The King Arts Complex has paired up with Columbus Children’s Theatre to offer a free matinee performance of Aladdin. The production offers a lively look at the story of a poor street boy and his infatuation with the Sultan’s daughter.
The play is from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. March 8 in the Pythian Theater, 867 Mt. Vernon Ave. Reservations are required. Call 614-645-0644 for details.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
It’s never too early to start thinking about the summer (with no school, vacations and warm temperatures, who wouldn’t?). The Columbus Parks and Recreation Department is making it easy with their Camps Expo on March 1. From 5:30 to 7:30, head to the Franklin Park Adventure Center on Broad St. You’ll be able to chat with camp counselors and see what options are available for your youngsters during the summer months.
Registration for the Columbus Parks and Rec camps officially begins on March 10. There are two ways to sign up: either visit the Columbus Community Centers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or log on to http://activenet17.active.com/columbusrecparks/.
March 1 is Ohio Statehood Day, and the Ohio History Center is celebrating by offering free admission to the public! Beginning at 9:30 a.m., visitors can explore the various exhibits at the center. The newest feature is called “Controversy 2: Pieces We Don’t Normally Talk About” and explores stereotypes.
Also making a special appearance at the Center’s Statehood Day celebrations is John Glenn, former Ohio senator and astronaut. He’ll speak at an event sponsored by the center which includes presentations and remarks from other notables. This special portion of the celebration costs $30, and registration information can be found at www.ohiohistory.org.
The Ohio History Center website also has an ongoing calendar of events that includes historical presentations, tours and exhibitions. Check it out for some educational and fun family-friendly ideas.
The March issue of Columbus Parent starts hitting the street on Monday! Once again it’s got our very popular Summer Camp Guide. This year, we’ve got 144 options, ranging from day camps to sleepaway camps, from camps focused on art, music and dance to camps for future Olympians and rocket scientists. Our online directory features just our premium listings, so if you want to read about all the camps out there, be sure to pick up http://www.columbusparent.com/content/pages/locations.html a real, live print copy!
And of course the issue has our usual array of family fun ideas and reviews. Want some hints? Of course you do! Do you wonder which neighborhood got the spotlight treatment? Well, here http://adenamansion.com/ is an interesting place to visit there. And here http://sumburger.com/ is a place you can eat (and that our mom-and-kid review team test drove for you).
We took another insider’s tour of a popular destination http://cosi.org/ in Columbus and wrote it all up for our Go-To Guide. We got ready for St. Patrick’s Day with these folks http://richenstimm.com/ and we worked on a great Cooking with Kids recipe with friendly people from here http://gooseberrypatch.com/.
So pick one up and enjoy!
From our Columbus Parent games reviewer, Shawn Sines, comes a review on the newest gaming console from Sony….
The latest Sony handheld gaming console finally reaches our shores: Sony Vita ($250 Wi-Fi or $300 for Wi-Fi/3G model).
This handheld plays classic Sony games and sports graphics comparable to the PlayStation 3 all with built in storage, wireless connectivity and an option to subscribe to 3G wireless services from AT&T.
The multi-touch controls along with a bright 5-inch OLED screen make the Vita a great mobile entertainment platform. Launch titles include versions of Sony’s lead franchises like Uncharted, Little Big Planet, and Mod Nation Racers.
Have you ever wished you could test the waters on how your little one will do at preschool? The Grow With Me program at Crooked Alley KidSpace is a great place for children to gain a better understanding of what preschool will be like.
The program provides an opportunity for caregivers and children to play, learn and grow together. The sessions, held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, incorporate arts and crafts, storytelling, music and dance and other organized activities. The cost is $3 per child.
KidSpace is located at 630 Wirt Road. For more information, call 614-836-3333 or visit http://groveport.org/sections/affairs/children.asp.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
Time Warner Cable’s Mid-Ohio Division is launching a Wouldn’t It Be Cool If… contest that gets more youth thinking about science and math in a fun, innovative way through a competition, with finalists pitching their ideas to will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas.
For the contest, students (ages 10 to 15) are asked to dream up a cool idea that would make their life, community or even the world more awesome, and then to think about how science and math could help bring those ideas to life.
