Columbus Holiday Events December 7 – December 14, 2015

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Columbus.  Last week my family and I enjoyed a few tree lighting ceremonies and other holiday happenings. Once again there are an abundance of events going on in the capital city. Get into the holiday spirit by checking out some of the amazing Columbus Holiday Events for December 8-14, 2015! This list is organized by dates so it makes it easy to plan what makes it on your activity list.  There’s also a list of the ongoing happenings to remind you of all the selections.

This post contains Affiliate links. I post lots of fun happenings in Columbus and educational ideas on Local Busy Bee’s Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter and Pinterest so follow along if you want to stay in the know!  Be sure to subscribe to the Blog via email to receive notifications of new posts so you never miss a thing!  🙂

Christmas Columbus 2015

December 7

Snowflake Castle at Everal Barn in Westerville (December 7-12) *Tickets are required and sold out. $5 includes making your own wooden toy with elves, picture and meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Choir Performances (weekdays December 4-17) At noon enjoy an hour full of FREE entertainment in the crypt at the Ohio Statehouse.

Daily ongoing happenings:

Alum Creek Tree Lighting , Wildights at the ZooSegway Holiday Lights Tour 2015Holiday Lights at the Columbus Commons , State Auto Christmas Display and Nativity SceneHuntington Holiday Train  at the Capital Square Huntington Bank)-Check the bank website or call for hours, Merry and BrightThe Legendary Lights of Clifton MillsThe Christmas Ranch

[Read more…]

Amy - Post Signature

Top 3 Disney Questions Answered

You may remember Erin’s informative post this summer about 5 Disney Freebies.  If you missed it, (read it here: Freebies at Disney World).  Erin is a travel agent dishing out more Disney info that will help you when determining when to visit Walt Disney World in 2016 and the reasons that staying on property enhance your Disney experience.

Thinking about a Disney vacation in 2016?  Here are top three questions I’ve been asked in the past month about planning a Walt Disney World Vacation:

1) When should I book my Disney vacation?

2) When is the best time to go to Walt Disney World?

3) What are the benefits of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort?

Disney 2016

When should I book?

At least 6 months before travel is best.  The main reason?  Dining.  On your 180th day before travel, you’re able to make dining reservations.  If you want to eat dinner with Cinderella at “the castle” or Breakfast with Mickey at Chef Mickey’s, it’s important that you book early.  And by the way, when you book your vacation with me,  I’m the one who is up at 6 am to make those reservations for you.

Disney Restaurants

Be Our Guest Restaurant and Chef Mickey’s

When is the best time to go to Walt Disney World?

Confused about when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?  I’m here to help!  In general, the lowest crowds and the lowest prices are when school is in session.

Here are some of my picks for the best weeks for Disney World travel 2016:

January 9th – Note:  This is Marathon Week at Disney.  Even with the influx of runners, the crowds and costs are still projected to be low.  If you need to travel in January and cannot travel the weeks listed below, this is another great option.

January 23rd- January 30th

February 20th

*February 27th*

The weeks of April 2nd through the first week in May,

The weeks of August 20th through September 24th

 October 15th* -Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is great! (requires separate admission)

October 22nd* -Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is great! (requires separate admission)

October 29th* -Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is great! (requires separate admission)

November 12th* -Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is tons of fun! There are parades and activities that are specific to this event. (requires separate admission)

December 3rd – Note:  This week has projected low crowds and low prices, but it is also Pop Warner Week.  What does this mean to you?  The food courts (breakfast) and the pools will be crowded at the resorts where the athletes stay.  Traditionally the resorts that are booked are the All Star Resorts, Caribbean Beach, and sometime Port Orleans and Coronado Springs.  Stay away from these resorts and you should be fine. * These are my top picks for 2016!

Now that you know which weeks are good, which weeks should you stay away from if you don’t want crowds?

