Where the Adventure Begins....

Our beloved teacher and Guide to All Things Outdoorsy, Jared Goodykoontz, has shown us once again just how incredibly talented he is by writing a book designed to help families strengthen their bonds through and with nature. Where the Adventure Is is the first book in a series planned to highlight various ways to connect with nature and experience all the nuances that many miss. The book makes it clear that there are unlimited outdoor adventures accessible to those who just know how to look.

When asked why he decided to write a series of nature books, Jared told us, "Nature and children are my passions, and I have been blessed to combine the two in my job, every day! I love the magic of our animal brothers and sisters, and the mind-blowing complexity of our state and all its natural places. I know our Earth and our minds are healthier when we connect with nature, and I want to bring that to my students and our home.

The book features charming illustrations of natural elements from Goodykoontz's land (which were returned after the artwork was created). You can purchase a copy of the book at any of our LDBB Centers, and you'll be delighted to know that 15% of all of the profits from the series will go to local wildlife organizations with this first book's profits benefiting the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

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Committed to Fresh & Delicious

Thoughts on our recent trip to the farms that provide our food.

This past June, we (Sarah and Carly, our chef) went to visit two of the farms that supply some of the food we prepare in our kitchens. We'd been getting our beef and pork from Butcher & Grocer in Grandview for quite some time, and were considering buying our chicken from them as well. We have great faith in Tony Tanner, the owner of Butcher & Grocer, and trusted him when he told us the local, sustainable chicken from King Family Farm was as good as it gets. But, we wanted to check it out for ourselves. So, we hopped into the car and headed down to southeast Ohio to meet the people behind the poultry.

It was a scorching-hot day—remember June?! —and we found J.B., the farm owner, giving his beautiful, healthy chickens aloe vera juice. "Cools them down," he said looking up. "Don't know how it works, just know it works." We liked him immediately. As the day progressed, and we met J.B.'s wife Charlene and the rest of the family, we grew more and more confident in our choice. The Kings do all sorts of things, large and small, to ensure the health and comfort of their animals. Their chickens spend their days in green pastures that are never sprayed with chemicals, and their nights protected from the elements. And the Kings never use antibiotics or growth hormones. "People always tell me our chicken tastes different," J.B. told us. "That's because it actually tastes the way it's supposed to." We were sold.

When we left the Kings, we headed to Shagbark Seed & Mill in Athens, which supplies us with our polenta. It's a small operation that produces food with great big flavor using old-fashioned equipment, and we loved seeing not only how they work, but what a great effect they're having on the local economy.

As we were driving home, we reflected on how lucky we are to be able to make a difference for so many. By choosing these high-quality, thoughtful producers and farmers to provide us with our ingredients, we're not only making sure our/your kids get the best there is, we're also helping Ohio communities grow stronger.

At LDBB, we talk a lot about how we're all connected, and we're delighted to say that after our visits, we feel more in touch with the earth and one other than ever before. Check out out monthly cuisine here:

LDBB is partnering with Yao Cheng, LDBB Parent & Designer to support a tremendous cause!

Little Dreamers Big Believers would like to feature one of our amazing parents and their beautiful watercolor designs. Yao Cheng, a parent at our Grandview Station center reached out to us about an opportunity to come together through art. Yao has decided to use her artistic gifts to give back to the displaced families in our country by donating all proceeds from the sale of her prints to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. We have a sample of her watercolor at each of our center locations in the lobby.  From the sample you can see the beauty and passion she has put into her work. Please ask a center director if you are interested in purchasing or go directly to her website in the link below. Thank you for including us in such an inspiring and important cause Yao!

 

About the Designed: Yao Cheng is a local watercolor artist & designer where she creates her bright and distinct watercolors for art prints, stationery, tea towels and more.

Yao was inspired by the stories of the immigrant children and families who have been separated at the border, Yao has created a watercolor print titled “Together” that speaks to the beauty of love, inclusion, and family. Together our love and support for each other is boundless!

