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‘Burb Breakdown: 5 Things to do in Westerville this fall

614now Staff

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Covering many vibrant communities across central Ohio, the 614 is so much more than just Columbus. Welcome to the ‘Burb Breakdown, an ongoing series highlighting the unique character of neighborhoods from across this sprawling metro area we call home. Today, we take a look at everything there is to enjoy in Westerville this fall.

As host to the latest Democratic Presidential debate, Westerville has been getting plenty of attention lately. Once the candidates leave town, stick around and experience everything this town has to offer this fall!

1. Uptown is your holiday hot-spot

Get ready for the holidays by visiting Uptown Westerville, a historic district that has successfully transitioned to new-generation dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Experience the charm of more than 40 shops and boutiques, nine dining establishments and more, and shop small for the holidays! Uptown’s family-owned boutiques and shops are the perfect place to celebrate Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday on November 30.

Seasonal beers at Temperance Row Brewing, pumpkin spice popcorn at Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn, fresh, warm donuts at Schneider’s Bakery, and ice cream treats from no less than four shops are just a few of the treats you can grab to enjoy your trip.

2. The Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow is coming!

The Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow is coming to Westerville for the first time this year in late October. Come meet your new family fall tradition at Heritage Park, October 23- 27 and have an experience like never before.

More than 3,000 pumpkins will illuminate a quarter-mile trail through the park with artistic scenes, the likes of which you’ve never seen. 

This event is all about the magic of fall! Food, games, music, and entertainment will be at the end of pumpkin trail for a full-night of family-fun. Visit westerville.org/pumpkinglow for tickets and more.

3. Get Spellbound when Wizards and Wands transform Uptown

Midnight Madness in Uptown on Friday, October 25 will be inspired by “the boy who lived” with a one-of-a-kind Wizards and Wands Festival.

Come meet Hilda, the new smoke-breathing dragon installed atop the Westerville Public Library made by students at Otterbein’s The Point.

Families can enjoy free butterbeer and Hogwarts-inspired games in the City Hall Courtyard. Uptown merchants will be open late, with trick-or-treating at every stop and special deals in uptown restaurants. The costumes alone will be a sight to see!

4. Fall into Westerville’s Parks

With more than 40 destinations to enjoy, there’s something for everyone in Westerville parks. 

Westerville’s parks system is a FIVE-time national gold medal winner, and they’re a big reason the City regularly earns “best of” nods. Most recently, Westerville was voted best family-friendly suburb by Columbus Parent 2019. 

Enjoy the colorful sights and crisp smell of fall with a walk, jog or ride along Westerville’s 50 miles of recreational trails in 650 acres of parkland.

5. “Give thanks” for first responders

In mid-November, the expanded and renovated First Responders Park reopens in Westerville. The park—dedicated to ALL first responders—is a site to honor those who protect us with their lives. 

The names of Westerville Division of Police officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering, along with fallen firefighter, David Theisen, are inscribed on a memorial wall where you can reflect and remember. Officers Morelli and Joering were killed in the line of duty in February 2018 after responding to a 9-1-1 hang-up call.

Piece “C-40,” originally from the north tower of the World Trade Center, stands in its original place as centerpiece to the park.

Stroll through Uptown around Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and notice more than 70 banners celebrating the men and women who have served in U.S. Armed Forces from WWII to current-day conflicts to protect our freedoms.

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Things To Do

Flash sale! Pop-up store in Hilliard offering VIP deals you won’t want to miss

Regina Fox

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Back by popular demand, Columbus' exclusive pop-up shoe store will be offering all the brands you know and love at closeout prices. The Warehouse Sale will be open at 5388 Westpointe Plaza Dr, Columbus from November 22- January 5.

They will have a large selection of women’s, men’s, and kid's brand name shoes. Find your favorites like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Timberland, Cole Haan, Adidas, and hundreds of others. The Warehouse Sale never has seasonal markups on certain styles, so you’ll always be able to find the shoes you want at a price you want. New weekly inventory will allow for endless discoveries, too!

Want to get these already deeply-discounted kicks for even less? Enter your phone number into the Warehouse Sale website before midnight on Thursday, November 21st to receive a Buy 1 Get 1 50% OFF coupon for the Grand Opening weekend.

Like all good things, the Warehouse Sale will come to an end, so don't wait! Learn more about the shoe pop-up at shoewarehousesale.com.

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Getaways

Cabin Fever: Bask in a bird’s-eye view at Mohican Treehouses

Olivia Balcerzak

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In 2011, Kevin Mooney created Mohican Treehouses, a small village of upscale treehouses in the middle of the woods in Glenmont, Ohio. Since then, Mooney has created a large barn and hired staff to make the nine houses (and one soon-to-be tent) both a getaway spot for families and a barn-wedding venue for couples and space for their families to stay. (614) had the chance to chat with Mooney to see what’s going on in his treehouse cabins, and what you can expect when you visit.

