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is music your child’s “thing”? RECOGNIZING A NATURAL TALENT




serving cincinnati & northern kentucky


FREE Things to do in cincinnati this holiday season NO COST IDEAS FOR TONS OF FUN!


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15 Free Things To Do in Cincinnati This Holiday Season No cost ideas for tons of fun!


Is Music Your Child's "Thing"?

Recognizing and supporting a natural talent







Plan ahead to enjoy a great show together



10 Tips for Taking Children to Live Performances Becoming an Adoptive Family What is the experience really like?






meet the staff Publisher Mary Wynne Cox // Editor Susan Bryant // ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER + ADVERTISING


Hannah Mohler // Advertising Coordinator

Karen Ring // COMMUNIT Y Outreach + Social Media


Wendy Hasser //

How many times a day do you say “thank you” – or hear it from others? This simple phrase, when heartfelt,

can really turn your day around. Whether it’s from a spouse, a coworker, a stranger – or especially a child – feeling truly appreciated, even if just for a moment, can be the bright spot we need in our hectic days. November is the month when we are reminded to be thankful, and this note is dedicated to thanking you – our readers and advertisers. Hearing parents say they pick us up every month means the world to us. And partnering with local businesses and organizations to spread the word on what they offer our community does as well. We truly value our relationship with you and we hope it continues for a long time to come.




There’s one school of thought that says the phrase “thank you” is overused in our culture; losing its sincerity. That may be true, but I’m still a big proponent. (And why I’ve hammered its importance home to my kids – as I’m sure many of you have too.) Whether we rattle off a quick thank you to the checkout person at the grocery store or have a deep heart-toheart thanking someone who has been important in our life, gratitude is always good. So, thank you. Thank you for supporting Cincinnati Parent for the last 31 years. We are grateful for being able to continue to bring you this publication and we plan on thanking you again and again and again.


Maria Tancredi // Business Manager

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Maggie Loiselle, Sarah McCosham, Deb Krupowicz, Kim Dinan, Denise Morrison Yearian and Pete Gilbert CALENDAR OF EVENTS Contact Us

9435 Waterstone Blvd., Ste. 140, Cincinnati, OH 45249 P: (513) 444-2015 • F: (513) 444-2099 Cincinnati Parent Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2017 by Midwest Parenting Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of products, commentary or services herein. For information on subscriptions, editorial guidelines, advertising rates and more visit



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WinterFest is back! After more than a decade, Kings Island’s WinterFest returns this year. This beloved holiday festival will run select days from November 24th-December 30th. The focal point of WinterFest will be the world’s largest Christmas tree display in which the park’s iconic 314-foot tall Eiffel Tower will be decorated with thousands of lights that can be seen for miles. Below the Eiffel Tower, International Street will be transformed into a festive winter village, with outdoor ice skating on the park’s Royal Fountain, Christmas carolers and homemade crafts. Of course, WinterFest happens at the Midwest’s Largest Amusement Park – and several of Kings Island’s rides, including the brand-new Mystic Timbers, will be operating during the festivities as well.

Visit Brickopolis at the Museum Center Mark your calendars: Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis opens November 10th at the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC). Fan favorites like Thomas the Tank Engine, the Super-O interactive layout and garden railway trains will be returning in this 12,000 square foot holiday exhibition gallery, as well as the tot-sized riding train. Of course, the LEGOs are the stars of the show here – and with over 1,800 square feet of whimsical LEGO scenes and landscapes, fans of the colorful building bricks won’t be disappointed. Starting November 24th, Santa will be visiting the CMC, ready to listen to those wish lists. (Missing the Duke Energy Holiday Trains? This tradition will be back and better than ever in 2018!) Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis is free for CMC members.

The Festival of Lights

Shop small

There’s a warmth that comes with Christmas lights – and with 3 million lights wound around every tree, stretching across awnings and lighting each and every walking path, your family will feel all warm and fuzzy at the Cincinnati Zoo’s PNC Festival of Lights. For this year’s 35th anniversary event, expect the full treatment – and then some – with a Madcap blacklight puppet show, the BB&T Toyland Express and the Wild Lights show on Swan Lake. New this year: Santa will be available for visits starting at 4 pm, an hour before the rest of the festivities begin. The Festival of Lights opens November 18th and runs nightly through January 1st (with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).

If Black Friday shopping is not your thing, shop Small Business Saturday (SBS) on November 25th for a more low-key holiday experience. Founded by American Express in 2010 to encourage patrons to shop local, SBS is a national event that’s become part of Cincy shoppers’ holiday tradition. Avoid the frenzy and shop small! (And sleep in, too. Most small businesses open around 9 or 10 am.)

The Polar Express: A Musical Storybook All aboard the Polar Express! Chris van Allsburg’s popular children’s book will come to life this November with the Cincinnati Pops at Music Hall. This Lollipops show is one of the holiday season’s can’t-miss events, and will feature lots of family-friendly activities both before and after the concert. Don’t miss the first Lollipops concert of the season at the newly revamped (and always festive) Music Hall. Catch The Polar Express: A Musical Storybook on November 25th at 10:30 am. polar-express-a-musical-storybook/



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We’re chatting up a storm over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Come find us for quick laughs throughout the day, parenting tips, must-sees-in-the-city, giveaways and more!

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Come along with our CP Insiders as we check out sneak peeks around town and show off other behind-the-scenes fun.

The holiday season makes us reminisce about our childhoods, and with Turkey Day this month, we were thinking about food. But not warm-andfuzzy memories of mac n' cheese and homemade cookies – we were remembering the "yucky" stuff. So, we asked our Cincinnati Parent Facebook fans: What was something your parents served you as a kid, that you hated then – and still hate now?


After much anticipation, Holtman's Donuts opened its fourth location in West Chester this fall. We went to the media preview, and were treated to all kinds of delicious delicacies. This soon-to-be destination on the Butler County Donut Trail is worth a visit ASAP!

"Spam! Yuck yuck and yuck! I said when I was little, I would never eat that when I got older and could buy my own food! (Can still hear the sound it made as it slid out of the can in all that goop!)" – Rebekah B. "Tomatoes stewed with white bread... goodness Mom, why ever in the world??" – Jill L.



"Liver and onions! My dog thanked me from under the table. Lol!" – Rochelle H.

Krohn Conservatory's seasonal shows are always special, and we were thrilled to learn that the fall show featured TRAINS! Applied Imagination Trains will be at Krohn for both the fall and holiday shows, to the delight of all the train-loving kids in Cincy!

be on the lookout for this month's online contests!


Located in Butler County, Pyramid Hill is one of the most breathtaking spots in Cincinnati. This outdoor sculpture park is very family friendly, and a perfect place to spend one of these gorgeous late fall days!

Win tickets to the Cincinnati Ballet's The Nutcracker, tickets to Krohn Conservatory's holiday show, Jeff Ruby Gift Cards, and tickets to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical!



We have our nose to the grindstone on Twitter, retweeting your favorite local hotspot announcements, parenting trends and more. Want the scoop on the latest things to do around town? Check out writer Sarah McCosham’s award-winning blog Where Are We Going Today? To find all the kid-friendly adventures to take advantage of in the Cincinnati area.




November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 11



The Advantages of Using a Midwife #1: A personal approach to pregnancy Forming deep bonds with patients and their families is the cornerstone of the nurse midwife experience. Patients receive extended one-on-one time during visits, personalized birth plans and a more continuous presence during labor. “Midwives encourage parents and their support people to participate actively in childbirth,” explains Linda Brackett, CNM with TriHealth Women’s Services Midwife Care. “We stay by each patient’s side throughout all stages of labor and delivery, helping her breathe and push through pain, and providing physical and emotional support.”

maternity care and a range of other women’s health services, but they also work collaboratively with ob-gyn physicians and other specialists should any complications arise during pregnancy or labor.

For first time mothers, understanding what to expect can make pregnancy much less stressful. For some women, the midwifery approach helps alleviate their concerns through:

#4: Midwives provide preconception and follow-up care Like other health care providers, midwives can prescribe medications, order tests and refer to specialists. Midwives provide counseling from preconception planning through newborn care and well past childbearing years.

Personalized patient education Personalized birth plans

For more information, call 513.853.7400.

#3 Midwives offer alternatives #2 State-of-the-art facilities Midwives with TriHealth Midwife Care in West Chester offer deliveries at Bethesda North Hospital and are backed by the physicians at TriHealth Women’s Services Comprehensive OB-GYN. Nurse midwives are clinically trained to provide




Natural birthing options for delivery A variety of options for pain relief during labor

PHOTO BY LISA HEZLEP WWW.heZLepphotography.coM

November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 13

15 FREE THINGS to do

in cincinnati

this holiday season

No cost ideas for tons of fun! WORDS BY // SARAH MCCOSHAM

Cincinnati is a town that knows how to celebrate the holiday season. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, in every corner of the tristate, you’ll find family-friendly events sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit. And the best part? Much of this festive fun won’t cost you a dime! Here’s a list of 15 free things to do to get you started.

