The Daily Bulletin

Games Reviews

Posted on Apr 28, 2011

Some bonus games reviews from Shawn Sines, Columbus Parent’s games reviewer extraordinaire!

Shift 2 Unleashed ($60, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and older) — This “real driving experience” simulation offers some impressive first-person racing action for gamers of all ages and skill. Shift 2 amps up the action and excitement in this sequel with a new “helmet cam” view and over 30 licensed car models that realistically handle and show damage after crashes.

Rio ($50, Xbox 360, Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and older) — Based on the new animated film, Rio follows a group of tropical birds through a series of 40 mini-games. Six film characters and the ability to play with up to four friends will thrill fans of the film looking to extend the experience.

Book Looks

Posted on Apr 28, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch’s Nancy Gilson shares more of her reviews of unusual subjects in new picture-book biographies.

The first is called Queen of the Falls (Houghton Mifflin, 40 pages, $18.99, ages 4 to 8) and it’s written by Chris Van Allsburg. In this book, the creator of The Polar Express turns to nonfiction with the remarkable story of 62-year-old Annie Edson Taylor, who in 1901 rode over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survived — but never got rich. That had been her goal: to make enough money from the stunt to keep her out of the poorhouse. The story of how Taylor designed the barrel, followed by her plunge over the thundering falls, is thrilling. In words and brown-toned pictures, Van Allsburg captures the dizzying drama.

The second book is called Nurse, Soldier, Spy (Abrams, 40 pages, $18.95, ages 9 to 12), and it’s written by Marissa Moss and illustrated by John Hendrix. It’s the unusual Civil War story of Sarah Emma Edmonds — who at 19 dressed as a man to become Frank Thompson, Union soldier — is presented in a high-energy book that uses pen-and-ink and acrylic illustrations with oversize type to emphasize dramatic passages of the text. Edmonds was so good as a soldier (and a man) that she went on to become a spy for the Union Army and, later, the first and only woman recognized as a Civil War veteran.

Circus Ticket Giveaway

Posted on Apr 26, 2011

The Circus is coming to town! And Columbus Parent has tickets for you to win!

Visit our contest page to enter to win tickets to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The Greatest Show on Earth will be at Nationwide Arena, May 12-15. Columbus Parent has one Grand Prize of four front-row tickets to give away, plus four second-place prizes of family packs with four VIP tickets each.

We’ll take entries through Friday, May 6. Winners will be drawn at random and announced on May 9. You only need to enter once to be eligible (multiple entries for the same person will be discarded).

Best of Columbus: Food

Posted on Apr 25, 2011

We’re in the homestretch now for the voting in Columbus Parent’s first-ever Best of Columbus awards contest. If you haven’t voted already, you can still cast your votes through this Saturday, April 30, by using our online ballot. The winners will be featured in our June issue.

In previous weeks, we’ve shared the family-friendly categories we’ve got on the ballot under the headings of “Places to Go and Things to Do,” “Clothes” and “Stuff to Buy.” For this last reminder, we’d like to tempt you with the categories we have that are related to food!

We’ve got 17 categories where you can tell us which restaurants or eateries you think are the best at:

Asian Food Bakery Breakfast Food Diner Ice Cream Parlor Latin Food Organic Food Pizza (Delivery/Takeout) Pizza (Dine In) Restaurant with games and activities Special Occasion Restaurant Street Food/Mobile Restaurant Worth the Price of a Sitter Restaurant Cupcake Hamburger and Fries Hot Dog Milkshake

We’ve listed some worthy nominees in each category (and you’ll undoubtedly notice that, wherever possible, we prefer to feature and celebrate locally-owned and operated businesses), but you are welcome to write in your own choices (even if that includes your Aunt May’s blueberry-jalapeno cupcakes).

Walk to School

Posted on Apr 22, 2011

Several area schools are sponsoring walk to school days over the coming weeks.

Walking to school is a great way for kids to start their days. Studies have shown exercise in the morning can make them more alert and attentive in school.

Walking also helps combat obesity, improves heart function and fosters good bone growth.

Some parents report that walking to school provides an opportunity to have serious or playful talks with their kids. It's also good for the environment.

So wake up a few minutes early and hoof it to school for a day — or even a week. You'll be glad you did.

To learn more about walking to school, visit

--Melissa Kossler Dutton

Metro Park Trams

Posted on Apr 21, 2011

The arrival of spring means it’s time for tram rides at the Columbus Metro Parks!

The tram, which is housed at different parks throughout the spring, summer and fall, is a great way to explore local parks.

