Things to do

Recreations Outlet

Playtime

I've been dying to take the kids to this indoor play gym. Mostly because I continue to see groupon coupons that make the price for indoor fun appetizing. We have been in the house for a few days due to rain storms, so I knew the kids had some pent up energy they needed to release, so it was a great excuse to try it out! Located close to the Zoo in Powell, Ohio. It took about 30 minutes from downtown Columbus. I purchased a groupon for 3, 2-hour play passes for $10!!! Regular prices are $6 for 2 hours of play for children older than 1, and if you can make it before 11am on Tu-Th then you can get a discounted rate of $2. 

 

So this gym is unique in which it is a business that sells outdoor play gyms, trampolines, basketball courts, soccer equipment, etc. They allow patrons to come in to play on the equipment to promote the sell of the items. And yes it does make you want to drop a quick $2500 for a play set, but the kids are equally excited to have the ability to just come play. They also host birthday parties, local events, and sponsorship's. Kennedy had a blast jumping on the trampoline sets, while Karter conquered all the climbing walls, swings and slides.

There is no snacks or drinks located in the building. I am a packer, so I made sure to carry small snacks and water because my kids when playing always need to refuel. The girls were exhausted after a few hours of play, so I defiantly would say it was worth it. I give this a child friendly review of 10 out of 10!

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For more information please visit www.http://recreationsoutlet.com

 

Groveport Aquatic Center

Swimming done right!

I'm a sucker for a good pool. This year was my first summer off so I made it a point to travel to local districts to visit their pools. Something about Groveport just doesn't compare to the rest, it's in a league of it's own. I have not been in the indoor pool so this review is regarding the outdoor pool. So why do I love it so? Because all that this outdoor space offers. They not only have a kids space with a mini water slide, tons of things spraying out of no where. But they have a splash pad within feet of the main kids area for kids who just want to splash around. This was awesome for Karter (3) because there were times when the pool was just too overwhelming and she just wanted a little breathing room and the splash pad was a perfect place to do it! 

They have a huge lazy river, and Kennedy enjoyed jumping off the diving boards along with going down huge water slides. Plenty of seating, and places for Mama to get a tan, both me and the girls were dead tired when we left and nap time lasted awhile (lol). One con (because I am honest), there is no hot food options or concessions. There are only vending machines that take cash only with small snacks inside. I was prepared so I packed a small picnic basket of goodies because swimming keeps kids hungry. I did observe families ordering, or bringing in pizza from local pizza places. Daily rates are $8 for children and adults, and free for children under 2! The amenities were far more than the cons so I give this a rating of 9 out of 10!

For more information please visit: http://www.groveportrec.com/235/Aquatic-Center-Outdoor-Water-Park

 

Fun In The Jungle

Not Your Average Play Place

Am I the only parent who is signed up for notifications and alerts for family fun!? Okay good, recently I received a notice of a new play place located in Sunbury, Ohio about 30 mins outside of Downtown Columbus. What initially sparked my interest was the fact that this play place was not only geared towards little ones, but offered fun for older children. Anytime I can get both girls to have fun in the same place is a win in my book!

Upon my arrival and after talking to the owner, I discovered that this recently former skating rink turned play gym has been open for 5 months. Offering a small snack bar serving hot dogs, and pizza. They also have a video arcade, virtual reality games, mini bowling and a play gym. Karter's favorite spot was jumping off the soft play animals, and going around a self propelling train track over and over again. Kennedy was in for a loop with the VR games, and both of them couldn't get enough of the mini bowling sessions. My coupon offered 2 vouchers with unlimited arcade time for $12!! But I felt everything was very reasonable priced and affordable. They also offer birthday parties and they plan to continue to expand. I give this a child friendly review of 10 out of 10! 

For more information please visit https://funinthejungle.com/

 

Chick- Fil- A

Small Play Place

I have to admit today I was exhausted. I really couldn't muster up enough energy to do anything big. So we decided to keep simple. I believe sometimes simplicity is best. As parents we begin to feel like we have to take lavish trips, or provide big experiences for our children to grow. I have begin to understand that it's the time spent that is most valuable. 