Some weeks are obvious (Christmas week, Easter week), but others may surprise you.  Here are some of the busiest times at Walt Disney World:

– January 16th – Stay away from MLK weekend if you can!
– February 6th – Could be busy. Some southern states have this week off for Mardi Gras.  Those of us in Ohio can lose sight of how seriously our friends in Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas take Mardi Gras!
– Presidents’ Day – February 15th – Stay away from this weekend if you can.
– Easter is March 27th in 2016.  The entire month of March will be moderate to high in terms of crowds and prices.  If you’d like to travel during Spring Break 2016, book ASAP to get the best choice of dining reservations and resort room options.
– Memorial Day is May 30th – Another busy week.
– The week of November 5th – Jersey week – Very busy!
– Thanksgiving Week – November 24th – Extremely busy week!  If you want to dine at some of the popular restaurants, it is so important that you book before mid May in order to be able to make your dining reservations on your 180th day before travel.
– The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the busiest week at Walt Disney World.  If you must travel during this time, book early and get to the parks early.  It is not uncommon for the parks to fill to capacity on these days.

Don’t let high crowds scare you away!

Many people don’t have the option of taking kids out of school, and are limited to visiting Mickey and friends during peak times.  Don’t worry!  I can help you pick the parks that will be least crowded on certain days, and can give you tips on maximizing your itinerary.  I have clients who go every year at Christmas time, because it’s the only time between school and work that they can go.  They love it!  They love the crowds, they love the atmosphere, and wouldn’t dream of going any other time.  Bottom line – with a little planning and some knowing what to expect, your vacation will be magical any time that you choose to go!

Disney Family

Holiday Happenings at Walt Disney World

Disney begins decorating for Halloween in late August, and the decorations are complete by first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is an event requiring separate admission that occurs on select nights in September and October.  This year, the first MNSSHP was on September 15th, and the last one was on November 1st.

Christmas decorations usually go up beginning the first of November.  All of the resorts and theme parks are decorated, and the decorations are typically complete in time for the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Like Mickey’s Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separately ticketed event.  This year, the first MVMCP was on November 8th, and the last one will be on December 8th.  Both parties do sell out, so it’s advisable that you purchase your tickets early!  The deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World have especially amazing edible holiday displays that are a must see!  The biggest edible production is the gingerbread house at Grand Floridian Resort.  The recipe uses 800 pounds of flour!  Here’s a time-lapse of the gingerbread house going up:

What are the benefits of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort?

This video explains it perfectly:

Happy Holiday, friends!  I’d love for you to consider me when you plan your next vacation – whether it’s to Disney or beyond, I can help!  My concierge services are free!  For a no-obligation quote, Click Here. You can reach me at or on Facebook by clicking HERE.

There are many exciting changes happening at Disney World in 2016.  Look for more posts from Erin coming soon so she can keeps us all in the know about Disney and other travel information!

Amy - Post Signature

Wild Kratts Live Giveaway

Calling all Wild Kratts Fans in Columbus, Cincinnati and Bloomington for the chance to win 4 tickets to see Wild Kratts Live in person.  My son loves learning all about animals from the Kratt Brothers and he would go wild to get the chance to see the action unfold live before his eyes.  Enter below for your free chance to win tickets to this educational and exciting show!

The ULTIMATE Wild Kratts Holiday Gift!! Wild Kratts Live Holiday Giveaway Family Focused Media 1


WARNING: Giving the gift of Wild Kratts Live may set you up for the inability to ever match this gift awesomeness level again.



Want to give your Wild Kratts fanatic the gift of all Wild Kratts gifts?? Give them the Kratt Brothers LIVE and in person! We’re completely serious! Click here, check out the tour schedule for Wild Kratts Live and purchase tickets to meet Chris and Martin LIVE & IN PERSON!

“In this live version of the wildly popular PBS KIDS® television show,

animated Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, ‘come to real life’ in a
classically Wild Kratts story. Off ‘To the Creature Rescue’, the Emmy-
nominated Kratt Brothers activate some fan favorite Creature Power
Suits to confront a comic villain. Through hilarious pratfalls and amazing
animal ‘wow facts’, the Wild Kratts team rescues their favorite invention
from Zach’s clutches so the animals of the creature world are safe once
again. The Kratt Brothers’ national tours draw tens of thousands of
creature-crazy kids and their families and the not-for-profit Kratt Brothers
Creature Hero Society, together with kids, has successfully protected
critical wildlife habitats through the creation of nature reserves.”


