For 25 years, the Columbus Area Arts Council’s free First Fridays for Families series has spotlighted children’s entertainment with added elements of whimsy and education.

The events, running at 6 p.m. the first Friday from November through April, regularly attract 400 to 600 people at The Commons. The shows, now sponsored by Old National Bank, are aimed primarily at kindergartners through third-graders.

Parents such as Miranda Cross love the gatherings as much as the children. She discovered First Fridays in 2007 shortly after arriving in Columbus.

“My family could have a free family outing that allowed our young daughters to interact with other children and to be introduced to the marvels of live music, plays and various performers,” Cross said.

Magician Nick Lakin kicks off the new season Nov. 6. He combines situation comedy with lighthearted theatrics. Other dates for shows are Dec. 4, Jan. 8, Feb. 5, March 4 and April 1.

Information: 812-376-2535;

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.