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Spielberg-backed “magical” VR experience opening in Easton this weekend

614now Staff

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An immersive VR entertainment company backed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, film composer Hans Zimmer, and former top DreamWorks and Disney Imagineering executives, is expanding to Columbus.

Dreamscape has partnered with investor AMC Theatres to open a VR center in Easton Town Center on February 28.

Dreamscape will open its new Easton location with three original epic experiences: Alien Zoo, The Curse of the Lost Pearl, and The Blu: Deep Rescue. In a release, Dreamscape promised that Columbus visitors will “experience the magic of immersive and full sensory storytelling as they are transported to fantastic new worlds.”

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Per the release, here is what adventurers can expect from the three exhibits:

In Alien Zoo, guests will have the opportunity to travel to a larger than life, intergalactic haven where they come face-to-face with endangered alien creatures from across the galaxy. Upon arrival, travelers will experience the exhilaration of being able to play ball with exotic frogcats, pet majestic creatures, and, by working together, even narrowly escape the galaxy’s greatest predator.

In The Curse of the Lost Pearl: A Magic Projector Adventure, audiences will be given a fundamental wish fulfillment: to step through the screen and become part of a movie. Once inside this heart-pumping adventure, participants will be challenged to unlock clues, escape treacherous traps, and work together as they discover the secret of The Lost Pearl.

In The Blu: Deep Rescue, Dreamscape’s breathtaking co-production with WeVR, an epic descent into the ocean to explore dazzling underwater worlds and aquatic life soon becomes an urgent mission to rescue a trapped baby Blue Whale and unite it with its mother.

“At Dreamscape, our singular goal is to create magical memories between families and friends that can’t be experienced anywhere else,” said Bruce Vaughn, CEO of Dreamscape. “We do this by building unforgettable immersive worlds and fusing them together with stories filled with adventure, joy, collaborative challenges, and heartwarming moments. We can’t wait to debut our three immersive adventures to the Columbus community and to Easton Town Center for the very first time.”

It's official… #DreamscapeColumbus opens THIS FRIDAY! 🦕 Tix now available – link in bio!

Posted by Dreamscape on Saturday, February 22, 2020

The new location at Easton Town Center marks the second venue that Dreamscape will introduce across the U.S. via its partnership with AMC Theatres.

“Easton Town Center seeks out innovators to provide unique experiences for our guests and Dreamscape is a perfect fit,” said Jennifer Peterson, Chief Executive of Easton. “Being the first and only Dreamscape in the Midwest, this is an incredible opportunity for Easton’s 30 million visitors a year to experience this cutting-edge technology and experience being transported into another world through virtual reality.”

Dreamscape is located on level two of the Station Building inside the AMC. Audiences can purchase advanced tickets for the Easton Town Center location starting today from dreamscapeimmersive.com.

For more information about Dreamscape, the opening of its new location, its content, and its expansion, visit dreamscapeimmersive.com.

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Things To Do

Where to get your Red, White & BOOM on this July 4th

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It was a bummer to hear that Red, White & BOOM would be canceled and changed to a virtual format for 2020. However, that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating in a somewhat traditional sense. Even with one of the biggest fireworks celebrations put on hold, there’s still plenty to do around Columbus, fireworks or no fireworks.

We here at (614) know that given the modern-day circumstances, people have the choice to celebrate in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Below you can find three ways to celebrate–Local 4th of July events; Red, White & BOOM alternatives; and places where you can legally celebrate yourself.

THINGS TO DO ON JULY 4TH

Fourth of July Fireworks

West Jefferson July 4th Streetfest

When: July 4 at 10 p.m.

Where: Watch from home

Obetz Fireworks

When: July 4

Where: Watch from home

Fourth of July Activities

Neighborhood Bike Brigade

When: Various start times

Where: Dublin neighborhoods

Sherm Sheldon Fishing Derby

When: June 26 through July 4

Where: Any Dublin pond

Fourth of July Parades

Front Yard Parade in the Round

When: July 4 at 6 until 9 p.m.

