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Columbus Zoo: Little Explorers Base Camp

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Last week we were meeting a friend at the Zoo and she texted me saying, “We’re at Little Explorers by the pond.” I texted back, “What is that?” And before I got a reply, we stumbled right into this fun set up by the lake, right near the entrance! I have Little Explorers Base Camp on my Tuesday page as an idea of something to do, but we had never experienced it ourselves! There are only a few weeks left in the season, but I got a lot of questions about it on social media, so I thought I’d put together a post with the details.

Exploring pond life!

Little Explorers Base Camp is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM throughout the school year. Each theme runs for two weeks and is held at a different location at the Zoo. Last week the theme was Around the Pond and all of the activities featured something related to pond life.

Fishing!

No registration is required for this activity – you just show up, play for as long as you like and move on when you’re ready. The stations were set up around the area and were really easy to navigate.

Learning about nests and birds!

Feeding worms to baby birds!

There were several staff members there who were really good with the kids, asking them questions about what colors they saw, what things felt like, etc. My kids were really engaged! If we didn’t prod them on to see the polar bears, they probably would have stayed forever!

Building a beaver dam!

You still have the opportunity to do this activity during the rest of May! The theme will be Pollinators and will take place at My House (the house you can walk through in the North American exhibit before you get to the petting zoo!) Little Explorer’s Base Camp will take place on these dates: May 16, 18, 23, and 25 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

And just in case you haven’t heard, there are baby polar bears at the Zoo! Aurora has twins and Anana has one cub. Their names were just announced over the weekend! Anana’s cub is Amelia Gray, chosen by public vote, and Aurora’s twins are Nuniq and Neva, chosen by The Zoo and The Wilds staff.

When we visited last week the twins were nursing, so of course that meant they went right down for a nap and we only saw a head pop up once or twice! These pictures are from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to include them just for the cuteness factor! The twins and the cub alternate days of being out and can be out and about as long as they desire! The schedule is not as tight as it was for baby Nora so you have a good chance of seeing them without as long of a line! 🙂

Edited 1/4/2018:

Upcoming Dates for 2018:

Rockin’ Reptiles:  March 6, 8, 13, 15 at Reptile House
Tons O’ Fun:  March 20, 22, 27, 29 at Pachyderm Building
Barnyard Bonanza: April 3, 5, 10, 12 at My Barn
Celebrate the Sea: April 17, 19, 24, 26 at Manatee Coast
Outback Adventures: May 1, 3, 8, 10 at Australia Roadhouse
Backyard Explorers: May 15, 17, 22, 24 at North American Aviary

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ICYMI: 12 Parks to Try This Summer


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What Should We Do This Weekend? February 17-20, 2017 President’s Day Edition

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1. Open Play at Thompson Recreation Center

When: Friday, February 17, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1189 Dennison Ave, Columbus, OH 43201

The gym is open for this free play time for kids 6 and under! There are balls, basketball hoops, scooters, toys, jump ropes and more!

2. Story time at Tree of Life Play Cafe

When: Friday, February 17, 2017
Time: 10:15 AM and 11:00 AM
Location: 3708 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-363-4041

Local author Christy Sturtz will share her book Just Try It, Georgie! about a giraffe who tries new food. There will also be a craft time! There are two story times available.

3. Superhero Breakfast at  COSI

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

The Superhero Breakfast includes a breakfast buffet, meet and greet with Black Widow, Iron Man and Spiderman, a take home activity, entertainment and a photo! See the link for info on tickets.

4. STEMfest at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology

When: Saturday & Sunday, February 18 & 19, 2017
Time: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 55 S 1st St., Newark, OH 43055
Phone: 740-349-9277

Admission is FREE to The Works this weekend during the 2-day STEMfest! Watch students compete in STEM-based challenges designed by local industries and businesses!

5. Chase from Paw Patrol Meet and Greet at Skate Zone 71

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229

Chase from Paw Patrol will be visiting Skate Zone 71! There will be a special Paw Patrol Meal Deal: $3.50 for 1 Slice of Cheese Pizza & Drink! See link for all details on pricing.

6. Maple Syrup Tours at Stratford Ecological Center

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-2548

Hour-long tours are available to discover how maple syrup is collected and processed while enjoying the beautiful forest at Stratford Ecological Center! You must register in advance.

7. Mighty Mighty Construction Site Story Time at Barnes and Noble

When: Saturday February 18, 2017
Time:  11:00 AM
Location: your local Barnes and Noble

Sherri Duskey Rinker, the author of Good Night, Good Night Construction Site has a new book with a focus on working together! Hear the book read and take part in coloring and other activities!

8. Black History Storytime at Bexley Public Library

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 2411 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 614-231-2878

Each Saturday in February, the library is offering a Black History Storytime featuring the opportunity to celebrate and learn about famous black Americans!

9. Lego Club at Westland Area Library

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 4740 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228
Phone: 614-878-1301

Kids can work in teams or on their own to complete a LEGO challenge!

10. Sunday Story Time at Gramercy Books

When: Sunday, February 19, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: 2424 East Main St., Bexley , OH 43209
Phone: 614-867-5515

This story time for kids happens on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at this new local bookstore.

President’s Day Activities:


11. President’s Day Art Morning at Picassos

When: Monday, February 20, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1974 North Mallway Dr., Upper Arlington, OH, 43221
Phone: 614-354-1930

Kids 6 and up can take part in a patriotic art project! Supplies and snack are included! Registration is available online.

12. President’s Day Free Day at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

When: Monday, February 20, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3400

Admission is free all day at the Columbus Zoo! Parking is $10/car.

