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Movies on the cheap: 30+ ways to save at theaters near you

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Going to a movie with your loved ones is one of the greatest past times of the holiday season but these days, it can really bust the bank.

Here are some of the best ways to pinch pennies at theaters near you!

Regal Cinemas

  • Regal Crown Club allows you to earn points toward FREE tickets, popcorn and soda, as well as movie merchandise with every purchase. Plus 25% off candy every Monday and 50% off popcorn every Tuesday. Membership is FREE.
  • Download the Regal app for monthly digital coupon like “Get 15% off a Large Popcorn, a Large Soft Drink and Nacho combo when all three items are purchased in the same transaction”
  • Value Days could get you in to a new movie for as little as $5!
  • Regal Georgesville Square Stadium 16 offers $6.30 tickets all day on Tuesdays!
  • Regal Cinemas offers a FREE refill (during the same visit) on a large popcorn.
  • AARP members can save $3 on a small drink and small popcorn combo.
  • Matinee showings (before 4pm) are as low as $2!
  • Find more promotions here.

Cinemark

  • Discount Tuesdays
    • Tickets are $4.99 on Tuesdays at Cinemark Carriage Place at2570 Bethel Road, Columbus
    • Tickets are $5 on Tuesday at Cinemark Polaris at 1071 Gemini Place, Columbus
    • Tickets are $4.50 on Tuesday at Cinemark Stoneridge Plaza Movies 16 at 323 Stoneridge Lane, Gahanna
  • Join Movie Club today to get 20% off concessions and more great benefits! Learn more now.
  • Subscribe to the email for free weekly concession coupons, along with featured films, events, contests and special offers.
  • Early Bird: Special discount price for the first matinee showtime of the day that starts before 1 PM.
  • Special discount pricing for seniors. All day on theatre’s participating day, for any movie, at any showtime.
  • Show your student ID and save on movie tickets at participating Cinemark theatres
  • Show your valid U.S. government issued military ID and save on movie tickets at participating Cinemark theatres!
  • CineMode: An exclusive and interactive way to earn Cinemark rewards while being courteous during the show.
  • Find more discounts here.

Marcus Theatres

  • $5 Tuesdays at Marcus Theatres!
  • Marcus Theatres Sunday Passport will allow you to enjoy 4 movies for $20 on Sundays throughDecember 16, 2018.
    • Plus, you’ll enjoy a 20% concession discount when you present your passport at the concession stand
  • Holiday Classics: Celebrate the Holidays with these classic films for only $5!
  • Military Discount: All active military can see a movie for only $7.50 with valid ID.
  • Every Thursday, students of all ages & school faculty can enjoy blockbuster movies* for only $6 and a FREE 46oz popcorn. Simply show your school ID.
  • Senior Matinees: Come and enjoy a movie at any Marcus Theatres for only $6.00 for any show that starts before 5:30 PM.
  • Members of our Magical Movie Rewards Loyalty Program receive amazing benefits, and exclusive offers.
  • Find more specials here.

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Gateway Film Center

Become a member to receive perks like unlimited movies, bottomless popcorn, restaurant Discounts ($5 Pizzas and $5 Torpedos in The Torpedo Room), advanced screenings, special member-only events.

  • Solo Membership: $29.95/month, 6 or 12 months of unlimited movies, unlimited popcorn, special member-only events and advanced screenings and restaurant discounts
  • Duet Membership: $44.95/month, includes unlimited movies, unlimited popcorn, special member-only events and advanced screenings and restaurant discounts
  • Student Membership: $24.95/month, includes unlimited movies, unlimited popcorn, special member-only events and advanced screenings and restaurant discounts
  • Learn more about memberships here.

AMC Theatres

  • A-list Membership: See Up to 3 Movies Every Week, waived online fees, FREE popcorn, and fountain drink size upgrades and more for just $19.95 (+tax)/month.
  • Premier Membership: Enjoy waived online fees, FREE popcorn and fountain drink size upgrades and more for just $15 (+tax)/year.
  • Insider Membership: Get a FREE refill on every large popcorn you purchase, $5 Ticket Tuesdays and more. Join for FREE.
  • Click here on more information on how to become a member.

Drexel Theater

The Drexel Theatre Membership program offers four levels of support and benefits.