Antique Christmas at the Taft FREE on Sundays from Nov. 5 through Jan. 7, 2018 Escape to a winter wonderland of Christmas past at the Taft’s annual display of antique ornaments, decorations and toys. Kids will delight in seeing the old decorations, and parents will enjoy the festive ambiance at the Taft.

Thanksgiving on the Ohio Frontier Nov. 11 from 2-5 pm On November 11th, head to the Shawnee Lookout’s Historic Log Cabin and step back 200 years in the past to the first Thanksgiving on the Ohio frontier. The Society of Northwest Longhunters reenactors will portray Shawnee Native Americans, early European settlers and military personnel.

Santaland at Sharon Centre Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 24-Dec. 23 Each year, the Sharon Centre is transformed into “Santaland” where families can enjoy live entertainment, visits with Santa, a train display, holiday shopping and sweet treats at Mrs. Claus’ Confectioneries. Times vary by date and certain activities require a small fee.

Light Up Middletown 6-10 pm nightly from Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) through New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) Enter through the tunnel of lights to enjoy a sparkling fantasyland in Ohio. Light up Middletown is a driving tour through a 100-acre park. Delight in the many creative and themed displays, which include a floating sea serpent in the reflecting lake, Santa’s workshop, American flag, penguin village, deer leaping over the roadway, helicopter, whales and more. Admission is by cash donation only.

Santa at Macy’s Fountain Place Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 24-Dec. 16 from 12-8 pm; Sundays, Nov. 26-Dec. 17 from 12-6 pm and Monday-Sunday, Dec. 18-24 from 12-5 pm. On Thursday, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and 14, kids can visit with African American Santa Ho! Ho! Ho! Bring your own camera for free photos with downtown’s only Santa Claus.




Macy’s Downtown Dazzle Saturdays, November 25, December 2, 9; 6:30 pm (choirs at 5:30 pm) Each Saturday during Macy’s Downtown Dazzle, Santa rappels down the side of the Huntington Center at 6:30 pm. This 20-minute, familyfriendly program also features performances from local choirs, cool lighting effects and some special surprises.

Weekend Carriage Rides at Macy’s Celebration Station Nov. 24-26, Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 9-10 from 12-5 pm As part of Macy's Downtown Dazzle, guests can enjoy free horse-drawn trolley carriage rides through the heart of the city. Riders can board at the corner of Fifth and Race Streets in Downtown Cincinnati with the last ride boarding at 4:45 pm.

An Old Kentucky Christmas Thurs., Dec. 7-Sun., Dec. 10 An Old Kentucky Christmas will take you back in time to the simplicity of a colonial Kentucky Christmas. The smell of Grandma's cookies, the sound of carols and laughter, the joy of watching children and adults decorating ornaments – you’ll find it all at this event hosted by Burlington’s First Church of Christ.

Winter Wonderland at Bethesda North Hospital Daily starting Dec. 2. Check Facebook page for details. Hospital/?fref=ts Bethesda North brings the holiday cheer with its Winter Wonderland display. Holiday model train displays, music, winter-themed activities and entertainers make this hospital a cheerful place during the holidays!

Holiday in the Village Dec. 2 in Downtown Montgomery Head to Olde Montgomery on Dec. 2nd for a healthy dose of holiday spirit. From a tree lighting ceremony to carolers to horse-drawn carriage rides, there’s plenty of free fun for families at this annual event.

German Village Christmas Walk Dec. 3 in Downtown Hamilton 2&month=12&year=2017&day=11&calType=0




Hamilton’s German Village comes alive on this day, with vendors, musicians and lots of holiday cheer!

Chanukah Wonderland (Menorah Lighting) at Deerfield Towne Center

Mt. Adams Reindog Parade

Dec. 14 from 5:30-6:30 pm program_details.aspx?ProgramID=29827

Dec. 9 at 2 pm along St. Gregory Street in Mt. Adams mt-adams-reindog-parade/ Easily the most adorable holiday parade in Cincy, the Mt. Adams Reindog Parade has been a tradition for over 20 years! (Who says reindeer get to have all the fun?)

Hanukkah at the JCC Dec. 12-14, 18 and 19 at 4:30 pm at the Mayerson JCC at-the-j/ Celebrate Hanukkah at the J! The fun begins each night at 4:30 pm with family-friendly crafts and snacks. Candle lighting begins promptly at 5 pm.

In partnership with The Jewish Discovery Center, friends and families can gather at Deerfield Towne Center to celebrate the Festival of Lights! This free event includes the menorah lighting, music, entertainment, refreshments and more.

Holiday Market at Washington Park Dec. 16 from 5-10 pm Shop local this holiday season. The Holiday Market at Washington Park is a festive event featuring loads of cheer and one-of-a-kind gifts. The park is transformed into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights and lots of cheer. Browsing is free, but you might want to set aside a shopping allowance!

See even more ideas online!


A Dad Influence Achieving the “Distressed” Look for Your Home Distressed: Intentionally marred or faded to convey an antique or used look. My family and I are setting the standard for the newest and coolest trend of the year. Similar to distressed clothing, we’re creating a distressed house. If you’d like to distress your own house, the most important thing you will need is children. The more the better, and as close together in age as possible. The easiest thing to distress in your house is the carpet. Hardwood floors will also work, but it will take a little longer. With carpet, things can get ugly pretty quickly if you make the right choices. First, pick the lightest color possible. We chose a light tan carpeting (I think that’s what color it used to be) and it seems to be distressing quite nicely. There are a few easy ways to start the distressing process. First, give your kids Play-doh. It always finds its way into the carpet, even if you start in the kitchen and cover your table with plastic. Done often enough, and with a variety of colors, your carpet will take on the look of an iced cupcake with sprinkles on top. Second, consider the impact that food will have. Foods that distress carpet quickly and effectively are: tomato soup, mac and cheese, ketchup, oatmeal, mustard, barbeque sauce, yogurt and any type of chocolate. I'm sure the list could go on and on, but these are the foods I could clearly identify from where I'm sitting. To distress your kitchen walls, utensils at the table are quite effective with drywall. Spoons quickly become catapults. Cups without lids also allow milk to travel great distances. The trickiest place in your home to distress is probably the ceiling. Although we found this could be done with poop. I'm not sure how the physics worked exactly, but I was actually able to fling poop during a diaper change onto the ceiling once. It seems to me that houses usually last about as long as people. We have the house equivalent of a teenager - but it looks more like a 40-year old. Let’s hope this latest trend for the distressed look is popular for a long time to come. Follow along on my journeys with my wife, three kids, and (now) two dogs at A Dad Influence on Facebook, Twitter @ adadinfluence and Instagram a_dad_ influence.

November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 17

Is Music ” ” Your Child’s Thing ? Recognizing and supporting a natural talent WORDS BY // Kim Dinan

Music is our universal language and all children can benefit from music education, no matter their natural ability. But it’s undeniable that some kids have that certain something; maybe they sing right on pitch, understand musical concepts quickly or pick out tunes by themselves on the piano. How can you recognize a natural musical talent and support an inherent ability? And how does a musical education benefit children? We asked a few local music professionals for their thoughts.

“There are numerous benefits to a music education,” says Amy Immerman, co-owner of the Cincinnati Music Academy. “It teaches discipline and poise. It teaches us to be multifunctional. It really works a high-functioning part of our brain. In this age of instant gratification, you can’t go out and purchase ability. You have to earn it. Music teaches us the value of having to pursue the discipline of self-learning.” Linda Conrad, a private piano teacher in Cincinnati, says she’s seen children who have had music lessons improve their skills in science and math. “Music uses the same parts of the brain as science,” she says, adding that she has also witnessed kids’ confidence levels increase when they are successful at music.

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And while we all want to make sure that our child reaches his or her potential, it’s important to avoid the pitfalls of being overzealous about your child’s musical talent. “You can burn a child out,” says Conrad. “Some parents overschedule their kids. Piano requires scheduled time at home, not just the time they are at lessons.” Olberding stresses the importance of finding a teacher that works well with your child. When Ben began losing interest in the piano, his teacher let him bring in music from his favorite cartoons and that kept him interested and motivated. “We had a teacher that wasn’t a good fit but when we moved on to another teacher it made a big difference. If you have a teacher that doesn’t work great with your child, keep trying.”

For a lot of kids, if they already have some general talent, the biggest thing they need for success is confidence.

