Arts and entertainment for kids

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Ohio Village Muffins

Columbus Children's Theatre's Summer Youth Performance Conservatory (ages 10-15) presents Into the Woods Jr., an adaptation of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's popular Broadway musical, July 30 through Aug. 10. A baker and his wife who, upon learning they cannot have children because of a witch's curse, set off on a journey to break the curse. Along the way, the tale intersects with the stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of 'and the Beanstalk' fame) and more of your favorite classic characters. Recommended for audiences age 3 and older. (And also a possible primer for the much-anticipated and discussed Disney live-action adaptation coming this winter.)

Columbus Children's Theatre, 512 Park St. (Arena District), Columbus 43215,614-224-6672,


Children's musician Jim Gill's concerts are contagious and have been for 20 years, since his first record, Jim Gill Sings The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes, was released. Gill, perhaps uniquely among children's artists, is a child-development specialist, doing graduate studies with a special emphasis on the study of play. His music embodies playfulness, and his songs - he now has six CDs, the most recent being 2012's Music Play for Folks of All Stripes - encourage audiences not just to listen but to participate in his concerts. Gill will perform a free concert at the Northwest Library Friday, Aug. 1.

Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, Columbus 43235, 614-807-2650,


August includes two of central Ohio's best festivals, each paying tribute to a particular cultural heritage. The Dublin Irish Festival runs Aug. 1-3, and Festival Latino is held the following weekend, Aug. 9-10. Both are chock full of great music, dance, food and cultural activities for the whole family, with a special emphasis on family and children's activities as well. We highly recommend the Kids Highland Games and the Mexican Flowers workshops, respectively.

Dublin Irish Festival, Coffman Park, 5200 Emerald Pkwy., Dublin43017,

Festival Latino, Bicentennial Park, 233 Civic Center Drive (Downtown), Columbus 43215,


ProMusica Chamber Orchestra will play three summer concerts on the lawn at Franklin Park Conservatory Aug. 7, 9 and 10. The concerts are free (unless you'd like table reserved seating) and you can bring the family and a picnic dinner. These concerts are terrific introductions to orchestral music for youngsters - the relaxed outdoor setting allows kids to play, eat and listen in a comfortable setting. Additionally, pre-concert activities for kids begin at 7 p.m., an hour before the music starts.

Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St. (Near East Side), Columbus, 43203, 614-464-0066,


The Beat and Fam Five are typically all about the arts - but we're sports fans, too, just like most of you. The annual Ohio Cup, a vintage base ball (yes, it used to be two words) tournament/festival hosted by the Ohio Village Muffins, is a real treat. More than 25 vintage base ball clubs from throughout the Midwest play the game as it was played in its formative years - equipment, garb and rules - Aug 30-31. Plus, Ohio History Connection has a new exhibit called Going, Going, Gone, which isn't about home runs but looks at endangered species and extinction.

Ohio History Center, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, 43211,


-The Fam Five and The Beat are arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer at ThisWeek Community News. Check out weekly coverage at