The first 3 months of the year are generally the longest for me, as I’m sure they are for everyone else. Now that our daughter is 17 months old, we have a full-blown toddler in the house, and our house is feeling even smaller than actually it is. At 17 months, baby girl enjoys outings; with a lot of places around town, I find the activities may be a little too structured, the space may be a little too dangerous, or the other children may be a little too big for her. Below, I have listed some great places in Columbus for a young toddler to play, explore, and learn, where we will be blowing off some of that extra energy this winter!
AHA! Children’s Museum: We recently took a trip to the AHA! Children’s Museum in Lancaster, Ohio. For more details on the experience, click this link. The museum is an easy 45-minute drive from Columbus, and admission is only $6, which makes it a very manageable and worthwhile day trip. The museum’s mission statement is “Educating children in a world of discovery, curiosity and imagination through hands-on play.” The museum is designed to educate and accommodate children ages six months to eight years old. Baby girl had a wonderful time exploring and interacting with the 33 on-site exhibits and the other children, and we will be back this winter.
PBJ & Jazz Concert Series: PBJ & Jazz concerts are “1-hour long interactive concerts designed to introduce jazz and American music to young children and their families.” Concerts are held in the ballroom at the Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St, Columbus, Ohio). Admission is $5 per person, with a family max of $20 at the door, and each child receives a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, juice, and a cookie upon arrival. This winter, concerts are January 14, February 11, and March 25, with two performances at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. We started taking baby girl last winter, and we had such a good time. During the concert, children are encouraged to sing and dance, while being introduced to jazz music.
Baby/Toddler Story time: You will find us at baby/toddler story times often this winter. Story time is a wonderful way to promote early literacy skills through short books, rhymes, and movement. Each library system in Central Ohio offers a variety of story times for different age groups. Be sure to check the schedules at these library systems, The Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries, Bexley Library, and Upper Arlington Library, to be sure they have an age appropriate story time.
Dublin Preschool Open Gym: The parks and recreation department in Dublin offers open gym for young children, ages 6 months to 6 years for $3 per child/per visit. “The gym is set up with age appropriate toys and equipment for you and your child to play and have a safe, fun time. This is a drop-in program, with no registration necessary.” The program is offered on Mondays and Fridays, January 6 – May 19, with some days off for holidays (Click this link to find the days NOT in session). Open gym is located at Dublin’s Parks and Recreation Department (5600 Post Rd, Dublin, Ohio 43017).
Scioto Audubon Nature Center: Even though it is cold outside, we are still taking advantage of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center is a beautiful facility located in the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. A few of the features include bird viewing windows, a small library, and a children’s playroom. The playroom offers both climbing opportunities, dress up clothes, and interactive activities on local birds and bugs. The center also offers Pre-K story time on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Baby girl enjoyed climbing and investigating the playroom and then enjoyed walking around the center to find all the bird feeders.