What signs might indicate a natural inclination towards music? “Natural ability can show up at any age and when it does it’s just us recognizing it,” says Immerman. Parents may notice that their child just seems drawn to music. Conrad says that kids with a natural ability “will like music in general. They move to the music when you’re playing it, they may want to join in.” If your child taps a beat, is a drawn to a musical instrument or is mesmerized by music, it may be a sign that they have a musical inclination. “Your child might hear the words to a song but they’ll also pick up the music in the background and say, ‘hey, that’s a violin.’ They hear sounds differently and with more complexity,” says Immerman.

Louise Olberding is a parent with a musically talented child. Her seventeenyear-old son, Ben, plays the piano and the trumpet. Ben began attending music classes in kindergarten and, two years later, started private piano lessons. “I’m not musical myself but my husband plays the guitar,” says Olberding. “I put Ben in classes because I didn’t know if he was musical but I wanted to see if he was. I thought that I would put him in and have it be a part of his education as he grew up.” Ben didn’t show a natural ability right away, but as he grew, he expressed a unique interest in music. “He was interested in a wide variety of music. When he was watching a movie he would hear the background music and go look it up,” says Olberding. But there were rough

patches, too. “There was a time when I was pulling out my hair trying to bribe him to practice, but we got over that and he is much more self-motivated now. Around the ninth or tenth grade he grew exponentially and I began to see that he had a certain musicality.”

Remember, too, that it’s normal for a child to complain about going to lessons or practicing at home, but if your child has no interest in music, pay attention. “If a parent forces a child to continue lessons when they truly don’t want to, they might not play as adults. They might hate it and quit,” says Immerman. “If it isn’t fun you’ve missed the whole point.”

MUSIC REsourCES Baldwin Music Education Center

If your son or daughter is displaying a natural talent for music, there are many ways you can appropriately support and encourage him or her. “Take the child to concerts. Let her listen to different kinds of music. Encourage her to take music lessons. You may want your child to take piano lessons, but if your child is very vocal about the instrument they want to learn, that’s the one you should go with,” says Immerman. “A parent needs to encourage and praise the children for their successes and they shouldn’t be too hard on them on their failures,” adds Conrad. “For a lot of kids, if they already have some general talent, the biggest thing they need for success is confidence.”

The Cincinnati Boychoir

Cincinnati School of Music

Cincinnati Strings

Indian Springs Academy of Music

Linton Music Series

Northern Kentucky School of Music

West Chester Academy of Music

Wyoming Fine Arts Center




November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 23


BROUGHT TO YOU BY // Andrea Paul-Taylor, Shriners Hospital for Children - Cincinnati

Shriners Hospital for Children – Cincinnati Reminds Families to “Be Burn Aware” As the cold days of winter settle in, people gravitate to the warmth of an open flame. Candles, crackling fireplaces and comfort foods all set a cheerful holiday mood. Still, many of us do not follow key fire safety tips during the winter months, which experts say is the most common time for house fires and burn injuries. That is why Shriners Hospital for Children - Cincinnati recommends a few simple safety tips as a part of its annual Be Burn Aware campaign: • Water holiday trees daily. Discard when dry. • Keep trees away from heaters and flames. • Never leave lit candles unattended or within reach of children. • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot reach them. • Never leave a hot stove unattended.




Over one-quarter of Americans surveyed say they leave lit candles unattended and in reach of children despite the fact that, according to experts, candle fires increase dramatically during December. Cooking burns can be easily lessened by simply turning pot handles to the back of the stove and keeping a cookie sheet nearby to extinguish a grease fire. And although dry Christmas trees cause some of the deadliest holiday fires, many don’t water live trees daily. As experts in pediatric burn treatment, Shriners Hospital for Children - Cincinnati provides critical, surgical and rehabilitative burn care and plastic surgery for children, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. If you do have a child who sustains a burn, go to for referrals and other vital information. Visit for more tips and educational materials.

10 TIPS for

WORDS BY // Denise Morrison Yearian

Taking Children to Live Performances Pl an ah e ad to enj oy a g r e at s h ow tog e th er

Taking children to live theater, music and dance performances can ignite their imaginations, arouse their curiosity and spark their interest in the performing arts. And with the holiday season coming up, there are plenty of shows to take advantage of. Before you go, do a little advance planning to make your experience a success.

1. Set the stage. There’s no set age to begin taking children to live

performances. What’s important is to begin with age-appropriate programming that caters to your child’s interest and attention span, and build from there. Start with shows based on familiar stories or characters at local or regional children’s theaters and other family venues. High school productions are a good option too. As your child gets acclimated to attending, take in performances with more detailed plots.

2. Determine details. Call and ask for details regarding the performance. Is it family oriented? Age-appropriate? Are there frightening scenes? Will there be colorful costumes and sets, slapstick comedy and/or special effects? This will keep your child engaged, as will shows that involve audience participation. 3. Seek out special events. Call the box office and ask about special

activities associated with the program to enhance the experience. For example, some family concerts offer instrument petting zoos where




musicians offer an up-close look at instruments and demonstrate how to play them. Children may even be encouraged to test some of them out. Other venues may offer backstage passes so families can see the sets and lighting, meet the characters and learn interesting tidbits of information. Kids may even be able to get autographs of the performers.

4. Lowdown on logistics. Find out about program length, as well as if

there is a break for intermission. Then consider if your child can stay focused that long. Also ask the theatre’s policies about bringing drinks and snacks into the auditorium and leaving during the performance.

5. Select the right seats. Choose seating that will keep your child’s

attention directed on stage. Sitting front and center or in the balcony may be best. If you think you may have to slip out during the performance, opt for seats near the aisle for a quick exit. Consider bringing a booster seat so your child gets a good view.

6. Primer on preparations. If the show parallels a book or movie, read or watch it together. If there’s familiar music, listen to it. Explain the plot and discuss the characters. Even though the play will be a bit different, your child will know what to expect. 7. Explain theatre etiquette. Discuss your expectations regarding

behavior at the event. Tell kids they will have to walk, rather than run, to and from their seat and use indoor voices. Depending upon the performance, they may need to hold questions until intermission or whisper if they have something important to say.

8. Day-of details. Make sure your child is well-fed

and rested before leaving home. Plan to arrive at least fifteen minutes early. Find your seats then take your child to the restroom. Bring along a small bag of quiet items to play with while waiting for the performance to begin.

9. Share impressions. After the show, take your child somewhere for a special treat and share thoughts and impressions about the performance. What was their favorite part or character? Was there a character they didn’t like? What did they think of the sets, costumes and special effects? Can they retell the story to you? 10. Extend the experience. At home have your child draw a picture of their favorite scene or character. If you did not rent the parallel movie or read the book, do so now. Was the storyline presented differently in this format? If your child enjoys pretend play, have them act out their favorite part.

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B ecoming an

A doptive F amily What is the experience really like? For some children who are adopted, establishing trust may be a challenge. Parents may find that their adopted child may have a hard time with separations, developing relationships or managing transitions, especially if they’ve had difficult early experiences. “When you have trauma in your background, you may not be emotionally the same age as your body,” Lawrence says. “But it’s attachment and connection with their parents that helps them continue to grow like others. It’s not a permanent state, it’s just an important difference with how these kids grow.”

WORDS BY // Maggie Loiselle

On the practical side, if you’ve never cared for a baby or young child before, you will need to know the basics of child care, learn what is developmentally appropriate at each stage and be ready to invest the time and energy required to be up to the task. If you have other children at home who are much older, it’s wise to really consider how much your life will change caring again for a baby or young child.

Every day, families are growing through adoption. Nearly 120,000 children* are adopted each year, and in any number of ways – through private agencies, international organizations, via family members or through the foster care system. But no matter the path, the questions that prospective parents ponder are often the same: What is it really like to adopt? How can I prepare our family? Will I be ready? Think through the process Whether you’re becoming a first-time parent through adoption or adding to your existing family, experts say it’s important to learn all you can about the unique experience of the adopted child. “All adoption starts with loss,” says Carol A. Lawrence, a licensed professional counselor in Mason who specializes in therapy for foster and adoptive families, and the mother of a 12-year-old girl, whom she adopted. That loss, even if experienced in infancy, can have a profound impact on a child’s life.

“It’s different reading about adoption in a textbook than it is seeing it at home,” says Gabi W., of Anderson, a social worker by trade and mom to a 2-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, both of whom are adopted. “The best way to learn about adoption is to talk to someone who’s adopted, who’s placed a child or an adoptee. That’s the only way you’re going to get a real experience.” Many agencies that facilitate private adoptions or those through foster care offer training and education opportunities for prospective parents. Other resources include, www.Adopt and

Expect an emotional journey No matter what route you take to adopt, every parent and expert will tell you that you should expect some twists and turns along the way. For Gabi, she and her husband were in the first stages of talking about adopting when through a friend of a friend, they were quickly matched with a birth mother six weeks from her due date. Despite her experience as a social worker, Gabi remembers not feeling ready. “I wasn’t prepared for the fears that come with adopting. Is it going to happen? As a first-time mom, am I going to have maternal instincts?” Less than a year after adopting their daughter, Gabi’s husband posted on a Facebook page looking to connect with other adoptive families, but




instead, he was contacted by the family of a 7-monthold boy who, born with special needs to parents with intellectual disabilities, were considering adoption. After working with an agency that specializes in special needs adoptions, the little boy joined Gabi’s family earlier this year. “I worried about my son, just knowing that he had special needs and that he was coming to us a little later on. I thought, ‘Is this child going to want to come to us? Is he going to be freaked out because we’re not who he’s used to?’” Gabi says. “But the first time I met him, I went to hand him back to his birth parents, and he reached out for me, and we just all knew it was meant to be.”

