Around Town (and at home) With the Kids

Watching Live Sports

 Recently I put together a list of activities in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond for a friend who was having a hard time coming up with inexpensive and free things to do with his children. He was looking for ideas of things to do at home and out and about. So I asked my friends and family to contribute their favorite things to do and was able to compile a pretty comprehensive list. I even broke it down by weather and if it was free or cost. I thought I’d share this list on my blog because I’m sure many other parents would love to see it.

I also want to suggest visiting my friends at www.familyfriendlycincinnati.com, www.stockpilingmoms.com and www.365cincinnati.com since they are always posting great activities.

 

Any season activities – Free

  • Cincinnati Art Museum (do a little research and make a scavenger hunt before you go)
  • Krohn Conservatory
  • National Museum of the US Airforce in Dayton
  • Dance together like no one is watching
  • Play active video games together
  • Go to a local gym and play basketball
  • Watch movies together
  • Cook or bake together
  • Look around Ikea or Jungle Jims
  • Lunken Airport to watch planes take off
  • Build things like a bird house or do crafts
  • Visit the Public Library
  • Obstacle course inside or out
  • Blue Marble Bookstore in Fort Thomas or other local Bookstore
  • Put photo albums together
  • Volunteer to serve food at Hosea House, Parish Soup Kitchen or another local agency
  • Tell stories
  • Camp in the living room
  • Lowes and Home Depot Workshops

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Warmer Weather Activities – Free

  • Walk around Fountain Square/Downtown
  • Walk the Purple Bridge between Newport and Cincinnati
  • Watch boats on the river
  • Fishing
  • Early morning at Turfway Park – watch horses train
  • Go for a walk
  • Play sports together in the yard
  • Lunken Airport Aviation Days in May
  • Bike trails
  • Walk around Art shows
  • Devou or Eden Park
  • Hiking
  • Nature scavenger Hunt
  • Parky’s Farm
  • Hamilton County, Kenton or Boone Parks – lots of parks have free programs if you look at website
  • Walk around Mount Adams and look at cool old buildings and churches
  • Hocking Hills – Ohio
  • Clifty Falls – Indiana
  • Lunken Airport Play field
  • Sawyer Point
  • Plant a garden at home or for a neighbor

Activities that Cost

  • Behringer Crawford Museum (free one Sunday a month)
  • The museums at Union Terminal
  • Cosi in Columbus
  • Cincinnati Zoo
  • Plays downtown or at theater in Fort Thomas
  • Children’s Museum in Indy
  • Indianapolis Zoo– dolphin show
  • Louisville Slugger Museum
  • Movies
  • Out to eat (check to see where kids eat free)
  • Laser tag
  • Baker Hunt Art
  • Bowling
  • Recca Roller Rink
  • Cincinnati Fire Museum
  • Dinsmore House Tour
  • Color Me Mine
  • Lego Kids Fest March 23-25 at Convention Center
  • Concerts
  • Apple orchard, blueberry picking, – some might be free
  • BB Riverboat
  • Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
  • Top of Carew Tower ($1 or $2)
  • Reds Games
  • Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Ride the Duck
  • Newport Aquarium
  • Florence Freedom Games
  • Cyclones Hockey Games
  • Roller Derby
  • Lego Store in Kenwood has weekend events
  • RockQuest
  • Dave & Busters
  • Kings Island
  • Beach Water Park
  • Booneshoft Muesum in Dayton
  • Bellevue Beadery

 Please comment here with questions about any of these places or add activities my friends and I might not have thought of. I can’t wait to read about all the fun things you do with your kids at home or out on the town!

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Puppy Obsession

I am obsessed. I have become one of those people I used to make fun of and couldn’t begin to understand. I am completely in love with my puppy and miss her dearly when I’m at work, out with friends or doing stuff outside of the house with the kids. I think about her all day and can’t wait to get home to her.

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When I am home, I spend a lot of time with her. We go for walks, go to the park, play fetch, work on tricks and snuggle on the couch together. We attend puppy play dates and puppy training. I truly try to plan my schedule around her. Part of that is because I’m obsessed but also because I feel so bad that she is locked in a crate when we are gone.

