We are headed out first thing tomorrow morning to our first competition of the year, Showstopper Regional competition in Sandusky,OH. We have had conventions, master classes, and busy dance schedules all year long with extra weekend practices here and there. But this weekend (and nationals in July) is what we have worked SO hard for all year round! As usual, when heading out of town on any kind of trip, I stress out about what I need to pack and if I will forget something vital. Dance trips are even more stressful.
You have all the costumes and their pieces, dance shoes, headpieces, hats (for some of my son’s classes), rack and rolls, makeup, glitter, jewels, endless hair products, safety pins, super glue, extra tights, clear nail polish, needle and thread, lotions, snacks, waters, studio jackets/gear, warm-up items, Bloch booties, and I am sure I am missing some other vital items. All of that on top of your normal travel items like: clothing to out to eat, swimsuits (since we are competing at the awesome Kalahari Resort and Waterpark, toiletries…you get the gist of that.
See what I mean? Super stressful. I always have to make a list of items as I think of them about a week before we leave because I know if I don’t write it all down, I will forget what I need to grab. The rack and rolls have been a lifesaver with storing most of their dance needs all in one place, especially since I have a dancer of each gender which means they are in completely separate changing rooms and areas. If you haven’t already invested in rack and roll for your dancer, I highly suggest you do. They were the “big” Christmas gift from their grandma this year and have been extremely helpful. I honestly couldn’t imagine this year without them since my 6 year old went from 4 costumes to 7 this year. Gamechanger!
But the reason I really started this post was to discuss some of the items I have begun taking with us on busy weekends and to conventions, and now to our first competition this year. Some of these items are things that you would not consider in the hustle and bustle of remembering those vital items that we talked about above. That list alone seems endless, right? But the below items have become essential to my kids to have with us, and they love using them. Our health during these trips is vital too, right? So read on to figure out what else you might want to consider packing for your busy little dancer and why you would need it. And at the bottom I will share a link to where you can find these items.
First off, the most important thing to me and my family is that all of the items discussed below are completely all natural, safe, purely effective, and therapeutic-grade essential oils. They can be used in place of the items we tend to grab at the store full of chemicals and fillers that are terrible for our bodies, especially our poor little growing kiddos. So here we go:
Deep Blue Rub Packets – This one is my favorite to talk about. Our Deep Blue Rub is amazing for before and after workouts for sore muscles. It is blended in a base of moisturizing emollients that leave your skin feeling soft, not greasy. And is a top choice of massage therapists and sports practitioners. If provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas. I keep the big bottle at home for us to use throughout day to day for my basketball playing husband and uber-active children. Works on growing pains too! But these sample packets are perfect for a weekend getaway. They come in a box of 10 single-use packets that won’t leak in your travel bags! They are essential for your dance/gym bag or bathroom! Enjoy sharing the soothing blend with others at sporting events, the gym or on the go with these sweet little packets! And again, having two kids in different areas, I can stick a pack or two in each rack and roll and off we go!
On Guard – I love this protective blend to help kill the germs around us, and at dance the germs are ALL around us. I swear our entire studio came back from Tremaine Dance Convention with illnesses. Some were vomiting, some had terrible colds. Just too many kiddos in one area to not pass the germs around! On Guard is a powerful blend that contains natural and effective cleaning properties, protects against environmental threats and supports healthy immune system. The wonderful thing about On Guard is that it can be used topically, internally or even in our favorite household tasks such as laundry detergents, dish detergents, and counter cleaning, with no preservatives added! But my most favorite way to use On Guard on trips like this is to pack the On Guard Sanitizing Mist into my purse and both of their dance bags. They can continually mist their hands and sanitize all day long, as well as aromatically take in the beautiful, uplifting scent, all while preventing the spread of bacteria!
Breathe – Breathe is our respiratory blend, clearing airways and maintaining the feeling of easy breathing. This was not initially one I had thought of, but a dear friend told me how she used it on her daughter before their big cheer weekends and sporting events. She claimed that her daughter felt as though she was able to give more during her performances due to breathing better. My favorite way to incorporate this blend into our weekend is with our Breathe Vapor Stick. I just rub it on their chest, costume on, and onto the stage they go!
