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OSU Airport and Barnstormer Diner

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Watching planes take off and land at the Ohio State University Airport is a fun (and free) activity for kids in Columbus! While you’re there, plan to have breakfast or lunch at Jack and Benny’s Barnstormer Diner next door!

Fun for Families at Ohio State University Airport and Jack and Benny’s Barnstormer Diner:

The Ohio State University Airport was one of our favorite places to visit! The observation deck was a great place to watch planes take off and land! The Airport recently went under a major renovation and the tower was closed for several months in 2018.

We recently revisited the OSU Airport to see what was new! I’ve updated this post with details about the newly remodeled observation deck so you know what to expect when you visit with your kids!

BEFORE:

Ohio State University Airport

AFTER:

Ohio State University Airport

The remodel is stunning! The observation tower is now an entire floor in the building and it’s beautiful! 

BEFORE:

observation deck at OSU airport

AFTER:

NetJets Observation Deck at OSU Airport

Here are a few highlights:

Snap a pic with Brutus!

boy standing next to Brutus Buckeye at OSU Airport

Shop for unique airplane related gifts!

gifts at OSU airport

Pick up a free coloring book!

free coloring book at OSU airport

Watch for planes, of course:

boys watching for planes at OSU airport

 

boys watching for planes at OSU airport

planes at Ohio state university airport

Identify planes using the pictures posted along the windows!

observation deck at OSU airport

Hang out in the lobby and enjoy some free popcorn!

lobby at OSU airport

lobby at OSU airport

free popcorn at OSU airport

Visit the timeline of the Ohio State University Airport to learn some fun facts about the history of the airport:

info wall at OSU airport

A few fun facts: the Columbus Zoo has used the airport when transporting manatees and panda bears and Barbara Bush landed at the airport in Air Force Two while President George H.W. Bush was in office.

Jack and Benny’s Barnstormer Diner

We love the breakfast at Jack and Benny’s Barnstormer Diner, the diner at the OSU Airport.  This is a really fun outing for kids AND adults!  The diner is adjacent to the terminal of the Ohio State University Airport and is filled with airport and airplane memorabilia.  The walls are covered with pictures and awards.

Jack and Benny's Barnstormer Diner

A door in the diner opens to a garage full of small planes:

planes at OSU airport

All kinds of breakfast (and lunch) options are available and reasonably priced.  Our meals were excellent!  The kids meals came with drinks with free refills (endless chocolate milk anyone?!) and they gave us adults coffees to go!  Needless to say we were all happy!

Jack and Benny's Barnstormer Diner

What kid could resist pancakes cut out like airplanes?!  That was a fun surprise:

pancakes at Jack and Benny's Barnstormer Diner

boy eating pancakes at Jack and Benny's Barnstormer Diner

Mmmmmmmmm.

Know Before You Go:

Jack and Benny’s Barnstormer Diner
2160 W. Case Rd, Columbus, OH 43235
Hours:
Monday-Friday 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Saturday-Sunday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
614-292-5699

Ohio State University Airport
2160 W. Case Road, Columbus, OH 43235
Observation Tower Hours: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
1-800-777-5488

Tips:

  • The best times to see planes landing and taking off are Monday and Friday mornings when the weather is clear!
  • There are no restrooms in the restaurant, they are on the first floor of the the airport terminal.
  • There is ample parking right in front of the restaurant and terminal.

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boys watching for planes at OSU Airport


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93 Things to Do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus

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Looking for things to do in Columbus around Thanksgiving? If you have family in town and/or a few days off of work and are looking for something to do, check out this list of 93 events and things to do Thanksgiving week in Columbus!

93 Things to do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus:

If there’s a chance you’ll need to walk (or skate) off an extra piece of pie (or two) or get bickering family members out of the house….tuck this list away! And have a happy week of thankfulness! (As always, please double check the link for exact details, dates and times!) There will not be an additional What Should We Do This Weekend? post this week. This is the list! 🙂

Things to Do Any Time Thanksgiving Week:

Light Tunnel at Conservatory Aglow

Tunnel of Light at Franklin Park Conservatory.

