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28 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

Mitch Hooper

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Coming from a small town, I am baffled whenever I hear someone say they are bored in Columbus. Are you serious? Do you know what we did for fun in my hometown when winter time hit? We did laps around WalMart and drank $2.29 PBRs at the local Applebee’s. If we were lucky, they’d hand us the AUX cord after 10 p.m.

I won’t take it any longer, Columbusites. Sure, it’s cold out, and getting anywhere in this weather adds an extra 15 minutes to your drive, but there’s only one way to beat these winter blues and that means distracting yourself until warmer weather returns.

North High Brewing: Brew Your Own Beer | 1288 N High St.

This is a hobby that is best done with friends, and with patience. North High Brewing offers a brew your own beer event where you and your friends will be using a recipe from North High Brewing to craft your own beer. The cost is in the $190 to $240 (plus taxes) range plus an additional $90 for the bottling process, but that’s per batch, not per person, so load up on friends so the price per person drops significantly. After three hours at North High, and a three week waiting process, you’ll be looking at about 15 gallons of beer (roughly a keg) that can be bottled with your own customized logo!

Studio 614 | 2487 Summit St.

All the crafty people on Pinterest create the illusion that these DIY projects are quick, simple, and fun for the family, that is, until you sit down and spill your glue on the carpet. Don’t let this discourage you. You just need some assistance, and with Studio 614’s myriad of DIY classes, painting courses, and anything in between, you’ll have the skills necessary to start crafting your very own decorations for your home.

Omega Artisan Baking | 59 Spruce St.

Columbus, let’s get this bread! Better yet, let’s make this bread! These classes offer a variation of breads from flatbreads to sourdoughs, and it offers refreshments midway through as the bread baking business is a lengthy process (about three hours in total).

Bareclay Pottery Classes | 734 E Lincoln Ave.

Whether it’s Monday afternoon or good old date night, Bareclay Pottery Classes is probably hosting some sort of pottery class. Here you will learn how to use the pottery wheel which is visually satisfying alone, plus instructors will be on hand to dish out tips for glazing and the addition of other art media to your creation.

The Seasoned Farmhouse | 3674 N High St.

Isn’t it weird how our day revolves around our eating schedule, but when it comes time to whip up a meal in the kitchen, we hardly venture from the norm? At The Seasoned Farmhouse, each class is a chance to learn how to cook with seasonal ingredients so you can go home with the knowledge on how to wow your guests at your next (and potentially first ever) dinner party, or simply add a new recipe to your wheelhouse.

Planthropy: Public Workshops and Private Planting Parties | planthropy.co

Living in the city doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your green thumb; it means you have to get creative. Luckily, the interior designers and “plant people” at Planthropy are here to help an urban gardener in need. With their private parties, you and 12 friends can dive into the world of planting and maintaining succulents. Alternatively, the public workshops offer classes at places like The Candle Lab.

The Candle Lab | thecandlelab.com

The Candle Lab hosts tons of events each month pairing different things with candles. Events include the aforementioned succulent and candles class, or the Lights and Flights events where patrons can create an 8 oz. candle in addition to enjoying a flight of wine. There’s also chances to get active while you’re here where you’ll pour your own candle, and while they harden, you’ll spend time practicing yoga.

Glass Axis | 610 W Town St.

It’ll take a little time and lots of patience, but once you get the hang of it, glass blowing could be the most satisfying crafting hobby on this list. From learning the basics to venturing into sculpting and flamework, Glass Axis offers an extremely comprehensive course load to flame your glass blowing fires.

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The Nest Theatre Improv Classes | 894 W Broad St.

SNL has streamlined the improv comedy bit, but an insider’s view shows it’s much harder than it looks. Reigning in from Chicago is Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto who are here to help a potential improviser. Courses are broken up into four levels, and each one is a prerequisite for the next so don’t worry about being in over your head with more experienced improvisers.

Sew To Speak Sewing Classes | 752 High St.

Sew a man a shirt, clothe him for the day. Teach him how to sew, and he’ll be clothed for life… probably. Sew To Speak hosts sewing classes for anything from knitted stocking caps to medallion quilts to roll rugs. And if your sewing skills are subpar, they offer a general sewing class to stitch together your loose ends.

Columbus State Language Institute | 550 E Spring St.

Learning a language is tough, and it’s nearly impossible to break your native language habits on your own. That’s why Columbus State’s Language Institute is a great way to keep you learning week-in and week-out, plus the camaraderie of a classroom helps you grow with other like-minded individuals!