Yao’s Inspiration: Different-sized circular clusters layered together symbolize the love and connection felt between all of us- children, parents, friends, neighbors and strangers. As a mother, Yao was really taken by the idea of children holding hands, the genuine love for their parents is reflected in the bright colors used. The diversity of colors used also celebrates that no matter where we come from, what we all have in common is our love for one another.

All of Yao’s proceeds will be donated to Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. 

This organization helps to advocate for the children and they have been active about reuniting the ones that have been separated. You can read more about them here.

8” x 10” print: archival inks, 100% cotton rag on 330 gsm matte

Price: $28 for one print or a set of 2 for $50 to share with a family member or a friend. You can purchase through this link: bit.ly/YaoChengTogether or on Yao’s website: www.yaochengdesign.com. The artist studio is located at 57 E. Gay Street, Floor 2F, Columbus, Ohio 43215., where you can view more of the prints she has created!

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Suggested reading for our June Ocean unit for our families to read at home!

Our center-wide theme this month is Outstanding Ocean. Below are suggested booklist for the month—perfect for bedtime.

Infants and Toddler Bedtime Read Alouds

  • Baby Beluga (Raffi Songs to Read) by Raffi

  • Yellow Ball by Molly Bang

  • Goodnight Octopus (I Can Do It Book) by Caleb Burroughs, Cottage Door Press

  • Good Night Ocean (Good Night Our World) by Mark Jasper

Preschool Imaginative Read Alouds Perfect for Bedtime

  • Dory Story by Jerry Pallotta, David Biedrzycki

  • If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead

Pre-K

  • A Whale Who Dreamt of a Snail: A bedtime picture book about our dreams, and how we are connected to the other inhabitants of our world by William Heimback, Angelina Tolentino

  • Water Beds: Sleeping in the Ocean by Gail Langer Karwoski 

Books Your Child will Explore in the Classroom

Suggested Books for all ages this June:

  • Over in the Ocean: In the Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon

  • A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea (a barefoot book singalong, audio CD) by Jessica Law

  • Octopus’s Garden (Audio CD included) by Ringo Starr, illustrated by Ben Cort

  • Yellow Submarine: a Panorama Pop by The Beatles, illustrated by Heinz Edelmann
    **** Available to preorder now on Amazin, release date is June 12th, 2018

  • Port Side Pirates (a barefoot book singalong, audio CD) by Oscar Seaworthy

  • Blue (Sing Your Colors!) a Cantata Learning Book by Blake Hoena, illustrated by Connah Brecon

  • Gobble It Up! A Fun Song About Eating (CD Included) by Jim Arnosky

    Infants

  • Baby Beluga (Raffi Songs to Read) by Raffi

  • Pop-up Ocean by Ingela P. Arrhenius

  • On the Beach and In the Ocean by Sarah Gillingham, illustrated by Lorena Siminovich

  • Under the Sea (Feels Real Books) by Christiane Gunzi

  • You Are My Baby: Ocean by Lorena Siminovich

  • TouchThinkLearn: Opposites by Xavier Deneux

Toddlers

  • At the Beach (Little Books for Little Hands) by Katja Spitzer

  • Peg Leg Peke by Brie Spangler

  • Llama Llama Sand and Sun by Anna Dewdney

  • Yellow Ball by Molly Bang

  • Uh-Oh! by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Patrice Barton

  • Splish Splash: Pop-up Fun (Little Snappers) by Jonathan Litton

  • Sandpiper (Music Together Singalong Storybook) by Kennet K. Guilmartin, illustrated by Christina O’Donovan

Preschool and Pre-K

Books that help develop Speech and Reading Skills:

  • The Wild Waves Speak (Letter/Sound) by Jeanette W Stickel

Imaginative Read Alouds:

  • Dory Story by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by David Biedrzycki

Kindness and Character Builders:

  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing

  • How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath, illustrated by Mary Reckmeyer

  • The Pout-Pout Fish by Devorah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna

Science Reads, Encouraging Environmental Connection:

  • Catfish Clues: What is a Fish? (Cantata Learning Book) by Linda Ayers and Micola O’Byrne

  • Way out in the Middle of the Sea (Cantata Learning Book) by Codi McKinney and Dan Crisp

  • Ocean: A Photicular Book by Dan Kainen, illustrated by Carol Kaufman

  • Oil Spill! (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science)

  • The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling (Little Green Books) by Alison Inches, illustrated by Pete Whitehead

  • The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole and Brice Decen

  • Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins

  • Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Coustaeu and Deborah Hopkinson

  • Tammy Turtle: A Tale of Saving Sea Turtles (No. 11 in Suzanna Tate’s Nature Series) by Suzanne Tate

At LDBB, Every Day is Earth Day.