With that being said we went to Chick-Fil-A in Grove City. There are several placed around Columbus, Ohio and they are all equip with play equipment. We ordered our favorite chicken sandwiches, and as my older daughter and I talked, we watched Karter play in the small play area. This gym is similar to McDonald's, but I like it a little better because the chicken is real, and the overall atmosphere is clean and friendly. The play gym is for children 6 and under, totally free, and a quick way for kiddos to burn a little energy. So if your looking for simply joy and some yummy food look no further. I give this fun little play place a 10 out of 10. 

For locations and menu visit https://www.chick-fil-a.com/About/Great-Food

Vertical Adeventures

Rock Climbing 

 

Who knew this hidden gem existed. A little birdie (co-worker) mentioned a cool rock climbing place in the area in which we work. They know I am always in search of cool activities to do with my kiddos so they had to share. Located in Worthington about 20 minutes from downtown Columbus. Vertical Adventures has 2 locations. The biggest gym offers more adult activities ranging from classes, to open gym. The smaller gym, the one we visited is geared towards children of all ages.

Let's talk about the space for a minute. The gym itself was pretty amazing. Wall to wall coverage of climbing walls, obstacle courses, and all you could think of balance and coordination equipment. Great for sensory play, and gross motor development. Both Karter and Kennedy were able to maximize the entire space. 

The smaller gym offers kids classes, camps, and host many events such as family nights, and movies. There is a small picnic area designated for snacks and food: you bring yourself. There is small vending for drinks. 

Probably the best part of the entire experience is that the first visit is totally FREE!!! And after that you can purchase day passes ($5), and monthly passes as well. The staff do an amazing job showing you how to use the equipment, supporting you during the process, and trusting you enough to challenge yourself. Kids free play is offered Mon, Tues, and Friday 10a-3p. Be sure to check online for other scheduling. If I could give this facility a rating it would be 20 out of 10. But since that doesn't make sense I will gladly give them a 10 out of 10!

Nick was awesome. And he is 7 months in to loc journey!

Nick was awesome. And he is 7 months in to loc journey!

For additional information please visit: https://www.verticaladventuresohio.com/

 

Worthington Community Center- Indoor Pool

Let's Swim

This year is the first year I have had a actual spring break. I am usually working and the kids are in a camp, but this year things have changed. Gratefully my new position at the school district has provided me with regular breaks. In the great part about it is my kids are on that same schedule (Thank you baby Jesus). So when I checked the weather for the break I saw high 78 degrees and I immediately thought of water. It's been a year since we have went swimming and I couldn't resist planning a trip to the pool.

There are several community pools in Columbus. What attracted me to this pool was the location: center of Worthington, about 20 minutes from downtown. It's price: free for kids under 3, $5 for older children, and $8 for adults. The cost covers you for the day so you have the ability to come and go as you please.

Equipped with a lazy river, hot tub, water slide, and free swim. It was the perfect way to start our break. There are also local parks, gym equipment, track, ping pong, and community space to host events. Just a few tips to plan your trip: there is no food options, me and the girls packed a light lunch, swimming can make you hungry. There are vending machines that have both snacks and drinks at regular pricing. Pack swim towels, goggles, etc. They have floats and life vest at no extra cost. Be sure to check the swim schedule to make sure it is open for free swim because they do host classes. 

We enjoyed our visit for about 4 hours. As soon as the girls got in the car, they crashed. I give this indoor pool a solid 10 out of 10.

For more information please visit http://www.worthington.org/784/Aquatics

 

The Chiller Ice Haus (Ice Skating)

Nationwide Arena

The Chiller

We are now settled into our new home in downtown Columbus and I am ready to take full advantage! I have been out in about about in downtown searching for places to take the kids and have found so many spots to share. The weather has been great, which makes for a fun outdoor activity. We initially went downtown for the Blue Jackets " Winter Park" fun, stationed at Nationwide Arena, offered the full month of February. During the month they offer a outdoor ice skating rink, ice slides, hot cocoa, and roasted marshmallows. We were turned down due to the temperature being too warm causing all the ice to melt outside. So we begin walking around and quickly found that The Chiller "OhioHealth Ice Haus"  public indoor ice skating rink!! We have visited the location in Easton, but was surprised to see one tucked just 5 mins away from home. We quickly strapped up our gear and skated for a few hours. Admission runs $5-7 bucks and free for children under 2. Full time laughter watching the girls fall and get back up from the super slippery ice. No food but lots to drink with a "Tim Horton's" connected, it was the perfect early spring getaway. I give this experience a 10 out of 10! Lots of smiles. I would recommend helmets for small children, and jackets for the cool rink!

