Grab your calendars & tag your friends, mommas! Here’s this year’s list of fun, free, kid-friendly activities going on this Summer in Toledo & surrounding area!
It’s that time of year again! Time to register for summer camp! Woot Woot!! I know what you’re thinking, it’s only March, summer is still months away. I used to think the same thing; I figured summer camp registration would be in May. Let me tell you, it only takes once, one time of seeing your kiddo totally disappointment upon hearing the news that they can’t go to the summer camp ALL their friends are going to because Mom didn’t register them back in March!! Thus we are helping you get a jump start on registration! We’ve taken the time to collate camps and divide them into categories, thus, hopefully making the process as simple as possible for you, simply click on the link to be directed to the camp’s website. Please note, there are a few camps that don’t have their 2021 summer camp schedule up yet, we will be updating those, so keep an eye out, & stop back. Don’t let your child miss out on the summer fun!! If you appreciate the time and energy spent to collate this list please share & do let camps know you heard about them from Mom on the go in Holy Toledo. Thanks, loves! And Cheers to nothing but HAPPY CAMPERS!! Read more
Just because the weather isn’t cooperating doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Here’s a list of some awesome kid-friendly indoor destinations to visit in NW Ohio and SE Michigan that will allow the adventures to continue no matter the weather!
Address: 110 Cherry Blvd. Bellevue, Ohio 44811
The largest indoor play structure in Ohio! Jungle Junction is an AMAZING fun time for children ages 12 and under. Six levels of adventure with over 60 play features including slides, air cannons, obstacle courses, and interactive game panels keep kids entertained and challenged for hours. A dedicated toddler tumble zone with molded jungle friends for climbing, crawling and sliding the day away. Their controlled environment will keep you cool in the summer and warm when the weather turns cold and wet.
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm (Sensory Day- The first and third Wed. of each month. 10a-2p, no air cannons)
Friday & Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday Noon – 7:00 pm
DAILY ADMISSION: $6 (ages 2-12)
Parents and Caregivers are FREE!
Children 1 and under are FREE!
Don’t forget your socks!
Michigan Science Center
Address: 5020 John R Street Detroit, MI 48202
Explore hands-on exhibits, gaze at the stars, discover new worlds in our IMAX® theatre, and take part in live stage shows. As Michigan’s STEM Hub, we inspire curious minds of all ages.
General admission: $14/adult, $11/child 12 and under or senior citizen (60+).
Children under age two are free.
Check out the additional options/packages on their website. (General admission doesn’t include IMAX theatre)
Monday – Tuesday Closed
Wednesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The Mazza Museum
Address: Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion University of Findlay 1000 North Main St.
Findlay, OH 45840
The Mazza Museum is the most diverse collection of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of picture books.
“BOOKS TO FILM EXHIBIT”
Many children’s books have been made into films. Come see your favorite characters from movies in their original picture book form…or better yet take note of the books and read them before your see them on film.
“Patricia Polacco Exhibit”-The Keeping Quilt is one of our favorites….Come see why!
Museum Hours of Operation:
Wednesday-Friday: Noon – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 – 4 p.m.
University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
Phone: (734) 764-0478
Address: 1105 North University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079 (Look for the “Golden Dome”…that’s the planetarium in the building)
Parking: Free Parking on Sundays! Most non-marked spots in any Campus Faculty/Staff Parking (including Palmer) is free on Sundays. (Do NOT park in Gold, Business Vehicle, or other marked spots.)
With the largest display of dinosaurs in Michigan, the University Of Michigan Museum Of Natural History offers an array of educational programs and exhibits for families, students and adults. Exhibits include the Hall of Evolution, Michigan wildlife, anthropology, geology, and several changing exhibits.
Museum Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm
Admission: FREE to individuals and groups of 10 or fewer. (Suggested donation is $6 per person)
Phone: (734) 973-8424
Address: 4100 Carpenter Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Don’t just see a movie, experience it!! An immense explosion….A whisper heard over your shoulder. The rumbling bass you feel instead of hear. The combination of their perfectly tuned integrated sound system and precise speaker orientation ensures you can hear a pin drop and be able to tell exactly where it landed. Every note of the soundtrack and every scuff of a shoe are clearer in IMAX, with a complete overhaul of each movie’s audio overseen by the film’s director. All of this pristine sound is then pumped into a theatre that has been customized for an optimal experience. Clarity, detail and size make IMAX more than a movie. Two projectors run simultaneously to provide the perfect image with a balance of warmth and sharpness. IMAX draws you into something as close to reality as you have ever experienced!
For list of shows and times click on the website above….I do know, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story starts showing this week!
Wednesdays are the discount days…$10 for IMAX all day! (FYI: Kids concessions combo-drink, popcorn, fruit is $5.65)
Snook’s Dream Cars
Address: 13920 County Home Rd, Bowling Green, OH 43402-8670
Snook’s Dream Cars displays the extensive collection of “long time car guy” Bill Snook (deceased) and operated by his son Jeff Snook. It features a recreated 1940s era Texaco gas station, a showroom of extensive automobile memorabilia and a car collection presented within period scenes ranging from a 1930s general store to a racetrack from the 1960s.The car collection, which features models from the 1930s to the 1960s, includes coupes, convertibles, sedans, roadsters and racecars, made by Cadillac, Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Packard, Kaiser, Willys, Jaguar, Triumph, MG and Lotus. The facility also houses a complete four-bay shop for maintaining collector cars.
