Three D Centers

I was super pumped to discover Three D Centers in Hilliard, Ohio. It’s a brand new business offering a wide variety of classes for kids and adults. The opportunities for creativity, learning a new skill and group support are endless.


You’ll love the concept of Three D Centers: a weekly schedule of classes allowing you to pick sessions that fit your schedule and interest, pay as you go, no enrollment fees, and affordable pricing. Sounds pretty amazing- right?!!! To top it all off Three D Centers is offering first time visitors the opportunity to try out two FREE classes per family member. Click HERE to download your free class passes.

Some of the Fun Classes Offered

  • Dance, Workout, Drama, Art, Languages, Support Groups, Martial Arts, Business and Finance
  • Click HERE to view the complete class schedule, times and pricing.
  • Everyone is bound to find an exciting class!

I know all my mom friends are sick of being stuck inside with their kiddos during all of these rainy summer days in Columbus. It looks like venturing to Three D Centers could help you escape from home and save your sanity!


More Information on Three D Centers

  • Classes are offered throughout the day and evening Monday-Saturday.
  • Class prices range from $4-$15 per class depending on length and supplies. Remember your first 2 classes are free!
  • Call before you visit to verify availability.
  • Family owned business with friendly employees.
  • Children ages 6 and under need to have an adult stay with them. Take a look at the comfortable and inviting parent area to hang out in while you wait.DSC_2391

My Experiences

I had a blast using my two left feet to try my best at Zumba with Nisha. I’d say it was Zumba with a Hip Hop flare in a no pressure atmosphere. Nisha’s enthusiasm and passion was so invigorating it helped make me feel comfortable and left me smiling the whole class. You can’t beat moving and grooving to upbeat tunes, burning calories and having fun all in one night. Can’t wait for my next class!


My 4-year-old daughter enjoyed her time with Ali in the Creative Art class.   Ali had intentions of making monsters but my little one wanted to construct cats and dogs with construction paper instead. Ali went with her ideas and even let my little one hang her masterpiece on the wall.ThreeDCentersLexi

Dream, Dare, Do is the philosophy of the Three D Centers, so do just that and support a local business!

Sesame Place

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Place…? Sure, Sesame Place is in Langhorne, Pennsylvania about 25 miles outside of Philadelphia.Sesamecharacters

This themed amusement park appeals to kids and adults of all ages. Who doesn’t love taking photos with cuddly monsters, riding fun rides, seeing characters perform in the parade and watching interactive shows? This park is small enough to get around easily, yet large enough to keep you and your family entertained for hours.

I was really impressed with the overall layout and design of the park. Each of the rides were creatively named and related to the Sesame Street theme. My favorites were Oscar’s Rotten Rusty Rockets and Honker Dinger Derby.

Sesame Rides

If you visit during the summer season the water rides will be in operation. You’ll find The Count’s Splash Castle, which has many levels of fun including water slides, an enormous tipping bucket, bridges, water wheels and other features.  There are a wide variety of water slides, a rambling lazy river, a tidal pool and other wet fun.  Our favorite was Sky Splash where up to 6 riders can travel together in a tube down a twisting and turning slide.

Sesame wet

Character Viewing: You’ll be able to snap your own photos of beloved characters such as Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, The Count, Abby Cadabby, Zoe, Oscar the Grouch and more. There were a lot of characters stationed throughout the park at different spots and times.  Typically there were only a few people in line so the wait was rather short.

You can also view the characters in the parade, shows or character dining experiences.

Sesame photos

Parade: Watching the parade is a great way to view the characters in one spot. During the Birthday Celebration Parade all of the beloved Sesame Street characters rode on interesting and colorful floats as they traveled down the street moving and grooving to upbeat music.

Parade viewing- I recommend standing on the street in the middle or closest to the entrance.  For the first song the parade performers stopped right about at the boat and anyone that was sitting further down on the street didn’t have anything in front of them to watch until the song finished and the performers continued down the street. People at this park reserved their parade viewing spot well in advance. Towels and strollers were lined up along the parade route an hour or two ahead of the scheduled parade time.

Ses parade

Dining: There are character dining experiences where you can pay extra to eat a buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner while Elmo and his friends dance around and are available for photographs. There is also a meal plan option that can be purchased.  You can bring a small cooler inside the park with you.  Near the parking lot there are several tables with a large umbrella for shade.  Many people were sitting there eating food they brought with them.  Also I saw people kept coolers in the car.  Very close by is Taco Bell and Chick Fil-A if you are interested in leaving the park to grab food.  Don’t forget your hand stamp to get back in.

