If you’re in need of a Friday pick-me-up, the Summer Fridays at the Statehouse will start its 2012 season on June 1.
Each Friday throughout the months of June, July and August, head to the Ohio Statehouse at 12 noon for a free, hour-long musical performance. Make sure to bring a lunch and a blanket: You can enjoy the entertainment right on the Statehouse lawn.
Scheduled performances for this summer cover a wide range of music including bluegrass, classical, rock ‘n roll and jazz. Check out more information about the featured acts at ohiostatehouse.org. Happy listening and lunching!
At the start of June, make your way downtown to the Scioto Mile for the annual Columbus Arts Festival. The three day fest (June 1-3) has a new location as it celebrates its 51st year, and is full of activities for kids.
The Hands On Arts Activities series will take place each day of the festival. The arts and crafts include creating a rainbow, designing a journal and making a glass bead. There will also be a performance of Johnny Appleseed on Saturday and Sunday. There will be plenty of fun for the whole family!
For more information on the Columbus Arts Festival and the various activities, check out columbusartsfestival.org. The site also has a listing of the artists and entertainment throughout the weekend.
Our June issue starts getting distributed today and it’s packed with great stuff! Included are the results of our Best of Columbus contest and a special pull-out Go-To Guide on the wonderful Nationwide Children’s organization and their brand new hospital that’s opening soon.
And we’re also launching our Ultimate Birthday Party contest! Know a kid who deserves the Ultimate Birthday Party? We can help. From now until noon on June 18, you can enter the name of any kid (ages 17 and under) in our Ultimate Birthday Party contest!
The prizes come from such fine purveyors as Pete DeLois’ Recreations Outlet, Bob Evans and Velvet Ice Cream! How fine? Well, they’re each chipping in $600 worth of products (with a range of choices). For example, from Recreations Outlet (their local store is located in Powell http://www.recreationsoutlet.com/Powell_Location), the winner will be able to use their $600 gift certificate toward the purchase of a Child Life or Playground One Playset, Springfree Trampoline, Goalsetter Basketball Goal, Goalrilla Trainer or an Ultimate Birthday Party!
We’ll draw the name of one entrant and announce the lucky winner in our July issue. Click here http://www.columbusparent.com/content/sections/contests/index.html to enter!
CAPA is at it again with the annual Summer Movie Series, which is celebrating its 42nd year. Each summer during June, July and August, nearly 30 films are shown at the Ohio Theatre.
While Mom and Dad might be interested in some of the classics like “Casablanca,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” kids will get a kick out of Cartoon Capers. Shown on two Saturday mornings (June 23 and July 21, both at 10 a.m.), timeless characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck will light up the screen.
Purchase tickets either at the Ohio Theatre box office or on ticketmaster.com. A bundle of ten tickets sells for $25, and can be used for any show time during the series. Or, buy tickets the day of the film for $4.
Who won't drive a few extra miles if there are endless options of ice cream waiting when you get out of the car? The Annual Utica Old Fashion Ice Cream Festival takes place at the Velvet Ice Cream Company this weekend.
Located just a mile south of Utica, Velvet hosts the event each year complete with a parade, artisan and food vendors, and even a Festival Queen. There's ice cream eating contests and tours of the factory for folks who want to see how Velvet churns out such deliciousness. That's just a brief sampling of what the 40-some-thousand enthusiasts experience each year while gulping down 75,000 scoops of ice cream.
The festival is in its 37th year and runs Saturday through Monday of Memorial Weekend. Admission is free!
Utica Old Fashion Ice Cream Festival
When: May 26-28, 2012
Where: Ye Olde Mill, 11324 State Route 13, Utica, OH
From Nancy Gilson, The Columbus Dispatch’s children’s book expert, comes this review of a new Carl Hiaasen novel!
Chomp (Knopf, 290 pages, $16.99, age 10 and older) by Carl Hiaasen
Carl Hiaasen can blend outrageous characters, action-packed plots, humor and a passion for the environment in novels that grab hold of youngsters as well as adults.
His new novel for young readers, Chomp, follows in the wake of Hoot, Flush and Scat, his three previous, Florida-set adventures.
The anti-hero of this one is Derek Badger, a Steve Irwin-style star of the reality show Expedition Survival! Badger is a complete fraud and an even bigger fool.
His production team brings him to the southern Florida home of animal wrangler Mickey Cray and his son, Wahoo (named for the tuna). They preside over a haven for snakes, raccoons, turtles, monkeys and a big old alligator named Alice, who — inadvertently, the boy said — took off one of Wahoo's thumbs.
Badger is to star in an episode whose climax will be a tussle with Alice. The shoot goes so well that Badger demands that the next show be shot in the Everglades with truly wild creatures, and with Mickey and Wahoo along as experts. The father and son wouldn't put up with such nonsense, but they need the money — the mortgage is overdue.
Into sawgrass and swamp go the production team (Badger will be flown in by helicopter daily from his Miami hotel) and the Crays, as well as a school friend of Wahoo's, who is also named for a fish — Tuna. She's on the run from her drunken father, who hits her.
