November 2011

‘Tis the season for Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! Can you help us come up with a caption for this photo of the Columbus Zoo’s Jack Hanna with a couple of his 2-legged friends?

This insider Guest Post comes to us from Katie Ronske, Communications Assistant at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Since Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was named one of the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events in North America, we knew we had to go bigger and brighter than ever before … and that’s exactly what we did!

 This year, we’re spreading Wildlights cheer to the whole world, literally! In addition to millions of LED lights decking the halls, trees and bushes, guests will find a 24-foot in diameter, 8,200 lb. globe in the center of Conservation Lake that serves as the centerpiece for Global Celebrations, a brand new animated music and light show. The 8-minute light extravaganza features new songs and new designs and runs every thirty minutes from 5:45 p.m. to close.

In addition to Global Celebrations, Polar Pete’s Holiday Wishes Tree will help light up the chilly winter nights this year. This 28-foot-tall artificial sequoia tree shines bright with 15,500 LED lights. Here, guests can stop and say “happy holidays” to Rodney Reindeer and Wally Walrus before having their photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Of course, we had to stay true to Wildlights tradition. Guests can still see Santa in his holiday home at the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost, visit his reindeer at Polar Frontier, take a ride on the Polar Bear Express or the Mini Kiddie Sleigh Ride, hear sounds of the season at the Animals on Safari stage and more.

Celebrate the season at Wildlights now thru January 1, 2012. Festivities take place from 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information please visit

Give your family the gift of fun! Treat them to a Columbus Zoo Wildlights Getaway package–featuring an overnight stay at a choice of 6 Dublin hotels, plus complimentary kids tickets to Wildlights and free Kids Meal coupons. Packages start at just $99 and are available through 12.31.11. Visit or call the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau 800/245-8387 to learn more.

*Wildlights is efficiently powered by gridSMART from AEP Ohio.

What’s the BEST thing to make for Thanksgiving? Reservations! Not only do you get out of a long day standing in the kitchen cooking, but someone else cleans up.  That means you get to (1) sleep in, (2) watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and (3) take a nap. (Why fight the Tryptophan-induced, after-Thanksgiving food coma?) Here are a few great restaurant options for turkey day … and a few Black Friday incentives to get you out the door the day after turkey day.

Matt the Miller. Fab buffet (from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.) that includes a carving station with oven roasted turkey, Garlic roasted Ribeye, Honey glazed ham, Cranberry-apricot relish, Mashed potatoes, Spinach and sage stuffing, Corn soufflé with honey and fried onions, Green beans with roasted shallots, candied yams with walnut crumbs, Shrimp cocktail, Flatbreads, Salads, Fresh Rolls, Pasta Veggie and cheese display, Great desserts. Reservations required. $28.95 Adults, $10.95 Kids 5-10 years old. Kids 4 and under are free with a paying adult. Additional 4 and under: $4.95 each.799-9100. 6725 Avery-Muirfield Dr.

 Salvi’s Italian Bistro. This luscious buffet (from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.) includes: Roasted Turkey, Pan Gravy, Cornbread dressing, Cranberry sauce, Roasted Prime Rib of Beef, Baked Ham, Pasta Alfredo with vegetables, Mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Mini Pasta Salvi, Italian Green Beans and Kernel Corn, Baked Acorn Squash,  Assorted Hot rolls, Delicious Dessert selections, Shrimp Cocktail,  Medley of Relishes, Fresh Fruit, Cheese logs and cheese cubes, Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Cottage Cheese and Mandarin Orange Sections, Green salad with bacon. Reservations required. $24.99 Adults. $12.50 Kids 5-11. Children under 4 are free. 614/874-0466. 5000 Upper Metro Place.

J. Liu’s Restaurant. Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving buffet as well as signature J. Liu favorites. Buffet will be served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call ahead for reservations. $27.99 Adults. $25.99 Seniors. $14.99 Children ages 4-11. 614/718-1818. 50 West Bridge Street.