To kick off the contest, Time Warner Cable will host an event tomorrow, Wed., Feb. 22 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Center for Creativity at the Columbus Museum of Art. Students will go into break-out sessions, led by facilitators/mentors representing The PAST Foundation, Tech Corps, Columbus Museum of Art and the National Society of Black Engineers, who will help them flesh out ideas and work on solutions to submit to the contest.
Eligible youth have from Feb. 21, 2012, until March 28, 2012, to submit their ideas at www.wouldntitbecoolif.com. Once submitted and evaluated, finalists will get to pitch their ideas to will.i.am and other science leaders in person at the annual FIRST Robotics Championshipthis April in St. Louis. Finally, one winner will be selected to receive the ultimate prize — the opportunity to collaborate with leading innovation firm, Fahrenheit 212, which will kick off a development process that culminates in their idea being brought to life. The national winner and the development of the idea will also be featured in an episode of Time Warner Cable’s It Ain’t Rocket Science.
Spring seems to signal an urge in all of us to get our hands dirty. Whether we want to delve into a home improvement project inside, or start beautifying the outside of our home, this is the time of year we start getting the itch. The Central Ohio Home & Garden Show opens its doors this Saturday at the Ohio Expo Center. An impressive team of home improvement, lawn and garden, and even cooking celebrities and experts will be on hand to give you a hand. They'll share thousands of ideas and showcase new trends and materials, not to mention show off beautiful flora and fauna.
Whether you're considering changing a counter top, adding a sun room, putting in that dream patio, or planting a vegetable garden, this show is a great place to go for ideas and inspiration. For a complete list of all the events and activities planned, visit www.dispatchevents.com.
Admission is just $12 at the door, kids 12 and under get in free.
Date: February 25 - March 4
Location: Ohio Expo Center, Ohio State Fairgrounds
Hours: Opens Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday closed, Tuesday-Friday 12 noon-9 p.m.
Cost: $12 at the door, 12 and under admitted FREE, parking $5
Helping kids learn to be less selfish is one of the many challenges parents face.
This month, there’s a holiday that can help kids see the benefits of putting others first. And it’s not Valentine’s Day. It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day.
Celebrated on Feb. 17, the day offers a great opportunity to help your kids see the value in helping others and developing compassion.
Random acts of kindness can be simple things that children can suggest and do. Things like drawing a picture for an elderly neighbor, sharing a toy or snack with a friend or helping a sibling with a chore are easy ways for your child to make a difference.
For more ideas visit, http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/Kindness-Ideas/Browse/.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
From the time we get our first piggy bank we're taught to count our pennies.
The lesson that is missed, however, is how much those pennies count. By the time we get to college and get our first credit card, the idea of saving money is often lost; what little money we have left we spend on interest and late fees.
The Central Ohio bank whets children's appetites on dry topics like credit cards, taxes, charitable giving, and smart spending by turning it all into a game. Money Island is designed for kids 8-to-14 and features interactive games and activities.
No fancy GPS required to navigate this island...a computer mouse leads the way. Money Island can be played solo, as a group, or even in the classroom.
Parents and teachers can also find lesson plans on the site. You don't have to have an account at Farmers Citizens Bank to take advantage of the free site. To learn more check out www.farmerscitizensbank.com
Flip the Page, Central Ohio’s Teen Literary Magazine, is looking for kids aged 13 to 19 to submit poems, plays, cartoons, short stories and essays for publication in its 2012 issue.
The magazine, which is published in conjunction with the Thurber House’s Young Writers’ Studio, offers student the chance to showcase their work locally. Writers featured in the upcoming issue also may have the opportunity to read from their work at the Columbus Arts Festival in June.
The deadline for submissions is April 2.
For more details about how to submit students’ works, visit http://thurberhouse.com/flip-the-page-seeks-submissions.html.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
No girl should be left out of the prom because she can't afford a dress. That's where Fairy Goodmothers waltzes in.
The non-profit organization provides dresses for girls who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford one. Last year they dressed more than 1,000 girls for the prom! That's quite an undertaking even if you are a Fairy!
This year they hope to make even more wishes come true. Tuttle Mall is helping by providing a drop off location. From now until April 20, you can drop off gently-used prom dresses at Guest Services.
