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14 of the best events happening in Columbus this month

614now Staff



1/10 | JEFF DUNHAM: SERIOUSLY | The Schottenstein Center

Jeff Dunham is coming to Columbus and he’s bringing a whole crew of maniacs with him. The comedian and ventriloquist has created iconic characters on stage such as Walter the angry old man, or Peanut, the purple creature who is a bit of a loud mouth. As an entertainer who has been in the game for many years, Dunham and his cast of puppets should make for a comical night.

1/11 | LOUIE VITO RAIL JAM | Mad River Mountain

Ohio might not be thought of as a snowboard and skiing destination, but don’t tell that to the athletes competing in Louie Vito’s Rail Jam. This competition puts boarders and skiers to the test with difficult rails to perform tricks on. Even if you aren’t interested in participating, the spectacle itself is worth checking out.


Danceville, USA is celebrating six years of grooving and this year’s party is burlesque themed. The night will include cocktail and hors d’oeuvres, plus a performance from headliner Trinity Taylor of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The night promises to be bigger and bolder than years past and we’d expect nothing less!


The Columbus Blue Jackets will be welcoming in the Boston Bruins midway through the month and the Jackets are in for a battle as the Bruins come in as the No. 1 team in their division. We are sure the guys on the ice will bring the pressure, but some extra help from the fans never hurts. Show up and be loud!

1/17 | COLUMBUS WINTER BEERFEST | Greater Columbus Convention Center

Happy New Year! 2020 will be fully underway as the Columbus Winter Beerfest returns to the Convention Center for another year. Similarly to the last stop, visitors can find hundreds upon hundreds of IPAs, stouts, lagers, pilsners, and just about anything else they can dream up. This festival is two nights, meaning you’ll have to prepare yourself for this endurance test, but with a beer in hand and a designated driver by your side, we know you’ll pull through.


The world of Harry Potter will be brought to life through the sights and sounds of CAPA at the Ohio Theater. The music in Harry Potter is sometimes epic, and other times somber. CAPA does their best rendition with a live orchestra of the fourth installment of the Harry Potter saga.


It’s looking like a magical night as all the princesses from favorite films are flooding into NOAH’s for a glorious ball. Everyone from Rapunzel to Tinkerbell will be in attendance and there will be plenty of chances for photos, dance offs, and candy. It’s the perfect princess party for all the princesses in Columbus.

1/18 |2020 FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT | The Schottenstein Center

There’s a showdown on the ice at the Schott this January, but it doesn’t involve the Blue Jackets or either of the OSU ice hockey squads. Instead, this one features Columbus’ first responders as the Columbus Police Department takes on the Columbus Fire Department. Who will go home with bragging rights and the Buckeye Cup Trophy for another year? There’s only one way to find out!

1/20/20 – 1/25/20 | (614)’S RESTAURANT WEEK | Varies

New year, same great deals on three course meals! (614)’s very own Restaurant Week is back in action! During Restaurant Week, anyone can visit one of the many participating restaurants to enjoy a three course meal ranging in price from $15 to $35. It’s the perfect weeknight date night option, or a way to treat yourself to double the food for half the cost. As always, follow (614) on social media for chances to win gift cards and prizes throughout the week!


1/24 |LEBOOM 9 YEAR ANNIVERSARY | Skully’s Music-Diner

Happy nine years, LeBOOM! Skully’s Music-Diner is hosting its biggest LeBOOM yet, as Ghastly, Aweminus, and Roevy will headline the high-energy night. The doors open at 8 p.m. and the dancing doesn’t stop until 2 a.m. It’s a marathon, not a race!

1/25 | WONDERBALL 2020 | Columbus Museum of Art

Wonderball is back! This year, throw on your best black and white attire for an evening of food, cocktails, and entertainment from local performers. Tickets are on sale now and this event helps benefit the museum as well as the arts community here in Central Ohio.

1/25 | 5TH LINE 5K | Nationwide Arena

It seems like no matter what the weather is, runners will find a way to do a 5K. And in the frigid temperatures of January, it seems the 5th Line 5K is the next challenge for cardio fans in the city. The 3.1-mile course begins in the Arena District and finishes at Nationwide where a post-race party will be held.