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And TrashCab is Helping Us in our Mission.

April 22 was the official Earth Day, but here at Little Dreamers Big Believers, we treat every day like Earth Day. One of the ways we honor our commitment to the environment is by contracting with TrashCab, a local Grandview company that creates customized waste and recycling programs for their customers. As TrashCab VP Brennan Kelly explains it, "At TrashCab, our waste and recycling programs are built to suit for our customers—with a focus on convenience—to make saving the earth as simple as possible."

As a small company, we worked with TrashCab to set up a program that worked perfectly for us. Together, we determined what type of recycling containers we needed, and then selected a collection frequency that worked best for us. We simply place everything recyclable  (and we do mean everything!) all in one container, and TrashCab comes right to our doorstep to haul it off to the recycling center.

The professionals at TrashCab are just about the nicest people we've ever met, and as a fellow local business, we're as committed to helping them succeed as they are committed to saving the planet, one recycle bin at a time. If you or anyone you know has rental/apartment properties, small businesses, or simply a large event planned, you owe it to yourself to check out their services. You can learn all about them and connect with them via email at trashcab.com


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Our little dreamers are putting roots down in our community.

How does our garden grow? Beautifully, thank you!

We're incredibly excited to have a plot in Wallace Gardens.

If you read our last post, you know that at LDBB we consider every day to be Earth Day. And now, thanks to a generous gift from Anna and Drew Kalnow, we actually  have our own little piece of earth to tend. The Kalnows, whose son Teddy is in our Bright Beetles program have provided us with a plot in Wallace Gardens, the Grandview community garden that has been flourishing since 1943.

Located at the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Goodale Boulevard, just down the street from our Center, the garden offers Grandview residents and students the opportunity to take care of full, half and quarter plots. Our plot will be tended by our Bright Beetles, and will feature a Fairy Garden and a Pizza Garden. Short North teacher, Jared Goodykoontz will be overseeing the program, and we'd be remiss not to give a shout out to his aunt, who is donating the herbs and seeds we'll be planting.

We're excited to be able to teach our Bright Beetles gardening fundamentals and the importance of caring for the earth, and we invite you to come visit our little plot anytime during the summer to see how our garden and our kids are growing.


Our new Bright Beetles curriculum can't be beat.

Oh, Baby!

Our Littlest Ones are Digging our Homemade Baby Food.

Here at Little Dreamers Big Believers, we spend a lot of time thinking about good nutrition and the effect it has on our students. For the past several years, we've been putting a tremendous amount of effort into making healthy lunches and baked goods for our older kids, and we finally realized we should let our "Sweet Peas" (Infants ages 6 weeks to 12 months) in on all the goodness.

We start by finding wholesome, in-season fruits and vegetables and pureeing them into gorgeously colored, insanely nutritious baby foods that our little ones (and their parents) are absolutely loving. What goes into these amazing meals? All of the first foods we know babies love, and some surprising ingredients that give them a first taste of something different and help expand their palates. To date, we've whipped up golden beets, carrots, apples, pears and bananas, as well as more adventurous turnips, rutabagas, celery root, and persimmons.

Although, to date, we've only been serving this scrumptious stuff at our Centers, lots of parents have told us this is exactly the kind of food they'd want to serve at home...if they only had the time. So we're starting to sell six-packs to parents on Fridays. Each pack contains 3 fruits and 3 vegetables in individual 4-oz containers, and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis for $8.

If you're interested, please let us know when you drop off your baby on Friday morning, and we'll put you on the list.


 

Bellwether Kitchen always serves our little ones the most delicious meals...

Hooray for Bright Beetles!

Our pre-K 2 students are thriving in their newly created classroom.