  • Student with valid student ID: $40/year
    • $2 off student general admission* every time you visit the Drexel
    • Free small popcorn or small fountain drink (6/year)
    • Discounts for selected special events
  • Senior (55+): $55/year
    • $2 off senior general admission* every time you visit the Drexel
    • Free small popcorn or small fountain drink (12/year)
    • Discounts for selected special events
  •  Individual: $75/year
    • $2 off general admission* every time you visit the Drexel
    • Free small popcorn or small fountain drink (12/year)
    • Discounts for selected special events
    • Two guest passes per year
  • Household: $150/year – up to 4 named members
    • $2 off general admission* price for each member of the household every time you visit the Drexel (maximum of 4 people)
    • Free small popcorn or small fountain drink (24/year)
    • Discounts for selected special events
    • Four guest passes per year
    • Add-Ons – Additional individuals can be added to this membership level for $20/person
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Ultimate Columbus Summer Bucket List

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Hello and welcome to summertime! Today is the longest day of the year—plenty of time for you to sit down with your family and/or friends to map out your bucket list for this summer. Or…you could get a start on ours!

We’ve put together the ultimate list of summer activities in Columbus to ensure you have a summer full of fun. Just remember to wear sunscreen!

Go berry picking

Nothing tastes better than something you’ve worked for. And nothing tastes sweeter than something picked right from the dirt. Don the sun hats and sturdy shoes because we’re about to put you to work for your fruit! Here are more than 20 farms offering U-pick berry programs for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches in central Ohio.

Support local growers at neighborhood farmers’ markets

Do you know where your produce is from? Odd are if you don’t purchase them straight from a farmer, you’ve got no clue. Fuel your summer with goods pulled right from central Ohio dirt at local farmers’ markets!

Score a beer mug at ComFest

Besides epic memories, the best takeaway from ComFest is always the brightly-color plastic beer mug. Just remember to drink responsibly! Click here to read about the recent drama that went down with ComFest.

Celebrate freedom at Red White & Boom

Columbus’ biggest Fourth of July celebration will be returning to downtown on July 3 for the largest fireworks display in the Buckeye State. Arrive early for the parade and stay late for the party!

Spend a day at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

This one is an absolute must. There’s nothing like a warm summer day spent taking in the amazing animals at one of the best zoos in the country. Make sure to wave at the polar bears for us!

Gaze at the stars at John Glenn Astronomy Park

The John Glenn Astronomy Park is dedicated to sparking an interest in science, learning, and exploration by sharing with visitors the wonders of the sky, both day and night. Make sure to plan a trip to JGAP on a clear night to gaze at the wonderment of our universe.

Take in an outdoor movie

NightLight 614, a 21+ social outdoor film series on the banks of the Scioto featuring some of Columbus’s Best local food trucks, and craft beer & wine. Easton’s Movies by Moonlight series is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a lineup bigger and better than ever!

NightLight 614

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Spend a day at the drive-in

Since the 1950s, the South Drive-In at 3050 S. High St. has been Columbus premier destination for late night, big screen movie showings under the stars. And since the 1970s, it’s been the largest central Ohio location for…flea markets? Yes, indeed. Click here to read more!

Eat as much ice cream as humanly possible

Ice Cream is a pillar of summer. But where to begin? We think this list of the best alt ice cream shops in Columbus would be a sweet place to start.

Chow down at the Jazz & Rib Festival

If you’re not elbow-deep in BBQ sauce at least one time this summer, you’re not eating correctly. There is absolutely no better place to put your manners aside and let your carnivorous nature shine than at the Jazz & Rib Festival. Hot ribs, cool jazz.

Stay afloat at Trapper John’s

Leash up the pooch and buckle up your life jacket for an afternoon at Trapper John’s Canoe Livery! Enjoy canoeing, kayaking and tubing on the State and National Scenic Big Darby Creek.

Chill on some patios

Ditch the AC for once and take advantage of these few fleeting months when Ohio offers a tolerable climate. We’ve got dog-friendly patios, High Street patios, NW Columbus patios, seven perfect patio pairings, and, of course, the best drinking patio as voted on by you!

