Omg, y’all it’s legit (almost) Fall!! Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL), boots, flannels, sweaters, apple picking, pumpkin patches, pumpkin pies, apple pies, cinnamon & sugar doughnuts, apple fritters, fall festivals, corn mazes, hayrides, and so much more! Fall is when the Midwest shines, but don’t blink, it goes by fast, so tag friends and make plans now! Here is this year’s Toledo Fall Family Fun Guide….
Due to this year being unlike any other in history I would advice always calling ahead and double checking that nothing has changed before visiting any orchard, farm, etc.
“Where a kid can be a kid” That infamous tag line is precisely what kiddos are longing for these days. After months of navigating everything online from field trips, tours, classroom learning, specials classes, after-school activities, Storytime, etc. and dealing with the glitches, frustrations, & at times, the loneliness of the screen kiddos need a place where they can just be a kid, a place where they can escape the adult issues of today’s world, they deserve a space where they can just be a kid! Read more →
April showers bring May flowers and lots of fun family-friendly festivities in Toledo!! The weather is getting warmer, days are getting longer, and everything is blooming!! It is officially that time of year when everything comes back to life, including your family’s social life. Though, let’s be honest, May should come with a warning, before you know it its summer, and then you blink and school is already starting back…so don’t blink!! Don’t delay; call up your playgroup peeps, neighborhood friends, family, etc. coordinate schedules and get these awesome festivities on the calendar today!
Here is a list of 10 Kid Approved Things to Look Forward to this May in Toledo:
1-Butterfly House at Wheeler Farm
This is one of my Favorites!! Between the classical music playing, watching the delicate fluttering of the gorgeous butterflies, and the general warm embrace of the atmosphere my blood pressure lowers instantly….and kiddos absolutely adore visiting. They look forward to every May 1st because that’s the day the Butterfly House Opens!!! FYI-the land is gorgeous and there is a picnic table available so pack lunches and make an afternoon of it!!
“The Butterfly House contains over 1,000 butterflies with many different species from North & South America and Asia. The facility was built with the idea of developing beautiful gardens in a controlled environment to exhibit butterflies to the general public. An opportunity to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and how to promote a healthy environment for these special insects will be provided as well. The average life span of the butterfly is 2 to 3 weeks, so each week we introduce new species. Throughout the season we will have over 100 different species, so multiple visits can be rewarding. Our experienced staff are available to answer your questions. We hope you enjoy your visit.” — Duke Wheeler
Hours: May – August: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 4pm and Sunday: 12pm – 4pm
Admission: Adults (12-64)$10, Seniors (65+) $9, Kids (4-11) $8, and 3 & Under are Free
2-Book Your Sandpiper Cruise!
The Sandpiper is a 100-passenger cruise vessel located on the Maumee River. The boat is available for private and public rides from May through October. There are a variety of cruise options throughout the summer but our favorite is FRIDAY NIGHT FAMILY CRUISE Bring the whole family for a fun 2-hour cruise on the Maumee and enjoy the dusk views of Downtown Toledo, area wildlife, and stately homes. Bring a picnic or order Marco’s Pizza to be delivered to the boat before departure: (419) 698-1511, (don’t forget to let them know you’ll be on The Sandpiper! Note: All public cruises are BYOB)
Hours: Varies (May-October) ***Family Night Family Cruise is May 25th***
Phone Number: (419) 537-1212
Address: The Sandpiper is docked at Water Street and Jefferson Avenue in Downtown Toledo. GPS directions to the dock: 1 Jefferson Avenue Toledo, Ohio (Street and lot parking is available nearby).
Admission: Friday Family Cruise-Adults $19 / $11 Ages under 12.
3-Col. James M. Schoonmaker (May-October) at The National Maumee of The Great Lakes
“The Schoonmaker was unsurpassed in both size and elegance. On her maiden trip, she carried 12,650 net tons of coal from Toledo, Ohio to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The ship held the title of “Queen of the Lakes” as the largest ship operating on the Great Lakes until April 14, 1914”. And you and your kiddos can step aboard!! Tour this magnificent ship and get awesome, pics aboard (I may have dressed my kiddos in sailor suit inspired outfits and taken pics-still my favorites!) and of the Toledo Skyline! FYI-This one is totally worth the membership!!
