The Fam Five: July Arts & Entertainment Picks Around Central Ohio

Take the kids to see ‘Star Wars,’ PBJ & Jazz, Picnic with Pops, Kidz Bop or a Dickens play.

Jim Fischer
A Columbus Symphony Orchestra Picnic with the Pops concert

CHARLES DICKENS IN THE PARK

If your children are ready for a more grown-up theater experience or you’re looking to let them dip their toes into new waters, Actors’ Theatre of Columbus has a summer series at Schiller Park that might be just what you’re looking for. Patrons can take a picnic or purchase food from a neighborhood eatery, and if the kids get antsy, there’s plenty of green space and a playground. But that might not be necessary, as Actors’ Theatre does a first-rate job.

The current production is a stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” running through July 17. It’s a great introduction to live theater. The cost is “pay what you will.”

Schiller Park, 1069 Jaeger St. (German Village), Columbus, theactorstheatre.org

CAPA’s Summer Movie Series will screen “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” this month.

STAR WARS ON THE BIG SCREEN

Really, what else needs to be said? You likely grew up on Star Wars and are raising your kids on it. But have they seen it on a big screen? And when was the last time you did? No matter how big your home TV is, it’s not the same experience watching the opening scroll and the Imperial Light Cruiser.

CAPA’s Summer Movie Series will screen “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (the one that started it all) July 8-9 at the Ohio Theatre. True fans might want to note that it’s the film’s 1997 special edition. Tickets are $6.

Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. (Downtown), Columbus, 614-469-0939, capa.com

JAZZ IN THE PARK

As peanut butter and jelly is a staple of a young person’s diet, so should jazz music be a part of their regular cultural consumption. The Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s summer concert series continues this month as the Largemouth Brass Band plays PBJ & Jazz at Topiary Park on July 9.

The free, hourlong concerts are interactive and designed to introduce young audiences to jazz and live music. And they’re just plain fun.

The band takes the stage at noon.

Topiary Park, 480 E. Town St. (Downtown), Columbus, 614-294-5200, jazzartsgroup.org

LAST CHANCE TO CATCH POPCORN POPS

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s outdoor concert season is back, and whether you pick a program designed for young audiences or a regular Picnic with the Pops concert, it’s an evening well-spent.

The orchestra, under the direction of Stuart Chafetz, closes its Popcorn Pops season with “Around the World” on July 22. The hourlong performance will also feature preconcert activities. Tickets are $10 to $12.

The Picnic season-ender is the traditional joint concert with the CSO and the Ohio State University Marching Band on July 29-30. Lawn tickets are $36.75 for adults, $10 for children.

John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St. (Downtown), Columbus, 614-469-0939, columbussymphony.com

KIDZ BOP

Summer’s a great time to enjoy being outside, but if your children are fans of Kidz Bop, take note. The Kidz Bop Live tour comes to the Ohio State Fair this year with a July 27 show. Spend the day outdoors at the fair and then take in a first-rate production featuring young singers performing cleaner takes on chart-topping tunes. Tickets purchased in advance ($20) include fair admission.

Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave. (North Side), Columbus, 614-644-3247, kidzbop.com