Prepare for the long haul After the joy of welcoming a new child into your family, the real work of parenting begins. You may worry about how to talk with your child about being adopted – now or in the future. You may have to help your other children adjust to having a new sibling. You and your partner may have to navigate a new role together. You may have family or friends who don’t truly understand the complexity of emotions that comes with adoption. As your child grows up, they’ll likely have questions about their adoption and birth parents. Sometimes kids who are adopted are afraid they will hurt their parents’ feelings if they ask about their birth parents. Initiating the dialogue yourself by saying things like “I bet you sometimes think about ____” or “Do you ever wonder about ______” can help lay the groundwork for positive conversations. And although you may get a “You’re not my real mom/dad!” thrown at you at some point, Lawrence says many kids eventually say this. “As an adoptive parent, you have to learn not to be reactive, even when it stings.” Talking with others who have been in your shoes can be a great support. Equally valuable can be talking to adults who were adopted, to understand and learn from their experiences. The World Association for Children and Parents, a national nonprofit adoption agency, estimates that nearly 81.5 million Americans have considered adopting a child. If even just one in 500 of those individuals adopted, every child waiting in foster care would have a permanent home. The path to adoption takes planning, patience and a lifetime commitment. But by educating yourself on the process and accessing the many supports available to you, it can be a beautiful way to grow your family. * According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau, the Administration for Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 29

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private school open house guide Considering a private school for your student? Our area has plenty to choose from! Find the right match by visiting an upcoming open house to get all your questions answered. Bethany School 555 Albion Ave. Glendale, OH 45246

Immaculate Heart of Mary School 7800 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45255

(513) 771-7462 Open House: Sunday, January 28, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm CARDINAL PACELLI SCHOOL 927 Ellison Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45226

(513) 388-4086 Open House: Sunday, January 28, 2018 from 12:30pm-3:00pm Mercy Montessori Center 2335 Grandview Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45206

(513) 321-1048

(513) 475-6700

Open Houses: November 10, 2017 and January 28, 2018

Open House: Sunday, November 12, 1-3:00pm

Children’s Meeting House Montessori School 927 O’Bannonville Road, Loveland, OH 45140

(513) 683-4757

Montessori Academy of Cincinnati 8293 Duke Blvd., Mason, OH 45040

(513) 398-7773

Open Houses: Sunday, October 29 from 2-4pm and Sunday, January 28 from 2-4pm

Open Houses: November 12 from 1–3:00pm and January 28 from 1–3:00pm

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

The New School Montessori

11525 Snider Road, Cincinnati, OH 45249

(513) 281-7999

(513) 247-0900 Open Houses: Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 10:00am-12:00pm and Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 10:00am-12:00pm Country Hills Montessori Multiple Locations in Eastgate, Oakley, Harrison & West Chester, OH and Ft. Thomas, KY

Guardian Angels School 6539 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230

Open House: Wednesday, January 31st from 6:30-8:30pm St. Gertrude School 6543 Miami Ave, Madeira, Ohio 45243

(513) 561-8020 Open House: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 11am-1pm and 7-8pm, and Sunday, January 28, 2018, 1-3pm

St. Ursula Villa 3660 Vineyard Place, Cincinnati, OH 45226

(513) 871-7218 Informational Coffees: Mon., Nov. 6, 8:30 – 10:00 am, Featuring Traditional Kindergarten through Junior High – Main School and Classrooms Tues. Nov. 6, 8:30 -10:00 am, Showcasing Traditional preschool for 2-, 3-, and 4-yearolds and Montessori for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds – Manor House and Early Childhood Classrooms All-School Open House: Sun., Jan. 21, 12:00 – 2:00 pm – Bring the family and tour all grades and programs

Saint Ursula Academy

Seven Hills School

1339 E. McMillian Street, Cincinnati, OH 45206

(513) 961-3410

Showcase Nights: November 7th and December 7th, 6:30-8:30pm

Hillsdale Campus - 5400 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, OH 45227 Doherty Campus - 2726 Johnstone Place, Cincinnati, OH 45206

(513) 728-2400

Informational Meetings: Lotspeich Lower School (Hillsdale Campus) – Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 at 9 am Doherty Lower School (Doherty Campus) – Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 at 9 am

(513) 624-3141 Open House: Sunday, January 28 - 1:00-3:00pm


(513) 771-5220

Open Houses: January 21 and April 22 from 2:00-4:00pm, (Ages 3-12)

Open House: Sunday, October 29, 1:00 - 3:30 pm

Call for a personal tour.


3 Burton Woods Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45229

St. Gabriel Consolidated School 18 West Sharon Avenue, Glendale OH, 45246


(Seven hills school cont.) Doherty Lower School (Doherty Campus) – Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 at 9 am Lotspeich Lower School (Hillsdale Campus) – Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 at 9 am *This event is for parents only.

Springer School and Center 2121 Madison Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45208

(513) 871-6080 We encourage prospective parents to call and schedule a personal tour.

The Summit Country Day School 2161 Grandin Road (Hyde Park), Cincinnati, OH 45208

(513) 871-4700, ext. 261 Parent Preview Days (18 mos- Grade 8): Nov. 9, 8:30 am Upper School Open House (Grades 9-12): Thurs., Nov. 16, 6:30 pm RSVP required. Please call 871-4700 ext. 261

November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 31


Ask the Teacher Night time phone use, distracting students and math hurdles


Our eighth grade daughter spends so much time on her phone. We’re worried it’s affecting her sleep because she texts friends through the night. We would like to keep the phone out of her bedroom, but she says she needs it as her alarm to get up in the morning. What can we do?

communication among friends may be too great for her to respect your restrictions. To address her concern about the alarm, provide her with an alarm clock.


Prepare yourself for a dramatic protest; your daughter will be missing out on a significant amount of chatter among her friends. But you must be firm. Her overall wellbeing is your primary concern.

Your concern is certainly warranted. Sleep is a critical factor for good health for all of us, but especially for adolescents. You simply must take the phone from your daughter at least a half hour before she goes to bed each night. Keep the phone in your room, not in a common part of your home where she could retrieve it later. The perceived need to be a part of the ongoing



All electronics that your daughter has – anything that has Internet access – should be out of her room at night. Otherwise, she will likely shift from texting on her phone to messaging on social media.

In addition to taking the electronics away at night, regularly check your daughter’s Internet history as well as her social media use. Even the best-behaved kids can be pulled 2017

into online situations that are dangerous and damaging. Frequent monitoring is mandatory for her safety.


As soon as my nine-year-old son gets off the bus in the afternoon, he begins complaining about the behavior of another student in his class. It seems that this student is a disruption during the entire day, and the teacher is reprimanding the entire class for this one student’s behavior. Is it unreasonable to contact the teacher about this situation?


Meeting with the teacher is a perfectly acceptable response to what you are hearing from your son. However, be careful to approach the teacher with the primary objective of wanting to learn from her what is actually happening rather than to lodge complaints about the classroom environment. Your son is likely reporting the truth as he understands it. But if there are a few disruptions near the end of the day, those issues could taint his memory of the entire day. It is important that you have an accurate understanding of what goes on the entire time. Share with the teacher what your son has reported and ask her to clarify anything that seems to be exaggerated. If, indeed, your son’s perspective is accurate, ask what measures are in place to help minimize the disruption for the other students. The teacher may be in need of additional support and having parents talk with the

administration about the difficulties other students are experiencing may be beneficial. Perhaps having some parent volunteers in the room at certain parts of the day would help to alleviate the problem as well.


Fifth-grade math is stressing my daughter out so much. Math used to be her favorite subject, but now she hates it. She has a tough time getting started on her math homework, and she works very slowly when she does get going. What can I do to help her?