Grab the perfect pic at a rooftop bar

Columbus is quickly becoming a rooftop bar city. With the recent additions from Lincoln Social, Juniper, and VASO, we’ve got eight high-up drinking establishments you need to patronize this summer.

Bonus: All The Way Up: My experience at Lincoln Social rooftop

Lincoln Social

Have the perfect picnic

The grass is lush, the butterflies are flying, and the sun is shining—the perfect al fresco dining experience. We’ve put together pairings of the city’s top places to fill up your basket accompanied by the best nearby park for the picnic of your dreams!

Sing along to a free show at Columbus Commons

Each summer, the Columbus Commons is your destination for free live music. From local bands like Doc Robinson, to national acts like Boyz II Men, the outdoor amphitheater is where you need to be.

Pitch a tent

The campers, RVS, and pop-up tents will be returning to the outdoors this summer, serving as a home away from home for those looking to escape the city for a few days. It’s time to get outdoors, enjoy nature, roast some marshmallows over the fire, and get off the grid if not for a couple moments of bliss.

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Cannonball into a pool

Leave your layers and insecurities at home, because it’s time to give the pool whatever body you’ve got! Just remember to pack the good snacks, okay? Click here for 30 Columbus pools to beat the heat.

Let the kids loose at splash pads around town

Splashpads: Free and fun water spraygrounds without the worry of deep bottoms or high dives. We don’t know about you but to us, that seems like a home run, nay, grand slam. This summer, diversify your cool down routine by hanging at one of Columbus’ many exciting splashpads.

Awe at the beauty of Franklin Park Conservatory

Did you know Admission to Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is FREE to all residents of Franklin County, the first Sunday of every month, before 5 pm. And did you know FPC has a farmers’ market? Plan your trip now!

Stop and smell the roses at the Whetstone Park of Roses

The Whetstone Park of Roses is just begging for you to stop and smell. It’s the perfect place to pitch your hammock, take photos, and to enjoy the beauty of one of the largest public rose gardens in the U.S.

Sunbathe at Alum Creek Beach

It may not be the white sand beaches of Mexico, but we’ll take what we can get. This public beach can be your seaside vacation if you have an imagination and tons of salty pretzels. A beach is a beach, right?!

Take your dog for a dip

We can’t be sure what dogs dream, but we’d imagine it’s a lot of neon yellow tennis balls, frisbees, bones, and playing fetch in ice cold water. Make your pup’s dream come true this summer with these awesome places to take your dog for a dip.

Walnut Woods Metro Park

Eat 10 cent hot dogs at a Clippers Dime-a-Dog Night

Dime-a-Dog Nights are an important staple of summer, especially on the firework nights. But you can’t go into this eating excursion without a game plan! Check out our Columbus Clippers Dime-a-Dog Night Survival Guide to expertly navigate your hot dog hay day.

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Food & Drink

8 local seafood dishes to send your palate on a vacation

Kevin J. Elliott

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“You can’t get good seafood in this town…”

Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before. But, these eight dishes prove that Columbus is trying to buck the trend with inventive dishes that prove that theory all wet.

Make the most of no-coast Columbus with these seafood standouts.

Paella Mariscos | Barcelona, 263 E Whittier St, Columbus

The menu of Barcelona has stood the test of time and weathered Columbus’s ever-shifting palettes. If you’re craving a bounty of seafood, there’s no better refuge than the German Village mainstay. Especially considering their Paella Mariscos as the be-all, end-all feast. Their take on the Spanish rice tradition features fried soft shell crabs, lobster, shrimp, squid, clams, mussels, and plenty of spice. If you’re in search of seafood, this should have all of your bases covered.

Mussel Escabeche | Lupo on Arlington, 2124 Arlington Ave, Columbus

Lupo has quickly become a new gem in Columbus’s dining scene, and fans of seafood and Spanish-inspired tapas should take particular note. In addition to frequently having a variety of oysters on the half-shell, their menu is packed with fresh, delicate, seafood dishes. The mussel escabeche is relatively foreign to Columbus menus, but here it’s done to perfection. Served cold, the mussels are first cooked in a citrus and vinegar marinade, before being presented with saffron, white wine, and garlic. It’s a perfect summer delicacy, best enjoyed on Lupo’s scenic patio.

