The Hot Spots to See: All-Star Weekend in Columbus

Welcome to our fair city!

The 2015 NHL All Star Game will be filled with as much pomp and circumstance as the city of Columbus can handle. In addition to the game and skills competition, the “Winter Park” across the street from Nationwide Arena will feature everything from a public ice rink to a giant snow slide.

You can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going down that slide.

If you’re one of the thousands of people who will be traveling to Columbus for the game, odds are that you will have some time on your hands between all of the festivities. Columbus may not be on top of your list of places to visit before you die, but it is a city with a tremendous amount of cultural diversity and some high-quality dining. There’s a lot more to the city than Ohio State football.

Short North

The area is chock full of highly-acclaimed restaurants, trendy boutiques, beautiful galleries and plenty of bars for you night crawlers. It’s even home to a Jeni’s ice cream which, if you ask most Columbus natives, is a must-have when in town. The Short North is only a few minutes away from the arena, but be prepared to spend a few bucks should you decide to splurge on food and/or clothing.

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Director Emeritus Jack Hanna, yes, the guy who appears on late night television shows with wild animals, helps to run a zoo which is consistently ranked as one of the best in America. The zoo is home to animals from all over the world and is a terrific place for people of all ages, including families. The selection of exhibits will be slightly hindered because of seasonally closed outdoor attractions, but it is definitely worth a visit.

Easton Town Center

Prepare your checking accounts because they will not be the same after a few hours at Easton. The area is home to scores of shops, including all of the big name department stores to which you’re accustomed to frequenting. Visitors have a wide array of dining options from which to choose and even an AMC movie theater. Easton is also home to many service-oriented shops should you find yourself in need of a new pair of specs or a phone repair, among other things.

Franklin Park Conservatory

This one goes out to all of you garden lovers out there. The conservatory presents visitors with colorful exhibits which showcase nature’s true beauty. FPC is continuously changing its layout, so part of the fun is not knowing what to expect. If anything, go and try to remember what it’s like to see living plants and not snow.


That’s the Center of Science and Industry, in case you were wondering. It is home to every wacky and incredibly science-related exhibit you can imagine, including riding a unicycle two stories above the ground. No, seriously, you can do that there. You don’t have to be a science nerd to enjoy COSI. It’s a place where learning is interactive and you have fun while learning.

German Village

The brick-laden neighborhood holds a lot of history and ritzy real estate, but this area makes the lsit because of its dining. The crown jewel of the neighborhood is Schmidt’s, an old-fashioned German sausage house where you can get a hearty meal without breaking the bank. If you go there for dinner, go for the buffet…you won’t regret it.