Founded more than 30 years ago to foster cultural pride in the Italian American heritage, the Columbus Italian Festival still hews to its original trifecta of values: faith, family and friends. Held at the St. John The Baptist Italian Catholic Church, the festival has swelled from its inaugural crowd of 10,000 to more than 35,000. The festivities, which go on for three days, honor Columbus’s vibrant Italian community with live music, a smorgasbord of Italian cuisine, a cultural parade, and a film festival featuring the work of famous Italian directors, actors, or boom-mike operators.
Scallywag Tag's arena dazzles eyes with a black-lit, neon-tinged pirate ship and 18th-century Caribbean village, which provides a labyrinth of fluorescent walls for marauding swashbucklers. After being split into two competing crews, participants receive a vest, a phaser, and instructions to tally as many points as possible by tagging opponents, swarming the enemy's home base, or holding a referee hostage until he or she doctors the score. The score itself is broadcast on wide-screen LCD scoreboards, but those who are too busy taking out the adversary to look at them can take heart knowing that at the end of the game, the referees announce the winning team.
Outside the fast-paced laser-tag arena, Scallywag Tag encourages visitors to recharge with a drink or a slice of pizza from the snack bar. The arcade sections also distract patrons by featuring perennial classics such as air hockey as well as new favorites, including Time Crisis 3 and Find That W2 Form.
The West-side location additionally lures younger passersby with a pirate-themed jump house and a 35-foot-long slide in the family entertainment center. The West-side’s black-light miniature golf tests hand-eye coordination skills, leading guests through a gauntlet of 18 holes that similarly embrace the pirate theme.
With a temperature of 84 degrees every day, CoCo Key Water Resort creates a tropical atmosphere for year-round amphibious amusement. With 50,000 square feet of attractions, families and other social units are sure to find something to suit every swimsuit, from the adventurous Parrot's Perch armed with water cannons to soothing giant whirlpools in the Palm Grotto indoor spa. With its balmy climate control, swimmers can spite the weather and enjoy a tropical paradise that's far more relaxing than trying to cram a palm tree and a tube slide into their shower.
Since its founding in 1998, the Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. has been dedicated to preserving, and educating others about, the rich history of the railroad in Northwest Ohio. The center's sprawling gift shop and museum, which features two model-train layouts, explore the role of trains in American life in the past and the present. Outside, quarter-scale deisel and steam trains chug across a field crossed with railroad tracks with dozens of gleeful passengers in tow. As part of its celebration of all things railroad, Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. also curates seasonal events, such as train rides brimming with holiday festivities.
Westerville Golf Center's lush driving range coddles golfers with first-rate facilities that landed it on Golf Range Magazine's 2011 Top 100 Ranges list. With the Birdie Frequent Hitter card in tow, golfers can whack, juggle, and comically trip over $36 worth of driving range balls while traversing 80 verdant grass slug-stations. A fleet of 40 covered tees, heated in winter, shelter stick swingers from summer sun and unseasonable chills, and loaner clubs are on hand for those still slicing the air with old mannequin legs. Ideal for sharing with a close friend or one of the staff's PGA instructors, orbs come in small ($5/40 balls), large ($7.50/75 balls), and jumbo ($13/175 balls) buckets.
The friendly staff at Putt N Play Family Fun Center welcomes exhilaration enthusiasts of all ages to its cheerful expanse of games and attractions. Groups revel in the spirit of competition while bouncing golf balls off the brick boundaries and shrunken boulders of the 18-hole miniature-golf course. Afterward, the batting cage offers a place to practice chopping at a moving target, whereas air hockey provides players with the chance to practice distracting facial-distortion techniques. Once the day's excitement has left the group tired and hungry, a concession stand refuels parties with pizza, hot dogs, and soda.
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