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When the temperatures start to get chilly, keeping your kids entertained can become a real nightmare.
With the long, warm days of summer sadly behind us, it’s always best for parents to have a few indoor activities up their sleeves. Columbus institutions like COSI and The Franklin Park Conservatory offer educational programs while places like Get Air and the Movement Lab promise fun through physical activity. We’ve compiled some of the best ways to keep your children happy and busy below.
Geared towards children 6 years or younger, the Firefly Play Cafe is a great way to spend a few hours with the little ones. Since opening in 2010, the cafe has become a one of kind experience in Columbus. With fun that encourages imaginative/creative play and activities to help with gross motor skill development, the cafe is the perfect place to spend a cold afternoon. Bonus: Firefly Cafe also offers Music and Storytime.
Vertical Adventures is family fun for your kids of all ages. For the little ones, the ABC Climbing program offers a unique way to build agility, balance, and coordination. For older kids, consider their competitive climbing team, Team Vertical or their recreational Climber’ Club.
Wall to wall trampolines. Need I say more? In case that wasn’t enough to convince you, I’ll elaborate. Get Air is so much more than jumping into foam pits, although that sounds pretty great. They offer Kiddie Court, Slam Ball, Slackline, Dodgeball, and a Ninja course. Get Air also has fun opportunities for special needs customers. Think of the nap they’ll need after that!
With two Columbus locations, Lazer Kraze offers a new unique take on old arcades. From their extensive laser tag courses to their inventive Cyber Sports, Lazer Kraze is making big waves in the Columbus area. They also do tons of charity work, donating over $1 million in supplies and services throughout their multiple locations.
Since opening to the public in 1964, COSI has become a local institution here in the capital city. Offering activities covering a wide range of science and technology, COSI is the perfect place to spend a snowy day. Kids can learn about topics ranging from Space to electricity, all in a fun and inclusive environment. COSI even offers a space for younger children, which encourages imaginative play and creativity.
Open the artistic mind of your child by exploring the Columbus Museum of Art. Free every day for children under 5 and for all on Sundays, the Museum offers tons of activities for your family. Explore the Wonder Room or set out on a museum-wide scavenger hunt, all while experiencing one of the most unique places Columbus has to offer.
At Franklin Park Conservatory, you’ll find the perfect activity for children aged 3-5. Nature School meets Tuesdays & Wednesdays until November 14, with two sessions per day. It’s a great way for your kids to participate in a green lifestyle all year long. The program allows young minds to be immersed in the nature around them, all while building skill sets across many different subjects.
If tired children = #goals, you don’t want to miss World of Bounce. Giant inflatables allow your kids to jump through all of their excess energy, just in time for nap time! Offering both open bounce and private parties, World of Bounce has something for everyone, including the adults! My word of advice is, don’t forget to bring socks for your kids and yourself if you plan on bouncing.
Looking for a way to get your kids’ culinary habits started early? Check out the Culinary Institute at Picadilly. For kids aged 18 months- 6 years, this class will inspire your young chef. But culinary training isn’t all they offer. In addition to classes, Picadilly offers and extensive Playspace, including a soft play area for little ones.
From indoor rides to awesome building experiences, LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a great way to spend a cold or rainy afternoon. The kids can explore Miniland, an awesome LEGO recreation of Columbus, build their own creations, or hop on a ride. Having been there myself, I can tell you with confidence that LEGOLAND Discovery Center is truly fun for all ages.
Originally published 3/3/17. Updated 11/13/19.
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