Admission: Adult – Museum and Schoonmaker – $15.00 Senior (65+), AAA, Military – Museum and Schoonmaker – $14.00 Youth (6-17) – Museum and Schoonmaker – $12.00 & Children 5 and under – Free
4-Aerial Adventure Course at the Toledo Zoo (This one is for the older kiddos 12+)
This Aerial Adventure has a menu of options sure to meet everyone’s quest for adventure!! I know it met mine (I rented a GoPro to commemorate my adventure last summer-that’s me in the video!!) My two favorites-Challenge: Test your stamina as you traverse across the Africa exhibit. Tackle a series of obstacles designed to challenge guests both mentally and physically, including rope bridges, swinging log crossings, horizontal climbing walls and much more. And, Zip line: In this exhilarating and unique experience, guests will start off 80 feet above the Africa exhibit and coast over 760 feet across giraffe, watusi cattle, wildebeest and more. Click on Website link below to read about the Sky Bridge, Flight line, Quick Jump, & package options.
Hours: The Zoo opens daily at 10 am. Last admission is at 4 pm with Zoo closing at 5 pm.
Admission: Varies depending on what is selected from the menu & if you are a member or non-member (starting at $25)
5-Indian Creek Zoo
Indian Creek Zoo is a unique place that offers camel rides and up-close viewing of exotic animals such as Zebras, Camels, Emus, Wallabies, Donkeys, Coatimundi, Alligators and Peacocks and many more! My kiddos have an absolute blast each time they visit!
Address: 2744 Consear Road, in Lambertville Michigan (between Secor & Douglas) just 3 miles north of Toledo
Admission: Child (17 and under) $9, Adult $12, Senior $10, Children 2 and Under FREE
6-Mud Hens Games!!!
Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to 5/3rd Field. Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks. I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root, root for the Mud Hens…and get my pic with Muddy and Madonna!! Get your tickets now and enjoy a fun filled family friendly America pastime.
Registered Kids Receive 2 FREE GAMES Of Bowling Each Day Of The KBF Program All Summer Long, Valued At Over $500 Per Child!
“Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.
Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games each day of the KBF program, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations”.
Offered in Maumee, Rossford, & Bowling Green (click website for exact locations & to sign up today!)
8-Outdoor Expo at Metroparks
May 18th 10am-4pm @ Side Cut (Silver Lake Area)
“Outdoor adventure comes in all shapes and sizes. At the Expo you have the opportunity to try on adventure activities to see what fits. Try archery, tree climbing, kayaking, canoeing, biking and much more. The expo has something for all ages from the seasoned enthusiast to the beginner. They’ll have music, food trucks and outdoor industry exhibitors. May is Bike Month, at the expo you’ll meet area biking clubs and business’ and learn about Metroparks biking programs and trails”.
Address:1025 W River Rd, Maumee, OH 43537….Side Cut Metropark, Silver Lake Area
9-Kayaking the Maumee River Water Trails
The trail stretches 107-miles from Maumee Bay (Lake Erie) to the Ohio-Indiana border, and can be accessed at 39 locations.
The trail connects five Metroparks (Bend View, Farnsworth, Middlegrounds, Providence, and Side Cut), three state parks (Independence Dam, Mary Jane Thurston, and Maumee Bay), three wildlife areas (Meyerholtz, North Turkeyfoot, and Van Tassel), as well as 15 other publicly owned parks.
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!
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)
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)
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
“Why are we celebrating Earth when it keeps giving us snow?” That was a totally valid point made by my 1st grader, lol! Though, some may want to boycott Earth Day this year thanks to Mother Nature’s wonky weather, we are indebted to our planet. And Earth Day is a wonderful way to remind ourselves and our families that we need to be one with our environment, respect it, and do our best to minimize our carbon footprint so our grandchildren and our children’s grandchildren can enjoy the riches this planet offers. Here is a list of some fun activities going on this weekend to help you celebrate:
9th Annual Community Earth Day Celebration! Over 20 community partners are joining efforts for a fun-filled day!
Archery! Take Nature walks! Listen to great Stories! Participate in great Activities! Make an art project! Take home a Live sapling!
In addition to this celebration, a wide variety of events and activities will be taking place all month, check out website for upcoming events!
Literacy in the Park
When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: Bowling Green State University – Perry Field House 801 N. Mercer Rd. Bowling Green, OH
Enjoy a snack and literacy-based activities for the entire family. The day will include prizes, crafts and entertaining activities from the community’s top organizations. Each family receives a goodie bag with a free book by award-winning author and illustrator, Don Tate, who will offer two talks.