1. Conservatory Aglow is happening at Franklin Park Conservatory! While you’re there, check out the Gingerbread Competition.

2. Wildlights is in full swing all weekend at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium!

3. Visit LEGOLAND Columbus Discovery Center at Easton Town Center. LEGOLAND is open 365 days a year. Thanksgiving Hours are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and the last admission is at 3:00 PM.

Light Tunnel at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio in Hebron, Ohio

Drive Through Tunnel at WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio!

4. Drive through WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio in Hebron, Ohio to see over 1 million synchronized LED lights! Open every night from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM.

5. Christmas at the Castle, a Kingdom of Lights! at Landoll’s Mohican Castle features over 100,000 lights, a Christmas tree, holiday music and visits from Santa! This event will be $8.00 per car on Friday & Saturday nights, free Sunday-Thursday nights.

Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights, Alum Creek Campground

Drive Through Lights at Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights!

6. Drive through Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights, a holiday light display at Alum Creek Park Campground any night through January 1st, 5:30 PM – 9:30, until 10:30 on Friday and Saturday.

7. Take a road trip to visit the PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

8. Drop a letter in Santa’s Mailbox in Pickerington beginning Wednesday.

9. Check out the Thanksgiving Weekend special at Ten Pin Alley. Each day beginning Wednesday and running through Sunday there are different deals including $3 laser tag, half off arcade games, kids eat free and more! (Check the link for each day’s deals.)

10. For many people this is the week to get their Christmas Tree! Pick a farm or tree lot from this list of Christmas Tree Farms in Columbus and Beyond!

11. Friday through Sunday you can take a Holiday Carriage Ride at Easton Town Center!

12. Sign up for a Family Gingerbread House Decorating class at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna.

13, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is playing this Friday, Saturday and Sunday only at Ohio Theatre!

Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library

Holiday Train at Main Library, Columbus.

14. Visit the Holiday Train at Columbus Metropolitan Library – Main Library downtown! Or check out one of these 5 Holiday Trains Around Columbus!

15. Clifton Mill Lights opens the day after Thanksgiving! Gates open at 5:00 every night and the display runs through New Year’s Eve!

Think Outside the Brick LEGO Exhibit at Columbus Museum of Art.

Think Outside the Brick LEGO Exhibit at Columbus Museum of Art.

16. Think Outside the Brick is now on display at Columbus Museum of Art! This LEGO set up shouldn’t be missed and would make a great weekend outing! Don’t forget the museum is free on Sundays!

17. Drive through the Fairfield County Festival of Lights at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. This light display goes on opens Thanksgiving Day and runs through Christmas Day!

18. Winterfest opens at Kings Island on November 22 and operates select nights through December 31. . It includes ice skating, holiday characters, millions of lights, holiday shows, carolers, and the park will included 10 winter wonderlands to visit.

boy standing in Mall at Tuttle Crossing looking down on Santa.

Santa at his post at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing.

19. Take photos with Santa at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. Check the link for times.

20. Take photos with Santa at Easton Town Center. Check the link for times.

21. Take photos with Santa at Polaris Fashion Place. Check the link for times.

22. Drop a letter to Santa in Grandview Heights and get a letter back!

23. Visit Bubbles the Elf at Grandview Heights Public Library for a free activity each day!

24. Play with Purpose at Tree of Life Play + Cafe: bring in a donation of new hats, gloves or scarves for the Good Tidings Winter Wear store at SON Ministries through December 6 and get 50% off regular priced admission to Tree of Life Play + Cafe.


A BIG thank you to WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio for sponsoring this post!

Santa’s not the only one coming to town!! “WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio”, a drive-through Christmas light show, will be coming to National Trail Raceway in Hebron this holiday season!