Cheer/Motivate – These two, in the touch roller-balls, are my most favorite scents to just wear throughout any day, so I always have these handy. During the days of competitions and conventions, rolling these on their pulse points and back of the neck, or taking deep breaths of these blends in can really promote feelings of optimism, cheerfulness, confidence, courage, belief and happiness. These counteract any negative feelings and doubt. Which, obviously, I do not need to explain why these would be beneficial to our awesome dancers before, and during, their stage presence.
Balance/Serenity (lavender) – I make a roller-ball, which I call Antsy-Pants, consisting of both Balance and Serenity. For dance weekends, these items are two-fold for us. IF you have an anxious or nervous dancer, these two will evoke feelings of balance and tranquility, calming their emotions, and lessening feelings of tension. If you do not have a nervous nancy, these are pertinent for a restful and tranquil nights sleep before their big day(s)! During the day for the nervous dancers I would suggest rubbing on the pulse points and back of the neck. For the best nights sleep I would suggest rubbing on the bottoms of their feet and putting socks on. And Goooooood Night!
Wild Orange – this last item supports healthy immune system and is uplifting to the mind and body. I suggest using it internally with just 1 drop in 4 oz of water. It also acts as a really nice flavor to their boring water bottles when they want a taste of something. Just be sure they are using a metal or glass bottle to drink it out of, because the oils don’t mix well with plastic bottles. Ello is my favorite brand of rubber-protected glass bottles (so no worries about shards of glass if you drop it!)
I hope that I gave you some ideas for items you might want to start bringing with you on outings or trips. These are all kid-approved and most importantly – safe! If you have any questions about these items or any other items from the website below, please feel free to shoot me a message or reach out via text/email. I am happy to help you find a natural and therapeutic-grade option for the issues that ail you or your family members.
And, if you are headed out to a competition this weekend too, or any other fun event – have a blast and break a leg!
My family and I have found the perfect Christmas season starter tradition and want to share it with you. Every year we attend the Easton Lighting Ceremony. It was by chance that I saw it on the schedule of events on their website one year, it sounded like fun so we went. It was such a magical evening that we decided this was definitely our go to event each year to start off the Christmas season! And it has always been a hit ever since. Tonight is the night and, although it is last minute, I hope I can catch a few parents out there looking for some Friday night fun just in time!
Easton is a small town center of shops, both of high end and lower value, as well as both upscale and reasonably priced restaurants. Easton has beautiful grounds with fountains which, in the summer, children can play in. During the warmer months they also have free live Jazz and move nights on the lawn. My husband and I also enjoy going to the Funny Bone and dinner at any of the many restaurants as our favorite date night choice. Easton is a must when in Columbus Ohio! The source of our yearly school clothes and Christmas shopping.
The Lighting Ceremony starts, in the dark, at 6:30 PM with one of the most energetic and fun parades I have ever witnessed. With acrobatics, stilts, nutcrackers, dancing ballerinas tucked inside clear globes, elves, huge blow up characters like Rudolph and Frosty (that look like they came straight from the Macy’s Day Parade) and at the tail end, an old fashioned fire engine with Mr. and Mrs. Claus themselves!
The parade circles around the huge Easton Square, ending right in the center at the ginormous tree where Santa gets on stage, welcomes us all, and gives a small speech followed by a countdown to the lighting. At the end of the countdown, fireworks go off and the entire town center of Easton lights up with Christmas lights everywhere, all at once. It truly is a magical moment that you can’t just smile and laugh at, feeling like a child again yourself! The kids just love this moment!
After this night, Santa and his elves are available throughout the rest of the season for photos and to share your Christmas wishes with. Stay after for carriage rides, continuing through the rest of Christmas season after tonight as well! The best part is that my children always write Santa a letter with their Christmas wish list at the bottom. Every year Easton Santa takes his time to not just snap a quick photo, but read their letters and talk to them. All the while you get to snap or video away and then you can go view the images their photographer took as well. The photos to purchase are a very reasonable (I think $5) cost for a 5 x 7, with other package options as well.