Admission: FREE to Members. Adult (12-59) $17.00, Child (2-11) $14.00, Senior (60+) $14.00, & Child under 2 FREE for Lucas County Residents. Non-Lucas County visitors ….Adult (12-59) $19.00, Child (2-11) $16.00, Senior (60+) $16.00, & Child under 2 FREE
Celebrate Mother Earth and learn all about recycling, reusing and conserving our world through educational displays and fun activities. Bring in recyclable goods to make the Earth a little “greener.”
Drop off your recyclable goods between 10am and 4pm in the Zoo’s Anthony Wayne Trail parking lot. Admission/parking charges do not apply to this special recycling project. Below is a list of items that will be accepted along with the organizations that made this possible.
Items can be dropped off in the Zoo’s Anthony Wayne Trail Parking Lot.
As well as dropping off your recyclables, the Zoo is the perfect place to spend a great day with your family! Get tips on how to be more ecofriendly as you talk with people from local “green” organizations. Enjoy special Earth Day activities in Nature’s Neighborhood and watch animal demonstrations (Dive Talks at the Aquarium at 11am and 2pm) all across the zoo. It’s all included free with regular Zoo admission!
Visit 577 Foundation
Where: 577 East Front Street, Perrysburg, OH 43551
Interested in Planting a Garden? In 1989, The 577 Foundation Community Gardens was an idea from Virginia Secor Stranahan. She was a gardener & invited anyone to garden with her, discover organic practices, share their knowledge & “learn to love the land”.
The Community Gardeners are an important part of The 577 Foundation; their gardens have created a pleasant environment for visitors, an education in organic growing & an inspiration to future gardeners. The garden spaces are free!! Click here for more information http://www.577foundation.org/plantagarden.asp
Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth Storytime
When: Saturday April 21, 2018 11:00 AM
Where: At Barnes & Noble Locations
Filled with gentle humor and insight, Oliver Jeffers’ New York Times bestselling Here We Are is a poignant celebration of life on Earth. Join us for Storytime, with activities to follow.
Nature’s Nursery Spring Open House
Where: Blue Creek Metropark 7790 Schadel Road Whitehouse, OH, 43571
When: Sunday April 22nd 1pm-4pm
Join us for our first open house of the year. Meet dozens of our Education Animal Ambassadors, participate in several education programs, tour our facility and enjoy Blue Creek Metropark. This is a free, family and large group friendly event but donations are gladly accepted. Please leave your pets at home.
Family Hike: Spring Wildlife
Where: Swan Creek Metropark Saturday
When: April 21st 1pm-2:30pm
Enjoy an afternoon stroll with the whole family while on a guided nature tour with a park interpreter and experience your favorite Metroparks from a new perspective.
Get to Know Your Trails on Earth Day
Where: Farnsworth Boat Launch Area
When: Sunday April 22nd 1pm-2pm
Celebrate Earth Day and get on the trails with a park naturalist. We will look at the flora and fauna of Northwest Ohio as we explore a new trail each month. This is a great way to experience our beautiful Metroparks and all they have to offer us. Please wear sturdy shoes and dress accordingly to the weather.
Family Center Activities: Celebrate Earth Day!
When: Sunday, April 22, 2018 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where: Toledo Museum of Art 2445 Monroe St. Toledo, OH
Celebrate Earth Day with the family! Kiddos will enjoy creating art they can take home using recycled materials and found objects! Open to families and children 0-10(ish) While you are there be sure to stop in and see the AWESOME Mummy Exhibit! (Free for members, there is a fee fro non-members)
Know of additional Earth Day celebrations that didn’t make the list? Please share & tag a friend so you can make those weekend plans now!
May the lilt of Irish laughter Lighten every load – May the mist of Irish magic Shorten every road and may you taste the sweetest pleasures That ere Mom on the go in Holy Toledo bestowed…..
Mallstars St. Patrick’s Day Party!!
In conjunction with Live Happy Franklin Park Mall invites Toledo to ‘Get Happy!’ during a full day of fun and joyful events. The Food Court will be bursting with kids’ craft activities, Irish dancers, and happy happenings throughout the day.
When: Saturday, March 17, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Franklin Park Mall 5001 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43623
3/17/18 Schedule of events:
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – #HappyActs Wall and family friendly crafts and games in Food Court
12:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Meet and Greet with Poppy & Branch from Laurel’s Princess Parties
2:00 p.m. – Performance by the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance
St. John’s Jesuit High School is putting on Shrek the Musical-Saturday, March 17th Matinee @ 2pm
Shrek the Musical based on the Oscar® winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage.