This family-friendly event will feature a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights, all synchronized to music! Giant Christmas trees, floating snowflakes, shooting stars, dancing candy canes, and (a favorite of children of all ages) three enchanting tunnels of light will illuminate the night! Guests will be able to watch the lights dance around them to traditional and newer, rocking Christmas music from the warmth of their own vehicle.

This dazzling Christmas display will be offered rain or shine every evening, including holidays, from November 15 to January 5! The cost of admission is affordable at $7 per person and children 3 years old and under are FREE! You can also purchase a “Carload Pass” for vehicles with up to seven passengers for just $30!

Learn more at www.christmasinohio.com!


Holiday Lights in Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio

Holiday Lights in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Monday, November 25, 2019:

25. Play with Purpose at Tree of Life Play + Cafe!

26. Attend a Turkey Handprint Play Date at The Shops at Worthington Place.

27. Spend a Messy Monday Afternoon at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus.

28. Do Thanksgiving Crafts at Highbanks Metro Park.

29. Attend a second Turkey Handprint Play Date at The Shops at Worthington Place.

Christmas tree made of lights at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio

Lights at WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019:

30. Go to Farm & Forest School at Sunbury Urban Farm.

31. Celebrate Taco Tuesday at The Kitchen!

32. Watch Elf (Free Screening) at Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

33. Play Family Fun and Games at Homestead Metro Park.

hanging holiday decor at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio

Holiday Decor at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019: 

34. Go to Farm & Forest School at Sunbury Urban Farm.

35. Skate and Bounce at Skate Zone 71.

36. Play Family Fun and Games at Homestead Metro Park.

37. Take advantage of Cheap Skate Wednesdays at United Skates of America – Refugee Rd.

38. Make Cedar Wood Creations at Creative Art Bar Hilliard.

39. Thanksgiving Eve Glow Skate at Skate Zone 71.

40. Leave the kids at home for Thanksgiving Adult Skates at Skate Zone 71.

Blendon Woods Metro Park, Columbus, Ohio

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Thursday, November 28, 2019, THANKSGIVING DAY:

Happy Thanksgiving! Lots of chances to burn off that extra piece of pie (not that you need to …..)

41. Run the Chase Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Upper Arlington – use the code “esff” for $6 off your registration!

42. Turkey Trot! in Blendon Woods Metro Park.

43. Another chance for Thanksgiving Adult Skates at Skate Zone 71.

44. Family Thanksgiving Skate at United Skates of America – Refugee Rd.

Trees at Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Friday, November 29, 2019:

Black Friday doesn’t have to mean shopping! Check out these fun things to do!

45. Visit Christmas at the Market at Lynd Fruit Farm.

46. Take a Black Friday Hike at Clear Creek Metro Park (this one is a bit intense).

47. Run around at Toddler Open Gym at Thompson Recreation Center.

48. Go Black Friday Rollerskating at Skate Zone 71.

49. Drop off the kids for Kids Sew, Parents Go! at The Sewing Hive!

50. Opt Outside: Hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

51. More Black Friday Rollerskating at Skate Zone 71.

52. Attend Toddler Time with Fine Motor Friday at We Rock the Spectrum – Columbus.

53. Enjoy Indoor Amusements at Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm!

54. Find your tree at the Annual Christmas Tree Sale at Saint Mary School German Village.

55. Black Friday Rollerskating again at Skate Zone 71.

56. Check out the Dazzling Christmas Lights First Night in Westerville.

57. See the 71st Annual Lighting of The Licking County Courthouse.

58. Pizza Skate with the Trolls at Skate Zone 71.

59. Watch the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena.

60. See the 2nd Annual LDP Lighting Event! at Lucy Depp Park, a drive through light experience!

61. Tired of turkey? How about Friday Nights Unlimited Pizza Skate at Skate Zone 71?

62. Have Hot Cocoa with Queen Elsa! at Susie’s Bistro & Bakery.

Christmas Trees at HTH Farm Market, Columbus, Ohio

HTH Farm Market

Saturday, November 30, 2019:

63. Take a Fall Bird Walk at Deer Haven Park.

62. Shop Small Business Saturday in Grove City

63. Santa is Coming to Sunny Street Cafe!

64. Run the Columbus Hungry Turkey 5k/10k in Genoa Park.

65. Shop Small Business Saturday at Gramercy Books!

66. Take part in Moonlight Madness at Tanger Outlets.

67. Attend a Sensory Friendly Storytime at Barnes & Noble – Easton.

68. Check out the Annual Christmas Tree Sale at Saint Mary School German Village.

69. Attend Christmas at the Market at Lynd Fruit Farm.

70. Shop Small Business Saturday with Natterdoodle!

71. Attend a Saturday Storytime at Barnes & Noble – Dublin.

72. Get Free MEALS for KIDS! at Hilltop YMCA.

73. Shop the Holiday Bazaar at Vertical Adventures.

74. Do Gingerbread House Decorating with Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies.

75. Enjoy Indoor Amusements at Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm

76. Take part in Family Turkey Talk at Blendon Woods Metro Park

77. Watch Ohio Roller Derby’s Halloween vs. Christmas game: The Skatemare Before Christmas in the Lausche Building!

78. Head south for the Ashville Christmas Parade!

The word "Rejoice" in lights at Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights in Columbus, Ohio

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Sunday, December 1, 2019:

79. Take the kids to Toddler Time! at Get Air Pickerington.

80. Relax with Kids Yoga & Storytime – GoYoga + Cover to Cover at Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers

81. Another chance for the Annual Christmas Tree Sale at Saint Mary School German Village.

82. Celebrate Christmas in the Gardens at Hoover Gardens & Gift Center.

83. Shop Christmas at the Market at Lynd Fruit Farm.

84. Shop Moonlight Madness at Tanger Outlets.

85. Attend the Holiday Bazaar & Tree Lighting in the Short North Arts District.

86. Create Holiday Stack-ables at Creative Art Bar Hilliard.

87. Visit the 10th-Annual HolidayVille in Clintonville.

88. Shop the Holiday Artisan Market at 3060 ARTWORKS.

89. Attend the Holiday Open House in Old Worthington!

90. Send Letters to Santa in Hilliard!

91. Visit Seldom Seen Glaciers in Battelle Darby Metro Park (ages 13 and up!).

92. Attend a Disney Junior Holiday Party! at the Palace Theatre.

93. Watch the Hilliard Tree Lighting in Hilliard’s Station Park.


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*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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93 Things to do Thanksgiving Week in Columbus, Ohio


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9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus

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Fall is such a fun time in Central Ohio! Here are 9 things you can only do during the Fall in Columbus and Central Ohio!

What Are Some of the Best Things to do with Kids During the Fall in Columbus?

There are so many things that can only be done during the fall season and we love to take advantage of as many as we can! From pumpkin farms, to marching bands to model trains, here are 9 things we enjoy doing as a family during the fall!

1. Attend a Skull Session at St. John Arena

My kids love instruments and any kind of band, so we were excited, though a little nervous, about taking them to a Skull Session at OSU! It’s a great way to get caught up in the football spirit, even if you don’t have tickets to the game!

A Skull Session is basically a pep rally where the marching band plays, the players come out and the coach gives a little speech . . . it’s very high energy and really a lot of fun!

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I’d recommend either parking on West Campus (parking is $20!) and taking a shuttle or parking in a neighborhood along the Olentangy bike path and walking up the path to St. John Arena.

The Skull session happens 2 hours and 20 minutes before each game and lasts an hour. When it’s over, you can mull around amongst the tailgaters, pick up some free samples (1/4 of a Sugardale hot dog, anyone?) and enjoy the energy of game day.

We were nervous because we weren’t sure what would happen to our strollers when we got there! We were able to take our strollers (yes, we had two) into the arena, but we left them outside the gymnasium, along the outer wall. It was a risk, but no one decided to walk off with a stroller on game day. Phew! I don’t know where else you could put your stroller, as the seating in the gymnasium is very tight. It worked out for us and we were really glad we did it!