Special Events: The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular (September 26, 2015- November 1, 2015) and a Very Furry Christmas (November 21, 2015-December 31, 2015 on select days).  Click HERE for more information and to see the full even schedule.

Deals: We bought our tickets online to save $10 and get a FREE second day. Visits did not have to be consecutive days. So for $55 a person we got 2 days of fun. That’s a really good deal. I’m sure the promotions and coupons change throughout the year so be sure to check the Sesame Place website by clicking HERE for the current deals.

Other Info:

2015 is the year that Sesame Places celebrates its 35th year so the park was decorated with a birthday theme.


Remember to pack your bathing suit and towel if you plan on experiencing the wet attractions.

Only negative I can think of is that we waited for 20 minutes past the scheduled reading time for the story.  The people in Hopper’s Store said that typically they are running late.

Staying true to what Sesame Street is known for was the educational fun found throughout the park. The parades and shows incorporated learning concepts such as letters, numbers and shapes.

Cookie’s Monster Land opened in 2014 and has rides, large climbing net and soft play area for the little ones.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 12.02.35 PM

Although toddlers and preschoolers are the typical audience range of the Sesame Street show this park is not just for youngsters.  Kids and adults of all ages will be entertained.  Sesame Place is bound to put a smile on everyone’s face and the memories should last well beyond the time spent at the park. I hope you have a delightful time at Sesame Place!

A Colorful Time at Crayola Experience

As a child my favorite episode on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was when they visited the crayon factory. I loved watching the behind the scenes tour as the machines quickly produced one of my favorite items. Can you believe they’ve been around for over 100 years? I bet it would be awfully hard to find anyone who hasn’t used Crayola products!


We recently visited Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania (about 90 minutes from Philadelphia). There were 25 hands on exhibits to let your creativity shine. My favorite station was Be a Star where you selected a background,  inserted a photo of yourself into the background and then printed out your masterpiece. Here’s my rock star creation:

Rock Star

My children enjoyed the stations that involved melting crayons. One station allowed you to melt two crayons together to make a cool drip art collage. At the Melt & Mold station you were given a crayon to insert into a machine that would turn your crayon into a molded keepsake. My daughter loved making rings!

Crayola Experience

Today, July 1, 2015 marks opening day for Crayola Experience in Orlando. This will be another fun activity in the Orlando area and great for any rainy or cold days.

Discover the magic by clicking on the Crayola Experience website HERE!

Freebies at Disney World

I’ve been to Disney many times and am still learning things I never knew about the best and cheapest ways to enjoy the parks.  Thanks to Erin Davis from Magical Moments Vacations for her Disney freebie tips below.  These will be very useful in my upcoming Disney trip!
Believe it or not, there are lots of FREE things to do at Walt Disney World!  Here are some of my very favorites!
1) “Ye Haa” Bob Jackson has been entertaining guests at the River Roost Lounge in Port Orleans Riverside for nearly 20 years!  Bob performs a VERY popular sing-a-long piano show Wednesday – Saturday nights, beginning at 8:30pm.  This is a great way to spend the evening if it’s raining or if you want to get away from crowded parks.  His shows are family friendly, and you usually see kids there until about the second intermission.  Get there a little early to grab the best seats.  Ye Haa Bob usually mingles with the audience before the show, so be sure to tell him if you’re celebrating anything, or if you have a song request!
 Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.23.28 PM
2) Did you know that Walt Disney World Resorts have nightly movie showings?  Disney Movies Under the Stars is a great way to wind down after a busy day in the parks.  You are not limited to watching movies at your resort.  Feel free to resort hop!  Every resort has a different movie schedule.
Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.28.32 PM
3) Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Campground has  a daily Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sign-A-Long that is free!  The Sing-A-Long generally starts around 8 pm in the summer, and is held near the Meadow Trading Post in the campfire area.  The program starts off with a Disney cast member leading a sing-along, followed by a marshmallow roast around two campfire rings.  You may bring your own marshmallows, or buy them at the Chuckwagon Snack Bar.  Chip and Dale make an appearance to visit with guests, so don’t forget your autograph books!  The sing-along lasts around 45 minutes, and is followed by a Disney movie.
3 Chip and Dale
4) Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a class that teaches you how
to draw a Disney character.  Classes are held every 30 minutes, and you’ll find that they are less crowded later in the day.  Frame them when you get home and you’ll have a great souvenir. (This CLOSED in July so we will stay tuned to see what Disney has coming next.)
4 Animation Academy
5) Free Drinks!  You can work up quite a thirst at Walt Disney World.  Forget about the $3 bottles of water!  Go to any of the counter service restaurants in the parks and ask for a large cup of ice water.  This also works for hot water, so you can bring instant packs of coffee with you for an afternoon coffee break.  If you’re at Epcot, don’t forget to check out Club Cool and sample drinks from around the world for free!  Located near Innovations West in Future World, this exhibit features Coca-Cola products from 8 different countries.  Kids love this, and it’s a great place to get out of the hot Florida sun and enjoy a refreshing beverage.
5 Club Cool
 Did you know Erin can help you plan your Disney Dream Vacation and there is no fee for her service?   That’s another great freebie!  Take advantage of her expertise and allow you to have a stress free planning experience.
 Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.31.46 PM