There has been a great deal of pressure on schools to step up math instruction in the interest of improving competitiveness in math and science related fields internationally. That pressure has happened simultaneously with a shift away from the computational focus in mathematics from a generation ago to more of a conceptual focus today. Rather than simply stressing addition, subtraction and multiplication facts, students are developing a higher level of understanding of the “whys” behind the numbers. As students face fifth and sixth grade level math, the complexity of the concepts increases as multi-digit multiplication, challenging division and pre-algebraic applications are introduced. At this juncture, if students have a lack of mastery in basic math facts they often experience a significant hurdle. Some are having to put too much time into figuring out what 7x7 is (for example) before they can move on to problems that require understanding several multiplication facts to be able to complete a problem. Consider studying addition, subtraction and multiplication facts with your daughter and drilling her until those basic facts have been mastered. You can use traditional flash cards and timed worksheets or any of the free online math fact sites. Once those facts are second nature rather than an obstacle to solving the more challenging math she is learning, you will see her love of math return.

Ask the Teacher is written by Deb Krupowicz, a mother of four who holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Deb has over twenty years of experience teaching preschool, elementary and middle school students. Please send your questions to her at

November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 33

EDUCATION RESOURCES [sponsored listings]



The Campus at Kids First We have FULL DAY Kindergarten! Located inside the nationally acclaimed Kids First Sports Center, The Campus offers the premier early learning experience for children ages 6 weeks through Kindergarten. As the only early learning center in the area that makes physical education a top priority, The Campus at Kids First gives your child an academic edge by integrating a world class physical education (including gymnastics, basketball, yoga and soccer!) curriculum in to the daily schedule, at NO additional cost! Our carefully selected and loving teachers utilize a relevance-based curriculum combined with child-directed play to make learning FUN and start each child on their journey to becoming a life-long learner. 7900 E Kemper Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45249, www., Phone: (513) 629-KIDS, info@

Chai Tots Early Childhood Center Academic excellence via a unique blend of Jewish and Montessori education offering strong academics, stressing life skills, interpersonal relationship skills and nurturing a love for life-long learning. Individualized curriculum customized for each student, expansive naturally lit rooms, low student ratio. Specials include yoga, music, Hebrew, Spanish, dance, drama, art and Tae Kwon Do. Flexible schedules, before and aftercare, web cams and after-school enrichment available. Transportation available to/from Mason schools. Limited space - now enrolling! 7587 Central Parke Blvd., Mason, OH 45040, Phone: (513) 234-0600,, Ages/Grades: Infant, Toddler, Preschool, Kindergarten (6 weeks-6 years), Enrollment: 60

CINCINNATI HILLS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY CHCA is a vibrant, multidenominational, college preparatory school serving students Age 2- grade 12. We’re investing $9MM to deliver new levels of student engagement through expanded facilities including an expanded Early Childhood Learning Center, Innovation Labs, a Greenhouse, and Engineering and Applied Science Labs. CHCA is leading the way to higher levels of cognitive, relational, and spiritual engagement for each student. 11525 Snider Road, Cincinnati, OH 45249, Contact: Natalie Pfister, Enrollment Director, Phone: (513)2470900, Email:, www.chca-oh. org, Ages 2 - Grade 12, Enrollment: 1350






Ages 6 weeks-6 years plus after school & summer camp up to age 12. Offering outstanding ReggioInspired full and part-time Infant, Toddler, Two’s, and Preschool programs, as well as Kindergarten, After School, and Summer Camp for school-age children. Degreed teachers, extensive parent communication, and welcoming family environment. Setting the standard in early care and education. NAEYC Accredited. Call today for your personal tour.

Skidaddles offers convenient, flexible, reliable care without reservations. Drop by days, evenings and weekends for a few hours or all day. Feel confident knowing your children will have fun while learning from a qualified staff in a safe and clean environment.

9370 Waterstone Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45249, Contact: Meghan Schymanski, Phone: 513-683-8833, Fax: 513-683-8456, Email: compass.meghan@gmail. com,

Creative Tots, Mason Our holistic approach allows children (18 months - 5 1/2 years) the opportunity to learn, explore, play and grow while engaging in the fine arts, science, music, yoga and a modernized curriculum. We provide opportunities to use creativity, solve problems, use language, develop new vocabulary and reading skills, while engaging in intellectual activities. There are elements of STEAM education, bilingual education, arts education, as well as lots of physical activities to strengthen the mind and body. 6408 Thornberry Ct.,, Mason, oh 45040, Contact: Emilie Parry, Phone: 513-770-6776, Email:, www.creativetotsmason. com, Grades: Toddler: 18 months-3 years, Preschool: 3-4 years; Pre-K: 4-5 years

Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church Preschool At HPCUMC Preschool, our goal is to encourage the development of each child's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills, as well as spiritual growth in order to prepare each child for life-long learning. We provide a learning environment where student-centered learning takes place through exploration, play, experimentation, and discovery. Children are encouraged to try new tasks, use their imagination, make friends, follow directions, focus their energy and develop a love of learning. HPCUMC Preschool is a five-star awarded Step Up to Quality school. Registration for the 2018-19 school year begins December 4, 2017. Registration materials will be available online in late-November 2017. 1345 Grace Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45208, Contact: Julie Vail, Phone: 513-979-8191, Email: jvail@hpcumc. org,, Grades: 30 months to 5 years of age

Florence: 8660 Bankers Street, Florence, KY 41042, Phone: 859-647-7529, MasonL 5939 Deerfield Blvd Suite 104, Mason, OHIO 45040, Phone: 513-2043482,

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati offers state licensed before and after school care at over 85 locations throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. 1105 Elm Street, Cincinnnati, OH 45202, Contact: Trish Kitchell, VP Youth Development, Phone: 513-362-YMCA, Fax: 513-651-3540, Email:, www., Grades: Ages 3-12, Enrollment: Stop by any YMCA of Greater Cincinnati location or check with your local school district.


Children’s Meeting House Montessori School Children's Meeting House Montessori School has been proudly educating students from preschool through 6th grade using the principles of the Montessori philosophy since 1972. CMH offers a variety of preschool, enrichment and before/after school options to meet each family’s needs. Partner with our devoted staff of experienced and Montessori trained teachers throughout your child’s most developmental years. CMH – where learning happens, naturally. Find out more or schedule a tour on our website. 927 O’Bannonville Road, Loveland, OH 45140, Contact: Casey Reed, Director, Phone: 513-683-4757, Email:,, Grades: Preschool through Sixth grade, Enrollment: 150

Country Hills Montessori Providing programs for 3 to K. Small, individualized classes with low student-teacher ratios, under the guidance of Montessori certified teachers, in an inter-generational environment. Multiple Locations in Eastgate, Oakley, Harrison and West Chester Ohio and in Ft. Thomas KY. Visit for all location addresses & phones. Contact: Susan Schreiber, Owner, Email: susan@,, Grades: 3 - K

The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori

The New School Montessori

GSCM is a unique Catholic Montessori school set on a 12-acre campus. GSCM features nurturing Montessori teachers and individualized learning. 3, 4 or 5 day preschool options, full-day Kindergarten, and aftercare available. Spanish, unparalleled faith formation with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, art, music, dance and drama enrichment offered.

Cincinnati's only school accredited by the American Montessori Society. Centrally located and surrounded by wooded play yards and gardens, students benefit from a nurturing environment where Montessori-credentialed staff support high academic and personal achievement. Full-day, half-day with healthy lunches included in tuition. ISACS and AMS accredited program.

4460 Berwick Street, Cincinnati, 513-271-4171, www., Grades: 3-year olds through grade 8, including full-day Kindergarten, Enrollment: 205; Contact: Dan Teller, Executive Director, dteller@

3 Burton Woods Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45229, Contact: Ceara Comstock, Phone: (513)281-7999, Email:, www.newschool, Grades: 3-year-olds through Grade 6, Enrollment: 135

Little Sprouts Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten Little Sprouts Montessori nurtures the natural curiosity and enthusiasm of children, helping them develop a lifetime love of learning. Our goal is to empower children to discover and hone their strengths as they explore the world. We recognize the importance of individualized education, and maintain a 1:6 ratio. 7131 Plainfield Road, Deer Park, OH 45236, Contact: Christie Sawyer, Phone: 513-697-9021, Email: csawyer@,, Grades: Preschool & Kindergarten, Enrollment: Families choose mornings two to four days per week (T/TH and/or W/F), and/or afternoon sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.

