Ana’s Field Trip/Activity Suggestions:
The Coca-Cola Space Science Center (free under 3)- Though this center is geared more towards slightly older children who are on field trips, as a space loving family, we love this center. There is a small area where little children can play and learn about space (perfect for Skylar), an IMAX theatre that plays a great Sesame Street video for kids about space once or twice a day, and loads of equipment to feel like you are in space or actual equipment from spaceships. The best part of the center is the gift shop, where we have found great deals on interesting finds for space and dinosaur units.
Callaway Gardens (particularly the Butterfly Center)- In preparation for a bug unit that I planned to do a few weeks later, we took the girls to Callaway Gardens, where they have a beautiful indoor butterfly garden. We were able to talk about different butterflies and different stages of butterfly development. While Aria enjoyed seeing the different butterflies, I enjoyed the gift store, where we were able to buy a butterfly hatchery (caterpillars ship to you in the mail) and a boatload of bug stickers and books! Callaway Gardens is a melange of learning opportunities, including swimming, walking the trails, and a nature Discovery Center, but the Butterfly Center is most definitely a gem for the homeschooling mom and family!
The Columbus Museum (FREE)- The museum itself is great and an excellent hands-on learning experience, but the truly best part of the museum is the children’s area, which has some incredible and free activities. The video creation area is amazing, as is the theatre area with dress up options and puppets. Children can even go into the backroom and practice being architects, drawing and modeling floor plans, which is cool for even adults to take part in. During the summer, they put on weekly performances for children that usually feature learning songs or puppet shows. Perfect place to enjoy with a budding artist!
The Columbus Library (FREE)- Not only is this a stunning museum, but it is the perfect playground for children. There is a large dinosaur playground that you can drive to behind the library, which is super well done and perfect to play at during a dinosaur unit. But inside the library is an awesome kids section, with an outdoor, interactive children’s garden and a great activity room. They have loads of kids books and hands on activities, along with great children’s programs, such as STEM Mini Makers (our current favorite). Highly recommend spending as much time here as possible!
The Columbus Botanical Gardens (FREE)- though these are small, they are beautiful gardens perfect for any outdoor units or family pictures
National Infantry Museum (FREE but ask for $5 donation per person)- An awesome museum for learning about our country’s history and the wars that have been fought around the world. Geared a little bit older than preschool, but there are areas of the museum that still caught the girls’ interest. Has a great IMAX theatre that hosts several great children’s movies during the summer and at Christmas time.
Oxbow Meadows (FREE but ask for $5 donation; certain events require an additional fee)- A really great, small children’s nature museum. Hosts some awesome nature learning opportunities throughout the year and fun festivals (like a fairy, honey themed, and frogwarts festival during the year). Perfect for any nature or animal themed units during the year. Close to a great walking trail and dog park.
The Riverwalk- we love the riverwalk for how easy it is to walk with a stroller and how beautiful it is. During the summer, we love the part of the walk that starts in Flat Rock Park because of the tree coverage (a necessity in a very hot Columbus)
Lakebottom Park- this is such a great park for kids with a great walking trail that surrounds the park and an excellent (mostly covered by trees) playground. Check out the festivities in the park, from Art in the Park to concerts.
Riverfront Splash Pad and Freenotes Harmony Park- good way to cool down during the summer, especially if you don’t have a pool, though you have to be careful of some larger kids pushing the smaller kids down in their haste to play (Aria and Skylar have both gotten boo-boos at times). The Freenotes park is new and super fun for all age levels. The music section is really fun for both kids and adults!
My Gym Columbus- we are huge fans of My Gym, having gone to classes here since Aria turned 8 months old. Such a well priced, perfect for kids gym. My girls love getting out of the house to go to the gym and everyone who works there is great with kids.
To be continued... (am I missing anything? Please give suggestions below on great places to go with kids!)
Please keep comments contructive
Jessica and Ana
Our Homeschooling Mission Statement: We will strive to be patient, godly examples to our children, integrating biblical principles and morality into every subject. Learning should be fun. We will foster an attitude of lifelong curiosity and play while providing the best possible education we can through books, art, technology, food, tactile activities, and cultural experiences. Learning will not be dictated by hours on a clock but will be a way of life for our families.