With the creation of our new Bright Beetles classroom at Grandview Station, our older children (those with midyear birthdays or who miss the kindergarten cut-off are now able to stay at LDBB until they're six—in a classroom of their own where they can focus on more age-appropriate subjects like phonics, literacy readiness, early math and critical thinking skills, as well as our "Little Adventures, Big Connections" nature-awareness program.

Among the best features of our new classroom are our learning centers, which we call Innovation Stations. Designed to offer both creative freedom and core learning foundations, they focus on Nature, Awareness, Math, Engineering, and Science, with embedded pre-reading and writing skills. As children develop their independent thinking skills, they're also encouraged to develop friendships, practice kindness, and take part in their community—all of which sets them up for success in Kindergarten.

Our teachers love the new program as much as our children do! Here are just a few of the things they've told us about working with their "Bright Beetles":


I love working here because there is an amazing sense of community. I love exploring new activities with my kids and helping them to grow.
— Ehyrah, Preschool Teacher Grandview Station
When I play with the children it makes me feel like I’m a happy child again.
— Dana, Support Teacher Grandview Station
I love having a job that I look forward to each day. Little Dreamers is much more than work—it is a family that has fun together. Whether it is building a tower of blocks with the kiddos or building lasting friendships with my co-teachers, I know I will leave work every day with a smile on my face and great stories to share with others.
— Joshua, Preschool Teacher Grandview Station

 

Beginning March 23, we have a very special program coming to our Bright Beetles Classroom. Local Hilliard business, Aprons & Easels will bring one of their fun, creative classes to us. They'll lead our kiddos in a painting workshop in which they'll create a Dr. Seuss-themed One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish canvas. We can't wait to see how everyone's paintings come out, and look forward to more inspiring programs with Aprons & Easels in the future.

Right now, children from all three of our LDBB centers are joining the Bright Beetles classroom at our Grandview Station location, but when our new Short North facility opens, we'll be opening a Bright Beetles room there as well.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT OUR CLASSROOM CURRICULUM here:

 

The Wolves Came to Visit Our Bright Beetles Class

This week, Jared, one of our wonderful Pre-K teachers here at LDBB arranged to have wolves from Ironwood Wolves in Columbus visit all three of our centers.

Our Little Dreamers were mesmerized by the wolves. We learned wolves are not the evil creatures depicted in movies and fairy tales, but are actually beneficial beings that bring tremendous value to the world. Of course, we put safety first, the wolves were kept at a safe distance and there was no petting.

Take a look at our classroom visitors:

 

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT OUR CLASSROOM CURRICULUM:

Little Adventures Big Connections: The Wolves are Coming, February 27 & 28

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Jared Goodykoontz, one of our amazing Pre-K teachers here at LDBB has two grand passions: one is teaching, the other is nature. Luckily for us, he's found a way to combine the two.

Jared grew up loving animals and, as a child, had a massive book collection about exotic creatures like whales and tigers. He didn't give much thought to Ohio animals, which were, in his words "ordinary and boring." Not, that is, until he read a book by renowned naturalist Carl Safina. In Beyond Words, Safina wrote about animal intelligence and emotions, which got Jared to thinking more about animals as beings. He read hundreds of books and articles about animal emotions, connections with animals, and conservation efforts, and eventually got plugged into programs like Green Spot Columbus and the Sierra Club.

When Jared began teaching at LDBB in 2013, he launched a nature program for us that we call "Little Adventures, Big Connections" (LABC) in 2017. Inspired in part by the books What a Robin Knows by Jon Young and Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, Jared wanted to enable kids to get out and gain all of the benefits—mental, physical and spiritual—that come from connecting to the outdoors. Using Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature as his template, Jared categorized elements of nature—trees, birds, hazards, etc.—into units. His weekly LABC classes help kids explore nature and come to their own conclusions, thereby helping them develop critical thinking and problem skills. Children learn skills like "silent fox walking" and "deer ears", skills they can take with them to LABC's outdoor adventures at Batelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Once a month on a Saturday, pre-K students and their families are invited to meet at the park to get out and explore, identify tracks, search for bones, look for birds and animals, and discover together. You can learn more on our facebook page.