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat. & Sun: By appointment
Spangler Candy Factory Tours
Address: 400 N. Portland St., Bryan, OH 43506
Public tours of the factory are available on their Dum Dums Trolley Wednesday through Friday 10 am to 3:00 pm ET. There are no reservations. Tours are on a first come, first served basis. You may wish to call ahead for information. Store & Museum admission is free – tour prices are shown below.
Due to safety and FDA regulations, the trolley tour will not go through the main kitchen areas, but will go through the warehouse areas and their most recent addition, the Portland Street expansion. It is the 87th production expansion in company history and nearly 20,000 square feet in size. Visitors are able to see their palletization area and automatic case packers. Candy cooking and forming in the kitchen areas will be shown via a DVD player while on the trolley tour.
Hours: Fall/Winter/Spring: Wednesday thru Friday 10am – 3pm
Factory tour prices are: Adults $5, Children 6-18 years $3, Children 5 & Under Free with paid Adult, Seniors $4. Tours will not be offered on any day that is a holiday for the factory.
Phone: (419) 244-2674
Address: 1 Discovery Way, Toledo, OH 43604
Imagination Station, Toledo’s Science Center, is dedicated to making science, technology, engineering and mathematics fun and accessible. There are hundreds of interactive, hands-on exhibits that are fun and educational for the entire family. Whether you only have an hour or you have all day, there is plenty to see and do at Imagination Station. Come join us and explore everything that Imagination Station has to offer!
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: Noon – 5pm
Big Kids (13 – 64): $11
Kids (3 – 12): $9
Seniors (65+): $10
Children 2 & under: Free
Phone: (419) 491-1194
Address: 1600 Albon Rd. Holland, OH 43528
There is no age limit on jumpers; if you can walk you can jump. Destress and have a blast jumping and possibly even flipping in/on Sky Zone’s awesome trampoline courts. Simply sign the waiver, get your jump time, put on your Sky Zone Socks and reach for the sky! Enjoy full access to the park, including, the Main Court, Ultimate Dodgeball, SkySlam, the Foam Zone, etc. Sky Zone also offers food and beverages so you can recharge after all that jumping. If you wish to expedite your experience you can sign the waiver and get jump time in advance, so you can get kiddos on the courts ASAP!
Hours: (Summer) Mon-Thurs. noon-8p.m. Fridays Noon-11p.m. (Glow Zone 9p.m.-11p.m.), Saturdays 10a.m.-11p.m., & Sundays Noon-8p.m.
PRICING: 60 MINUTE JUMP PASS – $15, 90 MINUTE JUMP PASS – $19, 120 MINUTE JUMP PASS – $22
Outdoor Adventure Center
Phone: 844-OAC-MDNR (844-622-6367)
Address: 1801 Atwater Street Detroit, MI 48207-4020
Experience exciting outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators — walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat and reel in a big fish, hit the trail on a mountain bike or snowmobile, and much more. At the OAC, you’ll learn about how the DNR manages state parks, forests, wildlife and fish as you climb the roots and explore the canopy of a massive bur oak tree, hop aboard a real airplane, and see what’s swimming in our aquarium.
Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday Noon – 5 p.m
Adults (age 13-61) $5
Seniors (age 62 and older) $3
Children (ages 2-12) $3
Children under age 2 Free
National Museum of the Great Lakes
Address: 1701 Front Street Toledo, Ohio 43605
Hours: Tuesdays– Saturdays: 10a.m. – 5p.m., Sundays: Noon – 5p.m., Closed Mondays
The National Museum of the Great Lakes is a fun and unique experience for all. Learn about the rich history our Great Lakes have afforded us, making up 84% of all the fresh water in North America it is no surprise they are treasured waters. Explore the history and enjoy some hands-on displays as you learn about one of the world’s greatest natural resources. Kids will be intrigued by all the means of transit along the Lakes, including the huge ship, the Schoonmaker just outside the museum in the Maumee River, (tours of the ship are offered May-Oct). Be sure to stop in the museum store so the kiddos can pick out some souvenirs to commemorate their visit.
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Museum Only: Adult – $11
Museum Only: Senior, AAA, or Military – $10
Museum Only: Kids (6-17) – $8
Museum Only: Toddlers (0-5) – Free
Phone: (419) 517-9094
Address: 3620 Centennial Rd, Sylvania, OH 43560
Sylvania Playland is the one and only indoor bounce house and playground in Sylvania! Come in and play on their five inflatables, four swing sets and toddler area. Our glow-in-the-dark mini golf is now OPEN! 18 holes, 4 themes (underwater, pirates, dinosaurs, knights and dragons). Win prizes in their arcade and have a taste of Toft’s ice cream!
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Friday & Saturday: 9 AM – 9 PM
Cost: Ages 1-3 1 hour bounce is $6 (unlimited $9)
Ages 4-12 1 hour bounce is $9 (unlimited $13)
18 hole Mini Indoor Golf $7 (unlimited $10)
1 Hour of Bounce and 1 Round of Golf……………$14.00
Unlimited Bounce and Unlimited Golf………………$20.00
Historical Museum of Fulton County
Address: 8848 State Highway 108 Wauseon, OH 43567
Calling all history buffs and those simply intrigued by the vast history located in NW Ohio tour this an amazing 1868 Romanesque Revival two-story brick building that originally housed Wauseon’s first high school, and later, the county’s first hospital. Experience thirteen rooms that showcase permanent historic exhibits of hidden historical gems. Listen to locally written abolition hymns of the Underground Railroad movement in the county; see the crackling campfire of local Civil War soldiers and the museum’s extensive collection of Civil War era artifacts which are the impressive centerpiece of this exhibit.