Westerville Public Library: Meet The Authors | 126 S. State St.

Book worms are probably invested in many groups, forums and clubs for reading, but the Westerville Public Library gives readers the opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors. Each session is a chance to hear more about a book, ask the author questions, and get your book autographed.

House Wine: Wine And Cellar Club | 644 High St.

Oenophiles have the option of two different clubs here. The first is the Wine Club where members pay $30 per month to be apart of a revolving door of two bottles of red or white wines that are delivered to House Wine at the first of the month. The other club, Cellar Club, is a bit more expensive, $60 per month, but you’ll be sipping exclusively red wines—sometimes two bottles of the same blend, other times it’s different blends.

First Choice Music Studio: Learn An Instrument | 25 North St.

It’s cliche, but at some point in our lives, we’ve probably uttered the phrase, “I wish I knew how to play an instrument.” First Choice Music Studio has a staff of qualified music instructors to teach you anything from piano to guitar. Courses are offered at $115 for one 30 minute private session per week, or $240 for one 60 minute private session per week.

Seabolt & Co.: Makeup Classes | 225 E Fifth Ave.

At this point, makeup is a master’s work of art when it comes to contouring and other makeup trends which is why it’s best to learn from an expert. With Seabolt & Co.’s three-hour makeup and cocktail class for $120 per person, you’ll learn how to do anything from smokey eyes to what skin care products work best with your skin type. Plus, you know, cocktails!

Wine & Canvas | 132 Graceland Blvd.

Bob Ross makes painting on canvas seem like the easiest thing in the world, but anyone who has attempted to follow along with his painting tutorials knows it’s hard as hell. Your beautiful nature scene looks more like something your three-year old whipped up with his fingers. Instead of getting frustrated, check out Wine & Canvas with their public and private workshops where talented artists will walk you through step-by-step on how to create on canvas, plus you’ll be sipping on wines at places like Camelot Cellars.

Idea Foundry | 421 W State St.

When it comes to the Idea Foundry, you’re only limited by your own imagination. Looking to get into welding and sheet metal work? There’s a class for that. Want to learn how to create your own mini speaker? There’s a class for that too. There’s even lectures, guest speakers, social nights, and just about anything you can dream up.

Columbus Scuba: Open Water Certification | 4680 Indianola Ave.

Sure, scuba diving in Ohio doesn’t exactly sound like an exciting hobby with our lack of beautiful beaches, but this is more of a long-term hobby. With an open water certification, you are certified to scuba dive for the rest of your life, so book that cruise vacation whenever. This course will teach you everything you need for $399, or you can dip your toes in the water with their $49 trial run of scuba diving basics.

Columbus Dance Center | 1000 B Morrison Rd.

People always say dance like nobody’s watching, but with the viralness of social media these days, you can never be too cautious. At the Columbus Dance Center, you can remove all those fears of being embarrassed on the internet with their private lessons that will teach you anything from the Waltz to the Tango to the Foxtrot. Best of all, you can dip your toes into the waters of these private lessons without shelling out some money as the first lesson is free!

Parkour Horizons | 7020 Huntley Rd.

Parkour might look dangerous on the surface, and well, that’s because it is. It’s best done with experts who have taken many of bumps and bruises to perfect their craft, and that’s what you’ll find at Parkour Horizons. Their classes will work your entire body from head to toe with strength, endurance, and flexibility training. I won’t lie to you—you’ll probably get a few bruises during the learning process, but being able to seemingly scale walls like Spiderman seems like a fair trade-off.

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Crossfit Grandview | 880 Kinnear Rd.

Alright, Crossfitters of the world, you win. This is clearly not just some fad in fitness that will go by the wayside once a newer and trendier workout routine comes into play. Crossfit is a great way to work on all the core muscles in your body, and the beginning prerequisite courses here are affordable, $10 per class, while also making sure you don’t venture into a more experienced form of crossfit that could cause you to hurt yourself.

Bikram Hot Yoga | 937 W Third Ave.

It’s cold outside and finding a way to stay fit and warm is always a challenge. But with Bikram Hot Yoga, you can get your stretch on while you get your sweat on with their studio that’s heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Just make sure you bring a towel and water because you’re going to work up a serious sweat by the end.

Cycle614 | 1636 Northwest Blvd.