Magical Moments Vacations has earned the distinction of being named an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. This special designation is given by Disney in recognition of the agency’s ongoing focus and commitment to planning customized, magical vacations to the Disney Parks, Disney Cruise Line and other Disney destinations!

Erin Davis is a graduate of Disney’s College of Knowledge, and completes regular Disney training–including on-site visits–to ensure fluency with all the new attractions, systems and entertainment at the Disney Parks and Resorts.

Magical Moments Vacations is accredited by both IATA and CLIA and is part of the Travel Consortium.  

In addition to Disney destinations, Magical Moments Vacations by Erin Davis also books vacations to a wide variety of other destinations, including cruises, river cruises, all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe and more!

Erin Davis
Travel Specialist
Magical Moments Vacations
(330) 204-1748

Patio Dining in Columbus, Ohio

If you’re like me than every time the weather is nice all I want to do is eat my meals outside. Each time I rack my brain trying to remember all of the patios in town. Inevitably I can only think of a few. I’ve said a million times, “I have to make a list of patio dining options” so without further ado here is my Columbus list…

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 1.16.31 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 1.19.19 PMClick the link for the complete printable list:Patio dining.pptx

I know I missed many great patio dining spots in Columbus so I’ll be updating the list soon. Comment below if you have a favorite spot to add to the list!  🙂


Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

While COSI may be a great Science Center I have long wished for a Children’s Museum in Columbus, Ohio. I found a true gem- Little Buckeye Children’s Museum in Mansfield. Although it isn’t in Columbus it is close enough and so worth the drive!


There were 28 interactive displays that allowed your child to be creative, engage in pretend play, explore and learn. The colorful artwork on the walls and quotes reminding you about the true importance of play were visually appealing. With two floors of fun there was so much to do.

So often children want to model adult behavior and act like a grown up. Little do they realize that working in the real world isn’t always glamorous as they think, but at least they were pumped to test out some career options. My daughter enjoyed taking care of doll babies in the hospital, using hair supplies to style and accessorize human like heads and take my order as she worked at McDonalds. My son was really interested with the bank area where he could use money to role-play as a banker. He also enjoyed acting as a dentist while he pretended to clean his sister’s teeth.


Other areas to spark curiosity included a nature area with tanks of small living creatures, a room full of soft foam building materials to make structures, and a transportation area with trains and airplanes.


Another few notes:

  • Admission is $7, which I think is really reasonable. They do have reciprocity for half off admission if you have a membership with another children’s museum (not science centers).
  • Cleanliness was a priority at this museum. There were spots to place toys that may have wondered into little one’s mouths, play sections were organized and I even saw one of the workers wiping down the tables and chairs while we were leaving.
  • Snacks such as Animal Crackers and Goldfish could be purchased for a dollar.

Other spots nearby:

  • As an added perk you can walk down the street and spend $2 to allow your child to take a ride on the carousel.
  • Visit the super cute boutique called Little Bo-tique. What a cute name and such an adorable store. They sell new and gently used children’s clothes and accessories, toys and maternity clothes. In the back is a play area to keep your kiddos entertained while you shop around. The owner was so friendly, offered balloons to my kids and answered politely as they asked her a million questions.DSC_1650
  • Two Cousins Pizza is down the street. I heard that the pizza is tasty and kids can make their own pizzas. There are great reviews on tripadvisor so we will be checking this place out on our next visit to Mansfield.
  • Ohio Bird Sanctuary is about 9 miles away. It is free and a neat place to visit. (I have more to say about this spot so stay tuned!)

