The Fam Five: Kid-friendly Arts and Entertainment

Jim Fischer
Columbus Parent
Brian Ewing,The Kiss (Some Like it Hoth),2017, from the “Force of Fandom” exhibition


You like “Star Wars.” Your kids like “Star Wars.” You're the ultimate “Star Wars” family, stocked up on movies, toys and memorabilia. But maybe you haven't gotten out to “The Force of Fandom” exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art. Or you have, but want to catch it again before it closes Aug. 19. And who wouldn't? From official to bootleg to fan art, “The Force of Fandom” collects all manner of work inspired by the sci-fi franchise. Standard museum admission ($5 to $15, free for ages 5 and younger) also lets you see the rest of the CMA's current exhibitions and interactive programs.

Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St. (Downtown),614-221-6801,


August includes two of Central Ohio's biggest and best-loved cultural festivals, each paying tribute to a particular heritage. The Dublin Irish Festival runs Aug. 3-5, and Festival Latino is set for the following weekend, Aug. 11-12. These summer staples feature music, dance, food and culture, with a special emphasis on family and children's activities. Irish Festival tickets are $15. Festival Latino admission is free.

Dublin Irish Festival, Coffman Park, 5200 Emerald Parkway, Dublin,

Festival Latino, Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St. (Downtown),


We've long advocated in this space for introducing kids to more-traditional arts programming by starting off in less-traditional settings. The ProMusica Summer Music Series at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a perfect example. And you can always count on music director David Danzmayr's inventive programming: Each night of the three (Aug. 9, 11 and 12) is different. Pre-concert activities for kids begin at 7 p.m., an hour before the music starts. Admission is free.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St. (Downtown), 614-464-0066,


As kids get older, they often want to dig a little deeper into their budding interests. Young comics fans should check out local writer Dan Gearino at the Thurber House Summer Literary Picnics on Aug. 8. The author of “Comic Shop: The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture” will celebrate comic books in a cool history lesson for kids. A provided picnic dinner is optional. Reading-only tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger.

Thurber House, 77 Jefferson Ave., (Downtown), 614-464-1032,


No, “Madagascar” is not a new exhibit at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (at least, not yet). It's a stage musical based on the popular DreamWorks animated movie characters. Marty, Alex, Gloria, Melman and more take a musical journey out of the zoo and onto the Lincoln Theatre stage Aug. 17-19, courtesy of CATCO is Kids, in “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr.” Tickets are $10.

Lincoln Theatre, 769 E. Long St., (King-Lincoln District), 614-469-0939,

The Fam Five is arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer atColumbus Alive.