In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand…and his name is Shrek.
The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School
A mischievous leprechaun is causing all kinds of trouble at school, but Gingerbread Man is back to save the day! Come enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day Storytime, with activities to follow.
When: Storytime & activities @ 11am March 17th
Where: Barnes & Noble at Fallen Timbers and Franklin Park
Holiday Hairbow or Bowtie
Accessorize your holiday outfit with a fashionable St. Patrick’s Day or Easter Hair or Bowtie! Create a hair or bowtie using colorful seasonal fabric, chenille stems and a clip. The ties are easy to make and you’ll be ready for your holiday party or family gathering in no time!
Metro PCS Presents Monster Jam®, which features larger-than-life Monster Jam trucks driven by world class athletes, returns to Toledo’s Huntington Center March 16-18 with four shows. In addition, this year’s lineup includes two Pit Parties. The new season will bring motorsport fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family.
Where: Huntington Center 500 Jefferson Ave, Toledo, OH 43604
Show times are: Friday, March 16, 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 17, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 18, 2 p.m.
Circus (Leprechaun are sure to enjoy these Shenanigans)
Since their first Circus in 1952, Zenobia Shriners have presented an annual Circus in Toledo. In 2018 they are presenting their 67th annual Shrine Circus for the enjoyment of all of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. The Shrine members are excited and proud to present another opportunity for friends and neighbors to experience the wholesome family entertainment the circus provides. This year, the famous Jordan World Circus returns to Toledo to once again provide an array of breathtaking acts for your enjoyment. As the lights dim, close your program, sit back in your seat and witness the excitement of these fantastic acts.
Where: SeaGate Convention Centre 401 Jefferson Ave, Toledo, OH 43604
Showtime: Thursday March 15, 2018 6:30pm, Friday March 16, 2018 4:00pm and 7:30pm, Saturday March 17, 2018 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm, & Sunday March 18, 2018 1:00pm and 5:00pm
It’s time to earn your wings during a visit to Imagination Station’s newest permanent exhibit. The interactive flight simulator, Flight: The Sky’s the Limit will open to the public on Saturday, March 17. The flight simulator experience takes visitors to new heights as they test their aviation skills at the controls of a Saab 340 jet. Before flying the friendly skies, visitors will learn about the science of flight and the variety of STEM careers available in aviation.
The aircraft was donated and customized by presenting sponsor Toledo Jet, with support from students from Toledo Public Schools’ Aviation Center. Students prepared the cabin by disassembling the jet, removing electronics and hardware, and constructing the simulator base in preparation for science center visitors.
The new exhibit is truly a labor of love for David Corwin, owner, Toledo Jet. He became interested in airplanes in eighth grade when he visited the TPS Aviation Program, then Macomber Vocational Technical High School. His wish is to inspire the same interest in Imagination Station visitors.
“I hope this exhibit helps kids realize that an aviation career is not an impossible dream. It’s within reach right here in Toledo,” Corwin said. “The education needed to work in the aviation industry, whether it is pilot or mechanic, is readily available at TPS, and a student can graduate from high school and be immediately employable by the aviation industry.”
Hours: Imagination Station is open 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Saturday and Noon – 5pm on Sundays. The science center will be open Monday, April 2, for spring break.
Cost: Lucas County residents receive $1.50 discount and FREE Saturday admission for kids 12 & under with paid adult admission.
Going out to eat with kids can be expensive, especially when you have a picky eater, or two! There is nothing worse than paying over $5 for a kid’s meal that your children aren’t even going to eat. Here are some options of restaurants around town that offer free kids meals on Wednesday, so you can actually relax and enjoy your meal instead of nagging Junior to eat his kid’s meal. 😉
Canal Experience, where education and fun collide! As a mom I am always on the lookout for events and activities that are educational. Meanwhile, the kiddos hunger for fun. The Canal Experience at Providence Metropark in Grand Rapids, Ohio is jammed pack full of educational fun! It is literally a floating history lesson!
We arrived at Providence Metropark and enjoyed the modern amenities (plumbing, flushing toilets, running fresh water, etc.) and then made our way across the bridge where we were taken back to the year 1876. The flux capacitor could not have done a more superior job! As we strolled up to purchase our ticket for The Volunteer, the mule-drawn canal boat, the attendant was dressed in 1876 period costume with a long prairie dress, apron, bonnet,…the works!
