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Archive for January, 2018

3 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues in Columbus

Winter in Columbus is a magical time of year – a season filled with fluffy snow, fun holidays and fresh fashion. But unlike summer, where you can simply walk outside your apartment and find an activity to do, winter can seem like an entertainment wasteland.

In reality, there are tons of fun things to do in Columbus during the winter months! To help you beat the winter blues in the Arch City, here are three great suggestions.

  1. Attend/Play a Winter Sport in Columbus

What better winter activity to do in Columbus than attend or play a winter sport?! The OhioHealth Ice Haus – practice home of the Columbus Blue Jackets – offers public ice skating daily, as well as adult hockey leagues and figure skating for all skill levels. Don’t know how to ice skate or play hockey? No problem! The Ice Haus features classes for all skill levels, taught by trained experts.

For an authentic winter skating experience, head over to Winter Park – opens for the month of February across the street from Nationwide Arena – and glide on their NHL-sized ice rink. After your skate, warm up with Zoup or enjoy an array of restaurants and bars the Arena District has to offer.

Since winter is prime time for hockey season, fans of winter sports can also entertain themselves with Columbus Blue Jackets games at Nationwide Arena. Stop at R Bar Arena for some pre-game drinks.

If you enjoy skiing and snowboarding near Columbus, there are several hills and trails for you to visit. Some of the most popular include:

For social ski enthusiasts, consider joining the Columbus Ski Club – a non-profit organization that meets at The Bogey Inn in Dublin, OH the first and third Wednesday of every winter month!

  1. Explore Local Columbus Coffee Shops

No matter how you feel about the season, winter in Columbus is so much better with a delicious cup of coffee. In fact, the region is particular famous for its java, and boasts the Columbus Coffee Trail – a collection of high-quality local coffee shops located in and around downtown Columbus. The trail is perfect for those looking for an artfully made latte or unique international blend.

Of course, if all you need is a regular ol’ cup of joe, you can visit any one of the several big-chain coffee shops you know and love in Columbus – including a conveniently located Starbucks at the Arena District.

  1. Check Out Local Columbus Events

Columbus offers a surprisingly large and diverse array of events in the winter months – hibernate we do not! From fitness expos, sports tournaments and 5Ks that keep you active, to food conventions, ice musicals and auto shows – here are a few local Columbus events to check out this winter.

Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo (January 20, 2018, Nationwide Arena)

Expect the unexpected when the 2018 Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo National Tour returns to Nationwide Arena. Fan favorites include Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding and Bareback Riding with the top two competing in a thrilling Winner takes all Showdown Round. Visit the Arena District and Arena District Living Facebook pages for a chance to win 2 tickets to the event, plus a free $25 gift card to Ted’s Montana Grill. Winners will be announced 1.18 at noon. Also, show either post to your waiter at Ted’s Arena District for free Lasso Rings day of the event.

Columbus craft beer lovers, rejoice! The Columbus Winter Beerfest, now in its 8th year, brings together more than 130 breweries – both local and national – for a celebration of craft beer. The event includes hundreds of different craft beers, live music and much more!

Columbus Winter Beerfest (January 19-20, 2018, Columbus Convention Center)

Columbus craft beer lovers, rejoice! The Columbus Winter Beerfest, now in its 8th year, brings together more than 130 breweries – both local and national – for a celebration of craft beer. The event includes hundreds of different craft beers, live music and much more!

AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo (January 19-21, 2018, Columbus Convention Center)

Can’t stand the cold Columbus weather? Maybe it’s time for an escape! The AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo is the perfect opportunity for heat-starved Midwesterners to discover their next big travel destination. The event lets you speak one-on-one with travel experts, features fun, interactive family-friendly activities, offers exclusive vacation packages and discounts to fit your budget.

Disney On Ice (January 24-28, 2018, Nationwide Arena)

If you have any little ones in your downtown Columbus apartment, take them to see Disney on Ice this winter! The star-studded extravaganza features the stars from all your favorite Disney movies – including Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel and more. After the show stop at Boston’s just a short walk from Nationwide Arena and enjoy some gourmet pizza rounding out a  perfect  family day! If you are visiting the District, grab parking before you go.

The Arnold (March 1-4, 2018, Columbus Convention Center)

A great way for Columbus residents to stay active in the winter months! The Arnold is the world’s largest multi-sport event in the world – with more than 20,000 athletes from 80 nations expected to participate. Founded 30 years ago by actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, this storied Columbus festival is headlined with professional bodybuilding and strongman competitions.

Anyone can register to participate in dozens of different fitness challenges – including a 5K, martial arts, equestrian, cheerleading, dance, archery, baton twirling, a kids/teens sports expo and so much more.

NCAA Women’s Final Four (March 30-April 1, 2018, Nationwide Arena)

The NCAA Women’s Final Four is a weekend celebration that features the national semifinals and championship game of the NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Annual Convention held at the Columbus Convention Center, an NCAA Official Fan Festival called Tourney Town and numerous other community events.

See a Show at EXPRESS LIVE! (Located in the Arena District)

EXPRESS LIVE! – formerly known as the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion – is an indoor/outdoor concert venue perfect for escapes from winter chills. Headliners include some of the most prolific music artists of our time – from Coldplay and The Killers to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hall & Oates. Visit the EXPRESS LIVE! website to see and buy tickets for a show in their 2018 lineup.


Women’s Final Four will be among most prestigious sporting events hosted by Columbus

By Laura Newpoff  –  Staff reporter, Columbus Business First

When the NCAA Women’s Final Four rolls into town at the end of March, it will be one of the largest sporting events in the city’s history by several metrics.

In terms of prestige, it’s right up there with the NHL All-Star game held at Nationwide Arena in 2015. And in a way, it’s bigger. After all, the basketball tournament features a championship game, not just an exhibition.

But it’s also a big deal because it represents the top-tier of sporting events that Columbus can lure. We don’t have a professional football, baseball or basketball team, there’s no chance to land a Super Bowl, Pro Bowl or All-Star game for those sports. (Who knows, the Blue Jackets could bring the Stanley Cup Finals to Columbus. Right?)

The Arena District played host to the early rounds of the NCAA men’s March Madness tournament in 2015. That was big, too.

But according to data from the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, the Women’s Final Four is expected to result in $25 million in direct visitor spending. That will come from 40,000 attendees, 30,000 of which will visit from out of town.

The All-Star weekend festivities brought 140,000 people into the Arena District, but just 10,000 of them were from out of town. The event resulted in $12 million in direct visitor spending.

Linda Logan, executive director of the Sports Commission, told me the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, “has been on our premier sporting events ‘aspirational list’ since 2000 and an event in the making for more than 10 years.”

Logan said the number of attendees, fan-generated spending and, “the 600 media credentialed and the national media exposure on ESPN from the three games that will be broadcast from Nationwide Arena will all raise Columbus’ profile on the American sports scene.

“We believe it will be a gift that keeps on giving and greatly magnify our ability to land more high-profile events in the future.”

The basketball championship will take an estimated 14,000 hotel room nights. Compare that to the 8,000 during the NHL All-Star weekend. There were 400 media credentials during that event.

ESPN’s broadcast will cover the March 30-April 1 basketball games. NBC Sports Network aired the All-Star game.

The Sports Commission says the Women’s Final Four is the largest sporting event Columbus will have ever hosted that’s not a home-grown event, such as the Arnold Sports Festival. The Arnold draws about 200,000 attendees, about 75 percent coming from Ohio and surrounding states.

As we reported last week, 1,000 volunteers covering 2,500 shifts will be critical to the Final Four running smoothly and the city’s chance to land the tournament in the future.

See original article here