Embrace the snow and cold and head out to the park--Columbus Blue Jackets Winter Park. The Winter Park launched in 2015 when Columbus hosted the National Hockey League All Star Game. It was such a hit, the Blue Jackets and Worthington Industries continue to roll out the icy carpet for some February fun each year. Winter Park runs February 2-25 at McFerson Commons.
Winter Park is anchored by an NHL-size ice rink, which is open for public skating, hockey games and other community events. Good thing it is NHL-size, because on January 31 the Blue Jackets will hit the ice for a team practice. And, the fun is free and open to the public. So, nab the chance to watch your local pros up close, spraying ice from their blades.
For local figure skaters, hockey players and grabbers-of-the-wall, check out the open skate schedule. The cost is just $5 for kids and $10 for adults, and that includes your skate rental. (Bring some greenbacks, because the fun is cash only). When the chill gets too much, head to the Mad River Mountain Warming Lodge where you can watch the skaters cavort from a heated tent. Aaaaah, heated tent.
Football fans have perfected the fun of watching games on a big screen outdoors. Hockey says, check this out. Watch the Blue Jackets on the video board near the rink on three fun nights. So, mark your calendars for Friday, February 2 versus San Jose, Saturday, February 3 at the New York Islanders and Saturday, February 10 versus New Jersey. Yep, you can cheer along as the Jackets add to their point total and claw back into contention in the Metropolitan League.
If you prefer to work up a sweat on sneakers rather than blades, be sure to sign up for The 5th Line 5K Race to be held February 4. The starting gun sounds outside Nationwide Arena and the course finished on center ice of the arena. Cool running. Plus, when you register, you get a voucher good for two tickets to a select Blue Jackets game. No matter how long it takes you to run your 3.1 miles, you are a winner. And, be sure to stick around for the post-race party with food and drinks to refuel you for the day.
If all the running and skating makes your stomach rumble, head indoors for some delicious food and drinks.