The stores and restaurants even keep the party going after the Lighting Ceremony and if you text “easton” to 313131 you will be notified of specials and receive offers on your mobile device! Tonight is their 20th grand illumination or “Whobilation” as they call it – it is sure to be a great time this evening!
It is going to be a cold one tonight, but we really hope if you go that you will have as much fun as we always do! Bundle up warm and maybe we will see you there!
Another fun day that we always attend is Superhero Day. There is always something fun going on at Easton, check out their schedule of events here.
OPENING SOON for the season!
So, it is no secret that my favorite season of all times is Fall! I love the pumpkins, cool weather, leaves turning colors, jeans with sweaters, bonfires, football and chili contests amongst my friends and I. Nothing beats the fall season! To top it off I have found the best family friendly place EVER to play and enjoy all things Fall!
Pigeon Roost Farms is located in Hebron Ohio and has everything you could ever look for in a fun fall setting! Lots of great fun for the whole family, with giant slides, challenging mazes, a new fort, and some of the most fantastic displays of pumpkins you’ll ever see, this place has it all!
We always have so much fun that we probably go 4-5 times a season, easily.
PumpkinFest, as they like to call it, is open every day from Saturday September 14th to October 31st 10am to 7pm (last entry at 6 p.m., you’ll need at least one hour to enjoy all the fun they have in store for you!)
The Great Pumpkin Fun Center (open daily) includes:
There are also farm animals and exotic guests to check out!
The pumpkin patch includes: pumpkins (mini, regular and giant!), Indian corn, corn stalks, straw bales, apple gourds,12 varieties of squash, hard-shell birdhouse gourds, and all the fall décor your house and yard could hold!
Also, don’t forget to stop and let your little one pick out their Halloween costume and get their face painted while you check out all of the crafts and small shops before picking up your bag of fresh popped kettle corn or freshly made cotton candy!
Don’t ask why, but I have always have a soft spot in my soul for a good old fashion renaissance faire. I know, I really don’t seem the type to go larping (life action role playing – for those of you that have never indulged) in some other realm from long ago, but alas….I love it. It probably has to do with the fact that I grew up (for 5 years or so) in a small little town outside Chicago called Oregon, IL. In this town, even though it only had about 3,000 residents, there were a lot of cool things to do and see.
One of those being Stronghold Castle of Oregon,IL. The castle would have an “Olde English Faire” every fall that my parents would always take me to. I loved it! The people all dressed up from a different era, some of it fictional, some not. Fairies and creatures along with princes and princesses all talking funny and eating huge meat-sticks…it was something to behold!
Fast forward about 25 years and now I have my own children. So a few years back when my first child was about 2, I began searching for something similar around Ohio. I found many different events to go to and went to the one that seemed to have the most entertainment and such.
The Ohio Renaissance Festival is such a treat! My husband had never been to anything quite like this. And was pretty humored (or maybe mortified) when I decided to dress up as Maid Marian to attend. But he was a good sport and didn’t make fun of me too much. Going here each fall has become a family tradition. Our son gets a new sword every year we go and our daughter got to take her first visit there a few years back, walking away with a hair garland. Wasn’t she adorable?
We always have a blast, with plenty to do! There are several spots with many types of hearty food and drink, a huge artisan marketplace, craftsmen of great skill, amazing feats of skill, interactive comedy shows, skits and adventure, live jousting, merriment and romance, rides, games and more!
Kids will have a blast interacting with the people here and there are so many fun trinkets to bring home or make as souvenirs. From molding your hands in wax to making magic wands, the kids will find so much to entertain them!
Open from the last weekend in August for 8 weekends – Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday from 10:30 am – 6 pm. Every weekend has a different theme (pirates, Irish, Romeo & Juliet, etc), so be sure to check here to see what you’ll be getting into! The last weekend of the season is the best because they have a ton of great trinkets and gifts on sale for those who are on your “nice list” this year.