Call ahead and make an appointment to see the Depot! Two blocks south of the museum, visit the Wauseon Depot. A collection of items from Fulton County’s railroad past, which included 6 steam lines and two electric inner urban lines, is on display inside the depot. Watch and listen to an O-scale working model railroad display that highlights Fulton County’s railroad 1920s hay-day.
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:00am – 04:00pm
Rates: Adults – 18 and over: $8.00
Seniors – 55 and over: $7.00
Children – 6-15: $3.00
Children 6 & under are FREE
When you’re finished with your awesome tour stop by Red Rambler for a hot cocoa for the kiddos and a Flight of their brewed beers for mom and dad!
Toledo Museum of Art
Phone: (419) 255-8000
Address: 2445 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43620
Since the founding in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has earned a global reputation for the quality of its collection, innovative and extensive education programs, and architecturally significant campus. The main Museum building interior contains four and a half acres of floor space on two levels. It has 45 galleries, 15 classroom studios, the 1,750-seat Peristyle concert hall, the 176-seat Little Theater lecture hall, the Resource Center for Educators, the Family Center, the Visual Resources Collection, the Museum Café, and the Museum Store featuring Collector’s Corner. The Glass Pavilion has five galleries, a glass study room, classrooms, two hotshops, a multipurpose GlasSalon, public and private courtyard space, and a coffee bar.
Family Center: Free, fun, and open to everyone! The TMA Family Center, located in the education wing near the Plough entrance, is the perfect place for our youngest Museum visitors to make and take memories with their parents and caregivers. Drop in for themed activities that enliven the world of art for kids ages 1-10 (and even grown-ups!). Check the calendar on this page for upcoming projects. Calendars can be customized and printed by clicking on the Google Calendar icon at the bottom of the calendar listing.
Family Center Hours:
Tuesdays & Thursday: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Friday: 3:30–8 p.m.
Sunday: noon–5:00 p.m
Admission: The Museum and the Family Center are FREE
Address: 82 Aprill Dr Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Since 1994, Planet Rock has been providing world class indoor rock climbing. With creative wall design and innovative route setting, Planet Rock enables climbers of all ages and experience levels to love a sport that is like no other. Over 25,000 square feet of climbing surface with walls up to heights of 50′ and routes up to 70′ long, their gyms cater to competitive and recreational climbers alike. The gym also features unique climbing features such as the full-training areas and giant bouldering mushroom. Both beginner and experienced lead climbers will find routes that are both technical and fun. Their dedicated lead climbing walls have extensive lines and challenging features, while their bouldering areas offer interesting topography and an innovative mat system for softer landings.
Hours: Monday- Friday | 3:00PM – 10:00PM
Saturday | 11:00AM – 8:00PM
Sunday | 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Admission: Starter Packages (first time) Price
Adult 14 or older $44.00
Adult and child (5-8) $50.00
additional children (each) $25.00
Adult and child (9-13) $60.00
Additional children (each) $32.00
Price Adult Daily Pass $17.00
Student / Military Daily Pass $16.00
Kids (5-13) $13.00
Belay only $10.00
Belay check $3.00
The kiddos put together a list of their favorite Ohio destinations we have visited. The following destinations are fun family friendly destinations that were of particular interest to children ages 2-11 years of age & us kids at heart too! (Tip: When purchasing tickets for admission inquire about discounts, AAA, reciprocity, etc. We were able to get admission FREE at some of these thanks to our local memberships)
- Campbell’s Sweets Factory Tour (Cleveland…pair this one with #16 for an awesome day trip)
- Spangler Factory and Museum (Bryan…pair this one with #4 for an awesome day trip)
- Imagination Station (Toledo…pair this one with #18 for an awesome day trip) )
- Imagination Kingdom (Wauseon…pair this one with #2 for an awesome day trip)
- Sauder’s Village (Archbold)
- Castle (Loveland)
- Newport Aquarium (technically it’s in Kentucky but it is so close to Cincinnati)
- COSI (Columbus)
- Maumee Bay State Park & Lodge (Oregon Ohio)
- Armstrong Air & Space Museum (Wapakoneta)
- Young’s Jersey Dairy (Dayton…pair this one with #20 and/or #12 for an awesome day trip)
- National Museum of the U. S. Air Force (Dayton…pair this one with #11 and/or #20 for an awesome day trip)
- African Safari Wildlife Park (Port Clinton)
- Cedar Point (Sandusky)
- Kalahari (Sandusky)
- Christmas Story House Tour (Cleveland…pair this one with #1 for an awesome day trip)
- Kings Island (Cincinnati)
- Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center (Toledo…pair this one with #3 for an awesome day trip)
- Toledo Zoo Aquarium (Toledo)
- Boonshoft Museum (Dayton…pair this one with #11 and/or #12 for an awesome day trip)
Have some great memories of visiting an Ohio destination with your family? Do own/work at a must visit Ohio destination? Please share! As stated, we are currently working on our summer bucket list; we would love to hear your recommendations.
I have collated a list of fun kiddo and family friendly destinations in Toledo and the surrounding area, each has a brief description. Each destination has been linked to the website where you can retrieve more thorough information regarding hours of operation, rates, etc. Know of a fun Toledo destination that isn’t listed? Please feel free to share in the comment thread. Thank you!!