Mercy Montessori Center Mercy Montessori is Cincinnati's first Catholic Montessori elementary school and provides students with a personalized education. Mercy offers a sliding scale tuition model, in-school swimming instruction starting at age three, and attracts students from over 50 zip codes. Mercy educates the whole child and develops a strong foundation for learning. 2335 Grandview Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45206, Contact: Amanda Grimm, Admissions Director, Phone: (513) 475-6700 ext. 210, Email: agrimm@,, Grades: Preschool - 8th Grade, Enrollment: 292


ST. GERTRUDE SCHOOL Saint Gertrude School offers academic excellence in the Dominican tradition: preaching Truth, practicing virtue, and loving one another in Christ. Students from 21 school districts. IOWA testing ranked 4th among 90 Cincinnati Catholic grade schools. Aftercare, outdoor classroom, STEM, Rosary Procession, household intergrade leadership, Latin, professionally coached musical theater, extracurriculars. 6543 Miami Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45243, Contact: Elaine Nolte, Assistant Principal, Phone: 513-561-8020,, Enrollment: 338

St. Ursula Villa An extraordinary family atmosphere and Christcentered spirit of St. Angela Merici cultivates independent learners who achieve their potential through small classes, individualized instruction, and nurturing of the whole child. Program offerings begin with Toddler/2-year-old and Traditional or Montessori preschool continuing through Junior High, recognized for outstanding high school preparation. 3660 Vineyard Place, Cincinnati, OH 45226, Contact: Marta Runnels, Phone: 513-533-7373, Fax: 513-8710315, Email:, www., Grades: 2 years old through 8th grade, Enrollment: 465

Montessori Academy of Cincinnati Our goal is to instill a love of learning in each child and to assure a solid grounding in the basics of education that will help each student achieve his potential. We provide an outstanding, experienced staff, low student-teacher ratios, a nurturing, student-centered approach, and on-site before-school and after-school care. 8293 Duke Boulevard, Mason, Ohio 45040, Phone: 513-398-7773, Email:, http://, Ages/Grades: 18 months through 8th grade

THE SUMMIT COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Founded in 1890, The Summit serves students from age 2 to Grade 12. A Montessori Program for ages 2-6 begins the academic journey followed by a college-preparatory program (Grades 1-12). The Summit educates students spiritually, academically, physically, socially and artistically while offering the academic excellence and one-on-one guidance of a top-tier Catholic independent school. 2161 Grandin Road (Hyde Park), Cincinnati, OH 45208, Phone: 513-871-4700, ext. 261, Email: pearl_e@,


Cincinnati Public SChools Our goal is to provide a rigorous curiculum that cultivates critical thinking and technology skills while encouraging collaboration, real-world connections and endless creativity. It’s not just about getting your children ready for graduation. It’s about getting them into college and preparing them for a thriving career! Phone: 513-363-0123,


BRAIN BALANCE OF CINCINNATI Brain Balance Achievement Centers offer a cutting-edge, drug-free approach to help children improve their ability to learn academically, socially and emotionally. We don’t just work with your child’s strengths or compensate for a weakness. We tackle your child’s issue head on, by addressing the root cause at the most fundamental level. 12084 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45249, Phone: (513) 257-0705, locations/brain-balance-center-of-cincinnati/

Springer School and Center For more than 45 years, Springer School and Center has empowered students with learning disabilities to lead successful lives. Springer offers a day school for students ages 6-14 and outreach programs and learning disability resources for students, parents and teachers in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Springer Experience. Success Starts Here. 2121 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45208, Contact: Carmen Mendoza, Admissions Director, Phone: 513 871-6080 ext. 211, Fax: 513 871-6428, Email:,, Grades: 1 through 8, Enrollment: 200


Ohio virtual academy Ohio Virtual Academy is an innovative online school with passionate educators dedicated to inspiring and empowering students. Partnering with the K12 curriculum, OHVA provides an engaging blend of interactive online lessons and offline materials that cater to varied learning styles, allowing students the opportunity to master lesson objectives. Phone: 1.866.339.9071,


November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 35


starting November 24th



FRI 03

NOVE M B ER 2 0 1 7 WEDS 01 Manatots

The Blue Manatee tradition of great books, easy laughs and sweet songs continues every Wednesday on the LePage Stage! Best for ages 4 and under.

FREE. *Ongoing Time: 10-10:30 a.m., Location: Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore, activatees.html, Phone: 513-731-2665


Taft Jr.: All About Me

Do you know all the parts of your face? Use the faces in Taft paintings to explore your own, hear a story about making faces out of silly objects, and create your own wacky portrait. FREE for Museum members and kids; program is $10 for adult non-members in advance (includes Museum admission) and $12 on the day of program. Time: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Location: Taft Museum of Art,, Phone: 513-684-4517


THURS 02 Super Sprouts: Splat Monsters!

Super Sprouts is an art program for children 5 and younger offered twice a week in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum's Celebration Room. On Nov. 2nd, celebrate Halloween and create your own silly, sweet or scary monster. Free with Museum Center admission. Time: 2 p.m., Location: Cincinnati Museum Center,, Phone: 513-287-7000






FRI 03 Story Time: Leaf Man

Leaves are falling from the trees in brilliant colors - let's get inspired by the beauty of the outdoors in Story Time! Students will listen to 'Leaf Man' by Lois Ehlert. Then together we will create a hanging glass tile inspired by the story. Your little artist will capture the beauty of fall in this one of a kind glass experience designed just for them. All glass materials are pre-fired and age-appropriate. Time: 1:30-2:15 p.m., Location: Brazee Street Studios, story-time-leaf-man, Phone: 513-321-0206

Chicken Dance

Every barnyard has its bully! But two of the barnyard’s chickens, Marge and Lola, will not stand idly by. ArtsPower’s musical portrays the colorful story of these two barnyard chickens on a mission to win the barnyard talent contest first prize of two tickets to see the great Elvis Poultry in concert! But first, they must present a performance that will score higher than a flock of very talented ducks, led by Mac who loves to play the bully. Can Marge and Lola face their challengers, against all odds, and win the talent contest? Recommended for grades PreK-5. Time: 7:00 pm, Location: Calico Children's Theatre at UC Clermont, Cost: Admission is $7 per person, http:// html, Phone: 513-558-ARTS

SAT 04 7th annual all-city boychoir festival

Join us for the 7th annual festival as Guest conductor Mollie Stone, an expert in authentic music performance from around the world, will be our guest to teach the boys South African music. All boys grades 1-12 welcome! (Our Ambassadors choir will tour South African in the summer of 2018!) All attendees receive a free t-shirt and snacks. Don’t miss the festival’s free showcase concert at 5 pm. FREE.

Location: P&G Hall in the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Time: 1-6:00 pm,, Phone: 513-396-7664

SUN 05 Animal Homes and Where to Find Them

Time: 10 a.m., Location: Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore, activatees.html, Phone: 513-731-2665

TUES 07 ManaTotZZZ

Join Miss Sarah at the Oakley Sleepy Bee for the Blue Manatee tradition of great books, easy laugh and sweet songs! Most appropriate for ages under 4. FREE. *Ongoing Time: 10 a.m., Location: Sleepy Bee Café, http://www., Phone: 513-731-2665

TUES 07 – SUN 19 Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland is Broadway’s biggest new hit! Directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. Time: Check website for schedule, https://www., Location: Aronoff Center, Phone: 513-621-2787

WEDS 08 – SUN 12 Charlie Harper Art Show

Time: 2-4 p.m., Location: Cincinnati Nature Center,, Phone: 513-831-1711

Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, Location: Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Ellenwood Nature Barn, http://www., Phone: 513-521-7275

Fossil Fest at the Cincinnati Zoo


Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Location: Cincinnati Zoo, http://, Phone: 513-287-7000

View works and pick up prints by Charley, Edie and Brett Harper. Free Harper print with the purchase of any framed or unframed print. Featured this season is “Family Owlbum.” Brett Harper will be signing books on Nov. 11th and 12th from 1–3 p.m. Presented by Fabulous Frames & Art. FREE.

Carol Ann’s Carousel Whirlin’ Good Time Day

For just $6, buy a band for unlimited rides all day! Come join us for this whirlin’ good time! Time: 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Location: Carol Ann’s Carousel,

FRI 10 Story Time: A Penguin Story

MON 06 Make a Mess at the Manatee

Join Blue Manatee's Miss Kelli and enjoy this wonderful outlet for your child's creative side. Have fun listening to a good book and participating in an art-making activity with your child. $6/child; registration required.

Join Trip Jones for a ‘choose-your-own-adventure opera’ as he tries to solve the mystery of the Diva's missing music before the curtain goes up! This action-packed, interactive story takes audiences behind the scenes to learn what it takes to put on a grand opera. This original production will feature live singers and some of your favorite pieces of music! Tickets are $5/members; $7/non-members. Time: 7:30 p.m., Location: Fitton Center for the Arts,, Phone: 513-863-8873, ext. 110

FRI 10 – SUN 12

Animal homes are all around, but often overlooked. We'll explore along the trails to spot nests, dens, burrows and more, to reveal a world of busy, hidden life, full of stories. Meet at the Green Cottage. Preregistration required. Members $4; nonmembers $10 (includes daily admission). For ages 4 and up with an adult caregiver.

450 million years ago Cincinnati was teeming with life under the sea. Today life still continues to flourish in Cincinnati. Bring your own found fossils and join us for Fossil Fest at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden! Listen as experts make these fossils once again come to life. Marvel over the largest trilobite collection in the tristate and experience real time comparisons of living animals and their fossil relatives.

