The June issue of Columbus Parent is out today! You'll recognize it from the yummy cover with our impish model Evelyn digging into a mountain of ice cream. Which ice cream? Well, that would be Graeter's, the winner in our hotly (or would that be coldly) contested Best Ice Cream Parlor category in Columbus Parent's first-ever Best of Columbus awards competition. Graeter's duked it out til the very last day of voting with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams to take the honors.
And inside the cover, you're going to find out who the other winners were in the 50+ categories we posed for you parents. It was fun tallying the votes and we also learned a lot more about family favorites in Central Ohio. In fact, be sure to tune in this Thursday, June 2, at 11 a.m. when our editor Jane Hawes appears once again on Gail Hogan's NBC4 program "Daytime Columbus." Jane's going to talk some more about how we conducted the contest, plus showcase some of the winners (she has a new favorite place to get glazed twists because of this contest).
So be sure to pick up your free copy at any of the 1,200 locations around Central Ohio. Don't know where one is? Just click here and use our zip-code searchable database to find the pick-up location that is closest to you!
Worthington Pools kicks the summer season off with a splash as they unveil a brand new Splash Pad at their public pool on Rt. 161 in Worthington.
The "spray ground" is designed for toddlers up to pre-teens, but kids of all ages are invited to jump in.
Weather permitting, the water works will begin Memorial Day Weekend. The ultimate plan is to open the Splash Pad a month prior to the pool in the Spring and keep it running a month longer in the fall.
Learn more at www.worthingtonpools.com/splashpad.
Families have a new reason to visit the site of the former City Center.
The area once known for fabulous shopping is now attracting people for its green amenities.
The city has replaced the mall with Columbus Commons park, which features a carousel and fabulous gardens.
The park officially opens Thursday with a concert and events for grown-ups.
Columbus Commons will cater to kids on Friday and Saturday.
From 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, children can enjoy free carousel rides, jump in a bounce house and watch balloon artists.
The park will welcome families on Saturday from noon to 11 p.m with stories, zoo animals, music and puppeteers. The evening will end with a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark and fireworks. Visit www.columbuscommons.org for more details.
--Melissa Kossler Dutton
And here's another kids' book review from Nancy Gilson, arts editor of The Columbus Dispatch… Suryia & Rosco: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship (Henry Holt, 32 pages, $16.99, ages 4 to 8) by Bhagavan "Doc" Antle with Thea Feldman, photographs by Barry Bland
Anyone who's a sucker for animals should enjoy Suryia & Roscoe, the tale of a stray dog befriended by what is surely the most gregarious orangutan alive.
The pair got together on a game preserve in South Carolina – The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) – which a skinny Rosco managed to infiltrate. Suryia immediately took to the hound, and their friendship is documented in big, bold photos. One suspects that at least some of these pictures were posed but that doesn't seem to matter.
Just try not to smile at images of Suryia hugging Roscoe, swimming with him in a pool or generously offering him a banana.
Looking for some inexpensive but fun activities for your kids this summer?
Check out the offerings at Crooked Alley KidSpace, Groveport's art and education center for kids.
The cheerful facility has several programs each week. Activities include arts and crafts, storytelling, music and dance.
Upcoming events include a dance camp, a Father's Day craft project and beach party.
For a full schedule of events, click here.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
From Columbus Parent's games reviewer, Shawn Sines, here comes the low-down on yet another new family video game…
Brink ($60, Xbox 360, Sony PS3, PC – Rated T for Teen) Brink uses the familiar controls of most modern shooting games to introduce gamers to the Ark, a floating man-made city on the edge of civil war.The world's ocean levels are rising and two factions fight for control of humanity's last bastion. You take up the role of resistance fighter or security force member in this fight and discover that choosing sides may not be as black and white as it seems.
Shooters aren't great fare for younger kids, but teens will find Brink offers an interesting cooperative opportunity. Aside from some dynamic action gameplay, it has diverse character customization, allowing you to build one identity and play through the games many modes, earning new skills along the way.
Join the folks from the “Follow Me! Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids” tomorrow for a full roster of fun and fitness-inducing activities all across the city!
It’s called “LEAD Your Family Day” and at locations all across Columbus, you’ll be able to partake of activities like putt-putt golf, laser tag, gymnastics, martial arts, swimming (indoor, thank goodness), Zumba, hip-hop cardio, pilates, yoga, cooking classes and soccer, all for just $5 per activity.
You can get all the information you need about what’s going on and where on their website, www.leadyourfamilyday.com, plus register for these activities. The money raised will support this local charity that is working to help families live healthier lives…together!
Looking for some ideas about better gluten-free eating? The Celiac Awareness Tour brings its Gluten Free Expo to Columbus on Saturday.
The event, which features expert speakers, chef demonstrations, a gluten-free vendors’ market, takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Aladdin Shrine Center, 3850 Stelzer Rd. in Columbus.
