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What Should We Do This Weekend? December 1-4, 2016 Holiday Edition!

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Hi Everyone! Each week in December I’ll be extending my weekend posts to include more holiday events going on throughout the week! There are so many fun things going on, why limit it to the weekend? 🙂

**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!**

Ongoing

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!

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

5:00 PM – Hilliard Holiday Hop – carolers, hot chocolate, trolley rides, Santa, cookie decorating and the official Tree Lighting!

5:30 PM – Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting at The Ohio Statehouse  – this indoor ceremony features a short program, welcomes Santa and Mrs. Claus and continues with snacks, crafts, games and live performances! Pictures with Santa are free!

6:00 PM – Illuminating Shopping in Old Worthington – luminaries will line the streets and retailers will stay open late for special shopping hours. Horse drawn carriage rides will take you around the neighborhood!

Friday, December 2, 2016

2:00 PM – Sip & Shop at piccadilly – enjoy personal shoppers, free hot cocoa and complimentary gift wrapping while searching for the perfect toy!

5:00 PM – First Friday Film Series at Ohio History Connection – watch A Christmas Story and enjoy special First Friday activities before the movie which starts at 7:00.

5:00 PM – Grand Illumination at the Scioto Mile – lots of live entertainment including BalletMet, Comedy Jugglers, OSU Urban Art Space, Santa and the official lighting of the Scioto Mile. You can also support the Empty Bowls Project and Mid-Ohio Food Bank by purchasing a hand made bowl filled with soup!

6:00 PM – Winter Festival in Upper Arlington – the city’s tree lighting ceremony also includes horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving, carols and a visit from Santa!

6:30 PM – Mama & Me Handprint Ornament Class hosted by Mini Market – make a keepsake clay ornament of your child’s hand!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

9:00 AM – Lionel Train Day at Moody Street Trains – enjoy door prizes, face painting, a visit from Santa and operating train displays!

9:00 AM – Christmas Prelude at The Grand of Dublin – enjoy breakfast with Santa, a coloring contest, gingerbread house decorating, and ornament contest, craft fair, bake sale, hot chocolate bar, musical performances and more!

CANCELLED due to illness . . . 10:00 AM – Make a Christmas Ornament at Lowe’s Build and Grow – register online to receive an apron, goggles and a patch along with your ornament project!

10:00 AM – Cheryl’s Annual Holiday Party in Westerville – free pictures with Santa from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, frost a cookie with Mrs. Claus, free samples, special prices and a Secret Santa Shop!

10:00 AM – Christmas Celebration in Grove City Town Center – a full day celebration includes visits with santa, live entertainment, a parade, the Mistletoe Market and much more!

11:00 AM – Holiday Gift Making at Franklin Park Conservatory – children can make and take their own gifts! $2 per gift!

11:00 AM – Made Local Marketplace at Brookshire – Ohio made products by local vendors for your shopping enjoyment!

12:00 PM – Bexley Holiday Hop in Bexley  – Bexley merchants will offer special promotions, entertainment and samples! There will be princesses and Mr. and Mrs. Claus! Fill your snowman card to enter the drawing for prizes!

12:00 PM – Holiday Hop in the Short North Arts District – the biggest Gallery Hop of the year includes a visit with Santa, decorated windows, and lots of holiday cheer!

12:00 PM – Christmastime Open House at the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club – visit the club during these special open house days (Saturdays and Sundays throughout December) to view large model railroads and try out the interactive Thomas the Tank Engine lay out!

12:30 PM – Secret Gift Shoppe at Cruz Candy and Studio J – Spin the wheel for free candy at Cruz Candy, taste free chocolate and kids can create surprise gifts for family members at Studio J upstairs!

2:00 PM – Holidays in Powell – event includes a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, activities in downtown Powell, and the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree in Village Green Park!

6:00 PM – A Holiday Evening on the Farm at Gallant Farm Preserve – live Christmas music, roast chestnuts, eat cookies and make holiday decorations at this celebration of the holidays set in the 1930’s!

Sunday

11:00 AM – Made Local Vintage Marketplace at Brookshire – Ohio made market that features 60 local vintage vendors and makers!