Park rangers take riders around the parks in search of animals, flowers and other interesting sights. Tram rides happen morning, noon and night and offer a new perspective on your favorite park.

Visit to view the tram schedule.

-- Melissa Kossler Dutton

Home Base

Posted on Apr 20, 2011

Every two weeks our editor Jane Hawes contributes her Home Base column to The Columbus Dispatch’s Life section. Today her column focuses on what she has learned about yet another special person in a special-needs family — the typical sibling.

The column also called attention to a great article in our April issue by writer Debbie Angelos about typical siblings. And in both the column and the magazine article, we talked about sibling support groups for these typical siblings. Here are some handy links to ones in the area:

The Nisonger Center at Ohio State University SIBS program

Easter Seals Supporting Our Siblings

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Children’s Clubhouse

Hard Boiled Easter Eggs

Posted on Apr 19, 2011


A tip to all you Easter Bunnies out there preparing to decorate hard boiled eggs — you'll ease the efforts of basket recipients if you make sure the eggs you use are old least 5 days old, to be precise. I could give you the science behind it, but I won't bother. The bottom line is that older eggs, once boiled, peel easier. There you have it. The effort of finding the eggs takes effort enough. Who wants to wrestle with the shell when it comes time for peeling?

As far as the best “hard cooked” cooking method, several egg experts I checked with suggested the following: cover a single layer of eggs with COLD water, bring to a boil, then cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 15-17 minutes depending on how you like the yolk cooked. Once the eggs are finished cooking, pour out the hot water and soak the eggs in cold water.

According to, hard cooked eggs, kept in the shell, can last up to a week in the refrigerator.

Happy hunting!

-- Kristen Maetzold

Best of Columbus: Clothes and Stuff

Posted on Apr 18, 2011

The voting continues for Columbus Parent’s first-ever Best of Columbus awards contest. If you haven’t voted already you can still cast your votes here through April 30 using our online ballot. The winners will be featured in our June issue.

Today we’d like to highlight some more of the family-friendly categories we’ve got on the ballot — like the categories addressing clothes and other stuff you spend your hard-earned money on.

In these two sections, we ask you to vote for the best in categories like:

Maternity Clothes Baby, Toddler and Preschool Clothes Grades K-5 Clothes Grades 6-8 Clothes Grades 9-12 Clothes Shoes Resale/Consignment Kids’ Clothes Art Supplies Baby Shower Gifts Book Store Educational Products Party Supplies Sports Equipment Toys and Games Video Games

We’ve listed some worthy nominees in each category, but you are welcome to write in your own choices.

Tax Day Reprieve

Posted on Apr 15, 2011

If you're scrambling to get your tax information off to the accountant, you get a bonus three-day extension this year that you don't even have to file for!

The deadline to file taxes is usually April 15, which this year falls on a Friday.

It also falls on Emancipation Day — a day that's recognized as a holiday in Washington, D.C. But Emancipation Day actually falls on Saturday, April 16, but will be observed in Washington, D.C., on Friday (are you following all this?).

Therefore the IRS is extending the tax-filing deadline to Monday, April 18, this year because, under the tax code, filing deadlines can't fall on Saturday, Sunday or a holiday! So enjoy your reprieve!

--Kristen Maetzold

Book Looks

Posted on Apr 14, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch’s Nancy Gilson shares her reviews of some unusual subjects in new picture-book biographies.

First up is Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George (Schwartz & Wade, 40 pages, $17.99, ages 5 to 9) by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome. Although the text can be confusing — the story skirts the issue of a child born to a white plantation owner and his black slave — the story of Boulogne is fascinating. He was born in 1739 in the West Indies; educated at a violin school in Paris; and later performed, conducted and composed, inspiring a young Wolfgang Mozart. The painted illustrations by James Ransome augment the text, which was written by his wife.

And then we have Just Being Audrey (HarperCollins, 32 pages, $16.99, ages 4 to 8), written by Margaret Cardillo and illustrated by Julia Denos. The winsome star of Funny Face, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday, Sabrina and many more films is profiled in a picture book that stresses the beauty, charm and grace of Audrey Hepburn. The story begins with the actress's childhood in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II and continues into her later years, when Hepburn became a spokeswoman for UNICEF. Denos' colorful illustrations nicely capture the star's distinctive face.