- Toledo Metroparks (Offers fun programs for kids and events for families)
- Olander Park (Swimming, fishing, playgrounds, etc. Sylvania, OH)
- Fort Imagination Playground (Enclosed playground for little kids & large playground for older kids-Woodlands Park, Perrysburg, OH)
- Carr Park (Fun playground for all ages-Bedford, MI)
- WGTE (Check events and be sure to attend family fun days)
- Fossil Park (Bring small/medium paint brush to brush off fossils and baggy to take home fossils- Sylvania, OH)
- Toledo Lucas County Public Library (Check times and locations for Story Time and other amazing events for kids and families)
- Maumee Bay State Park (Swimming, biking, boardwalk, trails, nature center, cross-country skiing, sledding, etc. Oregon, OH)
- Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center (Children can paint,make theme inspired craft, listen to a story in the gallery, and play at the Family Center)
- Gathering Volumes (Story Time –Sun. 1pm, Tues 6pm, & Thurs 10am – Always Check Calendar to confirm times)
- Barnes & Noble (Fun themed story times with awesome crafts! Fallen Timbers, Maumee, OH)
- Bass Pro Shops (Fun events for kids’ checkout their calendar- Rossford, OH)
- Toledo Firefighters’ Museum (Checkout the fire trucks, old equipment, kids learn about fire safety in Jed’s room where a fire is simulated, & more)
- Home Depot Kid Workshops (Kids get to use tools and make something to take home)
- Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (Checkout the “Let’s Go Outside” Backpack at the visitors center. Each is filled with fun tools for exploring like binoculars, bug jars, magnifying lens, cloud guide, and more! Oak Harbor, OH)
- Fallen Timbers (Lil’ Timbers Kids Klub has fun activities throughout the year and there are great seasonal events like ice skating and carriage rides- Maumee, OH)
- Toledo Police Museum (Fingerprint Comparitor from the 80s designed to be accessible and appealing to kids. Downtown Toledo)
- Sylvania Heritage Museum & Railroad Depot (Genuine railroad depot building that served Sylvania residents for 98 years, from 1858 to 1956. It is the oldest train depot in existence in the State of Ohio. Downtown Sylvania, OH)
- Mazza Museum (Largest museum of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of children’s literature. Findlay, OH)
- Levis Commons (Fun seasonal activities for the kids and families like Sandtastic fun & breakfast with Santa!!- Perrysburg, OH)
- Imagination Kingdom Playground (Adorable playground for kiddos, pack a picnic and let their imaginations run wild while they burn off all that extra energy- Wauseon, OH)
- Butterfly House (Watch a beautiful array of butterflies flutter around while listening to classical music play, try to locate and identify the various butterflies with the brochures provided. Also offers fun Autumn events like the corn maze! Whitehouse, OH)
- Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm (Admission is FREE, but you are going to want to bring some spending cash because it isn’t officially fall until you stop by the farm and see all the farm animals, cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and more! Enjoy a hayride and finally pick out the perfect pumpkin!! And other goodies in the store…fresh produce and squash!!-Ottawa Lake, MI)
- The Canal Experience at Providence (Go back in time and ride the Volunteer, a reproduction of a mule drawn canal boat, visit the Mill, enjoy characters dressed in period attire-Grand Rapids, OH)
- Erie Orchard (You pick…blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and more! But the real fun starts in the fall…enjoy corn maze, hayrides, bounce house, music, and more…check their calendar for events! Erie, MI)
- Fort Meigs State Memorial (Fort Meigs State Memorial honors the site of the largest wooden-walled fortress in North America, built during the War of 1812. Take self-guided tours, view weapons demonstrations, and learn the history of the fort. Perrysburg, OH)
- The Toledo Symphony (Music under the Stars-FREE concert in the summer)
- Valentine Theatre (Check calendar of events…offers great classic film series!! Downtown Toledo)
- Ohio Skate (Roller skating!! 2 locations, Maumee, OH and Toledo, OH)
- Copper Moon Studios (Fun art classes for kids! Walk-ins welcomed! Holland, OH)
- Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center ( Memorial to the 19th President of the United States it contains a treasure trove of information for history buffs. The Center includes the Hayes Mansion, Presidential Library, Museum, and the tomb of the former president- Fremont, OH)
- 577 Foundation (Offers an array of classes for all ages and encourages ecologically responsible living- Perrysburg, OH)
- Art Supply Depot (Offers art classes, paint pottery, and more! Downtown Toledo)
- SS. Col. James M. Schoonmaker/National Museum of the Great Lakes (Kids will have a blast when they step foot on a real Ship-Downtown Toledo)
- Bowlero ( Bowling alley, awesome arcade where kiddos can win prizes, bowling, food, & fun!)
- MacQueens Apple Orchard (Fall destination!! Their apple butter fest is amazing!! Fall events are fun, fun, fun! Check calendar for avtivites and events-Holland, OH)
- Interstate Bowling (They participate in the kids bowl for FREE program-Rossford, OH)
- Sundance Kid Drive-in (Oregon, OH)
- Q-Zar (Laser tag & Arcade- Sylvania, OH)
- Ritter Planetarium (Located on the campus of University of Toledo)
- Super Suppers (family day…kids help make meals)
- Toledo Speedway (there are free kids nights)
- Toledo Mud Hens (baseball)
- Toledo Rockets (football/basketball)
- Toledo Walleye (hockey)
- Bowling Green Falcons (football, hockey, basketball, etc.))