Cincinnati, OH (April 16, 2016)
Columbus, OH
(April 15, 2016)

Bloomington (Indianapolis) (April 11, 2016)
Full Tour Schedule (ongoing)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize: One lucky winner will receive 4 tickets to see Wild Kratts Live in their choice of Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbus, OH or Bloomington, IN. Tickets will be left at will call at corresponding venue. Open to residents of US or Canada over the age of 18. 4 The Love Of Family and promoting sites are not responsible for prizes or sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.

Running Time: This giveaway starts on December 1, 2015 at 12:00am and ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 16, 2016 at 12:00am.

Winner: A winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter . If we are able to verify the entry (ie, Tweets, FB sharing, etc) the winners will be contacted via email by 11:59pm, December 18 ,2015. The winner has 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not reply within that time, another name will be chosen.



.@4TheLoveOfFam @WildKrattsOffic Wild Kratts Complete Holiday Toy Gift Guide #WildKratts #KrattBrothers #HolidayGiftGuide #ActivateCreaturePower #ActivateCreaturePowers .@4TheLoveOfFam @WildKrattsOffic Wild Kratts Complete Holiday Personalized Gift Guide #WildKratts #KrattBrothers #HolidayGiftGuide #ActivateCreaturePower


Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 12:00 AM EST on December 16, 2015. Wild Kratts logo and products are owned and copyrighted by the Kratt Brothers Company. All rights and credit belong to them on original images used within.This website and blogger are not responsible for prizes or sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. All opinions expressed above are those of 4 The Love Of Family’s and are in no way influenced by the giveaway, giveaway sponsors or affiliated brands. Posts and pages may contain affiliate links.

Amy - Post Signature

Best Christmas Books Featuring Santa

The magic of Santa brings happiness to all.  I’ve gathered a list of the best Santa books in different categories: Classics, Animal Santas, Humorous, Unique, Santa Assistances and new releases.  All I want for Christmas is a good book, how about you?

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for the books below.


[Read more…]

Amy - Post Signature

Columbus Holiday Events November 30 – December 7

With projected temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s don’t sit at home instead get into the holiday spirit by checking out some of the amazing things happening in Columbus! From tree lighting ceremonies, parades, breakfasts with Santa, musical performances and much more there is bound to be fun for everyone.  This list is organized by dates so it makes it easy to plan what makes it on your activity list.

This post contains Affiliate links. I post lots of fun happenings in Columbus and educational ideas on Local Busy Bee’s Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter and Pinterest so follow along if you want to stay in the know!

Columbus is about to get a whole lot brighter with all these tree lighting ceremonies and holiday cheer!

Columbus Holiday Events

November 30

Uptown Christmas Walk in Marysville Uptown Square (November 30 from 5-8 pm) Santa visit, live reindeer, dance performers, stilt walker, balloon artist, horse-drawn carriage rides and Christmas Tree Lighting.

December 1

Christmas Open House at Hanby House (December 1 7-9 pm, December 5-6 from 1:30-4:30 pm) Tour the historic home of Benjamin Hanby (the conductor of “Up on the Housetop”), holiday decorations and refreshments.

The Ohio State House (December 1 from 5:30-7:30 pm)

[Read more…]

Amy - Post Signature

Columbus Love: T-Shirt Campaign

One of the greatest parts of living in Columbus is all of the local pride.  From our football team, downtown, varying communities, food scene and fashion there are many reasons to love Columbus.  I’m excited to reveal two different options of t-shirts that I created on Tee Originals.  Read more about Tee Originals on my blog post HERE.

One dollar from the sale of every shirt will go to a Columbus charity.  There are too many good choices so I need your help deciding.  Read my blog post here about Ways to Give and Volunteer in Columbus, Ohio and comment below to vote on a charity.

Cbus Shirts

Two  Shirt Options


By now you are probably well aware that the nickname for Columbus is Cbus.  I like this catchy phrase so it was the inspiration for this shirt.

Cbus shirt

Purchase for only $15.00 by clicking HERE!

