June 2009

It seems like school just let out and it’s almost the Fourth of July! Our family recently took a quick trip to Washington DC and now I’m really inspired toParadepic make this holiday one the kids will remember. We’re lucky to have July 3 off of work  (hope you do, too)!  That means we can pack even more activities into the long weekend.

Montgomery Inn Dublin will have their own Ribs Fest July 3-5. 3rd. It’s all-you-can-eat BBQ Ribs and Saratoga Chips (their homemade potato chips) for $19.99. They open at 11 a.m. (I’ll see you in line for lunch!) After gorging ourselves, we’ll head over to the water play fountains near Ballentrae to let the kids cool off.

Later on that evening, Columbus hosts Red, White, and Boom with a parade and fireworks downtown. While it is spectacular, we’ll save our fireworks watching for the next night here in Dublin. The Fourth starts off early 8-10 a.m.) with the Sherm Sheldon Fishing Derby.  Who was Sherm Sheldon? He was Dublin’s first Village Manager and loved kids and fishing. Who doesn’t?  It’s great fun and I love seeing all the families surrounding the pond in front of the Dublin Community Recreation Center. Arrive early so you have time to make it to the parade!

The Dublin, Ohio Fourth of July parade  starts at 11 a.m. and heads east on Bridge Street/SR 161 into Historic Dublin. It is a huge spectacle that involves kids riding decorated bikes, boy scout troops, clowns, dance groups, floats and high school bands.  Try parking behind the library so that after the parade, you can experience a quiet moment of reflection at the new Grounds of Rememberance Veterans Memorial.  Independence Day is a great time to thank all who have fought to provide us with these freedoms we celebrate.

After naptime (and rehydrating the kids), come out to Coffman High School to see Dublin’s Fireworks.  The entertainment starts at 4:30 p.m. with the SkyHoundz Hyperflite Canine Frisbee Disc Championship, then rolls right into performances from Boyz II Men and the Four Tops.  Bleacher seating is free and available to the public. Our family prefers to bring our own blankets and chairs and sit in the practice football field. You can still access the restrooms and refreshment stands at the stadium, but the kids aren’t as confined in one spot.  (I love that special moment when they’re sitting in our laps, just watching the beautiful fireworks display right over our heads.)

Have some patience going home–the traffic can be a challenge. For those who can– bike or walk!  The best part of the weekend is that we will still have July 5 to enjoy more family time together. I know we’ll end the weekend at Scioto Park with a pizza from Tommy’s Pizza  and a free concert with Dublin Arts Council’s Sunday’s at Scioto.  The band featured on Sunday night will be the Brass Band of Columbus. The concert starts at 7 p.m. (Last year’s concert by this group was well attended.)  Hope your family has a happy and safe Fourth of July!

-Post by Katie

This Saturday marks one of my kids’ favorite events of the summer.  It’s the Annual Dublin Kiwanis Frog Jump!  Starting at 10 a.m. at Coffman Park, frog-jumpthere will be all kinds of amphibious excitement going on.  Are you a first-timer at this unique event? Okay.

1) First, stop at the ticket tent to buy your chance to compete with a frog.  For the younger set, they have “everyone wins” rounds, and for the older kids, there are competitive heats. 

2) Your next stop will be to choose your frog.  Choose wisely.  My youngest likes a big frog because then they only have to jump once or twice to win while the older child prefers the smallest frog possible because they “like to jump a lot!”  It’s a blast to watch these kids try to motivate the frogs to move because they aren’t allowed to touch them.  So, the kids will blow on them, pound the ground behind them, whistle and do all kinds of crazy moves just to make the frog jump. 

3) Have your camera ready!  After your race, the frog must be returned to the resting zone where it won’t be raced for awhile. (Yes, all frog-competitors are returned to the wild where they were caught.) 

In addition, inflatables and bounce castles are also available for the kids and there are plenty of refreshments for purchase. Don’t miss this local event! 

-Post by Katie

Ah, fresh, locally grown produce. Dublin’s new Farmers’ Market will be launched tomorrow, Wednesday, June 24 in the parking lot of the Dublin Community Church, 81 W. Bridge St.  The market will be open every Wednesday 4:30 – 8 p.m. through the end of October.  Enjoy fresh hydroponic produce, free-range organic meats, eggs, potted plants, arts and crafts, etc. Participating farms: Wayward Seed Farm, 2Silos, VanScoy Farm, and more.

-Post by Kay

I LOVE that there are plenty of cheap/free things to do right here in Central Ohio for kids of all ages.  Here are a few of my favorite Ballantrae-Splash-Padpicks … just in time for summer vacation:  