Don't let that dress collect dust, let it help make lasting memories. To learn even more ways to donate or get involved, visit: http://fairygoodmo.web705.discountasp.net
As the temperatures continue to linger in the colder temperatures, one central Ohio organization continues to work to give clothing to kids in need. For the 105th season in a row, Charity Newsies is asking for monetary donations so that they can help children in the area. Through successful fundraising efforts last year, the group was able to provide roughly 14,000 kids with jeans, underwear, coats, shoes and more.
Interested in helping out? The volunteers of Charity Newsies regularly collect donations through the special-edition newspaper sale. You’ll find them around Franklin County, typically on the weekends, selling newspapers sponsored by other area businesses or organizations. You can also donate money by visiting www.charitynewsies.org.
Chocolate lovers, have we got an event for you! On Saturday Feb. 11, the Coshocton County Career Center is hosting the annual Pomerene Center Chocolate Extravaganza. From 3 to 5 p.m., visit the center to sample decadent chocolate desserts made by local bakers. You’ll also experience live music, art and entertainment.
You won’t want to miss this one-man show! Anthony Zerbe, an Emmy-award winning actor whose credits include roles in “Mission Impossible” and “The Matrix,” is making his way to the Chappelear Drama Center at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Entitled “It’s All Done with Mirrors,” Zerbe will dazzle the audience with his interpretation of various e.e. cummings poems (that’s not a typo, by the way — e.e. liked to lowercase his name). The show is a great way to introduce youngsters to the art of poetry, as the show is targeted to people of all ages.
The performance takes place at 8 p.m. on Feb. 10. Tickets are $20, and $5 for senior citizens or non-OWU students. For more information on OWU’s Performing Arts Series, visit pas.owu.edu.
If you thought history was boring, think again! The Imaginating Dramatics Company is making the history of the Civil War interesting with their kid-friendly play on Sunday, Feb. 12. The Kelton House Museum is hosting the theatre group for their performance of “Kids, Courage and the Civil War,” which discusses the lives of children during the war.
The show begins at 3 p.m., and refreshments will be served beforehand starting at 1 p.m. Also available during that time are tours of the Kelton House. Reservations are required, and tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children four and older. Call 614-464-2022 for information, or visit keltonhouse.com.
In honor of the bicentennial celebration, COSI is hosting a 200Columbus Family Weekend that you won’t want to miss! Head to the science center on Saturday, Feb. 11 or Sunday, Feb. 12 and learn what Columbus was like when the city began 200 years ago. Kids can partake in fun historical activities, including crafts and games. There will also be special appearances by actors dressed in costumes from the early 1800s.
For an additional $5 per person, check out the Electricity in Progress Family Workshop. The hour-long program starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday and lets you explore electricity and circuits.
The 200Columbus Family Weekend activities run from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. on Sunday. General admission prices begin at $9.75 for children and $14.75 for adults. Visit cosi.org for more information.
The Ohio Statehouse is celebrating Black History month with art, special performances and food.
The state’s capital will present free living history programs from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays.
The performances by “We’ve Known Rivers!” will share the stories of prominent African Americans.
An exhibit of student art honoring Rosa Parks will be on display throughout the month in the Map Room.
The Capitol Café will prepare special soul food dishes on Wednesdays.
The Ohio Statehouse, located at 1 Capitol Square, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no cost to visit the building.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
Thanks to our friends at School Choice Ohio, we now know about the “best kept secret in the state.” It’s the EdChoice Scholarship, and the enrollment period started on Feb. 1.
Unsure of what the EdChoice Scholarship is? It’s for kids who attend public schools that have a low academic rating. Eligible students can receive state funds to go to a school of their choice. Students in grades K-8 can be awarded up to $4,250 a year, and up to $5000 for high-school students.
If you want to see if your child qualifies or want more information on the scholarship and its benefits, visit the School Choice Ohio website: scohio.org. Applications are taken until April 13.
And don’t forget to read our Go-To Guide this month on choosing schools http://www.columbusparent.com/content/stories/2012/02/HOT-NTK-goto-schools.html (and paying for them).