Ah, cycling. All the leg-burning fun of running without having to deal with the unpredictable weather. Just like the Columbus Dance Center, don’t worry about sinking too much money into something because your first class is free here. Clip-in shoes are recommended and not provided, but obviously if this is your first time, rocking the some good old running shoes will get the job done.

GOLFTEC | golftec.com

When it comes to improving your golf game, heading to the driving range and crushing a few with the driver really isn’t going to do much. At GOLFTEC, they take the coaching aspect of golf to a whole new level. I’m talking iPads that tell you why your swing sucks. Coaches that will also tell you why your swing sucks. Hell, they even have clubs that will break down statistically why your swing sucks!

REI Rock Climbing Classes | rei.com

If there’s anything on this list giving parkour a run for its money for “Hobby Best Done With An Expert,” it’s rock climbing. With rock climbing, there’s not a lot of room for error so getting educated is an absolute must. With REI’s rock climbing classes, you’ll travel to an outdoor location where an expert will provide you with the know-how as well as the gear to get you off the ground.

Columbus Recreation And Parks: Sports Leagues | Varies

The weather outside is unpredictable. Is it going to snow today, or will it be sunny and 55? That might put a damper on outdoors sports, but the Columbus Recreation and Parks Sports Office has the solution. While the weather is still not ideal, they offer indoor leagues like basketball or volleyball (sign ups end Feb. 15 so don’t hesitate!), and once the weather gets back to being warm, you can put together squads for other sports like softball.

Orangetheory Fitness | orangetheoryfitness.com

Orangetheory takes the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses,” but makes it fitness. At Orangetheory’s fitness classes and courses, your heart rate is monitored and quantified into five different stages of effort with the goal that you’ll enter the “orange effect” zone where your body is operating at optimal caloric burning. These stats are displayed on a large board in the class to keep you honest, and creates a mild competition to have the most time in the “orange effect” zone.

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Cedar Point, Kings Island are suing to get you back

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It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are allowed to re-open but Cedar Point and Kings Island have been snubbed in Gov. Mike DeWine’s most recent announcement that Ohio’s entertainment venues were allowed to re-open.

After being left out of the party, Cedar Point, Kalahari Resort and Kings Island sued the director of the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, arguing that Dr. Amy Acton doesn’t have the authority to keep the state’s amusement parks and waterparks shut down and in doing so is violating the park’s rights.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. The county health departments for both parks were also named in the lawsuit.

No word yet from the Ohio Department of Health as to when, or if, either amusement park will be allowed to open in June.

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Updated hours for North Market as first Farmers’ Market of the season opens Saturday

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Get excited Columbus foodies - this Saturday marks the beginning of North Market’s Farmers’ Market season! The Farmers’ Market will tantalize your taste buds every Saturday this summer through October, from 8 a.m. until noon at the North Market outdoor plaza at 59 Spruce Street.

During the coronavirus pandemic, North Market provided customers with fresh pick-up bundles. Now they’ve updated their operating hours to give consumers who want to shop again a chance to pick their own culinary delights.

"The hope is that a gradual reopening will strike a balance between the desire to serve the public and still respect the very real health concerns still shared by merchants, public, and staff," said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market's executive director, in a press release Thursday.

The updated hours, which will go into effect this Sat., June 6, are as follows:

  • Monday - Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All of those in attendance will have to observe the following guidelines as outlined in a press release by North Market:

  • North Market's mask requirement that applies to indoor merchants and guests will also apply to all outdoor vendors and guests.
  • Access to each farmers' market booth will be limited. Markings on ground will indicate this requirement and will show the distance required between people. Only one person/group traveling together may be in each box at a time.
  • Several farms and vendors will offer contact-free shopping and pre-orders. North Market asks that guests pre-order and plan out shopping trips when possible. This helps keep crowds to a minimum and lines moving smoothly.
  • Farms and vendors will provide hand sanitizer for guest use.
  • North Market farms and vendors are committed to helping prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when sick, and avoiding exposure to others who are sick. We ask that all guests follow the same protocols and do not visit North Market or the Farmers' Market if feeling ill.
  • North Market farms and vendors will continue to strictly follow all local public health guidelines, safety protocols, and best practices.

If you’re interested in which merchants will be open on what days, North Market has been dedicated to providing you with that information during the pandemic. You can find the list, which is updated daily, here.

Although there are still limitations on indoor seating, outdoor seating on the porch and the farmers’ market plaza are currently available.

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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen

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Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit https://www.greatohiolodges.com/ to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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