  • Family Nights at the Columbus Zoo. (4-8 p.m. Wednesdays from June 24-August 20) See the awesome animal exhibits (the North America region is always an exciting place to wander at sundown), take part in family activities at the Water’s Edge events park and more!  
  • Dive In Movies at Zoombezi Bay.  Surprise the kids with a night at the movies—viewed from atop a floating raft in the Wild Tides Wave Pool! They’ll be talking about this experience for years to come.  
  • Feed their need for speed with a visit to SportsOhio for a spin on one of the 30 Go Karts, with designs inspired by Nascar cars. Drivers must be 40” tall and driven by someone age 18+ ($5 for five minutes)—but the Rookie Track caters to ages 4-10 ($2 for three minutes). 
  • The Abbey Theater (tucked inside the Dublin Community Recreation Center), offers great children’s programming year-round. Summer family-friendly shows include “Pushcart Players” (June 25), “That 70s Cindy—Abbey Players” (July 6-10) and Madcap Puppet Theatre (Aug. 20).  Show prices range from Free–to-$7/per person.
  • Ballantrae Park Splash Pad. You’ve heard us talk about this no-cost, wet wonderland before. Put the kids in their suits, pack a picnic then let ‘em play, climb the hill near the Dancing Hares sculptures and have fun! Free!
  • Go Ahead & Play with your Food! Central Ohio is rich in factory tours (most of which are free or cheap). Discover the secret of the French Pot method of ice cream making during the self-guided tour at Graeter’s Bethel Road location (free). Watch the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”—then go see the real step-by-step process of making fine chocolates during the Anthony Thomas Chocolate Factory Tour (also free). Or check out The American Whistle Factory–so your kids can see for themselves how they get the little ball inside the whistle. ($4/per person, includes whistle.)

Need more ideas? Visit the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s online Calendar of Events.

-Post by Mary

What a great new Memorial we now have in Dublin (OH) – The Grounds of Remembrance in Dublin Veterans Park is a lasting tribute to the Dublin-Veterans-Park---webmen and women who have served our country in war and peace. Located along the Indian Run in Historic Dublin, Dublin Veterans Park is approximately one acre and is bordered by passive parkland, the Dublin Public Library, the Indian Run Cemetery and Dublin Road.

The Grounds of Remembrance includes the Recognition Walk, which features 500 dedication stones to honor veterans; the ceremonial area of the Loggia with the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson; the Sycamore Grove to recognize major contributors to the project; the Memory Wall, which will hold personal messages of thanks to veterans; and the Dedication Wall, which pays tribute to the five branches of service. And, make sure after visiting the memorial you take the short walk down to Indian Run Falls – a great place for a family picnic!

-Post by Scott

SundaysAtSciotoLowResThe Sundays at Scioto Summer Concert Series started last Sunday night. I hate that I missed the New Orleans funk, performing jazz and R & B. Oh well … I’ll just try to attend as many of the other upcoming SAS concerts as I can.

These concerts feature outdoor entertainment from some of the best musicians in the Central Ohio area.  They are presented by the Dublin Arts Council and take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Sundays (through July 26) at the outdoor amphitheatre at scenic Scioto Park, 7377 Riverside Dr. in Dublin.  Best of all, they are free.  Upcoming concerts include:

-June 14    The Z-Sharp Big Band (Classic big band swing)
-June 21    The Conspiracy Band (Funk & R&B)
-June 28    The High Street Stompers Dixieland Band (Dixieland jazz)
-July 5       Brass Band of Columbus (British Brass Band)
– July 12    Arnett Howard (Creole, Cajun & Zydeco)
– July 19    The Bearded (Original old-time string and jug band)
– July 26    British Invasion (British pop/rock)

Bring a picnic (or purchase Jeni’s ice cream on site), lounge on the grass on blankets or chairs – and sit back and enjoy!!  Scioto Park (home of Dublin’s famous 12-ft. high Chief Leatherlips sculpture)  is located on Riverside Drive,  just north of Emerald Parkway, on the left.

-Post by Kay

I don’t know about you—but by the time Memorial Day rolls around every year, I’m thinking summer vacation. (I think it’s Zoombezi Bay ingrained in us from our elementary school years—like some kind of mid-year notch in our individual lifelines.)  And I LOVE to travel.  There is something about exploring a new place that is like spring cleaning for the soul.  Apparently, there are a lot of Americans who continue to share this passion … tough economy or not.  

According to the U.S. Travel Association’s recent summer leisure travel forecast, an estimated 54 percent of American households are planning a trip this June, July or August.  (That’s compared to 50 percent at this time last year.) That equates to an estimated 322 million domestic leisure per-person-trips. (I’m picturing millions of travel-warriors like me who will eat Mac & Cheese for a month before giving up our summer vacations!) Viva les vacances!!

Yes, we will be watching our travel budgets. Yes, we will be looking for deals. But—indications are that we expect to spend about the same amount on our vacations this year as we did last year.  Some of us may not be traveling as far. Some of us will stay closer to home. But that’s the great thing—there is SO MUCH TO DISCOVER right in your own state.

I’m a BIG fan of Ohio travel. My family is fond of hopping in the car, driving two hours and uncovering some awesome gems right here in the Buckeye state … like Amish country, Hocking Hills, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, King’s Island, Ikea and the Cincinnati Museum. (We LOVE the Omnimax(R) theatre there!)

If you’re looking for an economical family vacation idea—consider Dublin, Ohio.  I know. You’re thinking I sound like a commercial. But you don’t have to take my word. Just ask some of the people who have already booked a getaway here this summer. Sales for our popular Wild & Wet Summer Getaway Package are already slammin’ …. and it’s no wonder. It’s hard to beat the value–a choice of 8 hotels (with special rates); discounted tickets to the Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay; free Bob Evan’s kid’s meal and free Graeter’s Ice Cream sundae for one low price.  Don’t believe me?  Go to the Wild & Wet Getaway page of our Web site, put in the dates of your trip and run the numbers for yourself.   But when you DO come to town, stop by our Visitor Center and say ‘hi!’   (I promise not to say, “I told you it was a great deal!”)

-Post by Mary