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What Should We Do This Weekend? February 3-5, 2017

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1. Kids Get in Free at Newport Aquarium

When: through February 26, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM most days, 7:00 PM on weekends
Location: One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071
Phone: 1-800-406-3474

If you’re in the mood for a road trip, the Newport Aquarium is about 2 minutes from downtown Cincinnati and throughout the month of February, you can get one free kids ticket for each adult ticket purchased!

2. Kid’s Meal Special at Nutcracker Family Restaurant

When: Through February, 2017
Location: 63 E. Broad St., Pataskala, OH 43062
Phone: 740-964-0056

Kids 10 and under can get a free Tin Lunch Box with the purchase of a special $5.99 Kid’s Meal!

3. First Friday at Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

When: Friday, February 3, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 44 W. 4th St., Mansfield, OH 44902
Phone: 419-522-2332

If you’re interested in checking out Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, the museum is open late for Mansfield’s Shop Hop Night and admission is half price ($4/person)!

4. First Friday at Firefly Cafe

When: Friday, February 3, 3017
Time: until 8:00 PM
Location: 4822 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-230-2375

On the first Friday of each month, Firefly Cafe stays open for play until 8:00 PM! For dinner, Donatos in Clintonville will deliver to the cafe!

5. Blue Jackets Winter Park in the Arena District

When: Friday, February 3 – Sunday February 26, 2017
Time: hours to be announced
Location: Across from Nationwide Arena

Blue Jackets’ Winter Park begins on February 3! Open skate times will be announced but the Mad River Mountain Kids’ Slide hours are as follows: Monday – Friday: 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM.

6. Ice Cream for Breakfast Day at Cookie Dough Creamery

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 7227 N High St, Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-547-0660

Cookie Dough Creamery is celebrating National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day by opening at 7:00 AM and adding waffle bites and maple syrup to the self-serve sundae bar! Wear your pajamas! There will be gift cards for winners in the categories of funniest, wildest and sweetest pajamas! Afterwards, you can shop at the Worthington Farmer’s Market, starting at 9:00 AM at the Shops at Worthington Place!

7. Valentine’s Photo Box at Home Depot

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (until supplies last)
Location: your local Home Depot

In this free workshop for kids, your child can build and decorate a Valentine’s photo box! Participants receive a certificate, an apron and a commemorative pin!

8. Ice Cream for Breakfast Day at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM
Location: All Columbus Jeni’s Ice Cream Locations

To celebrate National Ice Cream for Breakfast day, all Jeni’s scoop shops will open at 9:00 AM and 100% of sales from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM will benefit the Columbus Foundation’s Gift of Kindness fund!

9. Young Child Open House at Columbus Museum of Art

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 480 E. Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-221-4848

During this special open house you can learn about what CMA has to offer the 5 and under crowd! There will be kid-friendly activities, even for those under 2! Drop in anytime between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, no reservations required. Free with admission or membership.

10. Mini-Me Weekends at Level 1 Arcade

When: Every Saturday and Sunday
Time: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 130 Hutchinson Ave. Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: 614-681-0518

All ages are welcome to play arcade games and skeeball for free with the purchase of a beverage (kids’ beverages available)! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

11. Playdate in the Park (Indoors!) at Powell Library

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: 460 South Liberty St., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-888-9160

City of Powell Parks and Recreation has teamed up with the Delaware County District Library for this free indoor play time! There will be stories, parachutes, bubbles, a giant soccer ball and more!

12. Pre-Valentine’s Day Fun at The Honey House

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 3937 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 740-542-1889

Daniel Cooper, Proprietor of Pure Imagination Chocolatier in Grandview, Ohio, will be in the store to demonstrate things you can make for Valentine’s Day at home with chocolate!

13. Super Bowl Sunday Skating at United Skates of America

When: Sunday, February 5, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: 3362 Refugee Rd, Columbus, OH 43232
Phone: 614-239-7202

There will be two skating sessions: 1-3:30 pm & 4-7 pm. If you wear your favorite team jersey, admission is only $2!

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ICYMI: Exploring Clintonville with Your Kids: Cover to Cover + Dough Mama

*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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Columbus Christmas Staycation 2016

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When I was a kid, this was the best week of the year: the week between Christmas and New Year’s!

I picture the week being filled with long, restful days filled with playing with new toys, padding around in pajamas, eating cookies  and sleeping in every morning. We all know that’s just a page out of a Pottery Barn Kids magazine. Real life looks more like kids fighting over toys, crashing from too much sugar and NEVER sleeping in!

If you’re enjoying a Columbus staycation this week, you’re probably going to need to get out of the house! I’ve got some ideas for you! For each day, I’m featuring one main idea and a couple of other events going on that day. This will be my only post for the week! Don’t forget to check out the 2016 Columbus Holiday Scavenger Hunt to check off the list throughout the week!