12:00 PM – HolidayVille in Clintonville – take the Jolly Trolley throughout Clintonville to visit with santa, decorate cookies, make crafts and much more!

5:00 PM – Village Lights in German Village – stroll the streets of German Village to visit business who will stay open late to offer holiday specials and free treats. There will be live music and lots of holiday festivities throughout German Village!

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

ICYMI: November in Review: Amy’s Donuts, Louisville, Toddler Theater and More!

*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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5 Things to do with Your Kids this Summer in Columbus

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There is no shortage of things to do during the summer in Columbus! In fact, I compiled a huge list for Columbus Moms Blog! But there are so many things, it can get overwhelming to try to keep track and try them all, so I thought I’d do a short list of some of the things we’ve actually done this summer to give you some tips and ideas if you need them!

1. Attend a Free Program at one of the Metro Parks

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In May, we attended the Pre-K program at Darby Creek Metro Park about seeds. The kids got to hear stories about planting and then plant their own seeds in a cup. It was exciting when one day we discovered our seeds had actually bloomed!

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We also attended a story time at the Scioto Audubon. Most of the Metro Parks have some type of program for kids (and for varying age groups), and except for a rare occasion, they’re free! There are so many great opportunities to take advantage of at our Metro Parks! Click the link here to search for upcoming programs!

2. Splash at FountainSide at Bicentennial Park

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FountainSide takes place most Wednesdays from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM at Bicentennial Park. (Check the schedule in the link for the dates.) We attended the first one in June. The fountain area is really large and there are activities that take place in tents around the park. We got to blow bubbles, pet turtles, see chameleons eat bugs, crawl through tunnels, do a scavenger hunt in a pretend stream and plant seeds in a pot to take home!

Donatos sells slices of pizza for $2 and the Lazer Kraze Treat Truck is on site to pass out free ice cream bars! It was a really fun time. I recommend bringing a blanket and staking out a spot on the lawn. My kids aren’t into splashing in fountains (though they will certainly go out of their way to splash in any muddy puddle they see, thank you, Peppa Pig.) but there was plenty to do anyway! If you can’t make it during the week, the fountains are available for play from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM daily.

3. Tour the Velvet Ice Cream Factory

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We didn’t actually tour the factory, but we did attend the Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival on the grounds of the Velvet Ice Cream Factory on Memorial Day.  Since it was a holiday, the factory was not in operation, but we did get to see videos and take a look at the factory from the viewing window.

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The grounds of Velvet Ice Cream have a playground, a sand box, a pavilion, a gift shop and museum area, as well as restaurant and an ice cream shop, of course! It was about a 50 minute drive from downtown Columbus. 30 minute tours of the museum take place on the hour from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM on weekdays. The tours are not offered on weekends, holidays and some Fridays.

4. Ride the CBUS

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The CBUS is a fun and FREE way to get around downtown Columbus! Not only will it save little legs from walking (or more so, your back from carrying) long distances, it’s an exciting way to see the city! The bus runs every 10-15 minutes, every day! We took the CBUS on Mother’s Day when we had dinner at Northstar and then ice cream at Jeni’s (is that the perfect Mother’s Day or what?!). Note to self, it stops at 6:00 PM on Sunday! We didn’t realize that small fact in time! Luckily it was a short walk back to our car – but something to keep in mind if it happens to be Sunday and you don’t want to get stuck at the other end of town!

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Maybe it’s because my kids are boys, but they were very excited to watch for and ride the bus! Jaden kept wanting to know how the bus knew where we wanted to go! 😉 The great thing is that it goes in a loop, so you can’t possibly miss your stop! Just wait at one of the specific CBUS signs along the route (see the link), and then pull the cord above the window when you want to get off. Take the CBUS to and from the Short North and the Brewery District, getting on and off wherever and however many times you want. Use it to get to a specific destination or just ride it for fun and enjoy the sights! (FYI, you can bring your stroller and fold it up when you get on the bus!)

5. Visit Ohio Village at Ohio History Center

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Ohio Village is open for the summer and it has been updated to represent the 1890’s! You can try out an adult-sized tricycle at the new bike shop, take your photo 1890’s style, talk with the residents about their everyday life or play old-fashioned games on the Village Green.