Keep in touch for specials or deals on tickets or even giveaways ORF may be having by following them on Instagram, twitter or Facebook. Or, check out what you will be seeing at ORF by viewing their YouTube channel.
Hope you enjoy!! Don’t forget to dress the part, most do! It’s more fun that way!
Summer is officially here! School has ended and the chill has finally left us. But even though I love spring and fall, I am super excited that our hot summer has arrived because I get to share with you all of our favorite watering holes! The one thing I love about living in Ohio is that I get to see a glimpse of all four seasons, not so much the case in the south where I am from. But I would definitely be ok if Fall lasted six months of the year 😉
Since Summer is finally here I figured I would share some of our favorite watering hole spots! Some are free and some are not. Do your best to hit up each spot during the next several weeks. Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments!
Zoombezi Bay Waterpark is probably our most favorite place to go, and also the most expensive! Even if you are a Zoo member. But boy oh boy is it fun for all ages! They have a young kiddie pool area with many attractions, a older kiddie area with a pirate ship, four and a half story treehouse, slides, a big water bucket that topples over every so often, and a large area to swim. They also have a huge lazy river (one for families and one for just adults – beverages allowed!). There is also a tidal wave pool and many big slides to have fun on! Several concession stands and food options to choose from. During the summer they host several “Dive-In Movie” nights. I haven’t been to one yet but it sounds like a lot of fun! You will spend a pretty penny but its always a fun day here!
Heath City Water Park is another fun location. As a much smaller and cheaper version of Zoombezi Bay, they have a baby pool, kids pool with slides and swings, and larger pools with big slides. There is also a nice covered area on the lawn in case you dont want direct sunlight all afternoon, which was anperfect spot for Leighton’s nap and feeding sessions. If your kids are still quite small (5 and under) you will save time traveling and money for them to have just as much fun here
Dillon State Park has a small wading pool area with a geyser-like sprinkler, as well as many other attractions (campgrounds, swimming beach, tennis and volleyball courts, seven picnics shelters, several miles of trails, disc golf, hunting, fishing….you name it). But for just a fun afternoon with your tykes, the wading pool at Dillon and a packed lunch in the picnic shelter followed by some time on the playground next to it while drying off makes for a fun, free afternoon!
Scioto Mile Splash Pad has been a big hit for my family the past few summers. It is perfect for a hot afternoon of fun. There is plenty of trails to walk on along the riverside (but far enough away that your child cannot run into the water), and big lawns to play or pop down and have a picnic. The Bicentennial Park Splash Pad on Scioto Mile is the largest in Columbus. It’s 15,000 square feet and has water features that spray as high as 75 feet in the air. There is also plenty of seating for the onlookers, shaded and not shaded. And at night the fountain experience is enhanced by unique lighting and fog effects. Super cool, and free!
Last year was the first time we didn’t go to the beach on vacation. We were all bummed, but with the kids being so little we didn’t feel ready to go to the ocean quite yet. We do have a beach trip planned for this summer and the kids are so excited! From the pictures you can see they, especially my daughter, will be just as much a sun-bathing beach bum as her momma! However, even without a beach trip last year, we had many fun days in the cool water visiting the places I mentioned. If you haven’t already, go check them out!
I have also found this great article about other local splash pad areas around Columbus and can’t wait to try them out this summer before we take off to the beach! Don’t they look like fun?!
Let me know what you thought of these locations or if you have more that you know of in the Central Ohio area that I need to check out!
Velvet Ice Cream allows visitors to it’s Ye Olde Mill anytime April through November. There is plenty for the family to do to take up a nice afternoon. Velvet Ice Cream has been around for over 100 years and is very family oriented.
This long holiday weekend is the annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival with musical entertainment, plenty of fun for kids, magic shows, vendors, shopping with over 90 local artisans, delicious food from several food trucks, of course yummy Velvet ice cream and more! There is fun for the whole family including contests for kids, ice cream eating contests, pony rides and over 400 classic cars to view. You will NOT want to miss out! For more information visit Utica Sertoma’s Festival page.
Check their calendar out to see what other entertainment events they have coming up.