Needless to say I was beyond impressed with our day in Mansfield. The next day my kids were already asking to go back. I know it won’t be long until we visit again!  🙂

Strawberry Picking and Recipe

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 6.14.11 PM

Strawberry picking has started in Ohio.   My kids LOVED picking berries. It was like a little hunt as they searched for only the red ones. We tried to see who could find the smallest strawberry, largest strawberry and oddest shape.

Here are some u-pick locations in the Central Ohio area. Make sure you call ahead or visit their Facebook pages because fields have a tendency to be open sporadically due to the amount of berries available and the weather.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 6.08.50 PM

After your visit you will be thinking about all the different recipes you can make with strawberries. My kids wanted to make strawberry cake so I decided to “assemble” a cake that I have been making since I was 8 years old. It is super easy, only uses a few products and it tastes delicious.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 6.12.56 PM

  • Use your freshly picked strawberries or buy the four ingredients shown in the picture below (Strawberries, Angel Food Cake, box of strawberry Jell-O and tub of Cool Whip).Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 6.02.44 PM
  • To flavor the cool whip I mix in a small box of strawberry Jell-O.Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 6.24.56 PM
  • Slice the Angel Food Cake in half horizontally.
  • Use the strawberry flavored Jell-O to frost the bottom half of the cake.
  • Layer some strawberries in the middle.
  • Put the top part of the cake back on.
  • Frost the rest of the cake and place more strawberries on the top.

Strawberry picking season doesn’t last too long so don’t wait to go. Not only will you have fun but you’ll also be supporting a local farmer. 🙂

Stop “Summer Slide”-Fun Activities to Keep Your Kids Thinking

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.09.31 AM

I can’t believe summer vacation will begin in just a few days. As a teacher I must give my public service announcement about the importance of maintaining a summer learning routine. By this, I don’t mean skill and drill worksheets that will result in a battle between you and your child, but rather fun activities that keep their brains thinking and charged up. It’s all about disguising the learning because after all learning can and should be FUN!

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.18.47 AM

You don’t want your child to experience “Summer Slide” because if their brain sits idle for too long it may result in a loss of academic skills. Not only have I witnessed this first hand but there is a ton of research about the loss of learning that occurs over summer break for some students. When it comes to learning, nobody wants to see his or her child slide backwards. Here is a wide range of engaging activities that your kids (and you) will enjoy!

Click StopSummerSlide.pptx for a printable with over 100 high interest ideas.  There are activities for toddler through upper elementary children.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.53.05 AM

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.52.37 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.53.53 AM(Above is just a sample of the pages.  Click StopSummerSlide.pptx for the entire document.)

Read, Read, Read!!!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.45.00 PMThis is the single most important thing your child should do throughout the summer.  Signing up for the summer reading program at your local library is always a motivator for reading.  Read to your children, with your children and encourage them to read as much as they can.

Build background knowledge about places you’ll be visiting.  For example, if you are going on vacation to Washington D.C. read books with your child and have them learn a little history about what they will be seeing. Perhaps they can help you plan the itinerary or keep a journal about their experiences.


Here is one of my favorite quotes that emphasis the importance of exposing your child to a wide variety of opportunities.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.47.32 AM

Have an entertaining summer and remember to squeeze in some learning time!

Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year!


When I think of the last day of school I can’t help but sing, “School’s Out For Summer” by Alice Cooper. It’s such an iconic song symbolizing the end of a school year and the beginning of a more relaxed schedule. Why not start Summer Vacation off right with a way to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and have fun?

