Columbus, the second-largest city in Georgia, is home to a range of activities and attractions, from museums for history buffs to a 5,000-seat baseball stadium to a renowned opera house. The wealth of activities boasted by the city is one of the reasons that "Best Life" magazine named it the fourth best place to raise a family in the U.S.
Get your toddler excited about learning by taking a trip to the Coca Cola Space Science Center, featuring a classic planetarium, interactive displays and a learning center. Toddlers will love watching the flight simulators and looking at the constellations and phases of the moon. If your toddler is more interested in learning about art, head down to The Columbus Museum. Though it's one of the largest museums in the Southeast and has many interesting exhibits, your toddler will probably be more interested in some of the hands-on displays or one of the Toddler Time workshops, which allow tots to make their own art.
Let your toddlers burn off some of their energy by giving them room to run. Monkey Joe's has bounce houses and slides, which are great for kids of all ages to have some fun and get in some activity. The Mini Monkey Zone is designed especially for toddlers, which may be safer if the place is busy. In the summer, head to a community pool like the one at Rigdon Park, or enroll your toddler in the My Gym Summer Camp. It includes three hours of gymnastics, crafts, story time and more. Camp meets three days per week, but you can choose to enroll for one, two or three days.
An active imagination is key to good development. The Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, which features four branches in Columbus, give toddlers the opportunity to exercise their imaginations through structured story times. Tiny Tales is designed to introduce babies and toddlers to language and reading through reading stories, listening to music, participating in finger plays or playing with puppets and other educational toys. Books before Bedtime is a half-hour event that includes reading classic bedtime stories to inspire good dreams. Kids are allowed to wear their pajamas and bring along their favorite teddy bears to listen to the stories or participate in making a craft.
In July, you and your toddler can head out to the annual Independence Celebration at Fort Benning for the largest fireworks show in the Chattahoochee Valley. Set out a blanket in the field and enjoy the bright lights together while you enjoy a picnic dinner. At Christmas, a number of community events are held, most notably a ceremonial tree lighting. Santa makes an appearance, so you can get pictures of your toddler sitting on his lap, then participate in some of the kids' crafts.