Dublin Mom

I’m a Dublin Mom, Hilliard teacher and supporter of all things local.   I’m excited to wear this shirt out in the community and to my children’s sporting events. Look for me around town and who knows maybe we will both be wearing our Dublin Mom shirts!

Dublin Mom

Purchase for only $15 by clicking HERE.

Upper Arlington Love

Purchase by clicking HERE.

If you are interested in other communities, let me know and I can create those as well.

Tee Spring Process

Closing Date: Order by December 15, 2015!

Price: $15.00 for each shirt

Sizing: You can select which size you want to order.

Production Timeframe: Once 40 orders have been placed Tee Originals will print, package and ship the shirts to the supporters. If the minimum isn’t met for the entire campaign Tee Originals will contact you via email and you will not be charged.

Shipping:  Once printed, the shirts will ship directly to you.


Don’t forget to vote below for which Columbus charity I should donate a portion of the proceeds.

Ways to Give and Donate

I post lots of fun happenings in Columbus, travel and educational ideas on Local Busy Bee’s Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter and Pinterest so follow along if you want to stay in the know! Thanks for helping to support the Columbus community and show your local pride.

Amy - Post Signature

Homemade Kid Christmas Ornaments

Each year the kids and I create a few different types of ornaments for our tree and to be handed out as gifts.  We took basic Christmas ornaments and jazzed them up with craft supplies.  Making homemade Christmas Ornaments is loads of fun for the kids and will bring back memories each year as their hard work gets placed on the tree.  Check out:

Christmas Ornaments

Sometimes I find open ended craft activities to be the best.  I laid out a variety of craft supplies we had and let my little elves get to work with their creations.

Craft Supplies

Supplies: Plain ornaments, glitter, glue, paint brush, paint, stickers, ribbon (or whatever else you want to use like sequins or googly eyes).

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon products that you can purchase.


Check out the BLING BLING we added to this one using stickers!

Christmas Ornament

Buy some similar stickers using these links:


Some people are anti-glitter because of the mess.  Not me!  I say bring on the sparkle!


My kids dipped a q-tip in the bottle to make their glue design, poured on the glitter and shook off the extra.

You could also use glitter glue pens like these for less of a mess:


Here my little ones decided to make polka dots and other designs with paint.

Paint Ornament

Other Options:

  • Combine different materials such as stickers, paint and glitter.
  • Use permanent markers to write words or draw designs.

Visit The Resourceful Mama to see a wide variety of other ornaments your kids can create!

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 9.58.04 AM

As quoted from the super cute book The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish ” For his gifts were big, And his gifts were bright.  And his gifts were perfect- And they all brought delight!  And his gifts had meaning Plus a bit of bling-zing, And his each and every friend loved their just-right thing.”  Check out my review here: The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish


I think everyone would love receiving a homemade ornament packed with love and meaning.  We’re taking orders on these homemade Christmas ornaments.  Who wants one?  🙂  Just kidding, but they are adorable.

Amy - Post Signature

How to Run Amazing T-Shirt Campaigns on Tee Originals

Have you thought about running a t-shirt campaign?  If not, it is a great way to bring unity among a group and generate a profit for yourself or organization.  Tee Originals is a site where anyone can design and sell t-shirts.  The process is quick, easy, with no upfront costs and the end product will be a unique and comfortable t-shirt. I’ve partnered together with Tee Originals in this sponsored post to show you can get started:

Tee Originals

[Read more…]

Amy - Post Signature

Educational Bath Time

Who knew that shower/bath time could be so fun and educational? Well, it can!!!  Some of these ideas can be messy but what better place than the shower or bath tub to get dirty?  These activities will surely keep your kiddos occupied for a long time!  Educational bath time is a must!

Bath Learning

[Read more…]

Amy - Post Signature

Ways to Give and Volunteer in Columbus, Ohio

From an early age I have tried to instill in my children the importance of giving to others.  It feels so good to give!  Not only are you helping those in need but in return you get a sense of joy.  During the holiday season there seems to be a heightened awareness to give but I try to spread it out throughout the year when some need it the most.  Below you will find a wide array of options to give and volunteer in Columbus, Ohio.

Ways to Give and Donate

[Read more…]

Amy - Post Signature