Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fun/Cheap Activities for Kids in northeast Ohio & Membership Info-UPDATED

I'm trying to come up with a list of free or cheaper activities to do with our boys this summer.  We made our "to do" list last night.  Last summer we tried to do 1 thing on our list each week, so in August we weren't trying to get everything done.  This isn't our whole list but some ideas we used.

Please comment on things you have found.  We love to check out new places

Everything Rubbermaid store (Wooster) - 3rd floor has Step 2 play structures, kitchens, etc to play with for free

Kidron Auction (Thurs) - watch them sell animals.  Auction starts at 11 but can walk around the look at the animals before.

Massillon Rec center -  Daily Visit pass - Ages 4 & up - $6, Under 3 is free.The aquatics area features four bodies of water; a two-lane lap pool; a lazy river; a multipurpose splash down pool; a dry sauna, and a kiddie play pool.  The 19' high water slides just add more to the fun.  

Massillon McDonalds on 172 towards Target - I've heard good things about their playground.

First Christian Church (Canton) - FREE The playland has 4 levels with tubes, stairs, and slides for your kids to explore and enjoy. There is even a designated area for toddlers ages 2 and under to play safely. Spring hours: Monday – Friday 1:30 – 5pm and Sundays 1-3pm. Hours will be extended during summer months.

Wooster Sprayground & Kiddie Pool - Knights Park is very appealing to families with young children because of the newly developed Kiddy City and spray ground. Kiddy City is a 12,036 square foot area for children to ride there bikes or big wheels. Along with Kiddy City there is a 19,500 square foot spray ground with 6 different spraying features to keep the children entertained. If that is not enough for the kids there is a 4,929 square foot playground for them to run around in.  Someone thought it was $3 a kid.  You can get your hand stamped as you leave & then go swim for free at Freelander Park.

Kroc Center Spraypark (Ashland) - open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, weather permitting.  Free.   The spray ground consists of three areas -- a toddler area, a teen area with water cannons and a common area. Several pieces of the park are new products Rain Drop has developed, including the water cannons, an alligator in the toddler area that shoots water out its nose and cool tails -- water spouts resembling cattails

Amazone Family Center - Medina  Toddler playground for children under 3 – $4 for same day unlimited play.  Large playground for children 3 and above – $8 for same day unlimited play.  Watch for deals on Groupon or Living Social. Mon-Thurs 10-9, Fri & Sat- 10-midnight, Sun - noon-9pm.  Tues they have an animal show, Wed story time, Thurs craft.   All at 11 am.  You can't bring your own food.

Tuscora Park (New Philly) - includes three pools, year-round picnic pavilion and outdoor shelters, vintage kiddy amusement rides, miniature golf, and much more, surrounded by our beautiful green hillsides and shade trees.
Any time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, plan to visit Tuscora Park and see what families from all over Ohio have been enjoying for decades!  Mon-Thurs 4:30-8:00, Fri-Sun noon-8:00
Prices: All Rides - $0.75 each, Book of 10 tickets - $6.00, Miniature Golf - $1.00 per person, Batting Cages - $1.00 for 20 balls

Harry London Chocolates (by Akron-Canton airport) -
Tour Times:      Mon-Fri 10-4  Free.  45 min tour.  Free piece of chocolate at the end of tour

Toyrifix (Smithville) -  toys & trains to play with in the store.

Orrville Library - summer reading program, story time, special events, trains & puzzles

Parks - Orrville - Orr Park & Gailey Park.  Wooster - Christmas Run & Freelander; Kidron, Dalton - 2 parks.  Jackson - a nice fenced in park across from the high school. Massillon - a nice one on 241 north of 30

Johnson's Woods - Fox Lake Rd - North of Orrville, nice place to walk on a raised path.

Towpath - starts in Dalton.  nice place to walk or ride bikes towards Massillon

Secrest Arboretum - (Wooster) - a HUGE slide

The Barn Restaurant (Smithville) - feed the ducks bread crusts

Nature Realm Metro Park on Smith Rd near Summit Mall Akron.  - you can feed chick a dees

Stark Wilderness Center (Wilmot ) - various programs & events 

Mohican State Park - hiking

Putt N Stuff (Orrville) - Look for discounts on I Shop Stark, Town Money Saver, the Orrville school card

Cinemark (Wooster)  $5 on Tues & $1 Wed summer moviews

Cinemark (Canton) $1 movies on Wed, but very cheap other days as well

Cinemark - Summer $1 Movies

Drive in Theaters - Barberton, Wadsworth, & Strasburg 

Akron Art Museum -  Free to children 12 & under with an adult.  Free on Thurs

Cleveland Art Museum - Free.  Within walking distance of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History & Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

McKinley Museum & Monument - Canton. Dinosaurs, live animals, hands on science experiments, history, huge model train display.  Museum Adults $8, Kids 3-18 $6.  Monument Free.  Mon-Sat 9-4, Sun Noon-4.   Planetarium-- Saturday at 1:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. During the summer months public shows are held at 1:00 PM Monday-Friday. Planetarium shows are included in your admission price. Please note that children must be 5 years of age or older to attend a planetarium show.  See the note below about a membership  

MAPS Museum - off of 241 near the Akron Canton Airport.  39 planes in various stages of restoration.  A good hands on, up close look at the planes.  Adults $8, Kids 6-12 $5.  Check I Shop Stark for discount tickets. Tues-Sat 9:00-4:30, Sun 11:30-4

Akron Fossils & Science Center - Copley.  Focuses on creationism & not evolution.  Includes a zip line & mini golf.  Starting May 28 open Tues-Sat 9-5.  Adults $9, kids 3-15 $7.  You can do the zip line, mini golf, & outdoor play area for $3.  We did this & really liked it.  The museum part isn't big but love the focus on God.

