The snow has melted, the sun is beginning to come out of hiding (for the most part), and many schools across central Ohio have closed their doors for spring break. For some people, spring break is spent drinking frozen daiquiris on a beach somewhere, but not for you. You may have children or a demanding job and taking a luxurious vacation simply isn’t in the cards for you right now. Not to worry, we’re on the edge of winter and soon the flowers will be in bloom again. Until then, I have 5 fantastic local attractions you can visit with your family this week!
We may not have a beach, but we do have a riverbank. Now, I’m not asking you to take your children swimming in the Olentangy River that would be irresponsible. However, the Scioto Mile Park is a riverfront destination that is great for long walks, bike rides, and guided tours of the Santa Maria, the world’s most authentic representation of Christopher Columbus’s infamous flagship. Along the park’s recreational trail, you will also find their Cultural Arts Center. This unique center is an artist’s haven that offers classes and workshops for a variety of skill levels. It is a great place to enhance your skills, express your ideas, and develop a greater appreciation for art and culture. The Scioto Mile Park is great for both short and daylong visits and is a perfect way to get your kids outside and active!
It doesn’t have Van Gogh but it does have Rothko! The Columbus Museum of Art offers a wide variety of artists representing genres from classical to modern. Currently on view is the much anticipated, Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950 exhibit. This exhibit features 37 works from one of the most influential artists of the twentieth-century. It is only in town until May 26th, so get the kids and come see the style that defined a generation! Aside from exhibits, CMA also has family galleries which were created to encourage children to explore their own creativity and artistic vision. New to the museum is an interactive learning lab which offers children and teens an opportunity to explore technology, known as the Innovation Lab. Taking your children to the Columbus Museum of Art gives them an opportunity to learn about artists, old and new, as well as grants them the ability to understand how art plays a role in their own lives.
O-H-I-O! Consider exploring The Ohio State University’s campus with your family. In recent years OSU has undergone construction, renovation, and remodeling, making it not only a center for learning but also a popular Columbus attraction. Start at the new Ohio Union, located on the corner of High Street and 12th Avenue. Here you will find beautiful ballrooms, various displays of art, and interesting cultural exhibits. The historical Thompson Library can be found just off of OSU’s beloved oval. From its galleries to its brilliant architectural design, this library more closely resembles a museum than anything else. Taking your family on a nice walk through Ohio State’s campus can not only reaffirm your buckeye pride but can also spark your children’s interest in attending college!
Rather than imagining the places where you’ll go, take a better look at the place where you are. Many Ohioans will say that our great state doesn’t have much to offer or that living here can feel a bit dull. However, Ohio carries a great deal of historical significance that you and your family can learn about at the Ohio History Center. This center acts as the headquarters for the Ohio Historical Society and houses a museum, a library, and Ohio Village, a recreation of a 19th century Ohio town. Your children will learn about the different Native American tribes who inhabited our state before settlers arrived along with a glimpse at Ohio’s natural history and original landscape. This outing will surely get your children excited about history and will keep them learning during the week that they’re outside the classroom!
The flowers will be blooming even if there’s frost on the ground. No matter the weather, the Franklin Park Conservatory remains warm and bright all year round. Experience different eco systems and observe lush greenery and flowers in full bloom without leaving the city. The butterflies have recently returned to the conservatory, completing the Blooms and Butterflies exhibit. This beautiful greenhouse is proof that you don’t have to travel far to reconnect with a warm climate. Taking your family to witness this extraordinary explosion of colors and life is a great way to lift those winter blues and kick off the spring season!
Having a successful spring break doesn’t have to break the bank. Reacquainting yourself with the city of Columbus while spending quality time with your family may be just what you need this week. We are fortunate to live in a community with lots of family friendly resources that are both fun and educational. Take advantage of them this week as we prepare ourselves for the warmer months ahead!