Any other time throughout the year my kids and I love to go play on their playgrounds, feed the ducks, play in the creek on the backside of the property and definitely take time to have lunch in the Wheel Room Restaurant followed with a sweet snack from the Ice Cream Parlor. My favorite is Raspberry Fudge Cordial, DELICIOUS! Shop their products here.
You are also able to take a free public tour of the Historic Ye Olde Mill and even go to the Viewing Gallery to learn the seven steps it takes to make their delicious dessert. Tours are only offered during the week and begin at the top of each hour. No reservation is needed unless you have a large group of 20 or more.
Have you ever been to Velvet’s Ye Olde Mill? Which flavor is your favorite? If you have never been, it is definitely work a quick little day trip any time of their season! Maybe I’ll see you there this weekend during the festival!
A friend and fellow mommy in the moms group I’m in introduced me to a fun little place called Aha! Museum when she suggested we all take an outing to go play with our kids. It’s one of the perfect play-places during the cold and rainy season to get out and get some energy spent all while being educated!
Aha! Museum is a 4000 square foot adventure space featuring more than 25 exhibits and activities for children ages 0-7 (and older). Children can learn as they engage in their most important “work” of play.
Messy Art Mondays are always fun! But there is also Let’s Get Messy Tuesday, Story Time Thursday, Fun Art Friday and Science Saturday. Along with your $6/person admission to the museum on any day, your child can participate in any of these. Children 6 months and younger are free. See their calendar for details! They are open year round but have been one of our favorite locations during the cooler months for sure.
We always have such a blast going and playing with all of their educational and creative exhibits:
- Water table (for babies)
- Water table (bigger kids)
- Train table
- Laser harp
- Pretend and play Veterinarian
- Pretend and play market
- Pretend and play Pizza shop
- Fire engine
- Ball mountain
- Fishing boat
- Lego/duplo table
- Pretend and play bank
- Theatre & costumes
- Build a house
- Plop zone
- Garden zone
- Healthy choices
- Moon sand
- Art station
I also love that they promote breast feeding by having a nursing station set off in the corner with a nice rocking chair, pillows and privacy divider. This was much appreciated when I had my babies in tow when we would go play.
They do not allow any wifi access for good reason – to promote that adults supervise their children and to encourage they engage in imagination and play as well.
If you are looking for a fun time with the kids, why not introduce them to live theatre? I have taken my children to several shows and we never leave disappointed!
Taking your children to the theatre is another way to inspire them and enrich their lives, creating a well-rounded background for them. And Columbus Children’s Theatre, located in the vibrant Short North district of Columbus, is sure to keep their attention! I think that it is easier for them to pay attention when they see other children their age acting out a lot of the parts. Plus most of the plays that are performed are familiar stories for the children.
You can purchase tickets by the show or by the season. You can even get your children into theatre a step further by signing them up for several types of Academy acting classes, taking part of a child writing project or letting them audition for a part in an upcoming play! The ages of the actors range from mostly children to some adults. The shows are kept light-hearted and humerous, it is fun for all ages!
Have an autistic child? CCT is thinking of you too! Columbus Children’s Theatre is proud to provide Sensory Friendly Performances for audiences with autism or other sensory sensitivity disorders. CCT is participating in power2give.org. A project of Arts & Science Council, power2give.org empowers you to give directly to local arts, science and history projects you are passionate about. Nonprofit organizations post projects that are in need of funding. You help bring them to life with a gift.
CCT also provides sign language interpretation! Bring your child to Columbus Children’s Theatre for a fun, unique afternoon and to show them many different aspects of the theatre world and the world they live in!
Check out the current season shows and the upcoming shows to plan your visit. There are daytime, evening and weekend showings available to suit your needs. And they always stay after to have a question and answer or talk about their character’s personalities on stage. So when that grumpy old witch is mean to the princess, don’t fret – all will be explained and the audience will be told afterwards why that is the wrong way to act.
Also, because this theatre is in the Short North, it gives the perfect opportunity to make a date day with your little one. Walk them over to the North Market right down the block to try foods from all areas of the world, making this outing quite the educational and entertaining one!