- Sylvania Playland (Bounce Houses, indoor play sets, and miniature golf-Sylvania, OH)
- Par 2 Golf (Go-karts, bumper cars, putt putt, arcade games, & ice cream Toledo, OH)
- Toledo Gymnastics Academy (call for open gym time)
- Sunrise Gymnastics (call for open gym time)
- Sky Zone Toledo (Indoor Trampoline Park- Holland, OH)
- Hero’s (Bounce Houses, carnival games, and snacks…open play times available -Perrysburg, OH)
- Imagination Station (Hands-on science Museum- Downtown Toledo)
- Toledo Zoo (Be sure to checkout the new penguin exhibit and Aquarium!!)
- Indian Creek Petting Zoo (walk thru this unique petting zoo…see camels, Zebra, peacocks, bunnies, alligator, and more!! Lambertville, MI)
- Uncork the Artist (Instructor guided classes, kiddos leave with an awesome masterpiece!)
- BG Bounce (Giant Indoor Sand Box, Toddler Room, Art Room, Science Center, Party Rooms,Nerf Wars, Paint Ball Arena, Dodge Ball, Game Arena Rooms, Food & Fun!)
- Peace Love & Pottery (Paint Pottery Sylvania, OH)
- Funagins (Paint Ball, Bounce Houses, Arcade, & More!)
- Sandpiper (100 passenger cruise vessel located on the Maumee River -Downtown Toledo)
- Calder’s Dairy & Farm (Watch them milk the cows, visit the animals on the farm, check out the goat scape, enjoy some yummy ice cream treats, and more! Carleton, MI)
- The Petting Farm at Domino’s Farm (Visit all the animals down on the farm, enjoy a hayride, pony rides, and more! Ann Arbor, MI)
- Planet Rock (All things climbing…rock wall- Ann Arbor, MI)
- Funtastic Play Center (Indoor playground with 2 main areas of play for children under 8 and 2 storey padded play structure with 14 different obstacles including a zip line, rock wall, and 3 slides! Checkout their Facebook page for Open Play times Canton, MI)
- Jungle Java (Fun indoor climbing and play area for kids…food available too! Canton, MI)
- Hands on Museum (Hands on science museum for kids! Ann Arbor, MI)
- The Creature Conservancy (See a wide variety of domestic and exotic animals. You may buy food cones to feed to the barnyard animals. Ann Arbor, MI)
- Gallop Canoe Livery (Canoeing as a family is so much fun! This park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, paddleboat, and rowboat rentals, river-themed programs and a coffee shop, score!! Ann Arbor, MI)
- Jungle Junction (Largest Indoor Play Area in Ohio-Six levels of adventure with over 60 play features including slides, air cannons, obstacle courses, interactive game panels, toddler zone, & more! Only $6 for ALL day play!!)
- Michigan Science Center (With live stage shows, an IMAX® Dome Theatre, a Planetarium, 250+ hands-on exhibits, lab activities, special exhibits and more, there are approximately two dozen ways to customize your MiSci visit. There’s more than you can see and do in a week!)
- Monsoon Lagoon Water Park (Splash adventures and games! The park features water playgrounds, slides, Go-Karts, bumper boats and mini-golf. -Port Clinton, OH)
- The Scrap Box (kiddos will get a kick out of all the recycled scrapes! Great for arts & craft projects! Ann Arbor, MI)
- Rolling Hills Water Park (Ypsilanti, MI)
- Bowling Green Water Park (Bolwing Green, OH)
- The Old Road Dinner Train (Fun events like Grandparents day, Dad & Daughter Day, Kids Halloween Express, and more! Blissfield, MI)
- Snook’s Dream Cars (travel in the past lane…see old cars, parts, etc. Bowling Green, OH)
- Ohio Maple Syrup Events (Maple syrup tours, watch it being made, enjoy pancake breakfast, and more…click on link under central ohio for all the maple syrup listings-Central, OH)
- Henry Ford Museum (9 acres to explore Americas past and future- Dearborn, MI)
- Greenfield Village (Step back in an 80 acre time machine, see Noah Webster’s house, ride and original model ‘T’, train ride, and more! Dearborn, MI)
- Liberty Aviation Museum (Determined to showcase the aircraft of Worl War II, the Liberty Aviation Museum was established in 1991. Museum houses dozens of vintage aircrafts, vehicles, and multimedia exhibits Port Clinton, OH)
- I-MAX Theater (The ultimate film experience!!! Special projectors, giant screens, 2D & 3D! Dearborn, MI)
- Marblehead Lighthouse (Built in 1821, Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes! Marblehead, OH)
- Jiffy Mix Plant Tours (Educational and informative walk through of the plant and refreshments provided Chelsea, MI)
- Sauder Village (Offers experiences rich in history and fun…kids will enjoy the train, store, helping make butter, candles, ice cream,etc. Be sure to stop in the bakery for homemade treats! Archbold, OH)
- The Chelsea Tree House (Indoor playground/climbing equipment for kids…and offers snacking options)
- Erie Spirit Sailing Adventures (Enjoy a family friendly day out on the waters of Lake Erie. Choose from standard tour packages or work out a custom plan with the Captain and let your adventure begin. Marblehead, OH)
- COSI (Columbus Ohio Science Institute…amazing exhibits, phenomenal kids area, I-MAX theater, great scientific demonstrations and more!! Get in for FREE with an Imagination Station membership- Columbus, OH)
- Boonshoft Museum (This is another awesome hands-on science museum with some added fun, a playground/indoor 3 story slide, fun critters, planetarium, and more!! Get in for FRE with zoo membership-Dayton, OH)
- National Museum of the U. S. Air Force (Educational experience to say the least…children will be amazed by the huge air crafts, NASA room, enjoy fun demonstrations, learn about history, tour a real air plane, and more!! Dayton, OH)