Here are some exciting ways to kick start summer:

  • Have a countdown to summer calendar.
  • Take a photo of your child on their last day. Click Last Day Signs.pptx for printable signs.
  • Leave a note on your child’s bathroom mirror before school, tucked in their lunch box or waiting somewhere for them when they arrive home.Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.20.19 PM
  • Send your child to school with a last day of school shirt. (You could even have their classmates autograph it, but you may want to check with their teacher first.)
  • Bus Stop Greeting- have a treat to give them when they get off the bus such as a popsicle or cupcake.
  • Arrange for a special visitor to come over such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, neighbor.
  • Throw a Bash! It could be simple or elaborate. Consider coordinating with neighbors or their classmates for a joint party.
    • Theme Ideas:
      • Ice Cream Shop- have different flavors of ice cream with toppings for them to create their own sundae.
      • Camp Out- have a tent set up, roast marshmallows, grill out
      • Water- fill a small pool, have squirt guns, run through the sprinkler, slip-n-slide
      • Game Night- Twister, Tag, Bean Bag Toss, Pickle in the Middle
      • Home Drive-in- watch a movie under the stars
      • Minute to Win it Games
      • Beach Party or Luau
  • Welcome Home Banner- hang it on the garage, front porch, or have them run through it.  Click Last Day posters.pptx for printable signs.
  • Door Decorations- decorate your front door with things such as streamers or balloons.
  • Chalk Sayings on the driveway or along the path on the way home.
  • Dinner- cook their favorite meal or go out to dinner.
  • Special Activity such as a park, miniature golf, bowling, etc.
  • Decorate your car for pick up with balloons, streamers or the markers you can write on your car or fill your car with balloons. ** I have not tried this so test these items out first in an inconspicuous spot to make sure there is no damage to your car.**
  • Jazz up their bike with streamers or other fun items and have a bike parade.
  • Gift basket with summer related items or gear (bubbles, swim suit, goggles, sunscreen, sidewalk chalk, etc.)  Click S’more.pptx for the s’more gift tags.Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.48.13 PM
  • Sayings: Fun in the Sun, That’s a Wrap, Goodbye ___th grader, Hello ___th grader!, O”fish”ally Summer, Too Cool for School, Have a Ball This Summer, I’m Looking Forward to Spending “S’More” Time With You

First impressions are everything so kickoff the summer with something that will make your kids smile!

Battelle Darby Creek

DSC_1102I can’t believe I’ve lived in Columbus since college and haven’t visited Battelle Darby Creek before.  I’ve missed out all of these years but I’m sure glad I know about it now.  It is perfect for people in all stages of life and varying interests.  I saw many people running and biking the trails, out walking with their binoculars, taking their dog for a stroll, families and couples hiking and people fishing.

Hiking Trails 

Battelle Darby Creek is Ohio’s largest Metro Park with miles and miles of activities.  We started our day at the Cobshell trail near the Ranger Station.  Here I grabbed a guide that included a map of the trails with details such as difficultly level and length.  Since I was with my 3 and 5 year old I didn’t want to be overzealous and get too far out on a trail only to have one of them utter the words, “carry me”.  We took the path down towards the creek and enjoyed watching the creek gush on by.  There was a ranger walking around and my son was interested in asking him what kinds of animals lived in the area.


My kids had spotted a few swing set areas when we initially pulled in so they wanted to go play on those for a bit.  Kids who were attending celebrations at the nearby shelters you can rent also wandered over for some playtime.


Then we hopped in the car and drove about 1 mile down the road to another entrance (1415 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, Ohio 43119).  As we drove in we saw lots of bison in the field.  We went over to the fenced area and watched these creatures as they roamed around.

Nature Center

Nature Center (FREE!!)

Next up was exploring the Nature Center, which was FREE.  Also this center stays open later into the evening so it really gives you a lot of options to fit this into your schedule.  There were so many hands on opportunities to learn about animals and habitats.  My children loved sticking their hands in the large water area and getting to touch a turtle and a frog.  There were lots of animal skins sitting on tables so you could feel the different textures.  Another large room had a huge projection screen area to view short videos, pretend wooden tree for puppet shows, animal magnets you could maneuver on a wall and screens with buttons to push to learn more information.  This room is where they do story times a few times a month so we will have to head back for that.  My children and I were intrigued and were really surprised at all there was to do there.   The facility was new, clean, well managed and engaging so that is always a plus in my book.

We finished our day by heading to a natural play area where you were encouraged to go off the path and explore in the woods.  The signs said feel free to dig in the dirt, build a fort with sticks and investigate the natural environment.

What could be better than a day exploring Mother Nature’s beauty, spending time with my family and getting some exercise?  Not much.  Consider spending a day at one of Columbus’s wonderful Metro Parks!

Click on the link for a list of activities upcoming activities at various Metro Parks.  Link: Metro Park Activities