Arts and entertainment for kids

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA.

Cirque du Soleil never fails to create world's most fantastical, and KOOZA is no exception. From June 4 to 28, Cirque's giant blue and yellow tent will be set up in the future home of Sports Pavilion and Automotive Research Complex (the former Cooper Stadium site) to share the story of "The Innocent," a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world, and the characters he meets along the way. The show celebrates two time-honored circus traditions - acrobatics and clowning - so prepare to be astounded and amused. Tickets start at $35.

Sports Pavilion and Automotive Research Complex, 1155 W. Mound St., (Franklinton), Columbus 43223.


Families can meet Curious George, the Cat in the Hat and Olivia the Pig as well as Alice, the Mad Hatter and more from Alice in Wonderland (as (Lewis Carroll's beloved tale marks its 150th anniversary this year) at Storybook Village, Saturday, June 6, at the Ohio Village. Sponsored by Ohio History Connection, Columbus Metropolitan Library and WOSU Public Media, the event promotes childhood literacy. In addition to a cast of characters from children's books, the event will feature a reading resource fair and a petting zoo. The event is free with Ohio History Center admission; $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for ages 7-12 and free for children age 6 and younger.

Ohio Village, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus 43211.


Don't let the much-publicized new limits on playing in the fountain at Bicentennial Park dissuade you from summer fun on the downtown Columbus riverfront. The Scioto Mile is still a great place to spend a day or evening. The FountainSide kids' events return most Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., starting June 3, and the Rhythm on the River concerts return June 5 and continue for many Friday evenings: Kids will especially enjoy Chinese acrobatic troupe the Golden Dragon Acrobats on June 19 at 8 p.m.

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


Summer in central Ohio means festivals, and one of the best is Gahanna's Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival. The festival goes all-out for kids, with rides and crafts and our favorite, the Musical Discovery Zone, where you can experience making music and learn about musical instruments. In our experience, young attendees will love the live music, top-notch local and national blues and jazz artists, as much as the grown-ups. This year's event runs June 19-21. Festival tickets start at $5 general admission, with some activities requiring an extra fee.

Creekside Park & Plaza, 123 Mill St., Gahanna 43230, 614-418-9114.


The Columbus Symphony Orchestra's summer concerts for families, Popcorn Pops, returns to Columbus Commons June 26 for "Red, White, and Popcorn," a fun and patriotic celebration in music. As always, the inimitable Albert-George Schram leads the fun, which, in addition to the concert, includes pre-concert activities including face painting, art projects, playing with musical instruments and the Columbus Commons Family Fun Zone with inflatables and open play activities. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Pre-concert activities will be available from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. and run for approximately one hour. Tickets are $8.

Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215.


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