Where: Your front yard

2020 Cruisin’ On The 4th of July

When: July 4 at noon

Where: Northbridge Ln., Columbus, OH 43235

New Albany 4th of July Parade & Festival

When: July 4 at 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Where: Church of the Resurrection, 6300 E Dublin Granville Rd., New Albany, OH 43054

Other Fourth of July Events

Zoombezi Bay Family Movie Night featuring The Goonies

When: July 3 from 6 until 11 p.m.

Where: Zoombezi Bay, 10101 Riverside Dr., Powell, OH 43065

HOW TO CELEBRATE WITH RED, WHITE & BOOM

Red, White & BOOM was gearing up for its 40th anniversary before COVID-19 shut the mass gathering down. However, the beloved Columbus fireworks show will be hosting a virtual event over the first four days of July. The virtual campaign will air on NBC4.

Here are some of the events that will take place:

  • Highlighting the best Red, White & BOOM stories
  • Stories from local veterans inducted into the Ford Oval of Honor
  • Broadcasting the best Red, White & BOOM fireworks over the show’s 39-year history
  • Looking back on the tradition of parades honoring veterans

HOW TO TAKE CELEBRATING INTO YOUR OWN HANDS

We here at (614) also know that setting off fireworks yourself is illegal. We also know that buying them within the state is legal (OK?).

So here is a list of places around Columbus you can buy fireworks from. What you do from there is up to you, but we advise you to stay within the law:

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Zoo Babies! We’ve got the photo cuteness

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Start the ooo-ing and ahhh-ing, Columbus, because we’ve got Zoo baby pics!

A Masai giraffe calf, a sea lion pup, two red panda cubs, and a siamang (gibbon) baby—all recent births at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for these endangered species. It’s a show of commitment from the organization how they were able to nurture these species populations at-risk for extinction and bring new generations of them into the world. 

“We are extremely proud to welcome these babies as they all represent hope for the future of species that are increasingly facing challenges in their native ranges,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO, Tom Stalf. In the press release, Stalf detailed how special these births are as the threatened species received around-the-clock, top-quality care by the Animal Care staff over the three-month-closure of the Zoo, due to COVID-19. 

OK, no more waiting—get your fill of cuteness below with these Zoo baby pics!

Masai Giraffe Calf

“A Masai giraffe calf was born on June 28, 2020, at 2:29 p.m. to mother, Zuri, in a behind-the-scenes barn of the Zoo’s Heart of Africa region.”

Sea lion Pup

“During the early morning hours of June 25, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed the first sea lion pup ever to be born at the facility!”

Two Red Panda Cubs

“Two healthy red panda cubs were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, a welcomed addition to this endangered species.”

Siamang (Gibbon) baby

“On the morning of May 29, 2020, the Australia and Islands region welcomed a baby siamang. Mom, Olga, is being very attentive to her little one, whose sex and name have not yet been determined.”

Get information about conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium here.

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City council aims to give youth opportunities this summer

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Walking down Weber Rd. toward I-71 this week, something was happening that most probably thought wouldn’t for at least another year: a group of kids playing basketball and being mentored by adults.

With the 2019-20 school year canceled, children have been confined to home, with most basketball hoops being boarded up. Summer camps were postponed and parents were starting to wonder, “What am I going to do with all of this bottled-up, youthful energy that’s been bouncing against my walls for the past few months?”

That answer was partially given on June 15, when Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced legislation to provide funds to programs for Columbus youth. The $2 million in grants was supported by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. 

“Providing a safe place for our kids to learn and grow during the summer is vital for them and for working parents everywhere, and Columbus children deserve every opportunity to access enriching services that connect them to nature, wellness, and creativity,” Brown said in a press release.

In mid-June, the Columbus Recreation and Parks opened a select number of programming and camps with adjusted group sizes and increased safety protocols. With funds from the CARES Act, Columbus can expect to see more opportunities arise over the next couple of months.

To find a full updated list of programs that the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department will be offering this summer, click here.

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