Bet you didn’t know about this intriguing (and highly affordable) party possibility — a Columbus Recreation and Parks facility that offers kids a chance to party while enjoying the outdoors. They can run around, get dirty and learn a thing or two about nature.
WHO: Indian Village Outdoor Education Center
WHERE: 3200 Indian Village Road, Columbus 43221
WHAT: Indian Village offers six types of parties with animal or nature themes for children ages 4 to 12:
*Fossil Fun: Children will make a fossil and track down some real ones at a cave on the park property.
*Stream Stomp: Party guests will search for live animals. Park staff will lead kids on a walk through a creek where they will learn about the critters that live there.
*Night Wonders: Staff teaches guests about what senses animals use to survive at night.
*Radical Reptiles: Guests will meet snakes and turtles.
*Bug Out: Youngsters use real bugs to make “dye” that is used to create a tie-dyed shirt.
*Bird Brain: Staff shares some of the cool feats of our feathered friends of the sky.
Kids ages 8 to 12 have three adventure-themed parties from which to choose:
*Archery: Staff members teach party guests basic bow and arrow skills and safety, then let them shoot at balloons.
*Canoeing: The Scioto Riverserves as training water for party goers. Kids learn a bit about maneuvering a canoe and staying safe on the water.
*Fishing: Would-be anglers have a chance to drop a line in the Scioto River during this fishing-themed party.
COST: $100 for Columbus residents, $155 for non-residents. A nonrefundable deposit of 20 percent of the party costs is required to reserve an event. Full payment is due the day of the party. Payment can be made by cash, check or credit card. The number of party participants ranges from 12 to 15 depending on the theme. Some type of parties can accommodate more children for an extra fee.
WHEN: Indian Village can host parties Monday through Saturday. Party times are very flexible. Park staff is available from morning through evening. Parties are scheduled for three-hour time slots, which includes an hour for setting up and cleaning up afterward. The program portion of the party lasts one hour. Park staff members lead the programs.
WHAT THE VENUE PROVIDES: Indian Village has a lodge with a full kitchen. There are tables inside and outside the facility. The lodge also has a fireplace, plus there’s an outdoor fire pit, where guests can roast marshmallows or hot dogs. Indian Village provides all of the necessary equipment for the adventure parties and the supplies to make fossils for the fossil party.
WHAT YOU PROVIDE: Food, beverages, cake, place settings and tablecloths. People often schedule the parties before or after lunch and dinner so they do not have to bring in meals to serve to guests. If you want goodie bags, you must supply them.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Families often arrange for the park’s portion of the party to begin 30 minutes after the official party start time. That arrangement allows guests to get settled and typically means everyone is present when the program starts.
CONTACT: 614-645-3380, parks.columbus.gov/outdooreducation.aspx