downtown Dublin doing the Twelve Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt! This is a totally fun outing with something for the whole family! I’m partnering with Historic Dublin to tell you how to Rock the Scavenger Hunt in this December!

Found the Elf at Daso Custom Cabinetry!

In 12 participating businesses around Historic Dublin, an elf is hiding, just waiting to be found by your eager kiddos! You can begin the hunt at any one of the 12 locations by picking up an Elf Card and finding the elf. At each stop, the kids can point out the Elf to the employee and they will receive a small prize and a stamp on their card. The small prizes are a mix of candy, stickers, tattoos, etc.

Finding the Elf at Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland brought this little guy lots of satisfaction!

Head to all 12 locations, in no particular order, collecting your stamps and prizes. When finished, you can turn your Elf Card into any of the participating businesses and the accompanying adult will be entered into a drawing to win a prize basket filled with prizes from each of the participating businesses! (See, there’s a win for the parents, too! 😉 )

Dublin Ohio CVB Visitor Center was one of our first stops!

Getting our cards at Boho 72 Boutique!

My kids were totally into the hunt! They were surprisingly focused on finding each elf. Well, let me clarify, my first born, type A child was focused on the exact number they had found and how many more were left to find. My second child, just 3 years old, was focused on where to get the next piece of candy! 😉

Candy cane prizes at Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland!

It had been a while since I walked around Downtown Dublin on foot, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of getting the kids around. It turned out that all of the locations were surprisingly close! My 3 year old had no trouble keeping up without a stroller. We even back-tracked a few times to go to places that hadn’t opened yet when we started the hunt.

If you aren’t in the holiday spirit before walking around Downtown Dublin, you will be! The city is beautifully decorated! It’s kind of like walking around in a Christmas card!

Historic Dublin

This was such a fun thing to do as a family! It took us about 2 1/2 hours, but that included a leisurely stop for lunch. I would allow 1-2 hours to complete the hunt depending on your family and your schedule.

This scavenger hunt is NOT hard and we accomplished it with very little planning ahead! BUT I’m going to give you 5 tips to rock the scavenger hunt so you have a fun family time with very few hiccups!

1. View the Elf Card and Map online

Click here to view the Elf Card and Map! The kids loved having the official Elf Card, so I would suggest picking the actual card up at your first stop, but having the map printed out will help you plan out your path ahead of time if you are so inclined!

2. Know your parking options before you get there

There are several public parking lots in Historic Dublin. See this map for ideas.

3. Check the hours of the stores

We got a jump start on Saturday morning, and some of the shops did not open until 11:00 AM or 12:00 PM so we had to backtrack. Also Daso Custom Cabinetry generally closes at 1:00 PM on Saturdays, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re doing it on the weekend. (Though they will be staying open until 4:00 PM this Saturday, December 9th.) Backtracking wasn’t that big of a deal for us because everything is so close, but if you’re on a time crunch, you’ll want to pay closer attention to this. See the list of participating locations here.

4. Plan out your options for snacks and meals

There are two stops on the hunt where you can have a full meal. We had lunch at Donatos about halfway through the hunt. La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro is the other option with a full menu. You may also want to consider your timing when stopping into the other restaurants! Perhaps pick Winans for a coffee stop before lunch or Johnson’s Ice Cream or Our CupCakery for dessert afterwards! (Though I do want to say you are not required to purchase anything to participate in the hunt and we felt no pressure to do so at any of the locations!)

Chocolate is the prize at Winans Dublin!

Can’t beat pizza at Donatos for a mid-hunt break!

Finding the Elf was tricky at La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro!

Find the Elf and a little ice cream treat at Johnson’s Real Ice Cream!

The cutest holiday cupcakes at Our CupCakery!