13. Special Hours at COSI

When: Monday, February 20, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 333 W. Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

COSI (normally closed on Mondays) will be open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM! Their new exhibit Mindbender Mansion and Amazing Mazes will be on display!

14. Jazz Adventures at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Monday, February 20, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Jazz Arts Group will be onsite to explore the history of jazz. There will be live music and audience participation!

15. President’s Day at Ohio History Center

When: Monday, February 20, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus OH 43211
Phone: 614-297-2300

Ohio History Center will be open on Monday with special presidential crafts, activities and speakers!

16. $5/Hour Child Play Day at Brick of Dreams

When: Monday, February 20, 2017
Time: 12:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 6190 Shamrock Ct, Ste C., Dublin, OH 43016
Phone: 614-766-0000

Brick of Dreams will offer open play for $5/hour/kid! Regular price is $7/hour/kid.

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ICYMI: Indoor Fun Around Columbus: 6 Things to do Before Spring

*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? January 13-16, 2017 MLK Jr. Day Edition

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Please visit What Should We Do This Weekend? for MLK Jr. Weekend 2019 by clicking here!

We’re heading into a 3-day weekend for many people and there are several ways to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. throughout the weekend! Here are 16 things you can do with your kids in and around Columbus! Enjoy!

1. Snow White at Columbus Children’s Theatre

When: Thursday – Sunday, January 12-15, 2017
Time: Thursday and Friday: 7:30 PM, Saturday: 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM, Sunday: 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM
Location: Park Street Theatre, 512 Park Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-224-6672

This 1-act adaptation of Snow White includes audience participation and is recommended for ages 3 and up!

2. PBJ & Jazz at Lincoln Theatre

When: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: 769 E Long St’, Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-294-5400

The Sean Carney Band is featured at your choice of two jazz concerts (10:00 AM and 11:30 AM) and each child receives a PBJ sandwich, juice and a cookie! Cost is $5 per person with a family max of $20.

3. Winter Movie Series: Frozen at COSI

When: Saturday & Sunday, January 14 & 15, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM both days
Location: 333 West Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674

Watch the movie Frozen on the big screen at COSI!

4. First Responders Night with Ohio State Hockey

When: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Time: OSU game starts at 2:00 PM, First Responders at 4:30 PM
Location: Schottenstein Center, 555 Borror Dr, Columbus, OH 43210

This annual hockey face-off between the Columbus Police Department and the Columbus Fire Department raises money to support first responders in Columbus and throughout Ohio! Your ticket includes 2 hockey games (including OSU), a performance by the Columbus Police & Fire Pipes & Drums, an interactive emergency vehicle display, the opportunity to see K9 and horse mounted patrol and more! Tickets available online!

5. Happy Birthday Martin! at Martin Luther King Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library

When: Saturday January 14, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Location: 1600 E. Long St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-645-2275

Kids age 3-11 are invited to this event to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. There will be stories, a craft and more!

6. LEGO Club at Grove City Library

When: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-875-6716

There is a LEGO challenge and theme that will be revealed at the program! Kids can join together in teams or complete the building challenge individually!

7. Peter and the Wolf at Columbus Symphony

When: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Davidson Theatre in the Vern Riffe Center, 55 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-9600

This concert is geared toward children and the story of Peter and the Wolf is told through different instruments! Arrive early (2:00 PM) for crafts, instruments to see and play, musical tattoos and more! Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite animal!

8. MLK Skate Weekend at Skate Zone 71

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

All ages are welcome at this family day skate! If you arrive before 11:30 AM your admission is only $.99!

9. Open Play at SuperGames

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 535 Lakeview Plaza Blvd Ste A, Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-846-8946 ext. 306

Check out the special hours of open play at SuperGames! Availability is limited to the first 150 children so arrive early!

10. Free Admission to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is offering free admission on MLK Jr. Day! Parking is $10 per car.

11. $5/Child Play Day at Brick of Dreams

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 6190 Shamrock Ct, Ste C., Dublin, OH 43016
Phone: 614-766-0000

A special price of $5/hour per kid is being offered Monday only at Brick of Dreams!

12. Power of Words in Stories at Martin Luther King Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library

When: Monday January 16, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Location: 1600 E. Long St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-645-2275

This special Ready for Kindergarten Storytime celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a special story and activities! Appropriate for ages 3-6 years.

13. Community Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Worthington United Methodist Church

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 600 High St., Worthington, OH 43085

Worthington’s community celebration will include speaker Reginald Dwayne Betts and performances by Capriccio adult and youth choirs!

14. The Bubble Lady at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Monday January 16, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

See The Bubble Lady blow amazing bubble creations!

15. MLK Day Open House at The King Arts Complex

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-645-5464

This free community event is open to adults and children to experience musical and live theater performances, learn about the civil rights movement, see an art exhibition and do art activities!

16. No School Craft Day at Canvas Creations for You

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 325 S. Sandusky St #206, Delaware, OH
Phone: 614-450-2239

Come in for canvas painting and special prices on string art and stencil art! (Bring a hammer for string art!)

17. MLK Celebration and March at East High School

When: Monday, January 16, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: 1500 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43205

The Annual City of Columbus Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. march takes place on Monday at 4:00 PM and  will feature a program with Keynote Speaker Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie. RSVP online!

18. Happy Birthday Martin! at Shepard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library

When: Monday January 16, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 850 N. Nelson Rd., Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 614-645-2275

Families are invited to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. with a read aloud, craft and literacy activity! There will be refreshments served.

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

ICYMI: Indoor Programs for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Columbus: Winter 2017

*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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