The Little Buckeye Children's Museum (Mansfield) Admission $7  Wed-Sun

Rolling Ridge (Mt Hope) - much cheaper if you can get a group of 15 or more - 9.95/person for the wagon ride

The Farm (Walnut Creek) Admission - 7.75/person with groups of 15 or more, Admission & Wagon Ride 10.25/person for groups of 15 or more.  We like it better than Rolling Ridge. Beautifully landscaped. Giraffes.  Found discount tickets on the Fish website.

Hershberger Farm & Bakery - Rt 557 Berlin on the way to Charm, right off of 62.   They have a free petting zoo with pigs, horses, rabbits, chickens, sheep, tons of goats (including ones of the roof of the barn), cows, dogs.  You can buy food for the animals $1 a cone or 6 for $5.  You can ride a pony or horse for $3.  You can also take a buggy or wagon ride for $5 a person.  They also have a very good bakery and produce section.  In the fall you can ride the wagon out & pick your own pumpkin.

P  Graham Dunn- 2014 - 
July 25 - August 2 - Customer Appreciation Sale. Saturday, Sept 20 - Kid's Fall Fishing Derby. Friday and Saturday, October 3 & 4  - Fall Fun

Lodi Outlet Mall - Ride the train for $3.50, discount for AAA, coupons available on line

Orrville Railroad - ride train or track cars $2 for adults & $1 for kids Aug 9, 2014

Kids Bowl Free allows your family to bowl 2 Games FREE everyday all summer. Plus, there is a family pass option where parents, grandparents, older children that don't qualify for the Kids Bowl Free passes and babysitters can join in the fun and get the same great 2 FREE Game offer every day.  Locally this is available at Triway Lanes.

Kids Skate Free - Check out locations, nothing locally for me.

Hall of Fame Balloon Launch - July 18-20, 2014

Skymax - discount tickets on I Shop Stark

Orrville YMCA family swim - 3 free on the Orrville PTO card.

Baylor Beach - 3 and under free. 4 and up (Mon-Thurs) $6. Fri-Sun $7
June, July, and August
Mon.-Thurs - 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Fri., Sat., Sun. & Holidays - 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Caskey's - 11:00am-7:00pm (closed Monday). 15 & up $4, 14 & under $2, 2 and under free 


Bauman Orchard - pick your own apples, wagon ride, straw maze

Wayne County Fair - week after Labor Day

Missions at the Airport - Preferred Airport

Rodeo - Leway's Frontier Arena near Caskey's.  Usually the first Sat of Aug

Oak Grove Mennonite - Search for the Christ child - usually first Sun of Dec

Journey to Bethlehem - Walnut Creek

Polar Express - library

Please confirm before attending these events as dated,  times & pricing may have changed.

If you travel a lot or live near a zoo or science center you might want to consider a science center and/or zoo membership.  These are all good for a year & you can usually activate them over the phone or online.  You don't have to live near the one you buy, but these are some of the best prices I have found.  Typically a family is up to 6 people.

I tried to use my Toledo membership at Great Lakes & they wouldn't let me.  They said because I lived less than 90 miles from Cleveland I couldn't use a membership besides Great Lakes for free or McKinley for 1/2 price.  They ended up letting me pay half price because they had given me incorrect information when I called.  I just say this as a warning about the 90 mile rule.  I think this applies at all of them.

Science Center Memberships:

McKinley Museum in Canton - $56 for a family.
  Pros - 350+ science centers for free, including COSI & Clev Natural History
  Cons - Great Lakes Science Center 1/2 price (Great Lakes General Admission - Adult $14, Kids (2-12) $12), doesn't reciprocate to Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Boonshoft Discovery in Dayton - $100 for a family (up to 6 kids)
  Pros - 350+ science centers for free150+ zoos - most for half price
  Cons - Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History 50% off,  COSI is 50% off (COSI Classic Exhibits - Adults $17.95, Kids (2-12) $12.95).  This wouldn't work at Great Lakes if you live less than 90 miles from Cleveland.

Akron Zoo - $75 for a family
  Pros - 150+ zoos - most for half price,  Akron Zoo & Parking free (Summer Adult $10, Kids 2-14  $7)
  Cons - Cleveland zoo is 1/2 price (Cleveland Zoo (Summer Adults $12.25, Children 2-11 $8.25)

Cleveland Zoo - $85 for a family.  Buy on line with code A100 & save 15%
Pros - 150+ zoos - most for half price,  free parking
  Cons - Akron zoo is 1/2 price (& you have to pay $3 to park there)

Here's a link to Staycations around the country.  It's also a good resource if you are visiting one of these areas.

Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit and debit cardholders get free admission into 150 zoos, science centers, & children's museums around the country the first full week-end of each month.  Check out the list here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Family Binder

I encourage everyone to have a family binder or folder with important documents and information.

Here's one idea.  I would suggest adding passwords & dates and accounts for automatic payments.