- Spangler Factory/Dum Dum tours (Enjoy a trolley ride through the factory where you will learn the history behind the Spangler Factory and see how the various candies are made…and enjoy samples!!-Bryan, OH)
- Splash Universe (Fun indoor water park!! Dundee, MI)
- Great Wolf Lodge (Zero depth outdoor pool and more…indoor lazy river, slides, etc. Sandusky, OH)
- African Safari Wildlife Park (Must see experience!! Better than Animal Kingdom at Disney World!! Drive through and view & feed animals!! Walk around, pet animals, and watch animal demonstrations…and ice cream, yum! Port Clinton, OH)
- Merry-go-Round Museum (Enjoy a fun and relaxed atmosphere while you tour the Merry-Go-Round Museum and learn about the history and art of the carousel. And enjoy a ride of course! Sandusky, OH)
- Kalahari (Zero depth indoor pool/young children play area, wave pool, slides, and more! Sandusky, OH)
- Train-o-rama (Featuring Ohio’s largest, multi-gauge model, public railroad display-Marblehead, OH)
- Cedar Point (Roller Coaster Capital & Amusement Park…amazing kids Planet Snoopy area, Dinosaurs Live, and more ! Sandusky, OH)
- Ghostly Manor Thrill Center (The Travel Channel has featured Ghostly Manor Thrill Center among the best place to visit in a lifetime. Virtual rollercoaster, bounce houses, and more! Sandusky, OH)
- Kelley’s Island (Check out the Glacier grooves, neat fossils, bike as a family, see what Kid Stage is up to and more! Kelley’s Island, OH)
- Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve (Daily tours into the herd…children can see buffalo up close, horseback riding trails, stay the night in a Tipi or Safari Tent!!Fremont, Indiana)
- Pokagon State Park (Swimming, fishing, horseback riding, sledding, tobogganing, skiing, pack a picnic and enjoy the day or spend the night camp or lodge- Angola, Indiana)
- Country Tree Lane Farm (Milk a real, live cow, hold baby ducks, chicks and bunnies, feed all the large Farm animals, go thru a straw maze, ride a barrel train, get a pony ride & more. Fun seasonal activities including Easter Bunny Hay Rides, U-Pick pumpkins, & more!)
Clayful Art (Kids Night-Your child will explore their imagination while learning a variety of hand building techniques. They offer complimentary snacks-1 project offered once a month Friday nights from 6-8p.m.)
- Paint Your Place (Kiddos have an educated art instructor to help guide them through each stroke till their masterpiece is complete)
- Children’s Museum of Findlay (They have so many exhibits for you to explore. To see more or to view the learning topics for each exhibit before your visit, click on the images under Exhibits on their website)
- Outdoor Adventure Center (Experience exciting outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators — walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat and reel in a big fish, hit the trail on a mountain bike or snowmobile, and much more.)
- Nickel World Low-key indoor arcade featuring video games, skeeball & other games all for just one nickel, and kids get plus tickets & prizes.
- Toledo Playzone Over 70 Arcade Games Laser Tag Spine Zone Bumper Cars Virtual Reality Games, & Café Menu.
- Get Air Trampoline Park (Coming Soon)
- Pat Catan’s Craft Center –Craft supply chain, with the makings for scrapbooking, jewelry, needlework, floral arranging & more. Often offers FREE crafts for kids on weekend , check calendar.
- The Armstrong Air and Space Museum Located in Wapakoneta, Ohio, is the hometown of Neil Armstrong, first man to set foot on the Moon. The museum chronicles Ohio’s contributions to the history of space flight.
It is that time of year again when mothers begin to stock pile their Kleenex and practice their expressions of surprise and endearing smiles in the mirror. When little ones bring home macaroni necklaces and Fruit Loop bracelets, clay plaques with imprints of their little hands, and priceless placements that claim mom is 20 years older than she really is….true story, my daughter claimed that I was 53 years old…I know I look tired but come on-haha!
If you haven’t guessed I am talking about Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is a day filled with emotion, love, and sometimes a little added stress. While we appreciate every last Fruit Loops our little ones so delicately placed on that yarn it is the inevitable question, “what do you want to do for mother’s day?” that can send our heart rates racing. My first thought when I hear this question is, ‘WHY!’ As Moms we, well, make the world go around, or at least it feels that way most of the time. We are responsible for so many things, people, and events. The last thing I want to do on Mother’s day, a day that is supposed to honor and celebrate all that hard work and responsibility we do year round, is be responsible or in-charge of that day too! But then again what is the alternative? Dad decides what we do for Mother’s Day?
I have suddenly had a change of heart; I will gladly take on the responsibility of Mother’s Day. So I did a little research and it turns out there is so much to do on Mother’s Day. For example, did you know that moms get into practically every zoo, science institute, museum, etc. for free!! How awesome is that? Obviously all these places clearly appreciate us so much that they are giving us free admission for a relaxing day by ourselves, now that is a mother’s day.