For more information on public skating times and days visit:

https://thechiller.com

 

Columbus Metro Library~Downtown

In a world full of IPads, be a book
— Mommy Magic

You can never go wrong with a trip to a library. Columbus and surrounding districts are full of them. This particular trip I took the girls to the recently renovated "downtown" library. Located in the center of Columbus. Not only does this library offer more books than you could imagine, it has a small art space, simple cafe, and an awesome kids room. Karter didn't want to leave. Filled with discovery at every corner. 50 book max for all check out items, and don't let that turn you away because at any age a child has the ability to get their own library card. Kennedy and Karter love using their own cards (independency), and it teaches my oldest to be responsible for her return dates as well as keeping up with her books. I really can't say enough about a library. Kids who read daily have higher test scores, language ability, and over excel in all areas of child hood development. Look out for reading programs in your local area, tutoring, homework help, story time, just to name a few. If your'e looking for a free but more than money can value resource, please take your child to a library regularly. This is a no brainer....this library and every library will always get a 11 out of 10 in my child friendly reviews!

For more detailed information, and to find a local library in you area visit: http://www.columbuslibrary.org/

 

COSI Center of Science and Industry

COSI Columbus Dynamic Hands-On Science Center

Oh how I love an adventure. COSI Science center is definitely a place to experience. Located in downtown Columbus, it offers a family fun culture of discovery and imagination. This gem is great for kids of all ages, and even adults. With each showcase/room offering a different education experience you won't forget. We traveled to space, learned more about the ocean, traveled back in time, engaged in sensory play, and used a heck of alot of pretend play and brain power!! This place is ahhh-mazing. They host workshops, adult nights, movies, birthday parties, and a cafeteria with tons of food options. I can't get enough of COSI especially because my oldest daughter is a science nerd. They offer affordable program packages for low income families as well as discounts and coupons offered online. Otherwise it can be pricey per visit, especially those with multiples. I wouldn't let the cost deter you from coming. If once a year can satisfy your soul, I think you and your child will be happy. I give this a child-friendly review of 9 out of 10. Only because cost makes it challenging to visit more often.

For more information on planning your visit please visit cosi.org.

 

Summer Movies Under The Stars

Movies By Moonlight

Summer brings me so much joy! Partly because of the weather, but mostly because of all the summer activities and long drawn out days. This FREE summer activity is not only free, it is offered throughout Central Ohio at local parks and community areas. Movies under the stars allows your kids the freedom of the outdoors, all while enjoying a movie that appears on a projector screen. My family packed up picnic style with blankets, chairs, snacks, etc. Find a space on the grass, and once the sun clears....a movie appears! I give this free summer activity a child friendly review of 10 out of 10. Be aware that movies are scheduled to start at dusk. My experience is that they will wait until nightfall (9-930p) before it really starts. No worries, some communities have parks, food trucks, etc to keep you entertained. Below is a list of all movies and districts they will appear! Hope you enjoy!

Please click the links to learn there location!

May 29 – The Main Event in Bexley, showing Big Hero 6

June 2 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Wizard of OZ

June 5 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing Planes

June 9 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Ratatouille

June 11 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing Brave

June 12 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing Balto

June 12 – Movies Under the Stars at Green Lawn Abbey, showing The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

June 13 – Movies in the Park at Whetstone Park, showing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

June 13 – Saturday Cinema on the Square in Lancaster, showing Paddington

June 16 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Father of the Bride

June 18 – Wex Drive-In on the lawn at the Wexner Center, showing The Darjeeling Limited

June 18 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

June 19 – Downtown Drive-In at North Market, showing Mean Girls

June 19 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing The Big Green

June 19 – Classic Movie Series at Everal Barn in Westerville, showing Hook

June 23 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing The Boxtrolls

June 25 – The Main Event in Bexley, showing Night at the Museum

June 25 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing Into the Woods

June 26 – Movies at the Pool, Hunters Ridge Pool in Gahanna, showing The Lego Movie

