Cool things to do this summer.

Catherine Ralston of New Albany takes the cake at the Easy-Bake 2009 'Baker of the Year' Contest

Catherine Ralston, a 12-year-old from New Albany was named the Easy-Bake 2009 "Baker of the Year" recently after baking her delicious "Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart" for a panel of toy, parenting and culinary experts at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, FL. This announcement concludes a search started last summer by Hasbro and the Easy-Bake brand that combed America's kitchens looking for the next "Baker of the Year".

In addition to the coveted title, Catherine received a culinary-inspired trip for four to San Francisco, CA, where she will visit local food-related sites and attractions. All finalists will have their recipes and photos of their creations on the Easy-Bake website: www.easybake.com.


All that glitters

Girls Glitter & Grace is a special place that promises to captivate the hearts and imaginations of girls of all ages. A locally-owned and operated business, owner Grace Ayers said, "girls are filled with excitement when they come in, and moms wish they could be young again!"

Full of sparkle and unique charm, Girls Glitter & Grace offers the choice of a magical dream party, to be pampered like a princess, or to enjoy creating high-quality beauty products.

Girls are welcome to shop the boutique and choose from a wonderful selection of glamorous items that are hard to resist. Six fabulous party packages are offered which include dress-up, party hair and makeup, a charming tea party with refreshments and more.

Create a lasting memory for the girl in your life at Girls Glitter & Grace, located at 1009 W. Main St. in Newark. Call (740) 348-0016 or log on to www.girlsglitterandgrace.com.


AHA! A Hands-on Adventure

AHA! A Hands-on Adventure Children's Museum was designed by a group of Lancaster parents who understood the meaning of play. In 2007, they set out to offer the stimuli that young children (ages 0-7) need in order to gain the optimum benefit from their playtime.

With the addition of two new exhibits in July, the museum will offer a range of 24 multi-sensory exhibits and activities. Young visitors can investigate, discover and discuss their findings as they climb through tunnels, heal sick pets, create waterways, shop for groceries, bake pizzas, build houses, plant flowers, and perform on stage.

Although the museum is geared toward the 0-7 age group, older children are always welcome. Admission is $5 per person for all ages. All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, go to www.aha4kids.org.


McDonald's to support the Ohio Historical Society

McDonald's will sponsor a Night at the Museum event at the Ohio Historical Center on Saturday, June 20, from 7 11 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for kids, and OHC member discounts are available. In the spirit of the movie, visitors can experience the Center as they've never seen it before. For more information, visit www.ohiohistory.org, call (614) 297-2300, or (800) 686-6124.


Park Street Festival 2009

The Park Street Festival is a fun, free community event for all ages with eclectic foods from the North Market, live music, poker run and kids' activities taking place June 12 and 13 on Park Street in the Arena District. Proceeds benefit The Second and Seven Foundation (www.secondandseven.com), a literacy program started by three former Ohio State student- athletes: Mike Vrabel, Luke Fickell and Ryan Miller.

The Second and Seven Foundation sends student- athletes to central Ohio second grade classrooms to "Tackle Illiteracy" by reading to students and donating books. Saturday, June 13 at 11 a.m., the kids' fair activities are kicked off with a special book reading and signing by co-founder and current Kansas City Chiefs player, Mike Vrabel. The Founda-tion will donate books to children in attendance to get signed after the reading. Goody bags will be provided by Columbus Parent Magazine.

Additional Saturday events include a charity poker run and bike fest, as well as Grill Masters at the North Market with grilling demonstrations and contests.

The fun continues into the afternoon with bounce houses, carnival food, face painters, balloon artists, games and prizes. Enjoy live music all weekend by local and national bands, including Candlebox, Saving Jane,
The 17th Floor, LoveSick Radio, Downplay and The Bourbon Kings. For more information, visit www.parkstreetfest.com.


COSI's annual Big Machines

Bulldozers, dump trucks and backhoes converge in downtown Columbus again for COSI's annual Science of Big Machines. Get behind the wheel and operate equipment that builds roads and buildings. Explore the science and technology of construction by trying it out first-hand in a variety of activities and learn with real engineers. From small hand-tools to big equipment, you'll discover how big jobs get done. More than a dozen enormous pieces of construction equipment are on hand to explore. June 13 -21. To learn more, visit www.cosi.org.


Local business fights childhood obesity through 'Exergames'

Circuit Wellness is working to put a dent in childhood obesity by offering a unique program where families can exercise and manage their weight together. Efficient and fun, adults and kids can enjoy a 30-minute circuit workout and "Exergaming" (exercise using video game technology). The only approved Exergame facility in Ohio, the concept is taking off. "Our facility is perfect for kids who prefer to watch TV or sit at the computer, and because I am an occupational therapist, we can accommodate the special needs population," said owner Polly Benson. Circuit Wellness, launched in October 2008, also offers birthday parties, camps, group outings and educational field trips. For more information, go to www.circuitwellness.com.