There will also be a gluten-free food drive for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, as well as representatives from local and national celiac support groups.
For more information, contact Jenny Kelley at 216-526-3803 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ve got today and tomorrow left to enter our contest to win a pair of tickets for the August 9th American Idol Live show at Schottenstein Center. We have two sets of a pair of tickets to give away (and just to be clear — that’s two people winning two tickets each).
Tickets went on sale to the public last Friday, May 13, but you can click here to enter. You can enter once for a chance to win. Multiple entries will be discarded. Two winners will be drawn at random and their names will be announced on May 20 on our Facebook page and Twitter feed @columbusparent.
To learn more about the concert, go to http://www.aeglive.com/events/view/31745/American-Idol-Live.
Looking for a way to make fruits and vegetables more appealing to your kids?
Try taking them to a farmer's market. There's something very tempting about colorful produce displayed at an outdoor market. Letting your kids make some decisions about what's for dinner also gets them excited about eating healthy foods.
Central Ohio is full of markets carrying locally-grown fruits, vegetables and herbs. Many may have vendors selling specialty items, baked goods or other treats.
-- Melissa Kossler Dutton
From Nancy Gilson, arts editor of The Columbus Dispatch, comes another one of her great book reviews for kids!
Dragons & Monsters (Candlewick Press, 12 pages, $29.99, age 5 and older) by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
Unleashing Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda on dragons and monsters qualifies as pop-up paradise.
The masters of paper engineering have produced a remarkable catalog of three-dimensional creatures in Dragons & Monsters, the third and final entry in their Encyclopedia Mythologica series.
Reinhart and Sabuda organize the beasts according to types and where they come from: eternal villains from mythology, for instance, and dwellers of the depths of the sea including, among others, the kraken of Norse legend, described by sailors as a “cross between an octopus and a crab” who “prowled the oceans, mercilessly dragging ships down to the seafloor.”
The Latin root of the word monster, the authors remind us, comes from monstrum which means “omen” or “warning.”
The book is loaded with pop-ups, including dominant centerpieces on each double page that are accompanied by mini books with as many as three pop-ups inside them.
The big dramatic 3-D images include Medusa’s head covered with 24 serpents, a vibrant Chinese dragon whose snaking body incorporates folded red tissue paper, and a vampire who unfolds himself from his own coffin, his hands grasping the lid of the casket.
More modern creatures aren’t neglected, including the Himalayan yeti, Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster and Mothman, the red-eyed scaremeister from the American Southwest.
Photo: Will Shilling/Alive
Do you have gardening skills and the desire to help with a good cause?
The city of Columbus could use your help.
The city's recreation and parks department intends to build four community gardens from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 14 — rain or shine.
Volunteers are needed to help at the following park sites: • Beatty Community Recreation Center, 247 N. Ohio Ave, 614-645-3635 • Douglas Community Recreation Center, 1250 Windsor Ave., 614-645-3636 • Marion Franklin Community Recreation Center, 2801 Lockbourne Road, 614-645-5456 • Sullivant Community Recreation Center 755 Renick St., 614-645-5587.
To learn more about volunteering, contact Sheri-Lynn Wynn, Capital Kids Program Director, 614-645-3330 or email@example.com.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
Have you discovered Crave, a new family-friendly publication from the Dispatch family of fabulous magazines? Just the cover of this quarterly magazine (which is free, by the way) should tell you something about its family friendliness. The cover story for the first issue — which just came out on Monday, May 9 — features breakfast eateries, six of them to be precise and we’re not talking chain restaurants either (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But some real finds that you and your hungry young’uns will want to check out!
The first issue also has articles on patio dining (now that the weather is finally improving), taco trucks, restaurants in Dublin (just in time for the Memorial Tournament), and much more! Whether you’re looking for dining options for the whole family or for something that is “worth the price of a sitter,” Crave makes it that much easier to plan your family’s meals.
You can find your FREE copy at any of 500 pick-up locations: Just click here to find the location nearest you.
The third annual Columbus City Schools Poetry Slam finals are tonight and, as always, they are guaranteed to be an amazing experience.
Students from 18 CCS high schools first competed in a district preliminary on April 30, and tonight from 6-9 p.m. at Capital University’s Mees Auditorium, the finalists (and the audience) will enjoy their big showdown.
Poetry slams are designed to give students an opportunity write about what they know — their lives, struggles, and success while improving their writing and presenting skills. During a slam, poets will have three minutes to perform their original work before an audience and panel of judges.
So check it out and cheer these talented young poets on!
Did you figure out that we’ve got American Idol Live tickets to give away? Well, we do and we’ll be taking entries from now through May 19 to determine who the two lucky Columbus Parent readers are who will win one pair each for the August 9th American Idol Live show at Schottenstein Center (just to be clear — that’s two people winning two tickets each).