Rumba Cafe will be welcoming in two Columbus favorites, The Turbos and Coya Hill, as well as one of Cincinnati’s most popular bands, Go Go Buffalo, near the end of the month. These rock bands are sure to put on a high octane performance and help bring January to a close on a high note.

1/31 | NORM MACDONALD | Hollywood Casino Columbus

Norm MacDonald is no stranger to the comedy game. His list of accolades includes performing on Saturday Night Live for five seasons as well as multiple appearances on The Drew Carey Show. MacDonald and his brand of dry comedy will be taking the stage at the Hollywood Casino to cap off the month.

Cover photo courtesy of Byron Photography

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Health & Fitness

The Great Outdoors (Are Always Open): An easy scavenger hunt to ease you into nature

Linda Lee Baird



Quarantine. Isolation. Social distancing. The words defining our historic (and historically difficult) moment are all about solitude—and we’re bound to be using them for some time to come. But getting through these long days doesn’t mean we need to be inside. In fact, even under the “stay at home” orders currently in effect, getting out in the fresh air is still very much allowed. Spring goes on springing, and the time away from schools and the office gives us the opportunity to soak it in, observe, and enjoy the changes. 

For those who have been disconnected from nature for a few years, or never connected in the first place, here’s a beginner’s guide to the plants and animals you may see around our Metro Parks, woods, and rivers this spring. We went with common species—because it feels good to be able to check things off your list—but think of this as a starting point for paying a little more attention to the natural world around you. 

And if you are one of the many people who is suddenly leading a homeschool, you can use this as an educational scavenger hunt. My “class” will be taking this list up to Highbanks on the first warm April afternoon. 



My mom used to point out the “first robin of spring” as March turned to April every year—a sign that the season was changing and more birds would soon be joining their song in the trees.


Look up! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… actually a bird. Our flat lands and wide skies are an ideal combination to catch a hawk carefully circling in  the sky.  (Because this is an easy scavenger hunt, any bird of prey can check this box. We won’t tell). 


The Ohio Division of Wildlife calls warblers, “one of the avian highlights of spring.” While there are several species that visit our state, the blue-winged, golden winged, and yellow all have bright yellow coloring that perhaps makes them easier to spot in the trees. ODW recommends Greenlawn Cemetery as a local spot to see them.



They’re everywhere in Ohio, but there’s still something magical about spotting one in the wild and looking into its tranquil eyes.


Yes, there are many different types of butterflies that live in Central Ohio and yes, they are most active later in the year, but the common painted lady starts fluttering around as early as April. If you find a butterfly of any species this early in the season, we’ll give you full credit. 


Head down to the water and open your ears for that familiar croak. You’re likely to spot them chillin’ on the bank or the nearest lily pad, but it’s really fun if you get to watch them swim. 

Baby… anything

It’s spring, the season many species welcome their babies into the world. And if there’s anything cuter than an animal, it’s a baby animal. Ducklings, bunnies, birds nests; anywhere you can spot an animal family will let you tick this box. 


Fiddlehead ferns

One of the first signs that the earth is returning from winter is the emergence of fiddlehead ferns. Their distinctive spiral sticking up from the ground portends more plants to follow. (They are also supposed to be delicious when cooked, but since this is a scavenger hunt occurring in a public park, please leave them for the next visitor). 


You’ll probably smell them before you see them. There’s a reason lilac is dried and used in aeromatics year round, but—lucky us—we’re quickly approaching the season to experience the real thing. Those small, purple buds that smell like absolute bliss? That’s lilac. 

Maple tree

Sure, it’s at its peak in the fall when the leaves turn gold and red, but can you identify a maple before it’s leaves are in full bloom and it’s not producing any syrup? Now’s your chance to find out. 


Mushrooms count, but the best fungus in my opinion grows on old tree stumps and boasts beautiful stripes.

Feature photo by Rebecca Tien.

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Health & Fitness

COVID-19 Coverage: Expert tips for staying healthy during your stay-at home

Mitch Hooper



It's been nine days since Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has placed the state under a shelter-in-place order. However long this will last is unknown, but Dr. Anup Kanodia has a suggestion: use this time for your own self-health.

