Frugal Family Fun

Stop by your local Lowe’s store to take part in their Build & Grow Clinic on Saturday, September 13th at 10 a.m. Children, along with their parents, are invited to build their own set of binoculars.

Check out the Lowe’s website to register for this interactive event.

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In July, our family had the opportunity to visit COSI (Center of Science & Discovery) in Columbus, Ohio.  Now for those of you who have never been to COSI, let me assure you, it is definitely a trip worth taking.  Prior to this visit, the last time I’d been to COSI was in grade school, and let’s just suffice to say that ‘s it’s been lots a few years since then.

Encompassing a complex that is 320,000 square feet in area, COSI is the epitome of hands-on fun and learning.  COSI features four strategic areas of focus – energy and environment, technology and innovation, health and medicine, and early childhood education.

COSI embraces that childlike love of learning, and makes it attainable for all of their visitors.  It is their desire to give others a more meaningful understanding of science, health, industry, and history through exhibits, demonstrations, and a wide variety of educational activities and hands-on experiences.

One of my favorite sections of COSI was the Gadgets Zone.  Our family spent a large portion of the afternoon in this area, exploring the many different facets of physics, chemistry, engineering, and energy.  The kids took turns experimenting with various pulleys to determine which system enabled them to hoist themselves up with the least amount of physical effort required.

Our youngest son spent the better part of an hour configuring circuits to create a variety of different outcomes – a doorbell ringing, a fan running, and illuminating a light bulb.

Meanwhile, our daughter loved building a variety of contraptions with her special “Daddy and Me” building time.

Another favorite for all of us was the area of Progress.  Traveling back to 1898, you literally feel like you’ve been transported back in time.  From the post office front to the street lamps, it seems as though you’ve walked into a completely different era.

Jumping forward to the 1962 town, the kids had a blast with their cousin in the old fashioned diner, although our daughter looks a little too comfortable with her imaginary beverage!

They also enjoyed looking at the different store fronts, as well as the differences in packaging and logos.

My personal favorite was the gas pump, even though I had a few moments of sadness knowing that $0.25 would now only buy a few drops of gas!

At the end of the afternoon, the kids even had the opportunity to work together to lift a car off the ground.  We literally spent the entire day from open to close at COSI (with a quick break for lunch in the parking lot), and still did not manage to see all of the exhibits and attractions that COSI has to offer.

Since it’s just under a 2-hour drive to Columbus from Cincinnati, it’s a great day trip for our family.  Plus, the membership prices are very reasonable, especially as a homeschooling parent:

  • Teacher & Family Membership – $95
  • Single Adult Family Membership – $95
  • Basic Family Membership – $115
  • Premium Family Membership – $160

Stay tuned tomorrow as I’ll be sharing our family’s experience at two of the side exhibits at COSI – Adventure in the Valley of the Unknown and Sherlock Holmes.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by COSI.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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In honor of the National Park Service’s Birthday, everyone will receive free park entrance to all of the National Parks on Monday, August 25th.  Be sure to check out the National Park Service site for park locations.

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Toys “R” Us is featuring a free DohVinci Decorating Event on Saturday, August 9th from 12-2 p.m.  Kids can personalize and decorate a picture frame with the all-new DohVinci design kit.

This event is intended for children ages 6 and up, and is available while supplies last.

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Free LEGO Monkey Mini Model Build Event

by Katie on August 4, 2014

Stop by your local LEGO Store on Tuesday, August 5th to build a free LEGO Monkey Mini Model.  This event will take place at 5 p.m. while supplies last.

Looking for more things to do this summer?  Check out previous posts from the Summer Staycation Series here.

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Free Blue Ash Field Day on August 2nd

by Katie on July 15, 2014

The City of Blue Ash is featuring their third annual Field Day on Saturday, August 2nd.  This free event will include races and games for the whole family, as well as interactive areas highlighting the classes and programs offered at the Blue Ash Rec Center.  Plus, free t-shirts will be given away throughout the afternoon and evening as well.

The event will be held on the field behind the recreation center.  For more information, check out page 18 in the Blue Ash Summer Activity Guide.

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The Cincinnati Museum Center is bringing back their Free Fridays this summer.  Visit the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, and Cincinnati History Museum free of charge from 4-8 p.m. on July 11th, August 1st, September 12th, and October 24th.

Visitors will need to pay for parking which is a fee of $4 after 4:30 p.m. and $6 before 4:30 p.m.

Looking for more things to do this summer?  Check out previous posts from the Summer Staycation Series here.

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The Newport Aquarium is helping families save a little green this summer.  Visitors to the aquarium will receive two free kids’ admissions with each adult who pays full price.  This offer is valid Sunday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. each day, and the tickets must be purchased online.

Our family visited the Newport Aquarium last week, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  The kids had a blast meandering through the tanks of fish, picking our their favorites and trying to find the different varieties listed on each board.

They particularly liked the fish in the above picture that blended in so well with its surroundings.  In fact, it took a bit of searching to locate this one.

One of the highlights of visiting the Newport Aquarium is taking time to pet the sharks.  And even though plunging my hand into a tank full of sharks wasn’t originally on my life’s bucket list, I have to admit, it was a pretty cool experience.

There’s no chance of getting bored at the aquarium.  From the Amazon River and Coral Reef tunnels to the Frog Bog and the Gator Alley Exhibit, there is something for everyone when you visit the Newport Aquarium.

You can find a listing of hours, events, and special promotions on the Newport Aquarium’s site in order to plan your family’s visit.  Plus, don’t forget to check out the progress on the aquarium’s Shark Wall as well.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the Newport Aquarium.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Toys “R” Us is featuring a free Transformers Kre-O Optimus Prime Build on Saturday, June 28th from 12-2 p.m.  This event is designed for children ages 5 and up.  Supplies will be available while they last, and there is a limit of one per child.

Looking for more things to do this summer?  Check out previous posts from the Summer Staycation Series here.

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Free Microsoft Summer Camp

by Katie on June 25, 2014

Microsoft Retail Stores are offering a free in-store Summer Camp for kids.  The camps are broken up into two different age groups, one for Jr. Designers (ages 8-10) and one for Designers (ages 11-13).

These one week camps run from June 2nd through August 29th.  You can visit to Microsoft site to find a store location near you.

Thanks, For the Mommas!

Looking for more things to do this summer?  Check out previous posts from the Summer Staycation Series here.

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