5. Build in time for the adults to enjoy the hunt, too!

This hunt doesn’t have to be just for the kids. This is a great opportunity to get some holiday shopping done, pick up a few decorating tips or take care of some business! We even took a few minutes to appreciate fine art at Terra Gallery! (P.S. There is an Adult Holiday Hunt taking place on December 9, 2017!)

Perusing the finer side of art at Terra Gallery!

Decorate for the holidays at Chelsea Borough Home!

Kids you can pick out a Christmas gift for mom at Boho 72 Boutique . . . Hint Hint!

A Christmas Story throwback at Dean Insurance Group!

We had a blast seeing Dublin in a new way! I highly recommend this activity for a low-cost holiday outing that is fun for the whole family!

The boys were very proud of their completed Elf Cards!

Mail a letter to Santa while you’re at it!

Know Before You Go:

-The 12 Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt takes place between December 2 – December 16, 2017.

-The participating locations are as follows:

Boho 72 Boutique
Chelsea Borough Home
Daso Custom Cabinetry
Dean Insurance Group
Donatos Pizza
Dublin (Ohio) Historical Society at Dublin Ohio CVB Visitor Center
Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream – Dublin
La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro
Our CupCakery
Terra Gallery
Winans Dublin

-Your completed card must be returned to any of the participating businesses by the end of day December 16, 2017.

-The winner of the grand prize drawing will be awarded Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

See all the details here!


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ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

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What Should We Do This Weekend? December 8-11, 2016 Holiday Edition!

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Welcome to another MEGA Holiday weekend post! **Please also don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a family play pass to Recreations Outlet by telling me 3 Places You Love to take Your Kids in Columbus ➡️ click HERE to enter! ⬅️ I’m giving away 2 passes each week!**


12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt in Historic Dublin – pick up a 12 Elves Card at a participating location then find all 12 elves. Each time you find an elf you will get a special treat! Turn your card in to enter the Grand Prize drawing!

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – see the amazing light shows, special performances and holiday festivities!

Tribute to the Nutcracker at Grove City City Hall – see the animated window display Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival at Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds – a 5 week celebration of Chinese culture with amazing silk lanterns, traditional performances and food!

Uptown Scrooge – an interactive, walking performance through Uptown Westerville! Appropriate for ages 5 and up!

State Auto Christmas Corner – walk around inside a life-size telling of the Christmas Story and check out their schedule for each weekend’s choir performances!

Merry and Bright – the holiday celebration at Franklin Park Conservatory includes special music, beautiful lights, and a special holiday train!

Christmas Celebration in Grove City – check out the list of ongoing events in Grove City’s Town Center!

Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village – celebrate a Dickens-inspired Christmas at Ohio Village!

Downtown Columbus Holiday Lights Photo Contest – share your pictures on Instagram or post to their Facebook page with the hashtag #DowntownColumbus to enter the contest for a $20 gift card to a downtown restaurant!

Hockey Santa at The Chiller Ice Rinks – skate with Santa with free skating instruction and cookie decoration!

Live Music and Santa at the North Market – check the link for the special holiday activities throughout December!

Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds – take an in-car tour of this light show!

For more ongoing ideas like the Huntington Holiday Train, Think Outside the Brick Lego Exhibit, and more, click here for 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

6:00 PM – Elf PJ Party & Lucky’s Market Hot Cocoa Bar  at Drexel Theater – the movie will be shown all weekend, but Thursday is the only night for the hot chocolate bar!

Friday, December 9, 2016

11:00 AM – Family Fun Day in Uptown Westerville – lots of fun going on at the shops in Uptown including a scavenger hunt, making an ornament, writing letters to Santa, cookie decorating and more!

6:30 PM – Mama + Me Make Your Own Winter Hat with Mini Market at Grandview Grind – decorate pre-made hats with bows, ears, poms and more!

6:30 PM – Snow “Ball” at Worthington Community Center – this family dance includes arts and crafts, a photo booth, pictures with Santa, ice carving and more!