June 26 – Movie in the Park in Upper Arlington, showing Heavyweights

June 26 – Movie Nights at Columbus Commons, showing Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

June 26 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing Mary Poppins

June 30 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Hook

July 2 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing Hook

July 2 – Movie in the Park in Upper Arlington, showing WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods, Tri-Village

July 7 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Despicable Me

July 9 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing Maleficent

July 10 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing Remember the Titans

July 10 – Movies Under the Stars at Green Lawn Abbey, showing The Mad Magician

July 10 – Dive-in Movies at Zoombezi Bay, showing How to Train Your Dragon 2

July 11 – Saturday Cinema on the Square in Lancaster, showing How to Drain Your Dragon 2

July 14 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Paddington

July 16 – Wex Drive-In on the lawn at the Wexner Center, showing Touch of Evil

July 16 – Movie in the Park in Upper Arlington, showing Jumanji

July 16 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing When the Game Stands Tall

July 17 – Screen on the Green in Goodale Park, showing Poltergeist

July 17 – Dive-in Movies at Zoombezi Bay, showing Jumanji

July 17 – Classic Movie Series at Everal Barn in Westerville, showing Cinderella

July 17 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing Frozen

July 21 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success

July 23 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing Big Hero 6

July 24 – Downtown Drive-In at North Market, showing Batman

July 24 – Movie Nights at Columbus Commons, showing Annie (Original)

July 24 – Movies at the Pool, Hunters Ridge Pool in Gahanna, showing Big Hero 6

July 24 – Dive-in Movies at Zoombezi Bay, showing The Pirates-Band of Misfits

July 24 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing Ratatouille

July 28 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Cinderella (1950)

July 30 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing Planes: Fire & Rescue

July 31 - Topiary Garden Theater Night at the Movies in the Topiary Park, Jurassic Park

July 31 – The Main Event in Bexley, showing The Incredibles

July 31 – Movie in the Park in Upper Arlington, showing Big Hero 6

July 31 – Friday Night Flicks in Pickerington, showing Rudy

July 31 – Dive-in Movies at Zoombezi Bay, showing RIO 2

Aug 1 – Movie Night in the Shoe, showing Big Hero 6 ($5 per person for Team Buckeye/Pelotonia)

Aug 4 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Harry Potter at the Sorcerer’s Stone

Aug 7 – Dive-in Movies at Zoombezi Bay, showing Penguins of Madagascar

Aug 8 – Saturday Cinema on the Square in Lancaster, showing Cinderella (2015)

Aug 11 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Big Hero 6

Aug 13 – Wex Drive-In on the lawn at the Wexner Center, showing Cry-Baby

Aug 14 – Movies Under the Stars at Green Lawn Abbey, showing Psycho

Aug 14 – Movie in the Park in Upper Arlington, showing Paddington Bear

Aug 14 – Downtown Drive-In at North Market, showing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Aug 18 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing UP

Aug 20 – Fryer Flicks on the Hill in Grove City, showing Wall-E

Aug 21 – Screen on the Green in Goodale Park, showing Wizard of OZ

Aug 21 – Classic Movie Series at Everal Barn in Westerville, showing Beethoven

Aug 21 – The Main Event in Bexley, showing Breakfast Club (date night!)

Aug 25 – Movies by Moonlight at Easton, showing Back to the Future

Aug 28 - Topiary Garden Theater Night at the Movies in the Topiary Park, showing The Wiz

Aug 28 – Movie Night in the Shoe, showing Avengers ($5 per person benefits Team Buckeye/Pelotonia)

Aug 28 – The Main Event in Bexley, showing Harry Potter

Aug 28 – Movie in the Park in Upper Arlington, showing McFarland, USA

Sept 11 – Movies Under the Stars at Green Lawn Abbey, showing The Blob

Sept 18 – Screen on the Green in Goodale Park, showing Babe

Sept 25 – The Main Event in Bexley, showing Sandlot

Sept 26 - Topiary Garden Theater Night at the Movies in the Topiary Park, showing The Secret Garden