December 2008

It snuck up on you … didn’t it?  Still looking for family-friendly activities for New New Year's Eve in Dublin, OHYear’s?   The Crowne Plaza Dublin is throwing a bash … and a half!  Enjoy New Year’s Eve festivities with all the gear, children’s activities (bounce house and obstacle course), movies and games, live music and dancing, drink specials and a dinner buffet. Overnight stay includes late check out and breakfast.


Or you might want to join in the fun at Magic Mountain Fun Center with an evening of dinner, games, attractions, party favors, hats, noise makers, prize-filled balloon drops, family challenges and festive music.


First Night Columbus is a community-oriented, family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration, offering over 40 live performances including jazz, funk, ragtime, storytelling and magic, hands-on activities and a children’s festival.


There are still plenty of great holiday lights to be viewed …  both inside and out. Take advantage of the last few nights of a winter wonderland at Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, or if you prefer to be inside – COSI’s Holiday Science of the Season is a fun activity for the family. Gadgeteer takes you on a whirlwind tour of holiday lighting, complete with fiery explosions, super-cold liquid nitrogen fun, and a “reindeer-powered” generator that triggers over ten thousand twinkling holiday lights!


Mary Kelley’s is featuring Savor a dinner of prime rib and/or crab cakes at Mary Kelley’s while enjoying some live entertainment. The restaurant is open til 10 p.m. (bar open til 1 a.m.).  


Chase Suite Dublin Hotel is offering an Irish New Year’s Eve Experience. Guests can purchase an Irish basket that includes Bailey’s Irish Crème, chocolates, cookies, cheese and crackers – Yum!!!!  And Dublin Homewood Suites is featuring a Holiday Special for Family and Friends.


There, now. And you thought there was nothing to do!


-Post by Kay



Every mother asks herself the same question, after the gifts have all been opened and zookids4enthusiasm for the new stuff has waned:  What to do with the kids over Holiday Break?

If your family is like mine, after the big holiday is over, the walls start closing in on us and we need to get out!  That’s when we often head to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  While Wildlights is great fun at nighttime, don’t overlook the many indoor buildings that have programs throughout the day.

We like to watch the BIG bats in Asia Quest and then go over to see the elephants.  Usually the kids are more interested in trying to spot the birds that coexist in the elephant building instead of actually watching the elephants and Rhinos!  If it has snowed recently, see if the bears and moose are playing outside — if not, try Habitat Hollow to warm up and do kids activities.

Another family activity we enjoy is going to the movies at the Dublin AMC Theatres on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Before noon all movie admissions are $4!  It’s a great low-cost way to see the latest releases.

The most budget friendly activity is to take a walk.  We have such wonderful parks here in Dublin, OH and most are open all year round.  Have you seen the waterfalls behind the Library yet?  Watched the snow fall from the big trees at Glacier Ridge?  Their woodland trail is our favorite because it’s out of the wind and we usually see lots of wildlife. Tell us about your Dublin family fun over the Holiday Break!


Just checked out the Shoppes at River Ridge the other day and found some GREAT

Shopped at River Ridge Dublin, OH

Shoppes at River Ridge Dublin, OH

bargains. Not many people (outside of local Dubliners) know about this new gem of a shopping district … but they will. Montgomery Inn (the top-rated privately held rib and barbecue restaurant in the US in 2007) will open its first Central Ohio restaurant in the Spring of 2009, right here in Dublin, Ohio.  But, there’s more.


Did you know that you can find fun holiday gifts for $15 and under at Audacious? I found purses, bracelets & bangles, hoop earrings, scarves, sunglasses, wallets, key chains and even OSU items. You can even build your own charm bracelet.  Every Wednesday 5-8 p.m. is Girls Night Out … with great specials.  

I found a Vera Bradley tote for my daughter-in-law at Bliss. This new store is filled with designer brands, all created by women, including: Crabtree & Evelyn, Stephan Baby, Bambini Carini, Mistral, Bean Pod, Trollbeads, Chamilia, Lela Belle, She Beads, Staxx and Kameleon.

