Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Owen, an energetic four year old who LOVES the new “Dinosaur Island” exhibit at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium that just hatched this week. Owen loved the “Dinosaws” so much that his mom had to go through the exhibit twice in one day!

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Owen with the T-Rex at Dinosaur Island

Q: Owen, what did you see today?

A: Dinosaws! Lots of them. Their wings went up and down and made noises. They had babies with eggs! The lady gave me pictures of all the dinosaws so I could see if they eat meat or leaves. The sand pit had cool, soft sand and bones in it, but i couldn’t take them home. The long dinosaw was eating a tree, then the man buckled my seat belt, but I told him I can do it. He didn’t want me to fall out of the boat. 

Q: What happened on the boat?

A: We saw even more dinosaws and they squirted me a little, but mostly got mommy wet. And do you know what?

Q: What?

A: I ate a big pretzel after!

Q: Did you do anything else after?

A: I climbed and slided then we saw penguins, elephants, lions, monkeys, pretty birds, a dark building…. then we went to see the dinosaws again!

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Dinosaur Island

Owen’s mom had a lot of great tips for seeing this fantastic new exhibit. They toured it first thing in the morning and there was no line. Stroller parking was easy as there was an area by the ticket booth as well as an area close to the boat ride if your little ones prefer to ride as long as possible. The attendants at the ride were great in making sure all the kids were buckled in safely  and if you would enjoy staying a little dryer- sit on the right hand side. The dinosaurs were all throughout the ride on both sides and very easy to view. There was nothing scary for any age. 

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has many areas for picnicking- Owen and his mom found a shady spot by the Aquarium building. The Grange Insurance Stings, Wings N’ Playthings Park is very close to Dinosaur Island and a great place to rest while your kid enjoys the playground. 

When they returned mid-afternoon for round two of Dinosaur Island, there was about a ten minute wait for the ride itself, but you don’t notice the line because you were enjoying a shady walk beside the river with lots of dinosaurs at every turn. The waiting area by the boats also has a shaded cover and moves quickly. 

The “Zoo-it-All” wristbands are available at the front gate for $9.99 and include unlimited entry into Dinosaur Island, the Carousel, Bob Evans Express Train Ride and Jungle Jack’s Landing. They do not include entry to the zoo.

If you are planning a trip to the Zoo this summer, check out the Columbus Zoo/COSI Family Getaway Package  that includes discounted tickets to the Zoo, Zoombezi Bay and COSI!  

DSC_0446A few weeks ago, I heard we had a new neighbor in Historic Dublin. Intrigued, I packed my camera bag and went to photograph the wares. When I walked into Thalia & Dahlia, I met Christopher Krupa, one of the owners. Krupa and co-owner Michael Smith, both of whom previously worked at Curio Cabinet in Worthington, opened Thalia & Dahlia in September. We discussed the philosophy behind the gift shop, and he expressed his nostalgia for the way shopping “used to be,” relaying to me stories about a time when shopping meant more than rushing around the mall, visiting a collection of national chains where “unique” means “exactly like a million others.”

Krupa was quoted in the Dublin Villager as saying, “Shopping used to be an experience. People used to get dressed up and go shopping. We want you to be excited about shopping again. We want it to be a wonderful experience.”

DSC_0535 A wonderful experience is exactly what the boutique provides. Located in a charming building on High Street — you know, one of those old houses with character to spare — Thalia & Dahlia offers a true variety of quality, unique items, from wreaths and flower arrangements (both hand-crafted by Krupa) to linens and tableware. I loved the various picture frames (one pictured above) and gorgeous china (example pictured here filled with lemons).

My favorite thing about Thalia & Dahlia is that their inventory is always changing, with an emphasis on seasonal items. Halloween items were featured in October and Thanksgiving will be featured this month.  I was delighted to hear that Thalia & Dahlia will not be putting out Christmas inventory until just before Thanksgiving. With most businesses jumping headfirst from Halloween into Christmas, by the middle of December I’m ready to kick the next Santa I see. No offense to Mr. Claus, it’s just too much! To my relief, Krupa told me that Thalia & Dahlia will debut their Christmas decor at an open house set to be held the weekend before Thanksgiving. Each room of the store will have a different theme. I’m already excited.

DSC_0548But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! In the meantime, you can attend their Thanksgiving Open House this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to see the lovely items available this month, as well as enter a drawing to win table linens. The boutique is located at 113 S. High St. For more information, call them at 614/336-8582.

If you can’t make it in this Saturday, put on your finest and stop by Thalia & Dahlia during regular hours: Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Happy shopping!

To see the rest of my photos of Thalia & Dahlia, click here.

– Post by Kelly