The theme of childhood abuse is handled seriously while Hiaasen's concerns for wildlife and the environment emerge almost subliminally in his wild plot. On location at the Cray home, Badger whispers the script as cameras roll: "Today I'm crawling through the most remote, untouched and dangerous stretch of the Everglades, following the trail of an enormous wild python — and look! There she is!"
But Beulah, the python, had been fed a couple of microwave chickens and really just wants to take a nap. Or, as Hiaasen writes of Badger's encounter: "It was like wrestling a 14-foot noodle."
Adventure ramps up in the Everglades with unscripted events: Badger tries to eat a live bat and is bitten in return, fleeing into the swamp. Tuna's gun-toting father takes Mickey hostage on an airboat and on the trail of his daughter who, with Wahoo, is tracking Badger. A storm erupts.
The voice of sanity in all this is Wahoo, a shy kid who navigates the action with common sense and humanity toward all, except nincompoop Badger, surely one of the funniest and thickest villains Hiaasen has yet created.
What is Hill's Market near Worthington going to do with 1000 pounds of salmon? Serve it roasted on a deli bun with a side of slaw on picnic tables in their parking lot.
Not impressed? Throw in cookies, ice cream, adult drink options, and a steel drum band.
This popular annual family event kicks of the Memorial Day weekend and is open to the public. It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. No reservations required.
When: Saturday, May 26, 2012
Where: Hill's Market, 7860 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus 43235
Time: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Looking for something else for the kids to do this summer? Thanks to a free nationwide program, kids in Columbus can partake in free bowling all summer long.
It’s easy to sign up: just visit kidsbowlfree.com to find the bowling center near you offering the program. By signing up through the website, kids can receive two free games every day. The dates, hours and age limits vary based on location.
Plus, parents can partake in the fun by purchasing a family pass, which allows Mom and Dad to also bowl two games per day. Prices for the family pass begin at $24.95.
This summer, Zoombezi Bay is offering a new way for patrons to enjoy the rides without spending the day waiting in lines instead of riding the slides.
New in 2012, Zoombezi Bay is offering a ZoomPass. Similar to the Fast Pass at Walt Disney World, those guests who purchase the ZoomPass wristband can skip lines and head right to the slides.
ZoomPasses aren’t cheap, though: Weekday wristbands cost $19.99 each and they’re $24.99 on the weekends. But they will provide instant fun on the 17 slides and various other attractions that the water park has to offer. Learn more about the passes at zoombezibay.com.
This Saturday and Sunday are “preview weekend” at Zoombezi Bay, and regular, daily hours of operation begin next Thursday, May 24.
The Eco-Chic Craftacular, one of our favorite arts & crafts events in these here parts, takes place this weekend, May 19 and 20.
Hosted by the Etsy Team Columbus, the Craftacular takes place at the Whetstone Community Recreation Center in Clintonville.
More than 60 independent crafters and artisans from the DIY community will be selling their wares, plus there are always food trucks, kids’ activities, live music and workshops to attend.
The hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, go to www.columbuscraftacular.com.
If you are still looking for that perfect summer camp for the kids, check out the Hocking College Summer Experience Camp. The camp themes are pretty cool (Culinary, Archaeology, Rock ‘n Roll and Fire, Police and Emergency Services), and they are offered to kids ages 13 to 18.
The four camps run June 25 to 29, and cost $300 each. But Hocking College is also giving away a camp registration for free! They are asking that teens visit the school Facebook page, “like” them and post a comment on why they want to spend the week at the camp.
To learn more about the programs or register for a camp session, visit hocking.edu/summercamp.
Might you or someone you know be eligible for food stamps? The Mid-Ohio Foodbank can help you determine whether this program is for you.
Through the Ohio Benefit Bank, low-income families can submit information to find out if they qualify for assistance. To find out more information or to participate in a screening over the phone, contact the Tina Keller of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank at 740-513-1527. Or, visit midohiofoodbank.org to learn about food stamps, other programs and ways to help those who are hungry in Central Ohio.
Are you one accident away from putting the stop on potty training? It may be time to let the experts weigh in.
The Ohio State University Nisonger Center is holding a class for parents wishing to learn more about the topic. Dr. Andrew Whitwer, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, will present the class from 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 15, at the Early Childhood Education & Family Center, 2879 Johnstown Road, Columbus.
To register contact Mary Martin at 614-342-5801 or Mary.Martin@fcbdd.org. Child care is available for a limited number of participants.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
Enjoy the merriment of “Robin Hood” at the Actors’ Theatre Annual Tent Dinner, which kicks off the 2012 summer season.
Head to Schiller Park on Thursday, May 24 beginning at 6 p.m. Guests have the opportunity to meet the playwright and have dinner before the performance begins at 8 p.m. This adaptation of “Robin Hood” was written by Philip J. Hickman, an area playwright.
Tickets cost $50 per person, and the Tent Dinner serves as a fundraiser to support the Actors’ Theatre. If you can’t make the May 24 show, “Robin Hood” runs through June 24. Order tickets, learn more information and find a complete schedule of shows by visiting theactorstheatre.org.