7:00 PM – Progressive Christmas Concert at Uptown Westerville Churches – follow guides to 3 Westerville churches to enjoy concerts at each location!

7:00 – Polar Express Weekend at COSI – watch the movie on the big screen this weekend – multiple showing available including some sensory-friendly times!

7:00 PM – Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball at Barnes and Noble – inspired by the Yule Ball, this event will be filled with crafts, wizarding games, music and more!

7:30 PM – A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol at Worthington Community Center – the famous story of A Christmas Carol is getting redone with your favorite Fairy Tale characters!

7:30 PM – ProMusica’s Messiah Sing Along at Southern Theatre – sing along with ProMusica musicians!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

8:00 AM – Meijer Holiday Character Breakfast at CenterPoint Church Gahanna – this special event includes breakfast with holiday characters, a performance by Columbus Children’s Theatre, crafts, face painting and more!  (Pre-event ticket pricing through Friday.)

9:00 AM – Breakfast with Santa at Grove City YMCA – have breakfast, do crafts and take your own picture with Santa!

10:00 AM – Jack Hanna’s Home for the Holidays at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – bring an enrichment toy for the animals and you can get in free to Wildlights this night only!

10:00 AM – Clay Pot Elf Craft at Michaels Stores – kids 3 and up can drop in to make a holiday craft for $2!

11:00 AM – Family Fun Day  continues in Uptown Westerville – lots of fun going on at the shops in Uptown including a scavenger hunt, making an ornament, writing letters to Santa, cookie decorating and more!

11:00 AM – Holiday Open House in downtown Delaware – local businesses are offering specials and special events and there will be a visit from Santa!

11:00 AM – Top Hat Treat Holder Craft at Lakeshore Learning – make a treat holder at this drop in event!

12:00 PM – Short North Pole Shop Night in the Short North Arts District – many business are staying open late to offer extra hours to shop, special deals and fun activities!

12:00 PM – Santa Claus at Rocket Fizz – Santa will be on hand for pictures and to hand out treats!

12:00 PM – Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum – at this event you can write a letter to Santa, make Christmas crafts, ride on a train, and visit with Mrs. Claus!

1:00 PM – Christmas Open House at the Hanby House – tour this 1850’s home to listen to live music, partake in refreshments and enjoy holiday decorations!

1:00 PM – Holiday Trolley Hop in the Discovery District – hop on a trolley to visit downtown sites like the State Auto Nativity, Main Library, Topiary Park, Thurber House, local churches and more! There will be fun activities for the entire family!

2:00 PM & 7:30 PM – A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol at Worthington Community Center – the famous story of A Christmas Carol is getting redone with your favorite Fairy Tale characters!

7:00 PM – Family Night with Columbus Blue Jackets – this special night features interactive stations, a family photo station, balloon artist, face painters and more!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

8:00 AM – Paws with Claus at Polaris Fashion Place – get your pet’s picture with Santa before the mall opens!

11;30 AM – PJ Library Hanukkah Rock and Hop – a family-friendly concert by musician Sheldon Low!

1:00 PM – Christmas Open House continues at the Hanby House – tour this 1850’s home to listen to live music, partake in refreshments and enjoy holiday decorations!

2:00 PM – A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol at Worthington Community Center – the famous story of A Christmas Carol is getting redone with your favorite Fairy Tale characters!

2:00 PM – Family Holiday Show at Big Bang Columbus – kids crafts, dueling pianos, a sing-a-long and a visit from Santa are at this event benefitting Nationwide Children’s Hospital!

4:00 PM – Golden Spike Open House Christmas Celebration at The Depot – watch a holiday movie, eat refreshments, do crafts, ride the Scioto Valley Railway and more!

5:00 PM – Westerville Symphony: Sounds of the Season at Fritche Theatre at Cowan Hall – lots of holiday favorites including sing-a-longs at this festive concert!


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ICYMI: 2 Columbus Christmas Tree Farms + Family Photos

*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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