Things to do besides watching the OSU-Michigan game this weekend – The Columbus Dispatch


It’s a good bet that a majority of the residents of the states of Ohio and Michigan will be watching the contest between the Buckeyes and Wolverines at noon Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Fair enough — but what about the rest of us?
For those whose interests lie elsewhere — or who are merely content to watch highlights from the game later on — central Ohio is full of things to do and places to go while the Buckeyes clash with the school from the state up north.
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Below are a selection of events and activities to keep you or your family busy on Saturday — and throughout Thanksgiving weekend.
Hiking is on the menu at the Metro Parks following Turkey Day and on through the weekend.On Friday, “OptOutside” for a two-mile hike at 2 p.m. at Blendon Woods Metro Park (4265 E. Dublin-Granville Road, Westerville) or a three-mile one at 9 a.m. at Scioto Grove Metro Park (Arrowhead Picnic Area, 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City). The ambitious can challenge themselves at 11 a.m. to a six-mile “Gobble Hobble” covering all the trails at Blacklick Woods Metro Park (6975 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg) or a two-and-a-half-mile off-trail ravine ramble at 1 p.m. at Sharon Woods Metro Park (Apple Ridge Bulletin Board, 6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville).Hikes continue on Game Day – Saturday – ranging from an easy mile-and-a half family “Give Thanks for Wildlife” hike at 10 a.m. at Blendon Woods Metro Park to a brisk two-mile “Turkey Trot” at 1 p.m. at Glacier Ridge Metro Park (9801 Hyland Croy Rd., Plain City) to a six-mile hike along the Greenway at 10 a.m. at Three Creeks Metro Park (Confluence Park bulletin board, 3860 Bixby Rd., Groveport).
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The weekend winds up with even more opportunities to get outside on Sunday. Search for turkeys roosting in the trees at 5:30 p.m. at Blendon Woods Metro Park Nature Center or take an off-trail hike to the eagle’s nest at Three Creeks Metro Park at 2 p.m. Walk with your pooch — followed with a doggie treat — at 1 p.m. at Sharon Woods Metro Parks, or get your steps in for the day with a 10,000 Steps Hike at 1 p.m. at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park (Little Darby Picnic Area, 3711 Gardner Rd., Georgesville).All hikes are free, and none require pre-registration (metroparks.net).
Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkeys, but you can spend your weekend in the company of creatures of a different sort: COSI’s newest exhibition, “Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs,” presents fossil casts of the ancient flying reptiles. True-to-life models and interactive elements supplement the exhibition. Weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $25, or $23 for senior citizens, $20 for ages 2 to 12, or free for age 2 and younger (cosi.org).
Those who prefer dancing to vintage pop to talking trash about Michigan can find a spot at Skully’s Music-Diner, 1151 N. High St. Their “Ladies’ ’80s: Holiday Get-Together” will be playing music of the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and now. Happy hour starts at 4 p.m. Saturday, and dancing at 9 p.m. The club recommends that you bring your mom, and maybe a side of turkey. No cover charge for 21 and over; cover charge of $5 for 18 to 20 (facebook.com/skullysmusicdiner).
If you’re looking for a quiet afternoon or evening at home, pick up some books from one of the many Columbus Library sites. While at the main branch, 96 Grant Ave., take some time to watch the Huntington Holiday Train putter its way through a snow-covered alpine landscape complete with evergreens, houses, waterfalls, tunnels and a castle. Regular library hours. Parking is free for one hour (columbuslibrary.org).
While your friends are glued to the game at home, spend your day with art lovers: Among the exhibitions on view at the Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St., is “Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak,” a thorough survey of the art of the creator of the classic children’s books “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen.” Weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission costs $18, or $9 for senior citizens, students over age 18 and those ages 4 to 17, free for age 3 and younger, members and for all on Sunday. The Sendak show requires special exhibition admission in addition to general admission: $10 for nonmembers, or free for members (columbusmuseum.org).
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Birds don’t care about the Michigan game. If you share that attitude, get to know them a little better at a Beginner Bird Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, 505 W. Whittier St. Check out avian activity on the center grounds or in the surrounding Scioto Audubon Metro Park with the aid of center staff and volunteers. Bring binoculars if you have them. Binoculars will also be on loan, with a driver’s license needed to secure them. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required, and donations are always welcome (grange.audubon.org).
Here’s motivation to get up from the couch and away from the big game: Help support small businesses — and walk away with some goodies to give away over the holidays — by taking advantage of Small Business Saturday, the annual event sponsored by American Express. To learn which Greater Columbus stores, restaurants and other establishments will be partaking in the event this Saturday, visit americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small.
If you own a Ford, or are merely a Ford fan, you won’t want to miss the Ohio Ford Expo Fall Super Swap from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave. New, used, aftermarket and collectible products, parts and more will be for sale in what is billed as the nation’s biggest such event. Admission costs $10, or free for age 12 and younger and those with special needs; parking costs $5 for each entry, or $14 for a weekend parking pass (ohioexpocenter.com).
Those on the lookout for sparkling Christmas lights need look no further than two of Greater Columbus’ best-known outdoor holiday experiences: Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Meanwhile, Conservatory Aglow at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St., will be on view from 5 to 9 p.m. this weekend (columbuszoo.org; fpconservatory.org).
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Whether you were immersed in the game on Saturday or not, turn your attention to other seasonal pleasures on Sunday, when Christmas in Pumpkin Show Park, 121 N. Court St., Circleville, runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Visit with Santa, watch live entertainment, take part in kids’ activities and enjoy cocoa and cookies before joining Santa in the tree lighting at 6 p.m. The event will be followed by the annual Christmas Parade, starting at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free with the donation of a non-perishable food or toiletry item to support Community Cupboards of Pickaway County (facebook.com/pickchamber).
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