You can see the schedule of OSU games here! Friends recommended arriving 20-25 minutes early to get good seats, and I will pass that advice on to you. We got there around 9:20 AM for the 9:40 AM Skull Session and were able to get good seats facing the band.

2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

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There are so many pumpkin patch options, it’s kind of amazing! Every weekend in October is filled with Fall Festivals – honestly, I had no idea before I started this blog how many there are! Make sure to visit my post, Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals for a complete list!

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We recently visited Jaquemin Farms on a Monday! This one is great, in my opinion, because it is open during the week and for only $2 kids ages 3-10 can play in the corn box and run through the straw maze! Kids 2 and under are free! During the weekends, they have bouncy houses and the price is a bit higher. So if you have preschoolers at home during the week, this is a great way to spend an inexpensive morning at a pumpkin patch! Other weekday options include Circle S Farms, evenings at Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm.

If you want the BIG pumpkin farm experience complete with kettle corn, a zip line, a huge pumpkin trampoline, mazes, corn bins, pedal carts and more, make sure to check out 15 Things to Do at Leeds Farm!

Another place we love to go is Smith’s Farm Market! The picture below is a few years old, but they always have a large selection of pumpkins and picturesque settings for fun pictures with pumpkins!

smith-farm-market

3. Go Apple Picking

I’ve shared about our visit to Orchard and Company, and Branstool Orchards, and here’s a list of more apple picking ideas from Columbus Moms Blog! It’s getting late in the season, but there are still apples to be picked at many farms and a lot of them have farm festival weekends as well! If you’re looking for some options during the week (as opposed to the weekend), a few farms are open on select Fridays: Lynd Fruit Farm, and Cherry Hawk Farm, to name a few.

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4. Attend Boo at the Zoo at Columbus Zoo

boo-at-the-zoo

Boo at the Zoo happens for THREE weekends in October this year! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has added an additional weekend for 2019! The weekends in October are the 11-13th, 18th – 20th, and the 25th – 27th. Dress your kids (or yourself!) in costume and visit a lot of vendors in different areas of the zoo who want to fill your kid’s basket with candy! It’s also totally acceptable to take your baby in a cute pumpkin costume in a stroller and accept candy on his or her behalf! 😉

5. Take a Road Trip

I shared 6 Ohio Road Trips to Take This Fall here, one of them being the Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek. Even if you can’t make it for the festival, a drive to Amish Country will be beautiful when the leaves (finally!) start to change!

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More fun road trip ideas include:

Fall is my favorite time of year for a road trip!

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6. Visit a Metro Park

Once the leaves start to change, there are some great options for leaf viewing in our local Metro Parks! A great one is Battelle Darby! There are walking paths through the woods and also bison viewing! While you’re there, check out the living stream in the Nature Center!

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Inniswood Metro Park is also beautiful in the fall. Seriously, check out this picture I took during the fall (below)! It felt like a fairy tale! It was amazing!

7. Visit a City Park

Don’t underestimate your local city park for fall beauty. Here is a list of all the Columbus City ParksFranklin Park is particularly beautiful in the fall! Keep an eye out for the Harvest Parties at Columbus Rec Centers. You don’t have to go far to celebrate! 🙂

columbus parks

8. See Model Railroads at COSI

Mark your calendars for Model Railroad Days at COSI: November 20-24, 2019. My kids LOVE this special couple of days when several model railroad clubs take over a few galleries at COSI. There are a lot of model trains to see and also trains to play with! It only comes once a year, but it’s one of those things my oldest son always asks about!

model railroad days at COSI

9. Visit the Huntington Holiday Train at Main Library

This is something I consider a Christmas tradition for our family, but it does arrive before Thanksgiving, so technically, it’s a fall activity, right? 😉  In mid November, the train will be installed at the New Main Library! It’s really beautiful, and if you have train lovers, like I do, it’s something you have to see!

Huntington Train

What else would you add to the list of “can’t miss” fall activities in Columbus?

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9 things to do with your kids this fall in Columbus, Ohio


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