Dr. Kanodia, an Akron-native, is the owner and head MD at KanodiaMD in Westerville. He did a fellowship of alternative, integrative medicine at Harvard University and went on to earn his Master's in Public Health. His practice focuses on integrating functional medicine with conventional medicine. In addition to owning his own private practice, he works part-time with addiction clinics and part-time with urgent care.

"What we're finding, in my practice, is that a lot of people want to know how do they help themselves in this time. What can they do beyond social distancing and hand washing?" Dr. Kanodia said.

To find ways to cope and grow through this situation, 614Now talked with Dr. Kanodia via Zoom. Here are some of his tips to finding happiness and peace during these stressful times.

1.) Get into a routine

Working, sleeping, living, and eating in the same place can make the days feel like they blur together. Dr. Kanodia says a daily routine can be exactly what you need to help create a separation of your work and personal life as they collide together at home.

"[It starts] with having a regular sleep schedule," Dr. Kanodia explained. "And then getting out of the house first thing in the morning; meaning go for a walk, or go get something. But if you're stuck inside the house all day long, that's going to ruin your mental health."

For folks working at home, he also suggests making your work space separate from your bedroom. Don't work in bed, he says, and try to work in a different room than your bedroom if possible.

2.) Sleep is crucial right now

Sleep is the time our body repairs itself making it a vital part of a healthy immune system. But with schedules out-of-order, the long hours inside can make falling asleep difficult. Things like exercise throughout your day can help at nighttime, and Dr. Kanodia suggests writing before bed if you are struggling to fall asleep as well as limiting blue light exposure.

If, on the other hand, you find yourself waking up much earlier than usual, he says to simply go about your day, but it's important not to take naps as they can throw off your sleep cycle.

3.) And so is staying physically active; better yet if you can safely get outdoors

He says that functional medicine is finding that there are even more benefits to the immune system and overall health of the body through doing outdoor activities and being in the sunlight.

"Walking out in nature is even more beneficial if you could. Sunlight, outdoor light, or daylight helps us make Vitamin D, helps us shutdown sleeping hormones, and helps with depression."

However, there is a limit to exercise. He warns that if you feel tired roughly two hours after a work-out, you might've overworked yourself. Be cautious as being overworked can lead to a lowered immune system.

4.) Continue social distancing, but use technology to stay connected and close with loved ones

Dr. Kanodia suggests folks use applications like FaceTime and Zoom to stay in-touch with their families and friends. KanodiaMD also offers video chats—both in groups or solo—for anyone with questions or struggling in this time.

He also suggests alternative ways to do this such as video games and online games. Additionally, forums and chats are great ways to stay connected, he says.

5.) Keep a positive outlook with healthy outlets

It's difficult to do so in times like these, but Dr. Kanodia says a positive outlook is vital right now. And having a positive attitude doesn't mean you are immune to the fears, rather, it's coming to terms with them, he says.

"We have to accept our fear, [being] overwhelmed, and anxiousness. [...] Stress and mindset are unmet expectations. If I have expectations of how long this will last, if I will get COVID-19, that I don't like working from home; any of these expectations make us more stressed. If I go with the flow, what's the best I can do with this one minute? And keep going down that path."

For this, he suggests finding hobbies that brought you joy when you were younger. For some it's adult coloring, for others it's sports.

"Figure out in the past what kept you calm. Whatever it is that is your stress reliever, now is a good time to do it."

For more information on Dr. Kanodia, or to download his free COVID-19, Cold, and Flu Top 3 Recommendations, visit

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Columbus native to appear on premiere of ‘Making the Cut’




Series debuts tonight, March 27 on Amazon Prime

Kent State School of Fashion alumni, Joshua Hupper and Will Riddle, will both be featured contestants on the new series hosted and produced by fashion gurus, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. Hupper, a 2004 alumnus, and Riddle, a 2013 alumnus, both majored in fashion design and have had significant roles in the industry since graduating. They were two of just 12 contestants from all over the globe to be featured on the 10-episode series.

Since graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, Hupper resides in Shanghai, China, where he founded the brand BABYGHOST, a successful e-commerce fashion brand based in China. His designs have been featured in Vogue and on runways around the world. His line features youthful, feminine ready-to-wear fashions for the “mischievous girl.” Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hupper’s talents were shaped by his artistic upbringing and his past experiences in internships with Diane Von Furstenburg and Thakoon.

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