Trip Jones and the Case of the Missing Music - RokOKCincy Opera

Bring your little one to create art in our glass story time! This week, we'll read "A Penguin Story" by Antoinette Portis, then your young artist will create a pair of standing penguins of their own using our safe and beautiful glass components. Time: 1:30-2:15 p.m., Location: Brazee Street Studios, products/a-penguin-story, Phone: 513-321-0206

Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market

Get all your holiday shopping done at the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market. featuring 350+ one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty stores. Choose from an unparalleled selection of home décor, specialty clothing and one-of-a-kind treasures, plus gourmet food from the Cincy Specialty Food & Treats Show. Discounted tickets available at Kroger. Time: Check website, Location: Duke Energy Convention Center,

SAT 11 A Musical Zoo

Listen! Is that a bird or a flute? Is that a swan or a cello? Is that a fish or a piano? Come hear and find out on an adventure through our musical zoo! Tickets are $6 each and include a free Graeter’s cookie after the show! Time: Shows at 10 and 11:30 a.m., Location: Wyoming Fine Arts Center,

Thanksgiving on the Ohio Frontier

Step back 200 years in the past to the first Thanksgiving on the Ohio frontier. The Society of Northwest Longhunters reenactors will portray Shawnee Native Americans, early European settlers and military personnel. Exchanges between Native Americans and settlers will occur at 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Time: 2-5 p.m., Location: Shawnee Lookout/Historic Log Cabin,, Phone: 513-521-7275

SUN 12 Second Sunday Family Showtime: The Inventive Princess of Floralee

Presented by Know Theatre of Cincinnati. This original two-person interactive fairy tale will have your students “thinking like scientists” as they follow the Princess of Floralee on the adventure of a lifetime, searching for the kidnapped king kept in the clutches of a viciously vile and wrathfully wicked witch. Along the way, children will help the princess solve a variety of math, engineering, science, and even dance challenges as she uses her brains, wit, and sound judgment to find her father in the land Scalenfell. Time: 2-3 p.m., Location: Clifton Cultural Arts Center, the-inventive-princess-of-floralee-second-sundayfamily-showtime/, Phone: 513-497-2860

November 2017 // CINCINNATIPARENT.COM 37

TUES 14 – WEDS 15

SAT 18


Growing Up Farm Kid: Turkey Day

Holiday in Lights 5K *CP PICK

108th Thanksgiving Day 10K Run & Walk

Meet the resident farm turkey and play turkey games to celebrate the upcoming holiday. For kids ages 2–5 accompanied by an adult. Cost is $10/child with one adult and $5/additional adult. Register by Nov. 12th. Time: 9:30-11 a.m., Location: Winton Woods/Parky’s Farm,, Phone: 513-521-7275

THURS 16 Teen Thursday: Turkey Bowling!

Create your own bowling pin and see if you can bowl a turkey! All materials supplied. FREE.

Bring the family out for some fresh air in November. Run or walk 3.1 miles through the lit-up Holiday in Lights pathway in Sharon Woods. For more information, visit If you preregister by Nov. 18th, the entry fee is $27/person, $22/child ages 12 and under; on the day of the race, the entry fee is $32/person, $27/child ages 12 and under. Time: 5 p.m., Location: Sharon Woods/Sharon Centre,, Phone: 513-521-7275

Turkey Time Crafts

FRI 17

Time: 1-3 p.m., Location: Woodland Mound/Seasongood Nature Center,, Phone: 513-521-7275

Cincinnati Union Bethel is holding our 6th Annual fundraiser for our Off the Streets program on November 17th at Macy’s Fountain Place. Come sip, shop, and save with us to benefit a good cause! To buy tickets visit Time: 6-10 pm, Location: Macy’s Fountain Place, Cost: $45 - visit to buy tickets

PNC Festival of Lights: Member Preview Night *CP PICK

The Cincinnati Zoo is spreading Christmas cheer and making spirits bright this holiday season with the tri-state’s longest running holiday tradition: the 35th Annual PNC Festival of Lights. Celebrate the kick off with a special preview of more than two million LED lights that illuminate the Zoo. Time: 5-10 p.m., Location: Cincinnati Zoo, http://, Phone: 513-281-4700

Time: Race starts at 9 a.m., Location: Paul Brown Stadium, index.html

FRI 24

SUN 19

Time: 4-5 p.m., Location: Norwood Branch Library,, Phone: 513-369-6037

Style & Steps for Off the Streets

Features McDonald’s Kids Fun Run and a 10K Run & Walk, Cincinnati’s Thanksgiving Day Race was voted one of the top 'Turkey Trots' in America by Men's Journal Magazine. Sponsored by Western & Southern.

Children ages 5-12 will enjoy making turkey day themed crafts. Kids can make up to two crafts to take home. Cost is $1/craft, payable at the door.

WEDS 22 School Break Camps: Thanksgiving Break Camp

When school is out, the J is in! Bring the kids for a fun day of swimming, sports, arts and crafts, and more. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit, lunch, and towel! Best for grades K-6. Cost: J Member: $48; public: $58. Time: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Location: Mayerson JCC, school-break-camp/



Cincinnati Cyclones vs. Wheeling Nailers Bring the kids out for a special day after Thanksgiving Matinee featuring all kids ages 2-12 receiving a free meal including a John Morrell Hotdog, side and beverage. Time: 2:30 p.m., Location: U.S. Bank Arena, http://

Ornament Open House

Is your family in town for the holidays? Celebrate together and make glass art! Bring your parents, grandparents, siblings, and children to this introductory class and create fused glass ornaments for each other or someone you love. Open to all ages (we suggest 4+), kids young and old! No experience necessary. Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Location: Brazee Street Studios, ornament-open-house, Phone: 513-321-0206

SAT 25 Macy’s Downtown Dazzle: Home for the Holidays *CP PICK

See Santa and his friends rappelling down the side of the Huntington Bank Center to the Macy’s rooftop to kick off a spectacular fireworks display. This 20-minute, family-friendly program features performances from local choirs, cool lighting effects, and a few surprises. Join host John Morris Russell for traditional holiday music from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble and the Young Professionals Choral Collective, along with special guests from the Holiday Character Crew. FREE. Time: Choirs start at 5:30 p.m., Location: Fountain Square, happening-downtown/holidays-downtown

Polar Express: A Musical Storybook *CP PICK

All aboard The Polar Express! This holiday adventure of a mysterious train bound for the North Pole includes original storybook imagery by Chris van Allsburg. Experience instrument demonstrations, crafts and more at the pre-concert Family Fun Zone. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Time: 10:30 a.m., Location: Music Hall, http://, Phone: 513-381-3300




Small Business Saturday

This holiday season, shop small! It is important for neighbors to support these local businesses so their communities continue to be active and thrive for decades to come. Shopping small definitely offers quality service and products. Get a full list of local stores participating in #ShopSmall Saturday at the website below. Time: All day, Location: Various businesses around Cincinnati, shop-small/about?linknav=us-open-shopsmall-globalheadersslogo

SUN 26 Holiday Season Kickoff at the Taft *CP PICK

Enjoy free activities for the whole family! The house will be decorated inside and out with lights, garlands, and displays of antique ornaments on old-fashioned feather trees. Enjoy lunch in the Lindner Family Café and do some holiday browsing in the Shop, where you will find gifts for all ages including the one-size-fits-all Taft membership. FREE. Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Location: Taft Museum, http://www., Phone: 513-241-0343

Off-Trail Mystery Hike

It’s time to explore another off-trail habitat of the wooded variety. Be prepared to venture on uneven and at times strenuous terrain. Wear long pants, sturdy hiking shoes and dress for the weather. For ages 10 and up. FREE. Time: 2 p.m., Location: Winton Woods/Great Oaks Trail Parking Lot,, Phone: 513-521-7275

TUES 28 ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Inspired by the timeless poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and by the real life of its author, Clement Moore, this hilarious musical introduces Santa in a particularly beneficent light. This classic from Virginia Rep has been charming audiences nationwide for many years. Book, Music and Lyrics by Bruce Craig Miller. Recommended for grades K-6 Time: 7:00 pm, Location: Calico Children's Theatre at UC Clermont, Cost: Admission is $5 per person, http://www., Phone: 513-558-ARTS

WEDS 29 Story Tree Time

Story Tree Time takes place from 11-11:30 a.m. every Wednesday in the Duke Energy Children's Museum. Bring your little one and join us as we play, dance, sing and listen to a new story each week! Free with Museum Center admission. Story time on Nov. 29th features a special guest from The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Cinderella! *Ongoing Time: 11-11:30 a.m., Location: Cincinnati Museum Center/Duke Energy Children’s Museum, programs/story-tree-time, Phone: 513-287-7000

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THURS 30 Teen Chef: Gingerbread Wars!