Grumpy’s Gumbo | Frank’s Seafood, 5249 Trabue Rd, Columbus

We’ve spotlighted this Hilliard fish market and their subsequent restaurant in the magazine before, but we wanted to highlight them once again. Beyond the fresh fish and shellfish you can order to-go, or their expert boils, Wil Mendez’s award-winning gumbo—chocked full of shrimp, crab, and andouille sausage—is a genuine crowd-pleaser and the only gumbo you should order outside of New Orleans. Frank’s has a definite seaside vibe, even within is confines among a west side industrial park.

Lobster Bisque | Lindey’s, 169 E Beck St, Columbus

Lindey’s and lobster bisque are basically synonymous. This menu mainstay is a creamy concoction of sherry chantilly, chives, and diced shrimp. It would be irresponsible to start your meal any other way. And speaking of your meal, Lindey’s is a sanctuary for seafood. Market fresh fish, crab cakes, trout, Australian sea bass, sixty south salmon and more swim through the menu daily.

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Coquilles St. Jacques | Windward Passage, 4739 Reed Rd, Columbus

For the ultimate seafood dining experience, there’s no better place to visit than the timespun Windward Passage. Eating in the windowless, scrimshaw filled Henderson Road fixture is akin to eating on the stern of a pirate ship. Among their staples is the Coquilles St. Jacques, served in a colossal shell, it’s a French-inspired recipe that bakes scallops into a decadent casserole of mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and cheese. Save room for all the oyster crackers between courses.

Read Gary F.‘s review of Windward Passage Restaurant on Yelp

Charred Octopus | Cosecha Cocina, 987 N 4th St, Columbus

Perhaps seafood’s trendiest dish, octopus has been spotted on menus all over town as of late. But the charred octopus starter at Cosecha is a simple dish accenting the texture and bubblegum-of-the-sea flavors of the centerpiece. Over a bed of tomatoes, pepitas, olives, and potatoes, the charred octopus is a must-order on your next visit to the Cocina.

Oysters | The Guild House, 624 N High St, Columbus

We know that Cameron Mitchell gets most of his oyster press from The Pearl across the street, but you’d be wise not to overlook the Guild House’s version, served with champagne mignonette, grape granita, black pepper, and shaved grapes. It’s somehow simple and decadent at once, and tastes twice as good as it looks—which is crazy, because it’s one of the best-looking dishes you’ll see.

Gouda Grits and Shrimp | Momma Can Cook

Try to track down Momma Can Cook and you’ll get hip to their most popular menu item with a couple rudimentary scans of their reviews. While the culinary crowd is lighter in the seafood sea, there are food trucks everywhere, so when people are dropping lines like “one of the best meals I’ve ever gotten from a food truck,” we’re lining up to taste that gouda, tomatoes, bacon, scallions, and of course … shrimp!

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614 Shoutout: 5 unique makers you should be following

Laura Dachenbach

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Most of our Instagram feeds are filled with photos of our aunts on vacation at the Outter Banks, former friends from college letting their hair down somewhere on Park Street, and fitness, fashion, and food influencers. But where are all the artists that make this city so creative?

Here are five local makers to pepper some awe-inspiring work into your feed.

@Rockswithsass

These crystals actually do heal! A portion of Amanda Heslinga’s crystal and jewelry sales go towards the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Heslinga started her work as a therapeutic outlet during a Crohn’s flare-up. Now these colorful, sparkly pieces serve to brighten the day of her customers and followers.

@marsder

Taking the miniature Christmas Village idea a few steps further, the miniature worlds created and photographed by Derrick Lin will make you both wonder and smile.

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@audienceof1_snackbags

Jeff Stelle, a tattoo artist, started drawing on his son’s lunch bags to reduce his anxiety at school. Now these totally creative designs from Yoda to Uncle Sam to the “snackalope” serve as encouragement for more than just elementary-school fans.

@Cheeruppress

Alaina Cherup creates wedding invitations and fine stationery like we’ve never seen. Beautiful colors, scripts, and thick, torn-edge papers are features of simply her gorgeous and unique invitations and cards. Cheer Up Press also uses sustainable paper products such as cotton and recycled cardstock whenever possible and supports the Eden tree-planting projects.

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