The Daily Bulletin

Chill Out

Posted on May 25, 2016

Get ready for the 41st annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival.

Organizers said this year’s event, which runs Saturday through Monday, includes new activities and programs. As always, it will be held at Velvet Ice Cream’s Ye Olde Mill on state Route 13, one mile south of Utica.

The festival starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by an 11 a.m. parade in downtown Utica and a Celebrity Ice Cream Eating Contest at 2 p.m.

Animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will visit at 1 p.m. Saturday and 11a.m. Sunday and Monday. Other entertainment throughout the weekend includes live music, crafts, a tractor pull, car show and old-fashioned games and activities.

Admission is free and parking is $5. For more information, go to

Velvet Ice Cream was founded in 1914 by Joseph Dager and is still family-owned and operated. The company makes more than 5 million gallons of ice cream every year.

Holiday Happenings

Posted on May 25, 2016

There’s plenty to do in central Ohio this holiday weekend.

Commons for Kids kicks off its season from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Columbus Commons, in downtown Columbus. Children can make a paper bag puppet, take a 10:30 a.m. yoga class, pot a plant, see a puppet show, ride the carousel and jump in a bounce house—all for free.

Columbus Commons also is the spot for Family Funday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Kids can enjoy entertainment, inflatable games, a petting zoo, arts and crafts and more. Many activities are free; some require a $5 wristband. In partnership with Autism Speaks, the event will open an hour earlier, just for children with sensory sensitivities.

After the festival, families can stay for a free showing of The Good Dinosaur at 8:15 p.m. For more information, visit

Friendship Park is the setting for the Gahanna Story Trail at 6:30 p.m. Friday, where attendees can learn the value of being good stewards of the environment. The trail, a collaboration between the Gahanna Parks & Recreation Department, Columbus Metropolitan Library and Art Garden Studios, provides children the opportunity to read a story while enjoying the park, 150 Oklahoma Ave., Gahanna.

Finally, there are numerous Memorial Day observances throughout central Ohio. See this list our sister publication ThisWeek Community News has compiled. 

Struggling to explain the day to younger children? Scholastic offers lesson plans for teachers, but much of the advice can be used in family discussions, too. Go to

—Melissa Kossler Dutton

Hoot and Holler

Posted on May 23, 2016

Gateway Film Center will hold the latest installment of its ongoing Hoot Family Film Series this weekend.

The last Saturday of each month, the theater shows child-friendly short films from around the globe. There’s also live music by the Shazzbots, lobby activities and dancing.

This month’s Hoot is themed around Dr. Seuss. The theater is at 1550 N. High St., Columbus. The party starts at 10 a.m. and admission is free with a canned food donation for the Open Shelter.


Getting Along

Posted on May 13, 2016

The end of the school year signals the beginning of more family togetherness, which can lead to sibling arguments and conflicts. The American School Counselor Association offers summer parenting tips to help everyone in the house get along better.

The ASCA suggests implementing a “magic sentence” designed to help siblings communicate. The sentence includes phrases such as “I feel,” “because,” “I want you to” and “I am willing to.” For example: “I feel angry because you called me a name and I want you to stop. I am willing to stop calling you names.”

Teaching children to use and listen to the sentence helps them express themselves and learn to listen to others’ feelings, according to the association.

Parents also should be consistent with discipline and make sure they dole out punishments that are appropriate for their children’s mistakes. For more tips, check out the ASCA’s story, “Positive Parenting Tips for Summer.”

— Melissa Kossler Dutton

Wild Weekend

Posted on May 13, 2016

It’s a big weekend for fans of Zoombezi Bay and The Wilds.

Zoombezi Bay opens for the season at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with its new attraction: SoundSurfer, a 512-foot water enclosed slide that replaces Tahitian Twister. Eight musical soundtracks and LED lights will accompany the ride.

Returning is the popular Dive-in Movie series. The lineup is: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water (July 8), The Peanuts Movie (July 15), Home (July 22), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (July 29) and Minions (Aug. 5).