And finally, there’s Me . . . Jane (Little, Brown, 40 pages, $15.99, ages 3 to 6) by Patrick McDonnell. One might guess that, when Jane Goodall was young, she was fascinated with Jane of the Tarzan stories. This book neatly combines a child's love for the outdoors and imaginative spirit with events in Goodall's childhood that led her to become a champion of chimpanzees and environmental protection. McDonnell, creator of the comic strip Mutts, combines charming drawings of the young Jane with actual drawings and animal puzzles created by Goodall as a child.

Autism Puzzle

Posted on Apr 13, 2011

This evening at 7 p.m. our friends at NBC4 air "Autism Puzzle," another of their live information specials that address autism spectrum disorders. Columbus Parent is proud to be a media sponsor for the series. In fact, you can get a sneak peak of our editor Jane Hawes's contribution to tonight's show here:

NBC4's Autism Puzzle project is the brainchild of their sports anchor Jared Smalley's experiences raising his sons who have autism. They have truly embraced this cause with great imagination and enthusiasm, and opened up a world of information and resources to Central Ohio families.

Our April issue features a 24-page Autism Puzzle insert, so be sure to check it out and then tune in tonight at 7 p.m. to learn more!

Earth Day

Posted on Apr 12, 2011


More than one billion people are expected to participate in activities planned around Earth Day next Friday, April 22.

This year, Green Columbus continues its tradition of a two-part observance of Earth Day; the theme: "Lighten Up." Countless volunteer projects are planned in central Ohio for the weekend of April 16 and 17 and then Green Columbus organizers are gearing up for a big celebration the following Saturday, April 23 at Franklin Park Conservatory.

In recognition of Earth Day, volunteer projects include planting trees, creating community food gardens, and restoring local ecosystems, just to name a few.

The goal of both the volunteer projects and the celebration that follows is to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage everyone to work together to find solutions.

Green Columbus is a not-for-profit organization and coordinates the most Earth Day service projects in the U.S., not to mention hosts the largest party in celebration of volunteers' efforts.

For more information check out

-- Kristen Maetzold

Best of Columbus: Places

Posted on Apr 11, 2011

Voting has been going on for a week now with Columbus Parent's first Best of Columbus awards contest. We'll be collecting votes online through April 30, and the winners will be featured in our June issue.

So perhaps you're wondering what makes our Best of Columbus awards unique? Well, they're the only ones that are designed to be family friendly. All 52 of the categories we have address choices that Central Ohio families make every day when they're deciding how to spend their valuable time and money.

Today we'll highlight the 20 categories that fit under the heading of "Places to Go and Things to Do."

In that section, we ask you to vote for the best in categories like:

Children's Theater Farmer's Market Food Festival (yum!) Heritage Festival Library Children's Area Library Story Times Mall Play Area Mascot Movie Theater Museum Nature Park Outdoor Municipal Pool Outdoor Playground Pick-Your-Own-Produce Destination Place to Bring Out-of-Town Visitors Recreation Center Sledding Hill Spectator Sports Event Splash Pad Water Park

We've listed some worthy nominees in each category, but you are welcome to write in your own choices (because maybe you do consider Junior's Saturday morning soccer game to be the best spectator sports event in Central Ohio).

vote here

National Humor Month

Posted on Apr 8, 2011


Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Butter who?

Butter be the one to tell the kids that April is National Humor Month.

It's the perfect opportunity to share a laugh with your kids.

There are tons of ways to get your family giggling.

Visit the library and check out a joke book. Search the internet for silly joke websites. Tell your kids funny stories from you were little. Email goofy pictures of your kids to their grandparents.

Have family movie night and watch a comedy.

Take a cure from your kids on this one. Children laugh 300 times a day compared to adults who only laugh 17 times a day.

But seriously, folks, studies have shown that laughing reduces stress, relaxes your muscles and is good for your heart. So get laughing!

Bishop Champon Games

Posted on Apr 7, 2011

Today is the last day to register for the 2011 Bishop Champion Games which will be held this Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University.

This track-and-field community service event is open to anyone age 8 and older (including adults) with physical or mental disabilities, and will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ohio Wesleyan’s Selby Field, 45 S. Henry St. in Delaware.

The Bishop Games are sponsored by the Ohio Wesleyan University Athletic Council and intended to provide an opportunity for special needs individuals to compete in sports events just like college athletes. The games are operated by volunteers from the campus and local community.

Participants may register through today, April 7 at no charge to compete in events that include a 50-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 800-meter walk/run, power chair races, a football/softball throw, long jump, standing broad jump, and high jump. During the 4-by-100 Wesleyan Relay, Ohio Wesleyan student-athletes will run the final lap. To register or sign up to volunteer at the event, visit

There will be an optional $3 entrance fee for spectators, and Bishop Champion Game T-shirts and water bottles will be sold with all proceeds used to fund the 2012 Bishop Champion Games.