MONDAY

Ohio History Center

Visit the museum (which is open for special holiday hours this week) to see the holiday train display, the Lustron home decorated for Christmas and the finalists in the LEGO Design Challenge!  The museum will be open every day through January 8th. Monday through Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Make sure to click here to read about all there is for kids to do at Ohio History Center!

More Events:

  • 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – The Bugman at Franklin Park Conservatory
  • 12:00 PM – 8:30 PM – $1 Roller Skating at Skate Zone 71
  • 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

TUESDAY

Recreations Outlet

By Tuesday, you may be reaching all-time-high levels of cabin fever and sugar overload! Take the kids to Recreations Outlet to let them run around and get out all that energy! The retail store doubles as a play area with lots of playground equipment, trampolines, basketball hoops, soccer goals and more! There’s plenty of room to run, very few chances to break anything, and the best part is that during their special Winter Break Playtime, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, it’s only $2 per child to play! See more pictures and info about our visit here.

More Events:

  • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Open Play at Easterseals
  • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Open Play at SuperGames
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Open Play at SuperGames

WEDNESDAY

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

Take a road trip to the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum in Mansfield! Just one hour away from downtown Columbus, this hands-on children’s museum is great for children 12 and under! On Wednesday, The Little Ren Players, from Renaissance Theater will be there from 10:15 AM – 11:00 AM, acting out interactive fairy tales! My kids had a blast at the museum where there are cars to drive around, houses to play in, businesses to run, dinosaur bones to dig for, a water table and much more! See more about our visit here!

More Events:

THURSDAY

Blendon Woods Metro Park

All week long (Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM), the metro park is hosting their Winter Break Scavenger Hunt and Craft time! Stop in to the Nature Center to do a scavenger hunt and a winter-themed craft! The Nature Center at Blendon Woods has large viewing windows and some “please touch” bins full of all sorts of things kids can touch and feel! My kids were big fans of those boxes! 😉

More Events:

  • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Open Play at Easterseals
  • 10:00 AM – PreK Storytime at Scioto Audubon
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Play to Learn at Columbus Metropolitan Library, Franklinton Branch

FRIDAY

Grove City Library

Check out the new Grove City Library! There’s a great kids area with a puppet theater, Duplos, toddler toys and cozy reading areas! During Winter Break, the library is having Winter Break at the Movies! At 2:00 PM every day December 27-30, they will be showing a movie with popcorn and crafts! If 2:00 PM doesn’t work for you, all day, each day they will be offering Building with Boxes, where children of all ages are welcome to pop in and create!

More Events:

SATURDAY

Grandview Library

Grandview Library has a great play area for kids with a train table, doll house, Duplos, puzzles, and there’s always an area for drawing and coloring. On New Year’s Eve you can join them for Noon Year’s Eve where you can count down to Noon with your Pre-K kids!

Looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids? Here are some more options!

SUNDAY

Columbus Museum of Art

The museum is open on New Year’s Day and this is a great chance to see Think Outside the Brick! PLUS, admission to the Museum is FREE on Sundays! This LEGO exhibit is a temporary exhibit that will only be on display until February 26, 2016. If your kids love Legos, it’s a must see! There are also Legos available for free building and the Wonder Room is across the hall for more fun with kids!

Happy New Year’s Day! The lights are still on at Columbus Commons, State Auto Christmas Corner, Wildlights, the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival and Bicentennial Park! See my post: 10 of our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions for more info!

Thanks for following along with us this year! I truly hope you enjoy your week and have a Happy New Year!

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ICYMI: 2016 Columbus Holiday Scavenger Hunt


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MEGA Train List for Central Ohio and Beyond

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My kids love trains! I have been to *almost* every place on this list! When Jaden was 3, he could have gone to Barnes and Noble every single day to play with Thomas. This list isn’t so much for your kids as it is for you! Of course your kids will love these places, but this list is to keep YOU from going insane from doing the same thing every day! 😉 A good number of these things are special events that are only available for a short time! So check the list and mark your calendars because many of those are coming up this month! You, too, can be a really useful engine! 😉

1. Paul Busse Model Garden Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory, downtown Columbus

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The train in the picture below is up nearly year round, but the one above makes a special appearance during the holidays! Check the link for info on Merry and Bright!

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2. Grandview Library, Grandview Heights

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One great library with a train table!

3. Huntington Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library, downtown Columbus

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The Huntington Holiday Train arrives in mid-November and the Main Library hosts an Open House on November 30th, which will include hot chocolate and cookies, crafts and the lighting of Topiary Park! For even more trains, keep an eye on the Hilliard and Gahanna branches which will offer Polar Express programs this year!

