BalletMet & Dancing With The Nutcracker

We had the most magical experience at the Ballet Met this weekend and it was perfectly timed since ballerinas have been on Charlie's mind non stop for the last couple months. Angelina Ballerina is on a constant Netflix rotation, the tutu is the daily attire, and I am judging pirouettes and pliés aplenty. How lucky to discover the annual Dancing With The Nutcracker event hosted by the BalletMet Columbus

This event was completely free with a donation to Faith Mission through the Discovery District Civic Association. First things first, we got our picture taken with the life size Nutcracker! From there we went into one of the studios that was set up with coloring, tattoos, an ornament craft, and a real ballerina costume to see up close! We spent about 30 minutes in here while we waited for the first session to end. Two times of noon and 1 p.m were offered and we chose the 1 p.m. 

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"A  real     tutu?!" 

"A real  tutu?!" 

Fun with coloring and crafts in the studio!

Fun with coloring and crafts in the studio!

Once it was our turn to enter the studio where the main event was being held, we scrambled to find a seat on the floor and wait for the excitement to begin. There is essentially no bad seat as the dancers move all over the floor. Ballet students were positioned all throughout the studio to help lead the children in the various dance routines that allowed them to actually participate in the Nutcracker story. The participation by the children is hands down the best part of this whole experience. The event is structured like a Nutcracker story time where the narrator takes the children through the story,  and teaches them the little participation dances before the professionals perform excerpts from the actual ballet. Afterwards we had some photo ops with the dancers and were able to retrieve our discounted Nutcracker tickets for the official performances in December. 

I can't get over how special this experience was and what an incredible sneak peek into a lovely Christmas tradition. Our whole family always has an amazing time with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and their Popcorn Pops / Concert for Kids. I am delighted to have been able to introduce the children to another aspect of the fine arts and be able to experience it up close! With Charlie turning three next month, I can't wait to get her started in the Mini Mover's class that the company offers. Maybe she won't grow up to be a prima ballerina but you can't not furnish the delight a little girl has about ballet while it lasts. Not to mention it is an extraordinary gateway into the world of art, classical music, rhythm, and creativity. Dance adds something special to a child's personality and I am excited to see where this adventure takes us next. 

"The children have been a wonderful gift to me, and I'm thankful to have once again seen our world through their eyes."    - Jackie Kennedy

The National Museum of the United States Air Force

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On a day like to today, at the tail end of election week, I'm reminded that it's the every day people that matter most. No matter what political position you take, what race or gender, or where you live. People from all walks of life make huge sacrifices for the sake of their country. And they do this time and time again, no matter what the political climate. We need to value those who have served every day and find ways to serve those who have served us.

I am so happy that we made our way out to Dayton this past weekend to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force. In retrospect it was aptly timed.  Watch your children's eyes widen as they view more than 360 aircraft and missiles that are on display. We chose to walk all the way back to the new fourth building and work are way up from there. The newest building consists of their Presidential Gallery where you can view and climb aboard most of the presidential aircrafts including the SAM 2000 which carried President Kennedy's body back to Washington after the assassination. 

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For children this is a place of wonder and excitement but I think adults really feel the full weight of the equipment involved in warfare. To see these majestic planes and all their armament up close was enlightening and the respect I already had for our veterans increased exponentially. You can roam through all the galleries for hours and still not have scratched the surface of everything this Museum has to offer. But you can visit time and time again because admission, parking, and wifi are all free! But instead of having to pay admission please consider donating or becoming a member to help support this facility so they can keep expanding and so that they can provide awesome educational opportunities for children. 

And now.... the pictures of course! Our family can't wait for our next visit.  

 

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Thank you to all the veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces! We greatly appreciate your service.  

Fall Family Fun

Last weekend the kids and I truly enjoyed ourselves at the Upper Arlington Fall Festival. It was so much fun and it helped ring in my favorite time of the year. Fall brings the PERFECT weather, crunchy leaves underfoot, Halloween (best holiday ever), pumpkin and apple eeeeeverythaang, and gorgeous multi-colored leaves. Considering my main obsession is going on fun, outdoor adventures with the kids, what better time of year than fall to do them in!  

Its almost the middle of October but if you haven't made your way to the pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and festivals yet, here are some awesome resources from our friends at Columbus Moms Blog and What Should We Do Today Columbus. The tough part is choosing which ones to go to!! 

 

Apple fritters, kettle corn, salted caramel, oh my! 

Apple fritters, kettle corn, salted caramel, oh my! 

Toddler Rodeo

Toddler Rodeo

Sibling bonding <3

Sibling bonding <3

Paintball fun! 

Paintball fun! 

So happy that even kids young as my son could participate. With parental supervision of course! 

So happy that even kids young as my son could participate. With parental supervision of course! 

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Even baby had fun on the hayride  

Even baby had fun on the hayride  

Big Machines @ COSI

As I'm writing this, there is only one more day left of the Big Machines exhibit at COSI. Hopefully enough of you see this in time that you run down there tomorrow and check it out. Give it the send off this awesome exhibit deserves.  

After the week I had, I really had no designs on heading downtown for any reason. But there was something about this exhibit that kept nagging at me, and I thought we just had  to check it out before it left for the year. And boy am I glad we did! The kids had a blast and I had a blast watching them. I had no idea that they were going to be able to climb up and control actual equipment! This is every kids dream when they pass a construction site. The "Touch A Truck" events are always awesome, but this exhibit just stepped it up 1000 notches. 

 

Yes folks, real life construction equipment.  

Yes folks, real life construction equipment.  

What did you today Charlie? Get lifted by a crane? Yea, totally normal 😂 

What did you today Charlie? Get lifted by a crane? Yea, totally normal 😂 

Make sure to snag your hard hat! Safety first! 

Make sure to snag your hard hat! Safety first! 

Every kids dream.  

Every kids dream.  

No biggie, just a 2.5 year old operating construction equipment.  

No biggie, just a 2.5 year old operating construction equipment.  

Maybe you will read this in time, maybe you won't. But it's important to know just how awesome this museum is and to get on their email list and keep tabs on the visiting exhibits. Currently they have an awesome video game exhibit (Game Masters) that the kids loved and would also make an amaaaaazing date night. Not to mention the new CityView Patio is open!!!! (Video games, scenic view, and drinks = ideal date night)

City View Patio hours of operation are 5pm to 10pm on June 17, 24, July 8, 15, 16, 29, 30, August 5, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, and September 2, 3, 2016.