Upon further evaluation it has come to my attention that their intent is for a fun family day. To be clear that means you, your husband, and kids. What was I thinking? I mean come on, what kind of Mother wants to spend Mother’s Day alone…like it’s all about her…not me that’s for sure!
So, I have collated a list of fun events, free admissions, and the like, in hopes of laying out all my options when it comes to how I want to celebrate Mother’s Day/weekend (some events are Saturday only):
Call up moms favorite restaurant or nearby hotel, lodge, etc. and see if they are serving a special brunch or meal for moms.
Elegant. Classy. Affordable. Delicious. A Mother’s Day to Remember. Treat Mom to an elegant Mother’s Day Brunch in Michigan’s most beautiful ballroom – Henry Ford’s private ballroom in Lovett Hall.
The meal is memorable. And the setting? One-of-a-kind. Crystal chandeliers, vaulted ceilings, a terrazzo lobby and a grand staircase. Magnificent! Just what Mom deserves. You’ll dine on a sumptuous menu prepared by The Henry Ford’s award-winning culinary staff.
Toledo Zoo info below
The Town Center at Levis Commons…….
Levis Commons is here to make all your Mothers Day dreams come true. One place to soak up all the “mom” time you can handle. Venetian Nail Spa, Salvatore Capelli, endless dining options, and if you really cant ditch the kids for the day, Kidz Watch can take them off your hands for a few hours!
Open from 12pm-5pm and when the kids come with her, Mom gets in FREE*!
Join us in Science Studio where you can learn about chromatography and make a special butterfly magnet to take home for your Mom.
Bring the whole family down and celebrate together, exploring, discovering and creating at Imagination Station.
The Toledo Museum of Art…..
Sun, May 12, 12:00pm – 5:30pm
Free, fun, and open to everyone! The TMA Family Center, located in the education wing near the Plough entrance, is the perfect place for our youngest Museum visitors to make and take memories with their parents and caregivers. Drop in for themed activities that enliven the world of art for kids ages 1-10 (and even grown-ups!). Theme :Tell a story by creating symbols and shapes that represent something personal to you.
Art Hour: Create a Glass Flower- Sun, May 12, 4pm – 5pm and 5pm-6pm
The Toledo Zoo….
This Mother’s Day, show your mom she’s the best—and show her the world! All mothers receive free admission when their kids bring them to the Zoo.
Give Mom a great Mother’s Day experience by taking her to the Zoo. You can also treat her to our superb Mother’s Day Brunch that takes place in our Nairobi Pavilion. Brunch details
Pack a picnic and head to the park for the day. Go on a trail, explore, and enjoy nature with the family. Or grab your gardening gloves and get that veggie garden started. Metroparks of the Toledo Area
Spend time volunteering together. Serve dinner at a locale shelter, donate items, help plant a garden, clean up litter, etc.
Open Saturday 11am-4pm Walk-ins welcomed
Paint your own pottery of make a wet clay project with the kiddos.
Edible Art Work!
At the Sugar Shop can you choose from 3 dozen different shaped clear containers and fill the containers with any mix of the 150 available sugar flavors including, root beer, blue raspberry, extreme sour, cappuccino, peach cobbler, etc.
The Scrap Box is a store filled with hundreds of interesting objects: ribbons; buttons; beads; paper; colorful rip-stop nylon; sturdy paper tubes 6 inches long; bamboo-like sticks; yellow spongy cylinders; and little foam squigglies.
Best of all: these items are for sale at very reasonable prices.
Using sticky-back foam to create an imaginary critter with plastic caps for eyes and shredded paper for hair is recycling at its best. It’s called upcycling, the ultimate form of re-use. Anyone can turn a recyclable item into something of greater value, and thus, do upcycling
Go to the Library…..
Family – Mommy and Me Tea
Saturday May 11th 2-3pm
You are cordially invited to an afternoon tea party in honor of mothers everywhere. Children of all ages are welcome to attend with their moms or special grown-up lady friend. Dress your best and be prepared to enjoy games, crafts, and of course, tea and scones!
Location: West Toledo Auditorium (need to register)
Have fun with the kids in the kitchen…..
Bake muffins or cookies and let kiddos decorate them just for mom.
Sat, May 11, 12:00pm – 3:30pm
*Appointments encouraged to be guaranteed entree availability (especially braided breads) or you can walk in and choose from entrees available to make that day. There are up to 12 entrees each month to make!
So the kiddos have been begging to make some slime, in particular my son, ever since we visited Imagination Station and they had a demo on the green stuff. So we got on the Imagination Station website and jotted down all the necessary ingredients.
What you need:
• 1 cup hot water
• 1.5 tsp. Borax (non-toxic/available by laundry detergents)
• 2 cups clear glue
• 2 cups warm water
• 1 tsp. liquid watercolor
Thankfully we had almost everything but the borax. Then we followed the direction and whipped up a fresh batch of slime!
What to do:
1. Mix 1 cup hot water and 1.5 tsp. of Borax until dissolved. Set aside.
2. Mix 2 cups of clear glue and 2 cups of warm water together in a plastic bowl.
3. Using a metal spoon, slowly pour Borax mixture into the glue mixture while stirring quickly. Stir until the mixture leaves the side of the bowl. Slime will be sticky. Knead the mixture until it is no longer sticky. The more you work with it the easier it will become. (Source)
While my daughters had fun mixing it together they did not like the texture. However my son got a kick out of it, he had so much fun playing with the slime that he didn’t even want dinner, imagine that! While they mixed up the ingredients to make the slim and played with the slime I discussed the science behind it.