4. Ohio Railway Museum, Worthington

The museum has been working on repairing the tracks so no train rides are available as of today, but they hope to be up and running for the holidays!

5. The Train Station, Clintonville

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Model trains are for sale here and they also have a small play area for kids!

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6. Moody Street Trains, Clintonville

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Model trains are for sale here and there is a train table for playing. On Saturday, December 3, 2016, they will host the 2nd Annual National Lionel Train Day which will feature prizes, face painting and a visit from Santa!

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7. Model Railroad Days at COSI, downtown Columbus

Model Railroad Days are November 16-20, 2016 this year and large model train sets are available for viewing and there are also trains to play with! During the weekend you can watch the movie Rocky Mountain Express in the theater. At Christmastime, The Polar Express is shown as well! (p.s. there is also a train to play with in the little kidspace at COSI!)

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8. Barnes and Noble, various locations

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Barnes and Noble offers the hope that your children will play with trains while you quietly sip coffee and read a magazine.

9. Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Hilliard

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The Hilliard Branch is a fun library for kids and has a Chuggington train table.

10. Von Maur, Polaris Fashion Place

In the children’s section of the store, there is a train that runs along the wall and a train table for playing!

11. Easton Express Railway, Easton Town Center

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This outdoor train track is always decorated for whatever season it happens to be and is a big hit with the kids!

12. BrickUniverse, Columbus Convention Center

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There are lots of working LEGO trains at this once-a-year LEGO Expo!

13. Delaware County Model Railroaders’ Open Houses, Delaware

Model railroads are set up on these special open-house dates!

14. Great Train Show at Ohio Expo Center

This expo is coming January 14-15, 2017 and includes model railroads, train dealers, hands-on exhibits and more!

15. Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville

We stumbled upon this train track behind the offices at Inniswood. I couldn’t find any info on if/when it is used, but if you know, please leave a comment below!

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16. Holiday Train Display at Ohio History Center

This special train is on exhibit during the holiday season! It will be on display November 28, 2016 – January 4, 2017.

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There are other trains on the grounds of the Ohio History Center year round, including one inside the building that can be sat in, and the one seen below that sits outside.

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17. Schiller Park in German Village

This is a great park with a train that can be played on!

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18. Alum Creek Park North, Westerville

This park is affectionately known as “the train park” – and aptly so!

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19. Henceroth Park, Grove City

This park offers lots of vehicles to play on including a jeep, boat and this wooden train!

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20. North America Train Ride at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

For $1 per person, you can ride a train around the North American exhibit at the zoo!

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21. Christmas Time Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club

For 4 weekends in December, the club puts on an open house featuring giant model railroad layouts, an interactive Thomas the Tank Engine display and more! Admission is free!

22. Open Garden Tour by the members of Columbus Garden Railway Society

On the second Sunday in September, members of the Columbus Garden Railway Society open their houses (gardens!) for a tour of their own Garden Railroads!

BEYOND COLUMBUS . . .

23. Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, Mansfield

One of the larger exhibits at the Little Buckeye Museum is the model train display and nearby train tables for playing!

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24. Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, Bellevue

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There are tons of trains on display here, may of which you can climb aboard! This museum has indoor and outdoor components and the gift shop has a train table for playing!

25. Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc., Findlay

This organization offers train rides and holiday events (including the North Pole Express), a museum, gift shop and model train displays!

26. The Buckeye Express Diner, Bellville

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Eat dinner in an OSU-themed train car! There is a train playground outside too!

27. Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, Dennison

This museum has a railroad car just for kids, model trains and a scavenger hunt just for kids!

 28. Lodi Station Outlets, Lodi

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This outlet mall is built with a train theme! You can purchase tickets to take a train ride around the property!

29. EnterTAINment Junction, West Chester

This venue offers displays, a museum, seasonal rides and a funhouse!

30. Day Out with Thomas, various locations

These special days only happen a few times a year at Ohio locations and include a 25-minute train ride, kids activities, live music and more!

31. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Northeast Ohio

The trains here run mainly on the weekends and there are several events scheduled throughout the year, including a Christmas Tree Adventure!

32. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville

This railway offers special trips throughout the year including a Santa Train on December 18, 2016. Tickets are limited.

33. LM & M Railroad, Lebanon, Lebanon

This historic railroad offers special events including the Day out with Thomas and North Pole Express!

34. Train-O-Rama, Marblehead

One of Ohio’s largest multi-gauge model railroad displays open to the public! Trains are for sale in the gift shop as well!

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ICYMI: 5 Moms of Nationwide Share their Favorite Places to take their Kids in Columbus


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