During the month of February, LABC will be talking about Ohio's heritage and the animals that used to live here.  Jared has arranged to have ambassador wolves from Ironwood Wolves in Columbus visit all three of our centers to teach our children that wolves are not the evil creatures depicted in movies and fairy tales, but are actually beneficial beings that bring tremendous value to the world. Of course, we're putting safety first, so the wolves will be kept at a safe distance and there will be no petting. But you don't need to worry; all of the visiting wolves have been raised by human parents since they were cubs and are not dangerous.


And if you'd like to do a little bit more reading about Nature and our relationship to it, here's a short list of books recommended by Jared Goodykoontz:

Books for Children:

Any book
by Jim Arnosky (especially his Crinkleroot series)

Things to Do
by Elaine Magliaro

Little Tree
by Loren Long 

Owl Moon
by Jane Yolen

Animals Do, Too!
by Etta Kaner

Books for Grownups:

Last Child in the Woods
by Richard Louv

What A Robin Knows
by Jon Young

Beyond Words
by Carl Safina

Vitamin N
by Richard Louv 

The Hidden Life of Trees
by Peter Wohlleben

Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature
by Jon Young

The schedule for
our Ironwood Wolves visit:

Grandview Ave.
Tuesday, February 27
3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

5th Ave.
Wednesday, February 28
3:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Short North
Wednesday, February 28
9:30 to10:00 a.m.


Discover more about our classroom curriculum:

Our NEW Bright Beetles Classroom

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We are thrilled to announce a new classroom opening at Grandview Station, the Bright Beetles! It will be a Pre-k classroom filled with our Little Dreamers with mid-year birthdays or children whose birthdays miss the kindergarten cut-off. The class will be where The Little Green House use to be at 808 Grandview Avenue.  

This division of classrooms allows us to focus on phonics, and literacy readiness, as well as, exercising our early math and critical thinking skills with a foundation of nature-based learning initiatives and experiences. We will introduce new learning concepts in the Bright Beetles room. Our Innovation Stations are designed to offer creative freedom and choice, while still providing the core learning foundations we expect daily. This program focuses on areas such as Nature, Awareness, Math, Engineering, and Science, with pre-reading and writing skills embedded in the framework. The structured learning times are designed to set children up for success in kindergarten and develop their independent thinking skills. The Bright Beetles will continue to focus on developing friendships through an emphasis on kindness and community. As always LDBB will provide fun and interactive specials like Little Adventures Big Connections (Mr. Jared’s nature program) and other great programs currently in the works. Bright Beetles will scurry out on adventures to local parks and other walkable locations. With elementary fundamentals in mind, we will be able to build up our students to become kindergarten all stars.

Little Dreamers Big Believers is extremely excited to embark on this new adventure which will bring families together from all three centers. Please contact Kelly Dyas, our Regional Director at Kelly@ldbb.care, about any questions or concerns you may have regarding this program.

My top 10 Parks in Columbus, Ohio

Thank goodness the warm weather is quickly approaching. I have compiled a list of my all time favorite parks to visit in the spring and summer. I hope you can enjoy this list this coming weekend. Happy park exploring!


1. Wyman Woods Park

This park is located on Grandview Avenue and Goodale. in Grandview Heights. Just down the street from our GVS location, we frequent this spot a lot. This park is definitely geared towards children at least 3and up but it is fun for the whole family. The play structure is a huge hit with my kids, ample climbing areas and an awesome lookout area at the top of the play structure. The large rocks surrounding it are a big hit for my son, he loves to run up and down them. There are two large green spaces adjacent to each side of the park and wooded hilly areas that we love to explore as well. There is also a sand volleyball court and a walking path surrounding the park.

2. Fancyburg Park

This park is located in North Arlington, and has everything your family needs to play and explore outside. Tennis Courts, Baseball diamonds, swing sets, and a great walking path surrounding it!  We love to "workout" on the designated exercise stations surrounding it as well!

