The grass is green, the trees are blooming, it’s Spring here in Dublin, Ohio. This time of year is great to be outside and enjoy our wonderful parks. Did you know Dublin offers 56 developed parks with over 980 acres of parkland? Take a picnic lunch (Whole Foods makes a great sandwich and their salad bar offers many choices) and enjoy it beside the Scioto River. The Dublin Arts Council now offers a cell phone tour so you can hear the artist describing Chief Leatherlips – or any other of their Art In Public Places sculptures around Dublin.

While you’re in Historic Dublin, stop by the newly remodeled Visitor Center to grab a Historic Dublin Walking Tour. Enjoy walking the district and sharing the history – and don’t forget to stop by some of the merchants for some local interaction! Many of the restaurants offer lunch, or if you are in the mood for a treat, try Jeni’s Ice Cream, Our CupCakery or Sisters Sweet Shoppe!

Another great Spring tradition–Baseball–starts this time of year. Did you know we have a factory tour of MLB approved bats here in Dublin? Visit Phoenix Bats where you can speak with the technicians who are making wood bats for many major league players. During your tour, you’ll see a wooden bat carved in front of you in just two minutes. Visit www.phoenixbats.com for a list of tour times and details.

On those rainy days, visit COSI Columbus to see the new WATER exhibit –  where you can explore where water occurs on Earth, how it’s used and how we can become better stewards of our water planet. Experience hands-on and digital interactive elements, videos, wall panels, models, specimens and live Phoenix Batsanimals.

It may be Spring Break, but the Ohio History Center inspires kids to learn more about Ohio’s great history. Explore Ohio’s natural history through its plants, animals, geology, geography and climate. Walk under a giant mastodon for a tour of Ohio from the ice age to the present. Kids will love the specimens available for touching, computer displays and special kids play areas.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers year-round fun for kids of all ages. Meet polar bear twins Anana and Aurora, get nose-to-nose with manatees at Manatee Coast, venture through a nocturnal animal facility, ride a 1914 Mangels Illions carousel, and meet “Hank” (all 15,600 lbs of him)–the elephant that is winning hearts every day.

Have a fun and happy Spring Break spending time together as a family!

For more information about special events and attractions in and around Dublin, Ohio, visit the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website: www.IrishisanAttitude.com or call 800/245-8387.

~Post by Katie

 

 

It’s hard to believe that December is just on the other side of this coming weekend. Dublin’s work crews have been busy wrapping Historic Dublin Ohio in green garland, red bows and hanging those famous icy blue lighted snowflakes over the Scioto River bridge. (You really have to see them at night!) And Dublin’s “Sweet Street” (as High St. recently has become known–due to the many delicious candy, cupcake and cookie shops that have sprung up) is feeling more like Sugarplum Lane.

Next Thursday, December 3 is the City of Dublin’s annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at 62 West Bridge Street (east of Indian Run Elementary). The Dublin singers will kick off the festivities with carols at 6 p.m., followed by the arrival of Santa at 6:25 p.m.–when the jolly old elf will help the Mayor and members of City Council light the tree. Then the festivities will move to the Dublin Library (75 N. High St.) where Schade Photography will offer free photos with Santa, courtesy of the Historic Dublin Business Association (HDBA).  There will also be storytelling, refreshments and a chance to meet some reindeer.

The fun continues next Saturday (December 5) with a BriHi celebration in Historic Dublin. Trolley rides will be offered throughout the district. Local merchants will offer discounts to holiday shoppers. Visitors can take part in sampling and  judging a Chili cook-off for just $5. Gingerbread houses created by local high school students will be on display at Sister’s Sweet Shoppe, Our Cupcakery and La Chatelaine.  These charming fantasy creations will be available for sale via a silent auction, as part of a charity fundraiser.

Why not make the most of this family fun weekend by combining these free activities in Historic Dublin with a Kids Go Free Columbus Zoo Wildlights Getaway?  Book your package online in advance, stay at one of the eight participating Dublin hotels, experience Wildlights on Friday evening–then meander Historic Dublin on Saturday shopping, sipping peppermint hot chocolates and celebrating the season.

I always struggle with what to get my nephews and niece for Christmas. Like most kids I know—they definitely do NOT need any more toys, games, etc. Columbus Zoo Wildlights(Of course, they’ll never admit that.) They have many adult relatives (with more money than I have) that cover their wish lists.  Still, I strive to be THE coolest aunt. (The women in my family are extremely competitive in this way.)

So, I decided last year to give them experiences. Basically, it goes like this: I ask each of them to come up with a list of (a) cool places in Ohio that they’d like to visit (b) fun things they like to do (i.e. ice skating, amusement parks, etc.) and (c) where they like to eat. Then we go through the list together, come up with a compromise and go! Some things get eliminated from the list if they are too expensive (my option). Some things get eliminated if they aren’t a good fit for everyone—(i.e. my nephews would never go for a day of mani/pedis and shopping … much to the chagrin of my niece and I).

This year, I think I’ve found a crowd pleaser that will make everyone happy. Actually, I found it without leaving my desk at work. It’s close-to-home. It’s inexpensive, all packaged up and ready to go. (And it helped that—as part of my job—I helped to create this fun getaway for visitors.) The official name for the package is Kids Go Free-Columbus Zoo Wildlights Getaway. The official details of the package are: (a) It can be booked online Nov. 20-Dec. 31 (b) It includes an overnight stay at a choice of Dublin (OH) hotels (c) It includes free kids passes to Wildlights at The Columbus Zoo (d) It includes a free kids meal at Bob Evans and a free junior scoop for kids from Graeter’s Ice Cream.

The unofficial reasons why I would book one of these packages? (a) The cost of the packages with hotel and Zoo tickets starts at $79 for a family of four. (Yes, you read that right.) That’s less than I would’ve spent on their combined Christmas gifts. (b) Staying at a hotel is WAY more fun than just driving to the Zoo, going out for dinner and ice cream and driving home (i.e. SLUMBER PARTY!, swimming etc.) (c) Contrary to popular belief, Dublin CVB staffers don’t get stuff for free.  But my biggest motivation is completely selfish. After I last planned one of these experiences, my 6-year-old niece gave me a hand-written thank you note that said, “Ant Mimi … you are the bast Aunt EVAR!!!!!!!!”  This year, I’m gonna top that.

-Post by Mary