The Center of Science and Industry (CoSi), in Columbus, OH, has been a family favorite of ours since my oldest was almost 3. At that time he was into dinosaurs and could tell you what every single dinosaur’s name was – even those long, tricky ones – and whether they were a carnivore or herbivore! We find that while the Columbus Zoo is a perfect sunny day option, CoSi is the perfect for a cold or rainy day. But they do have an outside exhibit on site to enjoy also.
There is so much to see at CoSi that it is hard to fit it all in during one day trip, but if you get there early and stay as long as you can – you’ll see plenty! Don’t worry about lunch, there are several food choices if you forgot to pack. And a few locations to choose from to eat at.
There is something for everyone from Space, to Sea, to Energy, Gadgets, Progress and much more. As you go from one exhibit to another there is so much to learn and see and it is all interactive, which keeps the children tuned-in and excited. There are also a few exhibits that change every few weeks – right now they have the Silk Road and Dinosaurs – again! Tickets to CoSi, including all their additional things, such as movies, can be purchased on their website ahead of time, or at the guest check in station during your trip, at any time.
A couple weeks ago my oldest and I were able to enjoy a day together on a field trip to CoSi. It isn’t often that he gets my undivided attention these days, being the oldest of three. But we had a blast and even stayed longer than his school did so we could try to see it all.
Our day started by learning about aerodynamics, innovation and how energy works. Ashur loves to make paper airplanes and fly them through the house so this was one of his favorite moments of the day. Daddy is quite the paper airplane architect, so Ashur had a blast testing his abilities and seeing what changes made them fly further.
Next we went to my personal favorite exhibit, the Ocean. There are plenty of water activities here including (not pictured) a submarine under water that the kids can go into. I can’t wait to return with my younger two as I am certain this will be a huge hit for them as well.
After that we popped into a motion simulator ride where they chose to see a Dinosaur show. We also spent some time in the Gadgets room (be careful this room is a super FUN one that could take up the whole day if you let the kids choose – same with little KidsSpace for younger children, which lives beyond it’s name, it is a vast space) and outside in the Science Park.
We made our way up to Progress which is another favorite of mine. It is like walking back through the streets of the late 1800’s and then the 60’s. It is amazing to see what a huge difference 60 years can make, especially for the kids who haven’t seen hardly any of it before.
We watched a 3D movie in the National Geographic Giant Screen theatre called Amazon Adventure. These movies are always a fun treat. They tend to have 3-4 different options of movies to choose from during the day, with several screen times for each.
When the movie was over we went through the Life exhibit and played around. There is a lot of interactive information in this room about our bodies. This one may be a little bit creepy for the younger crowd. But my 9 year old was just fine.
We played a quick Space game while we waited on our Planetarium show, Starry Night Live, to begin, which was our last stop for the day, and easily our favorite. It was also nice to end the day in reclined seats looking up at the stars. Ashur really enjoyed this as much as I did. I told him he should become an astronomer and study space when he grows up. He didn’t realize that he wouldn’t be forced into space to do so (LOL).
This brought me to the realization of how educational and inspirational of an experience this could be. There are so many different topics and industries to learn about. It is not only fun, but something here could inspire anyone to fall in love with a particular topic – to be amazed. Enough that it could literally dictate what kind of career they may choose in the future or what type of classes they want to take in college. I think every time we go to CoSi we learn something new, which is why getting a membership is definitely a smart choice. Just like at the Zoo, we know that we will go a handful (if not more) times throughout the year, so when we add up the cost it’s always the best choice to purchase a membership. If that is out of the question for you, keep an eye here for their discounts and promotions.
I thank you for reading about our fun day and hope that it provokes you to take your child/children. I always take our trips to locations like these during the week because I am thankfully blessed enough to have weekdays off. And I know that there won’t be huge crowds of people like there are on the weekends. It causes me a lot less anxiety, especially when I have all three kiddos on board. If you go, please leave us a comment below and let me know which exhibit was your favorite or what your little scientist was inspired by.