3. Hilliard Municipal Park

This park has big open spaces to play ball and lots of baseball fields. The pool is a huge perk in the summer equip with water slides, a lazy river, and water playgrounds. The park also has a cool dirt bike path and trails in the woods to explore. There is also an amphitheater where they often have outdoor concerts.

4. Homestead Park

This Hilliard Park is just beautiful and surrounded by nature. It has an amazing shaded picnic area that overlooks a pond. There is also a new playground structure and an old train station area the kids love to explore. There are paved trails all along the park and we enjoy looking at the wildflowers surrounding the park in the spring and summer.

5. Miller Park

Located in the heart of South Arlington, this park has two different park options, this park is great for all ages. It has an awesome creek to explore and a huge field next to it to practice sports. The gazebo is a great picnic lunch destination. We always visit "The Little Library" following the park to relax and check out books.

6. Harrison West Park

This park is located near Olentangy River Road at the start of the Harrison West area. This park is ideal for toddler age children. It has a dramatic play influence with music being the theme. There is green space surrounding the park and ample room to run and play!

7. Adventure Park

This park is located in Powell and is a one stop shop. It is equipped with basketball courts, a large play structure, splash pad, and a skate park. There is also a small pond, where we love to feed the ducks and geese.

8. Whetstone Park

Located in the heart of Clintonville, this park is full of different areas to explore. We love to hike in the woods located next to the park, where we skip stones in the creek and let our dog explore the grounds. There is also two different play spaces, one near the library and one at the bottom of the hill near the Rose Garden. We love to walk the Park of Roses and explore the roses blooming, it also smells wonderful! There is a large lookout point located near the gardens that we love to climb and look around. There is a large pond with a bridge located on the right of the lower play structure where you can fish, feed the ducks and picnic.

9. Emerald Fields Playground

This park is located right behind the Kroger Marketplace in Dublin. The park is huge and is extremely interactive for children young and old. The park has a large covered picnic area and 3 sets of swings! The play area is spread out and there are different areas to explore.

10. Village Green Park

This park is located in Powell and is a wonderful attraction. Not only does it have an awesome playground to explore, it is has a splash pad as well. My kids in the summer love to travel between the splash pad and the play space. We could stay for hours at this fun destination. Another perk is the train travels by the park throughout the day and the kids really enjoy watching it pass.

 

 Wyman Woods Park, Grandview Heights, Ohio

Wyman Woods Park, Grandview Heights, Ohio

Awesome Indoor Play Places around the Columbus Area

We found a great resource, Columbus on the Cheap, they recommend everything from indoor play areas to family events around town. Check out their best indoor play area list below! Be sure to look at Groupon and LivingSocial for discounted rates.

Piccadilly
Bexley, Ohio
Pass: 6–12 mos free, $10 first child, $5 per sibling (day pass entitles you to return visits on same day). Happy Hours Special! $5 per child 2–5 pm
Offer open play times and also structured classes (registration required), Drop-off days, and spring break and summer camps. Wifi, food ,and coffee available. Day

Peapod Play Cafe
Gahanna, Ohio
Ages walkers through 7 with an adult. Day Pass: $10 per child, $6 an additional child or $4 additional for three or more children. Last hour of the day $5 per child.
Interactive toys and clean play spaces for kids, plus seating area for adults in view of the play area (adults welcome in the play area). Coffee; healthful, kid-friendly goodies; free Wi-Fi. Great place for play dates.

Firefly Play Cafe
Clintonville, Ohio
Day Pass: 0–12 mo free, $5 for 12–23 months and $8 for 24 months and up.
Indoor play space for kids 6 and under, plus special music, story and art times weekly. Wifi, snacks and coffee available. 

TreeHive Cafe + Play
Powell, Ohio
Hourly rate, play pass, or membership for kids up to age 7. 
Parents are welcome to join children in play, but there is staff on duty so parents can have a meeting, enjoy the cafe, or take a fitness class while on site. There are also drop-off options for potty-trained children.

ZenKidz Play Cafe
Westerville, Ohio
Tuesday–Friday: 9:30am–3pm, and Saturday: 9:30am–2pm. Coffee, food, and wifi available. Free for 6 mo and under, $8 for 7 months–2 year, $9 for 3–7 years for first child; each additional child is $6. Memberships and Play passes are available too. 1/2 off admission the last hour of the day.
Art & music focused play cafe with hands-on play areas, structured art classes, daily art activities, a play cottage, dress-up costumes, a Baby Kidz play area. 

Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory is a great place to bring the family in the winter, to bring the outdoors in. It is beautiful and there is so much to explore ranging from their magical botanical gardens to the nature based exhibits! They have a family friendly activities such as a scavenger hunt coming up this Saturday! Take a look!

Orchid Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, January 28, 11am–2pm

Search for rare and exotic orchids throughout the Conservatory. Turn in your completed scavenger hunt for a prize! 

Free with admission.

 

Great Indoor Play Ideas for the Winter Months

Adrenaline- This indoor trampoline park provides endless energy expelled by your little ones. It is a huge warehouse full of trampolines, foam pits, tight ropes, and dodge ball. You can buy a pass for the winter months or pay by the hour. Don't forget to pack your jump socks each time you visit or you will have to buy another pair. 

Graeters- The play area inside the Bethel Road location is FREE and a great chance to take a family trip for ice cream and fun!

The Nature Center at Highbanks Metro Park- The nature center provides fun for kids while exploring nature indoors. The Nature Center has an actual tree indoors, as well as a reading library and puppet show area.  While you are there, you could bring your sled or take a winter hike and enjoy the outdoors as well.

Chick-Fil-A- The Sawmill road location has an awesome indoor play area. You could take a family trip for lunch or dinner and turn it into several hours of fun.

The Shops at Worthington Place- This mall is never crowded and has lots of stores to window shop and browse. It has an indoor play area that has a tree house and a fire place and sitting area of parents to keep an eye on the kids. Pies and Pints is located in the Worthington Mall as well and is a family friendly restaurant you could stop and treat the family to some good eats!


 

 

Indoor Amuesement Fun at Slate Run Metro Park

When: November 26th, 2016

Where: Slate Run Metro Park

1375 State Route 674 North
Canal Winchester, Ohio 43110

Time: 1 pm

Event Description: Join us in the barn at Slate Run Metro Park, where you can play with and explore fun indoor toys & games. We will also have mid 19th century puzzles for our older folks to try and solve. When you are done having a ball in the barn, you can explore the beautiful Slate Run Park with the whole family!

Free Sundays At The Columbus Museum of Art

  

Roam the wonderful halls of the Columbus Museum of Art with your whole family. They have an awesome kids space and a great cafe for lunch. Take in the up and coming exhibits and explore one of the gems of Columbus, Ohio.

Where- Columbus Museum of Art, 480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH

When- Every Sunday/Opens at 10:00 AM

For more information check out the Columbus Museum of Art website!

 

One of our Little ones exploring Reggio inspired art on an umbrella. Exploring art truly benefits each person, no matter how big or small.

Pet Connections Pet Expo 2016

If yours is the kind of family that doesn't feel complete without a furry member, you won't want to miss this year's PetConnections Pet Expo Symposium & Gala on October 15 & 16.

Held at the Columbus Convention Center and billed as "a new breed of pet exposition" the event features education seminars with pet experts, exhibits of the latest pet products and services, and great entertainment. There's even a Pet Parade and Costume Contest.

I love that that they offer sessions in pet massage, acupuncture, and animal-assisted therapy. They even have a Zen Cat Gallery. If this sounds like your kind of event, learn more about it at www.petconnections.pet.

—Sarah

Farm Days at COSI

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At our own Bellwether Kitchens, we go to great lengths to ensure the food we serve our children and their families is as healthful as can possibly be. We buy the best organic produce available, source all of our meats from responsible farmers, and do our best to introduce a wide variety of foods to show that what's good for you can also be really good.

That's why we get so excited when COSI Columbus brings the farm to the city for Farm Days. From August 10 through 14, you can meet local farmers and learn where your food comes from. You can climb aboard tractors and combines, and you can even test your driving skills on a pedal tractor course. And older kids will love milking COSI's fiberglass cow, Daisy. 

If you love good food as much as we do, you won't want to miss it! 

Learn more.

—Sarah