(614): How did Mohican Tree Houses get its start and where have you seen it go from there?

KM: I studied Hocking Hills’ business plan and their lodging and determined that this area here is going to have a lot of lodging down the road, so I started off building these rental cabins. And then a friend of mine talked to me about treehouses and then I bumped into someone that took a class on how to build a treehouse. When I first built treehouses, I couldn’t give it away to friends and family. When [my friend] called me the second time and said, ‘I want to build a treehouse with you on a TV show (Animal Planet, Treehouse Masters) and it will be the second treehouse,’ I jumped at the chance. We built the treehouse not knowing if the show was going to work. And then once the show worked, it just took off.

(614): When people arrive at the Tree Houses and the venue itself what should they expect to see?

You can expect, if it’s a treehouse, to be left alone. You’re on 77 acres; you do a self check-in. You’re going to hear a lot of Mother Nature. You’re going to feel really out in the middle of nowhere. This one I’m looking at right now I have a 25-foot spiral staircase that is 4 feet wide and goes up 25 feet to a suspension bridge. The suspension bridge is 100 feet long and when you go into this treehouse, you step in and on the other side of it is a glass garage door. You open up the glass garage door and it feels like you’re out in Mother Nature.

(614): What would be the appeal of staying here as opposed to other winter or summer getaway places?

The tree is the experience because you’re 25 feet off the ground and you can feel that general movement of the tree. I remember someone wrote in one of my books. The mom said, ‘You know, when my kids got here, they weren’t happy. Their cell phones didn’t work, their internet didn’t work,” and she said thank you. “It’s the first time we’ve reconnected with nature in years.” She said by the end of the trip, the kids were loving it. They put their IPads away, they put their cell phones away and reconnected with the family.

(614): One of the biggest pieces of business for the Mohican Treehouses you said was weddings, can you tell me a little more about the process of booking your wedding there?

Most people just find us by the internet and they arrange a tour and we’ll give them a tour and if they book us, we’ll give them a tasting. And we’ve hired an executive chef. Our chef here was invited to be on Chopped and is rated one of the top chefs in Ohio. Out of the last 50 tastings, we’ve only had one couple not book us. The game has changed where the millennials are demanding better quality food, a better experience, and that’s where I think we really shine because we go above and beyond any other place. My people realize if you’re getting married and we’re a part of your wedding, we’re really lucky to be a part of your wedding.

(614): How is the setup of the wedding? Is the venue decorated already?

I have this room where they can take all of these decorations out like lanterns—you see a lot of lanterns at barn weddings, things like that. A lot of high-end decorations, I bought them and for less than $200 the couples can take whatever they want and decorate it themselves. And if they don’t want to do that—we’re full service. We’ll do the photography, the photobooth, the flowers, and we’ll do the DJ.

(614): How many people this year would you say are coming?

We’ll do 90-some weddings this year. And if you want to stay at a treehouse, you better be getting married here or you better be invited to a wedding, because a lot of my Friday brides and grooms will come in on Wednesday and a lot of my Sunday weddings will stay until Tuesday—so really if you want to rent a treehouse, it’s really hard.

(614): What else would you like to say to prospective customers?

My son said it best one time. He said, ‘When we do this, we’re going to get people to feel the dirt, we’re going to get them out of the city and they are going to feel what Mother Nature is like. They’re going to get their hands dirty and make a fire, sit around the treehouse and just relax. Enjoy not having a cell phone service and internet.”

To plan your next adventure to the Mohican Treehouses, visit themohicans.net/treehouses.html.

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Things To Do

Columbus Winter Beerfest “pulling out all the stops” for 10th anniversary

Regina Fox

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Can you believe Winter Beerfest has been kicking it in Columbus for a decade? Well, you better because this January 17 and 18, #10YearsOfBeers Columbus Winter Beerfest Presented by Taft's Brewing Co. is back!

The two-night celebration of craft beer features more than 350 local, regional, and hard-to-find craft beers from more than 130 breweries including North High Brewing, Columbus Brewing Company, Taft’s, and many more.

The festival also offers concessions from local food trucks as well as live music both Friday and Saturday night—all inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“For a decade Columbus has allowed us to throw the biggest party of winter. Every year we work to top ourselves but turning 10 is special,” says event co-Founder Matt King. “We’re thankful to the thousands of people that support Winter Beerfest. To say thank you, we’re pulling out all the stops."

The event offers an inexpensive way to sample sometimes very expensive beers while learning about the beers from Brewers and Distributors. Some of the beers that will be on hand cost as much $18 a small bottle or $500 a keg. In total, over 10,000 Gallons of Beer will be dispensed at Columbus Winter Beerfest!

Proceeds from the 10th Annual Columbus Winter Beerfest benefit Animal Rescue Partners and I Have a Dream Rescue Organization in their shared mission to find “forever homes” for animals in need.

Early admission tickets are available now at columbusbeerfest.com.

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