Tickets go on sale to the public this Friday, May 13, but you can click here to enter. You can enter once for a chance to win. Multiple entries will be discarded. Two winners will be drawn at random and their names will be announced on May 20.
Congratulations to our winners in the Ringling Brother and Barnum & Bailey Circus ticket giveaway! Our Grand Prize winner is Christy Ross who has won four front-row tickets to the circus, and our runners-up — Lanora L., Shawn S., Sarah M. and Patricia M. — have all won family VIP four-packs of tickets.
The Circus will be in town May 12-15 at Nationwide Arena. If you weren’t one of our lucky winners, then be sure to visit their website http://www.ringling.com/ and order your tickets!
And stay tuned, Columbus parents…Starting tomorrow we’ve got another ticket giveaway contest starting. We gave you a clue in last week’s Bulletin (it’s the pop cultural phenomenon that gave us the word “pitchy”). Click in tomorrow and find out what the contest is and what you could win!
Today’s the last day to enter our ticket giveaway contest for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus! If you haven’t already entered to win a first-place prize of four front-row tickets or one of the second-place prizes of four Family Four-Packs of VIP tickets, then click here and get yourself entered!
We’ll be announcing the winners on Monday, May 9. The circus takes place at Nationwide Arena, May 12-15. Rumor has it, it’s the Greatest Show on Earth!
Love takes flight as Franklin Park Conservatory celebrates Mother's Day this Sunday, May 8, with a special Adopt-A-Butterfly Celebration and brunch.
Give mom the uniquely special experience of releasing a tropical butterfly into the Pacific Island Water Garden. There is the chance moms may outnumber butterflies so plan accordingly; butterflies will be available on a first-come basis.
All are invited to the Mother's Day buffet brunch which promises fresh, made-from-scratch items. Learn more about both opportunities as well as check out the brunch menu at www.fpconservatory.org
If you’ve got a Captain Jack Sparrow fan in your house (and if you have to ask who that is, then you don’t), then a new book might make a nifty addition to the family library. “The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook: A Swashbuckler’s Guide from the Pirates of the Caribbean” by Jason Heller (of AV Club fame) just came out this week, a couple of weeks before the next movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise hits movie theaters.
We got a sneak peek at the book and it’s fun. Basically it’s everything you need to know about ship sailing, surviving on a desert island, how to break a curse, deal with pesky mermaids and fight off six angry men in a tavern. You know, useful stuff.
Oh, and we’re giving away the copy we got, so go to our Facebook page today and when we post something asking you if you want it, you know what to do!
This Saturday cyclists of all sizes will ride to the market and back and be rewarded along the way.
May 7 marks the 4th annual “Market to Market” bike ride between Hills Market in Worthington and the North Market in the Short North.
Participants are invited to “fuel up” with breakfast between 8 and 10 a.m. prior to starting at either market. You can simply ride one way or bike the 26-mile round trip along the Olentangy River Greenway, the bike path that stretches between both markets.
In addition to taste treats, bikers will get a boatload of other goodies including coupons, gift cards, and chances to win prizes. The cost is $15 in advance, $20 at the door. The event is limited to 400 riders. Register at www.thehillsmarket.com and www.northmarket.com
The day at Hills Market also heralds the May 9 launch of Columbus Parent’s new sister publication Crave, a free quarterly dining magazine! The tasty treats at Hills Market (located at 7860 Olentangy River Rd.) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. will come courtesy of Crave (and you don’t even need to be on a bike to partake of goodies like free crepes from Leslie’s Creperies and beer samples from Lancaster’s Rockmill Brewery — you just have to be one of the first 200 to show up!).
-- Kristen Maetzold and Jane Hawes
The May issue of Columbus Parent is out! You’ll notice it from our cover guy Enzo, coolly checking you out from behind his shades (which came courtesy of Petit Green, the fabulous stylists for our May cover and What the Well-Dressed Kid Is Wearing feature).
The theme this month -- Checking Out the Outdoors! Yes, Columbus parents, it’s time to get back outdoors and breathe in some fresh air (between the fresh raindrops). And to help you do that, we’ve got a great hiking guide that our Columbus Alive colleague and outdoorsman John Ross researched and wrote for us. He’s written up and ranked a number of hiking trails, with difficulty ranging from “Even your baby sister can finish” to “Only the fit and daring need apply.”
Some of our other outdoorsy features include a yummy Cooking with Kids story: Clintonville dad Tim Wheeler taught us how to feed the fam with campfire cooking recipes like “Foiled Again Dinner” and “The Original Breakfast Sandwich.” And you can get all the supplies you need for family hiking and campfire cooking at the great locally owned- and operated Clintonville Outfitters. We’ve got some super ideas from them featured in our Anatomy of a Carrier Pack story!
We have this and much more in the May 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.
And don’t forget to enter our ticket giveaway contest for the upcoming Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus! We’re taking entries until May 6, and we’ll announce a winner (and four runners-up) on May 9!