It's beginning to look a lot like December! Make a gingerbread house and see if yours will win for Most Sturdy, Most Creative or Most Festive! FREE. Time: 4-5 p.m., Location: Norwood Branch Library,, Phone: 513-369-6037

ongoing events Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis *CP PICK Opens Nov. 10

Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis will include a blizzard of bricks crafted into custom LEGO creations. From floor to ceiling, 1,800 square feet of LEGO landscapes will feature motorized trains, whimsical scenes with local flavor and a merry amount of surprises tucked into every pip of their environment. In addition, train displays, the kid-sized train and the arrival of Santa on Nov. 24th make this event a must for Cincinnati families. Time: Check website, Location: Cincinnati Museum Center,, Phone: 513-287-7000

Antique Christmas

Christmas Nights of Lights

Nov. 3-Jan. 7, 2018

Nov. 10-Jan. 1, 2018

Escape to a winter wonderland of Christmas past at the Taft’s annual display of antique ornaments, decorations and toys. Free admission and parking every Sunday!

This family event features a 2-mile car ride through Christmas displays and light shows consisting of over a million LED lights, driven by more than ten thousand computer channels. From the warmth of your own car, you can sing along to the sounds of the season synchronized to each holiday display. The show will begin nightly at dusk and run through 10 p.m. Christmas Nights of Lights will be open every night including holidays.

Time: Check website for hours, Location: Taft Museum,, Phone: 513-241-0343

PNC Festival of Lights Nov. 18-Jan. 1, 2018

The Cincinnati Zoo’s PNC Festival of Lights is one of the best-loved holiday traditions in the city. The 3 million twinkling lights transform the Zoo into a Winter Wonderland that’s straight out of a fairy tale. This year’s 35th anniversary event features all your favorite traditions, from a Madcap black-light puppet show, the BB&T Toyland Express, the Wild Lights show on Swan Lake and hot chocolate and S’mores stands. New this year: Santa will be available for visits starting at 4 p.m., an hour before the rest of the festivities begin. So come early and be sure to bring your kids’ wish lists! (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Time: Open Sunday-Thursday from 5-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5-10 p.m., Location: Cincinnati Zoo,, Phone: 513-281-4700

Time: 5-10 p.m. nightly, Location: Coney Island, http://, Phone: 513-232-8230

A Christmas Carol Nov. 22-Dec. 30

The Playhouse's version of A Christmas Carol combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life its familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future. As he witnesses all those who have improved his life he realizes that it's never too late to change his miserly ways. A Christmas Carol's heartwarming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse's most popular productions each year. Time: Check website for schedule, Location: Playhouse in the Park, a-christmas-carol, Phone: 513-421-3888




Christmas at the Junction

Cincinnati Choo Choo

Light Up Middletown

Nov. 11-Dec. 31

Nov. 18-Jan, 7, 2018

Nov. 23-Dec. 31

Create a holiday tradition for your family! See the magic of Christmas at the home of the World’s Largest Indoor Train Display. Take a “Journey to the North Pole”, where you can meet Mrs. Claus and Santa himself.

Discover the magic of being home for the holidays aboard the Cincinnati Choo Choo at Krohn Conservatory! The conservatory showroom will be filled with ruby red poinsettias, fanciful evergreens, cyclamen, amaryllis, and more of your favorite holiday plants. Delightful botanical architecture surrounded by many miles of train track will be created in natural components by the Applied Imagination team. Admission is $7/adults, $4/kids 5-17 and free for kids 4 and under.

Since 1999, Light Up Middletown has grown to be a family holiday tradition and has attracted over 800,000 visitors. All arches accommodate full size tour buses. Santa and Mrs. Claus are on hand every Friday and Saturday night 7-9 p.m. until December 23rd. Admission is by cash donation only - you set the price!

Time: Open daily, Location: Entertrainment Junction,, Phone: 513-898-8000

Holiday in Lights Nov. 17-Dec. 31

Holiday in Lights 2017 presented by The Alleen Company, an established Cincinnati Holiday tradition for over 27 years, is an outdoor light display at Sharon Woods, a Great Park of Hamilton County, viewed by guests from the comfort of their own vehicle. Built over a mile of wooded roadway, the holiday themed displays of fantastic seasonal color adorn the woods, depicting everything from Santa Claus and his elves to every animal on the ark. Admission is $13 per vehicle ($45 for buses and 15 passenger vans).

Time: Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily with special hours on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Location: Krohn Conservatory, http://www., Phone: 513-421-4086

North Pole Express Nov. 25-26; Dec. 3, 8-10, 15-17, 21-24

The LM&M railroad’s North Pole Express has become a Christmas tradition for many families. We invite you to experience the magic of a train ride with Santa Claus himself during the Christmas season.

Time: Sun.-Thurs. from 6-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 5:30-10p.m., Location: Sharon Woods, http://www., Phone: 513-769-0393

Time: Check website for train schedule, Location: LM&M Railroad,, Phone: 513-933-8022

Santaland at the Sharon Centre

Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa

Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 24-Dec. 23

After your tour of Holiday in Lights, head inside Sharon Centre for some more holiday magic. Enjoy live family-friendly entertainment, share your wish list with Santa, check out the train display, do some holiday shopping at Nature’s Niche and pick up a sweet treat at Mrs. Claus’ Confectioneries. FREE, some activities require a small fee. Time: Check website for schedule, Location: Sharon Center,, Phone: 513-769-0393

Holiday Lights on the Hill Nov. 17-Dec. 31

Holiday Lights on the Hill is a 2-mile round trip drive-through annual light display. $20/carload on Monday-Thursday; $25/carload on Friday-Sunday (members pay $15). Time: Open 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 6-10 p.m. on Friday-Sunday, Location: Pyramid Hill, https://www., Phone: 513-868-1234

Weekend Carriage Rides at Macy’s Celebration Station Nov. 24-26; Dec. 2-3; and Dec. 9-10

Enjoy free horse-drawn trolley carriage rides through the heart of the city. FREE. Time: 12-5 p.m., Location: Boards at corner of Fifth and Race Streets, Downtown Cincinnati, http://www. holidays-downtown

Nov. 24-Dec. 31

Discover the magic of Water Wonderland as Newport Aquarium presents a holiday celebration under the sea. It’s an experience that's overflowing with enchantment and fun experiences the whole family will love. Join the fun as Scuba Santa fills his air tank with magic bubbles - and sends them throughout the Aquarium creating an enchanted Water Wonderland. Be amazed as you're surrounded by lights and bubbles dancing to holiday music in Shark Ray Bay Theater, where you'll also have the opportunity to meet Scuba Santa one-on-one. Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, Location: Newport Aquarium, Aquarium-Events/Water-Wonderland-With-ScubaSanta, Phone: 1-800-406-3474

WinterFest *CP PICK

Time: 6-10 p.m. nightly including holidays, Location: Verity Parkway/500 Tytus Avenue in Downtown Middletown, aspx

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill Nov. 24-Dec. 31

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill was one of the nominees in USA TODAY'S 10 Best Readers' Choice 2014 travel award contest! Admission is $10 per person for everyone age 7 and older. Children 6 and under get in free! Time: 5-9 p.m. nightly (closes at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve), Location: Clifton Mill,

P L EASE NOTE At CINCINNATI PARENT, we work hard to ensure our calendar and guide information is accurate. Occasionally, event specifics change after we go to press. Therefore, we encourage our readers to call locations or visit them on the web to verify information.



Nov. 24-Dec. 30 (select dates)

Ring in the holidays with the return of WinterFest at Kings Island on select nights November 24 through December 30. It’s an unforgettable experience with the park transformed into nine enchanting winter wonderlands featuring ice skating on the Royal Fountain, the Eiffel Tower transformed into the world’s largest Christmas tree, up to 17 rides including Mystic Timbers, more than 5 million lights and 14 holiday characters spreading merriment, like Jack Frost and Sugar Plum Fairy. Time: Check website for schedule, Location: Kings Island, https:// winterfest, Phone: 513-754-5700

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MARKETPLACE A fa mily RESOURCE for Cincinnati and Northern Kentuck y Parent s














1 World Vegan Day




Deviled Egg Day Sandwich Day

Love Your Red Hair Day



7 Hug a Bear Day

Nachos Day

12 Tongue Twister Day


X-Ray Day

13 World Kindness Day



9 World Freedom Day


Pickle Day


Use Your Common Sense Day

11 Veterans Day

Sesame Street Day

17 Take a Hike Day

Philanthropy Day


18 Mickey Mouse Day

Button Day



Guiness World Record Day


21 World Hello Day

Go For a Ride Day

Peanut Butter Fudge Day

26 Cake Day


24 Flossing Day

25 Parfait Day



on this day: King Tut’s tomb was entered in 1922


Giving Tuesday

29 Square Dancing Day


on this day: John Mason patented the Mason jar in 1858


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