The Wilds, meanwhile, will hold WildZfest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The nonprofit conservation center in Cumberland will offer special activities including:

  • Animal presentations from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
  • Zoo character meet and greets
  • Meet and greets with Dora the Explorer
  • Education Zone stations
  • KidzZone carnival games and an obstacle course ($5 fee)
  • Vendor marketplace

Admission is free but there is a $6 parking fee and a charge for the usual Wilds tours and activities. For a schedule of events, go to

Seeing Smart

Posted on May 13, 2016

Did you know May is Healthy Vision Month?

The National Eye Institute and Vision Council advise everyone to get regular eye exams and to wear UV-blocking sunglasses. That goes for children, too.

A recent report from the Vision Council says 65 percent of Americans experience digital eye strain, thanks to the proliferation of computers, smartphones, tablets and the like. Yet most people don’t talk to their doctor about the issue.

Children should have their eyes checked annually, the council advises, since vision plays a key role in school performance. They may not complain since they don’t know what “normal” vision looks like. For more information about pediatric eye exams and a list of 11 warning signs your child may have a vision problem, check out this story.

Summer Camps

Posted on May 13, 2016

Still sketching out your family’s summer plans? The final update to our 2016 Summer Camp Guide is online.

The guide now includes about 300 submissions received through the April 29 cutoff, including all of the listings that ran in our March and April print issues.

You can search day and residential camps in 12 categories: Arts, Dance & Drama, Educational Enrichment, Equestrian, Multiple-Category, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Religious, STEM, Special Needs, Sports and Traditional.

Digging Deeper

Posted on May 9, 2016

The folks at Money magazine crunched some numbers to find out how much it would cost to repay your parents for raising, feeding and educating you all those years.

They took the U.S. Department of Agriculture figure (a middle-income family with a child born in 2013 will spend an estimated $245,340 in 18 years) and expounded on it by adding the cost of a stay-at-home mother’s labor, lost wages and other variables. The final result tops seven figures. Read the breakdown here.

We hope you called Mom this weekend to tell her thanks. Don’t forget Father’s Day is June 19.

Sun Safety

Posted on May 3, 2016

There’s more to protecting children from the sun than just slathering them with sunscreen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health agency recommends that parents keep children out of the sun by finding shady places to play and using an umbrella at the beach. Dressing children in long-sleeved shirts and pants also offers protection from sunburn, according to the CDC. Children should wear hats and sunglasses to protect their face, scalp, ears and eyes. All of the CDC’s recommendations are available online here.

Parents still need to make sure they apply—and reapply—sunscreen to their children, according to the CDC and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The hospital offers tips on choosing a sunscreen and preventing, diagnosing and treating sunburn in this “Sunburn and Children” article on its website.

—Melissa Kossler Dutton

Popcorn Pops Returns

Posted on May 3, 2016

The Columbus Symphony is bringing back its popular Popcorn Pops series with two family-friendly concerts this summer.

The Nationwide Insurance Popcorn Pops, as it’s officially known, is geared for children ages 3-12. In addition to free popcorn, pint-size patrons can partake in face painting and art projects, play with musical instruments and burn off some energy in the Columbus Commons Family Fun Zone, which features inflatables and open play activities.

This season’s lineup is: Superheroes on June 24 and Jumpin’ & Jivin’ on July 22. Both will be conducted by Albert-George Schram at Columbus Commons in the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion, 160 S. High St., Downtown. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and the hour-long concerts begin at 7 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets ($10; free for ages 2 and younger), go to

Capriccio Choir Expands

Posted on May 2, 2016

Capriccio Youth Choir is adding a fourth choir and will conduct auditions for new members this month.

The new group, Primo Voce, is a beginning choir for those who are learning beginning music skills such as reading music, tracking parts, matching pitch and becoming more confident singers. CYC now has three groups: Cantare, a beginning choir; Virtuoso, a developing choir; and Spiritus, an a cappella choir. Students come from throughout central Ohio.

Auditions for the 2016-17 season will be held May 11 and 18 by appointment at St. Andrew Christian Church, 1985 Swansford Drive, Dublin. To schedule an audition, contact Artistic Director Alyson Bates at For more information, go to