Before boarding The Volunteer, we received some background information on the time period from one of the crew members who was also dressed in a period costume circa 1870s. As we boarded the canal boat we were officially submersed in 1876, just as Marty McFly was asked about his “life preserver” I feared I might be questioned about my pants! Lol! The canal crew stayed 100% in character, it was fascinating!!
We learned so much about canal life while aboard the 60 foot replica of a “state-packet” boat. First and foremost the pace of life back then was extremely slow compared to our modern day Wi-Fi speeds and instant gratification addictions. The two-mule team pulled The Volunteer at a whopping 4 MPH. I must admit there was something inviting, comforting, and even enjoyable about slowing down our speed and soaking in a glimpse of what life was like back in the 1870s.
The children enjoyed learning about canal life particularly the fascinating amenities like the “thunder bucket”, meals of Muskrat, and how one would sleep aboard the boat, but by far their favorite part of our 1 hour tour, the restored lock. Lock #44 is one of the last functioning 19th century limestone locks!! It was fascinating watching the crew spring to action to open and close the lock. To be able to literally view and feel The Volunteer, being lifted 4 feet and then lowered was amazing. And to think, these 19th century canal boats carrying passengers and freight from Toledo to Cincinnati were where it all began, was the modern day means for transporting materials for commerce back then…that is until those “metal monstrosities” (railroads/trains) which eventually replaced the 4MPH canal boats.
We were sad to see our canal boat experience end but super excited to pet the mules that towed the boat on the tow path and to tour the Ludwig Mill!
The Isaac Ludwig Mill is an authentic, functioning, turn-of-the-century grist and flourmill. It has a turbine-powered, functioning sawmill. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The staff/ volunteers manning the mill were also in period costumes and did a remarkable job illustrating how the antique milling equipment operates. The gentleman expressed the process so fluently that even my kindergartner was fascinated. We were able to witness the mechanics involved with the process of milling used in the 1800’s and there was products produced at the mill available for purchase. Kiddos can’t wait to go back and see artisan demonstrate crafts like tinsmithing, candlemaking, blacksmithing, etc.
“How can a show that doesn’t have any “real” spoken words be soawesome?” was the observation made by my husband on the drive home from the most amazing performance ever, OVO Cirque du Soleil. I almost corrected him, but then I took a moment to reflect on the show and he was totally right! Oh my gosh…there were no real, comprehendible words spoken during the entire performance. And yet, I understood and followed the show effortlessly, and what’s more, so did my husband and kids, how was that possible? The emotion, tone, visuals, music, and amazing performers provided a cohesive experience that transcended verbal language and spoke directly to the soul.
The fluid movement of the performers, the visual effects that literally pulled the audience in with movement, paired with the synchronized lights and sound effects provided such a lifelike experience, for a moment I had to remind myself that those performers were not real insects. However, our 6 year old was totally immersed in the imaginary, so much so that she even yelled out a couple times to the performers in excitement.
And as I looked down the aisle at my tween, 9 year old, & husband each with their eyes opened wide and faces lit up in awe I realized that OVO Cirque du Soleil managed to do something that no other show or performance we have attended as a family has ever done, it fully absorbed each of our attention and that is no easy task! The narrative of the insects and the mysterious egg pulled us in but it was the agility, fluidity, and beauty illustrated by the acrobats, gymnasts, and performers that kept us on the edge of our seats.
It was so exceptional that a standing ovation didn’t seem qualitative to such an outstanding performance but alas, it was all we had….so we stood and frantically clapped in utter delight. Though I must admit a part of me was a little sad that it was over. The experience was not just beautiful and awe inspiring but it was darn right relaxing and as a mom I appreciate any experience that can arouse a peaceful feeling within. Thankfully there is a soundtrack so I can try to channel that relaxing experience on otherwise crazy and chaotic days.
This is one performance you don’t want to pass up; it literally captivates ALL audience members. So grab your tickets today and be prepared to experience one of the most impressive, relaxing, captivating, awe inspiring performances.
June 1st – 7:30 p.m.
June 2nd – 7:30 p.m.
June 3rd – 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
June 4th – 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Huntington Center 401 Jefferson Ave Toledo, OH 43604, United States
Its official Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow; we will have 6 more weeks of winter! 6 more weeks of the kids getting home from school just before dark, 6 more weeks of not just cold temps, but, wind chill temps too! And let’s be honest, we live in Northwest Ohio, 6 weeks is being generous, sometimes Spring time weather doesn’t grace us with its presence until mid-May! Pair all that with the fact that The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stipulates that children need at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity a day… (Specifically; vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on at least 3 days per week, muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week, and bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least 3 days per week as part of your child’s 60 or more minutes). (Source; https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/ )…and to further complicate the issue one can’t forget about homework, parents’ work schedule, evening activities, and the lure of the screen. It’s enough to make even the most optimistic parent want to just toss in the towel, call it a winter, and hibernate till spring.
