Yes, there’s plenty of shopping and dining to be had at Liberty Center, Butler County’s mega retail destination, but there are also fun things to do there — some free, some not — for guests of all ages
Here are 5 family-friendly options to be had the next time on your next visit and beyond:
1. Let the children play
Located on the second floor of The Foundry, Liberty Center’s indoor mall, the Cincinnati Children’s Discovery Center has a “big pig” playground that allows children aged 2 to 12 to cavort through the pig, then slide down its tail.
Controls throughout the 2,000-square-foot attraction illuminate the pig, and cause its wings flap. Children also can enjoy a life-sized game of “pig pong” or send foam balls speeding a massive magnetic ball maze.
Story Time, complete with songs, puppets and refreshments, happens at 11:30 a.m. each Friday.
2. Have some seasonal fun
The shopping center offers seasonal options geared toward guests of all ages.
June, July and August find three options a week. A farmer’s market is held from 3 to 7 p.m. each Tuesday. Movies Under Moonlight shows family-friendly fare at dusk each Wednesday, with pre-event entertainment before each movie. A summer concert series runs from 6 to 9 p.m. each Thursday.
The popular Liberty Center Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony is a full day of fun Nov. 18 starting with promotions at 10 a.m., performances at noon, cookie decorating and the movie “Elf” from 2 to 5 p.m., the parade and tree lighting at 6 p.m. and Santa’s arrival at 7 p.m.
Carriage rides take place this year from 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays from Nov. 18 to Dec. 23.
Visit Santa in The Foundry from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24 and ask about a $5 photo special for 5-by-7 photos. Make a free same-day reservation at the Santa photo check-in or reserve a spot online.
3. Escape reality for a while
Sphere Virtual Reality Arcade, which touts itself as “Ohio’s first dedicated virtual reality arcade,” opened in October at Liberty Center.
Located on the first floor of The Foundry, the attraction has players strap on a virtual reality headset, grab hold of two hand-held controllers and delve into games from four different categories: Sports, Shooter, Action and Other.
The latter includes everything from puzzle-based games for people of all ages to experiential modes that have players doing everything from observing marine life in the ocean to walking a wooden plank atop a skyscraper.
A standard 30-minute gaming session costs $29.99 and can share up to four players. An extra 30 minutes costs an additional $10. Reserving four station for an hour or two for events or parties ends up discounting the cost of one or two players, respectively.
4. Movie night for the entire family
Cobb Liberty Luxury 15 and CineBistro is a two-level movie theater with a total of 15 screens.
The Luxury 15 theater is a more traditional movie-going format open to customers of any age and featuring individual reclining leather seats. CineBistro, a dinner-and-movie experience, is open to customers ages 21 and older.
Both theaters offer reserved seating with tickets available for purchase online beforehand.
Also at the nearly 95,000-square-foot business is full-service restaurant Cobbster’s Kitchen and Bar, which offers made-to-order food.
5. Get a workout in
Liberty Center offers four yoga classes at its Unity Chapel. Yoga for Wellbeing is a traditional yoga class to promote overall health and well-being, while Chair Yoga helps soothe, calm, and invigorate.
Yoga Mindfulness is a blend of gentle yoga to access its potential physical benefits and mindfulness to deepen mental & emotional benefits, and Meditation + Movement is a blend of dynamic movement and stillness.
Funded in part by the Liberty Center Foundationm, classes cost a nominal fee of $5 a class or $30 for unlimited class attendance for each guest. Parents who accompany children during Liberty Center’s Little Yogis sessions will not be charged.
Class passes must be purchased at www.MindBodyOnline.com or via the MindBody App.