Columbus Marriott Northwest. Savor your favorite holiday flavors with this traditional Thanksgiving buffet with Turkey, Ham, and Prime Rib, as well as delicious sides, salads and desserts. Buffet will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Seating is limited; please call ahead for reservations. $30.95 Adults. $24.95 Seniors. $12.95 Children ages 6-12. 614/791-1000. 5605 Blazer Parkway.

Embassy Suites Hotel/Kilpatrick’s. Just like Mom used to make. This traditional Thanksgiving buffet includes Oven Roasted Turkey, Mashed potatoes with gravy, Corn Bread stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Mixed Green Salad, Assorted Pies and Cakes. Buffet will be served from 5 -8 pm. $17.95 Adults. $8.95 Children 12 and under. 614/790-9000. 5100 Upper Metro Place.

Black Friday Specials

Kogen’s Asian Cuisine & Sushi  is having a one-day sale on gift cards. Buy a gift card and Kogens will match 50% of the amount in a gift card back to you! Nov. 25 only. 614/798-8882. 9711 Sawmill Pkwy.

Sunny Street Café Fuel up on breakfast before you hit the shopping! Open at 5 am and offering $3.99 breakfast specials ‘til 9 am. Also serving a BBQ Rib dinner Friday evening. Receive a $10 bonus gift card for every $50 gift card purchase. 614/389-3640. 7042 Hospital Drive.

For more information about dining and shopping options in Dublin Ohio, visit or call 800/245-8387.

Here at the Dublin CVB we are fully aware that it’s mid-November, but with our Kids Go Free/Columbus Zoo Wildlights Package available online we can’t help but be excited for the holidays. So before you cut that Thanksgiving turkey, go out and explore the charming Historic District in Dublin this Thursday, Nov. 17th from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Historic Dublin is located at the intersection of Bridge St. & High St.

The District Open House features specials from 10 different shops that are sure to help you get in the spirit and get some of that necessary shopping done. So hop on one of the Trolley Rides (available 4-7 p.m.) or stroll through the Luminary Walk, compliments of the American Cancer Society, and increase your holiday joy before the snow even falls.


1. Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland: Belleek & Galway Open House (1pm- 6pm)
Gifts personalize by Belleek Painter, Collette Green, from Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland. Enjoy light refreshments and Enter to Win 10 Gifts on your Ha’Penny Christmas Wish List. 17% discount on any one item priced at $50 or higher and purchase of a Belleek event piece.

2. The Sister’s Sweet Shoppe: Enjoy fruitcake tastings and try samples of the gourmet chocolates. There will be fun activities for you to view like their chocolate dipping and peanut butter harvest movie.

3. Z Bearla’s Gifts: Try some tasty treats like holiday cheese balls and champagne.

4. Blankets & Booties: Receive a 25% discount on your purchase of full-priced merchandise and enjoy refreshments and free Christmas gift wrapping.

5. Dean Insurance Group: Enjoy wine and food sampling along with a jewelry party.

6. Clover Boutique: Holiday treats and 20% off entire store and 30% off jewelry.

7. Our CupCakery: Holiday cake pop tasting and demonstrations. Enter to Win a free box of Holiday Cake Pops.

8. Boho 72 Boutique: 20% off handmade jewelry, scarves and handbags at this chic boutique.

9. What’s the Point: Delicious holiday cookies are available as you peruse a variety of needlepoint items.

10. Woodhouse Spa: Appetizers and seasonal beer tasting courtesy of Mezzo’s Italian Restaurant. The Diamond Cellar will be showcasing several of extraordinary pieces. You can also register to win tickets to the last big Ohio State football game. Purchase $100 gift card and you will receive an additional $20 gift card to pamper yourself or a friend.

For more information about the District Open House and future “Holly Days in Historic Dublin” please visit

-Post by Allison

I believe happiness should be pursued daily. That happiness can come in the form of an act of kindness, accomplishment, or time with a good friend.

This week, November 8-14, is recognized by the International Society of Friendship and Good Will as Pursuit of Happiness Week.

