Trends, tips and resources

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Step and Stride focuses on walkers of all levels

Step and Stride is the only event management company of its kind in central Ohio. They promote and organize walking-only events for walkers of all levels and abilities.

The concept came about when two friends, Kendra Petrill and Jen Schiff, were walking. They were discussing the many benefits of walking and the need for more walking-only events in the community.

The feedback from their events has been overwhelmingly positive. Their most recent event was the Fitness & Fashion 5K at Tuttle Mall where Andrea Cambern started off the walk.

Step and Stride has four upcoming events ranging from a 5K to a 10-miler in the fall. Walkers who sign up for the series by April 15 receive a discount on all four walks, as well as a special series finishers T-shirt. Step and Stride offers the option of a timing chip to put on your shoe for no extra fee when you register.

The next event, Walk in the Woods 4-miler, will be at Sharon Woods Metro Park in Westerville, on Sunday, April 25. Packet pick up for this event is Saturday, April 24 at the Ohio Orthopedic Center of Excellence, which will feature a free seminar, Walking for Fitness. The seminar will begin at 11 a.m. and include information on proper shoes, stretching, injury prevention, hydration and more. The speaker will be Geoff Omiatek, a licensed physical therapist and athletic trainer.

The morning of the 4-miler there will be a diapers and wipes drive to help teenage moms through a program called Youth for Christ. Walkers can bring a package of diapers and/or wipes to donate to the mission.

For more information on Step and Stride, the Walk in the Woods 4-miler, training programs and upcoming events, please visit

COSI: Titanic

The most visited exhibition in COSI's history has set sail again for a magnificent second voyage featuring nearly 100 new artifacts - 23 making their world debut at COSI.

Explore stunning room re-creations, see hundreds of authentic artifacts, and interact with costumed characters from that fateful voyage. Journey back in time to 1912 on a chronological journey through the Titanic; from the ship's construction to life on board, the ill fated sinking, and amazing artifact rescue efforts.

Press your palms against an iceberg and learn of the passengers countless stories of heroism and humanity. Don't miss this second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. Visit to learn more.

Spring 2010 promises to be unseasonably cool at the Columbus Zoo: A sneak peek at Polar Frontier

Spring 2010 will bring the cool back to Columbus, when the new Polar Frontier area of the Zoo opens.

Currently under construction, this state-of-the-art interactive exhibit area will be home to two polar bears, two Alaskan brown bears and an Arctic fox. The entire area will be themed to mimic an old mining town, and will draw guests into the Arctic Circle and connect them to the animals who call some of the coldest climates in the world "home."

Brutus and Buckeye's new home

In 2004, the Columbus Zoo welcomed two young, orphaned Alaskan brown bear cubs into its family. At the time, these two rambunctious brothers tipped the scale at 63 and 78 pounds. Now -- five years later -- the brothers are well into their adolescent years and weigh more than 900 pounds each! That's why the Zoo is moving them to a bigger, more enrichment-filled home in Polar Frontier.

The bear boys' new habitat will be just shy of an acre and will be filled with two dig pits, a lot of deadfall (trees) and two shelters. Most importantly (at least from the bears' perspective), their new home will have a 42,000-gallon freshwater pool that will be filled year-round. Their current home's pool has to be drained in the winter months, and the bears end up trying to smush their big behinds into their water bowls. In their new home, this won't be a problem -- they'll be able to swim all throughout the year!

Bring the cool to the Zoo: The polar bears

The Zoo will be bringing in two polar bears to make their homes at Polar Frontier. Their new 1.32-acre yard is specially designed to be the ultimate polar bear habitat - with a lot of rocks, two pools, smell ports, dig pits and shelters. The still pool will be about 167,000 gallons and have areas where visitors can view the bears from above, at eye-level and below. (Imagine a polar bear swimming over your head in Ohio!). The other pool will be a surge pool with a tidal effect, providing enrichment with various depths and moving water.

A cool experience for people, too!

Polar Frontier is designed to give our members and guests the experience of a lifetime. It will include the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost -- an interpretive center with engaging games featuring polar bears and climate change. For parents needing a break, there will be a playground area presented by Nationwide, where kids can burn off energy while parents take a rest. What will really take visitors' breath away are the gorgeous views of the bear habitats. These incredible habitats will transport our visitors straight to the Arctic Circle -- all while showing just how amazing and beautiful these bears are.

Every day it seems like something new happens in the building of Polar Frontier. Stay tuned for updates and news as the construction winds up and the bears move in!