Marburn Academy is celebrating its 30th anniversary by welcoming Erin Brockovich as the Keynote speaker during an event on May 11. Marburn Academy was founded in 1981, and educates children with learning differences like ADHD and dyslexia.
Brockovich, for whom the 2000 film was named, has been an advocate for environmental issues as well as dyslexia, since she is affected with the disorder.
The anniversary celebration will take place at COSI at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend–the cost is $300 and includes dinner and auctions. Visit marburnacademy.org for more information.
The Elizabeth Blackwell Center at Riverside has added a class designed to help parents who are living in separate households work through child-rearing issues.
The Parenting Separately class, which is geared to parents of children 3-years-old or younger, addresses infant and toddler development and offers tips on meeting the physical and emotional needs of young children. The class also helps parents develop guidelines for establishing co-parenting plans.
The class is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 14 or May 21.
For more information call the Parenting Helpline at 614-566-4446. To register for the class, which costs $30 per person, visit http://www.ohiohealth.com/parentingclasses.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
Come check out the art at the Ohio Statehouse this month!
More than 30 works of art by students in grades K-12 from Ohio’s public schools are on display in the Ohio Statehouse’s Map Room now through May 19. And the exhibition coincides with the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day on May 9.
The aim of the exhibition is to recognize the talents, creativity and innovation of students who receive high quality arts education instruction as part of their academic experience in school by professional arts educators. Participants in the exhibition were selected by arts educators in each of the Ohio Art Education Association’s regions which span the state. Locally, students from Mark Twain Elementary and Cherrington Elementary in Westerville had artwork selected for display.
For more information about the Statehouse Student Art exhibition and the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day, contact the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education at 614.224.1060 or visit www.ohiocitizensforthearts.org.
Need a fun activity for a Mom and Dad date night? Wine enthusiasts will love Wine & Warblers, an adults-only fundraising event at the Grange Audubon Insurance Center.
Wine & Warblers will be held on Wednesday, May 9 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Guests can sample wines and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and desserts. You’ll also have the opportunity to take a bird watching walk and participate in a silent auction.
Tickets begin at $50, and can be purchased at the door or by visiting giac-audubon.org/ww. Proceeds benefit educational programs for Columbus City Schools.
If circuses are your family’s thing, then you’ll probably want to hit the latest edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s circus that comes to town next week.
It’s called “Fully Charged” and will run at the Schottenstein Center for eight shows, beginning Thursday, May 10 and ending Sunday, May 14.
A few helpful hints:
*Tickets run from $10 up to $75, but opening night tickets (Thursday, May 10) are only $11. You can buy them online at ringling.com or ticketmaster.com, or at the Schott’s box office.
*Shows are Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 12, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, May 13, 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
*And one hour before every show, there is a free “All Access Power Up Pre-show Party” that will let you meet some of the performers (human and animal), engage in some sort of activity called “CircusFit” (we’re guessing it does not involve eating all the peanuts and popcorn you can), and you can register for a chance to win a pachyderm painting created by one of Ringling Bros.’ Asian elephants.
Even though the school year is not yet over, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next one! The Columbus City Schools district is reminding parents to register their children for kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year.
If you live in the Columbus district, registering is easy. Simply head to the elementary school zoned to your home address during normal school day hours. There, parents can fill out the necessary forms for registration. And don’t forget to bring the appropriate forms of identification! Find a complete list of required documentation at www.columbus.k12.oh.us.
The website also has further information regarding Columbus City Schools and the district’s programs.
Did you know that there were some apps for your iPhone and iPad that can serve as therapy tools? The Columbus Speech & Hearing Center is hosting two open houses where the public can learn about these apps and ways they can help children.
Join them on Thursday, May 3 or Wednesday, May 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the center (on North Broadway in Clintonville). Occupational therapists and speech pathologists will be on hand to explain different apps and answer questions.
Sign up for the open house by calling 614-261-5413. The $10 registration fee covers two adults. Learn more about the Columbus Speech & Hearing Center by visiting columbusspeech.org.
Believe it or not, but today at 11 a.m. marks the start of summer — at Velvet Ice Cream's Ye Olde Mill in Utica.
You may recall our article http://www.columbusparent.com/content/stories/2011/05/27/fun-day-trippin-utica-ice-cream-festival.html about their Ice Cream Festival from last year (this year’s happens May 26-28) and our article http://www.columbusparent.com/content/stories/2012/01/ntk-goto-factory.html about their factory tour from earlier this year.
Well, it all gets going today at 11 a.m. In addition to enjoying a scoop of Velvet Ice Cream at 1970s-era pricing, guests also get to enjoy free tours, the Ye Olde Mill playground, use of shelter houses for picnics, a natural trail, free wi-fi, and lots more. It definitely makes for a fun day trip with the kids, and this year, they’re also giving away a custom bicycle. Visitors can begin signing up to win the bike today and a winner will be drawn on Aug. 11.
For more info, visit their website http://velveticecream.com/index.asp.