What’s the science?
Slime is an excellent example of a polymer. Polymers are large molecules consisting of repeating identical structural units connected by covalent chemical bonds. Polymers can be naturally occurring or manmade. Manmade polymers are materials like nylon, polyester, and polystyrene. Examples of naturally occurring polymers are proteins in our body like tubulin and actin. These proteins make up microtubules and microfilaments that serve as structural components within our cells.(Source)
After we played with the slime for a while it was time to put it away for dinner but we wanted to have it around for the next couple of weeks for some Spooktacular fun! So we decided to make little Frankenslimes.
What you need:
- Mason jar
- An old black t-shirt cut into squares
- Silver Pipe Cleaner
- Google eyes (2)
- Permanent marker
- Place slime in Mason jar.
- Place round plate of lid on top of jar then place pipe cleaner on top followed by old black t-shirt square and tighten the lid.
- Add google eyes, use marker for mouth and stitches.
Storage: Slime will keep for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container. DO NOT discard down the drain, throw away in the trash.
Thought I might include some more fun info on slime…..
History about Slime:
Slime as a toy dates back to the 1920′s, when chemist Hermann Staudinger was researching polymers. He was the first one to try and make long cross-linked chains of the molecules instead of circles. This allowed the polymer to be slippery and gooey. By the 1930′s other scientists used his polymer model and synthetic polymers began to be studied and created. But it wasn’t until the 1980′s that slime began to be sold in stores as a toy for children. Ever since then you can’t step into a toy store without seeing the gooey, oozy stuff on the shelves. The slime you find in the store and the slime you can make with this recipe are both non-Newtonian fluids. Did you try to make it and answer the questions about its properties? If so, read on to find out about non-Newtonian fluids. (Source)
What a day! Since today was the last Thursday of summer break we tried to cram it full of fun things to do around town together. I am going to miss my kiddos so much once school starts. I so enjoy their company, hearing their thoughts and questions, just generally being in their company brings me so much joy. We have had a remarkable summer break and I hate to see it end. But, as many of you know my motto in life is ….Live each day to the fullest for it is a gift, live like it is your first, last, and best day. For we are not promised tomorrow, so cherish today. And boy did we ever!
Our day started off at The Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center where the Navy was visiting for Navy Week. Our eldest worked on the themed projected that was inspired by Ginny Ruffner’s Beauty and Drama piece (you can view a movie on her tomorrow …click here for more info). Meanwhile the two younger kiddos found much joy in painting. Then we went up to the Gallery for story time. The kiddos each had a clue, a picture of Beauty and Drama to look for and a story that coincided.
The Gallery had me a little nervous because the Glass Ignited exhibit held so much glass, duh! And there were gorgeous pieces displayed on a small platform that was practically level with the floor. Hello! Talk about a toddler’s dream come true and a mother’s worst nightmare! I can’t image that phone call to my hubby letting him know we now owed the museum thousands of dollars, nope, that would not go over to well. But surprisingly the only person who got yelled at was mommy. Yep, me! I was taking pictures in the gallery and apparently there are signs all over that indicate that photography is prohibited, whoops! But I did manage to sneak this pic prior to being informed of the no photos rule. Enjoy…but, let’s keep this between us….
Then we were off to our next stop, Black Kite Coffee and Pies. They have the most amazing coffee and pies! We had their quinoa, tofu, pine nut, and dried tomato pie with fresh pesto and it was like a symphony for the taste buds amazing! We also enjoyed their breakfast bar filled with so much goodness. And I purchased an iced hazelnut latte. I have to honest, I braced myself for the worst as I took that first sip and I was pleasantly surprised at how satisfied I was. It was better than Starbucks, yep, BETTER!! You heard it here first.
Then it was off to our next stop….Imagination Station!
As we walked up we were greeted by some rockin music, it was the Navy band. So we sat down for a few minutes and listen to the music before heading into Imagination Station.
Once inside we headed for the Navy Week exhibit where they had various uniforms and gear the kiddos could try on…and even some adults partook in the festivities (my sister).
We played in the Kid’s Space for a little while then went down to the docks to eagerly await the arrival of the Flagship Niagara, USS DE Wert, and the USS Hurricane on the Toledo Channel. We walked along the water and even noted a few wildlife friends.
The ships were a little later than we had anticipated but watching the Flagship Niagara arrive made it all worth it! All three kiddos got excited when they had their first glimpse of the flagship. “It’s Ariel’s ship” my daughter yelled. “Pirates” my son exclaimed. It was such an amazing experience to share.
I am so thankful for this Thursday and I hope all of you embraced your gift and lived today to the fullest. How did you spend your Thursday?
For the local followers,
Listed below is a roster of events for Friday, August 24 through Sunday, August 26 as we continue on with the Navy’s Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and Toledo Navy Week.
Some notable events include:
Tours of the USS De Wert and USS Hurricane are open to the public
Where: International Park and Maritime Plaza, Toledo, OH
When: Friday at 12-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 12-7:00p.m.
Tours of the Flagship Niagara – Tours of the ship are open to the public
Where: Maritime Plaza, Toledo, OH
When: Friday at 11 a.m.-4 p.m.