Conquering a Rainy Day in Columbus

CBUS Dads dad blogger Kevin Gerber's son at Lakeshore Learning at Polaris

In Columbus, rainy days are unfortunately not few and far between.  Couple rain with temperatures in the low 40s, and your options for keeping a toddler busy on a Saturday are limited.  It was one of those days a couple weekends ago and my son, Brady, and I hit the road for an afternoon out.

Our first stop:  Glow Putt Mini Golf

CBUS Dads dad blogger Kevin Gerber's son at Glow Putt Mini Golf in Gahanna
CBUS Dads dad blogger Kevin Gerber’s son at Glow Putt Mini Golf in Gahanna

A few months ago we discovered indoor putt putt at a small strip center off the main drag running through Gahanna.  I had driven by it prior to having a kid, but it wasn’t on the short list for date night options in my mid-20s. Now that I have a four-year-old that loves golf, swinging things and yelling, we had to check it out. Don’t be fooled by the exterior appearance of the building – this place is clean and well run. Each golfer gets to choose a glow-in-the-dark wristband and a rechargeable illuminating golf ball. 18 holes of neon lined greens under the black lights await for an experience that kids (and adults) of all ages will enjoy.

No putt putt course is complete without a zoo of animals throughout and a prize & free round for a hole-in-one on 18.  Brady aced 18 and went with the finger light for his prize. Solid choice, son.

The Next Stop:  Lakeshore Learning

CBUS Dads dad blogger Kevin Gerber's son at Lakeshore Learning at Polaris
CBUS Dads dad blogger Kevin Gerber’s son at Lakeshore Learning at Polaris

After we filled our bellies at Jason’s Deli (tip: eat-in and take advantage of the free ice cream), we headed east on Polaris Parkway to Lakeshore Learning.  I didn’t know much about the place, but I got an email about a Pete the Cat craft day. I learned that craft day for kids happens every Saturday at Lakeshore, and who doesn’t love Pete and his groovy buttons?  We stopped by on our way home and, what I thought would be a quick trip, ended up being an hour of art and exploration.

Brady opted for the Pete puppet and managed to assemble the entire thing on his own (sort of). The staff was great and well prepared for a crowd. I highly recommend craft day, even if you only have 20 minutes to burn.  

After Pete got his buttons and misshaped eyes, we explored for a bit among the different education based games and activities they had to try.  The kind folks at Lakeshore even had story-time for those interested. The day’s activities caught up with us and we opted out, but it’s nice to know it is another option.

By Kevin Gerber, Regular Contributor

Bellisari’s: Gourmet Convenience

Prepping the Bellisari's Sonoma Wings

The following is a sponsored post thanks to Bellisari’s.

Dads require proper nourishment to keep us going and give us the energy to be at the top of our games for our families.

Locally-based Bellisari’s partnered with CBUS Dads to help us do exactly that. If you’re not familiar, their line of specialty spreads and sauces are all about #GourmetConvenience. Their website boasts a number of creative recipes that incorporate their delicious products.

Which is extraordinarily helpful, because I am not at all a good cook. I chose three recipes that piqued my interest (and I felt like I wouldn’t screw up):

Sonoma Wings

I grill a lot of chicken, but admittedly, I didn’t know what to expect with the Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread. I must say, the spread was everything. I would use it for any grilled chicken I make down the road for sure.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Barista Steak and Eggs Skillet

I’d never made anything I’d classify as a skillet. I’ve grilled steak. I’ve made eggs. I’ve cooked potatoes. But these ingredients all together, paired with Bellisari’s Barista Sauce were unbelievable. I’ve been officially inspired to make more skillets in my future.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Saigon Slaw

Despite the other two dishes being steak and chicken, amazingly the coleslaw was my favorite of all the recipes. The Saigon Street Sauce gave the dish a necessary pop of flavor that had me craving more. Luckily I made enough to stretch over a few days worth of meals.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Steven Michalovich, Regular Contributor

What a Time to be a Parent in Columbus

The Columbus Blue Jackets outdoor Winter Park

Being a child of the 90s growing up in Westerville, my family’s pilgrimages downtown were few, beyond annual trips to Columbus City Center for school clothes or for Red, White and Boom. It’s certainly not that my family was sheltering me or adverse to the short drive – it’s simply that there wasn’t a ton for families to do downtown.

My initial intention with this post was to highlight our first trip to the Columbus Blue Jackets Winter Park a few weeks ago. We took our daughter on a relatively mild Saturday and had a blast skating on an NHL-sized rink in the heart of the Arena District. With Columbus’ climate, outdoor activity can be scarce this time of year, but this is truly a remarkable amenity geared toward families that, quite frankly, I couldn’t imagine existing twenty years ago. Hell, it’s pretty unfathomable ten years ago.

CBUS Dads dad blogger Steve Michalovich skating with his daughter at the Columbus Blue Jackets outdoor Winter Park in Downtown Columbus
CBUS Dads dad blogger Steve Michalovich skating with his daughter at the Columbus Blue Jackets outdoor Winter Park in Downtown Columbus

After our skate, we checked out the new Fox in the Snow in German Village for a warm drink. I’ve always been a fan of the Italian Village location, and they’ve absolutely replicated the unique vibe and delicious drinks in German Village. We marveled at the fact that it was packed and busy in the middle of a cold Saturday. The clientele varied from college students to young hipsters to reading retirees to families with kids.

CBUS Dads dad blogger Steve Michalovich's daughter enjoying her hot beverage from Fox in the Snow in German Village
CBUS Dads dad blogger Steve Michalovich’s daughter enjoying her hot beverage from Fox in the Snow in German Village

On this random Saturday, I had this feeling (that I’ve had many times before) that it’s a tremendous time to be raising a family in Columbus. No longer should parents feel that they’re banished to the suburbs. In one winter weekend, we made an afternoon out of outdoor ice skating in the center of our city’s downtown and feeling incredibly comfortable taking our daughter to a popular new coffee shop in the heart of an urban neighborhood. More importantly, we felt remarkably safe and welcome doing so.

By Steve Michalovich, Regular Contributor