So I tried to think of 7 simple things that make me happy:

  1. Peanut Butter
  2. Learning something cool
  3. Really good food… and lots of it
  4. Singing loudly to a live band
  5. Exploring art exhibits
  6. Shopping with no regrets
  7. Sleeping like a baby

In honor of this week, I have decided to complete these simple little things that make me happy. So whether you are a resident of Dublin or a visitor, I challenge you to explore a week’s worth of Dublin treasures.

Peanut Butter: Maybe this list isn’t necessarily in order, but yes, I consider peanut butter life’s simple treat that makes rain clouds disappear. The best peanut butter in the world (seriously) is made right here in Dublin. KREMA Peanut Butter. This peanut butter has been featured on The Today Show, Prevention Magazine, Men’s Health Magazine and Cooking Light Magazine.

Why is it so awesome? Well besides from being owned by the two most adorable, blonde sisters, Melissa and Nanette, it has only one ingredient; peanuts. Who would have thought?

Grounds of Rememberance

Learning something cool: Did you know the City of Dublin commissioned a public artwork in recognition of veterans and their families? The Dublin Veterans Project is a lasting tribute to those men and women who have served our country in war and peace. It also received a National Honor for outstanding achievement and is featured in the September 2011 edition of Landscape Architecture.

The Grounds of Remembrance in Dublin Veterans Park will be hosting Dublin’s Veterans Day Ceremony from 11 a.m.-noon Friday, Nov. 11. Veterans are invited to enjoy a complimentary breakfast from 9-10:30 a.m. at La Chatelaine, 65 W. Bridge Street.

Really good food… and lots of it: The varieties of culinary creations keep growing in Dublin. I’m not sure if that directly correlates with my growing waistline… either way, when I do bring home bags of groceries, I usually just go out to eat anyway. Why? Because it’s more fun. Also because I’m good at finding deals.

Like at Max & Erma’s Restaurant. They have ongoing weekly specials; $5 munchies during their Happy Hour (Monday-Friday), Free Cookie Wednesdays and Kids Eat Free Tuesdays. Ok, I don’t have kids, but if I did you better believe I’d be taking little Audrey to get her chicken tenders.

Live music at Brazenhead Pub

Singing loudly to a live band: It’s a very realistic possibility I will have hearing problems in the future because I love experiencing live music. You may think we only have fiddlers and bagpipers here in Dublin.

I challenge you to check out our authentic Irish Pub this Saturday, Nov. 12 and listen to some rocking covers by The Jenkins & Scott Band. There’s live music here in Historic Dublin every weekend. Singing loudly is optional. Eating fish & chips is mandatory.

Exploring art exhibits: If my artistic talent could support my shoe fetish,  I’d be at home painting. Since some things have to be labeled “hobbies” I choose to view the masters by going to art museums. Did you know Dublin has its very own art gallery? The Dublin Arts Council selects incredible exhibits and will be featuring “Oh Rats!” a collection of ceramic sculptures by Juliellen Byrne.

The exhibit’s grand opening is Tuesday, Nov. 15 with a reception for the artist from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition remains on view at Dublin Arts Council through Dec. 16.

Clover Boutique

Shopping with no regrets: When I go shopping, it is a hunt. I scour clothing racks and home goods like a lioness ready to make her kill. Here at the Bureau, we understand you probably look for deals too. That’s why we have amazing travel packages, like our new Kids Go Free Columbus Zoo Wildlights Getaway Package. You can also download our Discover Dublin Discounts where you can get deals from some of our favorite places in Dublin. *Cough… Clover Boutique… *cough *cough.

Sleeping like a baby: Sometimes the best part of being awake during your day is knowing you can soon go back to sleep. I take my slumber very seriously. So does the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin. They actually did a study about the sleep necessities so you can receive your best night’s sleep.

Lavender room spray, a curtain clip, and body hugging duvets are all a part of their Sleep Advantage system. Oh and if they miss your scheduled wake-up call your room is free. Be sure to check out all of our Dublin hotels.

Your happiness list may vary, but be sure to turn to the Green Team at the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau if you need help. We are the local experts here to make your experience a happy one.

-Post by Allison