We attended on Opening Day and the streets were bustling with activity! We got to try hand-cranked ice cream and take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Ohio Village is only open through Labor Day and is included with your admission (or membership) to Ohio History Center. (You can read our review here.) Saturday, June 18th is Storybook Village and your kids can meet with their favorite PBS Kids friends! (There is usually a line for this event and it is very popular so come early!) On June 19th, the Ohio Village Muffins play vintage “base ball” on their home field!

There are so many fun things to do in Columbus! I plan to do this kind of post a few times this summer so keep an eye out! Enjoy your summer!

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ICYMI: Day Trip: Downtown Mansfield


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10 Things to be Excited About at New Main Library!

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It would be hard to overstate exactly how excited I was to be invited to take a hard hat tour of the new Main Library (or #newmain as all the cool kids are calling it – seriously, though, search the hashtag and you’ll get a great look at its progress over time!).  But let’s just say I semi-purposely scheduled the tour on my birthday because I thought it would be an awesome thing to do!  Since the two libraries closest to me are under renovation (or completely demolished) I am currently without library. Main Library was my go-to, so I am counting down the days until June 25th!  Here are 10 things we have to look forward to at Main Library:

1. These Fun Doors

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The children’s area is in the same location as it was before, only when you enter, there will be a big door for the adults and a small door for the kids.  (That’s the reddish, metal structures you see in the picture).  How fun is that?

2. Open Area for Story Times

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Gone is the room with the sea creatures on the walls where many of us have attended story time and special events. Now story times will be done in the open, in the middle of the children’s area so no one misses out!

3. A Mother’s Room

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New Main has a Mother’s Room!  Three cheers for this one!  Though I don’t plan on nursing any new babies (sorry, Mom), this is a total win for moms!  I know from my experience, just knowing a Mother’s Room is available relieves a lot of stress when planning outings with babies.  This isn’t a picture of the Mother’s Room, but it is facing the children’s area and is a great view of the 3 floors of Main Library.

4. Access to the Historic Carnegie Building From Upstairs

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Previously, it was not possible to access the Carnegie portion of the library from the upper floors of the newer building.  If you wanted to access the galleries on the second floor of the Carnegie building, you had to go downstairs, over to the historic Carnegie building and back up again on the other side. When the library reopens, there will be walkways connecting the Carnegie building to the second floor of the newer portion of the library.

5. Carnegie Cafe

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The cafe has been given a new name and moved further inside the first floor of the library. Carnegie Cafe will sell snacks, coffee and other drinks.  There will be a nice open seating area and opposite will be the new Friends of the Library store.

6. Teen Space

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Older kids will have their own space that is no longer attached to the Children’s area – in fact it’s on a separate floor!  This special teen space will be on the 2nd floor.  I think this distinction is a great thing for both the teens and the younger kids!

7. Open Reading Room

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Part of the 3rd floor was taken down to open up this area and make it into a large space for comfortable seating and reading, as well as for special events and speakers.

8. Awesome View of Downtown

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The facade of the building was taken down and replaced by windows and now you have an amazing view of downtown!  I think I could sit here all day!

9. Outdoor Reading Room

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Okay, this might be my favorite one on the list! I’m super excited about the outdoor reading room with free Wi-fi and and opening to Topiary Park.

10. Access to Topiary Park from the Library

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I remember nervously walking my kids past the entrance and exit of the library parking garage to get from the library to Topiary park.  Now all you need to do is just walk through the outdoor reading room!  Another huge win for parents!

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Grand Opening Celebration on June 25th!  The ribbon cutting ceremony happens at 12:00 PM!  Following that, there will be tours, entertainment and time to explore the library.  There will be a special PBJ & Jazz concert at 2:00 in Topiary Park and the movie, The Lorax, will be shown outdoors at dusk.  On Sunday, June 26th, author David Baldacci will speak.  These events are free, but the Sunday event will require registration.  See this link for information on the Grand Opening Celebration. I’m really looking forward to this downtown institution being reopened with all the new things it has to offer!  See you there!


If you’re looking for a library to visit in the meantime, check out my posts about 4 great branches of Columbus Metropolitan Library: North, South, East and West: Great Libraries for Reading AND Playing, Part 1 and North, South, East and West: Great Libraries for Reading AND Playing, Part 2.

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