First things first, let’s check those screens into the Mobile Motel where they can recharge and rest up for a few hours. (I would encourage your family to come up with check-in and check-out times that suit your family’s schedule. Having the screens out of site and out of mind will help remove that temptation. Added bonus, you will always know where the screen is & it will be charged. Winning!!).
10 Ways to Keep Kids Active in Toledo This Winter:
Walk to school! We started walking to school this year and while there was a bit of resistance in the beginning we have all come to enjoy and look forward to our walks in the morning. And recently our school introduced Active4.Me. It is a program that promotes physical activity and walkable communities. Active4.Me uses a barcode system to keep track of students’ active trips to and from school, CO2, calories, miles and how much gas savings for each student, their classroom, grade or for the whole district. It notifies parents that children have arrived safely, students can win prizes, and it is a great way to promote safe active communities. Website: https://www.active4.me/index
Earn Prizes for being Active!?! Winter Quest by Metroparks Toledo is a great initiative to get everyone outdoors and active. Simply download your journal, track your activity, and submit it via a message on the Metropark’s Facebook page or in person to be entered into a drawing for a prize. Names are drawn every Monday….but hurry Winter Quest end February 28th. Website: https://metroparkstoledo.com/discover/special-events-and-programs/winter-quest/
Feel like life with kids is a 3-ring circus? Why not make it official and sign them up for Circus Classes! Birds Eye View Circus is Toledo’s Premiere Circus School and Performance Space. They offer Trapeze, Silks, Lyra, Aerial, Tight Wire, etc. drop in or classes for youth and adults. Website: https://birdseyeviewcircus.com/
Make it a family date at Ohio Skate! Why let the kids have all the fun? Skate rentals are reasonably priced to accommodate most budgets. For list of locations, prices, hours, etc. click on link to website: http://www.ohioskate.com/
Spend the Day at Maumee Bay State Park! The Lodge offers Day Passes Sunday- Thursday (8am-10pm). Children 2 & under are FREE, Children 3 & Up and Adults are $12 + tax for the day. That means you have all access to the locker rooms, sauna, hot tub, pool, splash area, kids area, arcade space, & fireplaces. What’s more, if it snows you can sled down the big hill, and if we get 6 inches you can rent skis too…then go warm up by the fireplace with hot cocoa or take a dip in the hot tub. This is a great one for Sundays, family fun days!! Website: http://www.maumeebaystateparklodge.com/
Say Cheese! Enjoy a Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Park(s)! Since the Parks uphold the motto of “Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”- Chief Seattle- a photo scavenger hunt is perfect! Put together a quick list of items to find, grab the camera, and have kiddos snap shots as you walk one of the trails. To add to the fun and adventure, challenge yourselves to visit a different park each week, print off the kiddos’ findings and let them put together a winter book with all their pictures.
Prefer a more climate controlled park? One that is bright long after the sun goes down? Then head for the sky, Sky Zone! Half hour jump times are just $10, one hour is $15, for more pricing options and hours (Toddler Time: Fridays 10am-12pm, $8 per toddler, parents are FREE) click on website link….don’t forget your Sky Socks! Website: https://www.skyzone.com/toledo
Swing sets indoors!?! Dreams do come true! Take the kiddos to Sylvania Playland where they can enjoy five inflatables, four swing sets, & a toddler area. Care to extend the fun? Play a game of glow-in-the-dark mini golf, 18 holes, with 4 awesome themes (underwater, pirates, dinosaurs, knights and dragons). For location, hours, and pricing click on the link to the website: http://www.sylvaniaplayland.com/
There’s only one place your child can go to sail on a pirate ship, narrowly escape a monster shark, trek the jungle among gorillas and iguanas, weave his way through a dazzling maze, defy gravity, visit a neighboring kingdom’s castle, and then take a seat on his own castle’s throne – all in one day!Funigans!! Kiddos can bounce, slide, jump, and run around on their giant inflatables, play Lazer tag, and challenge one another in the arcade. For location, hours, pricing, etc. click on link to website: http://www.funagins.com/
Have a favorite activity that your kiddos enjoy during the winter time that didn’t make the list? Please share.