In case of inclement weather, this event will be held indoors in the Gordon Field House in the Branch Rickey Center, 105 S. Sandusky St.

Zoo Summer Jobs

Posted on Apr 6, 2011

Got a teen (at least 16 years old) who's looking for what has to be one of the most coveted summer jobs in Central Ohio? Or maybe you are! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is holdings its annual seasonal job fair tomorrow, Thursday, April 7, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Zoo's Activity Pavilion.

Each year the Zoo hires more than 1,000 seasonal team members. Positions range from guest services at the Zoo to lifeguards at the water park and include the unique perk of free entry into either park on days off.

Those interested in applying for a great spring/summer job can apply online here (then click on Employment, then choose Seasonal Employment). After you apply online, you can then interview in person at the job fair.

Flying Horse Farms

Posted on Apr 5, 2011


Maybe you know a family with a child who would benefit from visiting Flying Horse Farms, or maybe you are that family. Either way, this new camp, just northeast of Columbus, is one that everyone should know about.

Flying Horse Farms opened this past Saturday, April 2, in Mt. Gilead (just off I-71 North). Several years in the making, it’s basically a 200-acre farm for kids who are battling serious illnesses. They’re already a provisional member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, which is a group founded in 1988 by the late actor Paul Newman. Until now, a child from around here who qualified to visit one of these 22 camps (always for free) had to travel quite a ways to get to one. Flying Horse Farms will be the first in the Midwest.

According to the group, Flying Horse Farms will provide “week-long sessions for children from Ohio and surrounding states who have arthritis, severe asthma, cancer, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease, heart disease, hemophilia and other related blood disorders and sickle cell disease.” The site will be staffed by medical professionals and volunteer counselors.

For more information about Flying Horse Farms, for yourself or for someone you care about, or to find out how you can help them, visit their website at or call them at 614-416-7100.

New Issue!

Posted on Apr 5, 2011

Out today is our April issue! And, boy oh boy, is it jam-packed with good stuff — from our focus on Special Needs Families to ideas for spring family fun. Plus we've also launched our very first Best of Columbus awards contest where you can vote online in more than 50 categories to help us choose the places to go, things to do, stuff to buy and food to eat that Central Ohio families like best! Online voting will take place through April, and we'll feature our winners in the June issue.

Meantime, in the April issue, our friends at NBC4i have also included their Autism Puzzle insert, just as they did with our October issue. Columbus Parent is proud to participate in this great program that directs families to resources for autism treatment and support. Be sure to check out the TV special that goes with the print insert on Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m.

Our writers have also contributed some great articles that consider special needs from the whole family perspective, whether it's Anietra Hamper's article on how parents of special-needs children can solidify their marriages, Debbie Angelos' article about the important role of typical siblings, and Melissa Kossler Dutton's article about parenting a special-needs adult. Plus Truda Shinker and Elizabeth Seufer looked at the education choices that these families face.

And of course we've got fun for all families — the Liberty Park Every Kids' Playground in Powell, the Santa Maria in downtown Columbus as a birthday-party destination, Benihana for a memorable family dinner, and a day trip to Jungle Jim's International Market, north of Cincinnati.

We have this and much more in the April issue, available this week at more than 1,200 pick-up locations. If you need to find out where you can score a copy, just click here and look in our zip-code searchable directory.

Mom of the Year Winners!

Posted on Apr 1, 2011

Columbus Parent is pleased to announce the winners in our Mom of the Year contest: Kristin Marks and Samantha Bennett.

In light of the voting tabulation glitch which occurred when Facebook changed the functionality of its Like button after the contest was launched, it was decided to provide the same prizes to the two finalists with the highest number of votes.

Both winners will receive a $1,000 closet makeover from California Closets and a $500 gift certificate toward travel anywhere through Turnberry Travel of Pickerington.

Congratulations, ladies!

Mom of the Year Winners!

Posted on Apr 1, 2011

Columbus Parent is pleased to announce the winners in our Mom of the Year contest: Kristin Marks and Samantha Bennett.

In light of the voting tabulation glitch which occurred when Facebook changed the functionality of its Like button after the contest was launched, it was decided to provide the same prizes to the two finalists with the highest number of votes.

Both winners will receive a $1,000 closet makeover from California Closets and a $500 gift certificate toward travel anywhere through Turnberry Travel of Pickerington.

Congratulations, ladies!