The Acorn has markdowns of at least 50%. And then there’s Coldwater Creek with all those fabulous, irresistible clothes. If you’re looking for a unique gift for your favorite munchkin, try The Learning Center for very cool stuff. Take a coffee/bagel break at Bruegger’s Bagels. Coming soon: The Wine Loft (Feb. 2009) and Simpure Aveda Salon (March 2009). The Shoppes at River Ridge is located near the southeast corner of 161/Dublin-Granville Rd. close to Riverside Drive.

-Post by Kay

I brought my family down to the Dublin Historic District for dinner last night and ran into a family Dublin Ohio Visitor Centerthat was looking for information on Dublin and central Ohio. They were visiting friends and family for the holidays. So, I walked them over to the Dublin Visitor Information Center (9 S. High Street).


The facility offers a free resource for visitors and residents alike – with weekly events listings, brochures on attractions and events in Dublin and around the state, maps, city information, phone access, hotel reservation capability, etc. (Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily). Feedback from out-of-town visitors tell us they see it as a great resource; this past year alone the Visitors Center hosted visitors from 46 states and 12 countries.  Next time your in town, stop in. Be sure to play with the cool interactive Kiosk as well!



-Post by Scott


I just picked up one of the brand new Cat’s Meow Village collectibles depicting Dublin (OH)’s Brazenhead (Dublin, OH)-Cats MeowBrazenhead pub, while visiting the Dublin Arts Center. These fun folk art collectibles are made by The Cat’s Meow Village of Wooster and were featured in the November Ohio Magazine story “Best Hometowns” … featuring our emerald city. The three Dublin Cat’s Meow landmarks (which recently debuted) are– the Dublin Arts Center, Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland and The Brazenhead Irish Pub. (But, no worries … these buildings will all fit under the tree or in a small gift bag.)

While browsing the Arts Center Gift Shop, I found stocking stuffers for those that made my “nice” list this year. Handmade items include jewelry, ornaments, ceramics and much more … all made by local artists. (So, no chance of duplicate gifts!)

For the most part, the DAC Gift Shop is known only to locals—which has made it one of our ‘best kept secrets’—up ‘til now. (But we’re happy to share this little treasure.) Stop by for some truly unique Christmas shopping. The Arts Center is located on Riverside Drive just north of the Emerald Parkway.

-Post by Kay

Okay, this is going to sound like a shameless plug–but bear with me, because I really do have your interests in mind.  Hint: today would be a REALLY good day to sign up to join our Destination Dublin E-Travel Club on our web site (

You see, we’re working on putting together an e-Holiday Greeting exclusively for our e-travel club members that has some very special discounts and offers for Dublin businesses this month. It’s going to be emailed out later this week–and it’s a one time deal. So, you snooze, you lose. 

I’m feeling like a Secret Santa today, because these offers keep rolling into my email box (from our local business partners). And, well, let me just say there are some nice goodies in Santa’s bag.  So … what are you waiting for?  🙂 

-Post by Mary

Big family fun at Wildlights on Saturday night. We arrived about 4 p.m. (before it was too dark) … for a few Wildlights Dublin, OHreasons. Entering the Columbus Zoo was easy with the big new entrance plaza. The parking lot was not yet crowded. We headed to the train exhibit (located just inside the Zoo in the old Sokani Gift Shop) to see the Polar Express train. 

Prior to dusk, we could see animals in their outdoor exhibits like the penguins bobbing through their heated water and the bison wandering in “North America.”  As we enjoyed walking around the Zoo, daylight was waning and the new LED lights grew brighter and brighter. We ended our Zoo visit by watching the new light show around the lake. The grandparents wondered how the computers could make the lights dance so fast. The kids loved the glittering lights in the trees.  We stood near one of the fire barrels to stay warm. By the time that the show was over, the crowds were starting to build since it was nearly dark. The lights looked great. We finished the night with a hot meal at Bob Evans on Sawmill Parkway (thanks to the free kid’s meal coupon at the Zoo exit).  We’re looking forward to returning to Wildlights to try the ice skating rink and funnel cakes! 

-Post by Katie