I ask all potential “dates” how they feel about dogs because I figure if they don’t like them, there is no sense in even going out once.  I did discover that this is not that abnormal. According to  http://www.livescience.com/18519-women-dogs-happy-relationships.html a woman is more satisfied in her relationship when her partner feels the same about her pet as she does. If she’s close to her dog, he’d better be, too. If she’s more aloof, it’s better if he doesn’t get too snuggly with Fido. For men, on the other hand, a woman’s closeness to his pet doesn’t affect his relationship satisfaction at all, according to study researcher Kristen Capuozzo, a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston.

But my kids are even jealous of my relationship with our cute little puppy. They realize Scout will come to me before them, that she listens better to me and that I love to cuddle with her. It’s not that I love the puppy more by any means or even that I want to spend more time with her than them. But you know, the puppy is not a 10-year-old boy who lives in his own world and ignores me until he wants something or an almost 13-year-old girl who thinks I’m stupid and never know what’s going on. The puppy doesn’t talk back, she will still kiss me in public and cuddle on the couch, she doesn’t complain about what I’m watching on TV, she doesn’t kick me if I let her nap with me, doesn’t bicker with her siblings (A &J) and doesn’t expect me to make her a special meal because she decided that day she doesn’t like dog food (or grilled cheese in the case of the kids).

My puppy loves and likes me unconditionally. I can even get mad at her and she doesn’t care. It’s actually a pretty great relationship. My friends make fun of me and have told me jokingly that they are a little concerned (or maybe they aren’t joking) but I think Scout has truly been good for me.

I grew up with lots of animals (dogs, a monkey, a goat, birds, hamsters, ducks – yes, I said a monkey) but I haven’t had a pet in 12 years. My children have never had a pet so this is their first experience and they love her too but aren’t nearly as obsessed as I am.

Do you think there is something wrong with me? Be honest! LOL Do you think a pet owner can be too obsessed with their animal? Or do you think it’s healthy? Share your thoughts and your pet stories!

 

What’s Acceptable?

My daughter A will be 13 in May and is in the seventh grade. My son J is 10 and is in the fourth grade. Lately, I’ve been struggling with what’s appropriate when it comes to movies and books.

I work at a Library so normally it’s pretty easy for me to decide if a book is age-appropriate or not. I have access to the best librarians in the state. Both of my children are advanced readers but just because my fourth grader can read at a eighth grade level doesn’t mean I necessarily want him reading eighth grade material. So it’s very convenient to be able to ask a co-worker if the content is appropriate or not. However, both of my children also read very quickly. I didn’t realize my 10-year-old was reading “Hunger Games” until the third day when he was already halfway through the book. This is not a book I would have said yes to. Maybe he knew that… Don’t get me wrong. It’s an excellent book and I definitely suggest it for sixth grade and older. It’s just that it’s a little dark and I wasn’t sure he could handle it. He definitely proved me wrong. He LOVED it, he understood it and he got that it wouldn’t really happen.

So that brings us to the movie, starring one of his favorite actors – Josh Hutcherson, that is going to be released in March… Do I let him see it? I really don’t know what I will do.

Thanks to Victorious on Nickelodeon, my children now want to see “Breakfast Club.” Victorious did a spoof called “Breakfast Bunch.” Honestly, my kids were very confused because they had never seen the rated R movie. I, however, knew immediately what this show for TWEENS was making fun of. Why would a tween show do a spoof on a rated R movie? Now if you are wondering why the “Breakfast Club” is Rated R, let me remind you that it has sexual and drug content and says the F word at least two dozen times.  I do not plan on letting the kids see this movie yet but thanks Nickelodeon for the argument!

Now they also want to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off due to the new commercial. It’s rated PG13 due to foul language and sexual content. My daughter is almost 13… do I let her watch it and not my son? Honestly though, the 10-year-old, who can be very immature in certain aspects, is very mature when it comes to movies. He gets it’s pretend but he also gets most of the content. Do I let either one watch it?

What makes it harder is I know I saw some of these movies at their age. What were my parents thinking? Ha Ha.

I know some of you are laughing at me. I’m aware that some of A’s friends (and probably J’s) have seen Hangover, Pulp Fiction, Role Models and Hall Pass. There is no way I would let my children see any of these movies!! It’s your choice to let your children watch these but my children are not allowed. Does that make me a prude? Am I sheltering my kids? Maybe, but I don’t care. I don’t want them going around quoting Hangover. I would die of embarrassment (yes, I’ve heard 12-year-olds do this).

So how do you decide what movies and books are appropriate for your children?