Archive for the ‘Free Activities’ Category

hipizzamanWith all this snow and the frigid temperatures, the munchkin and I had to get out of the house today.

I just happened to be looking at the North Market’s website this morning to see if they had anything going on this weekend and found out that they are having story time every Thursday for the month of January. 

The story time program is run by a librarian from the Columbus Public Library. 

The munchkin and I went today and had a great time. We read a few books and sang a few songs. She loved it and has been talking about it all day now. The librarian was great, and she had chosen some fantastic books to read.

The next story time is January 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Dispatch Kitchen on the 2nd floor.

And then after story time, we got Jeni’s Ice Cream. It’s OK to eat ice at 11:00 in the morning, right?

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On Saturday, October 4, the North Market will be hosting its Harvest Festival.

The Harvest Festival is free and has activities such as pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pumpkin bread contests; free cookies and apples for kids; face painting; crafts; and music. 

If you haven’t bought any local apples, pumpkins, squash or cider this fall, the Farmers’ Market at the North Market is a great place to do so. Last week, the selection was great. It seemed like there were more vendors at the market last week than in previous weeks. As usual, the Farmers’ Market opens at 8 a.m.

Scheduled Harvest Festival activities include: 
•Farmers’ Market and North Market merchants open at 8 a.m. 
•Pumpkin Bread contest, 9 a.m. 
•Live music by Slate Ridge, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
•Pumpkin Pie contest, 10 a.m. 
•Free pumpkin cookies for the kids, courtesy of Mozart’s Bakery, 10 a.m. while supply lasts. 
•Free apples for the kids, 10 a.m. while supply lasts. 
•Autumn crafts with the Columbus Jaycees, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
•Apple pie contest, 11 a.m. 
•Face painting, 11a.m. – 4 p.m. 
•Live music by Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk, 12 – 2p.m. 
•Live music by Loosely Strung, 2 – 4p.m.

For more information about Fall activities in Central Ohio read this post about Circle S Farms and a great website to find pumpkin patches and apple orchards.  

[Photo Credit: Pumpkins]

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Fall is beginning to make an appearance in Columbus, and the weather is beginning to cool down a little bit, which makes this the perfect time of year to visit some of Columbus’s great parks.

This weekend, my daughter and I went to Slate Run Metro Park, one of our favorite parks in Columbus.

First, we went to the Slate Run Living Historical Farm, which she loves. During this visit, she got to see baby ducks with their mama, along with horses, cows, pigs, and sheep. The sheep were as interested in her as she was with them. They seemed to enjoy her attention and pets. She also helped the staff feed the pigs some okra.  

After the farm, we explored more of the park. First, we went to Buzzard’s Roost Lake. The lake has a boardwalk that goes out over the lake. We spent close to an hour sitting on the boardwalk watching the fish and frogs. She loved dropping fallen leaves into the lake and watching them float away. She was content to just watch everything. She is at that amazing age where everything is fascinating. 

She also loved playing at the playground at the Buzzard’s Roost Picnic area. Slate Run is a great park. With the farm, lake, and playground, we spent about three hours there. Definitely worth a visit!

Location: The park and farm are location in northeastern Pickaway County. From I-270, take U.S. 33 east toward Lancaster to the Canal Winchester/S.R. 674 exit. Turn right onto Gender Rd./S.R. 674 and go about 2 miles until it dead-ends into Lithopolis Road. Turn left and go about 1/2 mile to S.R. 674. Turn right and go about 4 miles to the entrance on the right. 

Hours: The farm’s hours change seasonally. For September and October, the hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The farm is closed Mondays. Check the park’s website for current hours. 

Fee: The park and farm are free! 

For more about our previous adventures at the farm, visit this post.

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Today, my daughter and I went to the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival, which is a great event for kids. The festival had tons of art activities for kids.

While we were there, the munchkin colored on the sidewalk with chalk, which she loves to do. The nice people who supplied the chalk told us about Via Colori Columbus.

Via Colori is an Italian street painting festival. At Via Colori Columbus, more than 100 artists, both professional and amateur, will paint the sidewalks of Goodale Park.   

For the kids, there is Via Bambini, an area for kids to get creative with chalk. Along with the art, the festival also features lives music an food vendors. 

All proceeds, after expenses, go to Columbus Ohio charities – Homeless Families Foundation, Ohio Arts League, and CD101 for the Kids. 

Where: Goodale Park

When: September 13, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and September 14, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fee: Free! 

For more information about the event, call 614-580-7988.

[Photo Credit: Chalk]

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I was talking to a few friends the other day, and one of my friends didn’t know that the library had CDs, another didn’t know the library had DVDs. The library has more than just books!

The Columbus Public Library has CDs, DVDs, audio books, and computers to use. I can’t remember the last time I bought a book or CD for myself, or rented a DVD. I get all those things for free from the library. I save a ton of money that way. 

Audio books are also a great part of the library system. My daughter and I listen to them in car. I also put audio books on my iPod and listen to the them when I walk my dog.

Usually in the children’s and teen’s sections, the library has an area of the children’s CDs and DVDs. That makes them easy to find. 

Even if you local branch doesn’t have a good selection of DVDs or CDs, you have reserve them and have them sent directly to your local branch for you to pick up. To reserve a book, CD, or DVD, you find it in the catalog and then click reserve. The library will email or call you when it is waiting for you.  

The main branch is my favorite branch to visit. If you’ve never been there, it’s worth a visit. To find a branch near you, click here. The library is a great place to visit on a rainy day! 

[Photo Credit: Books]

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As summer is winding down, my daughter and I went to visit Powell’s water park for the first time today. She loved the park.

The water area is small, but has some neat features. There is a spray tunnel the kids can run through, buckets that dump water from the pole in the center of the water area, and water sprayers the kids can move themselves. She was a little hesitant at first since the water area was crowded with kids running, but after five minutes she joined in. 

Attached to the water area is a regular playground that she also liked. There are public bathrooms located behind the police station, and picnic benches around the water area for parents to sit. We will definitely try to visit the park one more time before the end of summer. 

Location: 47 Hall Street, Powell, Ohio 43065. The spray park is located behind the Powell City Hall and police station.

Columbus has two other free water parks that I know of: Ballantrae Park in Dublin and HomesteadPark in Hilliard.

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This week the munchkin and I went to the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. If you haven’t been to the main branch with kids, it is worth a visit.

The children’s area of the main branch is located on the library’s first floor. It has a large selection of books, much bigger than our local branch.

In addition to all the books, it has a play area for children 0 to 6 years old. The play area has puzzles, a toy kitchen, dress-up clothes, and a puppet show area.

Small tables with crayons and paper were set up around the childen’s area for the kids to color. Also, around the play area are computers with games. In the middle of the room is a tree to climb on. 

The library staff was friendly and helpful. When we arrived at the library, the staff had a craft set up for the children.

The library’s website lists events for all the locations. The main branch offers more programs for younger children than the local branches. 

Location: 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Parking: The main branch has a parking garage attached to the library. The first hour of parking is free.

Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

[Photo Credit: Library]

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